January 20th, 2011
02:05 PM ET
For two seasons, we've been given little hints about Shirley's situation with her ex-husband Andre, but on Thursday night's episode of "Community," we finally get to meet him, and he's played by none other than "Cosby Show" alum Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
"Personally, it’s great to have a career that stands long enough to be able to - you know, 25 years later - come back to a show in the same great timeslot [Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET]," Warner told reporters last week. "But to add to that, I’m glad I’m coming back to a very funny show."
One reason that Warner got the role in the first place was on the recommendation of Shirley herself, Yvette Nicole Brown.
"This is like my childhood dream come true. When I was like 13-years-old I’m like, 'I’m going to marry Theo,' and I’ve essentially married Theo, so that’s awesome," she said. "I was campaigning for Malcolm to be my ex-husband from the very first day of the show. I think the producers and writers got sick of me saying his name."
Warner said of his character, who will appear in multiple episodes, "He’s really making an honest and genuine attempt at coming back and being a better man than what he has been in the past...So I think a lot of the turmoil and tension we’re going to feel is really from the rest of the gang."
Brown added that Britta will be the one who is least accepting of Shirley's ex.
"I think for Britta, it’s kind of like, 'what are you doing?' Like, we’ve finally got you to a place where you’re not crying at night and whatever and now he just comes back and it’s okay," she said. "Everyone else is a little concerned, but based on their regular personalities on the show you can pretty much figure out where everybody will fall on that spectrum...I don’t believe Pierce is even aware that Andre is in the room."
Brown also shared her decision to have Shirley's typical voice be higher than her own. "I kind of love her dual nature and I thought because she’s so presentational and always wants to put out such a pretty picture with her clothing and her hair and everything is always just so, my thought was that this type of woman would talk like this," she said. "Shirley knows that it’s not real and the audience knows it’s not real because whenever Shirley gets upset you see the sister girl come out."
One of Shirley's most memorable moments was with Chang in the bathroom on Halloween night, which was followed shortly after by a pregnancy scare.
"If she is pregnant, I do believe that Andre would have something to do with that. In some way or another I think that he would," she said. "We’re going to find out in the next couple of weeks what’s going on with Shirley’s little uterus and if there’s a cause to send cigars or not."
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