Blogon to everyone for your questions! Here to respond to them are the following writers:

  • Andy Bobrow: abobrow
  • Maggie Bandur: maggiebandur
  • David Guarascio: dguarascio
  • Tim Saccardo: timsaccardo
  • Megan Ganz: meganganz
  • Gene Hong: MrGeneHong

And everyone, please watch COMMUNITY's season 4 premiere on October 19th! (Which this year falls tomorrow, February 7th at 8PM on NBC.)

Comments: 3412 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

dguarascio1013 karma

g'night all. thanks for this. really awesome. i don't care what the ratings are tomorrow, but i sincerely hope you all enjoy it. we made it for you.

MiniMadness849 karma

First off, massive fan!

What I want to ask is that we know that Abed had a camera in his dorm at the college and that Jeff and Britta had sex in Abeds room at the time (during the Paradigms of Human Memory episode). Does this mean that Abed is in possession of a Jeff/Britta sex tape?

MeganGanz1665 karma

We have discussed this in the writers' room, actually. The general consensus was: definitely.

InspectorSpaceman734 karma

What is your favorite episode theme/arc that was unilaterally rejected by NBC for whatever circumstance?

MeganGanz2004 karma

Dungeons & Dragons. Thankfully, Dan rejected their rejection.

maggiebandur691 karma

By the way, I don't really use the internet, so I'm sorry if I am doing this wrong.

PaintyFilms409 karma

I don't really use the internet

This might be the most surprising thing in this AMA.

maggiebandur1080 karma

It's a passing fad.

amoskow1161 karma

How do you do so much pop culture with no internets?

maggiebandur1106 karma

I read the internets. I just don't interact so much. It's more net, less inter.

bigfatimac606 karma

How do you guys keep track of all the continuity references?

MrGeneHong1299 karma

We have this crazy thing in the writers room that keeps track of every reference the show has ever made called a "Tim Saccardo."

jackparry7600 karma

Hey writers! We often hear other students complaining that life at Greendale is all about the Greendale 7. Any chance of an episode just focusing on the daily lives of Fat Neil, Vicky, Todd, Leonard, Magnitude, Garret and Asian Annie?

MeganGanz1099 karma

We always wanted to do an episode like this. Actually, for a while we discussed having the Star-burns wake episode be a tribute to the background characters, who are really foreground characters in their own story (a world in which our group would be considered background). It didn't come to anything but it's still a good idea.

abobrow597 karma

I'm single-parenting tonight so I need a few minutes to get situated (ie get my daughter set up with a Little House on the Prairie episode). I will jump in when I can.


dguarascio547 karma

bobrow, bring her here. i'll watch her. you type. sort of like we do at work.

Dingoman9126596 karma

I know this question is kind of inevitable, but how has the dynamic changed without Harmon in the room?

maggiebandur1239 karma

Moses Port and David Guarascio give us significantly less updates on their bodily functions. Dan was very open that way.

dguarascio1636 karma

just peed.

maggiebandur1114 karma

Thank you.

Freakazette517 karma

So, how was your day? What'd you have for lunch? Recommend any movies?

I showed up late, people stole my real questions.

MeganGanz619 karma

It was good until I tried to drive home and ended up in the world's worst traffic, on the only day when I HAD to be home to do something. Of course. I was practically screaming in my car.

Also, turkey chili.

CavePro501 karma

If a Chang Changs alone in the woods, does it make a Chang?

MrGeneHong959 karma


frankin287457 karma

Who came up with the "Troy and Aben in the Moooooooooorning" jingle?

MeganGanz866 karma

Quite possibly Danny and Donald. I'm not 100% sure but I wouldn't be surprised.

zombiekungfumaster447 karma

Any progress on the unjust cancellation of Firefly?

MeganGanz641 karma


PickleballTrophies409 karma

I've always felt that the cast of Community as well as its fans are a sort of family. I've heard stories of Danny Pudi and Alison Brie hanging out on weekends despite having just worked 6 days in a row together, and I wondered if the same is true for the show's writers. Do any of you talk outside of work? Hangout? If so do you think it helps create a consistent tone for the show?

MeganGanz835 karma

Yes. Especially during seasons two and three. These writers are my brothers-in-arms. My inspirations. My ports in a storm.

Which basically means we drink a lot together.

TrafficRage209 karma

What is your favorite drink?

