NewsSDCCTV

SDCC ’14: COMMUNITY Panel Live Blog

At this point, there’s almost nothing we won’t believe about the indomitable cult sitcom Community.  This is a show that has endured two major cast departures, the firing (and surprise re-hiring) of its creator/showrunner, and now an eleventh-hour cancellation reprieve from everyone’s favorite search engine-turned-original content deliverer Yahoo!

We’ll be live blogging the Comic Con perennial’s panel featuring the always-entertaining Community mastermind Dan Harmon, executive producer Chris McKenna, and cast members Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, and Dino Stamatopoulos.

The fun starts at 2:15 pm PST. Stay tuned to Screen Invasion for the full scoop!

– Welcome to our live blog of the COMMUNITY panel! Just waiting for SDCC staff to turn around the dais. A good number of audience members is in here to see the next panel, TEEN WOLF, so this could be…interesting.

– Oh, did I mention I saw Dan Harmon and his posse walking around the Gaslamp last night? #braggin

– I hope this is good. Sat through a CBS pilot AND a CW panel to get here…

– Little preview video comprised of clips from the first five seasons teases the improbable sixth season with a clever SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN twist.

– Dino drops the first two f-bombs after the moderator can’t pronounce his name right. The teens are scandalized.

– Dan Harmon walks out in a RICK AND MORTY t-shirt, blowing kisses to the crowd.

– How did COMMUNITY return? “I don’t know” says Dan, before seeing himself on the monitor and dubbing his look “Stone Age Russell Crowe.”

– Harmon was told three hours before the renewal deadline that Yahoo was interested in resurrecting COMMUNITY. At first he said no, then 90 minutes later changed his mind.

– About the show being a streaming-only program: “You’ll watch COMMUNITY the way you’ve always watched it, only now it’s legal.”

– Dino takes a moment to plug his graphic novel TRENT, which also comes with sheet music.

– McHale is happy about the last-second renewal: “Like a Japanese general, the only options were victory or suicide.”

– Some audio issues with the moderator’s microphone. The rest of the cast has sympathy for Chevy Chase’s complaint from past Comic Cons about not being able to hear everything. “He was being serious!”

– What to expect from season six? “We’re hard at work on a Pokemon episode” jokes Harmon, who then realizes it’s not a bad idea based on the crowd’s reaction.

– COMMUNITY won’t experience fundamental changes. Harmon’s excited to experiment with the relative lack of boundaries online, but the show has a certain feel – it’s a 22-minute sitcom. It’s the COMMUNITY you know and love. Episodes will air weekly, not all at once like Netflix.

– SHIPPER QUESTION: Jeff and Britta or Jeff and Annie? McHale thinks the show is moving toward Jeff-Dean Pelton. Harmon reiterates that COMMUNITY is an ensemble show, trying to reflect the emotions and romantic permutations of an actual group of friends. It’s not a “workplace comedy” centered on one or two relationships. There needs to be an organic energy to the couplings. (Dan Harmon, droppin’ truth bombs.)

– Jeff remains predictable yet unpredictable, says McHale. Jacobs is glad about Britta’s victories in season five, especially during the lava episode (and in the MeowMeowBeanz episode…sort of.) “You’ll never not be the worst,” reminds McHale.

– Harmon takes a moment to check out the live tweets of this panel. Bristles at one of his responses being called a “long monologue.” (But, again, that’s the truth!)

– Rash talks about how nervous he was to do his famous freestyle rap in season five, and the difficulty doing it in one of the dean’s flamboyant outfits. One of the biggest laughs of the series for me. “Because Obama is SCARED of me!” makes me lose it every time.

– What does Rash admire about the dean? At his core, he’s trying to do his best and truly cares about Greendale’s students. (Well…some of them.)

– Which cast members are coming back? Is someone replacing Pierce? Harmon says he’s still talking to the writers about it. But he also says it’s possible that John Oliver could return, despite his new HBO talk show.

– Could the show move away from Greendale? Dino immediately says yes. Harmon says the show has always been about more than the school, but the school is a big part of it. He’s keeping his answers shorter for the benefit of live-tweeters.

– McHale loved working with Chris Elliott and Mitch Hurwitz (Coogler!), the latter of whom kept cracking him up. Jacobs enjoyed Tim and Eric and doing a wolf howl as leader of the lava-floor marauders.

– Rash relished being part of the second D&D episode because of the unusual character pairings and the dramatic challenges of impaling himself on an air sword.

– Jonathan Banks lived up to his onscreen reputation. A writer gave him a note in his first episode, to which Banks replied, “I’m gonna punch you in the heart.”

– Dino claims he’s never heard Dave Matthews Band, despite it being Starburns’ go-to boombox soundtrack for the study group’s triumphs. He did think Troy’s departure was well-done, so he’s like to see it again. And he begs for his character to be killed off for real.

– What about Troy? “He’s still out there somewhere, possibly in peril. That’s what movies are for,” teases Harmon. (He’s not coming back for season six, sadly.)

– Fan questions! Will MeowMeowBeanz be a real app? They hope Yahoo is open to working on it. Though Harmon points out that Sony produced their show for five seasons and didn’t do it…

– Any more Halloween and Christmas episodes? That’ll be tough. The streaming schedule is still up in the air.

– Will Britta become a practicing psychologist? She’s many years from a degree and patients that will accept her. Jacobs thinks Britta could be a great animal psychologist. “The possibilities are truly limited.”

– How do you maintain consistency in the character arcs with all the genre/parody episodes? A lot of planning and understanding the characters’ motivations.

– A guy dressed as the Greendale Human Being steps up to the mic…and is immediately joined by another! Dino tries to get the crowd to decide which one is better than the other.

– Will we see the return of the villainous City College? That’s a good idea, says Harmon.

– What courses would you take at Greendale? “History of Ice Cream,” says Jacobs. McKenna prefers “Learning!”

– To McHale: how do you get your hair to stand up like that? I use the Chris Hardwick line of hair products.

– Why/where is Greendale located in Colorado? They wanted to do Anywhere, USA like THE SIMPSONS, but Sony’s legal department requested a real location due to rules about showing character names on “official documents.” Still, no effort has been made to hide the palm trees on set. Harmon claims it’s a political statement on global warming.

– What would you like to spoof next? The peanut gallery calls out INCEPTION and SCOOBY DOO. Rash says it feels like an improv show. The moderator suggests a RICK AND MORTY crossover.

– Will Mankini (from McHale’s show THE SOUP) appear on COMMUNITY? I don’t think we can afford him, says McHale.

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed our live blog. Keep an eye on Yahoo! Screen for new episodes of COMMUNITY in 2015!

Previous post

SDCC '14 Key & Peele Panel Live Blog

Next post

FARGO Season 1 Blu-ray/DVD – Oct. 14

The Author

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler is a film critic and correspondent for Screen Invasion, as well as the founder of Ambler Amblog (http://ambleramblog.blogspot.com/). His parents named him after a Welsh spy novelist they found in a reference book. Someday he will get around to watching all the VHS tapes he bought at Goodwill.