Part of the reason for this may be tables full of party food, if one can call edible eyeballs, fingers, skulls and assorted viscera food. Crew people circle the platters, putting fresh morsels in place of the most wilted and discolored bits.
Little, though, can improve a baby doll whose appearance defies polite description (hummus and a rubber mouse are involved).
"This is the most disturbing one here," says star Yvette Nicole Brown.
"That poor baby," star Donald Glover says. "Well, don't eat rats. That's what I tell babies. I take a picture of that and say, 'Don't be this kid.' "
The occasion is filming for the sophomore show's second annual Halloween episode, called "Epidemiology 206," airing Thursday, Oct. 28, in which a miscalculation by the dean of Greendale Community College has severe repercussions for costumed campus partiers.
At some point, zombies are involved (it takes most of the day before series creator Dan Harmon gives the go-ahead for that detail to be mentioned in print).
The area just outside the library room that is the chief meeting place for the study group at the heart of the show -- Shirley (Brown), Annie (Alison Brie), Pierce (Chevy Chase), Troy (Glover), Britta (Gillian Jacobs), Jeff (Joel McHale) and Abed (Danny Pudi) -- is decorated as a combination of a strange occult temple and a bat-infested cave.
The study room itself is a forest primeval of leafless black trees hung with spider webs and strange creatures, with a table that somewhat approximates a sacrificial altar.
Whatever Greendale may lack in academic acumen -- its anthropology professor (Betty White) attacked Jeff, and the former Spanish teacher, Chang (Ken Jeong), now busted down to student, is trying desperately to join the study group -- it more than makes up for in party planning.
"No expense is spared on parties at this school," Brown says, "and yet the dean will cut corners on something important. It makes no sense."
"What they do every year," says Jacobs, "between the dances, transforming the cafeteria and transforming the library, this is where we're spending our money. It's not on classes."
"I feel that if we became the top party school," McHale says, "somehow it would turn into a horrible disaster where we were marooned on a jungle island somewhere."
Of course, Halloween also means costumes, and on "Community," that doesn't usually translate to slinky vampires and sexy French maids (although Pierce did have great fake abs last year as "BeastMaster.")
After donning a squirrel costume in season one, Jacobs is staying in much the same vein this time around.
"It's similar to the squirrel in certain aspects," she says of the new outfit, "in that it also looks like it could be a child's footed sleeper, modified into a costume. And my neck and my shoulders hurt again this year. I definitely have a head, and I have a tail again.
"As the line in last year's episode showed, Britta has a thing against sexy Halloween costumes. She doesn't understand why girls use it as an opportunity to dress like sluts. It's very in keeping with her that she would try to find as asexual a costume as possible."
When reminded that there are people who would be very admiring of a furry squirrel outfit, Jacobs laughs.
"I keep wondering if I am on some kind of 'furry' website! I must be, right? Somewhere? If you put that out there, I'm sure it will be worked either into fan fiction or the show somehow."
Although the script says Jeff looks "devastatingly handsome" in his costume, McHale isn't really buying it.
"That's why it's in the script," he says. "It would be a little harder to make the magic happen. It would take the efforts that James Cameron put into 'Avatar.' "
At one point, Jeong -- who is still a licensed internist -- wanders by in a blue figure-skating minidress and a wig.
As to whether this is what he had in mind while in medical school, Jeong says, "Yes, I envisioned wearing women's clothes."
Pudi works through sniffles.
"It's easy to have a cold here," he says, "when it's 60 degrees on set and 90 outside on the lot."
Speaking before the edict comes down that the word "zombie" can be used, Pudi takes a stab at different ways to say it.
"We could say that there is an element of the population that is undead, right? We're all playing different versions of ourselves in this episode. Each one of us has to really face death head-on in this episode.
"There is an end-of-the-world element in this episode. It's post-apocalyptic in some ways."