5 Milwaukee things to cheer up Community creator Dan Harmon
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It’s been a rough month for Milwaukee native and Community creator Dan Harmon. Between a feud with Chevy Chase that went public and the anxiety of Community being perpetually on the brink, Harmon seems like a guy who is not doing too well, as evidenced by this. And this. Because The A.V. Club cares, we thought it might be nice to remind Harmon of a few lovely Milwaukee things, and maybe trigger a swell of nostalgia for his old stomping grounds.
Like Community’s Greendale Community College, West Bend’s UW-Washington County is a small school. Like high-school small. West Bend is also home to state Senator Glenn Grothman, who was recently featured on The Colbert Report for claiming women make less money because they need it less. And yet UWWC—known affectionately as “Cow Pie”—has all the charm, eccentricity, and close-knit study-buddy camaraderie that one can only find at a community college—or, as it were, a UW extension school. All of the depressing-to-lay-on couches and small town ennui are counterbalanced by a dedication on the part of the faculty that you’d be hard-pressed to find at larger schools.
For years, Milwaukee’s Crappy Dracula has managed to combine angular hardcore and stand-up comedy with more gusto than any band since Flipper. Just when you think the group has finally jumped the shark, it redeems itself with a brilliant conceptual move. Recently the CrapDrac boys capped off an unplugged-augmented-by-Casio set with a karaoke rendition of one of their own songs, replete with subtitles and a video. Plus, the band’s name is Crappy Dracula.
Hot dog vendor Rick Karbash
Okay, this one is self-explanatory. Karbash is that jean-shorted downtown hot dog vendor who serves brats, polish, and frankfurters with near-robotic efficiency. As Community demonstrates, everyday occurrences can gain mythical status, and this guy does his thing like someone who trained under some food truck masters on Sauerkraut Mountain. Troy and Abed would likely either try to hire him for private use in the Dreamatorium, or seek apprenticeship from this Yoda of sausages.
Some Milwaukeeans will remember alewives as those things that would die and wash up on our shores in droves. Harmon will probably remember them as the namesake species of the Dead Alewives. Tired of having to work “family friendly,” Harmon and Mayville native/The Sarah Silverman Program co-creator Rob Schrab became part of this Milwaukee sketch troupe, which courted national attention before eventually dissolving in the late ’90s. But the real alewives just keep on keepin’ on, appearing as recently as last summer at Doctor’s Park. Lesson? Don’t count an invasive species of fish in the Great Lakes out. Also: Don’t count Community out.
A healthy preponderance of nerd-based activities
With the many dating events geared exclusively toward nerds, and bars that stock Jenga and host trivia nights, nerds need never be lonely again—unless, of course, they live in Cudahy. Nevertheless, all of this could be only interpreted as good news for Community, a show that covers almost as many types of narcissism as the DSM itself. It’s only a matter of time before America’s pop culture knowledge catches up to Community’s pop culture knowledge, and Community becomes the Seinfeld of the 2010s. If the preponderance of nerd-based activities popping up everywhere offer any indication, that won’t be long.