Fall TV Preview

Scoop: Community to Introduce Jeff’s [Spoiler] – Who Should Play Him?

The Community family is going to be growing in Season 4.

Though to date we’ve never met the guy, Jeff’s deadbeat dad has maintained a serious presence on the NBC comedy. (Heck, Britta’s even pretended to be him.) But now, sources confirm to TVLine that the series will at last introduce the absent elder Winger in the upcoming season.

Since the source of Jeff’s daddy issues has yet to be cast, allow us to get the ball rolling. Take a look at our short list below, Armchair Casting Directors, then fill the comments with your suggestions on who you’d like to see play the wiseacare’s pop.

BILL MURRAY | An obvious pick, given that it was the one name Community creator Dan Harmon floated when asked to dream cast the role. Given his ability to play both subtle (Lost in Translation) and broad (What About Bob?), we think the Saturday Night Live vet would be more than capable of bringing Jeff’s father to life – plus, it’d of course be a hoot to see him in action alongside former feud partner Chevy Chase (Pierce).

RELATED | Dan Harmon Opens Up About Community Ouster: ‘To People Who Work Above Me, I Am a Liability’

JIM CARREY | If the casting were based on craniums alone, the Ace Ventura star would have this in the bag. That resemblance aside, Carrey’s oeuvre (The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) proves he’s capable of shelving his signature mugging when the project calls for it. (Too young, you say? Let’s remember that the guy who played Pierce’s pop was 12 years Chevy Chase’s junior.)

JOHN LARROQUETTE | The TV vet who made his name in Night Court would be right at home in a series that has featured a musical episode, an anime interlude and six timelines stuffed into a half-hour show. And if Jeff’s dad is half the reprobate his son thinks he is, we see Larroquette nailing the part with smarm to spare.

MICHAEL KEATON | Aside from a 2011 episode of 30 Rock, filmdom’s original Batman/Beetlejuice hasn’t done TV in quite some time – even more reason Keaton would be a great get. Can’t you picture his dry sense of humor in action alongside McHale’s deadpan snark?

RELATED | Community Roll Call: Chevy Chase Shall Return

BRUCE WILLIS | Though he’s best known as a Die Hard action hero, let’s not forget that playing Moonlighting goof David Addison put Willis on the comedy map (and he had a recurring gig on Friends as one of Rachel’s beaus). Despite his relative youth – he’s only got about 17 years on McHale — we think Willis would be quite believable as the guy who left Mrs. Winger and little Jeff in the lurch.

CORBIN BERNSEN | Though he’s already got a gig on Psych, maybe USA Network would lend Bernsen to sister outlet NBC’s Community for a brief, buzzy visit? We definitely wouldn’t mind seeing the onetime L.A. Lawyer puffed up with Arnie Becker arrogance as he mocks meets the Greendale Gang.



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Comments (70)

  • Bill Murray.

    Comment by Anders – July 12, 2012 05:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I actually think Chevy Chase would be a great as Jeff’s dad, but obviously he’s already on the show.

      Comment by GDV – July 12, 2012 07:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jim Carrey is waay too young for the role!

    Comment by Lucy – July 12, 2012 05:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally my first thought, because Jeff is supposed to be older than the rest of the people in the group (except for Chevy, of course).

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – July 12, 2012 09:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Shirley is older than Jeff. Jeff is something about 35 so if Jim would play somebody who is 55 that would be possible.

        Comment by Johanna – July 12, 2012 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Actually Shirley is the same age as Jeff. She often mentions that because everyone sees her as older.

          Comment by Ines – July 12, 2012 03:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • in the foozeball episode they say that when shirley bullied jeff as a child she was 12 and he was 10 (I just watched it last night on ondemand haha) so shirley is a little older but not by much. they are both in their thirties and only two years apart which justifies her saying they are the “same age”

            Comment by Sarah – July 13, 2012 05:18 AM PDT  
  • JOHN LARROQUETTE PLEASE. Bill Murray should play the mayor on Parks and Rec.

    Comment by noa – July 12, 2012 05:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, noa! I think height-wise & goodness yes, smarm-wise, John Larroquette is perfect. I would be pleased with any of the actors mentioned.

      Comment by Tea – July 12, 2012 06:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Both of these things! Larroquette was my first thought when they first really started addressing Jeff’s dad, and when the limo pulled up in the hospital episode, I thought, please, please, please let him be sitting back there with a martini!

      Comment by heather_kaye – July 12, 2012 07:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I want Amy Poehler to play the Mayor on Parks and Rec.

      Comment by Matt – July 12, 2012 11:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dan Harmon

    Comment by João Amaral – July 12, 2012 05:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hahahahaha! YES!

