Why I’m Going to Watch Community, and so Should You

Let me start off with this rather verbose rant: I hate Joel McHale. I cannot stand him, and could not stand him before I knew what his name was. The first time I remember seeing him in anything was Spider-Man 2, where he played the banker that denied May Parker a loan…it wasn’t because of his character’s actions, really, it was because of how he looked as he said whatever words he vomited out of his mouth. I didn’t keep that face in my mental rolodex of things I hate, because it was inconsequential overall.

Several years later, I watched “The Soup” with a girl I was seeing at the time. Wow. I wanted to punch him in the face. The way he presented himself in every single thing he said or did on the show just made me go “if this guy wasn’t famous and just showed up to a group of me and my friends hanging out and acted this way, he would immediately get beat up.” Mind you, I hang out with an overall non-violent bunch, myself included.

I had heard Community was a great show. I’m a fan of Chevy Chase and Donald Glover, and the premise is something I can relate to. I gave the show a shot…a real, honest, “I want this to be funny because I love to laugh” shot. Every time Joel McHale did ANYTHING, I got that same, uneasy, “I want to deck this guy” feeling. I watched two or three episodes, and they were too centrally focused on him and whoever doing whatever that I found irritating and not funny.

I also understand that this is a very personal feeling of mine…if there are others out there that feel the same way, I’d love to hear from you. Every so often, one of those mindless conversations comes up where people say something like “If you could punch ONE celebrity in the face, who would it be”, and I ALWAYS have said Joel McHale, since I knew his name. People that were (or weren’t) fans of his were always shocked, they said things such as “what about Dane Cook?”, to which I replied something such as “That line is already so long, Dane Cook would never remember me punching him in the face from anyone else. Joel McHale would remember me, and that matters to me.” ¬†They told me “dude…you HAVE to see the paintball episode, that will change everything!” …I’m open minded, and as I said, I WANT things to be funny, because I want to laugh. I did not (I even tried watching two or three other episodes again this time, same result). I couldn’t. Too much Joel McHale. My friends told me that if I STILL didn’t think the show was funny, even after all of that, that I just wouldn’t ever think it was funny. I happened to catch Spider-Man 2 on FX one lazy Saturday afternoon a year ago or so, and when I realized it was Joel McHale sitting in that bankers chair, I realized how much longer I had actually had some sort of distaste for him.

Every time I heard about Community being on some sort of “life support” with NBC, I was happy, because that would mean something Joel McHale did failed.

So…why, you ask, with this honest attempt at liking the show, clear and genuine disdain for anything Joel McHale, would I ever decide to start watching Community, AND advocating people also watching it? Because of this.

Yes, Dane “Long Punch In The Face Line” Cook is getting a pilot for a new NBC sitcom. I have a feeling that this will sit somewhere along the lines of the “traditional” sitcom with the laugh tracks and bad jokes for people with a sense of humor that is lowest common denominator (see: Rob) and find it’s way to the Thursday night lineup if it gets picked up. We cannot have this. The Office is (likely) on it’s last legs. Parks and Rec gets similar threats to Community (might not get renewed, etc), and 30 Rock is constantly rumored to be near fully running it’s course. These shows are, overall, smart, charming, lightly vulgar but not offensive, diverse, well written examples of modern comedy that have fun with their settings, pop culture, and recent news to create continuous and entertaining stories. Please, leave the old world of sitcoms back where they belong: in the past.

I’m viewing this as a clear affront to good taste. Please, join me in watching the aforementioned shows (NOT ROB!!!) on Thursdays and show some support for talent. All you have to do is sit on your couch, maybe tweet a couple things. That’s all you did for that Kony video, right?

…all this said, if I ever happen to meet Joel McHale, I hope he is the nicest/coolest dude on earth and that fact makes me feel like a jerk for tearing into him both here and conversationally. Dane Cook…I don’t hate you, I just think you aren’t stand-up comedy/TV/movies funny. That’s a whole thing for another rant…


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