'Community's' Danny Pudi: 3 reasons why the 'Pulp Fiction' episode challenged him

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The much-anticipated "Pulp Fiction" episode of NBC's "Community" is finally upon us and from what we hear, it's pretty epically good. 

In it, Jeff ( Joel McHale) plans a surprise "Pulp Fiction-themed" party for Abed's birthday, but things go awry as his plan hits some snags.

"I didn't get to take part in the 'Pulp Fiction' parts as much as I wanted to or as Abed might want to," Danny Pudi, who plays Abed, tells Zap2it. "It is a surprise, though and he's really, really excited about it. But, it's a surprise for Abed, so he doesn't get to be a character in 'Pulp Fiction,' but it shows how great this group is and how thoughtful they are."

When we visited the set of "Community," we sat down with Pudi, who plays Abed, to talk about the episode, which he tells us was a pretty difficult week for him acting-wise.

"I feel like we're doing something completely inventive every week and this is one of those episodes where I've never done anything like it," he says. "And in terms of the acting and what we have to do, there's a lot of really kind of meaty scenes, pretty silly, but meaty, that were really challenging for me. So, that was definitely one of the most challenging work weeks for me as an actor."

So, what made the episode so uniquely challenging? Pudi laid it out for us:

The Director: "That episode, which I love, is directed by Richard Ayoade of "The IT Crowd." And I had never heard of the "The IT Crowd" until I heard he was directing. And then I watched a bunch on Netflix and I was like, "This guy's smarter than me, he's funnier than me, and he's directing me, so I will listen to everything he says and follow all his directions.' But, it was awesome. He was such a sweet guy and it was cool to get a new person on set to kind of guide us through that."

The set: "There's a lot of interesting stuff in that episode, which I think people will really dig. Definitely makes sense for it to be Abed's birthday, for it to be really silly, out there, have a 'Pulp Fiction' component. And, you'll see that there are a lot of set pieces in that episode, which I think are really cool."

The intensity: "There's a lot of two person scenes with Abed and Joel's character. I think last year when you saw the 'chicken fingers' episode with Abed and Jeff, at the very end of that episode, they had a really interesting scene when both characters really show themselves to each other. One of the cool things about this show is that we have a lot of silly things going on and a lot of funny costumes, but at the root of it a lot of us are trying to find out who we are, exploring ourselves.

And I think in this episode, Abed's birthday, it kind of goes from a surprise birthday party to really exploring deeper things in each other... And I think you really get to see that in this episode. There are a lot of still moments, but a lot has to come across. 

And, it's late in the season, so lots of things are coming up. It was very new in many ways. I think people will see it when they watch the episode. It's a new direction being explored here. So, I think that's what's challenging about it. It wasn't a physically challenging episode, but in terms of acting, it was really challenging and also, super, super fun. The writers are just really good at providing the silliness, but also layers and layers of surprises."

Watch a quick preview below:



"Community" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Photo/Video credit: NBC
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