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VIDEO: Watch a Sneak Preview of 'Community's' Stop-Motion Christmas Episode

Community
"Community"

There is no new Community this week, but to tide everyone over, NBC has released a sneak preview of the upcoming stop-motion Christmas episode which is set to air Thursday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.

Series creator Dan Harmon said to Entertainment Weekly that making an animated episode had been on his mind for a while. It was a perfect marriage when Harmon found out the network execs were also mulling a similar idea.

"We rewatched all the Rankin/Bass [Rudolph] specials. It’s interesting to notice all these things that got magnified, and other things that got washed away in the tides of time [...] you pull these images and sounds into your heart as a child, and they stay there," he said.

So why is the gang made out of clay? "The Christmas episode looks into what makes [Abed] different from other people,” Harmon explains.

But Harmon is fast to point out that the numerous references aren't forced into each episode. “My brain is just made of a patchwork of stuff that I’ve seen," he says, confessing that Abed -- who often is the lone member of the group commenting on their status via TV and film anecdotes -- is most like him in real life.

Community is known for its timely pop culture references and parodies of popular genres. Since it premiered last fall, the half-hour comedy has referenced Animal House, Sixteen Candles, zombies and mobster movies of yesteryear, just to name a few.