Exclusive: Cougar Town Boss Bill Lawrence Spills All About the Finale's Surprise Guest Star

[Warning: If you've yet to watch Wednesday night's Cougar Town finale, avert those peepers...now. The following article contains a major spoiler. Ready? Set? Scoop!]

Holy stroke of genius: Did you see who popped up at Coffee Bucks?!

For those not paying close attention to the second season finale of ABC’s Cougar Town, you missed a scene-stealing guest spot from Community‘s own Abed Nadir. No, not Danny Pudi, the actor who plays Abed (though he was there, too), but Greendale’s resident pop culture guru.

The cameo shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to fans of the NBC sitcom or anyone who follows C-Town executive producer Bill Lawrence on Twitter. After all, in Community‘s “Critical Film Studies,” Abed reveals to pal Jeff Winger (played by Joel McHale) that he’d traveled to Los Angeles to shoot a scene on his favorite TV comedy. And just a few weeks back, Cougar Town‘s Dan Byrd and Busy Philipps appeared in the background of Community‘s paintball finale. So this week, their mutual admiration was simply taken one step further.

“They had Abed have a love of Cougar Town, we had Travis have a love of Community, and once we got wind of what they were having Abed say he experienced out here,” Lawrence explains, “we were going to try to find a way of Danny being a background character and essentially act that same thing out on our show.”

Diehard fans of both shows might notice that the only major difference between what we’d originally heard of Abed’s walk-on and what actually occurred — pants-pooping aside — was that Courteney Cox was nowhere to be seen. That wasn’t an oversight on anyone’s part, says Lawrence, but simply a scheduling conflict that couldn’t be resolved.

Another fun fact about the crossover: Lawrence tells TVLine that neither series’ network (ABC and NBC) or studio (Disney and Sony) had any idea that the two shows were working in cahoots.

“We didn’t even ask permission,” he adds with a laugh, noting that even when all entities discovered this dirty little secret, they were nothing but supportive. “Thankfully, both Disney and Sony are places that want to champion what they feel are under appreciated shows.”

“Unless you’re a monster show, it’s really your own job to promote your show,” Lawrence explains when asked what is really behind the cross-networks love. “One clever way we thought of [drumming up promotion] was to work with a show we really liked — and we all like Community.” Add to that the fact that his former Scrubs counterparts Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan are now EPs on Community, and you’ve got a winning formula.

Lawrence, however, does advise fans not to look for too much more cameo-making in Season 3 of Cougar Town, because, as he puts it, “We’ve already done this joke.” But fret not: “We will keep our characters’ Community love going, just because it’s real and we love the show. Community deserves the publicity, and I’m intrigued with the idea of stealth cross-promoting.”

Head back to TVLine on Friday for more from Lawrence, including his big plans for Season 3 of Cougar Town.

Comments (34)

  • Ever since it’s been on air Community has pushed the boundaries of what a TV show can be. This is even better than Abed’s background baby delivery.

    Comment by Katie – May 25, 2011 08:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The writer of that episode later hinted that the real story of Abed’s interest in delivering the baby was that Abed was potentially the father (which is why he was pointing to himself while talking to the woman, as well as why the woman’s boyfriend wanted to fight him). I, personally, maintain continuity that she was “the hottest girl on campus” that Abed made out with during Season 1′s freshman year.

      Comment by Chris_Griff_3 – May 25, 2011 08:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Source?

        Comment by BOBOBO – May 26, 2011 01:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • He doesn’t need a source. That guy has appointed himself the all-knowing superfan of Community. Just ignore his “I know everything” posts and move on.

          Comment by ThereWasOne? – May 26, 2011 04:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • (in reponse to first comment ) No offense to CT, but Abed’s baby delivery was an entire subplot that happened subliminally. That’s pretty innovative- this was just a cameo.

      Comment by Phil – May 26, 2011 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • God, I love these shows! Community fans have been wishlisting over Twitter for a Community/Parks & Recreation crossover ever since Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford went the whole Love Don’t Cost A Thing/Can’t Buy Me Love route. As much as I’m for that cross-over, I would love nothing more than a Community/Cougar Town crossover episode. If nothing else, Cougar Town owes Community about 22 name-drops.

    Comment by Chris_Griff_3 – May 25, 2011 08:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve been LOVING the crossovers, but I’m glad they know when to stop. There is such a thing as too much meta, but Community so far (and hopefully Cougar Town as well) walk that line without crossing it. That being said, I also loved the Scrubs references! Hooch is CRAZY!

    Comment by tvgirl48 – May 25, 2011 09:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • YES! The Scrubs references were great. I was bummed that Ted didn’t get his happy ending after all. Hooch is crazy.

