The absence of former castmember Donald Glover was certainly felt during “Community’s” PaleyFest panel on Wednesday at L.A.’s Dolby Theater.
Creator Dan Harmon, who made the unlikely return as showrunner to the NBC series after being fired ahead of its fourth season, joked that he and writer/executive producer Chris McKenna would only return if Donald Glover was on the show.
“And then these pens came down from the ceiling and we signed our contracts,” he said. “And then they went up to a UFO and we heard a cackling, and we ran out to the sidewalk and it was Donald Glover flying away.”
When asked where that relationship could go, Glover, whose character Troy dated Britta for a spell, found his way back into the conversation.
“I just want to be as good in bed as Troy,” McHale said.
To which Jacobs answered, “I told him he can’t do that.”
All (or at least some) joking aside, Harmon addressed Glover’s exit again.
“We looked at the Donald situation and we met it head-on,” he said. “We were frank about it and we talked about it. There were no weird manipulations of our own desires [to make him stay].”
He continued, “We knew something was going to happen that we didn’t want to happen and on the other hand we knew that there was going to be energy from it that we could get stories from. You will never be able to replace Donald. I think it’s just the start of our search for Spock in the ‘Community’ movie.”
Harmon confirmed that Glover won’t be back this season, but hopes to get him back for the show’s potential Season 6.
He said, “I’m just going to go home, kill a chicken, drink its blood, make a ‘Blair Witch’ thing out of its bones, pray to every deity that I have to that if we do get a sixth season that Donald will have tired of his Donald-ness.”
Glover left the show to dedicate more time to his music – under the pseudonym “Childish Gambino” – and he’s developing a music comedy project for FX, which he’ll both star in and executive-produce.