The Community Holiday Party December 10, 2009

The Community Holiday Party

A lot of you must have seen Thursday night’s episode of Community on NBC because I got several messages about it.

The full episode isn’t available on Hulu yet, but this trailer gives you an idea of what to expect (sorry, non-Americans!):

And elsewhere in the episode…:

Shirley: You think religion is stupid.

Jeff: No, no! To me, religion is like Paul Rudd: I see the appeal, and I would never take it away from anyone, but I would also never stand in line for it.

Beautiful 🙂

I’ll have to check out the full episode sometime this weekend.

Is the whole series like this? Maybe I’ll start watching…

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  • TeddyKGB

    If by “Is the whole series be like this” you mean “sharply-written and really funny”, then yes. The showrunner, Dan Harmon, is pretty much a genius, and Joel McHale is awesome here and on The Soup every Friday night on E!.

  • Tizzle

    I hate inaccuracies* around my old religion. I feel an urge to correct them, but don’t want to get into it, you know? It’s basically defending beliefs I haven’t followed in over a decade. But anytime I can say well, at least they weren’t such-and-such, I can’t stop myself. As in, ‘hey at least I wasn’t a Creationist.’ But why should I still care about what the mainstream people think of it anyway?

    Anyway, this looks funny! Maybe I’ll check it out during break.

    *Mormons don’t drink. Jehovah’s Witnesses can.

  • Epistaxis

    I also feel the same way about religion and Paul Rudd, but it’s not as he described.

  • TeddyKGB

    The Google Machine says Jehovah’s Witnesses can drink; they just can’t get drunk.
    Makes perfect sense.

  • Staceyjw

    For the international people that want to see this-
    You can watch Hulu, Netflix and listen to Pandora from outside the US with a US based VPN, its the only thing that works.

  • I agree with Teddy. The show is top quality. I’ve enjoyed every episode. This was yet another good one — even though they irked me a teeny-tiny bit with the “I’m an atheist” and “I’m an agnostic” divide, when we all know that agnostics aren’t half-way between atheism and theism. ;D But it’s a comedy, a fine comedy, and they glossed over all the belief systems so whatever. 🙂

  • Cafeeine

    As a comedic show, there’s nothing that forces it to be a documentary. We know that a whole load of people are woefully unaware for what their particular creeds actually require of them. I don’t find it much of a stretch that a not very studious Jehovah’s witness might have the wrong impression that drinking is against his religion, or a mistaken use of ‘agnostic’. Heck, as a teenager I called myself an agnostic for a while as a placeholder for “don’t ask me about it, I don’t know and I don’t want to discuss it”.

  • Shawn

    I was lukewarm on the first few episodes, but the last couple were really good. Last night’s was hilarious. I’m not sure if it’s getting better or just growing on me.

    I liked that ‘agnostic’ got ragged on but atheist didn’t cause any more concern than the various religions.

  • Shawn

    …though I had to look up who Paul Rudd and Michael Anthony Hall (billed as the guest star) were.

  • See, that’s a metaphor that respectful and tolerant towards others, so I can realy get behind it. I personally belief the non-religious, non-theist movement needs more thinkers like that, and less of the militant anti-religious pushers who mock people for their beliefs.

  • Karen

    Good laugh this a.m., very funny 🙂

  • Jason

    You said, “Is the whole series be like this?”. You’re reading too many lol catz I think.

  • This is the best show on TV right now (especially now that the Mad Men season is over) so everyone should watch it! I was especially pleased that there was no “meaning of Christmas” nonsense or even an attempt to change anyone’s religion/non-religion. A great episode!

  • Our 6-1/2-year-old son was still up while we had this on. When Shirley started singing about Jesus, he exclaimed, “That’s not a Christmas song.” My partner and I experienced the same reaction simultaneously: a bit of a triumphant smirk and the realization that we need to give him a little more of the Christmas story.

  • Does Shirly remind anyone else of Sherri Shepherd?

    I might have found yet another series that I want to DVR.

  • Shannon

    That was great 😉

    What’s the problem some people have with the agnostic? I’ve heard the “lazy man’s atheist” before so it’s not like they are making up the attitude some people have. And an atheist and an agnostic are different, so why is that an issue?

  • stogoe

    I watched the first few episodes but I’m busy when it airs so I haven’t seen more than the first two or three. I will have to make the effort to track this one down, though.

  • Leilani

    I loved this episode. The series started off slow, but it’s gotten better. I am hoping that, through humor, more people can start to see that saying Happy Holidays isn’t the death to Christmas.

    And maybe if people of all beliefs joined together, we could actually defeat the chodes who walk around in their gym clothes 24/7.

  • Mountain Humanist

    Did anyone also notice the veiled dig at Scientology? Chevy Chase’s character said he was in some kind of “Level Five Laser Lotus Buddhist Circle at 5,000 energon cubes” or something like that. Britta the atheist said (and I find many of us atheists have a respect for non-theistic Buddhism): “I’m pretty sure that’s not Buddhism.” The language he used was clearly meant to denote that he was in a Scientology-like cult without actually saying it. Nice and subtle and lawsuit free. Overall it was very well done.

    1. Showed honestly how American religious beliefs are evolving and how truly stressful it is for Christians to find themselves in a more pluralistic world. Even though I am an atheistic Zen Buddhist, I can empathize with the plight of someone who grows up thinking her culture is a certain way only to have the theological rug yanked out from under them when they realize it’s a world of many beliefs (and non-beliefs). I had a similar experience as a recovering Southern Baptist.

