WonderCon 2012: COMMUNITY Panel Recap; Dan Harmon, Gillian Jacobs and Ken Jeong talk the Rise of Chang, Paintball and a Possible Season Four

     March 20, 2012


One of the funniest shows in television history has thankfully returned to the small screen after a brief hiatus. The cast and creative members of Community recently attended a panel discussion at WonderCon where they screened an upcoming episode to the audience’s delight. The ongoing chronicles of a study group at Greendale Community College continue to elicit big laughs and fans will be happy to know that there is a good chance the show will continue into a fourth season. You can help the show out by watching it live and keeping its numbers up. Community, starring Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Jim Rash and Ken Jeong, airs Thursdays at 8pm EST on NBC. Hit the jump for our panel recap.

community-cast-imageWhen the laughter died down after the episode screening (it’s an upcoming ep featuring Subway: Eat fresh!), the creative team and cast members took the stage. Creator Dan Harmon was joined by writers Chris McKenna and Steve Basilone as well as Jacobs, Brown and Jeong. Their comments follow below:

  • Commenting on the episode we watched, Harmon said that he was excited about working the Subway storyline into the show and that product placement should only be done if you can do it in an interesting and funny way. Brown mentioned that it was a nice twist in the ongoing saga of “Shirley’s Sandwiches” with co-star Chase.
  • On his character Chang, Jeong said the man is “clinically and medically insane.”
  • McKenna mentioning his favorite episode that he wrote, “Remedial Chaos Theory,” elicited a big crowd reaction. He thanked his writing staff and called the process of developing it “completely insane.” Harmon commented that the episode had to air a week out of order, being shuffled due to need an extra week for editing. Harmon also apologized to fans for episode shuffling, which happens on occasion.
  • Basilone commented on the past Christmas special, saying he and his writing partner Annie Mebane were thrilled to do a musical episode. Harmon agreed, as long as it was done well and not done for the sake of mimicking musical specials on other shows.
  • gillian-jacobs-danny-pudi-donald-glover-communityHarmon joked about a voicemail that Chase left him that said “The way you eat, you’re only going to live until 57.” Harmon also said that “Chase cursed me like a gypsy.”
  • Brown said that this season’s episodes will explore the friendship between her character, Shirley and Jeff Winger (McHale).
  • Jeong said that this season’s arc for Chang is his favorite of the series.
  • On Jacobs’ character, Britta, Harmon said she was originally “a carrot for the rapscallion Jeff Winger to follow…who started as a list of traits and fetishes for an ‘ideal’ girl.” Harmon said they further fleshed out the character to turn her into “the woman that women don’t like.”
  • Jacobs commented that Britta withstands a lot of abuse…and doesn’t learn from it.
  • On costumes in upcoming episodes, Brown says there will be “a lot of delights.” Jacobs says, “You’re going to see some costumes. I’m finally taking advantage of the celebrity I most resemble.”
  • Harmon answered a question about using fan suggestions in the shows. He said that writers are usually about six weeks ahead of when the shows actually air. All fan input is normally considered between seasons. Harmon can also be found on Reddit where he “flares up like a herpe” whenever he has a writing deadline.
  • The worst news from the panel was that Harmon said there will be “no return to paintball this season.”
  • The best news from the panel is that there’s a 70% chance Community will return for a fourth season.