      Comment by TV Gord – July 12, 2012 05:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Aww, I think Dan in real life is actually a few years younger than Joel. Perhaps they should bring him in as a brother? I’ve often thought Jeff needed a visit from a ne’er do well brother on the show.

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – July 12, 2012 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Lithgow

    Comment by bob barker – July 12, 2012 05:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That was my first thought! But Larroquette would be pretty good too.

      Comment by Castle Lover – July 12, 2012 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah, but he’s already playing Barney’s dad on How I Met Your Mother.

      Comment by Sheila – July 12, 2012 07:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved John ever since Night Court and he was a great spy on Chuck. Let it be him.

    Comment by DJ Doena – July 12, 2012 06:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bill Murray, obviously, as Winger was the last name of his character in Stripes and was a clear inspiration for Harmon to create Jeff.

    Comment by Mel – July 12, 2012 06:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Ratzenberger

    Comment by Bob Smith – July 12, 2012 06:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jim Belushi

    Comment by Grace Bromley – July 12, 2012 06:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Jeff’s Dad is, afterall, the Jim Belushi of fathers.

      Comment by Oliver – July 12, 2012 09:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Larroquette could not be more perfect! I would love to see this happen.

    Comment by KND – July 12, 2012 06:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Lithgow!!!

    Comment by Simon – July 12, 2012 06:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ryan Seacrest.

    Comment by iluvbears – July 12, 2012 06:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • its probably going to be Shatner

    Comment by Hojana – July 12, 2012 06:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lol. William Shatner would be a HOOT! But John Larroquete would be a better fit. He can be just as snarky and witty as Jeff.

    Comment by shuayb – July 12, 2012 06:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • William Shatner should play Britta’s father. A rich industrialist type who’s not a buzkill like Britta.

    Comment by shuayb – July 12, 2012 06:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bill Murray, Bill Murray, or Bill Murray. if all of them are too busy, then maybe Bill Murray would do.

    Comment by Joberto – July 12, 2012 06:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed. Bill Murray for president!

      Comment by tripoli – July 12, 2012 02:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I guess it depends on whether you want the father to be the funny man to Jeff’s straight man (comedy duo) or a straight man like Jeff. In that case Bill Murray or John Larroquette respectively.

    Comment by clegacy92 – July 12, 2012 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 1. Bill Murray is the best possible option. Rooting for him.
    2. Ryan Seacrest would be the weirdest yet most intriguing version.
    3. Dan Harmon would be the version NBC would never accept, but that’d be supra meta cool.

    Comment by Annie's Boobs – July 12, 2012 07:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh, like Grace Bromley said, Jim Belushi would be a fantastic choice as well.

    Comment by Annie's Boobs – July 12, 2012 07:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Corbin Bernsen has been saying since the Psych season finale that Henry died so maybe he has some free time?

    Comment by Meg – July 12, 2012 07:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He’s lying. Corbin Bernsen is in the next season of Psych.

      Comment by Cloudy Knight – July 12, 2012 09:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Larroquette has my vote, but Bill Murray would be awesome too. I could also see Michael Keaton being a really interesting choice.

    Comment by Aprilcot – July 12, 2012 07:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Larroquette

    Comment by cindy – July 12, 2012 07:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • David Hasseloff….

    Comment by Anthony – July 12, 2012 08:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like all of the suggestions made by TV Line. Shatner would be interesting. What about Henry Winkler (he’s used to playing unreliable fathers – see Royal Pains.)

    James Spader. Does TV. Just wierd enough in general but might be too young.

    Steve Martin. Does smarmy well.

    When TV Line mentioned John Laroquette, I immediately thought of Harry Anderson but not the one we knew from Night Court but rather the character he played on Cheers once or twice.

    If they went a different route, Donald Sutherland.

    Comment by Snsetblaze – July 12, 2012 08:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Steve Martin is a great choice! When I was thinking about this after the last season ended, I thought of him too, but I really root for Bill in the role. I had never thought of Harry Anderson, but that would be a really good choice.

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – July 12, 2012 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Larouquette would be a DREAM as Jeff’s father.

    Comment by Chance – July 12, 2012 08:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dan Ackroyd

    Comment by Todd – July 12, 2012 08:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This!

      I think him or Steve Martin would be awesome!

