By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Sep 17, 2009 at 4:54 PM

Tonight's premiere of NBC's "Community" offers one of the best chances for new laughs this fall.

The "Community" of the title is a community college. Despite the usually convoluted sitcom sit that delivers us to the campus of Greendale Community College, the show offers a bounty of characters, including a delightfully annoying Chevy Chase, who finally seems comfortable in a second banana role, and one of the stars of cable TV, Joel McHale, the smarty-pants host of "The Soup" on E! in an equally smarty-pants role as a lawyer who lacks a legitimate undergrad degree.

The show is the creation of Milwaukee ComedySportz veteran Dan Harmon, and Marquette alum Danny Pudi is in the cast. 

The pilot spends much of its time introducing us to the cast. But based on this first half-hour, it's worth getting to know them.

"Community" debuts at 8:31 tonight -- yes, 8:31 -- on Channel 4 in Milwaukee, after the 8 p.m. season debut of "The Office."

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.