Danny Pudi talks volunteerism, 'Community' & kissing Alison Brie
Chicago native Danny Pudi and his "Community" co-star Alison Brie on Monday kicked off an 11-day scavenger hunt to encourage teens to volunteer. The project is organized by Lenovo and DoSomething.org.
The scavenger hunt, which involves 11 challenges over 11 days, will get participants involved with such causes as the environment, violence and bullying, animal welfare and education.
"It's kind of a great way in 11 days to show how you can make a difference in the world in many different ways," Pudi told me Friday. "You can make a difference in very small, simple, easy ways."
According to the campaign, 85 percent of teenagers say that they want to volunteer but only 35 percent do. Through texts and their twitter accounts, Brie and Pudi will ask teens to take action in various ways each day, from recycling bottles to visiting a homeless shelter. Participants can sign their teams up at DoSomething.org or by texting "HUNT" to 30644. Prizes will be awarded.
Pudi wasn't sure why he and Brie, of all the "Community" cast members, were asked to participate, but he did offer a guess:
"Does it have something to do with our height? Maybe. Does it have something to do with the fact that we're a boy and a girl? Maybe. Does it have something to do with the fact that we're really great kissers? Probably," he deadpanned, no doubt referring to the Han Solo-style kiss he, as Abed, laid on Brie, as Alison, in the Season 2 finale of the NBC comedy.
He went on to say: "I think our characters lend themselves to detailed, organized scavenger hunts. I think Abed definitely would be very focused on finding every object in a scavenger hunt in the most time-effective manner. Annie would definitely have an itinerary for how we're going to go about it, and who is going to have what responsibility within the scavenger hunt. I think our characters would probably be the most effective in a scavenger hunt."
Pudi thinks the scavenger hunt is a great idea, and a great way to get kids out and volunteering in a fun way as part of groups. It makes doing work in the community "cool," he said. He doesn't remember such opportunities when he was growing up on the South and North Sides of the city.
"Me and my friends were going down to the railroad tracks or making homemade Drano bombs," he said, laughing. "This is a much better use of [teens'] time."
Find Pudi and Brie on Twitter at @dannypudi and @alisonbrie. DoSomething.org's Twitter is @dosomething