      Comment by Me – July 12, 2012 09:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh, TVLine, I hate being that person, but did you mean Chevy pretended to be his dad, or did you really mean Britta? Because I can’t recall an episode where she did that, but maybe I’m wrong.
    .
    And I think Bill Murray would be perfect if they could get him, and he’s not too busy doing his summer party tour of random people’s houses (you gotta google that. Seriously. It’s not a joke). I think he would be the most hilarious and is the most like that character, but I also recall in one of the commentaries on an episode, Dan Harmon said he wanted the character of Jeff to be like a young Bill Murray, and I think they pulled that off pretty well. Plus, can’t you just see the sparks between Chevy and Bill as they fight to be the father figure of Jeff? They don’t really like each other…

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – July 12, 2012 09:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Britta role-played with Jeff about meeting his Dad in Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking

      Comment by Oliver – July 12, 2012 09:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Both did in Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking, Britta role-played with Jeff and Pierce pretended to be Jeff’s dad in order to pull a mean prank on him.

      Comment by Marco – July 12, 2012 11:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael Keaton! I adore him.

    Comment by Leah – July 12, 2012 09:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • David Hyde Pierce.

    I guess they’d have to write in that Jeff’s mother was a tall woman.

    Comment by ultimate troll – July 12, 2012 09:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hmmmmm. That could be an interesting choice. And I love David Hyde Pierce, so I’d kind of be geeking out at the idea of someone from one of my favorite shows appearing on another one of my favorite shows :D.
      Thanks to my mom, I’ve seen the movie ‘Mr. Mom’ tons of times, and I’ve often thought there was a similarity between his sense of humor there and Joel’s as Jeff and such. So out of the people listed, I would go for Keaton as my pick. It’d also work because there’s that background joke that was going throughout the show with the Beetlejuice thing, too, as has been noted on the internet!
      Beyond that, yeah, Bill Murray would be good. And I like the mention of John Lithgow people have made in here, too.

      Comment by Angela – July 12, 2012 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jeffrey Tambor!

    Comment by Eri – July 12, 2012 09:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LeVar Burton — because it would freak Troy out. LOL

    Comment by Luminosity – July 12, 2012 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bill Murray or Michael Keaton would be the best options. I’m actually rooting for Keaton more.

    Comment by Sam – July 12, 2012 09:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ted Danson. He was perfect on Bored to Death when he struggled with being a father and his comedic timing is excellent.

    Comment by Morgan – July 12, 2012 10:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Obviously I’d want Bill Murray because that’s who Dan Harmon wanted in the role but I don’t see that happening at all so I’d be really happy to see John Larroquette. I hadn’t considered him before but actually, I can totally see it.

    Comment by LC – July 12, 2012 10:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Laroquette would be great. I originally thought of Dan Akroyd. Ted Danson could be good too.

    Comment by Chris – July 12, 2012 10:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One word: Shatner!

    Comment by Craig – July 12, 2012 10:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope it will be Bill Murray. That would be so cool. Cool, cool, cool.

    Comment by Susie Renton – July 12, 2012 11:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t know if it has been mentioned but Ryan Seacrest should be brought on as jeff’s brother. Bill Murray as his dad. On a different subject of fathers, if they ever bring in Annie’s dad it should definitely be Tom Selleck…..if he ain’t too busy with Blue Bloods.

    Comment by PrisonMike92 – July 12, 2012 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Lithgow was my first thought!

    Comment by Ainav – July 12, 2012 01:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bruce Willis would be great as jeffs father, he could even attract more publicity to the show.

    Comment by Tadhg Maguire – July 12, 2012 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bill Murray

    Comment by anik (@11starthestral) – July 12, 2012 03:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It would be cool to mix universes-Bill Murray’s Stripes character John Winger as Jeff’s dad. But I think Michael Keaton would be excellent. He can do sarcasm as well as anybody.

    Comment by Char – July 12, 2012 04:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Keaton. Hands down.

    Comment by Dan – July 12, 2012 09:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You asked me to pick him, not to pay him, so…..Jack Nicholson!

    Comment by sindella – July 12, 2012 11:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 1. larry david
    2. martin sheen (the height difference alone would be hilarious)
    3. clint eastwood

    Comment by wi – July 13, 2012 10:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Danny Devito. He needs a kid ’cause it turned out he really wasn’t Dennis and Sweet Dee’s father.

    Comment by EatMorePez – July 13, 2012 03:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • To whomever suggested Jack Nicholson, yes, yes and YES! All the other suggestions sounded great but this…this us too perfect… Really. Imagine it. Angry, alcoholic, deadbeat, sarcastic, mean and still a great character. Love it!

    Comment by Dave Pekarcik – July 13, 2012 10:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Bill Murray would be pretty awesome (also this says that Harmon wanted him). But you know who I think would be awesome? Mr. Nathan Fillion.
    NATHAN FILLION! NATHAN FILLION! NATHAN FILLION! NATHAN FILLION! NATHAN FILLION! NATHAN FILLION! NATHAN FILLION! NATHAN FILLION! NATHAN FILLION!

    Comment by #sixseasonsandamovie – July 14, 2012 12:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • John Larroquette!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Dan – July 15, 2012 08:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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