I am so glad “Community” is back. Dean Pelton wears the best costumes. Does the actor who plays him have a favorite?
—Alejandro Gomez, Springdale, Arkansas
Jim Rash, 43, who plays the Greendale Community College dean on the NBC series, loves the fact that his character has a storage closet full of cross-dressing costumes in his office.
“They’ve all been fantastic,” says the Charlotte, North Carolina-born comedian. “We have an amazing wardrobe department that, on the fly, has had to create so many wonderful things. I always go back to our very first flashback episode when we were commenting on all the costumes — that whole little line-up was great — from Tina Turner to my Carmen Miranda.”
It is probably Rash’s 12 years as a member of the Los Angeles-based improv and sketch comedy troupe The Groundlings that helps him perform such outrageous scenes so comfortably.
When Rash is not in front of the camera, he’s writing. He won an Academy Award in 2012 as part of the writing team on “The Descendants,” but even so, he is appreciative that he had the opportunity to script an episode of “Community” last season.
“I had such a great time being allowed to write last year and was proud to be a part of ‘Community’ history,” he says. “But, to be honest, I’m already envious of the stuff we sat down to read this year. I feel as if [executive producers] Dan [Harmon] and Chris McKenna’s brains, and the brains that they have hired — I’m in awe of them. So I enjoy the road they take us on. In other words, they don’t need my bald head.”
Rash’s credits also include regular roles on the TV series “The Naked Truth” and “Help Me, Help You,” recurring parts on “That ’70s Show” and “Reno 911!,” and he has guest starred on “Will & Grace,” “CSI” and the final episode of “Friends.”
So even though the likelihood is he would land on his feet — or in a new series — if this is the last season of “Community,” he is hoping for at least one more, saying, “At the end of each year, we have that little emotional, ‘Will we be back?,’ process going through our mind. This whole year felt like a gift. It felt like we were being handed material … I would argue some of the best of all the seasons.”