Tonight’s ‘Community‘ claymation Christmas special is poised to become an instant classic for two reasons: 1) Dan Harmon knows how to expertly craft a memorable holiday episode, and 2) Duh – it’s claymation!
In “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” every character (even “Snow” Chang) gets the stop-motion animation treatment. The gist? Abed suddenly awakens to a magically animated world. Being lucid enough to realize he’s in a Christmas special, he settles on analyzing the significance of the holiday. Yes, the concept is totally absurd for a half-hour comedy. But it’s also what makes ‘Community’ brilliant.
Danny Pudi, who plays the encyclopedic Abed, previewed tonight’s special episode:
On The Benefits Of Using Stop-Motion: “The script is really, really funny and really sharp, but also kind of goes to these places where I think with the stop motion, we’re able to go a little bit further in terms of emotional depth, and some of the sadness of the characters, too. I think it’s going to rival Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for our generation – at least that’s our hope.”
On Becoming An Animated Character: “It’s very bizarre because you’re looking at a version of yourself and in my case, it’s definitely an enhanced and better looking version. The eyebrows are fuller, the forehead is smaller, what else? I think I’m more handsome; I got a nicer jaw line. I probably have the same size legs, which, I don’t know if that’s a good thing, as my doll is in real life. That’s true to life. But it’s very weird, it’s very bizarre.”
Preview Tonight’s Episode Below:
On Abed’s Relationship With Christmas: “In Abed’s case, specifically as addressed in this episode, religiously, he is Muslim. But he was always a big fan of Christmas and his mother is Polish, so I think there was [sic] aspects of Catholicism and the Christian traditions from the Polish perspective as well as, you know, being Muslim and that kind of thing. I think Abed also just overall being a fan of pop culture. He’s very aware of Christmas and what it represents around the seasons — in terms of movies and all that. He’s probably a big fan of Chevy Chase’s National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.”
On His Own Relationship With Christmas: “I also grew up Polish and Catholic and so we definitely celebrated the Polish traditional Catholic and Christmas traditions, which is Wigilia, which is celebrated on Christmas Eve. [It] includes a lot of different fish dishes and oplatek, which is a very interesting tradition where you go around breaking a host that’s been blessed by a priest and you give people wishes for the next year.
It can be uncomfortable when you bring new people into the fold. And it’s also – it can be uncomfortable for people who don’t like to communicate much, but it’s always interesting.”