The NBC series ‘Community’ aired this season’s alternate-medium episode and it was a beaut. “G.I. Jeff” was an animated parody of the old G.I. Joe cartoons interspersed with live-action faux vintage TV spots for a new product line (see above) and a few scenes back in the show’s reality. Meta doesn’t begin to describe it. There is no mention of the show on their website, and I wondered whether Hasbro had embraced the project. I consulted some random online experts whose credentials and sources are completely unverifiable, although there are certain “indicia of reliability.”
A gentleman at Dork Shelf writes that it was a “Hasbro approved parody.” He goes on to describe various in-jokes involving beloved show creator, Dan Harmon (Dork status confirmed).
Word of the Nerd describes the amusing premise of what looks for all the world like a real G.I. Joe episode.
It seems like a rather odd episode of the old cartoon until ‘Wingman’ kills Destro, and we learn this is the first actual death in the twenty five plus years of war with Cobra. The study group lands in jail, and they meet ‘Fourth Wall’ (Abed, Danny Pudi) who first brings up the idea that their reality may only be an animated children’s show. Meta, meta. There is even a character named ‘Sleep Apnea’ who does not look entirely unlike the show’s creator, Dan Harmon.
Go here to watch Episode 511 “G.I. Jeff;” also available On Demand for Cox customers. Hasbro should embrace this — it’s a gas. And it must be noted no one will ever confuse the somewhat crudely executed faux action figures for an actual Hasbro product. (But they’re not bad.)