When Community was shut out of this year’s Emmy nominations, fans were left to wonder how such a groundbreaking, intelligent series could be completely ignored by the voters. At a time when the critically-acclaimed but low-rated show is still struggling to find a larger audience, an acknowledgment could have gone a long way toward securing its uncertain future. Instead, a series with arguably the best comedy writing on television and an ensemble cast that’s second to none was met with silence. This lack of even a single nom seemed like a slap in the face not only to the cast and crew, but to anyone who prefers their shows without a laugh track.
But when I spoke to Dan Harmon and the cast at Comic-Con, the snub didn’t seem to matter. In fact, Harmon claimed some cast members were perversely pleased by the lack of recognition, including comedy legend Chevy Chase.
“It was just a big ‘I told you so,’ Harmon said. “(Chase) called me and said I told you so. He liked it that we didn’t get a nomination.”
“Frankly it didn’t bother me,” Chase added. “I have a lot of Emmys.”
For cast member Yvette Nicole Brown, the lack of a nomination didn’t come across as a snub, but rather a testament to the quality of Community’s competition.
“There’s a lot of shows on the air that are funny,” Brown said. “It’s almost, like…who would you take off the list. It becomes snarky, then.”
“I can take two off,” joked costar Joel McHale, before adding he felt it was the writing team that deserved the most recognition.
“I don’t want to sound more arrogant than normal, but the writing nomination, I thought that would have been great. But we’re not doing this for awards, or anything. I’m thrilled we’re coming back for a third season.”
That sentiment was echoed by producer Anthony Russo, who along with his brother Joe, worked on the highly revered sitcom, Arrested Development.
“The good news is we’re on the air for another season, we’re all able to keep doing what we’re doing, and we’re having great fun and we’ll see what happens this season.”
According to Dan Harmon, viewers can expect a darker tone from season three, which will include that addition of The Wire’s Michael K. Williams. Not many sitcoms would cast an actor best known for playing a shotgun wielding homosexual who makes a living robbing drug dealers. But according to actor Ken Jeong, the chance to work in such a creative, unpredictable environment is its own reward.
“When you’re part of what I honestly consider to be the funniest sitcom right now on television, whether we have nominations or not, we go hom knowing we do good work.”
Added costar Danny Pudi, “As long as we get to laugh at the end of the day and be challenged with crazy, funny, and smart material, I don’t know if we could ask for anything else.”