Community @ PaleyFest: Scoop (and a First Look!) at the Big Puppet Episode

Community - Season 4 Puppet EpisodeCommunity executive producers David Guarascio, Moses Port, Russ Krasnoff and Tristram Shapeero joined several cast members of the NBC comedy at PaleyFest on Tuesday to make an announcement: A puppet episode is coming later this season!

VIDEO | Exclusive Community First Look: Britta Busts Out Her Very Own Therapist-Themed Rap Song

The story finds the study group taking a wild balloon ride that crash lands in the woods and forces them to spend a little time with a friendly mountain man (played by Seinfeld‘s Jason Alexander). The gang gets immortalized as puppets when Dean Pelton encourages them to talk about their adventures.

Also on tap for this season: More paintball fun, a Freaky Friday tribute and, in this Thursday’s ep, the introduction of James Brolin as Jeff’s dad and Adam DeVine (Pitch Perfect) as his brother.

“It is quite intense between Jeff and his dad,” previewed Joel McHale. “Thank God for Gillian [Jacobs] and Adam, who knock it out of the park. It gets pretty heavy.”

As for whether the identity of Jeff’s dad makes him half-brothers with Castle‘s titular writer, whose dad is also played by Brolin, McHale joked, “Let’s just say, if there is a Season 5, we end up on Serenity.”

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Other topics touched on during the PaleyFest Q&A:

SWITCHING PLACES | The Oscar-winning writer who brings Dean Pelton to life, Jim Rash, penned “an episode with Troy and Abed that I think is one of the best we’ve ever done,” raved McHale. Added Rash: “It was an awesome and stressful process. … It’s sort of a Freaky Friday homage with a little body switching, and it’s very important” to the boys’ friendship.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN | An upcoming origins episode will reveal how the superhero-like study group “really came to be,” teased Guarascio.

UNLIKELY LOVE | What does the future hold for the odd pairing of Britta and Troy? The romance is “not doomed,” said Guarascio. “A lot of the year is the resurrection of Britta. … Who knows, maybe that will lead to something we’re not quite expecting.”

CRAZY SHIRLEY | “We’re going to see her house in the Thanksgiving episode,” previewed Yvette Nicole Brown. “Shirley likes really weird wallpaper.” Viewers will also “find out why Shirley’s the way she is,” and it has something to do with her in-laws. The actress also offered up this cryptic tease: “There’s something bigger coming than Malcolm-Jamal Warner playing my husband.”

GRADUATION DAY LOOMS | Will the Greendale gang be leaving school behind at the end of this year? Unlikely. “Everyone’s on their own pace as is often the case in community college,” said Guarascio. “So stay tuned.”

MORE COMMUNITY TALES? | Will the beloved, but ratings-challenged comedy be back for a fifth season? “It’s one of things where no one ever lets you know those things in advance,” replied McHale. “Believe me, I hope so.” As for stepping in as showrunners this season following creator Dan Harmon’s exit, Guarascio admitted that it was “hard” for him and Port. But “the cast is just so fantastic and the heart and soul of the show becomes the people who are performing it,” he continued. “We really need to listen to them because they’ve been doing the show the past three years and they know it inside and out.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. anik (@11starthestral) says:

    Community at PaleyFest was fantastic. Best and funniest cast on TV.

  2. I think Yvette revealed the big thing was the Puppet episode.

  3. Sara says:

    Looks like the episode of Angel when he’s turned into a puppet.

  4. JJ Phil says:

    Had no clue Demamp was going to be on Community. Him and Troy definitely need to have a crying scene together

  5. Roger says:


  6. wordsmith says:

    If they get Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad for that Thanksgiving episode, I will die.

    • Angela says:

      Hahahaha, YES. That would be fantastic :D. I’m just really happy to hear there’ll be an episode focusing on Shirley a bit more, I like her and I think sometimes she doesn’t get nearly enough proper storylines. It’ll be nice to delve into her life a little more.
      Some of these stories have me intrigued-I like the origin one, and the puppet one at the very least sounds like it’ll be a very weird half-hour, so I’m curious how that’ll pan out. Bring it on, guys, and as for the fifth season, hoping for the best.

