Joel McHale… Football Jock?

This is not a shot of an upcoming episode of Community (coming to Yahoo Screen in 2015) but a real live photo of Joel McHale dressed in his Washington Husky football uniform.  This isn’t new news but I was pleasantly surprised to learn this tidbit of info while watching the Rich Eisen show (Joel was a guest host).  Below are his comments from an ESPN interview which gives some additional insight into this alternate universe… enjoy.

joel mchale football university of washington


Joel McHale: I had been recruited to row at the University of Washington and I only played one year of football in high school. I got into a fight with the crew team over not pushing in a chair properly. They have all these rules I never figured out. The freshmen shave their hair and eyebrows off and throw all that hair into a pillow. They have a whole display case full of hair pillows from over the years, which is a wonderful thing to look at. This friend of mine, we’re surrounded by [the crew team] and got into a fight. That was pretty much the end of that.

McHale: I really didn’t know what I was doing. It was not smart. It was one of those things where I didn’t know how long I could do this for. And then I turn around and all of a sudden, six months had gone by. I had gained a bunch of weight, I was in much better shape and I was really enjoying it.

McHale: The university had a healthy walk-on program because Don James, the coach, felt like you create the competition that will push the scholarship players to work harder. As a walk-on, you’re friends with the other guys — but you don’t have a scholarship so you kind of felt like you were members of the Dirty Dozen or the Bad News Bears.

McHale: I was very good at making the defense look good when I was on scout offense. I knew how to crumple really well and get tackled.

McHale: What happened was: You’re running the plays for the other team. If the play is successful, you run it again. The first time we ran it, the ball was thrown my way, I caught it and Dave Hoffmann leveled me. Then you hear, “We’re doing it again.” The wind has been knocked out of me and has not come back yet. We run this play again. I catch the ball — same thing, Dave levels me. So I got the wind knocked out of me twice. And then they wanted to run the play a third time, I don’t know why. I look up and I can’t breathe. I look at Dave and he’s looking at me and says, “You’re okay.” I just basically ran off the field.

I started in January of 1992 and left in August of ’93. There’s a side of me that would have loved to play. The time spent there I felt was very precious and I learned a ton. I was doing school, I was doing football and I was doing theater and those days really taught me about work ethic and what you have to do: You have to work really hard at the thing you love doing to be able to do it.


Community Chest 01:04

Season 1: Episode 4 ”Social Psychology”


Wow, its almost been a year since I have done one of these.  Well thankfully I’m not here to talk about the past!

The…uh…backbone (I use that term loosely) of this episode has to do with Jeff and Shirley’s relationship or rather lack thereof as Jeff cannot carry on a conversation with Shirley longer than 5 seconds and thus avoids conversations with her outside of the group. This is of course because Jeff’s gold medal in jibber jabber is based on his ability to sprint, not carry on long conversations with her.

But never fear, Vaughn to the rescue! That’s right, our favorite shirtless, neo-hippie (played by Eric Christian Olsen, Hi Hello How are you?) makes his first appearance as a potential love interest for Brita and foil du jour for Jeff. Jeff resorts to witty attack humor on Vaughn which suddenly gives him common ground with Shirley.

Jeff catches Britta making out in the quad (like high school students, foreshadowing the show eventually admitting that the tropes of high school life are easier to write comedy for, hello I’m looking at you lockers) which puts him in an awkward spot with Britta. He wants to be a good friend to Britta so he decides he can no longer make fun of Vaughn (tiny nipples) but Shirley (The Christian) decides to play the devil and keeps egging Jeff on.

Britta, trusting of her new platonic relationship with Jeff, shares that Vaughn is too relationshippy and gives Jeff a poem. Jeff shares said poem with Shirley and the proverbial poetic poop hits the fan. Britta and Vaughn find out, because this is a sitcom after all, and Vaughn blames it on Britta and hits the road explaining it as the least tight thing that has ever happened to him.

Shirley throws Jeff under the bus and Jeff realizes that his life is Degrassi Jr High. The two of them realize that they can no longer rag on people and thats the end of their relationship.  I of course may have missed the point there.