      Comment by TimeShiftingMom – May 25, 2011 09:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yeah, poor Ted. I thought Gooch and him were real. Now he lives alone in a shack in Hawaii…

        Comment by RKron – May 25, 2011 09:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t think anyone could MISS Abed’s appearance. He made a pretty big exit!

    Comment by RKron – May 25, 2011 09:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • finally, confirmation the BP was indeed in that shot cheering on pierce at the end of the paintball war!

    Comment by laura – May 25, 2011 09:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Not only Busy Phillips, but also Dan Byrd (the guy she’s talking to in the screenshot in the article). Now it makes sense why only the two of them (Phillips and Byrd) popped up in the Community finale. Haha.

      Comment by zhaquiri – May 25, 2011 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was so exited when I saw Abed! I missed the other two in community (though I have not yet finished the paintball finale). I love these shows!

    Comment by Amber – May 26, 2011 03:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Was Abed wearing the same thing he did for his dinner w/ Winger on “Community”?

    With the Subway product placement, you’d expect Chuck or Morgan to show up too!

    (I need to step away from the TV….)

    Comment by Elizabeth – May 26, 2011 06:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Love it! We watch the same stuff! We know quality.

      Comment by Martha – May 26, 2011 09:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have never watched Community so I had no idea who that was.

    So sad that we have to wait at least SIX MONTHS for the new season!!!

    Comment by Tavis – May 26, 2011 07:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was so pumped to see Dani Pudi, but it was even better when you realized he was playing Abed in the shot! Well done cougar town!

    Comment by rach – May 26, 2011 08:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t watch Community any more but thanks to tvline I knew that they were planning something. And then when I saw Abed’s cameo it was laugh out loud awesome. I rewound it and watched it again. It was brilliant.

    Comment by Drew H – May 26, 2011 09:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You don’t watch Community anymore?! Its been hilarious this season!

      Comment by Christine – May 26, 2011 09:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Agreed. Season 2 blows Season 1 out of the water.

        Comment by BOBOBO – May 26, 2011 01:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For “Tommyverse” scholars out there, Cougar Town and Community exist in two different universes in which the cast of one is real and the cast of the other is the TV Show. So at least one of them doesn’t count — so far — in the linkage.

    Comment by Rob J. – May 26, 2011 09:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I totally couldn’t stop laughing when I saw Abed so funny and unexpected. I also loved all of the Scrubs shout-outs it was so funny. I am so glad I stumbled onto this show recently!

    Comment by torontogirl98 – May 26, 2011 09:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • More Ted please.

    Comment by side3 – May 26, 2011 10:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How can a Community character be IN Cougar Town? Isn’t Cougar Town a show the Community characters WATCH? It’s not like Cougar Town and Scrubs, which are obviously set in the same fictional universe.

    Comment by Tavis – May 26, 2011 11:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Don’t worry. Chad is dead. He crapped his pants so you know it’s for realsies

      Comment by David – May 26, 2011 02:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • This makes no sense. Did you mean to reply to me?

        Comment by Tavis – May 26, 2011 02:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Tavis, in a recent Community episode, Abed has a walk-on appearance on the show “Cougartown.”

          Comment by Betsy – May 26, 2011 04:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • On Community, Cougar Town is a show that Abed (Danny Pudi) watches. In the episode Critical Film Studies, Abed tells Jeff that he got invited to the set of Cougar Town, and ultimately got to be an extra in a scene.

      Of course, in Cougar Town’s universe it’s not supposed to be a show that’s filmed with actors and whatnot, so there’s some conflict there. Still, I thought it was a lot of fun, although I only recently started watching Cougar Town.

      Comment by Turtle – May 26, 2011 04:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Who played Blake in the last episode?

        Comment by Jim – May 26, 2011 06:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It would have been awesome if the Cougar Town characters would have been like ‘Is that Abed from Community?’

      Comment by MommyZeitgeist – May 26, 2011 07:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Wouldn’t that lead to some unresolvable conflicts, kind of like matter and anti-matter getting together :) ?
        That’s a great idea, I wish they had done it, though the Abed scene in itself was hilarious.

        Comment by Jeff – May 27, 2011 04:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was hoping that Ted would see Ellie and say that she looked familiar. I suppose that they purposely kept them apart so the universe wouldn’t implode. :-P

    Comment by MelindaB – May 26, 2011 10:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love the interaction between these two shows. The inside jokes and references make me smile. My husband thought the Abed cameo was genius. I hope they keep it up!

    Comment by Rebecca – May 27, 2011 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • To Bill Lawrence and Cougar Town fans,
    The show “Cougar Town” is great. I understand you want to water it down ….to make it about a nice group of nice dysfunctional people. No!! Boring. You’ve got to take it up a step. You need a rousing theme song. I heard “Cougar” (by Evan Wecksell) on the internet. Check it out. I am sure it would push the show into a front-running spot and add an edge to the show.

    Comment by Joan – July 20, 2011 07:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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