'Community' celebrates 6 seasons and a Comic-Con panel: Live-Blog
It's been a busy day already in Comic-Con's Ballroom 20.
We watched "Scorpion," a.k.a. "Katherine McPhee: Nerd Wrangler," which was surprisingly well-received by the crowd.
Now, after some quality time with Adelaide Kane and "Reign," it's time for the panel most of the crowd has been waiting to see...
"Community" is back...
2:10 p.m. Our panel today will be creator Dan Harmon and EP Chris McKenna, along with Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash and Dino Stamatopoulos. And, once again, there may be guest appearances. Of course, I predicted guest appearances for "24," but they let us down.
2:17 p.m. We begin with a sizzle reel from the first five "Community" seasons. Season 4 is acknowledged only with a clip of the characters holding their breath to avoid a plume of noxious gas. After the fifth season... Flat-line. Then, as a take-off on "Six Million Dollar Man," we hear about Yahoo rescuing "Community," which will become the first bionic show. They have the technology to do it. "Ratings? Where we're going, we don't need ratings," the voiceover concludes.
2:20 p.m. Out first? Starburns, who does not, in fact, have star burns today. Dino produces the day's first obscenities! Huzzah! Chris McKenna is much more subdued. Dan Harmon is filming us. He can't see me at the back of the room. Big applause for Oscar Winner Jim Rash. Gillian Jacobs looks lovely and gets a loud welcome. And, of course, everybody likes Joel McHale.
2:23 p.m. So how did "Community" get brought back? "I don't know. I don't know how Joel got me my job back Season 5," says Harmon, who is getting depressed looking at himself on the big screen. Harmon says they were asked if they wanted to do this just three hours before the deadline. "Wherever this show is, people will find it," Harmon says, plugging YahooStream. "Wow. You're telling me I can get this on my desktop? With the click of my finger?" Rash asks, playing along. "With Season 6 of 'Community,' you'll be watching it the way you always watched it, only this time it's legal," Harmon trumpets.
2:24 p.m. Did McHale ever have any doubts that the show would be back? Dino interrupts to plug his graphic novel. McHale also plugs Dino's graphic novel. "I had no doubt we would be back," McHale says. "Like a Japanese general in World War II, the only option was victory or suicide," McHale says. "I always wanted it back if they would pay me what Jim Parsons is making," McHale says. "I was ready to do, yeah, regional theater version of the show," McHale insists. "I know that all of you, mostly white people... you watch it the way that most people do is on tiny little screens and now we're on one, so f*** you network television, unless they want us back," McHale says.
2:30 p.m. Gillian can't hear the questions and says that they now understand how Chevy felt. Jacobs says she cried a tear when they were cancelled. "I didn't want it to end and I'm excited to see what the web version of the show looks like," Jacobs says. Rash agrees that he learned the show's fate on the Internet. "It's been a blessing each season to go to the next one," Rash says, hoping that the hashtag becomes a reality with a movie.
2:32 p.m. Chris McKenna was a bit gloomier on Twitter. He hadn't realized people would report on his pessimistic tweets. He suggests that his pessimism got God to bring the show back.
2:33 p.m. What can we expect from Season 6? "We're already hard at work on our Pokemon episode," Harmon jokes. "I have no idea. I start every season this way," Harmon admits. "I don't have any big, high-falootin' plans," he says. Can they do anything different now? "I have a lot of anti-vaccination messaging that I always wanted..." Harmon jokes. "I think that the 'Community' that these guys recognize need to be there and I'm very careful about that," he says. He wants to "let the lack of boundaries" make themselves felt. He says that the pacing and rhythm of the sitcom is 20-ish minutes long and he doesn't want people to think it's a new show.
2:35 p.m. "It'll be weekly, the way you watch 'Community,'" McKenna says.
2:36 p.m. Is Greendale truly saved? "I think it's hanging in there. I like it as an underdog campus," Harmon says.
2:37 p.m. And what about Jeff and Britta? Is there a future for them? Or for Jeff and Annie? "Now it's on the Internet, so it's probably Jeff and Dean now," McHale says. "Allison didn't show up, but I don't know what's punishment and what's reward for her," Harmon says of Ms. Brie. Harmon hedged. "It's not necessarily just a workplace comedy, so centering the show on *a* romantic relationship would, to me, be the beginning of the end," Harmon says. "...and everybody's gonna be a vampire," Harmon concludes.
2:39 p.m. Where is Jeff going now, emotionally? McHale compares Jeff to a moth drawn to a light. "That's what when we open up Dan's scripts it's like opening up a Christmas present. I don't know and I'm not gonna guess," McHale says.
2:40 p.m. Britta brittaed things less last season. "I actually helped Troy and Abed. I was right in the Lava episode," Jacobs says. "You'll never not be the worst," McHale reassures her. Now Harmon is reading our tweets. "Never check your Twitter in the middle of a panel," Harmon laments, seeing that HuffPo said he went on a long monologue.
2:42 p.m. "I really dropped it that day. It's just a hidden talent," Rash jokes of Dean's rapping last season. He says that he has never been more terrified than performing that, referencing flop sweat, but says "It was a blast to do." "You spat on Gillian and I a lot," McHale says. Rash tries to rap Dino's graphic novel. Rash felt that Season 4 was a lot about costume with Dean, but it was nice to see the other side of Dean last season.
