Sure, ambitious storytelling nature and pop culture influences are what created the die hard following for Dan Harmon-era Community, but it’s the thoughtful little things that really cultivate a hardcore fanbase. A smart and loyal audience longs for the payoff of recognizing the joke behind the joke, and Community uses its stable of diverse recurring student body characters — Fat Neal, Magnitude, and up and coming octogenarian Leonard Briggs (aka Leonard Rodriguez) — to provide that payoff more often than any other program I’ve ever been a fan of.
Leonard is fan favorite for more reasons than I can think of, but the number one reason has to be timing. He shows up when you least expect him, always with a classic out-of-nowhere Leonard in tow. And since he’s an old YouTube pro it’s only fitting that the supercutting savants over at Slackstory have dedicated the below video to his every appearance in show history (or at least every “Shut Up, Leonard” in show history).
To you, Leonard. Never has one character on network television quoted Blazing Saddles so effectively.