Jeff then does what I guess is the Jeff Winger speech of the episode by blaming the whole thing on Britta treating him too much like “one of the girls” which she buys and forgives him, presumably because there wasn’t enough time left in the episode to get to a real conclusion.

Meanwhile, Professor Duncan pops up again as Annie is looking to join a Psych experiment he is running based on the Duncan principal (The more control lost by the ego the more gained by the id resulting in a surprisingly predictable or breaking point). This requires her to find two victims to participate and she decides to use Troy and Abed.

The experiment requires putting the victims in a room and making them wait for said experiment which is the experiment. Hilarity ensues as one by one the participants drop out until its just Troy and Abed remaining.

Troy breaks and has somehow loses the use of his legs. Abed of course is Abed so he never breaks (making it 26 hours) but Duncan does followed by Annie (validating the principal?). Annie takes it out on Abed and asks him why he didn’t leave and he says its because Annie said they were really good friends making her realize what she had done and…well I’m giving this sub plot too much attention here. It really just serves to show that these guys are getting closer to the eventual family they would become.

Even the bumper is forgettable in this episode (“other than Troy busting out “I’m Doctor Doogie Seacrest”) which tried hard but is sadly lacking in the funny and the story.  This is our first big whiff of the show with 4 cool cool cools out of 10.



Vaughn – “No worries”

Jeff – “Interesting, because I might be worried if I was playing hackey sack a decade too late.


Duncan – “Okay I’ve actually been in this situation many times to I’m just going to be upfront. I’m not allowed to date any students.”

Annie – “Oh”

Duncan – “Even though your an 8. Which is a British 10. I am angry.”


Annie – “Please? You get paid”

Troy – “Do they do stuff to your butt?”

Annie – (disgustedly) “No.”

Troy – “ Do you get paid more if they do stuff to your butt?”

Annie – (sadly) “No.”

Troy – “That’s fine I’ll do it. I’m in.


Abed to Annie – “I didn’t realize we were really good friends. I figured we were more like Chandler and Phoebe, they never really had stories together…sure I’ll do it Chandler.”


Vaughn – “Hey your not going to order coffee?”

Jeff – “ Oh no I was just going to see if Britta…”

Vaughn – “ Hey no judgment bro I used to do coffee. Then I switched to green tea. Its like filled with these anti-oxidants and stuff. Its pretty tight.

Jeff – “Tight, yes I’ve heard that about green tea.”


Shirley – “Do you see how often Hackey Sack takes his shirt off? He’d play shirts and skins in a game of checkers.”


Shirley – “They call me Tatelina. It’s a bumblebee nickname. Its cute…but it stings.”


GI Jeff Community Promo Images

GI Jeff?!?!

Okay so now I live in a world where this is a real thing….


GI Jeff Community Promo Images

I’m seven shades of confused right now (which I suppose is apropos) as an epic internal geek out battle between my 7 year old self and my 30 something self are trying to determine who is more geeked that the picture above is a real thing.  A real episode of community based on the GI Joe animated cartoon.  I mean how fricken obscure are we trying to make this show that we are basing episodes on a cartoon from nearly 30 years ago?

Not that I’m complaining, I just simply don’t know how to process this.


“Given that knowing is half the battle, it’s about time you received more intel aboutCommunity‘s animated episode. Airing April 3, “G.I. Jeff” pays tribute to the ’80s animated series G.I. Joe, and you can take your first peek at the Study Group reimagined as figures of action in the photos above and below: There’s Jeff (Joel McHale) as Wingman (yes, he has a backpack with wings), Annie (Alison Brie) as Tight Ship, Britta (Gillian Jacobs) as Buzzkill, and Shirley as Three Kids.”

This is like some random dream mash up that I had but is actually a real thing.  What is left for this show?

Noticeable by his absence in the article of course is everyone’s favorite mental patient to be Abed.  He’s emotionally detached, can’t relate to people…I’m thinking Snake Eyes is the best fit for him!

