Dan Harmon's Favorite Community Ad-Libs Came From Donald Glover & Gillian Jacobs

It's been almost 10 years since "Community" went off the air, but many of us spent the years of the pandemic doing a rewatch or three or four. There is just something comforting about seeing a bunch of screwups with a whole lot of heart improvising their way through life, community college, and romance. They mess everything up pretty consistently, just like the rest of us, but in an absurdist way. 

Though the show took a few episodes to really find its groove, turning the updated stock characters into beloved weirdos, it was clear by partway through the first season that creator Dan Harmon and the gang were onto something. There was a lot of improv during the run of the show, and in a Reddit AMA (or Ask Me Anything) from 2011, Harmon was asked about his favorite improvised line in the series so far. ("Community" began its run in 2009.) Though he gave the ultimate title to Donald Glover, who plays former high school football star Troy Barnes, he called out a couple of other brilliant moments from Gillian Jacobs as well. 

Confusion about Annie does an odd thing to Troy

Harmon references the episode "Romantic Expression," which was episode 15 of the first season. He said, "The crown jewel probably has to be 'I have the weirdest boner,' which was improvised by Donald." 

In the episode, Annie (Alison Brie) is hoping to date Britta's (Jacobs) ex, the hippie musician Vaughn (Eric Christian Olsen). In the scene with Glover's boner line, Britta and Jeff (Joel McHale) are trying to get Troy to look at Annie in a romantic way and have her start dating him instead. Annie previously had a crush on Troy in their shared high school, but as he points out, she was dealing with a pill addiction and ran through a plate glass window talking about everyone being robots, so he didn't look at her that way.

While Britta and Jeff take different approaches to talking Annie up to Troy, ultimately, they join forces and pretty much bludgeon him over the head with her good qualities. As they leave, satisfied with themselves, Troy looks confused and says the improv boner line.

That wasn't the only line Harmon mentioned, though. 

'Turning it into a snake'

Harmon continued to list a few more fun ones from Gillian Jacobs. He references the same episode, in the opening credits scene. Harmon said: 

"Gillian cracks me up whenever Britta is trying to be 'awesome" in any way: Gillian did the 'snake' move [in response to Annie's high-five], which really opened my eyes to Britta's potential."

He also mentioned another moment in a separate episode, saying, "And she did that awkward Chapelle-wu-tang hip-hop 'bark' at the end of the first act of the 'Abed becomes a Mean Girl' story." He added one that didn't make the season 2 cut, but longtime viewers of the show can likely see this in their heads. He explained: 

"My favorite 'ad lib' of season 2 had to go on the cutting room floor because it messed up the rhythm of the scene, but there was a moment in 'Mixology' when drunk Britta makes a raspberry at Jeff, and then this pretty gross but therefore awesome drop of drool falls off her lip onto her sweater. I think Gillian just knew it was there and committed to it. She is an incredible actor."

"Community" is currently streaming on Hulu. It's time for another rewatch before the promised "Community" movie is finished

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