Jeff Winger is a fictional character played by Joel McHale on the television series Community. He is a lawyer from Denver, Colorado, who is forced to return to college after the state bar association found out his college degree was not accredited.
The character of Jeff Winger originally appeared in the pilot, with a premiere date of September 17, 2009, describing him as a "fast-talking" defense attorney who specializes in DUI/DWAI/DUID cases, traffic offenses, and juvenile crimes. Jeff is a very effective lawyer with a 95 percent acquittal rate for criminal charges. Jeff is originally introduced as a selfish individual, who will go through great lengths to get what he wants. In the first episode, he is described as "narcissistic."
The underlying plot to the series is that the Colorado Bar Association finds out that Jeff did not get a bachelor's degree from Columbia University but, in fact, got one that was "less than legitimate" from the country of Colombia. Jeff returns to college by attending Greendale Community College as a "deal" with the bar in order to prevent him from being disbarred. Despite having an illegitimate college degree, Jeff's law degree is not in question by the bar association.
Winger is portrayed by Joel McHale, best known for his work on E!'s The Soup. As a writer and producer on The Soup, McHale demonstrated sharp wit and comedic timing. As an example of this, in the episode "Environmental Science," Winger tells his study group, "the next person that offers me pity will be mentioned by name in my suicide note." McHale has led Community into a primetime spot of NBC Thursday and there has even been talk of a Golden Globe nomination for the show.