And yes I know the characters listed aren’t exactly lining up with true Joe/Cobra counterparts but lets do the rest of the main cast.  Maybe Hickey can be Hawk,  Professor Duncan can be Major Bludd or Tomax/Xamot, Chang would be Zartan, Troy (yes Troy why can’t I bring him back for my imaginary episode?)  can be Stalker…(man that wasn’t supposed to be racist I promise, but he’s friends with snake eyes and uh…likes hip hop…or something…)

I’ll be really upset if Dean Pelton doesn’t play half Destro/half Baroness…

But then who plays Cobra Commander you ask?  Who can pull off that impossible combination of power and paranoia, desired but despised, well off but whiny…Pierce Hawthorn ladies and gentlemen…


Community Chest 01:03


“Intro to Film”

Episode three finds Jeff working on one of his eventual favorite pastimes, to find the ultimate blow off class to fill out his schedule.  Just why he is doing that this far into the semester is a bit of a mystery but lets not drag things down with logic here.  He settles on a class that appears to be about living in the moment taught by John Michael Higgins in an awesome guest spot that straddles the line between homage/parody of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society.  Blow off class locked in end of episode you ask?  Well no.  Jeff of course finds it hard to fake seizing the day and hilarity ensues as he has to “work” at his blow off class because Professor Whitman doesn’t buy his day seizing.  At the end Jeff finally gets to seize his day and kiss Britta but she only did it as a favor to help him pass his class unbeknownst to him at the time.

Meanwhile Troy sneezes like a girl in a story that doesn’t really go anywhere but gives us a classic Troy line and serves to build Troy and Pierce’s relationship.  We also meet Abed’s dad and Britta decides to “Britta” Abed’s relationship with his dad by paying for him to take a film class against his father’s wishes.  Britta and Jeff somehow become Abed’s parents by default by apparently invoking the little known Arabic custom that if you pay for someone’s film class their parents can choose to pass along parental rights to you by default.  Abed immediately needs to film a movie because its freakin film class.  This goes as well as you would expect with Abed causing havoc for everyone as he films his movie.  Jeff breaks out the Jeff Winger speech tm to get Abed’s dad to listen to them and Abed shows his movie which he has tricked Jeff and Britta into reenacting moments from his life with his parents.  The movie serves as a touching message to his dad that conveys how he feels about his parents breaking up and it being his fault because he is weird and different.  Abed’s dad decides that if this will help him to communicate with others than its okay for Abed to keep studying film and the restraints on meta-Abed are removed for good.  To quote Annie…”Awwwww”

If you can say Community has a formula in season one then that formula is firming up by episode 3.  The formula being: Jeff tries to take the easy way out to get something he wants.  Problems arise.  He Jeff Winger speeches his way out of it to mixed results and everyone finds themselves better off even if everything didn’t go to plan. Oh and miscellaneous characters carry on misadventures and character growth in the background.

This episode ticks all the boxes, its funny, heartwarming and the story is mostly all there to build up our characters and their relationship.  To use a sports analogy, yes it was a hit but its another double instead of a Home Run.  The home runs are coming though and anyone who stayed with Community this long was about to find out just why this show is so great.  I’ll give this one 7 Annie “awwwws” out of 10.

Best Lines:

Shirley: “Isn’t Abed’s dad a hardcore Muslim? They aren’t as understanding as Christians you can get your head cut off with a salami sword.”

Annie: “Shirley that is the most racist thing I have ever heard.”

Jeff: “Pierce will beat that in one minute” (sets watch)

(Troy sneezes)

Jeff: “Hey Troy sneezes like a girl”

Troy: “How about I pound you like a boy, that didn’t come out right.”

Shirley: “Why don’t you all just leave him alone with his cute little baby sneezes.”

Troy: “You’re not my mother.”

Pierce: “She’s not?”

Jeff: (Stops watch) “29 seconds.”


Professor Whitman: “Everyone stand on your desks. Up Up Up! Rise above the programming. All of your lives you have been told not to stand on your desks. Well why not?”

(Desk collapses and a student falls)

Professor Whitman: “Shes okay, go to the nurse…seize the day…”


Professor Whitman: “Well glad to hear it because if you don’t genuinely seize the day before the end of the week you will seize an F for the semester.”



