Comic-Con: Notes, pics, audio from ‘Community’ panel

Senior Editor
07.26.10 22 Comments


I’m not sure if these panel notes are necessarily fascinating for you the reader, but since I sat through them and took notes, I figure I might as well share.  I’ll try to keep it interesting and skip to the good stuff whenever possible.  Deal? (*spits on hand, extends for handshake*)

Alison-Brie-GifNotes from the Community Panel

– With the whole cast joining him onstage (minus Ken Jeong, who must be off filming another Seltzer-Friedberg movie or something), creator Dan Harmon comes on to talk about how he’s always getting grief from the network and the censors, and he wants to show us the real Community, the way he originally intended it.  Then he shows some clips from the show with fart sound effects edited in to make it look like Britta has a gas problem.  They aren’t just the original clips with fart sounds slapped in there willy-nilly, they’ve actually been included in such a way that it makes them seem like farts are a plot point.  It’s nice.  You can always tell when someone’s truly putting their whole heart and soul and inspiration into a fart joke and not just farting through the motions.

– The moderator, whose name I didn’t catch and who looks like a less beardy version of Kevin Smith in his Superman t-shirt and trench coat (note from the future: this guy), asks some blah blah blah questions of the cast.  All the actors are pretty witty and good with the crowd (especially Chevy Chase, who picks his moments to speak but clearly knows how to generate a laugh {even though he seems like an asshole based on what I’ve read about him, but that’s another story…}).  But there’s still a lot of that old standby, actors-being-asked-to-pop-psychologize-the-character-they-play.  WOOF.  First of all, if it doesn’t come up directly in the story, no one gives a sh*t about your character’s inner life and motivations.  Secondly, you’re an actor.  Nothing against actors, but if you didn’t write the character, everything you say about his or her motivations, backstory, aspirations, stifled desires, etc. is just a bunch of made-up, improvised bullsh*t.  It takes talent to do well, but really, don’t bother. No one gives a sh*t.

Comic Con Community Panel Chevy Chase– Not too many hints about what we’ll see next season, but they do mention an Apollo 13 homage.

– Donald Glover and Danny Pudi (the guy who plays Abed, possibly the most interesting character in a TV comedy in the last 15 or 20 years) do an off-the-cuff version of the Spanish rap they did on the show (I got a bit of this on tape), with each taking turns beatboxing while the other raps.  My memory of the version of this that made the show isn’t perfect, but the one they do onstage seems longer and possibly partially improvised.  In any case, impressive as hell.  Although… does this just perpetuate the stereotype that all black people are good at rap?  Discuss.

– Someone prompts Donald Glover (suggestion: change name to “Donald G. Lover”) to share some of the characters he does on set, one of whom is a gay homeless man who’s always trying to have sex with Joel McHale.  “Joel, there’s aliens outside and they’re cutting off penises.  If you want it to be okay, I think the safest hiding place is in my mouth.”Comic Con COmmunity-Donald Glover Danny Pudi

– During the Q & A, someone asks Joel McHale how he’s able to juggle working on a network show with hosting The Soup and his stand-up gigs.  He says, “I’m trying to have as many jobs as Seacrest. I still have a ways to go.”

– Someone asks Alison Brie what she does outside of Community and what she plans to do after Community‘s over and has she ever had or thought about a modeling career or hosting or anything like that.  She’s very nice and tries to sound flattered that someone would think she’s pretty enough to have a modeling career, but you can tell she’s offended that someone would ask her about modeling when she’s already a successful actress.  Not that I can blame her. Models are just pretty chicks who can’t act, or strippers who’ve yet to develop a serious drug problem.  Meanwhile, as you’ll see below, I take about a hundred pictures of her in the vain hope that a breast will pop out, or, if I zoom in far enough, I might be able smell her hair.

Community Comic Con Panel - Dan Harmon– In one of the more interesting moments of the panel, creator Dan Harmon (who also did the Sarah Silverman show, which I also enjoyed) talks about the writers trying to keep up with what the internet is saying about the show as they’re writing it.  But Harmon, who seems like a very funny, engaging guy, makes an important distinction:

“It’s not about ‘Oh, the audience likes cookies, the show should have more cookies.’  I don’t think the audience wants that kind of relationship with a show.  It’s like, ‘I don’t want to control the roller coaster; we’ll die.’  You want to be taken for a ride.”

His larger point is that there are two approaches to criticism: separating yourself from it completely, or paying close attention to it and, if not using as a guide, at least trying to learn from it.  He says his team tries to do the latter.  I include this part because I think it’s a really good point, and something a lot of directors and show writers could learn from (*cough*) SHYAMALAN! (*cough, cough*)  Phew, excuse me.  Handi snak went down the wrong pipe.

Anyway, knock knock.  Who’s there?  Pictures and audio, bitch!


MP3: The clip starts with Dan Harmon talking about the Modern Warfare episode and being inspired by movies like Die Hard.  He says, “I wanted to get to my strong corner fast in the first season, before we got canceled.”  Troy and Abed’s Community rap starts at the four-minute mark.  You can hear some of my super-gay giggle in the background in there too, which I’m sure is always a treat.

Picture Gallery:

And finally, I sat next to ScreenJunkies at this panel, so he’s got even more stuff than me, including a little video.  This was my favorite snippet:

Donald Glover: My favorite thing to hear is, “Go crazy, Donald,” because then I can do whatever I want.

Producer Garret Donovan: Then we discover things these guys can do and I think that’s how we discovered your [Donald’s] crying.

Donald Glover: Someone was pointing that out to me today. They tweeted, “Man, is there something funnier than Donald crying?” I was like, you sound like my dad.

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