In the latest episode of Dan Harmon’s History Channel series, Great Minds with Dan Harmon, Shakespeare makes an appearance and Harmon is delighted. He wants the Bard’s approval when it comes to his critically acclaimed, but not highly rated sitcom Community, and sadly doesn’t get it.
You can see Shakespeare try and mask his lukewarm reception to the sitcom as you hear the Dean’s cartoonish voice emanate from the “perfect steel square” that is Harmon’s MacBook. “Neat stuff,” Shakespeare says, closing the laptop mid-episode. He wants to see something that’s actually been successful, like the movie, Dirty Grandpa, which Shakespeare ends up loving. They end up debating the merits of both Community and Dirty Grandpa, and art in general.
“I thought there were a myriad of problems with thy play, I thought best not to enumerate every single one,” Shakespeare explains as diplomatically as possible.
Harmon pulls no such punches:
Well, it’s a harder industry now. I mean, there’s 8 billion people in the world, and we use cameras. Oh, and we can’t have characters literally leave the scene, walk downstage, look right at the audience, and explain exactly what they’re thinking–‘Oh, methinks the poison is in this cup, not this cup. Which cup would you like?’ Must be nice.
As with any Harmon property, the episode is pretty self-referential and meta, with Shakespeare defending Chevy Chase, and at once nailing the genius and issue with Community, with this pointed question: “It’s good because it’s unsuccessful?”