The Odd Couple’s Yvette Nicole Brown on Leaving Community, and Crushing on Matthew Perry

Yvette Nicole Brown - The Odd Couple
Jeff Riedel
The Odd Couple

Slovenly sports-radio personality Oscar Madison (Matthew Perry) and neatnik photographer Felix Unger (Thomas Lennon) aren’t the only mismatched duo on CBS’s new reboot of The Odd Couple. Oscar’s long-suffering assistant, Dani–a shameless busybody and hopeless romantic played by Community alum Yvette Nicole Brown–is taking a thankless job and, well, making it work. Here, Brown explains why human resources can stay out of it.

After five seasons as Shirley on Community, you left to devote more time to your father, who is ill. How tough was that decision?

I would never have left had the situation not happened. Community is the longest television job I ever had, and I love those people. I still go visit the set. I think they’re like, “Yvette, cut the cord!” But my hours now on The Odd Couple are so lovely. My father is in the early stages of dementia, and every time I get to make him breakfast and give him his pill, I’m overjoyed to be able to walk this road with him.

Looks as if you’re having fun on The Odd Couple. What’s Dani’s secret to putting up with Oscar as a boss?

She’s very efficient, but she’s also very opinionated. Dani is a lot sassier than an assistant would usually get away with, and Oscar takes it because he knows he’s a mess in every way. Both characters are single, so occasionally I try to infuse a little hubba-hubba into my comments–but I don’t know if Matthew’s caught on yet!

Could a hookup be on the horizon?!

Oh, sure–in my fan fiction! I used to have a huge crush on Matthew Perry, and possibly still do. He’s so manly! The cast eats lunch together every day, and some of us are watching our figures–so we’re splitting, like, one little piece of turkey–and he’s piling up his plate with pot roast, meatloaf, any hunks of flesh he can find. He’s like a caveman!

The Odd Couple, 8:30/7:30c, CBS