Friday, 22 April 2011

Casting a British Version of Community

Community is the best sitcom on television at the moment. At the very least, it's the best English-language sitcom. The story centres around a group of people who go to a second-chance college. Their lives have not really worked out, so they've gone back to college to either get a new degree, meet some new people, or get away from their previous lives. The show stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, and Chevy Chase. Given American TV's insistence on recasting and remaking British shows instead of airing the original series, what would it be like if we recast Community for a British audience, using actors who are in a similar position to the actors on the American version? Well, it'd be a lot whiter, for a start. Here's where we think it'd go.

Jeff - played by Joel McHale
British counterpart – Harry Hill

Joel McHale's 'main' role is as the commentator on The Soup, a TV show which makes fun of other TV shows. In Britain we have a slightly better version of the same show, and in Britain it's run by Harry Hill. A bald, bespectacled former doctor with a wacky sense of humour and a fondness for puppets and animation, Harry Hill is by no means leading man material. However, he is Britain's version of Joel McHale. Or rather, Joel is America's version of Harry Hill.

Britta - played by Gillian Jacobs
British counterpart – Tamsin Grieg

We needed to pick an actress who is known for comedy, but comedy which is kinda dramatic. A proper actress who can do comedy at the same time, in other words. With Episodes, Love Soup, and a variety of other roles under her belt, Tamsin Grieg fits this role perfectly.

Abed - played by Danny Pudi
British counterpart – Sandi Toksvig

We picked another Nordic comedian. Sandi Toksvig should be in everything.

Shirley - played by Yvette Nicole Brown
British counterpart – Dawn French

They have the same voice! Listen to them both and see if you disagree. We looked for female comediennes who looked like they'd give you a good, strong hug. And Dawn french sprung to mind almost instantly.

Annie - played by Alison Brie
British counterpart – Sharon Horgan

Sharon Horgan stars in a series of TV shows, including The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and Pulling. She can do proper roles. She can do humour. She is good at acting. She is AMAZING at comedy. Plus she has brown hair. How perfect!

Troy - played by Donald Glover
British counterpart – Noel Fielding

A very popular comedian who sings, does sketch comedy and writes extensively for other shows, Donald Glover only has one contemporary who comes to mind. Noel Fielding. The energetic half of The Mighty Boosh is massively popular right now, especially on the internet. He has more female fans than male fans, just like Glover, and has a surprisingly wide range of voices and characters.

Chang - played by Ken Jeong
British counterpart – Omid Djalili

Think of a smart comedian who can look completely crazy on a whim. You're thinking of Omid Djalili. The role of Chang requires a witty, intelligent, charming comedian to act like a total mental jerk every week. Omid has shown with some of his film work that he is not only absolutely mad at times, but he can be mad, a jerk, and kinda likeable.

Pierce - played by Chevy Chase
British counterpart – Michael Barrymore

Michael Barrymore is somewhat disgraced from the British comedy scene, despite being a brilliant personality and great comedian. Chevy Chase was in the same role before Community, and is now starting to recover his career. What do you think, guys?


  1. And I thought you were never coming back.

    I agree with Community's hilarious but I can't see Sandy as Abed. She's only ever been funny on QI though.

  2. You are right, Theducthief. I totally agree with you.

  3. Hey Steve!
    The countdown's almost done on 1000 Awesome Things. I just reread a bunch of your old comments and wanted to say thank you for everything you gave to my blog, especially at the beginning.