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What’s up for Season 4 and our favorite Greendale student

By MSN TV Oct 17, 2012 10:19AM

'Community'/NBC

By Michelle Strub

MSN TV

 

The Season 4 premiere of “Community” has been put on hold for the time being, but we just couldn’t wait any longer to get in our Abed-fix. We recently talked with Danny Pudi, who plays the Greendale student with a passion for film studies and an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, about the cult hit and where the gang is going next.

 

Bing: Danny Pudi | ‘Community’

 

Danny – who is every bit as fun to talk with as you might expect – hinted at what graduation looks like for the Greendale study group and answered the question that has been on every “Community” fan’s mind since Season 1: Will there ever be a Troy and Abed spin-off series?

 

Is Abed your favorite Greendale student? Tell us on MSN TV Facebook and Twitter.

 

MSN TV: Hi, Danny. Thanks so much for talking with us. Let’s jump into it! What can we expect to see on “Community” this season? What’s going to happen with graduation? And random question, will we ever get to see Beverly D’Angelo guest star, reuniting her with Chevy Chase?

 

Danny Pudi: Oh, wow, I actually would love to see that. [Laughs] That’s a great suggestion. I would say, "antics" with a lowercase a, "antics" with an uppercase a and "antics" with the entire word caps locked.

 

All right!

 

Actually, I don’t know. It’s Season 4, so I kind of think right away that we’re addressing that it is senior year at Greendale. In terms of the arc of the show, it’s nice to get to a Season 4 and I think we were all hopeful. And after this year [see offscreen drama: Chevy Chase feuds with producers, Dan Harmon gets fired], I think that we’re just all thankful to see what it’s like for these students who have been at Greendale for four years. So that is something that we address right away and, um, we haven’t seen Beverly D’Angelo yet, but I will definitely let you know when she’s around! We have some other great guest stars: Malcolm McDowell, Matt Lucas, Tricia Helfer.

 

We do an episode where we get to go to an Inspector Spacetime convention, which I think was such a treat. In some ways it’s a little gift to all of our fans for supporting us and Inspector Spacetime and bringing that to life. For all the fans of “Doctor Who” out there, I think they’ll get a kick out of this one.

 

And, you know, we meet Jeff Winger’s dad early on in Season 4. I think the great thing about our show is that through each season, there have been multiple episodes where if you just describe it, it sounds painful and confusing and emotionally heartbreaking – like in Season 1 when Abed’s dad comes to school and he makes a video explaining that his parents don’t understand him and you want to cry – but somehow it’s funny.

 

“Community” does a really good job with that: making commonly difficult situations funny and lighthearted.

 

Yeah, and I think we need both. I think that’s what our show needs. In order to have the funny we really need to have the grounded, heartfelt moments into each of these characters that shows what they’re going through and what they’ve been going through. And I think that’s what makes these characters more relatable, too.

 

Absolutely. Do you think you’ll be doing anymore “themed” episodes this season (i.e. the 8-bit video game episode a la Season 3)?

 

Not so much. Our Halloween episode does have sort of a nice traditional the-Greendale-gang-goes-on-a-mission feel to it. It’s very true to our “Community” Halloween episodes, which I really like. There’s definitely something that happens in terms of the study group, and we all have to get together to figure it out. So, uh, I’m excited about that, you know. In terms of other themes, we’ve talked about the “Hunger Games” a little bit in our first episode. So that’s one thing that we’re touching on.

 

That’ll be interesting! Can’t wait to see how that plays out.

 

Yeah! There are some pictures on the Internet of Dean Pelton preparing for it, so if you want to be inspired, take a look at that.

 

Yikes, we will for sure! OK, we have to ask: Is there any chance of a Troy and Abed spin-off for TV?

 

[Laughs] I don’t know. I highly doubt it. I tell people that it would be the most obnoxious show ever. It’d be much like an episode of “Double Dare” where everyone is just doused in weird stuff. Most of Troy and Abed’s stuff is just weird and strange. I mean, they literally walk around campus with two suitcases full of tacos for no reason. So, uh, it would be a show where I don’t know if anyone would really get it. I think I’d highly enjoy it but no one would get it. I think if “Community” is barely getting ratings, then a Troy and Abed spin-off would probably get maybe six to seven people watching.

 

You might be surprised. There is definitely a cult following. We’d watch!

 

Thank you! Thank you! Now I know you and I know my mom would watch. I would probably watch. [Laughs] But, no, that’s the one cool thing about the show. It does have this devout fan base that’s kept us going strong.

 

So what’s going to happen post-graduation and maybe post-“Community”? We know you’re a relatively new dad to twins, so that’s keeping you busy, and we also see that you’re a spokesman for Speedstick’s “Handle It” campaign? Can you tell us more?

