'Community': Crash Course in Comedy and Identity

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NBC

Some weeks, Community is like a Rube Goldberg machine. This week, Pierce's cult, Annie and Shirley's anxieties about being seen as respectively too young and too old to have fun, Britta's concerns about whether she's considered fun, and a frog in a Senor Chang hat came unexpectedly together to produce the weepiest March 32nd ever. In other words, it was April Fools Day at Greendale, and the study group ended up in a crash course on comedy and identity. Among the things they learned:

1.) Animals in clothes aren't that funny. But frogs can be downright terrifying. Britta learned this the hard way when she proceeded, over Jeff's objections on the grounds that it wasn't hilarious, to steal a frog from the science lab and plant it on Senor Chang's desk wearing a little hat. Let's just say the plot went awry.

The result? An investigation. "Last night someone murdered a partially clothed animal and threw a corpse out a window," Dean Pelton lectured the Spanish class. "We ruled out your teacher because he has a crippling fear of frogs." "I told you that in confidence!" Chang wailed.

2.) The incident brought out the worst in Annie and Shirley, who having volunteered for campus security, were dueling over who got to be the bad cop in their volatile partnership. Even their introductions got competitive, as Annie greeted the real cops sent in to investigate the corpse with: "Morning boys. I'm Annie Edison. But people call me Psycho because I had a nervous breakdown in high school. My partner's a Christian housewife." Fortunately they learned to share badass duties by playing to their individual strengths. 3.) And Abed taught everyone that if life is a comedy, you'd better make sure all of your friends are playing their parts to perfection. The result? A Jack Donaghy moment for actor Danny Pudi.

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Alyssa Rosenberg is a culture writer with The Washington Post.

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