    2. Nice to see the two main characters were atheist and agnostic. Also, Britta was portrayed as the most intelligent, balanced, tolerant member of the group.

    3. Showed how most Americans have a skewed view of Islam (Abed’s religion) when Shirley thought she could not speak during Abed’s part of the party and also pointed out the absurdity as well (“I’m getting 72 virgins!”).

    4. Shed some light on the strange views of JW’s (even if the drinking part was wrong).

    5. I also didn’t realize until now that Anthony Michael Hall played the bully! That’s right: Farmer Ted from Sixteen Candles!. A great bonus. The Brat Pack lives!

    6. Overall, I thought the show presented a well-rounded paradigm of the state of religion in America. Comparative religion classes should screen this. Notice it also showed that, as in Shirley’s case, fundamentalism and intolerance are often just defensive mechanisms by people who are lonely, scared or confused. The root problem leading to Shirley’s narrow-mindedness and intolerance was her pain at the thought of spending Christmas for the first time alone and without family since her husband left her. It’s a solid reminder that those of us who are non believers need to bring some compassion to the table when dealing with believers because most of them use their beliefs as a defense against pain. We need to show them (as Britta did on Community) that there is a better path.

  • jab

    You should also check out 30 Rock when it shows up on Hulu. The writers make up a fake religion to keep from doing a secret santa run by Kenneth. At one point Tracey Morgan’s character explains how all religions are just crazy beliefs, customs, and ceremonies used to control people and convincing Kenneth that religion is fake.

    Sure Kenneth gets his faith back in the end but that particular scene was good.

  • Joshua W.

    Overall this show is hit and miss with me, but this clip was pretty funny.
    Personally I like Paul Rudd much more than religion…lol

  • Spurs Fan

    I thought the episode was fantastic. It was very well-done and hilarious. I’ll agree with everyone else here that “Community” started off slow and has really grown on me. The 7-9 on NBC (central time) is the best two-hour slot on TV (Community, Parks and Rec, The Office, and 30 Rock). Other than sports, I don’t watch much TV, but Thursday nights always get DVR’d.

  • absent sway

    C’mon, Paul Rudd is the man!

  • Martin

    Have loved this show since the begining. Loved the Paul Rudd comment as yes, that is exactly how I feel about religion, I understand people wanting it and have nothing against it like Paul Rudd, but don’t want to take part in it and don’t want it to be part of laws and other people’s lives who don’t live by it, (like Paul Rudd!)..

    Also loved the part where after Shirly puts the Menorah in the tree, she gives Annie the baby Jesus and leaves, and Annie puts the baby Jesus in the tree. I laughed for like 2 minutes from that.

  • I just chuckled at your, “Sorry, non-Americans.”
    Guess you learned your lesson, Hemant. LOL!!

  • What’s the problem some people have with the agnostic? I’ve heard the “lazy man’s atheist” before so it’s not like they are making up the attitude some people have. And an atheist and an agnostic are different, so why is that an issue?

    Oh no, I didn’t mean the show was being unfair or anything like that. As I said up above, I felt the show glosses over/made light of all the beliefs so it only made sense that they would go with the more common understanding of what an agnostic is — which is a “softer” atheism.

    That is, Person A believes in God, Person B doesn’t, and Person C just isn’t sure what they believe, doesn’t want to deal with the question, and also doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of person A or B so they call themselves agnostic.

    In the show, after Jeff refers to himself as an agnostic, Pierce jumps on the stereotype by calling him lazy, suggesting he picked agnosticism because he can’t make a decision.

    But agnosticism doesn’t refer to belief in theism, it refers to knowledge. In that sense, you could be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist because, truly, none of us can claim to know, we can only have our beliefs (theist/atheist).

    Watching the show, I kind of get the sense that Jeff is very loosely a theist. He strikes me as someone who’d offer up a token prayer to some/any higher beings in the hopes that it’d help him to pass a final, for example. But I don’t think he’d be surprised if it did/did not come to pass. Nor would it stop him from doing it all up again the next time. 🙂

  • Shannon

    bobisimo, k, thanks 😉

    I’m not sure I agree with all the definitions I see online a lot. I’m an atheist. I call myself that because I lack a belief in a god, but I also admit I could be wrong. That doesn’t make me less of an atheist as far as I’m concerned. For me, it was never about knowledge, but about belief and whether a person has it or not. I do know (from reading blogs) that a lot of people don’t think (or don’t like?) that there are atheists like me who simply don’t believe rather than having come to the conclusion after a long, scientific journey of the mind. Eh 😉

    As to the characters in the show, it was the first episode I watched but I got the idea that Chevy Chase was just being a jerky/idiot like his characters usually are, lol!

  • Carlie

    After the first episode I thought it was something that had all the elements to be funny but that it didn’t gel into something that actually was funny, but this clip is hilarious. I think I’ll have to try this show out again.

  • Karen

    The whole Thursday night lineup was quite strikingly atheist-friendly, particularly for Christmas time, when we usually get treacly “god is love, after all” messages, even from comedies.

    Someone already mentioned 30 Rock and Kenneth losing his faith (quickly redeemed, but hilariously). Also, The Office had Michael dressed up as a nasty Jesus.

    I love it! We may be getting closer to some critical mass.

    Also, in today’s LA Times, a great column on a local atheist:,0,1991554.column

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