7 most memorable musical TV episodes

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Community: “Regional Holiday Music”

The comedy Community already had a track record of original one-off episodes — including a stop-motion animation episode, among other unexpected ideas — so a musical TV episode was inevitable. “Regional Holiday Music, which aired during the show’s third season, doubled as a Christmas episode and a spoof of the show Glee.

When Jeff (Joel McHale) derails the glee club, the club’s director (Taran Killam) hopes the show’s central study group will perform the Christmas Pageant instead. But the study group hates glee club and refuses the request.

The director manages to recruit Abed (Danny Pudi), though, who just wants to spend time with his friends’ over Christmas. With Abed on board, the study group members get sucked into joining the musical one-by-one.

The episode featured several original songs.

These include “Christmas Infiltration,” where Abed convinces Troy (Donald Glover) that as a non-Christmas celebrating Jehovah’s Witness, he could go undercover to see what the holiday is all about. And “Baby Boom Santa” where Troy and Abed use different historical musical styles to appeal to Pierce’s (Chevy Chase) generational vanity.

In a send-up of Glee, regionals are repeatedly referenced throughout the episode, but never fully explained.

Eventually, Abed realizes that after regionals there are more singing competitions that will result in the group’s never-ending commitment to glee club. So he convinces Britta (Gillian Jacobs) to switch roles with him during the Christmas Pageant.

Despite not knowing the part and being a terrible singer to boot, Britta performs an awkward song and dance, ruining the Pageant. This enrages the glee club director who admits he was responsible for the deaths of a previous glee club’s members and runs off.

The episode fit the show’s sardonic tone, making for an entertaining holiday treat.