Ranking the Most Unhinged Teachers and Professors in ‘Community’
If Greendale Community College existed in real life, newspapers would have a full-time staff reporting on the countless transgressions and straight-up crimes its faculty has perpetrated. In fact, the educators are all so deranged one could argue that the main characters in Community have always been stuck in the Darkest Timeline — long before Abed (Danny Pudi) rolled that dice.
With that in mind, let’s venture into the school archives and rank the most unhinged teachers and professors that have graced (and, at times, blazed) the school’s halls...
Buzz Hickey (Jonathan Banks), Behavioral Sciences
Hickey is, by far, the most intense criminology professor who also likes to draw cartoon ducks. The man — who apparently has some dark military stuff in his background — goes on power trips, bullies students and can get petty at the drop of a hat because, well, he’s sad. Hickey once cuffed Abed to a cabinet in his office for accidentally spraying foam over some of his comic-strip drawings, and didn’t hesitate to destroy campus property because a treasure map told him to.
Ian Duncan (John Oliver), Psychology and Anthropology
Ah, yes. A British psych professor with a drinking problem. Classic stuff. While Professor Duncan (at times) does show some keen insight into the psyche of others, he doesn't seem able to manage his own mental vulnerabilities. He exploits his students at almost every turn — he once tried to get a book deal out of Abed’s Christmas Claymation breakdown — and the shit that comes out of his mouth is every HR person’s nightmare.
Noel Cornwallis (Malcolm McDowell), History
Professor Cornwallis used to teach at Oxford, which explains his pretentious bow tie:
But he got booted following a scandalous affair with a co-ed. So, you know, he fits right in at Greendale, where everyone gets to hump everybody else (and by everyone, we, of course, mean student-turned-teacher Jeff Winger). Cornwallis continues his creepiness by giving Annie (Alison Brie) answers to a test in exchange for rubbing her feet, and tying himself to a chair at the gang’s Christmas party to mess with them because he, too, is just a sad, lonely man. Quite a lot of those on this Dan Harmon show...
Professor Albrecht (David St. James), Ladders
Greendale Community College is known for its, uh, creative course curriculums, so the fact that students can get extra credits for a course where the professor basically stands atop a ladder and yells, "Ladders!" shouldn't be too surprising. However, Albrecht’s affinity for showmanship kind of makes it work.
Sadly, Albrecht didn’t last long because after getting his class canceled and then reinstated again, he celebrated like so:
Eustice Whitman (John Michael Higgins), Accounting
Instead of actual accounting, Whitman uses his time to teach his students the concept of “seizing the day” — a philosophy that apparently entails skipping around eating ice cream and demanding the campus cafeteria make him a birthday cake, even though it’s not his birthday.
His unhingedness knows no bounds. Whitman wakes up every morning and thinks of new ways to be the most annoying man on campus, which apparently is a cross between Dead Poet Society’s Robin Williams and Mary Poppins. He’s just the worst.
Herbert Bogner (Blake Clark), Physical Education
In fairness, Greendale’s billiards instructor only really loses it because Jeff Winger refuses to wear the sport’s official attire. However, the fact that Coach Bogner doesn’t reprimand Winger for his public display of colorful underwear and, instead, joins in on the eventual balls-out billiards bash shows a severe lack of self-control on his part, too.
Roger DeSalvo (Matt Berry), Grifting
It is 100 percent true what they say: Matt Berry can do no wrong. The actor excels at playing the eccentric, the subtly unhinged and the guy most likely to smooth-talk his way through a war zone if needed. In Community, he appears in “Grifting 101” as a grifting professor, only to try and grift Greendale out of thousands of dollars with one extremely elaborate concocted plan that involves faking an accident and a lot of switching suitcases.
Marion Holly (Tony Hale), Pottery
Professor Holly teaches pottery and refers to his students as his “precious blueberries.” While he comes across as the artsy type, his edge shines dangerously bright whenever someone even thinks of mentioning film history’s most famous and sexiest pottery scene.
Of course, despite his warnings that it should never happen in his class, it happens. Trust Jeff to bring out the best in absolutely everybody.
June Bauer (Betty White), Anthropology
Bauer wasn’t around for a long time — what with her attacking a student in her class as part of a demonstration on which primitive tools work best. (Answer: All of them.) Everyone should probably have seen this coming since she introduced herself to the class as such: “My name is Professor June Bauer. This semester, I will guide you to the very threshold of your humanity, where you will lock eyes with the shrieking, blood-drenched, sister-raping beast from which we sprang. You will also have to make a diorama.” Classic professor-speak.
Professor Bauer also shot Star-Burns (Dino Stamatopoulos) with a paralyzing blow dart on her first day because he made a joke in her class. Oh, and she wanted students to drink some of her urine because someone spent way too much time watching Bear Grylls and/or Pornhub videos.
Cory Radison (Taran Killam), Music
Some might say Mr. Radison is Greendale’s music teacher and glee club instructor, but oh, “Mr. Rad” is so much more than that. Troy (Donald Glover) calls him the human version of Froyo, while Jeff compares him to “equal parts Hanson and Manson.” The way he recruits the gang to fill in for the OG glee club — who he, by the way, killed off in a “bus accident” — smacks of cult-leader mentality accompanied by an uncontrollable urge to make pop music.
Señor Ben Chang (Ken Jeong), Linguistics
Finally, we arrive at Greendale’s most colorful, most questionable teacher-turned-fake-turned-student-turned-teacher-again character, Ben Chang. He was the Spanish teacher until he was exposed as a giant fraud. Or, as he so eloquently put it: “I faked my way into a job as a Spanish teacher at a community college relying on phrases from Sesame Street.”
Chang then went from living in the cafeteria closet to living in Greendale’s ventilation system for a while because, eh, better view to look down on people. The dean eventually felt sorry for him and offered him a job as a campus security guard, which obviously turned the man who calls himself “El Tigre Chino” (The Chinese Tiger) into a full-blown dictator.
Chang recovered from this diabolical turn of events, which included kidnapping the dean, by escaping and later returning to Greendale pretending to have amnesia — more specifically, “Changnesia,” because no character in sitcom history has punned their own name more than this guy.
Chang is so utterly unhinged that he managed to piss off Steven Spielberg in the midst of his big Hollywood break. The man has less chill than Satan’s taint.