Malcolm Jamal Warner on Community

Community fans have long understood that Shirley's ex-husband, Andre, is a womanizing jerk. So what to make of the fact that he's actually a friendly guy — and played by the actor who portrayed lovable Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show?

Malcolm-Jamal Warner joins the NBC comedy January 20 for a three-episode arc in which Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Andre are dating again — and Shirley informs the gang she's pregnant, though Troy (Donald Glover) realizes the baby may not be Andre's. "You've heard all these awful things Andre's done, and then you meet him and it's Bill Cosby's son!" says Glover. Brown agrees that Warner "comes with such inherent goodwill. Just his face rehabilitates Andre immediately."

Not everyone is won over. Britta (Gillian Jacobs) sees the cad beneath the charisma. "Britta believes that he's not the right guy for Shirley," says Jacobs. "He hasn't done enough to prove himself worthy of her." Adds Warner, who's returning to the network — and time slot — where he became famous, "They cast me against type, so it's cool to play a character where I'm supposed to be so dislikable, and the dilemma is it's hard to totally dislike me." As for Britta's mistrust, he says, "We have a couple more episodes to win her over."

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