MeganGanz505 karma

Jameson & soda.

shutupcrime_please406 karma

How exactly did the idea for Remedial Chaos Theory come about?

abobrow811 karma

Megan will have a better answer. The idea of multiple timelines had been talked about from time to time. I remember Hilary Winston and I were really obsessed with trying to do a Sliding Doors kind of episode, where everything changes based on whether Annie gets a good parking spot or not. We still may try to tackle that one.

But in between seasons 2 and 3, Dan had some kind of drunk brainstorm, which I believe he texted to Megan. Basically it hit him that you could use some kind of simple mechanism, like a game night, and explore different realities based on which character wasn't in the room. Dan, Megan and McKenna I think were the driving forces in breaking that story from there. They are Gods in my book.

MeganGanz63 karma

The text conversation we had (posted below) was the beginning of my work on Chaos Theory. The rest of it was sitting in a room with Chris McKenna and slowly going insane as we filled the bored with circles. That episode couldn't have happened without Chris. It was his idea to use "Roxanne," his idea to have the model of Indiana Jones, his painstaking attention to details that made that whole episode work. But the original idea was Dan's. And I am just grateful to have bene any small part of it.

MeganGanz385 karma


Thank you so much for participating in this AMA. I'm off to the equivalent of bed. (Read: watching DVRed episodes of "Deadly Women.") You guys have always been, and continue to be the best. Please tune in to the finale tomorrow at 8pm! And check out Joel's AMA tomorrow. Ask him which he loves more: my episodes, or my company.

Blogon, Megan

picnic_ants379 karma

Marry, Fuck, Kill: Chang, Leonard, Garrett.

MeganGanz949 karma

Marry Leonard, Fuck Chang, Kill Todd.

Did I do that wrong?

jnotaro373 karma

Are you guys aware that they are making a young Han Solo movie? How do you feel about Donald Glover for young Lando? because I'm already campaigning for him.

maggiebandur550 karma

That would be awesome. That makes me want to root for that movie, which my fear of them casting Shia LeBoeuf had previously made impossible.

paranoidkiwie368 karma


MeganGanz1318 karma


This is probably a bad thing to say -- especially when we haven't aired one episode yet -- but I wish I could redo the finale of season 4. I had to write it in a bit of a pinch, during a period of upheaval on the show. I wrote it too long (like... 6 minutes too long) and we had to cut a ton out of it in the edit bay. Part of me fears I was too freaked out to do my best work on it, because I wanted it to be a finale worthy of a show it could never be worthy of. Finales are generally terrible, and I am expecting that people will say this one is trying to hard, because it is. Because I was. God was I ever trying too hard on that one. My hope is that you'll all love the Halloween episode and forgive me for the finale. Maybe you'll like it. I have no way of knowing anymore.

thesnacks350 karma

What was one joke/line/scene that you were really proud of that never made it into an episode?

MeganGanz1344 karma

We had to cut a bunch from the finale I wrote for season 4. I had a Leonard exchange with Annie that I really liked, but it's on the cutting room floor. (Not literally of course, everything is digital.) It went something like.

Leonard sees Annie trying on a wedding veil.

LEONARD: If you build it, he will come.

ANNIE: Shut up, Leonard. I know you have a soft spot for me.

LEONARD: You look like you should be tattooed on a sailor.

maggiebandur678 karma

Abed and Troy had an inflatable couch filled with helium in their apartment -- you know, so it could float back up to the ceiling when not in use -- and the bit got cut. (They lost the ottoman, but then it flew back in the window at the end of the scene.) A chemist friend, Dr. Anthony Pease, had dreamed of such a couch, and I told him it was going to be in the episode, and he illegally downloaded it in England and everything, and there was no couch. But I named the creator of Inspector Spacetime after him. So, he can stop wingeing now!

djbaker344 karma

First off, I am a MASSIVE fan of the show and just wanted to say thank you for hours and hours of entertainment thusfar. My big concern is that this will be the last season as many fear. This has been a threat for quite some time though, we all know that Community has almost gotten the axe many times, but that is the way it goes. I just ask that IF this is the last season we get, are you guys satisfied with the ending we get in this season?

abobrow655 karma

Very. I'll spoil a teeny bit, but nothing that actually ended up in the episode. Early on, we had this vision, a really heartfelt tearjerking montage that we knew we wanted to do if it was the season ender. A kind of flash-forward, but way more than that. It was going to make you all cry rivers of tears. And we wrote a version of it. Then, two things happened. One, we realized that to do it right it would take like five whole minutes, which we really couldn't spare. And two, NBC just didn't want to do a final FINAL montage because what if there's a Season 5? It's a weird moment as a writer when you find yourself wanting to do an ending but being told, well this might not be the ending.

