How old was each main character supposed to be in Community? The series by Dan Harmon originally aired on NBC in September 2009 and ran five seasons before moving to Yahoo Screen! for season 6. Based on certain storylines and minor details revealed throughout the show's run, there is enough information to determine the ages of Community's core cast of college friends.
The comedy series focused on the fictional Greendale Community College, specifically a seven-member study group made up of a rag-tag group of students. The study group consisted of Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), Annie Edison (Alison Brie), Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase), Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), and Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs). Each season of the series took place in the span of a new school year at Greendale, but the study group stuck around longer than the average student.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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Over the course of Community, a few of the characters' ages or birthdays were unearthed. Age differences also became a hot topic in several instances. The following is a breakdown of the ages of the study group's original members, as well as how those numbers were determined.
Jeff was the charming member of the group who had the power of good looks and the skill of persuasion. Even though he was obviously older than a typical incoming freshman, when Jeff Winger started at Greendale, he led his peers to believe that he was in his early thirties. In the season 5 episode, "G.I. Jeff," it was revealed that Jeff was having trouble with turning 40 years old. He was actually born in 1974, making him 34 when he started college in the fall semester of 2009. By the time the series ended in 2015, Jeff seemed to embrace entering his 40s.
Annie started at Greendale shortly after she graduated high school at the age of 18, making her the youngest member of the study group. Her young age became a topic of controversy when Jeff started to have romantic feelings for her. Annie's age also gave her character an element of innocence that carried on throughout the series. By the time Community ended and Annie was on her way to intern with the FBI, she was 24 years old.
Yvette Nicole Brown's Shirley was the "nice one" of the group. She was another adult student looking for further education at the local community college. Even though she was a proud mother, her age was often a sensitive subject since she didn't want to be viewed as an old member of the group. Shirley's age was never explicitly revealed on the series, but according to production details, her birthday was in August 1971, making her 38 when she started at Greendale. Even though Jeff pretended to be much younger than Shirley, they were only four years apart.
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It's no surprise that Pierce was the eldest member of the study group. By the end of Community season 2, Pierce mentioned he was 66 and with his November birthday, he would have been 64 when the series started. It was later revealed that Pierce started at Greendale in 1999 because he was rich and bored. This meant that Pierce started at the community college at the age of 54, and when he graduated nearly 13 years later in the spring of 2013, he was 68.
At the start of Community, it was believed that Troy was also 18 since he and Annie graduated from high school together. During his sophomore year in season 2, he learned that he was actually turning 21 years old, meaning that he was 19 when he started college. It was later revealed that Troy thought everyone turned 10 years old twice in life. When Troy left Colorado in season 5 to travel around the world in Pierce's yacht, he was 23 years old, nearing his 24th birthday in December.
Abed was the only character whose age was ambiguous throughout Community. His birthday was said to have been in March, but a specific year was never stated. Since Abed was able to order alcoholic drinks prior to Troy's 21st birthday, he was clearly 20 or older when the series first started. Based on his experiences, he was older than Troy and younger than Britta, putting him in the middle of the age pack among the study group. By the end of Community season 6, Abed was probably in his late 20s.
In the pilot episode, Abed mentioned that Britta's birthday was in October of 1980, making her 28 when she joined Greendale. Later in the series, her driver's license was shown, revealing a June 1982 birthday. Either way, since around six years had passed when Community came to a close, Britta would have been in her mid-30s when her time at Greendale came to an end.
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How Old The Actors In Community Were vs. Their Character Ages
While the characters making up Community's study group range pretty widely in terms of age, the ages of the actors playing them are a bit different, as is common in TV and film. Here's how old each of the actors really was at the show's premiere and its ending:
- Joel McHale: 37 years - 43 years
- Alison Brie: 26 years - 32 years
- Yvette Nicole Brown: 38 years - 44 years
- Chevy Chase: 65 years - 71 years
- Donald Glover: 25 years - 31 years
- Danny Pudi: 30 years - 36 years
- Gillian Jacobs: 26 years - 32 years
All told, the actors' ages don't vary too much from their characters, with Brown, Chase, and Jacobs lining up nearly exactly. The other four actors in Community played down a few years, which is common. Notably, while it was initially thought that Jeff Winger was several years younger than Joel McHale, the two wound up being closer in age after Jeff's lie was revealed.