Community is the rightful heir (not the Mr. Burns having a contest to find his heir, heir1) to the early Simpsons. It mixes what I can best describe as homage humor 2 with heart and bit of brains to make the most enjoyable and re-watchable show on TV. If you're looking for a bit of primer on the show's creator, Dan Harmon, I'd suggest two sources.
Both hit on similar topics including what created Harmon's particular flavor of crazy and how that crazy turns into humor. The WTF interview does a much better job of making Harmon seem human while the Wired article does turn him into a bit of a fragile robot. Both are extremely interesting and worth your time.
1. And yes, sadly, even more an heir than the current Simpsons.
2. I suppose I'd define 'homage humor' as the act of creating humor through a string of references and inspiration from the past. When done right, it turns the show into its own stand alone piece of art. When done poorly, it's the Family Guy.