June 02, 2013 6:01pm PT by Chris Willman
Dan Harmon Talks 'Community' Return, Teases New Projects
Somebody has a lot of catching up to do on Community. And that someone is Dan Harmon, who is formalizing his deal to return for the fifth season of the series he created. On Saturday night, he admitted he hasn’t been paying any attention to the NBC comedy’s creative direction since his unceremonious exit a year ago.
“I have not seen the fourth season yet,” Harmon told an audience at L.A.’s Silent Movie Theatre, where he was co-hosting an event. “I swear to God.”
Perhaps the most intriguing news: “Sony said they’re very interested in recording me watching it as a commentary track” for the season four DVD set, he said. His co-host for the evening, Rob Schrab, asked if the DVD commentary could also include a visual in the corner of the screen with Harmon’s facial expressions as he watches the season he was notably aced out of.
“I think I can do anything,” Harmon responded. “It would move season four DVDs, for sure. But I’ll be checking it out soon, and then I’ll figure out what we’re doing for season five.”
The discussion of Community came as Harmon and Schrab introduced an installment of “Found Crap,” a program they periodically host at the Cinefamily’s theater. Many of the attendees hadn’t yet heard news of Harmon’s reinstatement, which was officially confirmed earlier that day. Schrab toyed with the crowd by talking about some big news in the world of TV, only to start rambling about Matt Smith’s exit from Doctor Who.
Harmon finally got his fans wildly cheering by saying that he was “going back to run Community -- along with, as my co-showrunner, the hands-down best writer of all the seasons, Chris McKenna.”
Additional staffing has yet to take place -- as Harmon acerbically confirmed via a public solicitation.
“If any of you are a midlevel writer who doesn’t work for Parks and Rec, let me know that you exist and I would love to hire you,” Harmon declared. “Because this city has been picked clean by every show already, and right now we have to put a staff together. So see me after the show. And it pays -- I don’t know -- 25 grand a week or something like that,” he joked.
Harmon had apparently been doing some celebrating. “What’s up with you?” asked Schrab (creator of The Sarah Silverman Show) of his slouchy co-host. “You look different; you look tired. Do you even want to be here?” he kidded.
“I’m sorry. I’m the ninja of alcoholism,” retorted Harmon, alluding to the main feature at the Cinefamily’s camp-fest program, a revival of 1984’s Ninja III: The Domination. “It kind of gave me a karate chop this weekend that I’m still recovering from. The domination of a hangover.”
Schrab asked Harmon if he wanted to also talk about Ricky and Morty, an Adult Swim animated series he’s been working on, but Harmon suggested it was too far off to discuss. But he did have a series of webisodes he wanted to mention that he’ll apparently be doing on the side soon.
“I sold the idea of my sobriety to ABC Family,” Harmon joked. “No, I sold the idea of … a group of us playing Dungeons & Dragons, and then we’re going to stop-motion-animate the action and illustrate it. Kind of like a Ricky Gervais HBO show formula. And you’ll hear us talking and playing D&D, and you’ll see it animated. We’re talking to Cinefamily about doing a set of shows on a fantasy theme. So there’ll be a movie, like Dragon’s Boner or some horrible fantasy movie. We’ll play D&D and record you guys laughing at it and then watch some movie that has a midget in it or something.” Then he corrected himself. “A ‘little person.’ I don’t understand why that’s the better term -- I don’t get it -- but I’ll participate.”
Obviously, Harmon’s new Community contract didn’t come laden with any political correctness clauses.