Watch Alison Brie Do Impressions of Internet Memes

I can imagine the hearts (and other things) belonging to men across the internet swelling as I watch this video of Paul F. Tompkins directing Community and Mad Men‘s Alison Brie as she recreates popular internet memes. Is there a better, more beloved actress who could possibly do this sort of thing? If Tumblr has told me anything, it’s that the internet loves Alison Brie. And, apparently, Alison Brie loves the internet. 

[via Vulture]

Someone Made Animated GIFs of Outer Space!

Hey gang, I really love your Parks and Rec subtitle GIF photoset on your Tumblrs, and, man, that scene from Community was sooooo funny and all, but until you start GOING INTO FUCKING OUTER SPACE, I think we could all use a break from your guerilla marketing campaign for poorly rated NBC sitcoms. Oh, what’s that? A GIF of Honey Boo Boo drinking juice? Yeah, well, here’s an animated GIF of The Pelican Nebula, so, you know, shut up about your looping silent video of a clip from a reality TV show, OK?

See more of these amazing images by Finnish astrophotographer J-P Metsavainio here. [via B. Michael Payne]

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Linkage: You Will Not See Kim Kardashian Give Birth, Harvey Weinstein Is Not the Antichrist

When the news broke that Kim Kardashian is expecting Kanye West’s baby, I’m sure I’m not the only one who assumed that a birthing special would find its way on E! at some point. That is where we are as a society: it makes perfect sense that we’d have the opportunity to watch a human come out of Kim Kardashian. (Hell, a lot of us have seen a human go into Kim Kardashian.) But, thankfully, the mom-to-be has announced that the birth will be private, and she’s looking forward to not working for a while. Think about that as you click through the internet, desperate to leave your office and not work for a few hours before returning tomorrow morning! [Jezebel]

We also live in a world where Harvey Weinstein can declare that he is not the Antichrist in front of a room full of people and no one bats an eye. [THR]

I’ve shit-talked a lot of famous people on the Internet in my time, but very few of them have contacted me to call me out on it. Note to self: never make fun of Richard Marx on your blog. He has a Google alert and he knows how to use it. [The Morning News]

At a show at Brooklyn’s Bell House, Community creator Dan Harmon recruited Saturday Night Live’s Jason Sudeikis to prank call Chevy Chase in character as Joe Biden. It’s about as funny as it sounds. [Vulture]

The Office’s former workers B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, and Zach Woods will all be making appearances in the final episodes of the sitcom, but Steve Carrell won’t be returning to his old workplace. [Paste]

I’m not sure why this is news, or even why I’m repeating it as if it’s interesting, but: the son of the guy who created Barney was charged with murder. Now, I get it if he allegedly stomped someone to death or ate them. You know, like a dinosaur would do. [TMZ]

Vogue’s upcoming issue features a Hurricane Sandy-themed fashion shoot called “Storm Troupers.” Puns! It has made a lot of people angry. [Gawker]

My Headlines? My Headlines Seem So Smart But I’m Also Scared About My Headlines. [The Awl]

Dear Abby will be giving unsolicited advice in Heaven. [E!]

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Of Course the ‘Community’ Season Premiere Is ‘Hunger Games’-Themed

So Community was supposed to premiere in the fall along with the rest of the NBC comedy lineup, including such gems as Animal Practice and that new show with Matthew Perry. But then the premiere got delayed and the cast made that video about how every day is October 19th that ended up as a bunch of gifsets and then Chevy Chase peaced out. But it seemed for a minute as though Community would never come back, leaving in its wake a bunch of pop culture references and sad Troy/Abed shippers. 

But Community is, in fact, coming back for a fourth season, and soon. And as the season premiere trailer revealed, of course it’s a send-up of another popular pop culture thing. So what do we have? Will they top a video game, a weird Pulp Fiction/My Dinner With André mashup and a Ken Burns Civil War documentary with a Wes Anderson film-esque episode? A ’90s flashback episode with Dean-an and Kel? The episode where we find out what happened to Pierce? Nope—unsurprisingly, Community is kicking off its fourth season with a Hunger Games episode. In "The Hunger Deans," which features Jim Rash’s Dean Pelton sporting an outfit akin to Katniss Everdeen’s "Girl On Fire" dress and being wheeled in by shirtless men dressed as unicorns, a registration system hack at Greendale leads to an all-out battle royale for spots in the coveted "History of Ice Cream" class. Because duh, what else would it possibly be? Although hasn’t Community kind of already done the registration battle royale thing before with the paintball episodes? This seems like oddly familiar territory. 

