In just a few short weeks, directors Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Endgame will not only conclude Marvel Studios' Phase 3, it will also bookend 11 years of storytelling, spanning all the way back to 2008's Iron Man. The directors first joined Marvel Studios with 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and would go on to direct the studios' biggest films: Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and the aforementioned Endgame.
At the time, the brothers seemed an odd choice for Marvel. They were mostly known for their work on the popular NBC sitcom Community, a television series where they served as both directors and producers. But when the brothers joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they didn't come alone. They also brought along some Community friends.
As we gear up for Avengers: Endgame, here is a list of every Community cast member that has appeared in the MCU.
Danny Pudi, who played the fan-favorite, pop culture reference-filled Abed on Community, appeared in the Russo brothers' first Marvel film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The actor's cameo scene comes up late in the film, when Steve Rogers breaks into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s communications center to deliver a message that would unmask Hydra's infiltration of the super-spy organization.
Pudi can be seen working as one of the good S.H.I.E.L.D. employees, and the one who actually lets Cap into the communications room.
Aaron Himelstein may not have been a regular cast member on Community, but he still had a notable appearance in the Season 1 episode "Debate 109," where he starred as Jeremy Simmons, a foil of sorts to Joel McHale's Jeff Winger during a heated college debate. Like Pudi, Himelstein also appears in The Winter Soldier, as a S.H.I.E.L.D. analyst who comes under direct threat from Brock Rumlow, aka Crossbones. Thanks to a bit of help from Sharon Carter/Agent 13, Himelstein's agent would survive the Hydra takeover.
Better still, he would keep working for S.H.I.E.L.D., even after the spy organization's fall. In fact, Himelstein also has a cameo appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the Joss Whedon film, he appears as one of the crew members of Nick Fury's hellicarrier, which swoops in at the end of the film to lend the Avengers a helping hand in their fight against Ultron.
Jim Rash starred in all six seasons of Community as Greendale Community College's very own Dean Pelton, a lovable goof with a penchant for flamboyant costumes. The actor would make an appearance in the Russo brothers' follow-up to The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War.
Rash appeared in the film as an M.I.T. liaison who approaches Tony Stark after his speech to the school's students. Perhaps in a nod to his role on Community, Rash's M.I.T. character was notably similar to Dean Pelton.
On Community, Donald Glover played football jock Troy Barnes, and the other half of the fan-favorite Troy and Abed duo. Throughout the series' airing, Glover became associated with the role of Spider-Man and Miles Morales. In fact, in a nod to the wall-crawler, Glover would even appear wearing a Spider-Man pajama in the Season 2 opener, "Anthropology 101."
While he wouldn't end up playing Spider-Man, Glover would still appear, years later, in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the film, the actor played the role of Aaron Davis, uncle to Miles Morales.
You might not know this but yes, before she was Captain Marvel, and years before she won an Oscar for her performance in 2016's Room, Brie Larson appeared in two episodes of Community: Season 4's "Herstory of Dance" and Season 5's "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing." In both episodes, she appeared as the quirky but down-to-Earth Rachel, a Greendale student who would become Abed's girlfriend.
Of course, as we know, Larson would later star in Marvel's first female superhero-led film, the glass ceiling-shattering Captain Marvel.
On top of these multiple appearances, there are also some other notable MCU cameos from actors who appeared on Community. Martin Starr, who briefly appeared on the campus of Culver University in The Incredible Hulk, and who would later appear as Peter Parker's debate coach in Spider-Man: Homecoming, appeared in the Community Season 3 episode "Geography of Global Conflict" as a political science teacher.
Walton Goggins, who starred in the MCU as Ant-Man and the Wasp villain Sonny Burch, also appeared in Community's Season 5 episode "Cooperative Polygraphy."
Fan-favorite star Nathan Fillion, who put in a couple of cameo appearances in Community's "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking" and "Ladders" is connected to the MCU, although he didn't technically appear in a film. The actor was spotted as Wonder Man on fake posters that were seen on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. However, those scenes would ultimately not end up in the final cut.
Similarly, Ken Jeong, who played teacher/student/dictator Señor Chang was at one point slated to appear in a draft of Avengers: Infinity War, but the scene never made it into the film. However, if certain rumors are to be believed, Jeong may yet join the MCU in Avengers: Endgame.
Finally, while this is a different kind of cameo, it's still an MCU/Community crossover worthy of note: when Joe Russo returned to the NBC sitcom to helm the Season 5 episode "Geothermal Escapism," he brought along part of The Winter Soldier stunt crew to film an elaborate action scene that involved people wearing armor and, yes, chairs for shoes.
While this may be it for now, perhaps more Community cameos could be featured in Avengers: Endgame, this summer's Spider-Man: Far From Home and even further beyond.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau and Bradley Cooper, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Josh Brolin. The film arrives April 26.