BioEditGreendale Community College and head of the school's air conditioning annex. Being in charge of the most profitable division of the college had made him a very intimidating and imposing figure. He ran the annex with an iron fist and personally recruited candidates for his school from Greendale's student body. He first appears in the Season Three episode "Biology 101". He is portrayed by actor John Goodman.
In "Biology 101", Dean Pelton makes an attempt to take his job more seriously after attending a Dean seminar over the summer. He calls Vice Dean Laybourne into his office in order to chew him out over an unauthorized purchase of an espresso machine for the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair School that he runs. He berates Laybourne for treating the annex as if it is separate from the rest of the school and tries to exert his authority over him. Laybourne chooses not to explain his actions and instead invites the Dean to his office the next day so they can discuss the matter further. When Pelton arrives at his office the following day, he is immediately taken aback by how spacious and impressive it is. He starts criticizing Laybourne for his exorbitant spending before being cut off by Robert, who explains that the air conditioning school is a very successful part of Greendale; the contributions of the air conditioning school's alumni alone are responsible for 80% of the school's budget. Pelton's tough facade crumbles as Laybourne turns the tables on him and starts criticizing him for daring to question the air conditioning school at all. Completely intimidated, Pelton continues to cower as Laybourne's legal team enters the office. Robert has invited them, so that they can discuss a new agreement; he also invited his barber to shave off Pelton's new goatee.
In "Advanced Gay" , his right hand man at the school, Murray, alerts him to Troy's impressive abilities as a plumber, skills which could also mean he has a talent in air conditioning repair. He has Troy and other students kidnapped for a private initiation ceremony to gauge their aptitude with air conditioning repair. When Troy demonstrates the capacity to easily fix an air conditioning unit, Laybourne orders the other students to be returned. Impressed with Troy's skill, he asks that he join him for a walk. He then relates to Troy the history of air conditioning repair throughout the ages. It is a mysterious fraternity that has had a major influence in society throughout the ages. He shows Troy a special area within the annex where room temperature is developed and officially extends an invitation for him to join this exclusive group. However, he warns him that once he accepts it, it will be his sole focus, and there's no going back to the life he once had. He gives him 24 hours to make his decision.
When the deadline is over, the Vice Dean appears to Troy after he had just finished attending the funeral service for Cornelius Hawthorne. Troy turns down his offer, explaining that he'd rather just spend time with his best friend Abed. When Murray informs Laybourne that Troy successfully fixed an extremely difficult air conditioning problem in the cafeteria a few hours ago, he becomes even more determined to get him to join the air conditioning school. Laybourne is next seen in "Digital Exploration of Interior Design" sporting a new look as he now has a goatee along with a ponytail. He approaches Troy again about joining the school, but this time, he tries another tactic. Seeing that Troy is unhappy that Abed does not want to pursue the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's largest blanket fort, he capitalizes on their disagreement as a means to create a rift in their friendship. It proves successful as Troy splits from Abed's pillow fort and tries to build his own blanket fort. In the end tag of the episode, Murray tells Laybourne that Troy and Abed are about to go to war over their competing creations. The vice dean is pleased with the news, hoping that a now-unencumbered Troy will finally join the air conditioning school. His plan ultimately fails, and in desperation, he turns to help from Dean Pelton in "Origins of Vampire Mythology". After a halfhearted attempt on his part, Pelton ends up being just as unsuccessful.
By the end of the year, very little progress was made in persuading Troy to join the A/C repair school; this changes after he and the study group get expelled. Troy contacts the school in order to save Dean Pelton whom they had previously learned from Chang's crony "Dr. Heidi" had been kidnapped and replaced with Faux-by. Murray supplies him with detailed information about the security layout along with an offer of assistance from the A/C school if he finally agrees to join. Troy seriously considers the offer when he sees the daunting task before him and his friends. Considering the price to be too high, the study group rejects the A/C school's help and instead goes ahead with an elaborate plan to infiltrate the school. However, the plan fails, and the study group along with Pelton are about to become victims of Chang's insanity. With his friends' lives at stake, Troy nods to a security camera used by the A/C repair school and accepts their previous offer. After they take down Chang, Troy reluctantly holds up his end of the bargain and enrolls in the A/C repair annex. Murray personally picks Troy up and delivers him straight to Vice Dean Laybourne who is waiting for him with open arms.
