Alison Brie wasn’t the star of Community. But she did play, in my humble but correct opinion, the best character: neurotic genius Annie Edison. When the show ended in 2015, we hoped she would continue to play insane but relatable characters. Indeed she has.
On Friday, Netflix released her series GLOW. Critics quickly swooned over the show and Brie’s performance. The New York Times called it “an insightful story about making art from trash.”
Brie’s not the only former Community actor garnering critical acclaim. Since graduating, Glendale Community College, her cast mates have gone on to successful new projects or, in the case of Chevy Chase, revisited past successes.
Joel McHale (Jeff Winger)
McHale is one of those actors who always plays an insufferable man-child, to the point that you wonder if he himself is the problem. His CBS sitcom The Great Indoors only lasted a season but his ego was surely bolstered when he appeared as his smarmy self in Lip Sync Battle, Comedy Bang Bang!, and Bill Nye Saves the World. As a tribute or, perhaps for revenge, he’s playing Chevy Chase in the upcoming Netflix biographical drama A Futile and Stupid Gesture, chronicling the rise and fall of National Lampoon.
Chevy Chase (Pierce Hawthorne)
Speaking of Chase: how is this dude still around? Since Community ended, he appeared in yet another installment of National Lampoon’s Vacation series, the unnecessary Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and something called Dog Years. The last is so unknown it doesn’t even have a Rotten Tomatoes score.
Gillian Jacobs (Britta Perry)
The former Britta stars in Judd Apatow’s god-awful Netflix series Love. As on Community, Jacobs plays the hot and quirky love interest for Gus—only this time, the quirk is explained and tempered by a non-quirky predilection for substance abuse. At least she’s not a fun vampire anymore.
Donald Glover (Troy Barnes)
Donald Glover, the other breakout star of Community (along with Brie). Since playing Troy, he’s juggled his musical career with producing and starring in the award-winning show Atlanta. He also had a brief turn as Lena Dunham’s token black boyfriend character on Girls.
Danny Pudi (Abed Nadir)
Pudi played the weird and possibly sociopathic Abed Nadir. After leaving his Dreamatorium Nadir has laid relatively low. He had cameos in Star Trek Beyond and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. His two big projects: voicing Brainy Smurf in Smurfs: The Lost Village and voicing Huey in the upcoming DuckTales reboot. Never stop being weird, Pudi. Never stop.
Ken Jeong (Ben Chang)
Since leaping out of a car trunk butt naked in the Hangover, Jeong has entertained the world with numerous projects. His show Dr. Ken, which depicts his actual pre-comedy experience as a doctor, was short lived and derided by critics but I have a hard time hating the guy. Not least because he also starred in the less-known teen rom com The DUFF. I’ve nothing witty to say, I just love that movie.
Jim Rash (Dean Craig Pelton)
Rash is man of many talents. In addition to spitting pure fire on the mic (see video for proof), Pelton won an Academy Award for writing The Descendants.
Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley Bennett)
Brown’s post-Community work has been the most random of all the show’s stars. After playing Bennett, a super Christian and judgy mother, she starred in the remake of The Odd Couple and she now hosts the SyFy competition show Cosplay Melee, which is precisely what it sounds like: costume designers and SciFi enthusiasts competing to make the best costume.