Joel McHale channels Travolta, Gillian Jacobs dons an Uma wig, Chevy Chase does his best Ving Rhames, and Yvette Nicole Brown gets her inner Samuel L. Jackson on. Yes, the much talked about, highly anticipated “Pulp Fiction” episode of “Community” is airing next Thursday, March 24 and we caught up with the cast at this week’s Paley Festival to get the dish on that and more.
Danny Pudi, who plays Abed Nadir, breaks down the episode, titled “Critical Film Studies,” for us. “It’s one of my favorite episodes. It’s a surprise birthday party for me and they dress up as ‘Pulp Fiction’ characters but the surprise doesn’t go off the way it’s supposed to go off. Abed is definitely surprised, but it’s an unexpected kind of surprise,” he told XfnityTV.com.
“Everyone else is in character, but me,” he continued. “That was the hardest thing for me. Everyone else got to do ‘Pulp Fiction, but me. The funny thing is the episode starts out with the whole ‘Pulp Fiction’ thing so you expect it to be very [Quentin] Tarantino-ish, but it’s not.”
The best costume of the episode, according to the entire cast, was Yvette Nicole Brown’s Samuel L. Jackson, who played Jules Winnfield in the famous 1994 movie. “My favorite was definitely Yvette,” said Ken Jeong (Senor Chang). “She was amazing. I play Bruce Willis’ character Butch, and a deliberately bad-looking Bruce with the worst skullcap ever. I get to be miserable and pathetic, and as an actor I love it. I love where they’re taking Chang this year. He’s so pitiable.”
Brown said channeling Jackson was easy. “Shirley has a Samuel L. Jackson attitude anyway,” she told us. “I looked at a lot of his movies to help get into that character. Black people just come with a regular kind of swagger so I tapped into my inner Samuel L. Jackson.”
Meanwhile Alison Brie (Annie Edison) plays Honey Bunny, and Chevy Chase, well, he forgot who he played. “Who do I play?” he asked his publicist when we spoke to him. “Oh, I’m Ving Rhames [Marsellus Wallace]. I loved ‘Pulp Fiction. ‘I don’t know who he is actually. It’s a funny name, though, isn’t it? Ving Rhames. Not to say that Chevy Chase isn’t a funny name.”
So, do Joel McHale (John Travolta’s Vincent Vega) and Gillian Jacobs (Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace) strut their stuff in a rendition of the famous “Pulp Fiction” dance scene? “There could be that, yeah,” said McHale.
Go Behind-The-Scenes Of “Community”:
Here’s what else is coming up on “Community” for the rest of the season:
The Wine Episode (April 21): In “Competitive Wine Tasting,” Pierce (Chevy Chase) and Jeff (Joel McHale)”go mano-e-mano as they take a class together. It’s a Pierce episode. They have a competition of sorts. I can’t say they actually get drunk. I don’t know that the competition is about that exactly. They just go head-to-head,” said Brown. Chase, again, “can’t remember” this episode… at all. “There is a wine tasting thing and I think I have my own wine. I don’t know. We just work, work, work and I forget each episode afterward and I don’t watch the show, ” he told us. In this episode, Abed takes a course that’s an analysis of the ’80s sitcom “Who’s the Boss?”
The Fake Clips Episode (April 28): Various cast members and producers called it “the flashback episode,” “the memory episode,” and “the fake clips episode,” but whatever you call it “Paradigms of Human Memory” is going to be hi-la-rious. They shot a whopping 75 scenes for the episode with cast members making five or six costume changes each. Executive producer Dan Harmon told the crowd that it’s a flashback episode of sorts, where they “shot shit from episodes that didn’t exist.” Pudi said this ep has more jokes in it than ever. Brown told the crowd to pay attention to the details on the walls in the scenes for more funny stuff. And, Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) said he shows a lot of midriff. “I change into six different costumes. It’s a lot of midriff for me, a lot of skin. They decided they wanted to see a lot of my body this year. After Gaga, they got skimpier and skimpier, maybe like some rock icons and Carmen Miranda-ish,” he said.
The Baby Cometh: Yes, Shirley pops out the baby and we find out who the daddy is. “We’re stuck in anthropology and getting to Shirley’s arrival, and there’s a mayhem wrapped around that. You find out who the baby daddy is there,” said Rash. It’s another “bottle episode,” where the whole show takes place in one setting. Remember, Shirley might have conceived the child during the zombie episode with Senor Chang.
The Kiss Scene (Finale, May 12): We know there’s a kiss between two characters in the finale, but is it Jeff and Annie? Jeff and Britta? “I’m just offended that no one thinks [it's] Shirley and Jeff,” joked McHale on the panel, who also kidded to us it could be “two men.” “I think different fans want different things so it’s going to make somebody happy,” said Gillian Jacobs (Britta). Pudi said, “You’ll be like, ‘okay that’s a surprise.’” Jeong added, “The show specializes in doing stuff the viewer doesn’t expect and then ending it very sweetly and with a lot of heart, that’s all I can say about the kiss.” And bringing up the rear, Chase quipped, “Kiss? The one with me and Joel?”
The Paintball Fight (Finale, May 12): “‘Modern Warfare’ was one of our favorite episodes as a cast and the fans loved it so it was a real treat to return to that. We definitely destroyed our set. They’re going to have to start over,” said Jacobs. McHale said, “I didn’t know how they were going to top the first paintball and I think they doublely [sic], overtopped it.” Jeong agreed: “The paintball finale really ups the ante from the first one, completely different, but better.”
The Lost Hottie (Finale, May 12): “Josh Holloway (Sawyer on “Lost”), you can sum up his role as handsome. He’s the most devastatingly handsome man who’s ever been on our set and Joel McHale knows it,” said Jacobs. McHale added, “He’s a serious and mysteriously sexy character. I will say it’s a lot like Black Swan.” Producers also teased there will be a Sergio Leone homage in the finale. The finale is also a two-parter from 8-9 p.m. instead of just one half hour episode.