John Shearer/Getty Images
John Shearer/Getty Images
Today's Community panel at Comic-Con was all business—make that monkey business.
The cast of NBC's cult hit (including our very own Soup host, Joel McHale) delivered the funny, but it was the surprise appearance of Troy's (Donald Glover) pet primate, dubbed Annie's Boobs, that stole the show.
Read on for more panel highlights and interviews from the Community press room (a funnier place than most comedy clubs)...
Before we recount the Community panel's most memorable quotes, here's what the cast and crew told us we can expect when the merry band of misfits returns for another school year at Greendale Community College:
Omar Is Coming! Guesting this season as the Greendale's biology teacher is Michael Kenneth Williams—The Wire's incomparable gay stick-up man Omar Little—who was cast after EP Neil Goldman contacted the actor on Twitter! Because showrunner Harmon "philosophically sort of devoured [The Wire] between seasons," he said, "I want to give that show credit for being a huge inspiration to me. I want to achieve some of the things in terms of energy [on Community] that that show was able to." And like The Wire, Glover predicts, "We're only going to do five seasons, none of us are going to survive, and we'll get nominated maybe for one Emmy and never win it."
Back to the Future: While Glover works on his pitch for a Back to the Future-themed episode ("time travel is tricky," he admits), showrunner Harmon has to consider the future of his characters outside of Greendale. "School doesn't last forever," he says. "[Jeff Winger's] there to get his bachelor's degree, and that's a four-year story. And that story has to have a conclusion to it—you can't just freeze time in the middle of a show that acknowledges time. I think part of the appeal of the show is that the characters are growing and changing. So it will be addressed onscreen, because that's part of the story." Meanwhile, producers say, the students will have to cope with a new villain in the school (presumably not someone from The Wire).
Diagnosing Abed: One season-three story arc will "examine Abed's condition," executive producer Joe Russo told us. "Dan and the writers mapped out an arc for every character, and the thing we're going to do this year is just go a little deeper into his condition and who he is as a—what it means to the world reality."
Super Star-Burns: Community is going to "dig deeper" into all the characters this season, not just Abed, the producers say. "What's great about the high-concept episodes is that they're very flashy and appealing, but also hard to service the characters"—including Star-Burns, says Russo. "He's got a new affectation this year, which you'll see in [episode] one. The star-burns are not enough." Dino Stamatopolous, who plays the sideburned star, is actually a respected writer (he cowrote the Claymation episode with Harmon) and never intended to act on the show. "It's a very funny story," the producers revealed. "We just grabbed Dino because he could get big sideburns and play that character. And then we ended up using him in another episode, then another episode, and now he's endured two years of hell because he hates acting." Jeong marvels, "I love that he's a reluctant superstar."
Bachelor Pad When asked whether the new roommates would continue their Troy and Abed in the Morning show in their apartment, Pudi wondered, "Will there be room for a studio in the bachelor pad?" To which EP Russo confirmed, "There is," adding, "There are antics along those lines; they actually get more elaborate and they're getting more dedicated to the creation of their fantasy life." Can we get a "pop-pop"?
Most Memorable Quotes From Community's Comic-Con Panel:
▪ "I'm glad Glee finally got some recognition—their Most Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nomination will give them the boost they need"—Dan Harmon not bitter at all that Community was snubbed again this year
▪ "I have my Emmys"—Chevy Chase
▪ "Pierce is going to have surgery to change his gender. I'm not going to spoil it and tell you which gender"— Dan Harmon on what's to come for Chevy Chase's character
▪ "If they demand it, I will show my celery"—Danny Pudi after standing and unbuttoning his pants
▪ "I had threatened to just show up anyway and make entrances in scenes I wasn't in"—Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) on being promoted to series regular
▪ "Every time I hear his name I have a reaction"—Yvette Nicole Brown on whether we'll see Malcolm-Jamal Warner again this season
▪ "We're not sure."—Producers' response to cast when they asked whether paint was toxic after filming paintball episodes
▪ "After Jeff stopped having secret sex with Britta he became pretty desperate and turned to Shirley"—Joel McHale
▪ "Being a father in real life, I am so glad Chang is not the father of Shirley's baby"—Ken Jeong
▪ "I'm so f--king sorry"—Joel McHale after being warned about sexual references because there were children in the Comic-Con audience