TWoP: You probably get asked all the time whether you're as big a geek as Abed. Have there been specific films or shows that you're a fan of that you wanted the writers to incorporate into the character?
Pudi: The writers generally do all that stuff for me; they're a fountain of pop culture knowledge. I do mention things on set that I'm sure get incorporated into episodes. Like, I mentioned that Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom are my two favorite movies of all time and that's sort of been folded into the character, but I don't know if that they incorporated because of me or if it was something Abed and I had in common already. Another time I mentioned that I speak Polish and that was incorporated into the role as well. So if I find an opportunity to mention something where it makes sense, I definitely try to do that. But I'm typically more surprised and excited by what the writers bring me, rather than me offering advice.
TWoP: The pop-culture shout-out that got the biggest cheers in my household last season was Abed's extended riff about Farscape in the birthday episode. Please tell whoever wrote that episode that you made a pair of Farscape fans very, very happy.
Pudi: Andy Bobrow wrote that episode but I don't know who came up with the Farscape stuff specifically. I'd seen some episodes of Farscape, but I'm not as familiar with it as Abed is, obviously. I do remember that after that episode, I got a great fan response. So many people were like, "Seriously man, if you ever need somebody to talk Farscape with, I'm your guy." I got phone numbers and e-mails from girls and guys. I realized this is a problem in America right now: people want to talk about Farscape and they have no one to talk about it with! [Laughs] It's another example of how fun it is to play a character who gives a voice to people that haven't heard that voice. They haven't been able to hear enough about Farscape or characters who are attached to it.
TWoP: Outside of Community, you've got a guest spot on Chuck coming up later this season.
Pudi: Yeah, I'm super excited about it. I've become pretty good friends with Zach and Josh over the last few years at Comic Con and NBC events and so when I heard about this, I jumped at the opportunity. I'll be shooting it in a couple weeks so I don't know too much about the episode yet, but my character is sort of tied to Lester. It'll be like hanging out with buddies for a day. There are spies, involved, it's Chuck, it's Geek Squad... all these things make sense to me. And it's their final season too, so I'm just thankful to be part of that.