Friday, March 28, 2014
Live from PaleyFest: On Stage With Dan Harmon, Joel McHale and the Rest of the "Community" Gang
Thanks to all the times I've moderated "Community" panels (several at Comic-Con and PaleyFest) and visited the set, I've become a familiar face to the show's cast. That makes getting on stage with them a blast -- and Wednesday night's PaleyFest kept up with tradition -- despite the absence of Allison Brie and Ken Jeong, both of whom are always great at these things.
McHale knows what the crowd wants -- a mix of laughs and some real insight into the show. Danny Pudi also knows how to stir up the crowd. Yvette Nicole Brown has an excellent, deep take on the show and her character, Shirley. Gillian Jacobs is willing to play up laughs. And Jim Rash is game -- I even managed to convince him and the rest of the stars to recite this season's Dean Pelton Payday Bar Gangsta Rap ("Barack Obama is SCAARRRED OF MEEE!").
Of course, creator Dan Harmon is just as big of a star to "Community" fans, and he had plenty to say about this season, the departure of Donald Glover and the chances of a sixth season. It was also great to see the interaction between him and exec producer Chris McKenna, who makes sure the ships run on time.
Earlier in the day I had thrown some red meat at fans by posting this story about the potential "Community" movie -- and talk that Justin Lin may direct it, should it become reality. That fueled the press line, and talk of a movie also came up during the panel. But it was mostly a celebration of Season 5, and the return of Harmon and the show's creative voice.