Anyway, point being, we did not end up doing that tearjerker montage. But we did do a kickass finale. One that could be a very satisfying end to the whole journey, but one that also could just be the end of another year at Greendale. You'll see.

maggiebandur923 karma

They all die at the end. Should I not say that?

dguarascio482 karma

i guess we can also add that there are two versions of the finale. but really, is it ending? between nbc, hulu, netflix...

jmchao336 karma

Are there any jokes from the show that you're surprised got picked by the fans? Are there any jokes that you wrote that you're surprised didn't get embraced?

MeganGanz689 karma

I'm always surprised that people find the hidden easter eggs so friggin' fast. It's like we can't bury them deep enough.

I was happy to see people liked the Dean's costume montage in the first clip show episode as much as we did. When we read that section at the table read it got a solid minute of laughter and applause. It basically stopped the read cold. Quite possibly our best table read yet.

flyingelevator323 karma

First, you are all the best. (Duh doy!) Thank you so much for creating such a brilliant show week after week after 9 month break after week!

My friends and I all find "Community" to be the most quotable show we watch. (And goodness knows we watch a lot of TV.) And I don't just mean on the Internet - I mean in everyday in-person conversation. (I'd imagine all good "Community" fans are this way.) Do you, as writers who are immersed in the show for a living, find that it bleeds into your personal life at all? E.g., do you reply to a boyfriend with "Cool cool cool" or tell your mom that she is "the AT&T of people?"

(I once did that latter. It did not go over well.)

MeganGanz694 karma

Dear god, yes. I am constantly referencing the show, to people who don't even know about it. I like to use the "intervention? intervention? intervention?" form a lot. And from time to time I find myself singing "Come on I'm Dean..."

jetsetheadset304 karma

What happened to Ian Duncan? Is John Oliver going to be returning to the show?

MeganGanz726 karma

Unfortunately he isn't in this season. He's on The Daily Show primarily, and there was a big election or something going on this year. I didn't pay attention, but that's what people tell me.

ThisIsFamine294 karma

As a writer, who was your favorite Community guest star?

TimSaccardo719 karma

Kevin Corrigan (AKA Professor Professorson/Professor Garrity) comes to mind as a fantastic guest star. I also really liked Matt Walsh in the secret trampoline episode.

maggiebandur462 karma

I was a huge Battlestar Galactica fan, so I was very excited to meet Tricia Helfer. And then I -- and all the men on set -- were almost too scared to talk to her. Maybe it is harder being very, very beautiful.

danicloud144 karma

Number six coming to community??? when?

maggiebandur292 karma

February 21

awesomeludwig289 karma

The paintball episodes CHANGed my life. Will there be more paintball??

MeganGanz642 karma

Juuuuuuuust a smidge.

sidzap277 karma

Hi there! Just wanted to thank you guys for Abed. I discovered the show last year (and have seen it ~4 times, since), around the same time I was diagnosed with Aspergers. You have no idea how important the show was in helping me accept that and coming to love that side of me (especially Abed saying that some flies are too cool for the wall!) Thank you very much

MeganGanz209 karma

I'm so glad you've found a friend in the show. Thank you for watching.

sallybranch258 karma

Which Community character do you most relate to?

MeganGanz855 karma

Britta. God bless her misguided, overly earnest feminism. Britta for the win!

BigBen213241 karma

If NBC ordered a Troy & Abed spinoff, what's the wacky setting of their lives after Greendale and what would their crazy jobs be?

maggiebandur760 karma

I hope I'm not stepping on his future development, but I think Dan always pictured them opening a detective agency. With Annie and her chloroform, of course.

MerryChangmas238 karma

What television show(s) inspired you to become writers?

Which episode are you most proud of?

What was your original concept of each character?

You guys are awesome.

abobrow605 karma

There's an episode this season that I believe I am most proud of. WEll, tentatively. It depends on how it's received. I wrote some very popular high concept eps in seasons 2 and 3 (Space Bus, Troy's Birthday, Pillows and Blankets) but all of them were heavily guided by Dan. So while I'm proud of them, I went into this season challenging myself to come up with a "special" episode and see if I could pull one off without my mentor. I am very proud of this season's Christmas episode because of that. It is a bottle episode and borrows heavily from Hitchcock. It's a one-act play and I am very proud of that one. Basically because I took everything that Dan Harmon taught me, everything I learned from Community, and I worked really hard to apply it.

