On Thursdays at 8pm, there’s an epic comedy battle being waged as The Big Bang Theory on CBS competes head-to-head with NBC’s Community. As far as the ratings are concerned, it’s no contest. Since CBS moved The Big Bang Theory to Thursday, it has regularly crushed Community, often getting about three times as many viewers. But creatively, it’s a dead heat.
The latest battle involves LeVar Burton. After a brilliant guest appearance as himself on last week’s Community, Kunta Kinte turned into Judas Kinte by making a brief cameo on last night’s Big Bang Theory, accepting a Twitter invite to Sheldon’s party.
While it’s clear that LeVar Burton is probably just trying to become the new Betty White, turning himself into a retro and cool self-aware actor, it still feels like he betrayed Community by showing up on its rival.
To be fair, I suspect The Big Bang Theory doesn’t even know it’s in a rivalry. While Community has made many jokes in recent weeks about the Barenaked Ladies (an obvious jab at Big Bang which has a theme song by BNL), Big Bang doesn’t respond in kind.
However, if Community really wants to escalate this battle and declare victory, here are three helpful suggestions.
Dan Harmon Vanity Cards
Chuck Lorre, co-creator of The Big Bang Theory, has recently put a stop to doing his token vanity cards at the end of episodes of his TV shows due to the firestorm between Lorre and Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen. Since he’s stopping, now would be the perfect time for Community creator Dan Harmon to steal his thunder by doing vanity cards of his own.
Cast Jenna von Oy
The Big Bang Theory has become very funny with the addition of Mayim Bialik as Sheldon’s female companion Amy. To counter this move, Community should go back to Bialik’s seminal show Blossom and cast her best friend, Six (play by von Oy).
Parody the Nerds
In last night’s episode of Community, the very funny news crawl during Abed and Troy’s mock news coverage of the student government election featured plenty of funny jokes, one of which was about the chess club moving their meeting location. This made me think: why not feature Greendale’s chess club and have all the students closely resemble the cast of The Big Bang Theory? It worked before when the study group did battle with an annoying glee club that sang obnoxious cover songs.
No matter what happens, my only hope is that both sides come out of this battle victorious. As much as I love Community and think it’s the most brilliantly creative series on television, I can still admit that The Big Bang Theory is also incredibly funny and good. But a little healthy competition never hurt anyone.
(Images courtesy of NBC and CBS)