    • Jim says:

      Holy mother of…i don’t see how that could have been kept a secret, especially not having NBC promote it, but if they were able to pull that off it would be insanely fantastic.

    • Reba says:

      I was just gonna post this!

  7. J says:

    Jeff does not translate well in any medium.

  8. Martin says:

    I wonder if they would do a 5th season without Pierce, could they talk Chevy in to coming back, would they?.

    • Alan says:

      he is the least important cast member so they will have no problem jettisoning him, he doesnt really have much effect on ongoing stories.

  9. Erin says:

    James Brolin is Jeff’s dad… meaning that Castle and Winger are actually half brothers.

  10. At this point I’ll be surprised if there’s a fifth season. Season 4 so far has been really lacking in every way.

  11. Liz says:

    The resurrection of Britta? So that means Jeff and Britta. When will that ever die? Let them be friends. We don’t always need to end up with the original pairing omg.

    Excited about puppet episode though. Something original finally instead of reusing all old stuff like paintball and documentaries. I want something new.

    • Alice says:

      I don’t think it necessarily means resurrecting that relationship. But rather, the Britta of season 1 was not the incompetent, ruins everything character that they turned her into . So maybe she becomes less of a punching back this season.

      • Pam T. says:

        I got the opposite feeling, that they’re going to move them to forward finally.

      • Liz says:

        I think it means what you say AND Jeff and Britta. G&P have stated nothing but how much they love the Jeff/Britta relationship since they started all the interviews for the show. It’s so predictable. The only reason I’ll keep watching this show is because I love all the characters but I’m really not excited about this obvious Jeff/Britta rehash that is just boring to me. Even Dan Harmon said they were better as a sibling relationship.

        • erin says:

          I don’t remember Harmon saying that. If anything Harmon seemed more against the Jeff/Annie thing and only kept that thing going because of the shipping base. Even though I don’t think he ever intended for any of them to really be together in the end romantically. The only one I could have seen Harmon pairing up that would make sense would have been Jeff and Britta so I’m fine with it, if this is the direction the new guys are going which is seems to be.

          • Liz says:

            In the season 3 DVD commentaries. Can’t remember which one but he did say it. But I agree he was even more against Jeff/Annie.

            I liked Jeff and Britta moving on from their romance. Going back to that spells regression to me. I’d rather have no pairings. The show suffers when the romance comes into play.

    • Alan says:

      thats quite an impressive conclusion you have jumped to there. how did any of that indicate they were going back to jeff and britta?

      • Liz says:

        Paleyfest more than hinted at it. Interviews with G&P have more than hinted at it. This just further confirms it. It might not happen this season but we’re building to it and basically no. Not interested.

  12. max says:

    I’m excited about Jeff and Britta. It looks like the writers are smartly moving away from the Troy and Britta pairing, but using that relationship to grow those two characters.

  13. Alan says:

    oh puppets, yes! that is such a perfect community thing to do.
    glad we are finally getting to know more about shirley, she always seems pushed aside in favour of other characters.

  14. janet says:

    personally i always preferred jeff/britta and i always thought they’d go back to them in the end. thought with dan gone i thought maybe they were going to stick jeff/annie troy/britta especially with everything we’ve seen this season so far. so i cant wait to see what they do with jeff/britta

  15. Sarabi says:

    I think they are overdoing it. (And I’m not talking about the puppet episode.) Britta is becoming unbearable (with and wtihout Troy), and while the Dean was funny before, he’s not anymore. Now he’s just plain creepy! I think the showrunners try to copy previous gimmicks, instead of making their own. Not to mention that hardly any scenes revolve around college. That was the best part!
    I think this show can go on sans Dan Harmon, but the current showrunners have to play the field a little more. Out of the five episodes aired, I only liked the second and the third. I hope things will get in order as the show progresses.

  16. sarah says:

    i thought jeff and britta romantically was done also and thought that without that relationship the comedy is much stronger—–the friendships between all the characters is stronger than them in romantic relationships—although i think jeff and annie have good chemistry and troy adn britta had a good chemistry last year—the show is probably strongest when its focus is off the romantic relationships