Community returns on Thursday, February 7th, but in the meantime, watch the preview clip below, and may the deans be ever in your favdean. 

There Are No Television Comedies Other Than ‘Modern Family,’ Apparently

So, the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards were last night, and considering we still have a bad taste in our mouths from our inappropriate drunk uncle Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars, for the most part, they were actually pretty fun to watch. Jimmy Kimmel had some funny bits, Giancarlo Esposito and Aaron Paul hugged it out and made us all verklempt, Lena Dunham ate cake naked and Julia-Louis Dreyfuss and Amy Poehler stole the show with their acceptance speech switcheroo.

In terms of the awards themselves, the recipients were almost painfully predictable, especially in the comedy category. The drama awards were mostly bang-on, as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the most part avoided the soapy pleasure of Downton Abbey and Don Draper’s steely gaze to actually reward what probably are the two best dramas on TV right now, Homeland and Breaking Bad (Aaron Paul’s Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award made our hearts happy). And Louis C.K. took home two awards — one the writing on Louie and one for his standup special at the Beacon Theatre.

But in terms of comedy, once again, the Academy chose to throw Louie its one bone—the equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences giving the most envelope-pushing film of the year Best Original Screenplay and then kind of ignoring it the rest of the night—and then choosing to celebrate thoroughly mediocre stuff. In a run similar to the one Frasier made in the mid-‘90s, for the past three Emmy cycles now, Modern Family has dominated the comedy categories to the point where even better stuff from the banal, laugh track-y, Chuck Lorre school of TV comedy was ignored (come on, as eye-roll-worthy as The Big Bang Theory can be sometimes, seeing Mayim Bialik win an Emmy, especially as the show’s saving grace that is Amy Farrah Fowler, åwould have been golden). All four of Modern Family’s big winners—Outstanding Supporting Actress Julie Bowen, Outstanding Supporting Actor Eric Stonestreet (convinced that there is one dude voting in the Academy who is just still totally super shocked that a straight dude can play a preening gay man even though this is 2012, y’all), Director Steven Levitan and the show for Outstanding Comedy Series — are repeat wins, with the show itself and Levitan earning them back-to-back-to-back. This year, the rest of the show’s adult cast members were nominated for acting awards.

I like Modern Family. It’s cute. Ty Burrell and Sofia Vergara are eternally fun to watch. I usually walk away from it not hating myself. My whole family watches it (cross-demographic appeal!). And granted, the Outstanding Comedy Series pool was a little thin this year—the token Lorre (The Big Bang Theory), two former comedy powerhouses that are still very funny but mostly over-the-hill (30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm), and the two other HBO shows, Girls and Veep, which were long shots anyway. But at a time and place where so many awesome things are happening with television comedy, at a time when a fart and smunny show like Parks & Recreation or something that, love it or hate it, can spark an international conversation like Girls or a show that is so funny and so human like Louie or a show that celebrates its dweebiness so joyfully like Community or a great traditional thirtysomethings-in-the-city sitcom like Happy Endings can all exist, it seems a disservice to let more of the same rack up statue after statue. It seems kind of silly to rant—the Emmys will probably never change and TV comedy is full of niches and Modern Family certainly isn’t the worst thing to happen to television ever. But when the whole run of programming is so totally awesome, it would just kind of be nice seeing the celebration of the awesomeness spread around a bit. At least Leslie Knope won her city council election. Better luck next time, Team Dunphy.

So, to make ourselves feel better about everything, here’s Aaron Paul’s acceptance speech again. 

L.A.’s PixelDrip Gallery Hosting ‘Community’ Fan Art Exhibit

Fans of NBC’s comedy Community are frequently noted for expressing their devotion to the show in unorthodox manners, from the #sixseasonsandamovie Twitter campaign to fight its rumored cancellation to the Troy/Abed slash fiction found upon taking a wrong turn on LiveJournal to the actual video game one Reddit user made based on the video game episode "Journey To the Center of Hawkthorne." 

This weekend, the PixelDrip Gallery in Los Angeles will celebrate this convergence of pop culture, comedy and rabid fandom with "Six Seasons and A Movie": an exhibition of a rather diverse range of Community fan art, hosted at Monk Space Gallery. 