 

I’ll start with Speedstick. We’re working on this campaign right now, which has been really fun. A couple of months ago they came to me, and we have been reaching out and asking guys to tweet their funny, uncomfortable situations that they’ve been in where they’ve been able to conquer them and have managed to keep their cool under pressure. It can be anything, and it was under hash tag #handleit. It’s been really fun to see the different stories they’ve been in. One guy told us about being on a beach and playing Frisbee and hitting a lady in the head and pointing to a child next to him and blaming it on the child. I thought that was great. I’d love to witness that. Do you rat on the guy? Do you do that? It also depends on the child. Will the child be young enough to remember it? So it’s like those kinds of moments, which I love.

 

So we picked one winner, and the video is now live. We made his story into a video and I narrated it and did a voice-over. And in that story, a gentleman shrunk his girlfriend’s laundry and convinced her that it now looks even better on her. So kudos to him for being crafty and convincing with his words. So, yeah, that’s on www.youtube.com/speedstick. That’s the one project.

 

And, yeah, had babies about eight months ago. Um, they are incredible. Highly entertaining. I am immediately -- I have more empathy for all parents of the world. Both my wife and I have tennis elbow, and we don’t play tennis. [Laughs] It’s been pretty incredible.

 

So I have that going on, and on top of that a couple of buddies and I just put together a little Web series called Book Club for the YOMYOMF YouTube channel. That was fun! It was just sort of a side project that I had fun working on. It’s called the Book Club and it’s on YouTube every Wednesday.

 

We’ll have to check that out!

 

Yeah!

 

Well, any last words for your fans out there?

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Again, lowercase t, uppercase t, caps lock across the board for giving me a job and letting me do what I love every day. I appreciate it and love you!

 

Are Sarah and Hank getting back together?

By MSN TV Partner Apr 11, 2014 10:51AM
In this sneak peek of the "Parenthood" season finale, Hank (Ray Romano) impresses Amber (Mae Whitman) and Sarah (Lauren Graham) with his Hank-like concern as they deal with Ryan's hospitalization.

Watch it first on MSN TV:

This clip, along with the promo clip NBC showed for next week's episode, hints at a reunion for Sarah and Hank. Are you rooting for the couple? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The season finale of "Parenthood" airs Thursday April 17 at 10PM ET/PT on NBC.
 

Get a glimpse of Marsden’s character in the animated show starring Jack McBrayer

By MSN TV Partner Mar 25, 2014 10:04AM

In a new episode premiering March 31, James Marsden will guest start on Disney XD’s “Wander Over Yonder”.


Marsden reunites with "30 Rock" co-star Jack McBrayer in this episode where the hero Sir Brad Starlight (Marsden) enlists Wander (McBrayer) as his goofy sidekick and Sylvia as his noble steed on his quest to save Princess Demurra from the evil Dragon King, King Draykor.


See this pic first on MSN TV: Wander is ecstatic to fulfill his fairytale dream of rescuing a princess, but Sir Brad Starlight is not interested in sharing the spotlight and reminds Wander at every turn that there's only room for one hero.


“Wander Over Yonder” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD

 

Kim Kardashian, Wendy Williams hear what regular folk really think about them

By MSN TV Partner Mar 18, 2014 9:18AM
In the the new series from Oxygen, "Celebrities Undercover" will feature two celebrities concealing their true identity with the use of prosthetic make-up to find out what unsuspecting fans and friends really think of them without the distraction of their famous personas.

The season premiere will feature Kim Kardashian, and executive producer Wendy Williams will get a taste of her own medicine as well. In this clip watch Kim K. undergo an impressive make-up overhaul in prep for undercover work: going to a group job interview as a Kardashian fan hoping to become her own new assistant. 

Watch the video:

Other stars features this season include T-Pain, Fantasia, Joey Fatone, Lil’ Kim, Chili, Anthony Anderson, Jaleel White, Adrienne Bailon, Ice-T and Coco.

"Celebrities Undercover" premieres March 18 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.

 

Host Justin Willman and Disney stars dish on the new show and offer up advice

By MSN TV Partner Mar 14, 2014 11:15AM

(Disney's Win, Lose or Draw /Adam Taylor, Disney Channel)By Minh Nguyen


It didn’t take long for memories of the original “Win, Lose or Draw” game show to come flooding back as soon as we stepped foot on the set of Disney’s resurrected show of the same name.  Gone was the ‘80s living room set, replaced with bright vibrant colors, fun props and technology everywhere. Host Justin Willman (“Cupcake Wars”) commanded the stage as Disney stars Dove Cameron and Joey Bragg from “Liv and Maddie” battled it out against each other with their teammates.


