Comic-Con 2010: “Community” Cast Feels the Con’s Love

There’s a first time for everything. For the cast of the television sitcom “Community,” their first visit to Comic-Con left a lasting impression.

For this one-woman show, it was certainly a first to sit among a living legend like Chevy Chase, and Joel McHale a legend-in-the-making.


Joel McHale (“The Soup”), Gillian Jacobs (“The Book of Daniel”) and Yvette Brown (“Tropic Thunder) (all photos by S. Valle)

The cast members of the smart comedy series traveled to San Diego to promote their second season, and witnessed the madness of the annual pop-culture convention as well as the emotional high only the Con’s fandemonium can deliver.

The wide-eyed first-timers joined us for a round-table-style press conference after a successful panel at the Hilton Bay Front’s Indigo Ballroom. It was evident the cast was still reeling from the thrill of the enthusiastic welcomed they got from supportive fans at the convention.

Veteran comedian, Chevy Chase (“Chuck”), was his charming self and very happy to be a part of this insanity. As I saw the iconic comedian  approaching my table, there was little I could do to contain my excitement about casually chatting with him. (If you watch the Youtube video coming soon, you’ll think I was as cool as a cucumber!)


Chevy Chase plays Pierce on “Community”

After pretending I was not star struck by his close presence, I (The Wrap) asked him how he liked working on a sitcom since I recalled he had stated that this would be something he would not consider.

“I know I said that last year,” he replied “but, then I thought, why not? I’ve done everything else. Besides, this is a great cast and the writing is very good. And the show is funny!”

Donald Glover jumped into the conversation and after a few minutes of funny-man-to-funny-man banter with Chase, he explained in a rather serious tone that the show is funny because all the characters have something the audience can relate to, “We are all a bunch of losers on the show. And we’ve all at some point felt like a loser.”


Donald Glover of “Community”

Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley) and Danny Pudi (Abed) joined our table next and were very moved by what they saw at the convention; fans had been lined up for hours in the sun just to get into the panel.

“It was really an emotional moment to watch what people were doing to see us. We’re not used to getting this amount of attention from people who like us. After an episode airs, I usually just get a text from my mom telling me I did a good job and that I had a lot of lines,” Pudi told us.

“That was a room full of love in there,” Brown explained.

The tall recognizable figure approaching the table next was Joel McHale with Allison Brie and Neil Goldman, the producer. (Yes, I went weak in the knees when I saw the man and the myth sitting just across the table.)


Joel McHale

The show revolves around Joel’s character, Jeff, a wise cracking lawyer who had to go back to college after his law degree was revoked.

When asked what he thought about where he’s at in his career, his quick wit took over and he jokingly replied in his signature “Soup” sarcastic tone, “Much further along.”

Surprisingly, McHale is not at all like Jeff in reality. He explained to us that he’s had a blessed trajectory and that he was also very humbled by the reception the cast got from fans at Comic-Con.

“I do consider myself very fortunate.  I’ve had good fortune in my career decisions. I told my wife that when we moved to LA, the plan was to have a steady job in five years or move back.”

If you follow Ryan Seacrest’s nemesis’ career, you’ll know he has lined up more than one steady job. I asked McHale how he juggles the different gigs simultaneously: “The Soup” on E!, “Community” sitcom, and a stand up comedy show (he had a performance the previous night in San Diego).

His short answer was, “They pay me a sh#* load of money!”

To add to his overly-scheduled career, Joel also told us that though he didn’t intend to drop names, he had just worked on a movie with Steve Martin over the summer. (Ahem?)


Neil Goldman writer/producer, Allison Brie and Joel McHale of the sitcom “Community”

Neil Goldman told us that one of the reasons the show has met with success is that the sitcom is mainly about people and not about relationships. “I don’t want it to be like a soap opera,” he pointed out. “Each episode is written to stand alone with only a few references to past shows in case you happen to see them, so you won’t be lost each time you tune in”.

I asked Goldman if there were any plans for the college students to graduate at some point, and almost in unison the cast said, “No!” Just take a look at how some of the characters never even open their books. They aren’t in any hurry.

I missed seeing Ken Jeong (“The Hangover”), who plays the improbable Spanish teacher, Senor Ben Chang. He wasn’t able to join the rest of the ensemble cast on this appearance at Comic-Con — apparently he was attending a wedding according to his cast mates. 

We did, however, get a little scoop about his character in the upcoming season. It looks like Sr. Chang will be handing in the homework instead of handing it out.

Yes. We were told Senor Chang will be coming back as a student this fall.  (I wonder if he’ll be invited to join the study group?)

The beautiful, and very busy, Allison Brie spoke to us at length about the show and the other couple of Hollywood gigs she has going on; a little show called “Mad Men,” and she’ll also be starring in “Scream 4.”


Allison Brie plays Annie in the TV show “Community”

Annie, the seemingly innocent character Brie plays, has seen a heightened sexuality directed at Jeff (McHale), and raised some eyebrows with fans of “Community” — some were against it and others for it. Brie told us the loose behavior of her character is a lot of fun to play, and though fans have requested that it be toned down, she jokingly told us she hopes it isn’t.

Allison also got emotional about the show’s leader, and wrapping her arm around McHale’s she mentioned that having a solid figure head leading a show like this one has made a difference with the cast and keeping everyone united. 

She also went on to tell us that she really likes the show because it has a balance, it isn’t just funny “it has heart”. In each episode you’ll laugh, “but you’ll also go awe.”

I agree. We watch this show without fail, and aren’t disappointed with the content or feel like we need a shower afterwords — something that is becoming more difficult to do in today’s unrealistic reality-based TV shows.

After spending some personal time with these talented yet unassuming personalities, I found it even easier to invest in the show’s characters because they’re down to earth actors — with very visible mutual respect for each other — behind the characters of “Community” lending them a genuine approach to familiar school dilemmas many of us have faced at some point in our academic lives.


Chatting with this cast in an intimate setting revealed to me that this “Community” of actors has (non) sense and sensibilities I like… and maybe understand a little too well.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I love this show and I LOVE Joel McHale!!! Did you wear old spice? : )

  2. Anonymous says:

    You bet I did! And I even layered some Secreat over the manly scented deodorant. (I think it was Right Guard, though. Hubs doesn't use the spice stuff). Hope I didn't smell too masculine for the guy. As you can see in photo in the previous post, McHale got pretty close; heads were touching, and no, I didn't get a wiff of his deodorant either. Totally forgot to inhale sitting next to McHale. Lol!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow. That totally made me want to see the show. Thanks for stopping by my blog, In the Mommy Trenches.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We love the show, too. Glad you came by.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Awesome read! I just want to let you to know though, that that's not Dan Harmon at the table with you. It's actually Neil Goldman. (He is a writer/producer on the show.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ahh! Thanks for the heads up, Amy. I'll change that pronto!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.