TidderRevol231 karma

What are the chances of a full season 4 and/or a season 5?

dguarascio698 karma

i'm bullish on a season 5. nbc's ratings are so low. do we really have to do that well to get more episodes? long live the low bar.

MrGeneHong496 karma

I've heard industry gossip cover the entire spectrum, from "no way we'll get more episodes" to "it's a coin flip" to "for sure we'll get more!" If I were a gambling man, AND I AM, I'd be willing to bet Andy Bobrow's house on us getting more episodes.

rootbeerpirate230 karma

who came up with the idea to put chang back into greendale?

MeganGanz626 karma

Well, Sony and NBC I guess, since Ken Jeong is under contract with the show. But I think we found a really funny way to get him back at school, considering that he left last season as a pyro-homocidal maniac. Plus, no one wanted to lose Chang. He's the crazy glue that holds our group together.

Xwielder225 karma

To Megan Ganz, how different is working on modern family compared to community? Secondly, in a recent episode of modern family, we saw a pretty epic tribute to the godfather. I immediately thought of community and was wondering if you had anything to do with it.

MeganGanz357 karma

I didn't have anything to do with that tribute, but it is a funny coincidence. The episodes I've had a hand in haven't aired yet.

So far it's a completely different job, because it's a completely different show. But the people are really, really nice and welcoming, and they have made me feel right at home despite the fact that I joined them mid-season. I probably won't write an episode this year, but I'm excited for the possibility of getting one next season. I'll get to try my hand at writing mockumentary instead of mock-mockumentary.

ManOfSpiel178 karma

So let's say Community gets renewed, what happens with you and your commitments? One or the other? Double-duty? Consulting on one?

Though obviously it occurs to me that you might not be allowed to answer this/don't know yet.

dguarascio524 karma

i'd like an answer to this too, please.

MeganGanz396 karma

I'll do whatever they let me do. I'll come to the office at 6pm and empty the garbage cans. I'll write an episode under the psuedonym "Andee Bob Rowe." But mostly, I'll just drink with the writers and swap old war stories.

TrafficRage219 karma

Who is Jeff always texting? Or is he just browsing Reddit on his phone?

MeganGanz673 karma

Joel put forward the theory that he's just composing texts, not sending them. I'd agree with that.

dguarascio508 karma

i can't remember the final edit, but i think we answer that question in our thanksgiving episode. which will naturally air in march like all the great thanksgiving episodes.

BrownieBawse209 karma

How difficult is it to fit in certain hidden jokes in an episode? For example, Beetlejuice and the 'Abed delivers a child' thing?

Also (and I'm not sure if you can answer this), do you plan on doing anything for May 23rd, 2013, the date when Jeff has an 'unmovable appointment'?

You all are awesome! Six seasons and a movie!

abobrow481 karma

I'll answer the May 23rd thing because we don't want to build up expectations. Unfortunately, when we wrote and shot this batch of episodes, we believed we would be airing from October through January. So we never even thought to plan a May 23rd thing. Then, when we were postponed, we didn't know when we would start airing, so even if we wanted to do a May 23rd thing, we wouldn't know which episode to put it in.

So unfortunately, there's no May 23rd shout-out. We will have to explain it away next season if there is one.

maggiebandur199 karma

All right, I think I'm off. I wrote a response in French. I'm not going to top that. Thank you for all your support. We have the best cast and crew in the business. And, of course, we have the best fans in all the world, in all the timelines.

Good night. Andy and Megan said they would answer ALL of the rest of your questions. I said, no, that's way too much work, but they were insistent.

MeganGanz66 karma

Thanks, Maggie. I told you that in confidence.

Now I gotta learn French...

kablunk197 karma

I really love how all the actors do amazing impressions. I'm imagining an episode where the characters' bodies get jumbled up. Please make this happen!

maggiebandur491 karma


The-Dudemeister185 karma

Were y'all able to write Chevy Chases character out of the show? I know Joel McHale said that he made it through all the eps of the season, but is he going to just be randomly absent from the next years season or replaced or did y'all kill him off or have him depart some how?

MeganGanz445 karma

There are a couple episodes where we had to cover his untimely absence, but his departure is dealt with in the finale. It might be a bit quick and possibly unfulfilling, but I had exactly one day to come up with something to cover it (mid-filming).

jules5636178 karma

Hey guys! I’m such a big fan of all of your work on the show! I was just wondering who your favorite cast member/character is to write for and why?

