Bill Lawrence wasn’t just a good sport about “The White Lotus” taking a jab at “Ted Lasso,” he was thrilled by the inclusion. “Yeah, man. I love that stuff,” he told /Film. “There’s a community out here and I’m probably inviting something that … be careful what you wish for.” With so many incredible shows on his resume, “The White Lotus” certainly wasn’t the first show to reference his previous work.
“I remember when Seth [MacFarlane] on ‘Family Guy’ was taking shots at ‘Scrubs’ and then on ‘Community,’ Dan Harmon had Abed (Danny Pudi), who loved ‘Cougar Town.’ So I think it’s so fun, because at heart, I’m a nerd. I love TV. I watch it constantly. So as a fan nerd of that show and of Mike White, I was like, ‘Yeah!’ It doesn’t mean I want to see people making jokes in every show next week, but ‘Community’ is a good example. I’ll give everybody a cool Easter egg to go look for.”
The in-universe love of “Cougar Town” on “Community” actually led to an unofficial crossover event. The season 2 episode “Critical Film Studies” features a story from Abed about being an extra on “Cougar Town,” but getting so nervous he pooped his pants on set. Lawrence thought it was hilarious, and ended up having Danny Pudi appear as an extra in the “Cougar Town” episode “Something Good Coming, Part 2,” where he is seen looking wicked uncomfortable in the background before running off screen, implied to be pooping his pants. “Not everybody knows that, even though they’re on different networks and we didn’t ask permission,” Lawrence said. “I love that stuff.”