TV & Film

Dan Harmon's Reddit AMA: 5 Things We Learned About 'Community'


Fired "Community" creator Dan Harmon sat down for a Reddit AMA on Wednesday, where he answered fans' questions about his ouster from the eccentric NBC comedy and revealed his favorite episode of "Community" ("Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" from Season 2). Here are the five most interesting "Community"-related tidbits we learned from the discussion.

1) Harmon had a feeling his firing was coming, and adjusted "Community" storylines accordingly:

You can actually see one [of] my "fourth season" ideas getting bumped up into the end of Season 3, because Jeff Winger has to decide, at the end of Season 3, that even though he's endured Greendale for the express purpose of getting his old life back, in the end, he has to choose Greendale over his old life, because Greendale has made him a better person. The fact that it happened at the end of Season 3 is because at the time of writing the script, I had a sneaking suspicion that either the show or its creator would not be back for Season 4.

2) Harmon thinks Alison Brie would win a brawl between the "Community" cast. And his description of the imagined throwdown reads exactly like one of his crazy "Community" scripts.

I feel like Joel would come out swinging and start winning right away, but he'd tire himself out chasing Gillian and Donald around the ring. Once Joel got to his exhaustion point, things would get bloody and ugly for a while, with Danny doing a lot of horrible things that nobody knew he could do -- I just have that sense that Danny would suddenly bust out a crazy eyeball eating maneuver he learned in some class -- but in the end, Yvette would reveal that she had lined the whole room with explosives and she would emerge victorious. From the room. But Chevy would be behind the door with a bat and take her out. Then he'd collapse because that's a lot of bat swinging for a legend his age. So I guess Alison would win because nobody would have felt good about punching her.

3) Sadly, Harmon isn't really in touch with the "Community" cast, despite the support they showed him after he was fired.

Not as much as I'd like. I'm not a real go-getter socially. I love them all -- yes, even Chevy -- and owe them anything they'd ask, in exchange for giving me the most important three years of my life, and I've heard third hand that they feel the same, and I believe it. They're busy people at the moment and will be for a while, but I will always love them and hope to see them again. We walked over hot coals together ... we just didn't do it in the same room very often.

4) Harmon wanted Jeff to meet his dad in Season 3, but an NBC executive warned him not to make the story too depressing. Jeff's father will, however, be a part of "Community" Season 4.

One thing I'm sure will happen in Season 4 is Jeff will meet his Dad, because we were going to do it in Season 3 but then one of the NBC execs started saying "just make sure Jeff meeting his Dad isn't a dark story," and I didn't want to write one of the series' most important stories under that hex, so I said, "let's just punt that story to Season 4." And we ended Season 3 with Jeff googling his Dad, so ... !

5) Harmon elaborated on what happened when Chevy Chase walked off the "Community" set, the incident that ignited their feud.

He refused to do the "tag" for the Digital Estate Planning episode (the 8 bit video game episode). In the scripted tag, Abed comes to Pierce with the thumb drive he took, and says "Pierce, I've been able to adjust some of the code for your Dad's video game and I've made a version I think you might like better." He puts the thumb drive into a laptop in front of Pierce. We cut to the laptop screen, where we see Pierce's avatar on a front lawn with the giant floating head of Cornelius. Every time Pierce presses the space bar, his avatar throws a baseball to his father's head, which gives him a thousand points and a "great job, son!" Pierce presses the space bar a few times, pauses, then leans over and embraces Abed and we fade to black. When Adam Countee pitched that tag, tears instantly rolled down my cheeks, and in point of fact, my eyes are getting watery describing it to you. It was the most important part of the episode and possibly one of the most important moments of the season. I was very upset to hear that it wasn't shot because someone didn't feel like shooting it, especially since it was literally the last day of shooting, which meant we'd never be able to pick it up. I regret nothing about how upset I got. My job was to care about my show.

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