Yesterday, after Comic-Con’s Community panel — during which he and Donald Glover serenaded fans with “La Biblioteca” and a glorious version of “Somewhere Out There” — Danny Pudi spoke with Vulture about his first-ever Con experience, the show’s upcoming second season, and how excited he is to enroll in Betty White’s anthropology class.
Is this your first Comic-Con?
First Comic-Con. Super excited. I yelled, “Comic-Con!” to my driver like three times. He wasn’t even fazed by it. He’s like, “Yep. Get used to it.” There’s planes flying with streamers and advertisements all over the buildings. A lot of people dressed in outfits with wings. That seems to be a theme this year. I like wings. I’ve always wanted to fly. I read a comic book on the way here to get into the mindset. Cartoon women are hot!
What’s the weirdest costume you’ve seen so far?
I saw a guy who had a stormtrooper bottom, but then his top half was like regular clothes. He was a hipster stormtrooper.
Are you going to explore the floor or the panels?
Yes! There’s a lot of stuff I want to do, a couple of things I’m really excited about. I have a picture of me from 1983 in a Spider-Man T-shirt, so I’m trying to find that t-shirt again. And matching underwear. We’ll see if it fits.
Speaking of Spider-Man, Donald Glover campaigned to play Peter Parker in the upcoming reboot. Which superhero would you like to play?
Batman was my favorite, and I actually got to play Batman on Community, which was a treat. I’ve always wanted to be The Flash when I was a little kid because I like to run and stuff and especially from confrontation, usually women. Any time there’s a situation where there’s a lot of stress involved or anxiety, I tend to run. It’s my kind of thing. I enjoy jogging. I actually went for a jog yesterday as soon as I got here to explore the area.
Were you one of those people jogging right by the convention center?
Yes! I didn’t know where to go! I checked into the hotel and right away I was like, “I gotta go for a run. First thing’s first.” The best part of when I first got here was that as soon as I got here, wait a minute… [pulls out a hotel keycard]. They were like, “Thanks for staying for us. Here’s the key to your room, Mr. Pudi.” [Doing Batman voice] Batman key. My key is a Batman key! I was like, “This is the greatest thing ever.” Obviously, marketing is very important here.
If Abed and Troy came to Comic-Con, what would they dress up as?
There’s obviously Batman and Robin, which is stuff we’ve already done. You know what would actually be really cool? The Silver Surfer. That’d be really fun.
Which one of you would be the Silver Surfer?
I could be the board.
You would have to carry Donald the whole weekend though.
Oh, I know. It would be a tough weekend. A lot of people here are sacrificing, though. This is what I saw yesterday actually. I saw three Ghostbusters — all girls! I’m pretty sure it was all girls. I drove by really quickly. They were carrying all the equipment. Everyone’s going full-out here. People were sleeping outside.
I saw someone blow up an air mattress outside last night.
Last time I slept outside, I was 11 years old. I was camping in Eagle Rock, Wisconsin with the Cub Scouts, and I threw up in my sleeping bag. I didn’t tell anybody because I was too embarrassed, so I went back to sleep. Terrible, isn’t it?
What can we expect from the second season of Community?
I think we ended it in a really good place. Obviously, we’re going to have to resolve a couple of things with some of the love triangles. Hopefully, we’re able to address that pretty quickly. We have Betty White for our season premiere, which is amazing. She’s obviously made a huge resurgence of late. She’s a teacher of anthropology. Who better to learn from about humanity than the great Betty White? I’m excited because I get to sit in class and study her, and Abed is a student of human behavior. Betty White’s going to have a few things to teach us.
Has anyone here asked you to do Abed’s vampire impression yet?
A person came up to me and was like, “Hey, man! I tried using your vampire on a woman and picking up girls.” I was like, “Aw, don’t do that. That won’t work.”It was super fun playing that vampire/reptile, but I don’t know if I’d encourage it to guys trying to pick up on girls. They might freak out a little bit.
You seem to have a real skill for impressions. Was that always been a talent of yours?
I’ve actually never been super comfortable doing impressions. I get nervous when I get the scripts because they’ll be like, “Abed in Don Draper voice… Abed imitates Jeff.” And I’m like, “Crap. How many days do I have to work on this?” I have a tape recorder and I’ll Netflix stuff like Mad Men DVDs. I’ll just be watching them in a corner somewhere on set, tape recording myself, going back and forth before scenes and in between scenes. For the Batman thing, it took a couple of days before it landed. I would just literally be walking around going, “I’m Batman. Arrgh. I’m Batman. Heeey.” Because of that, people to tend to look at you differently. “What’s that guy doing? Are those vocal exercises?” Thankfully, I live in L.A. where you can get away with stuff.