Why Community Star Jim Rash Loved Wearing Dean Pelton’s Ridiculous Suits

Jim Rash only started out as a recurring character on “Community,” becoming a season three regular. Dean popped up here and there to make announcements or say something weird, but Dan Harmon and the writers quickly realized what a comedic gold mine they had in Rash, a consummate improviser and Oscar-winning screenwriter game for little almost anything. This included costumes, which began in Season 1 with the politically correct “Mister Winter.” In Season 2, the costume department started going wild. Lady Gaga, Scarlett O’Hara, a bumblebee with a front stinger…the costumes weren’t just more extravagant, but they also opened doors to her sexuality, which by design is never strictly defined. Speaking with Variety, Rash said of Dean Pelton’s role:

“It’s just a dream. You get to be this very elevated individual in the middle of a more grounded circle. Whether it’s putting on many, many costumes or beautiful polyesters, it’s been a blast.”

Not only do the costumes set the Dean apart from his community college compatriots, they allow for real variety in Rash’s own life, who doesn’t describe his own wardrobe in terms as glowing as his character’s. saying, “There’s nothing about my everyday body that I want to keep.” I’m not sure he would want to walk around dressed as Tina Turner all day, but doing “Community” gave him the opportunity.

But even through all the savagery, Rash was still able to play a fully realized human being, mixing silliness with a fleshed-out inner life. As he told HitFix:

“As long as Dan [Harmon] go on and they give us that heart and that understanding of who these people are, I think you can still enjoy the craziness.”

And we do.