About a month later, Troy is attending class at the A/C school, but the loss of his friends causes him to be too distracted to pay attention to his studies. Hoping to shake him out of his stupor, Laybourne has Troy accompany him to a section of the school which houses historical relics from air conditioning's past. After showing Troy The Sun Chamber, he presents to him the Air Conditioning Repair Manual. Inside are sacred texts which detail the coming of an A/C messiah known as "The Truest Repairman". Laybourne tells him that he believes Troy to be the one foretold in the prophecy. Murray interrupts the vice dean's musings and tells him about an urgent repair that requires his expertise. Before leaving to take care of it, he reiterates his belief that Troy will become "the repairman who repairs man." Not long after, Troy sees a commotion in the hallway surrounded by a crowd of A/C students. It turns out Vice Dean Laybourne was killed after a freon line ruptured in what appeared to have been a freak accident.
Troy confronts Murray about the accident, not believing that a veteran like Laybourne would make such a rookie mistake. When Murray reveals he has taken over Laybourne's duties as the vice dean, Troy becomes even more suspicious. Agitated by Troy's concerns, Murray cancels the debt Troy owes the air conditioning school and tells him he is free to go back to his friends. Troy initially decides to do just that, but as he is leaving the facility, a sudden blast of cold air in front of Laybourne's portrait strengthens his resolve to discover what really happened. He interrupts the coronation ceremony held for Murray who is about to assume control over the A/C repair school. In front of the attendees, he calls Murray's ascension a lie. Proclaiming himself to be "The Truest Repairman" and citing the sacred texts found in the Air Conditioning Repair Manual, Troy challenges Murray to a duel. They both enter The Sun Chamber as both compete to fix A/C units inside separate compartments while the heat inside steadily rises. With the the A/C faculty and students watching on, Troy easily defeats Murray in the competition. Frustrated by his loss and the unbearable heat inside the chamber, Murray accidentally reveals that he was responsible for Laybourne's death. Murray is about to succumb to heat exhaustion when Troy looks out into the audience and sees what appears to be an apparition of Vice Dean Laybourne. Inspired by the sight, he saves Murray by breaking through his portion of the chamber and fixing his air conditioning unit. He then stops the A/C crowd from exacting revenge on Murray by placing him in the Infinite Labyrinth of Eternal Ice. He tells them to take Murray to the police instead since he just confessed to murder.
TriviaEditAt the same time John Goodman was appearing on "Community" as Laybourne he was also filming the movie "Flight". It stars Denzel Washington as an airline pilot who is hailed as a hero after miraculously landing a passenger filled plane falling out of the sky. Goodman plays his goatee and pony-tail sporting friend who helps him deal with his newfound celebrity status. The Community writers decided to incorporate the look into the character of Laybourne. Within the show he explains his new appearance by saying he's "going through some things".
- “The Air Conditioning repair school Annex seems to think that it's separate from Greendale but it's an annex, an appendage on a body with a head and this head is saying to this appendage "WASSUP!"”— Dean Pelton
- “What you said makes sense Dean. Tell you what, you bring your head down to my appendage tomorrow and I'll show you WASSUP.”— Vice Dean Laybourne
- “That's what we do Troy! Incredible, invisible, in-believable things where an unseen, unknown, un-vincible fraternity of craftsmen, graduates of this school, are guaranteed lucrative employment for their entire lives and I'm inviting you to join us.”— Vice Dean Laybourne
- “Will there always be paninis?”— Troy
- “There's one catch Troy...once you're in, you're in. Air conditioning repair will be your life, a life of secrets you'll be unable to share with outsiders. you will be an air conditioning repairman...and nothing else, until the day you die.”— Vice Dean Laybourne