Joel McHale: Community's Man of Action

NBC's Community has already taken on mafia dramas, '80s teen comedies, and raunchy college flicks through spoofs and homages, but tonight's episode, "Modern Warfare," takes the show to a whole new level. We got star Joel McHale, who plays disbarred-lawyer-turned-community-college-student Jeff Winger, on the phone to discuss tonight's action-packed episode, the upcoming finale, and, of course, Ryan Seacrest. Tonight's episode, "Modern Warfare," looks A-MA-ZING.

Joel McHale: It was the most ambitious television I've ever made in my life. We took eight days to shoot a 23-minute show. We basically shot an action movie. Justin Lin, who directed Fast & the Furious and who is now directing the new Highlander, directed it, and there are explosions and jumps and stunts and leaps. It all revolves around a paintball war on campus, and it was the most fun I've ever had shooting anything. I got to live my boyhood dream of being a Bruce Willis Die Hard character. The episode moves along so fast and it's so action-packed, that if you're really tired, it will wake you up.

Wow, I thought the mafia movie spoof you did two weeks ago went fast.

This week makes the food fight from last week's episode look slow. Every scene is an action scene, it's great.

I understand we'll return to the whole Jeff-and-Britta, Jetta/Breff thing tonight as well.

Ohhhhhh yeah.

Where you would like to see them end up?

Well, I know what Jeff wants. He will stop at nothing to get that. He likes her a lot. I will say some questions will definitely be answered, [Joel goes into movie-trailer-guy voiceover mode] only to make moooore questions. Definitely some stuff happens. Because when you're in the middle of a paintball war, anything can happen.

We're a couple weeks away from the finale. Let's hear some scoop!

Dan Harmon, our mad genius creator, has pulled out all the stops. John Michael Higgins is back, John Oliver is back, there will be men dressed in full dalmatian costumes—I'm not joking—and John Oliver does some drunk rapping... there will be fisticuffs. It's kind of crazy. A lot of cliffhanger questions will be raised for next season.

Congratulations on the renewal, by the way; it's well deserved. But let's say Community goes onto Season 7 or whatever, how are we going to keep Jeff in college?

That's a good question. I don't know, because I'm not writing them. Dan Harmon, who kind of wanders our set like a homeless person—I'm not kidding, he looks like one because he wears the same clothes and he doesn't shave—I know he has a plan. He's got the vision, and I don't question it, because he's Dan, he's the mad genius. I trust him implicitly on the scripts. Some of the ideas he's come up with, from the chicken fingers to the food fight, all those things have come out of his brain. I trust him.

So when Lost ends later this month, that will be TV's new burning question.

Yes. Jeff will wind up on the island.

Lisa Rinna recently played a cougar on the show; are there any other targets from The Soup that you'd like to see guest star?

Well if Ryan [Seacrest] will come on, we will provide him with the proper lifts to wear. It would be great if he could be a professor, or a T.A. Who else would I like to have on? Jeez, I haven't even thought of that. Maybe Trump. He'd be good to have on. He could do a barbershop class, show us how he gets his hair like that. Maybe Flavor Flav, if he's available... I'm sure he is.

Thanks for talking to us, Joel. We love the show.

Thanks for watching. See ya, man!

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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