It's Pudi Time at NBC's 'Community'

Upon being greeted with, "It's Pudi time!", Danny Pudi of NBC's Thursday comedyThumbnail image for Community_Danny_Pudi.jpg "Community" says, "That's the name of my company. It's my corporation here for production, with which I do videos.

"And also, it's just to make sure I'm on the government's watch list, because they want to know where I am at all times."


He does a deadpan blink, then, "Kidding."


A Chicago native, Pudi can also sing in Polish, as he demonstrates while shooting promos on set at Paramount Studios in Hollywood .


"I sang a lot as a little kid," says Pudi, the son of an Indian father and a Polish mother. "My mom would be very happy."

(BTW, he can also dance while singing in Polish, as demonstrated here.)

On "Community," set at a junior college in Colorado , Pudi plays Abed, a socially awkward Muslim student fascinated with pop culture and movies. His best pal is fellow student and former high-school football star Troy (Donald Glover).


Community_Donald_Glover.JPGBoth Pudi and Glover come from a comedy background - Glover was a writer on "30 Rock" - and the two have become known for the short, sometimes musical, (sometimes dancing) vignettes at the end of each episode.


"It's a really funny way," Pudi says, "to do something quick and fun that is not necessarily tied to the show but takes you into the world of Greendale and these characters, Abed and Troy, and allows us to play off each other. We've been shooting those on the fly. There's not a lot of prep time."


Playing a film buff also means that Pudi sometimes has  homework.


"It's kind of cool," he says, "when my homework is to literally go home and watch 'Meatballs,' with Bill Murray. I'm like, 'This is my homework. Sorry, guys. I can't go out tonight.


I've got to study.' They're like, 'Oh, man, you can't come out and play?' I'm like, 'No, man. I've got to watch 'Meatballs.' "


Birthplace: Chicago

School cred: Attended Marquette University in Milwaukee (and remains a big fan of Marquette basketball).


Chicago sports cred: "We have a split family. My wife's a Cubs fan, and I'm a White SoxCommunity_Joel_McHale_Danny_Puci.JPG fan. It's fine. She's also a Packers fan, and I'm a Bears fan." Also, "I'm playing fantasy football with (co-star) Joel McHale right now, and our team is kicking butt."


Movie cred: "Cop Show" (2007), "Nilam Auntie: An International Treasure" (2009)


TV cred: "The West Wing," "ER," "Gilmore Girls," "Greek," "The Bill Engvall Show"


TV commercial cred: McDonald's snack wraps; best known for Blackberry's "butt dialing" commercial