Last weekend at New York Comic Con, "Chuck" co-creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak were joined on stage by star Yvonne Strahovski in a panel moderated by Alan Sepinwall of the Newark Star-Ledger and the blog "What's Alan Watching?"
The panel began with a clip package entitled "Chuck Vs. New York Comic Con" that contained a number of spoilers of upcoming episodes that included:
Future guest stars will include Andy Richter, Jenny McCarthy, Arnold Vosloo, Tricia Helfer and Chevy Chase.
Scott Bakula will play Chuck's father.
Chase and Bakula's characters know each other and at least one of them is involved in the spy game.
Sarah gets it on with a hot MI6 agent played by Jonathan Cake.
Lester and Jeff will be starting a band - Jeffster!
And perhaps the most momentous (and hilarious) (and disturbing) upcoming plot point: Big Mike will be getting it on with Morgan's mom.
Sepinwall asked the creators if there was anything they wanted to say about the guest stars revealed in the montage. Schwartz singled out Chevy Chase. "We always talk about 'Fletch' and 'Spies Like Us.' They're in the DNA of the show," they said. "Same with Scott Bakula. We're huge 'Quantum Leap' fans and after the one episode of 'Quantum Leap' where he jumped into the summer stock production, I went out and bought the soundtrack of 'Man of La Mancha.' What he was asked to do on that show is very similar to what we ask of Zach [Levi] and the cast."
Sepinwall said Season 2 has been firing on all cylinders, which Schwartz and Fedak agree on. "It takes time for a show to find its voice and footing," Schwartz said. "The Buy More stories and the spy stories. There's a lot going on. I think we were finding our groove -- and then the Writers Strike happened. We went back and revisited it and felt like it was a great opportunity for us to take the show apart and what we wanted to do when we came back. And we told Yvonne, she wouldn't have to serve any more wieners in Season 2."
Sepinwall observed that Strahovski must be a good sport, considering the outfits she so often fights in. "I thumb through the script and schedule my workout regime accordingly," Strahovski laughed. Having trained as a dancer, Strahovski loves the fight scenes. "But I equally loved shooting the Young Sarah scenes and not having to worry about looking pretty."
"That's how Chris and I live every day of our lives," Schwartz said.
It was made clear in the Christmas episode that Fulcrum is onto Chuck and his friends, but it's unclear what they know. "We actually address that in an upcoming episode," Fedak said. "They don't know Chuck is the intersect or that the intersect is there."
In response to a question about Sarah and Casey not having taught Chuck something about self-defense, Fedak said, "I think he's a bit better. He's not a super spy, though. He doesn't have ten years of training."
"He will have his first kill," Schwartz revealed.
As far as being renewed for a third season, Schwartz said, "It's feeling as positive as it can without saying we're officially coming back. NBC spent all this money advertising the 3-D episode. We came back and the show did really well and now Obama will speaking tomorrow at 8:00 so you'll be seeing a repeat on the west coast. And he's threatening to do it again next week. Clearly one of his first acts is to destroy 'Chuck.'"
Strahovski was asked what stunts were the most and least fun. "The most fun was the shower scene with Nicole Ritchie," she admitted.
"That was our most fun as well," Schwartz added.
The actress had to think about the worst stunt. "The Michael Clarke Duncan fight scene. It was so hot on the roof and I was wearing that black suit and it was just so hot."
As to why Chuck hasn't been fired from the Buy More, Schwartz said, "The Buy More's not run by the worlds greatest brain. It's not hard to put one by on Big Mike."
Strahovski said she doesn't get the geek references that are rife on "Chuck," but one person asked how much would the show's creators guess the regular viewer would understand. "I think quite a bit," Schwartz said. "People are savvy. I think people are savvy and we're not that subtle."
One audience member asked Schwartz about the challenges of overseeing two very different shows, "Chuck" and "Gossip Girl." "They are very different," Schwartz agreed. "'Chuck' was born of Chris and I sitting down with different sensibilities. One is that in that realistic vein of wanting to explore being in your twenties and feeling like you have all this potential and haven't worked it out. It's hard to keep that interesting, but if that character is getting attacked by ninjas, it becomes much more sustainable. It's funny, it would seem we have very different sensibilities, but when Chris first pitched me, I thought it was a great idea. It's been a blast."
Another fan asked if Chuck will be moving out soon. "We've talked about it," Schwartz said. "If this Awesome and Ellie wedding happens, maybe they would move out and him and Sarah would live together," which caused the audience to cheer.
As far as why they added Tony Hale to the cast, Schwartz said, "We had a character regular last year named C.S. Lee, who became a regular on 'Dexter' and we've been waiting for Dexter to kill him off. We needed that antagonistic Assistant Manager on the show. We heard that Tony was available. We're such huge fans of his from 'Arrested Development' that we built the character around him."
One fan asked if there would ever be an episode of "Chuck" set at Comic-Con, and Schwartz admitted they'd talked about the idea. "It'd be Chuck trying to find the bad guy when everyone is dressed like Darth Vader."
One fan asked if the show had "gotten any crap from Best Buy?" "Like free stuff?" Schwartz replied.
"Like, if I go to a Best Buy, I'll the shit kicked out of me?" asked Fedak.
"At the beginning, we were like, let's make it a Best Buy and they'll pay for it and it'll be amazing," Schwartz said. "But we think we present this world as not glamorous, but fun and colorful and a place you'd want to go."
One fan asked, with Circuit City declaring bankruptcy, will Buy More have financial problems? Schwartz seemed puzzled by the question. "'Cause that's what America wants to see? We don't know that the Buy More has ever been thriving. There will definitely be some reality bleeding into show." He alluded to a visit to the Beverly Hills Buy More.