Brita: “Raising him means letting him follow his dreams.”

Abed’s Dad: “Dreams are for sleeping.”

Brita: “You don’t know that.”

Abed’s Dad: “Its clinically proven!”

Brita: “So’s polio.”

Abed’s Dad: “YOU LOST ME!”


Community Chest 01:02



SEASON 02: EPISODE 02 – “Spanish 101”

Its time to meet Senor Chang as our group gets their first (that we see) team Spanish assignment which I guess is reason enough to call it Spanish 101. Partners are randomly assigned so of course Jeff trades with Abed (at the cost of his shirt which in a funny sight gag puts Jeff in Abeds smaller shirt) so he can partner with Britta but Britta changed with Pierce who paid her $100 to switch because he wants to be friends with Jeff for some reason.   Britta said it was something about being part of a family after wasting away his life or something.  How Pierce knew anything about Jeff trading with Abed is beyond me.  I’m thinking perhaps Pierce actually wanted to spend time with Abed.  I guess if we are calling that into question we need to know how both Jeff and Pierce knew what other pieces were “randomly” placed under which desk so they knew who to switch with in the first place.  Suspension of disbelief I guess…

Anywho akwardness ensues as Pierce drags out the assignment as an excuse to spend time with Jeff.  Jeff puts up with it for five minutes, gets frustrated and walks out on Pierce because he is still vying for Britta first and foremost.  Pierce returns the favor by ruining Jeff’s romantic protest moment with Brita before being lit on fire and falling into a fountain under the influence of “Hemingway’s lemonade”.

Jeff sucks up his pride (to impress Britta of course, that was the only motivation in these early episodes) and gives us a very brief speech which I guess qualifies as this episodes “Jeff Winger speech” before launching into a montage of crazy costumes and pretend play acting set to Aimee Mann’s haunting “Wise Up” that is Jeff and Pierce’s conversations in Spanish class.

The montage is a masterpiece by the way.  It would be interesting to know if the writers actually had a story in their heads for these scenes that tied it all together or it was just to put together as many random ideas as possible.

Senior Chang is so impressed that he gives them an F and F minus (not sure who got the minus but I’m going with Pierce.  Other than that they live happily ever after and Brita is impressed that Jeff would do such a selfless act for Pierce but no longer sees Jeff as a sexual object after hinting at something extremely offensive that occurred during the presentation.  She of course looks back when walking off and that gives Jeff all the ammo he needs to continue his pursuit for another day.   The end.

In the background Annie and Shirley decide to get political and protest reporters getting killed in Guatemala.  Not a great story but it gives Annie and Shirley a chance to start playing into their characters and Britta gets her first opportunity to “Britta” something throwing a wet blanket on the rally before realizing that she is all talk and no action.

We also get our first glimpses of Troy and Abed teaming up as someone must of suddenly realized how great Donald Glover and Danny Pudi play off of each other.

We wrap things up with the epic Spanish Rap bumper (Have I mentioned I hate people who disable embedding on youtube videos?  You are putting it up on youtube, its a little late to be protective over your content at that point isn’t it?  especially content that doesn’t even belong to you.  I digress.)  as Troy and Abed take a firm grasp of their hold over the majority of the bumper scenes which serve to cement their sometimes creepy relationship.

Good moments but not a complete offering from beginning to end.  I’ll go another 6 Abed TV show references out of 10.

Best Lines:

Jeff: “You know what today is? Its the two week anniversary of my horrible first impression.”

Britta: “Theres a card for that?”

Jeff: “Well not specifically but if you think of Grandsons as a metaphor for friendship I think you’ll agree with this transformer here that its time for ours to become a man, by reading from the Torah.”


Britta: “You’re cute but selfish and narcissistic to the point of near delusion.”

Jeff: “She said I was cute.”


Annie: “We can have a candlelight vigil like lesbians have on the news!”

Shirley: “I can make brownies!”