The premise is pretty simple: two teams of three players (with the Disney stars on each side) compete in drawing contests to win prizes. Thrown into the mix are special challenges (like Shake, Rattle and Draw; Sit and Spin; The Wand) that take advantage of oversized props and fun gadgets. This season will also feature stars from Disney shows "Kickin' It," "Lab Rats," "I Didn't Do It,"  "Austin & Ally," "Jessie," "Dog With a Blog" and "Mighty Med" as well as stars from "Teen Beach Movie."


Over lunch, we were able to speak to Willman, Cameron and Bragg.


For people that aren’t familiar with the original game, how are you describing this to them?

Willman: The simple idea is just that it’s drawing Charades. You get your teammates to guess what you’re drawing. We have a team of writers who write these clues, and the words that they have to draw are so clever.


It's super high-tech, so the old original version was more markers on pads of paper, which was great at the time but here they have these massive touch screens and tons of software they designed just for the games that’s completely interactive.


Contestants have to do a bunch of crazy challenges in round two. Like drawing with a helmet on, where they can’t see anything or drawing with a unicorn stylus and that makes it way tougher but also much more entertaining to watch.


How are you enjoying being a part of the show?

Willman: As a live performer, I’m used to having that instant gratification of a live audience and this feels a lot like that. We’ve got 150 screaming kids, who are having the time of their lives just being there. It’s great because the jokes get instant payback. The excitement, I feed off of it. Even if it’s first thing in the morning, I don’t even need to have my coffee. As soon as that crowd starts to roar, I’m ready to go. It’s a blast.


Bragg: I like the rapid round. I can’t remember what it’s called. Where there’s one person drawing, and two people guessing, then we just switch.


Cameron:  I think the best part for me has actually been, (I know this sounds like such a canned answer), but has been getting to meet these kids. There was this great moment where, it was at the end of the first round when they all kind of flooded in and they hugged us. And some of them were crying, and I wanted to cry. We didn’t realize the gravity of how huge this really is, and “Win, Lose, or Draw” has been great that way. We’ve gotten to interact with a lot of kids.


Justin, what’s the best advice you ever received?

Willman: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”


Dove and Joey, you guys seem really polished. What kind of advice do you have for kids that get stage fright?

Bragg: Well, I was doing stand-up comedy, and I don’t mean to be that guy, but it’s one of the hardest things to go up there and say stuff that you’ve written. You don’t have music backing you. I wanted to do something that I’m going to remember. And I think a lot of that is “I’m going to embarrass myself,” but you’re never going to see those people that are watching you ever again. Just do it!


Cameron: I always had a fear of cameras because I grew up on stage. Most things in life are one of those things where once you try it, you realize how OK it is. I just don’t take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyways. So, yeah. Just have fun. Do what you please.


“Disney’s Win, Lose or Draw” airs Mondays through Thursdays at 5 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel.

 

She still lives with her parents!

By MSN TV Partner Mar 13, 2014 10:55AM
Later this month, "Extra" host Maria Menounos will premiere her new reality show. "Chasing Maria Menounos" will give fans a peek into her life, including living with her longtime boyfriend and her immigrant parents.

In this interview with Oxygen's On-Air Personality Susie Castillo, Menounos reveals more about her upbringing and what to expect on her new series. Watch this first on MSN TV:


"Chasing Maria Menounos" premieres March 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.
 

Princess Aslaug brings surprise and intrigue to this scripted drama

By MSN TV Partner Mar 13, 2014 10:17AM
Season 2 of History's "Vikings" is underway. Princess Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) revealed she was carrying Ragnar's (Travis Fimmel) child, sending rippling effects into his kingdom. In this video extra, Sutherland talks more about her character and how filming went the second time around.


"Vikings" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.
 

"It's not a good day, Mad Max"

By MSN TV Partner Mar 12, 2014 9:56AM

In this "Parenthood" clip, Max (Max Burkholder) wrecks havoc for Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Hank (Ray Romano) when he barges into the studio, interrupting their workflow.


Watch this clip, first on MSN TV:


Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
 

The classic game show has been upgraded with newer technology

By MSN TV Partner Mar 3, 2014 11:36AM

Who remembers the celebrity game show, "Win, Lose or Draw"? Disney Channel has recreated a kids version of it, premiering Monday, March 3. (The show will air Mondays through Thursdays).

 

On "Disney's Win, Lose or Draw" Disney Channel and Disney XD stars team up with kid contestants to compete and win prizes in a battle of drawing skills, creativity and wits. Justin Willman hosts the contemporary version of the popular game show, which also features new technology such as motion-control illustration, interactive multi-touch screen displays and other fun challenges.

 

Watch a clip:


 "Disney’' Win, Lose or Draw" premieres Monday, March 3, at 5 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel.