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Michael K. Williams To Join 'Community' Next Season

Michael K Williams

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 07/23/11 04:39 PM ET Updated: 09/22/11 06:12 AM ET

UPDATE: Vulture reports that John Goodman will also be joining the series as a new vice dean of "air conditioning repair"!

It's rare that a piece of casting news elicits outright whooping, but the announcement that Michael K. Williams would be joining the cast of "Community" next season certainly comes close.

TV Guide broke the news that Williams, best known as the complex, shotgun-wielding Omar on "The Wire" and Chalky White on "Boardwalk Empire," will play a biology professor on the brilliantly absurdist NBC comedy -- the character's "first teaching job" after being released from prison.

"Community" creator Dan Harmon spoke with Vulture on Friday about what he had in store for next season, and mentioned that he hoped to add a sense of "groundedness and reality" to the series.

"The detractors of our show complain that there's a distancing that takes place because we have such a silliness and far-fetchedness," he added. "If last year we were a bunch of loose pearls that were rolling all over the floor that you could slip on, hopefully this year those pearls will have a string through them that makes them all one thing."

The addition of Williams, one of TV's most direct and unnerving forces, certainly seems to be a step in the "grounded" direction. Though it's worth nothing that it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Williams played a more outlandish character, one who fit into the already complex, specific world of "Community," rather than the other way around.

Harmon also told Vulture that he wouldn't be averse to a "Parks and Recreation" crossover episode, where characters from both worlds intertwine, a la TGIF sitcoms from the late 1990s or that one episode of "The Simpsons" where Jon Lovitz's Critic stopped by.

Consider that idea approved by The Huffington Post.

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