I had the opportunity last week to visit the set of The To-Do List (formerly titled The Hand Job), the upcoming comedy from writer/director Maggie Carey. The film boasts an impressive cast that includes Aubrey Plaza, Alia Shawkiat, Donald Glover, Rachel Bilson, Bill Hader, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg, and Adam Pally, amongst many other comedy heavyweights. On set, Donald Glover took some time to look back at Community’s second season and to discuss his future projects.
Reflecting on Community, Season 2:
It’s weird. I used to say it was like having a baby ‘cause … when it’s happening, you’re like, ‘This is the worst! This is so hard!’ Because there was just a lot of stuff that happened last year. We just didn’t sleep… Those episodes are such mini-movies. He [Dan Harmon] writes them like mini-movies…You’re sleep-deprived and you’re trying to make it perfect and make it really good because you know, everybody’s putting 110% in.
Looking forward at Community’s upcoming third season:
I’m looking forward to this year, but also not. I know it’s going to be harder because we always push ourselves, and last year was definitely a push. I was talking to Dan and he’s like, ‘I don’t even know how to top myself.’ And that’s what he said last year! I remember him saying that last year, ‘I don’t know what we’re gonna do this year.’ And this year, he’s like, ‘I don’t know what we’re gonna do this year.’ That’s why I like working for him. He’s kind of like a creative genius. He’s like a weirdo, I’ll follow that guy into the desert, you know?
On the possibility of another paintball episode:
[Dan Harmon] is the kind of person who would know that everyone’s expecting another paintball [episode] and do it, but also it’d be like a ‘fuck you.’… He probably will do it again, but I don’t know how, nerd-wise, you top Star Wars. That’s such a pinnacle.
On future projects with his comedy group, Derrick:
It would have to be definitely something that would be scheduled. It’s really weird for me to say, kind of sad. I guess the only thing that’s kind of like that now is he [Dan Eckman]’s gonna be definitely doing one of my music videos… But Derrick stuff and writing… movies and stuff like that, it really has to be like so far in advance now. If we’re gonna do a movie, it would have to be like—we’d have to schedule it almost like a year and a half now ‘cause everybody’s so [busy]… It’s great! That’s what we wanted… but I don’t see my friends anymore. I haven’t seen Dan in forever. We went and played “You Don’t Know Jack”… a couple months ago and we got to sit down and drink beers and laugh and talk and shit. There was no business talk, and usually, those turn into business talks about, like, ‘Oh, that’d make a funny bit. We should shoot that!’… And now it’s like, ‘Oh man, I’ve gotta go. I’ve got this thing I have to shoot” or ‘I’ve got this thing in the morning.’
When asked if he gets the “Troy and Abed in the Morning” coffee mugs that are sold at the NBC store for free:
I haven’t got one of those things. I didn’t even think about it, but I haven’t. I think I could walk into an NBC store and be like [grins and pantomimes holding a mug up to an NBC Store employee] and just walk out. I don’t think anybody would tell… I don’t think Kanye West walks into a store and just like picks up his album and someone would be like, ‘Excuse me, sir! Did you pay for that?’… ‘Cause ‘Troy and Abed’ is the Kanye West of sitcoms. Everybody’s been saying that.
Bradford Evans is a writer living in Los Angeles.