Ganz: There have always been funny women. But in some ways, it takes a while for there to be women who were watching women on television for years and then grow up and think, “I could do funny stuff.” I grew up watching I Love Lucy. She was doing funny stuff.
Brown: It’s the same for minorities, too. Until we get black writers in writing rooms and as studio executives, it’s going to be a while before people of color get to have the breakout that the Bridesmaids have had. It’s not that someone of another gender or race couldn’t write these words, but if you don’t have the experience, what you think I would say and what I would say are two different things.
Ganz: Even socially, too. When women are seen on TV being crass or funny or making jokes or undercutting someone, then you feel it’s socially acceptable for a woman to do that. More women are growing up feeling, “I can speak my mind and say what I want.” For me, I was maybe 15 before I started being like, “I’m just going to start saying things out loud. Why can’t I say what I think?”
This interview, you guys:
If Community isn’t renewed and this is your last day on set ever, what will you take away from this experience and what will you miss the most?
Jacobs: I’m going to cry. It so far exceeded my expectations of what the show would be. This is one of the best pilots I’ve ever read, so already my expectations were high. Then shooting the pilot—
[Jacobs begins to cry.]
Brown: Oh, it’s OK, Stinkers. She’s such a pretty crier. My God, she’s a pretty crier.
Jacobs: I’ve never worked with a group of people that have impressed me so consistently on such a daily basis. I feel like given the nature of this show, we’ve been thrown everything from an action movie to a noir to My Dinner With Andre. Everybody rose to it every single week. The writing and the creativity and the scope and the ambition of the show has been—
[Jacobs’s sobbing becomes ragged.]
Brown: Oh, well. I can’t sit here and not hug you.[…]
[Brown and Brie embrace Jacobs.]
I never thought any show could pull off an entire episode about a missing pen. There must be a fear that whatever is next might not be as gonzo or genius as Community.
Brown: Nothing’s ever been done like this before.
Ganz: Particularly my episodes. Every one that I’ve done is a total [departure]. I did a bottle episode and then I was writing a mockumentary the next time. For somebody who loves puzzles, this has been the best possible experience.
Brown: Whether we come back or not, whatever happens, this will be a show that will be studied. There are people studying Community. The totality of this show, people will look back and go, they really did change every week.
Jacobs: Yeah. For all the people that have only heard about our show—it’s spoofs, it’s pop culture, it’s genre—they’re missing the fact that these are different, new characters on television that people have grown to love. So even when we do an episode which is set in the apartment and there’s no obvious spoof or takeoff, people still want to watch it because they love and care about these characters.
[Brie begins to cry.]
Brown: Oh, Stinker, what’s happening? Oh, my girls. Oh, my little pumpkins.
Brie: This is so cliché for the women-of-Community interview. “Then they all cried.”
Jacobs: And they got their periods simultaneously!