After years of waiting, hope ever waning, fans of Community were recently gifted some incredibly exciting news – the movie is coming in 2023 (per Variety). This will finally fulfill the promise created in the show with the now iconic line “Six Seasons and a Movie” from Abed Nadir. Many were anticipating this news a while back when much of the original cast reunited to do a table-red of a season five episode.
Community developed and has maintained a strong cult following ever since it first started airing in 2009. Now, there’s a delightful resurgence in appreciation for the show, which fans sharing some of their favorite moments, episodes, and characters on Reddit. The show sported a lot of fantastic guest actors whether they were Greendale professors and faculty, fellow students, or even themselves, but from all the suggestions fans provided, these are the very best.
10/10 Betty White
When asked who the best guest star was across all six seasons of Community there was one name resoundingly reiterated by the majority of fans – Betty White. She appeared at the beginning of season 2 as the study group’s new professor for Anthropology. She is best remembered for attacking Jeff with the weapon she made by combining all the tools she gave out to the class.
u/Stroemwallen said, “That scene is my favorite scene in the entire series.” In addition to her closing rap with Troy and Abed, Betty White as Professor June Bauer is the epitome of a one-episode wonder, and it even earned Betty a People’s Choice Award nomination for Best Guest Star.
9/10 Jack Black
Community really hit its stride during the second half of the first season and after its winter break, it returned with a bang thanks to Jack Black guest starring. He played Buddy Austin a classmate of the gang in Spanish who tries to become part of the group, but his personality makes it difficult to work with the others.
u/underscoresrule wrote, “that whole episode was great, and it gave us the ‘Annie’s pretty young, we try not to sexualize her’” line from Jeff to Buddy. The real gag of Jack Black’s whole appearance, which included the character being inserted into flashbacks and his special brand of musical comedy, was that at the end of the episode he was invited to join a different study group with none other than Owen Wilson.
8/10 Giancarlo Esposito
Many of the best guest spots are one-time things like Betty White and Jack Black, but a few popped back up once or twice more. That’s the case for Giancarlo Esposito, who played Pierce’s half-brother Gilbert Lawson. First, it was in the epic video game episode, and then later for a Halloween episode – both of which not only play into the classic antics Community is beloved for, but also some deep emotional development for Pierce.
Giancarlo brings the dark energy he is known for from Breaking Bad, which strangely melds well with the study group’s weird personalities and actions. u/captainfluffballs claimed, “he was great and the development for pierce was nice too.”
7/10 Tony Hale
u/rubinof27 only had to say a single line for fans to know who they think is the best guest star, writing, “Helloooo my precious blueberries.” That was, of course, uttered by the hilarious Tony Hale of Arrested Development and Veep fame from the pottery episode in season one. He played the professor for the pottery class with deep vitriol for the iconic scene from Ghost of Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze.
While Jeff made an enemy of him by singing “Unchained Melody,” fans found a new favorite they still think about years later. He might’ve only appeared in that one episode, but he made a lasting impact and is definitely among the best professors at Greendale Community College.
6/10 LeVar Burton
While most guest stars play a character, one of the best is just himself. LeVar Burton cameoed in two episodes as himself meeting his greatest fan, Troy. The joke was that while LeVar was personable and kind, Troy was so overwhelmed by meeting his hero his brain shut down. However, on his second appearance – when he was joining Troy on a trip around the world – Troy was able to talk to him since he respawned into a new life earlier in the episode.
u/Undercoversnowman suggested LeVar Burton, claiming, “his appearance, in my opinion, gave Troy one of his funniest moments during his freak-out…I still laugh my ass off when I watch the episode.” Perhaps with Donald Glover hopefully returning for the film, so too can LeVar Burton.
5/10 John Goodman
The most significant guest role was John Goodman throughout the third season as Vice Dean Robert Laybourne. At first, he was the authoritative and ambitious Vice Dean trying to take over the school from Dean Pelton, but eventually, he developed an interest in Troy, thinking him to be the one true repairman.
u/StoicAscent said, “John Goodman absolutely nailed the delivery of every one of his lines.” It was fun to see John Goodman in a serious, yet goofy role, and Vice Dean Laybourne is one of the best characters introduced after Community season 1.
4/10 Martin Starr
Another funny guest role from the third season was Martin Starr as Professor Cligoris. It was an Annie-centric episode as she tried to get a Model UN up and running at Greendale, only to be opposed by her “evil” counterpart, Annie Kim. While he might seem like a normal professor, he was still quite quirky and fit in well with the weirdness that is Greendale Community College.
u/Jestersloose618 wrote, “Every line of dialogue he delivered adds this cool and weird depth to his character.” He was just someone who truly loved Model UN, and though it was his only appearance, it clearly stuck with some fans.
3/10 Taran Killam
There was a time when Community was just a comedy about a Spanish study group, but as the show grew, it evolved in tone and humor. It came to rely on meta-humor, parodying various movies and TV shows, like in the musical episode featuring Saturday Night Live’s Taran Killam as the glee club coordinator, Mr. Rad.
As part of the discussion on Reddit, u/xenchik wrote, “HOW has nobody said Taran Killam yet??” Not only was he able to showcase some of his musical talents, but he was great at playing up the character’s creepy and sadistic side, poking fun at Mr. Schuester from Glee.
2/10 Matt Berry
The early seasons were front-loaded in retrospect with some fantastic guest stars, but as the show trudged along, they became less frequent. That being said, the final season did have one great entry with Matt Berry as the swindling professor of Grifting, Roger DeSalvo. He is now best known, of course, for playing Lazlo in What We Do in the Shadows, but this is another fun character in his repertoire.
u/5am5ep1ol claimed, “I love season 6, I know a lot of people didn’t. But the Sting episode was one of the best because of him,” speaking of Matt Berry. He’s the perfect actor to play a charismatic grifter and a standout among the plethora of guest roles.
1/10 Walton Goggins
What rekindled hope in a Community film was the cast’s reunion in 2020 wherein they did a reading of one of the funniest episodes in season five. The main cast was joined by Pedro Pascal, from The Mandalorian and Game of Thrones, who read the role of Mr. Stone, the mysterious man who interrogates the study group with polygraph tests after Pierce’s death. Pascal was great in the reading, but the original guest star in the episode, Walton Goggins was perfect.
Throughout the whole thing he was quite serious and emotionless, but as u/Far_Buddy8467 says, “him at the end of the episode really was a cherry on top for me” when he let loose on all his personality. It was a great way to end the episode, especially since it was quite heavy, so this moment lightened the tone to be more in line with what Community is known for.