Donald Glover Talks about COMMUNITY

Donald Glover - Community

COMMUNITY‘s second season promises to be full of huge episodes: the Halloween installment will be a zombie movie homage and the Greendale gang will be animated, claymation style, for Christmas. The first special episode of the season airs this Thursday, October 14, when Community becomes an homage to Apollo 13.

Daemon’s TV was there when series star Donald Glover (Troy Barnes) answered questions about that episode, what’s in store for Troy this season, and whether Chang will ever make it into the study group.

On Troy’s arc this season

Troy’s family life is in flux. He’s living with Pierce and his dad is now involved with a twenty-year old, so he doesn’t have a strong male role model and he has to either find one or be that for himself. He’s being asked to grow up a lot this season.

Donald said that there will be plenty of stories about Troy and his manhood and when asked if there would be any romantic stories, he said that he would imagine so, since that is “definitely part of being a dude.”

Donald really likes that Troy is young and learning things and that he’s a jock who also has a sensitive side.

On romantic tension between Troy and Britta

Donald said that he has heard rumblings and rumors, but he’s not sure what will happen. It is a possibility, though.

On what’s great about the Community characters

Donald loves that everyone in the group had bigger plans and that none of them thought they would end up at Greendale. He said that outside of the group, he doesn’t think any of them would have been friends, but a school like Greendale sort of forces them to be together and now they’re learning from each other.

On whether Senor Chang will be allowed to join the study group

Donald said that it might happen but that his favorite thing about season two so far is watching Chang try to get into the group. He said there is a lot of great stuff we haven’t seen yet where Chang tries and tries to get in and they keep not letting him, but then he also said he’s “sure it will get there.”

On what Donald thinks Troy should do when he graduates

Donald thinks it would be awesome to see Troy as a kindergarten teacher because he’s playful and like a kid himself, so he could be both good and funny at that. Donald joked that was his spin-off idea.

On the “Basic Rocket Science” episode

According to Donald, there was talk in the writers’ room before the season started about how they could top the “Modern Warfare” paintball episode and the joke was “We should send them into space.” Executive producer Dan Harmon, though, said, “Yes, let’s send them into space!”

Troy has a big part in the episode

The gang doesn’t really go into space, but all the tropes of space movies are there.

When asked why Greendale even has a flight simulator, Donald said, “Well, I think it’s been made clear that Greendale doesn’t spend its money wisely.” He thinks a flight simulator is exactly the sort of thing Greendale would buy because they don’t need one and NASA probably wouldn’t hire any Greendale graduate.

Donald thinks Abed would be the character most likely to become an astronaut, though his lack of emotion would probably be an issue because NASA would realize a computer would do the same job for less money. Jeff would be next because he’s handsome and tall.

Donald called the episode “beautiful.”

On the “Epidemiology” Halloween episode

Donald didn’t give any details, but the episode is an homage to zombie movies and Troy is one of the “head guys” in it.

When asked which of the cast would survive a zombie attack, Donald said it would absolutely be him because he would be the first to say “We shouldn’t go in there or “This doesn’t feel right.” He also said he would have no problem using humans as bait. Chevy Chase would be the first to die and he would go down saying “These are nothing like the zombies we had on SNL.” Gillian Jacobs would go next, then Danny Pudi, Joel McHale, Allison Brie, and finally Donald.

On whether there will be a musical episode

Donald said there has been talk about a musical episode since early in season one, so he would be surprised if there weren’t one, but that it would take a while to put together because Dan Harmon is such a perfectionist.

On making special episodes

Donald said that there are definitely ways to do everything and what he loves is that none of these special episodes–whether they deal with space or zombies or feature claymation animation–are dreams. The action in the episodes actually happens.

When asked how the show avoids jumping the shark with these episodes, Donald replied that Dan Harmon is very good at making Abed the voice of what’s going on. Abed is the voice of the audience and the fan boys and he both uses reference humor and combats it to keep the episode grounded. Donald joked that the only thing that could make Community jump the shark would be if Troy started teaching a class at Greendale (though he thinks the writers could even make that work) or Abed suddenly had a country cousin wearing overalls and saying “Hey, y’all.”

On the Spiderman pajamas in the season premiere

When asked whether Troy wearing the Spiderman pajamas was a nod to the Donald 4 Spiderman campaign, Donald said it was a “so, this happened over the summer” reference and that while he thought it was cool, people are probably making more of the whole thing than it was.

Donald joked that he might dress as Spiderman for Halloween and rip off his mask at the end of the night, saying “See, I could have done it!”

On Community’s ratings

When asked how much concern there was about Community‘s ratings, he said that of course ratings are important and everyone wants more people to watch because they think they’ll like the show, but he doesn’t look at Arrested Development or Freaks and Geeks and say they’re bad shows just because their ratings weren’t good. He knows that Community is a good show and he’s proud of it.

Donald also noted that the season 1 DVDs sold much faster than they were expected to and that Community‘s DVR numbers bring their 18-49 number up from a 1.2 to a
2.9.

On working with Chevy Chase

Donald said that even though Chevy Chase is a comedy idol, it’s like working with a “funny, wise-cracking grandpa.” As an example, he said that Chevy once said he couldn’t check his e-mail because it was in New York.

On his dream guest stars

For guest stars, Donald said he would love to have Zach Galifnakis because he’s so funny, Jesus because he has a few questions for him, and his real father because he would like to meet him.

On writing a Community episode

Donald said that while he would love to write a Community episode and thinks it would be a “jewel in his crown,” he’s not sure he has time given all his current projects and that “those scripts are hard.” If he doesn’t get to write a script, that will be okay because acting on the show is enough.

On writing for 30 Rock

Donald said his name was thrown into the hat to write for 30 Rock because he had been doing a lot of work for the Upright Citizens Brigade and on his own and he had some scripts ready.

30 Rock‘s Kenneth the Page is from Stone Mountain, Georgia because that’s where Donald is from.

On why he likes Twitter so much

Donald doesn’t think people give Twitter enough credit. He thinks it’s actually an amazing tool because not only can he directly communicate with his fans, but he (and we) literally have stars’ e-mails. He can Tweet Tom Hanks, and even if Tom Hanks doesn’t answer, at least he knows his message went to him.

On working on Community

Donald said that Community is a good show and it’s good work and that he’s lucky to be doing something he really likes because that never happens. He said that between writing for 30 Rock and acting on Community, he’s a part of the two funniest shows on television and he feels like the luckiest guy on earth.

Community airs on NBC Thursday nights at 8pm/7 central. You can find all our Community coverage here.

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