As participating Jim "Food One" Mahfood explains in the trailer for the exhibition:

"I grew up watching stuff like The Cosby Show and Diff’rent Strokes where there’s a laugh track. And then you watch Community and it’s this whole other experience with layered jokes and references to do strange and bizarre things. There’s a level of sophistication to it that I think resonates with creative people."

Works in the show range from "Stacked Deck" by Claire Hummel, a series of cartoony playing cards featuring the principal cast to Mason Phillips’ Sergio Leone-nodding poster for A Fistful of Paintballs, to Joe Palumbo’s amazing and terrifying Matroyshka Deans. Events surrounding the exhibition include a Greendale Costume Contest, a Trivia Competition and a Puppy Parade, which hopefully won’t get interrupted by you stealing one of Annie’s pens and everyone deciding to do a bottle episode. 

Meet the artists and more in the "Six Seasons and a Movie" trailer below. 

Of Course the Community Video Game Is Now An Actual Video Game

Ever ambitious with playing with form and animation style, the pop culture-obsessed team behind Community outdid themselves with a trio of season finales, the first of which was "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne," a brief deviation from the plot in which the team entered a video game to win back Pierce Hawthorne’s inheritance. The game featured elements of classic 8-bit games and RPGs, with Pierce’s dead father appearing as a giant Andross-style boss head at the end. It was geek fanservice at its finest. 

So it was really only a matter of time before a fan created a for-realsies version of Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne. And now it exists, so you can finally live out your dreams of being Joel McHale / smashing hippies to your heart’s content / rage-killing your least favorite character / reproducing baby Abeds. Reddit user Derferman has created an open-source version of Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne, available for download on Mac, PC (32-bit and 64-bit) and Linux. Fans are already requesting new playable characters, including "Santa Baby Annie." Try the game here

Watch the intro from that episode, featuring 8-bit versions of the principal cast:

Sony Instructs ‘Community’ Cast How to Respond to Dan Harmon Firing

Last Friday, Community creator Dan Harmon revealed that he was being replaced as showrunner of the struggling yet popular sitcom. In his place will be David Guarascio and Moses Port at the helm, whose TV comedy resumes include Happy Endings (yay!) and Just Shoot Me (oof!). Most of the cast expressed support for Harmon on Twitter, but their tweets were generally tame, probably at the behest of the company that produces the show, Sony Pictures Television.

A memo from the production company leaked online last night, and it’s an interesting look at the internal P.R. practices that actors and creative teams have to follow when they’re attached to multi-million dollar productions. Read the memo in full below:

Team Community:

With last night’s news of David Guarascio and Moses Port as new showrunners/EPs on "Community" running in the press, and since we know that cast members have interviews coming up this week, I wanted to forward some messaging we hope our cast will find helpful as they navigate questions that will undoubtedly come up. I know that David and Moses are reaching out to them all directly but I’ve also heard from some of the actors that they’d like some guidance on the topic.

I saw some of the tweets that went out and we’re glad they all addressed their own sentiments quickly, and we’re hoping that the news will lose some steam over the next day, especially if we’re not perpetuating the topic in any way.

We’re tracking the coverage and conversation and will circle back if we feel the need to reshift our plan or messaging. Please let me know if you have questions.

Why did Dan get let go from the show?

We’re not made aware of why staffing changes take place, but I will always be grateful to Dan for his great work on the show and wish him only the best. We’re also excited that we’ll be back on NBC’s schedule in the fall and are looking forward to working on those episodes.

Were you aware that Dan was going to be let go?

No, that’s not something we’re consulted on. I’m sad to see him go, but I am looking forward to starting our next 13 episodes of "Community."

Did the studio or network consult with you about these changes?

No they didn’t, but we’re looking forward to working with David Guarascio & Moses Port on a new season of "Community."

What are their plans for the new season?

It’s a little early to say at this point, but we’re looking forward the stories our characters will find themselves in come Sept.

Yikes, doesn’t it feel like you just read an awkwardly uncomfortable email from your parents about your online presence? Pro-tip: don’t let your bosses know you’re on Twitter!

Dan Harmon Fights Back After Being Fired From ‘Community’

Yesterday, many were shocked to learn that Community creator Dan Harmon was ousted by Sony Pictures Television as the NBC comedy’s showrunner, to be replaced by Happy Endings writers David Guarascio and Moses Port. Including, apparently, Dan Harmon!

