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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.

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34 Comments
  1. Katie says:

    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.

    • 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.

    • Phil says:

      (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.

  2. 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.

  3. tvgirl48 says:

    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!

  4. RKron says:

    I don’t think anyone could MISS Abed’s appearance. He made a pretty big exit!

  5. laura says:

    finally, confirmation the BP was indeed in that shot cheering on pierce at the end of the paintball war!

    • zhaquiri says:

      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.

  6. Amber says:

    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!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    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….)

  8. Tavis says:

    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!!!

  9. rach says:

    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!

  10. Drew H says:

    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.

  11. Rob J. says:

    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.

  12. torontogirl98 says:

    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!

  13. side3 says:

    More Ted please.

  14. Tavis says:

    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.

    • David says:

      Don’t worry. Chad is dead. He crapped his pants so you know it’s for realsies

    • Turtle says:

      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.

    • MommyZeitgeist says:

      It would have been awesome if the Cougar Town characters would have been like ‘Is that Abed from Community?’

      • Jeff says:

        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.

  15. MelindaB says:

    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

  16. Rebecca says:

    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!

  17. Joan says:

    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.