Chang: “In espanol my nickname is EL TIGRE CHINO because my knowledge will bite her face off. So don’t question Senor Chang, or you’ll get bit, ya bit, YA BIT! Friday manana, we’ll be having conversations with the rest of the class…”


Pierce: “Its called hyperverility, apparently my sperm shoot through the eggs like bullets. Can you believe that?”

Jeff: “I can’t but you do so thats fine.”


Jeff:  “The woman I kinda like is out there in the moonlight caring about something stupid and this is my chance to show her that I care enough to act like I care about it too!”


Community Chest 01:01



If you frequent this site (and well I’m not sure who doesn’t) then you know by now that I am a pretty big fan of Community.  Not communities in general mind you (when it comes to people I share similar thoughts to Roy from the IT Crowd) but rather the internets favorite ratings challenge sitcom du jour (which still means friendship if you were wondering ,2001 reference that nobody got in 2001 for the win!!!!) Community.

As any real Communist knows (thats my phrase for Community fans, has it caught on yet?) season 4 (#4seasonsandacancelation) premieres tomorrow night on your favorite NBC affiliate at 7:00 PM.  In honor of our merry band of misfits yours truly has decided to take a trip down memory lane, all the way back to 2009!!!   ooooooooooohhhhhh

If you don’t remember 2009, well ask your parents about it.  It was a simpler time.  I mean just look at some of the things that were going on in 2009:

-Gas was only $2.73 per gallon and a movie ticket was only $7.50!

-H1N1 aka Swine Flu forced everyone to live isolated in their homes.

-The Apple iPhone was the top selling cell phone

-Barrack Obama was inaugurated as president of the US

-Pirates ravaged the seven seas…no really

err right…oh and Community debuted on NBC!!!

And in honor of that momentous occasion I am going to kick off my own Community episode guide which for lack of better term I am dubbing “Community Chest”!

Anything to add Mr. Winger?

SEASON 01: EPISODE 01 – “Pilot”

The creatively titled “pilot” does what pilots do and introduces us to the Greendale 7, inept Dean Pelton and Professor Ian Duncan who I can only guess was intended to be a more regular cast member when the pilot was shot but was only in a couple more episodes in season one.

The story sees our heroes halfway through their first week at Greendale. Student Jeff Winger, former “Genius at Law” whose wardrobe in this episode consists of an untucked button up shirt, sweater, sportscoat (long sleeves, sweater AND sportscoat in September?!?  Talk about your layering.) and Addidas sweatpants, decides he A – wants to hook up with the “hot blonde from Spanish class” and B – wants to uses his past deeds as a suspended lawyer to cheat his way through community college, get a new degree and a return to his past glory.

He kinda/sorta attempts to blackmail the chronically drunk, smarmy British professor Ian Duncan, who he previously got out of a DUI with a vague reference to 9/11 (not the last time we hear Jeff use 9/11 to win an argument) and convincing the jury Duncan’s only real crime was loving America.  More on this later.

Meanwhile, we get to the meat and potatoes of the episode as Jeff pretends to be a Spanish tutor and creates a fake Spanish study group to spend time with Britta, said hot blonde from Spanish class.  The plan appears to be going well but Abed, having been invited by Britta to what she thought was a real study group, shows up to join.  Abed of course invites Annie, Shirley, Pierce and Troy and hijinks ensue.  Everything falls apart when Jeff decides to lead the group to destruction by pulling their puppety strings in order to kill the study group and  take Britta to dinner but she sees through his lies and now won’t go out with him.  So Jeff gives us his first “Jeff Winger speech” to bring it all back together, dub the group a “community” and Shirley gives us her first “that’s nice”.  Unfortunately embedding was disabled on this clip and I hate to encourage that but it is a link to the speech if you care:

Jeff Winger speech

It’s all for not though as Britta kicks Jeff out of the group for wasting her time.  Faced with no study group and an envelope of fake test answers he bartered for with Duncan Jeff realizes hes going to fail tomorrows Spanish test.  The group takes him back and we are off to the races.  Oh and no bumper on the end with Troy and Abed, what a difference a few years makes.

