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Community: Donald Glover Would ADR Entire Episodes In Its Early Seasons

"Community" was the little show that could for all six seasons that it was on the air. Seemingly always on the verge of cancelation, Dan Harmon's irreverent comedy series managed to fulfill its longstanding promise to fans that it would run for "six seasons and a movie," with the "Community" movie finally rolling cameras.

Part of what made fans fall in love with "Community" was its eclectic and lovable cast of misfits. Among them was Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), a stereotypical jock who got a wild amount of mileage out of such a standard trope. Through his epic friendship with Abed (Danny Pudi) and his growth as a character, Troy became one of the most memorable parts of the series before making his exit in Season 5. What even the most ardent of "Community" fans might not know is that Glover recorded entire episodes of his dialogue through ADR early on in the series. 

"We must have changed like sound crews like every — I'm not joking — maybe every six weeks," Glover told GQ. "I don't know why. It just happened that way, so I would have to ADR, and I would ADR entire episodes."

Glover learned ADR and improv early on in Community

If one is not familiar with the term ADR, it stands for automated dialogue replacement. What it means is that an actor is re-recording the lines that were originally captured on film during the shoot of a scene to improve the sound quality or make the dialogue sound smoother or more impactful.

While it's generally used sparingly, it sounds like the audio crews working on "Community" had such regular issues that Donald Glover had to re-record entire episodes worth of dialogue. If this only occurred with Glover, however, it could be due to the often bombastic nature of his character. For instance, Troy will occasionally yell randomly and screech unexpectedly to assert his feelings throughout the series.

This proclivity could have made it harder to capture accurate or high-quality renditions of his dialogue in the earlier seasons. Glover also noted that the "Community" scripts allowed him to come up with many of Troy's signature lines, saying that they often just contained cues for him to improv.

"Same thing with the improv thing. I thought that was television," Glover said. "I thought that's just what you did. They would be like, 'and then Donald says something funny.'" Considering how beloved Troy is by fans, it would appear that he nailed each and every one of those script cues.