'Community's' Jim Rash Talks Writing 'Freaky Friday' Episode, Getting Revenge on Joel McHale

The Wrap

Jim Rash hasn't let his Oscar for co-writing "The Descendants" go to his head.

"Oscar or no Oscar, it doesn't matter," Rash told TheWrap.

"It's like, 'You did that, great. Now, do it again' or 'Let's see if you got what it takes.' The pressure is always going to be there no matter what," he continued. "So I feed off that pressure, because obviously I want to do the best job as I can. But, it really doesn't mean anything. You can still write a piece of crap next time around."

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He certainly didn't take the easy route when writing Thursday's episode of NBC's "Community," which features a body-switching "Freaky Friday" theme that throws the study group for a loop.

"Just randomly the nugget of 'Freaky Friday' was something that was in my head, like the idea," he explained. "Not surprisingly in the world of 'Community,' the writers were like, 'Oh my God, we talked about a body switching thing at some point.' Then we realized sort of in talking out loud this was a great opportunity to use that device to do the real emotional part of the story, which is obviously Troy and Britta and Abed will be sucked into that."

On the episode, titled "Basic Human Anatomy," Danny Pudi and Donald Glover play each other's characters. "They know each other so well as friends on and off-screen, they were actually recording their parts for each other. So, they were really giving each other homework basically. They really did study up."

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And although it's only his first time writing for the comedy in its almost four seasons on-air, Rash made sure to include an acting challenge for himself, which doubled as revenge on co-star Joel McHale. Rash's Dean Pelton gets to switch bodies with Jeff (McHale) -- kind of -- and the actor proves he can do a pretty good impersonation of his co-star.

"I just like to give Joel s--t in general," the alum of L.A.'s Groundings Improv group said. "It was fun for me just to even do it. It's sort of like payback for me, because when we did the documentary episode and he got to 'play me' -- an exaggerated, horrible version of me for the video -- I was always partly offended."

That's a writer's perk, but not all that Rash got out from the experience of writing the episode.

"It's hard, but it's a great ride," he said. "It was a dream come true. It's very simple, I wanted to do right by our writers and by [creator Dan Harmon]. I hope I did. They were so supportive, it's really a team effort too. At the end of the day, it's people loving a show and doing their best to keep it going. All very good."

Watch a preview below.

"Community" airs Thursdays at 8/7c on NBC

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