Why I miss ‘Community’: Because Jim Rash won an Oscar

Senior Television Writer
03.01.12 22 Comments


We’re two weeks away from “Community” returning to NBC’s airwaves – and fans attending Saturday night’s PaleyFest panel in LA (or watching the feed in New York) will be able to see a new episode even earlier than that(*) – but I pledged to keep these posts about why I miss the show going until it returned, and so I gladly shall.

(*) Fans watching the Livestream feed from their computers won’t get to see the episode, but they’ll get to hear us talk about it for a bit after, I’m sure.

This week, it makes sense to pay some more tribute – after previously praising his gift at improv and his love of furries – to the show’s newly-minted Oscar winner: actor, writer, crossdresser and Jolie satirist Jim Rash.

Given the prominent role Rash has assumed on the show, it’s almost hard to fathom that he was just a guest star back in the pilot, and with a brief amount of screen time. But everyone recognized how funny he was as Dean Pelton, and he kept getting more and more to to do until he was deservedly promoted into the main cast this season.

What’s great about Rash as Pelton is that he is game for absolutely anything – particularly if it involves slipping into some inappropriate, gender-bending outfit – and will play the dean’s various fetishes with absolute gusto. Pelton isn’t embarrassed of who he is – though he’s also, like Tobias Funke, only vaguely aware of how he comes across to other people – and so he’s rarely apologetic about letting his freak flag fly unless someone calls him on it, like in this great montage from the clip show parody last spring:

And because a guy having this good a week – an Oscar and a movie deal with writing partner Nat Faxon (along with Faxon landing a sitcom pilot) – deserves more than one clip, here’s the dean understandably freaking out at the climax of the conspiracy theory episode:

Enjoy, and, as always, feel free to talk about anything and everything “Community”-related here. Looking forward to moderating the panel on Saturday. Should be a fun night.

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