?2:44 p.m. Which cast members are coming back? "This is where we find out!" Rash laments. Harmon says he can't give any sneak peeks. "It's Benedict Cumberbatch," McHale jokes. "I think it's contractually possible for John Oliver to come back," Harmon says, but they don't want to tear him away from his HBO show.
2:46 p.m. Which flavor would they choose to be? Flavor of what? It's unclear, because it's an Internet question. Harmon suggests he's bacon.
2:46 p.m. Asked if the show could get away from Greendale, Dino interjects that it definitely can. "Dino, were you bored with Twitter and you decided to start participating?" Jacobs chides him.
2:47 p.m. What were their favorite Season 5 moments? Joel loved working with Mitch Hurwitz and also with Chris Elliott. Gillian was really proud of Season 5, so she can't pick an episode "given the plethora of wonderful episodes." Rash enjoyed the D&D episode and "being able to impale myself with a space-knife." Rash also liked doing a treasure-hunting scene with Jonathan Banks. Folks have funny Jonathan Banks story. Harmon remembers that the first time Banks got notes, his reaction was, "I'm gonna punch you in the heart." Jokes aside, Rash thought Banks was "fantastic." Harmon likes that they got to have three different characters do Gary Oldman from "The Professional." McKenna says they wanted to try to get Gary Oldman in to say "EVERYTHING!!!!" in an understated way as a counter-point. McKenna's favorite part was the Dean trying to get Rhonda's attention.
2:55 p.m. They're just having a conversation on the stage. We're not especially necessary here and I'm not sure what they're talking about. They're just laughing at each other. But it ends with Gillian having her microphone taken away for 5 or 10 minutes.
2:55 p.m. Dino wanted more episodes of Pierce dying and Troy leaving.
2:56 p.m. Gillian is out of time-out. And she uses her microphone to praise Dino's time in the "Zardoz" costume.
2:57 p.m. "Troy's out there somewhere. He may be in peril. That's what movies are made of," Harmon teases. "I'd like to cutaway to Donald eating Lavar Burton," McHale says.
2:58 p.m. First questioner wants a Meow-Meow Beans ap. "I think Yahoo will open up all kinds of cool possibilities if we do an episode like that," Harmon says.
2:59 p.m. Harmon and McKenna don't know when the episodes will be streaming, which will govern what holiday episodes they can do.
3:00 p.m. Will we ever see Britta as a practicing psychologist? "I think she's still many years from a degree," Jacobs says. "Maybe she could become an animal psychiatrist, therapist?" Jacobs says, speculating that Britta's cats have issues. "The possibilities are truly limited," she says.
3:01 p.m. How do they keep a consistent character or narrative arc with stunt episodes? "We know that if the show is going to go off the rails aesthetically," they need to have continuity of emotion, Dan says.
3:01 p.m. It's a Human Being! "Look at that package," Harmon cracks. And a second Human Being comes up and hugs the first one. "Are we sure we're not doing the show for Amazon, because there's a couple packages that just got delivered," Harmon says. There's no question. The mic woman tries to move them away, but somebody says, "Don't get rid of them, lady. This is the one part of the day where it's not awkward for them." Finally, one of them talks and asks if we'll see the return of City College. Harmon is considering it.
3:04 p.m. The next questioner has a dog in a pouch. Everybody is amused. She asks what class they'd take at Greendale. "History of Ice Cream," Jacobs says. "Learning! with an exclamation point," McKenna says. "I would take basic 'Trent,'" Rash says, referring to Dino's graphic novel.
3:05 p.m. "I have to use the Chris Harwick like of mousse and gels," McHale says of how he gets his hair to stick up. He says it takes six hours.
3:06 p.m. A questioner asks if we'll get toys. Then she asks Dan to make the weird noise his throat makes. Dino announces he wants to date the questioner. And Dan demonstrates the throat thing, which is unfortunate.
3:07 p.m. Why Colorado and where in Colorado? Harmon wanted to do the "Simpsons" thing in Anywhere, USA. "But then the weird thing about producing TV is that the legal team needs you to tell them where the show is. They need a state," Harmon explains. They joke about all of the palm trees and the fact that the characters have never worn winter coats. "I think people need to be aware that the climate is changing," Harmon jokes.
3:08 p.m. What would they want to spoof that they haven't done yet? "Dobie Gillis," Dino says. Will there be a "Rick and Morty" crossover? Dan doesn't have an answer.
3:10 p.m. How are they going to deal with shifting from Network Acting to Internet Acting? "You have to project more. This is my TV voice [he says quietly] and THIS IS MY..." Rash says, laughing. "A lot of people will see the screen and say, 'Hey look, Moby has a new video,'" McHale says of Rash. Dino jokes that he's going to show his dick in Season 6. "You can't do that. You have that Microsoft tattoo," Harmon replies.
3:13 p.m. Production will start later this summer and Yahoo will post them when they're ready. "You guys are the greatest fans in the history of all-time," McHale says. And there's going to be a Subway promotion later. If you're here. And you want to eat a sub from a single shop in Gaslamp.
3:15 p.m. Now Dan Harmon is saying they won't start writing until the fall and the show won't actually return until December-ish. So... Who knows?
That's all, folks...