Jim Rash talks ‘The Writer’s Room’ and amazing ‘Community’ rap

Jim Rash plays Dean Pelton on "Community," but he's also a very successful writer in his own right.
Jim Rash plays Dean Pelton on “Community,” but he’s also a very successful writer in his own right. The fifth season finale of “Community” airs on Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC and the second season of “The Writers’ Room” premieres on Friday at 9 p.m. on Sundance.

Jim Rash may occasionally act in his writing projects (see his hilarious performance in last year’s “The Way Way Back”), but his writing won’t infringe on his day job as an actor. Sure, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for 2011’s “The Descendants,” but he says that after writing an episode of “Community,” the half-hour sitcom on which he plays the dean of the most absurd community college in America, once was enough.

“I wrote one episode of the season that was sort of given the title of our gas leak year,” he says with a laugh, referencing the fact that the show’s creator, Dan Harmon was fired in 2012, and the “Community” he built ran without him for one season before his return.

“It was a very gratifying experience,” says Rash of being able to write an episode, even under such strange circumstances, “but the truth is I was already envious and sort of a fan of Dan’s brain … and our writers that he puts together each year, so they don’t need me. I’m happy to just play the dean. That works perfectly for me.”

And Rash playing the dean and reciting the lines Harmon and crew write for him works perfectly for viewers as well. In one highlight from this season, he tries to make it up to his staff for not being able to pay them by dressing up as a Payday candy bar and delivering a freestyle rap that gets so real that it, well, watch below…

“I think part of the difficulty with the fourth season was that you’re kind of satisfying a checklist of who these people are, based on how they were created, but you don’t really get to move it forward as you could with a creative mind that wants these people to continue to evolve,” he says.

As for the rap itself, Rash says he had to make sure he could get it down within 10 takes.

“I started to lose my voice,” he says, “so I knew I had a limited shelf life.”

Rash himself has a decidedly less limited shelf life, as after the season finale of “Community” airs Thursday, viewers will be able to see him hosting the Sundance show, “The Writer’s Room,” the second season of which premieres Friday. Each week Rash welcomes the writers behind some of the biggest shows on TV, such as “Scandal,” “House of Cards,” “The Good Wife,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Sons of Anarchy,” but isn’t there a certain half-hour sitcom on NBC that would make for a riveting discussion?

“I fought hard, trying to get ‘Community’ in there for the second season, and it’s not like they were fighting me, but they had already booked everything,” says Rash. “I do want to do that someday though.”

QUOTED:
These are celebrities in their own right, because there is an exposure to the creative minds that people didn’t have in the past. The wall is down. Dan Harmon is a great example of someone that is very vocal and utilizes social media in a way that allows fans to tap into him, and make it feel more personal. … It’s a great time for TV — there are lots of avenues — but at the same time it makes it competitive, so that outreach to fans is pivotal to allowing shows to withstand the battle to stay on the air.
Rash, on how social media has helped television writers get their due.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.