MrGeneHong894 karma

I like writing for Magnitude. I'm really good at writing the first "pop" but can't seem to get a handle on the second one. Ganz usually helps me.

Simmons2pntO162 karma

How did you all end up becoming writers for Community? Is it an executive decision? Or do the other writers in the room bring in people they think will mesh well with the other writers?

Also, how/what is it like to work in the Writers Room for Community?

TimSaccardo354 karma

This one is good for me because I have a different story than the other Community writers on this AMA. I was hired as a writers assistant in season 2. The main job of that position is taking/organizing writers room notes and formatting/publishing scripts and revisions. It's a rough job but an amazing opportunity to learn from the best and become intimately familiar with a show. You're also part of the staff in a way and get to contribute to scripts when the situation calls for it. After a while, I was given a script of my own to write and eventually was promoted to the writing staff. So, in a way, my writers assistant job ended up being like an extended interview/trial where the writers and producers got to see that I was good at writing the show and also wasn't a dick that would be terrible to be in a room with all day (and sometimes all night. This is Community, after all.)

Simmons2pntO76 karma

Thank you so much for that quick response! Having just moved to LA, every single person I've talked to has said that the "Writer's Assistant" job is essentially a fabled myth, and to actually get one is like finding a Unicorn. How did you come across that position?

MrGeneHong388 karma

Real talk: Tim gives a great HJ.

AstronautChad144 karma

Because the season is only 13 episodes, was it different/difficult to give an overall story arc to the season?

abobrow264 karma

Yes. We didn't think it would be hard. We didn't think our goals for the season were that sweeping or ambitious. We wanted to explore Troy and Britta together, and we wanted to do this thing with Chang involving his "Changnesia" and eventual rehabilitation. But even those two simple things, the end of the season snuck up on us. We found ourselves scrambling to tell those stories and we had to cram some stuff in, probably poorly, towards the end.

deflective138 karma

traditionally, actors have done the press to promote a show. in recent years, writers have been stepping up to do their part (ama, convention panels, etc), especially for shows with a strong cult following.

are you happy in this role or did everybody in the writers room hide behind typewriters when this ama was brought up?

abobrow341 karma

I'm loving this shit. I'm a total whore for this. I absolutely love it.

damacu93 karma

Have you guys ever seen Birdemic? It's really good.

MeganGanz138 karma

I've seen it! It's soooo good-bad.

theisstomeetyou74 karma

Where did Professor Kane's line about Legos come from? It's such a random funny moment, I was always wondered who thought of it.

abobrow88 karma

That's a really good question. I'm tempted to say Maggie Bandur? But not completely sure.

jlm08e67 karma

Have you guys been keeping up with Harmontown? Ever been to a Harmontown meeting?

abobrow152 karma

I listen regularly. Hearing Dan, drunk, spewing his brilliant anger, it's basically a snapshot of what the writers room was like during Season 3. Except it would go on for hours and hours, no end in sight. All day, all night. And he would pass out a lot.

MeganGanz210 karma

A lot a lot.

Sleepy Harmon

MarkRose66 karma

Who would win in a parking lot brawl between the main cast and the writers?

maggiebandur166 karma

We have a writer, Hunter Covington, who has an inch on Joel McHale. I think we have a shot.

stuffandotherstuff59 karma

At what point did you decide that Troy and Abed become Troy & Abed? I remember early in the first season Troy started to be friendly with Abed, but was there a time when you said "They need to be besties and always be together"?

MeganGanz119 karma

Dan said that he originally intended Troy and Pierce to be a kind of Beavis and Butthead. But then the chemistry of Troy & Abed was so undeniable... so he ended up playing to that. And the rest is history.

this_guy1352 karma

I always hear that your set designers are some of the best in the business and that everything they make is incredibly detailed (pamphlets being actually filled, detailed posters etc). I'm always amazed by the little details that can be found in every episode.

So my question is: What is the one thing that impressed you guys the most from your set designers/art team?

maggiebandur110 karma

The Inspector Spacetime Convention was insane. It really looked like it was in a convention center. We've seen bad Comic Cons before. And the detail was amazing. The art department came up with props, characters, images that were all perfect and true to the show within a show. They are truly, truly, truly the best in the business.

tanakattack46 karma

What notable random talents, other than acting (and rapping, for Donald), do any or each of the main cast members have?

Is there any character that is easier or harder to write for than the others?

MrGeneHong199 karma

Danny is a really good kisser.