Admittedly Joel McHale’s intermittent shirtlessness is not the reason I watch Community. For one, it doesn’t happen that often, (okay, it’s kind of often) but when it does, it’s usually for some hilariously stupid reason. And two: the series is a wildly smart, satirical comedy machine, forcing us to keep our brains on even though the hearty laughs are making us loopy with breathlessness. But oh, the unnecessary shirtlessness. Trust me, Community. We know your eyes are up here, but can’t we appreciate your brain and your surprisingly toned abs? You’re the whole package, baby.
5. His Other Shirt Wasn’t “Working”
April 12’s “Origins of Vampire Mythology” delivered another elusive sighting of shirtless Jeff and proved that the show knows what its doing: whoring out the wildly attractive McHale for the female audience member. But fear not, Community fans, the writers had the decency to work it in as a joke/reason for Annie to swoon over Jeff… again. Plus, we all know Jeff is someone who was born with a limited capacity to keep shirt on anyway.
4. General Homelessness
In Season One, we caught a glimpse of shirtless Jeff in the wild — literally. Or mostly literally. Living out of your car in the parking lot of a community college is about as close to the wild as Jeff Winger will ever get. And only he can make the brushing-your-teeth-at-a-campus-hose look work.
3. Hulk Smash: Handsome Edition
Jeff’s distaste for the aptitude of his henley wasn’t the first in-the-buff scene for Mr. Winger in Season Three. His second-most epic exhibition came when his ego erupted in Hulk-like shirtlessness (because, duh) after a 13-year-old boy robbed him of the Most Handsome Young Man award at a bar mitzvah. Memorable? Totally. Hot? Sort of. (Sorry, mom.)
2. Missing Pen
Jeff wasn’t the only one to get skinny when the gang lost Annie’s pen in the infamous bottle episode, but he was the tallest. He even had the benefit of Troy and Abed bookends. Pierce’s disgusting cast of full of make-shift leg-scratchers like slim jims and pencils was far more hilarious, but no one was complaining about the side of eye candy to help us deal with the “sink at a waffle house” eau du Pierce’s injury.
1. Too Cool For Gym Shorts
This is hands-down the best reason for shirtlessness in the history of sitcoms. Jeff refuses to wear his gym uniform when he enrolls in a pool class because the point is to look cooler than Joe Camel on a sunset bound crotch rocket, and his battle with the pool professor explodes in a finale that finds Jeff ripping off his skivvies and besting the wardrobe cop in his birthday suit. HBO may have gratuitous sex scenes left and right, but nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned naked pool tournament.