“Community” fans know by now that the show won’t be back until Feb. 7 (it’s the new Oct. 19!), but Zap2it spoke with Danny Pudi about Season 4, and he gave us a few teasers about what to expect when the little NBC comedy that could returns.
Pudi is currently the spokesperson for Speed Stick‘s “Handle It” campaign — have you ever had a moment where you were sweating bullets but composed yourself to pull through? Pudi narrates a story about one of those moments in a contest-winning video (watch it below).
In between keeping it cool and filming “Community” Season 4, Pudi called up Zap2it to chat about the new season, his Handle It moments, and whether this year could be the end of “Community.”
Zap2it: How pumped are you about Season 4?
Pudi: I don’t know if any of us thought there would be a Season 4, which is great because I get to convince my family that I’m not going to be a doctor for another year. And, it’s been kind of a wild year. Obviously people who are fans of the show know that there’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that’s been happening. We have new showrunners, new writing, a new crew and there’s been a little bit of an adjustment period trying to get everyone up to speed. But we’re going through it and I think people will be excited. We’re about five episodes in.
We know you spoof “The Hunger Games” in the premiere, what other pop culture stuff will you touch upon in the first couple of episodes?
We do an “Inspector Spacetime” convention, which is really cool. The Halloween episode has some things in there that are very special. We go to Pierce’s mansion in that episode, which has all kinds of wacky stuff going on. The first episode, we explore and deal with the fact that this might be our last year. Much like “Community,” Greendale will probably come to an end [eventually], so Abed [considers] how he’s going to deal with that.
Speaking of the Inspector Spacetime convention, Tricia Helfer and Matt Lucas will be there.
Are you a fan of “Battlestar Galactica” or “Dr. Who”?
“Battlestar Galactica” is my favorite show of all time. It’s just my favorite show. And a large part of that had to do with Tricia Helfer. I am a fan of her and for me, I couldn’t even believe she was going to be working with us. I actually saw Tricia Helfer out in public when I was with my wife and I did my best not to do anything. I just stopped walking and looked at her. Later [my wife] told me what happened, and I think she said something like “you just kept mumbling ‘Cylon. Cylon.'” So, that to me was a treat, just being able to be on set with her; she was awesome.
And Matt Lucas I’m a fan of. I wasn’t familiar with his work from “Little Britain” prior to working with him, but now that I’ve worked with him, I’m a huge fan. The dude is straight-up hilarious, a brilliant comedian and such a genuine, good-spirited person. I got to work with him pretty intensely in the “Inspector Spacetime” convention because he plays a fanboy as well, like Abed. There were a lot of scenes where it was just him and I and we had such a good time. Ever since then we’ve been sending each other funny videos on YouTube nonstop, so I’ve been trying to think of a way to encourage the writers to bring him back in some capacity.
Last season resolved the darkest timeline subplot, but have we really seen the end of evil Abed? Is the Dreamatorium gone but not forgotten?
[Laughs.] Gone but not forgotten. Dreamatorium. Yeah, when we burn that cardboard box those will be the words we write on it. Well, I mean, we did see at the end of that there was a mini Dreamatorium still. So, I don’t know. I think anything is possible! One thing about the show [is that] the writers are very ambitious and they’re not afraid to go to places where they feel like there’s more of a story. I do know that right away in Season 4, we do kind of deal with what Abed’s going through in his mind again. There is definitely some stuff there that is not resolved.
What would you like to see on “Community” this season?
I really am encouraged to see what Abed’s been up to film-wise. I know that he’s been studying film at Greendale and done some documentaries and worked on the commercial for Greendale last year. I’d love to see a little bit more about that and what he’s learned. I would like to see where Abed sees himself going after Greendale’s done. Is he going to end up teaching film or running the audio-visual department at Greendale? Or is he gonna get a job off campus? I think those are some of the things I’m curious about.
The whole crew is theoretically graduating after four years. So are you all, as actors, looking at this as a final season?
I think we’re prepared for it. I don’t know if we’re looking at it but I think we’re prepared for it. I think the nature of our show, like “Arrested Development,” is that almost every episode is treated as it could be the last one. So yeah, I think we’re prepared for it, but I’m still hopeful that maybe’s there’s more.
“Community” returns to NBC on Thursdays at 8 p.m. starting Feb. 7, 2013.
Check out the winning “Handle It” video: