'Community' pays tribute to 'Animal House' for EW's Comedy Issue -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

We here at EW were looking for a way to salute some classic school-set comedies from the late 70s and 80s for our Comedy Issue, which hits stands today. We could have done it with conventional weapons, but that would have taken years and cost millions of lives. We had to all go out, as this situation absolutely required a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part. The good news? We knew just the guys to do it: The students at Greendale Community College! The nine stars of the clever and refer-ential NBC comedy Community recreated some famous imagery from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porky’s, and The Breakfast Club (which you can see in the magazine), as well as Animal House – which you can check out below in this online exclusive:

ROBERT TRACHTENBERG FOR EW

The cast had a fun time recreating the toga-party spirit from 1978′s legendary college comedy, dancing and writhing around to the classic a-little-bit-softer-now anthem “Shout” during the shoot. (Click the photo for a larger version.)

“Whenever I think of that movie, I just think of partying in college, having fun, and being out of your mind,” praises Ken Jeong (Chang). “That movie is so iconic and I idolize those characters in the movie — I wouldn’t dare try to duplicate it. You just have to have fun and be silly. That was going on in my head when I was shooting it. I was technically supposed to be Belushi’s character, Bluto, and there’s no way in hell I could be that. No way in hell anyone can be John Belushi.” Adds Joel McHale (Jeff): “When you put on a toga, you’re like, ‘Oh, right! This is why the Romans had such a damn good time. They just wore sheets and no underwear and drank a lot.’” McHale’s highlight of the Animal House session? Witnessing Donald Glover’s impression of singer Otis Day. (“It sent chills up my spine,” he notes.) “It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” marvels Glover (Troy), who drops an album, Camp, for real as hip-hop alter ego Childish Gambino on Nov. 15. “I swear to god, I don’t know why, but being in the suit and having the hair and moustache, I just  knew what I was born to do. It was like Flight of the Navigator – the map was in my brain already. It was weird.” (Additional reporting by Shaunna Murphy)

On Twitter: @dansnierson

Read more:
This Week’s Cover: Melissa McCarthy rules our 2011 Comedy Issue
‘Community’: See Joel McHale transform into a vampire in next week’s Halloween episode

Comments (79 total) Add your comment
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  • JLC

    You know, if they ever decide to reboot Indiana Jones, you could do a lot worse than Alison Brie as Marion. She certainly looks good as Karen Allen in that shot.

    • Ben

      I wondered if Allison Brie went “commando” like Karen Allen in Animal House, or if she wore underwear under that gown?

      • @Alison Brie

        IT PUTS THE LOTION IN THE BASKET

      • likda

        My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
        They met-via { millionaireluv .сσм }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

      • Karl O

        Annie’s a little young. We try not to sexualize her.

    • B

      Must have been weird for Chevy Chase considering he turned down Tim Matheson’s (Boone) part, to do “Foul Play” with Goldie Hawn because he wanted to be a leading man!

      • Andrew

        Tim Matheson was Otter, not Boone. Peter Riegert was Boone

      • B

        Yes you are so right,…sorry about that, but the rest is true!

      • JLC

        And now he’s playing Dean Wormer!

      • Billiam

        @JLC – He’s Professor Jennings!

      • Bill

        I know I am in the minority but I liked “Foul Play” better anyway!..it was the only time Chase really had chemistry with a female costar, him and Goldie made a great couple!

      • alan of montreal

        @Bill I think he had chemistry with Beverly D’Angelo, too

      • Bill

        @alan..yeah but it was not as strong!

      • Kate

        I heard that Chevy and Goldie actually had a sexual relationship when they made that film, so maybe thats why!

      • Tina j

        Who cares about Chevy and Goldie they are OLD, I HATE OLD PEOPLE!..peeople over 30 should not be seen on TV anymore, it’s just gross!

      • Craig

        Tina J you are an idiot!

      • Ed

        Chevy was a leading man, moreso than Tim Matheson ever was.

    • Jackie

      Why do they keep sexing her up? Kind of annoying, they’re just exploiting her. Doesn’t go with her sweet character.

      • Grubi

        Because she is incredibly hot

      • Griff

        Because men want to have sex with her

      • Johnny Nucleo

        This show is so awesome.

      • @Griff

        Pretty sure that turns women viewers off…

      • @ Griff

        Sure, but that turns female viewers off.

      • Cris

        Because she’s not REALLY 18 like she is in the show. She’s hot as heck. And if you have any doubts, check out the pic of Alison Brie in the Phoebe Cates “Fast Times” red bikini in this week’s EW. It’s spectacular.

      • Grubi

        Actually, shes not even 18 in the show anymore since that’s what she was when the show started. She’s 20.

      • JaySin420

        I don’t get it, it seems like everyone on the internet loves this show but then how are the ratings always so bad?

      • Anyicitag

        @JaySin420 because ppl don’t watch the show live, they watch The Big Bang Theory instead and then record or watch Community online. That;s why…

      • Grubi

        @JaySin420

        I watch all but one of my television shows on Hulu or OnDemand (I watch Boardwalk Empire live with my roommate) instead of live. In this day and age, a lot less people watch television live because there are so many options. Not just OnDemand and Hulu, but also DVR, Network websites, illegal downloading, and even DVD’s or Netflix if they are willing to wait. I honestly don’t know why the networks still base what stays on the air off ratings. It makes very little sense.

        Another reason for the low ratings but high internet chatter about Community is that I think Community fans are a very vocal bunch.

      • @Grubi

        You’re only one person, but nice story.
        Other shows seem to have no problem getting ratings, or at least a ratings boost here and there.

      • Cris

        @Jackie. You’re right. It doesn’t go with the character Annie, but Alison Brie is not in character as Annie here.

        As a woman, it doesn’t turn me off. If we were talking about an episode where Annie — rather than her actress — poses for sexy pictures, that would seem exploitative and gratuitous, because Annie is very naive about sex and does not flaunt her sexuality.

        This is Alison Brie though. From what I’ve seen of her, she doesn’t seem naive at all. She knows how to use her sexuality to her advantage and doesn’t have any qualms about doing so. As a woman, I respect her for the fact that she does so while still being sweet and earning the respect of her peers rather than being slutty or degrading herself.

        I think she balances respectable and sex appeal better than any other actress. I can see how you’d think it was exploitative if you haven’t ever seen interviews with Alison.

      • Meg

        I don’t think Annie is as ‘sweet’ and naive as she is portrayed to be. She is rather repressed than frigid. and Brie is completely different than the character she portrays. She is very much at ease with her sexuality. And she is gorgeous (and incredibly sexy) so why not flaunt it? She manages to look so without being vulgar.

        And yes I have a little girl-crush on her!

      • aleksa

        @Cris, thank you, couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • aleksa

        Also, anyone who labors under the illusion that Alison is the same innocent as her character should watch the outtakes for the show. She is just as naughty/foul-mouthed as the men on the show (and I say that with genuine admiration).

  • orville

    Is Abed in the picture twice?

    • Caiti

      I think the guy with the mustache is the Dean (Jim Rash) but made me double take, haha.

      • brutony

        “Is the Dean”? You mean THE Dean Vernon Wormer!

      • T

        No, he’s not Dean Wormer but is D-DAY, the wild man on the motorcycle and plays “Lone Ranger theme” on his throat.

    • Nicole

      No, I think the one in the middle is the dean (with a wig). But I thought that at first too.

    • Sara

      I think Abed might be in there three times – as the angel and devil

    • orville

      Ah, I always forget about the Dean.

  • LOL

    America loves crap.

    • America

      I Love You.

    • Brock

      Yes, America does love crap, that’s why 2.5 men and The Big Bang Theory gets such huge ratings.

      Community is headed towards cancellation because people are too stupid to recognize quality even when it comes up to them and slaps them in the face.

      • The Truth

        Exactly, America has been reduced to reality trash and low brow comedy for its entertainment. I’m hoping if it does get cancelled that a cable network would pick it up. Too bad that good quality has to be relugated to cable to survive.

      • SS

        I wouldn’t call Community “quality”.. they seem to base their show on the excitement of daydreams and not what the characters actually do.
        Also how many episodes are they going to end in some kind of fight? Last night’s was especially pathetic — they stole that device from the Office last season (standing in a circle with a “weapon”, looking at one another to make a move).
        I think Community reaches to be something good, but never quite gets there.

      • @SS

        2 things about your comment:

        1) Its not like The Office was the first form of entertainment to ever have a standoff (ie. Any western movie ever). To suggest Community ripped off the Office for having a standoff is liking saying, ‘Community totally ripped off MASH, each have humans as their characters.’
        2) In Community’s history their have only been 3 episodes that involve some type of ‘daydreaming’. That’s in 3 seasons. 1 episode per season is definately not the ‘base of their show’. As well, through those daydreams, Community does magnificent character study by allowing us to see what each character actually feels and thinks. For example, last night it was shown that Abed is more attracted to Britta than Annie because when he daydreamed of kissing one of them, he daydreamed it was Britta. As well, Annie’s entire daydream was a reflection of how she feels about Jeff/Britta. Please don’t insult this show due to its magnificent character studies, an art that seems to be lost in most modern sitcoms.

      • SS

        1) Sure, westerns.. but when’s the last time a sitcom did the standoff? Oh, it was last year – in another popular comedy. Don’t tell me they didn’t rip it off. I’ve also noticed they’re saying/doing a lot of things from Happy Endings last year!!
        2) Please. It gives them an excuse to be “buzz-worthy” by dressing up, copying (okay, giving homage to..?) classic movies that they know people already love, and showing extremeties of their personalities which they could never utilize in the ACTUAL storyline.
        Community is like a voice-over: kind of cheap. Which is why it will never get award recognition and it will (hopefully) be cancelled soon.
        P.S. no mention of why they end every episode in a group fight? It’s like South Park killing Kenny, but less creative.

      • The Truth

        SS its clear you don’t watch Community weekly and only catch an episode every once in awhile. Also you are making incredible stretches with your example of how the show copies others.

        So in the Office, I am assuming you are referring to the Murder Mystery episode, a few of the Office workers are in circle acting out a role playing game pretending to hold guns (or crossbows)automatically makes Community a copycat when the characters out of real fear grab actual real objects to defend themselves against the rest of the group. May I also add Its Always Sunny in Philadelpia did the same exact thing on the same night. Am I accusing that show of copying Community or The Office, no. Let me crack an egg of knowledge on you there sport, TV has been around for over 60 years, just about everything has already been done in some type of manner. Community actually had an original idea last year when it made a clip episode made up of entirely new clips, I don’t recall any other show doing that.

        Plus the only other thing I need to say to prove you don’t watch all the episodes and proof that you don’t pay attention to the ones you do watch is you stated “…they end every episode in a group fight…” They did not end the last episode with a group fight, they ended it with the group agreeing not to reveal the only sane person. The episode before that they ended with all of them, except Jeff eating pizza, dancing and singing. The one before that ended with all of them having fun mocking an outsider. The only explanations that are feasible for you to make that statement which is false is the following: a) You don’t watch the show b)You don’t pay attention if you do watch it c)You are actually watching something else and think its Community d)You are making things up to justify your opinion, which means your opinion is invalid.

      • Hector

        Community general appeals to people who like a high level of ambition and creativity in what they watch, but it’s okay if you like simpler and more generic comedy, SS. Quality isn’t for everyone.