Its an entertaining enough episode but saddled with the job of introducing all of our main characters the episode can never really break through on its own as a complete half hour story.  Also, after three seasons it’s a little jarring seeing how different each character acts, you know before they all settled into their stereotypes.  It almost makes you wonder if the original intent for these characters lay down a different path then what we got.  For example Britta doesn’t Britta anything as the object of Jeff’s affection and Troy is purely focused on being a jock with no hinting at his future geek cred or relationship with Abed and we see hints of a closer relationship with Troy and Pierce than with Abed.   Overall the episode does everything it should do as a pilot but they would need some time to find their momentum.

I give it a firm 6 cool cool cools out of 10

Best Lines:

Brita: “I dropped out of high school because I thought it would somehow impress Radiohead”

Jeff: “You’d be suprised what gets back to those guys”


Duncan: I’m a professor you can’t talk to me that way.

Jeff: A six year old girl could talk to you that way.

Duncan: Yes because that would be adorable

Jeff: No because you are a 5 year old girl and there is a pecking order!


Jeff: “What am I supposed to drive?”

Duncan: “You can take this car, its good for the earth.”

Jeff: “Yeah well so is wiping your butt with a leaf but its not how a man gets around!”


Jeff: “We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a shark and we can give Ben Afflek an Academy Award for screenwritting”.


Pierce: you know I have been divorced seven times. Sometimes I think I’m doing something wrong.

Jeff: you keep getting married.

Pierce: I’ve never thought about it that way.


Losing a piece of the Community

In what may in fact end up being a piece of non-news, today The Hollywood Reporter…err…reported that Chevy Chase will finally be leaving Community after three seasons.  He’s leaving effective immediately which is a bit of odd timing considering that a good chunk but not all of the fourth seasons 13 episode commitment have already been shot.

It’s assumed that he will appear in the finale (…if its actually the finale..NBC does have the option to pick up more episodes) since a writer tweeted a picture of the cast seated around the study room preparing to shoot said finale.

It’s unclear right now if the departure will be written into the show but its said his departure will not impact production.  Which is good because they only have like 4 months to finish the last two episodes…and yes that was sarcasm thank you.  This of course brings to an end the long standing tumultuous relationship between Chase and the little show that could however both sides claim that the departure is amicable and not Chase quitting or being fired.  They did however make a point of saying there would be no other departures…which is cute considering the odds of a 5th season are about .000000001%.  It would be more accurate to say that everyone is leaving the show but there you have it.  In fact, the rumor mill has it that Donald Glover has signed a development deal to create and star in a sitcom loosely based on his life so take that for what you will.

Its been a fine run Community…maybe in 10 years you can come back for a few episodes on Netflix or something…

Community Returns

Rest at ease fellow…Communitarians? …Communites? …Communese? …Communons? …Communicans? …No I GOT IT!!! COMMUNISTS!!!…uh sorry side tracked…anywho NBC finally announced today the return of the internets favorite TV show Community on March 15. After a whopping…uh 3 months off the air we will finally get a chance to catch back up with our merry band of misfits and see how they have grown since we last saw them…I’m guessing its not a whole lot…

The show will even get to return to the…ummm…opposite of desired I’m drawing a blank here…ah how about ill-favored timeslot opposite ratings juggernaut Big Bang Theory as NBC reshuffles their Thursday deck somewhat by shelving Parks and Rec for a few weeks until Up All Night finishes its season in late April…does anyone besides me long for the traditional season line up of yesteryear? I mean sure we had to deal with a whole lot more reruns but every show started and ended at the same time. Now…who the heck knows?

To celebrate…here are a couple of videos of some of the greatest moments of Community season 2..

Name That Tune!

OK, really only the first 20 seconds matter but this was a delight to stumble upon tonight.

If you guessed it is from television’s Community, you are right!  This is the ditty that Abed and Troy have been bringing into at least two different episodes so far [Real name is Daybreak by Michael Haggins].  Once during the Halloween episode while Abed was sharing his scary story.  The other was from Troy as he was exiting from his blanket fort (and locking it for good measure) only to find out that Annie stepped on Abed’s special edition Black Knight DVD.  Both instances are out there in YouTube land if you want to enjoy a good laugh.

…good times.