In a no-holds-barred post on his Tumblr early this morning, Harmon–who had been engaged in feuds recently with Community star Chevy Chase and NBC executive Bob Greenblat, among others–detailed how things transpired. Here it is in full (emphasis mine):



A few hours ago, I landed in Los Angeles, turned on my phone, and confirmed what you already know. Sony Pictures Television is replacing me as showrunner on Community, with two seasoned fellows that I’m sure are quite nice – actually, I have it on good authority they’re quite nice, because they once created a show and cast my good friend Jeff Davis on it, so how bad can they be.

Why’d Sony want me gone? I can’t answer that because I’ve been in as much contact with them as you have. They literally haven’t called me since the season four pickup, so their reasons for replacing me are clearly none of my business. Community is their property, I only own ten percent of it, and I kind of don’t want to hear what their complaints are because I’m sure it would hurt my feelings even more now that I’d be listening for free.

I do want to correct a couple points of spin, now that I’m free to do so:

The important one is this quote from Bob Greenblatt in which he says he’s sure I’m going to be involved somehow, something like that. That’s a misquote. I think he meant to say he’s sure cookies are yummy, because he’s never called me once in the entire duration of his employment at NBC. He didn’t call me to say he was starting to work there, he didn’t call me to say I was no longer working there and he definitely didn’t call to ask if I was going to be involved. I’m not saying it’s wrong for him to have bigger fish to fry, I’m just saying, NBC is not a credible source of All News Dan Harmon.

You may have read that I am technically “signed on,” by default, to be an executive consulting something or other – which is a relatively standard protective clause for a creator in my position. Guys like me can’t actually just be shot and left in a ditch by Skynet, we’re still allowed to have a title on the things we create and “help out,” like, I guess sharpening pencils and stuff.

However, if I actually chose to go to the office, I wouldn’t have any power there. Nobody would have to do anything I said, ever. I would be “offering” thoughts on other people’s scripts, not allowed to rewrite them, not allowed to ask anyone else to rewrite them, not allowed to say whether a single joke was funny or go near the edit bay, etc. It’s….not really the way the previous episodes got done. I was what you might call a….hands on producer. Are my….periods giving this enough….pointedness? I’m not saying you can’t make a good version of Community without me, but I am definitely saying that you can’t make my version of it unless I have the option of saying “it has to be like this or I quit” roughly 8 times a day.

The same contract also gives me the same salary and title if I spend all day masturbating and playing Prototype 2. And before you ask yourself what you would do in my situation: buy Prototype 2. It’s fucking great.

Because Prototype 2 is great, and because nobody called me, and then started hiring people to run the show, I had my assistant start packing up my office days ago. I’m sorry. I’m not saying seasons 1, 2 and 3 were my definition of perfect television, I’m just saying that whatever they’re going to do for season 4, they’re aiming to do without my help. So do not believe anyone that tells you on Monday that I quit or diminished my role so I could spend more time with my loved ones, or that I negotiated and we couldn’t come to an agreement, etc. It couldn’t be less true because, just to make this clear, literally nobody called me. Also don’t believe anyone that says I have sex with animals. And if there’s a photo of me doing it with an animal – I’m not saying one exists, I’m just saying, if one surfaces – it’s a fake. Look at the shadow. Why would it be in front of the giraffe if the sun is behind the jeep?
Where was I? Oh yeah. I’m not running Community for season 4. They replaced me. Them’s the facts.

When I was a kid, sometimes I’d run home to Mommy with a bloody nose and say, “Mom, my friends beat me up,” and my Mom would say “well then they’re not worth having as friends, are they?” At the time, I figured she was just trying to put a postive spin on having birthed an unpopular pussy. But this is, after all, the same lady that bought me my first typewriter. Then later, a Commodore 64. And later, a 300 baud modem for it. Through which I met new friends that did like me much, much more.

I’m 39, now. The friends my Mom warned me about are bigger now, and older, bloodying my nose with old world numbers, and old world tactics, like, oh, I don’t know, sending out press releases to TV Guide at 7pm on a Friday.

But my Commodore 64 is mobile now, like yours, and the modems are invisible, and the internet is the air all around us. And the good friends, the real friends, are finding each other, and connecting with each other, and my Mom is turning out to be more right than ever.

Ah, shit, I still haven’t called my fucking Mom.

Mom, Happy Mother’s Day. I got fired.

Yes, Mom. AGAIN.

Well, then.