      • @ Truth

        But – before all of those storylines got resolved, what was the group doing? FIGHTING. Yes, even “Jeff eating the pizza”. *rolls eyes

      • Bill

        @SS just give it an hour, “Whitney” will be on, I am sure the “Humor” of that show fits your very limited comedic tastes!

      • @SS 2.0

        In Season 1 of Community – two years ago – during their first paintball episode, there was a standoff with all of the cast pointing guns at one another. Therefore, by your logic, The Office ripped off the genius idea from Community. Community just took it back this season because they’re the superior show.
        I have no problem acknowledging that Community engages in “fighting” amongst the members of the study group. It’s called conflict. The conflict/resolution tension is what makes Community stand out beyond the typical trash 3-camera sitcoms. They do not “fight” every episode – more often than not, they’re working together. And the “Yahtzee” episode you’re referring to, the fighting was theorized to show that the group does work when everyone plays their respective roles. But, like everyone said, you clearly don’t watch this show yet feel entitled to critique it.

      • Jackie

        Bill why assume SS likes Community? They said they watched the Office. Just because one doesn’t like Community doesn’t mean they like crap TV.

      • Bill

        Jackie what the hell are you talking about I never mentioned “The Office” I told him to watch “Whitney”..now that is crap and you are crazy!

      • Matt

        @Jackie,

        The Office has been nothing but crap for about the last 3-4 seasons. Started great but now it’s just gasping for air.

      • Jefferson

        than done, I know. But you could start by probably inrdutocing them to friends who are gay and try to gauge their reaction. That could be a start to see where they stand.Good luck!

  • stan

    Oh, Annie’s boobs…

  • Billiam

    I can just hear Dean Pelton saying “I’m DEEAAN-Day!”.

  • Weston

    I want a zoomed in pic of just Alison Brie in this pic.

    • ^

      I thought she looked hotter in that one episode of Mad Men when she had on a green nightie.
      She might be the hottest actress on 2 legs right now.
      Look her up on YouTube under “Sexy Santa Baby”.

  • Jessica

    I love that Donald Glover referenced my fave 80s movie, Flight of the Navigator.

  • MJ

    OMG I almost didn’t recognize the dean! he looks so different.

  • alex

    I can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures.

  • Gordon

    I think if I remember correctly, it took over 3 or 4 seasons before Seinfield became a hit. And like Sein’ I’m sure NBC is aware of Community’s small but loyal following. So unless they have a bevy of terrific pilots in the waiting and think one of those would fair better against the competition, Community may flourish thru a 4th season..at least…right?

  • harry miller

    My best friend’s mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out ofjob for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here Nutty Rich.com

  • T. S. Turner

    Actually, Ms. Brie is 28, so let the lusting begin!!

  • Brenna

    I love this show; it has such a talented, hilarious cast.

  • jennysong

    Why do they keep sexing her up? Kind of annoying, they’re just exploiting her. Doesn’t go with her sweet character.
    My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire old man Ronald who is the CEO of a MNC ! They met via —-SéêkSúɡárDαd.℃⊙M–.- ..it is the largest and best club for rich man date with young and beautiful woman and their admirers to chat online. …you don’t have to be rich there ,but you may meet one ,maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends !

    • Meg

      wtf?

      • Matt

        Yeah, I know.. started off serious then turned into a spam comment. I’ve never seen that before…

  • huangzhenwei

    Tim Matheson was Otter, not Boone. Peter Riegert was Boone
    Wow, My best fríènd ,she just has annóuncéd hér wēddīng wīth a rich mān who is a cèlèbrìty !They mèt via~~~~SéêkSúɡárDαd.Сσм ~~~~ ..it is the lārgēst and bēst clúb for rich man with yung and beautiful woman and theìr àdmirèrs to chát ōnlìnè. …You do nǒt hávè to bê rīch ór fāmóùs. ,bùt yōu cān meēt yóùr trùē lòvê , It’s wòrthy ǎ try!

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