Community: Best Supporting Characters in the Series, Ranked – MovieWeb

From Professor Duncan to Starburns, these are the best supporting characters in Community.
Created by Dan Harmon, the sitcom Community ran for six seasons from 2009 to 2015. After many years of waiting and campaigning by fans, Community will return in 2023 with a full-length movie (via Variety). The TV series is set in the fictional city of Greendale, where seven characters from different backgrounds form a newfound family by becoming a community college study group. The iconic, main TV cast featured the likes of Donald Glover, Alison Brie, and Joel McHale, to name a few, all of whom portrayed equally lovable characters (minus, perhaps, Chevy Chase, who was fired before season 5).
While Community's main focus is indeed the seven different individuals (Jeff, Britta, Shirley, Abed, Troy, Pierce, Annie) and their bizarre experiences at college, the series wouldn’t be complete without its supporting characters. We watch their journeys just as much as the Greendale’s main seven. They add different perspectives and essence to our main characters, and their scenes tend to be some of the most iconic. Let's take a look at the best supporting characters in Community.
Starburns, or Alex Osbourne (his real name that he's always wanted to be called by), is played by actor/comedy writer Dino Stamatopoulos. The students of Greendale weren't the only ones having a hard time remembering the man's name; Community fans notoriously struggled with it as well. So, how did he get the nickname? The character shaved his sideburns into star shapes and very much enjoyed the attention he got because of it. All in all, Starburns is a somewhat sketchy character; as we later find out, he's both a drug user and a drug dealer. He even went as far as faking his own death so that he could do his business in secret. Nonetheless, he brought a certain edge and humor to the series.
Related: Community: The Funniest Episodes of the Series, Ranked
Bubbly and friendly on the outside, Community fans have long been convinced that there was something not right with Rich Stephenson. Portrayed by Greg Cromer, the character first appeared in the episode "Beginner Pottery," when Jeff and some of the others decided to join a new class. Jeff's cynical and egoistic personality made him envious of the accomplished Doctor Rich, who appears to get along with everyone and excel at pretty much everything. We never really found out what Rich's deal was, but he lied about his pottery skills and, even worse, during the Halloween zombie episode, "Epidemiology," he kept hidden that he was infected. All in all, he nicely pulled out Jeff's competitive side.
A hacky-sack world champion player and a musician, Vaughn Miller is one of the supporting Community characters whose return in the upcoming movie would be highly appreciated. Played by Eric Christian Olsen, Vaughn is portrayed as the typical hipster: always shirtless, barefoot, and very laid-back. In the first season of the series, he is dating Britta. He's constantly made fun of for his tiny nipples and quirky way of greeting and saying goodbye to people. His relationship with Britta doesn't end very well, so he ends up writing her a hate song. He later appears again in the series, this time interested in Annie despite Jeff and Britta's disapproval.
Often seen as over-excited and flustered in Community, Garrett Xander Lambert is one of the many students at Greendale, played by the comedian Erik Charles Nielson. Although nobody really knows what he majors in, he's often seen in science-related programs and acting classes. A lot of college rallies have been held in order to "save" Garrett. In one of Community's final episodes, we actually see the character marrying his own cousin, creating the controversial incest debate.
Officer Cackowski is actually portrayed by an actor of the same last name, Craig Cackowski. The character starts as a security guard at Greendale, but we later see and know him as Officer Cackowsi. He often gets called in to deal with Greendale Seven's shenanigans, and doesn't really appear to be fazed by it. Despite the bizarre nature of the crimes he has to investigate, Cackowski doesn't question them one bit and simply does his job. He even ends up participating in the hilarity in the episode "Fake Gun Finale".
Related: Community: Every Major Character, Ranked
Todd Jacobson is a character portrayed by David Neher. What we know about Todd is that he's a highly decorated Iraq War veteran with a wife and a daughter named Ellie. He's one of the supporting characters in Community whose journey we can clearly see throughout the series. He goes from being a normal student at Greendale to being a bit kooky, just because the study group decides to badmouth him. They completely destroyed him during the Yam Trial, when all he really wanted to do was go back home to his family. If it wasn't for the promise he made to his late father, he wouldn't even be attending the community college in the first place.
When talking about best supporting character in Community, we couldn't possibly leave out Leonard Rodriguez, who is undoubtedly one of the first ones to come to mind. Portrayed by veteran actor Richard Erdman, Leonard has been studying at Greendale since 1975 and doesn't have any intention of graduating. Given how he doesn't really care what people think of him anymore, he's known for his bad behavior on campus: insulting others, vandalism, skinny-dipping, etc. His best known for his one-liners throughout the series.
Last but not least, played by the iconic comedian John Oliver, Ian Duncan is a psychology professor at Greendale. Born in England, Duncan moved to America with his grandfather. He developed a drinking addiction and met Jeff when he helped to get him off the hook during a drunk driving accident. Jeff wanted to use him for a favor in return when he enrolled in Greendale, but as we find out, Duncan isn't one to help others and care about their needs. After the second season of Community, Duncan returns to Britain to help take care of his mother, but he comes back later in the series, right before the study group's graduation.


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