The cast and crew of Community threw us some tantalizing scraps at their PaleyFest panel Tuesday night. The all-important ratings issue prompted panel moderator Mike Schneider to lead the audience in a “Pledge of Allegiance to Community,” and pitch a #WatchCommunityLive hashtag — the keyword being live. They want people to experience the season in real time.
Here are (Greendale) Seven things the Community cast and crew shared:
1. Adam DeVine will be playing Jeff Winger’s simple-minded half brother, as Jeff embarks on a quest to get to know his family
“He has a brother, a half brother that he didn’t know about — and he’s like a four-foot grouper fish, which is weird because he’s in a tank,” Joel McHale said. “Doesn’t talk … It’s weird.”
2. Don’t put a label on what Dean Pelton has with Jeff
“The Dean’s sort of mysterious because I think he goes wherever his body tells him is interesting,” said Jim Rash, who plays the Dean. “Whether it’s dalmatians or choo-choo trains or Jeff. So I don’t think I’d like to decide to label it … But I think he definitely wants to be him — if not with him — but I think he would want a friendship at the core.”
3. There might be a little paintball yet to come
“But don’t yell at us if it isn’t an entire episode of paintball,” executive producer David Guarascio said. “Twitter just groaned,” Gillian Jacobs responded. (I groaned too. Paintball is my favorite.)
4. We will get to see Shirley’s house and meet her in-laws, who have had a major influence on the person she is today. Also, warns Yvette Nicole Brown, expect a lot of gingham and some pretty terrible wallpaper. Apparently Shirley has poor interior design skills.
5. The cast has faith in the show even without creator Dan Harmon
“I mean the good news is that some of the writers from Dan’s time stayed, and that was really important to help guide scripts,” McHale told EW. “Megan Ganz has written some that are just, I think, awesome. And Dan said in a couple interviews, ‘If you listen to Megan things will be okay.’ So I was really happy with some of it. We’ll see what the public thinks.”
6. Jim Rash wrote an episode where Troy and Abed switch bodies, and everybody loves it. Because of Danny Pudi and Donald Glover “knocking it out of the park,” according to McHale. And because it was lovingly crafted by Rash, who said of the experience: “It was stressful only because you want to do right by the cast and by Dan’s creation and all that stuff.”
And to the question, “Is the gang going to graduate this season?” the ambiguous answer was: stay tuned.
But what they lacked in spoiler sharing, the cast made up for in major laughs and lots of sarcasm. There was so much genuine gratitude on the part of the cast and crew, who thanked the rabid fan base that has kept them afloat for four seasons.
Other moments up for discussion included: Alison Brie’s recurring alter-ego, Jim Rash and Joel McHale going head to head in a “who does Malcom MacDowell like better, anyway” contest — but only after bumblingly re-creating their tango from the season opener, and the truth about Yvette Nicole Brown’s giant purse. Also: the entire cast did Britta’s pizza dance. It doesn’t get better than that.