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<i>Community</i> Q&A: Joel McHale and John Goodman on Season 3, Jeff’s Dad and Hating Meta-Humor

The fact that Community has gotten a third season at all is baffling. Yeah, it's an amazing series, a multi-Tubey winner and one of our favorite comedies in recent history, but the ratings have been so miniscule, we've been shocked for two years running that TPTB continue to let it bloom. More shocked then us is the Joel McHale himself, who -- along with new cast member John Goodman, who plays Vice Dean Laybourne, dean of the highly regarded Air Conditioning Repair Annex at Greendale -- took a media call to tell us about the hopes vs. realities of life at Greendale Community. Below are the highlights.

On the musical number that kicks off Season 3:
Joel McHale: It is an over the top, very large musical number with crane shots and streamers and explosions, and the entire school is involved. I don't want to say the reason for it, but let's just say that I did pull a couple hamstrings and I was hoarse afterwards, but believe it's going to be the first thing you'll see in the premiere episode, and if that doesn't grab your attention then we're in big trouble.

On the axe he wields in the Season 3 premiere, and his dream props:
JM: My dream prop would probably be like a Porsche 911 Turbo S that I could just have, or maybe a Audi R8 V10. That would be a great prop. But so far, boy, the axe was really fun. I will say there is poisonous gas, there are monkeys, there are night sticks, and there will be about 12,000 or 13,000 boxes of matches.

On possible The Big Lebowski, Barton Fink, or similar meta John Goodman jokes:
John Goodman: Good, Jesus, I hope not. I can live without meta-fiction on television. They might, it's none of my goddamned business. I just have to pretend it's not there.

On Jeff's journey this season:
JM: I know that my father will become present in the series. Jeff has a lot of father issues, and so that will be dealt with. And according to Dan [Harmon, series creator] my character's kind of being put through hell, so I'm really looking forward to taking the journey.
JG: Hell is funny.

On which actor will be playing Jeff's dad:
JM: I don't know anything about that and who they're trying to get. I mean, I know that they would like to get him, that'd be great, but you know I don't know anything more than that. So, I'm just going to go ahead and say that Jack Nicholson will be playing my father. Well, either Jack Nicholson or Joe Namath, I don't know.
JG: Or Phil Parsons.
JM: Yeah, or Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Head of the U.N.

On Jeff and Annie's relationship:
JM: Well, I can tell you that that relationship will develop further on the romantic end of things, much to the chagrin of half the audience, at least who comments on message boards, and it's divided right down the middle. They'll be like, "Oh, so sweet," they're like, "It's disgusting."

On characters transferring to the dark side of the air conditioning repair program:
JG: They're trying to seduce one in particular to the dark side...
JM: ... [Vice Dean Laybourne is like] Darth Vader and Donald Glover's character Troy is like Luke Skywalker.
JG: I am his father.

On TWoP:
JG: Television Without Pity? Is that like Doctors Without Borders?

Want more Community interviews? Check out our one-on-ones with Danny Pudi and Dan Harmon.

What are people saying about your favorite shows and stars right now? Find out with Talk Without Pity, the social media site for real TV fans. See Tweets and Facebook comments in real time and add your own -- all without leaving TWoP. Join the conversation now!

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