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Joel McHale

Joel McHale
File:Joel McHale 2014 Comic Con (cropped).jpg
Birth name Joel Edward McHale
Born (1971-11-20) November 20, 1971 (age 44)
Rome, Italy
Medium Film, television, stand-up
Years active 1993–present
Genres News satire, observational comedy
Subject(s) Celebrities, gossip, pop culture
Influences Monty Python[1]
Spouse Sarah Williams (m. 1996)
Children 2

Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971)[2] is an American comedian, actor, writer, television producer, and television host. He is known for hosting The Soup and portraying Jeff Winger on the NBC/Yahoo comedy series Community. He voiced Elliot in the computer-animated comedy film Open Season 2,[3] and has appeared in such films as Spider-Man 2, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, and Ted.

Early life

McHale was born in Rome, Italy, where his father, Jack McHale, worked as Dean of Students at Loyola University Rome Center. His mother, Laurie, is from Vancouver, British Columbia, and his father is from Chicago, Illinois.[4] Of Irish and Norwegian descent,[5] he was raised Catholic in Seattle, Washington,[6] where he attended Mercer Island High School until 1991.

McHale received a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Washington in 1995. While at the University of Washington, McHale briefly belonged to the Theta Chi Fraternity.[7]

He was recruited to be on the rowing team, but later joined the football team, playing tight end for two years.[8] According to the football team site,[9] he did not letter in football.[10] He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington. He is a fan of the Seattle Seahawks.[11]



McHale was part of the Almost Live! cast, a local sketch-comedy television show produced by Seattle's KING-TV (Channel 5). From 1993 to 1997, he was a member of the improv comedy group at Unexpected Productions, participating in Theatersports! at the Market Theater located in Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle.[12]


After earning his master's degree in acting, McHale moved to Los Angeles and landed small roles in Diagnosis: Murder, CSI: Miami, and Will & Grace. He played a TV reporter in the biopic Lords of Dogtown. He guest-starred as a cast member on the NBC improv comedy show Thank God You're Here during the pilot episode and had a guest role on an episode of Pushing Daisies. McHale also appeared in Spider-Man 2 in a small role as Mr. Jacks, a bank manager.[13]

In 2004 McHale began hosting The Soup, a satirical weekly television show on the "E!" television network. Throughout the show, he takes the audience through the oddities and ridiculous happenings of the week in television. He frequently appears as a co-host on Loveline. He has also had a long association with Circle X Theatre, where he has done several plays. McHale was a weekly guest on The Adam Carolla Show and Mickey and Amelia, and occasional guest on the Opie and Anthony Show.[14] He has been a judge on Iron Chef America. He was involved in the American version of the British TV show The IT Crowd. McHale made a guest appearance on the finale of Last Comic Standing's sixth season, when he recapped the show's events in his typical format of jokes made popular on The Soup. He occasionally appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann in a humor sequence closing the show.

McHale stars in the sitcom Community,[15] which premiered in winter 2009, and continues to host The Soup.[16] McHale made an appearance on the first episode of the fifth season of Tosh.0. He played Rex in Ted (2012) and had a short guest stint on the FX show Sons of Anarchy. He played an NYPD officer in the supernatural horror film Deliver Us from Evil.[17]


McHale was the featured entertainer at the 2014 White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner.[18] He also hosted the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards.

Personal life

McHale married Sarah Williams in 1996. They presently have two sons.[19][20][21] They live in Hollywood Hills, California.[22]


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Spider-Man 2 Mr. Jacks
2004 Wait N/A Short film
2005 Lords of Dogtown TV reporter
2005 Game Time Johnson Short film
2006 Mini's First Time Host
2008 Onion Movie, TheThe Onion Movie Office worker Uncredited
2008 Open Season 2 Elliot (voice)
2009 Informant!, TheThe Informant! FBI Agent Robert Herndon
2011 Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Wilbur Wilson
2011 What's Your Number? Roger
2011 Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope Himself Documentary
2011 Big Year, TheThe Big Year Barry Loomis
2012 Ted Rex
2014 Blended Mark
2014 Deliver Us from Evil Butler
2014 Adult Beginners Hudson
2014 Merry Friggin' Christmas, AA Merry Friggin' Christmas Boyd Mitchler
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Almost Live! Various Unknown episodes
1998 Bill Nye the Science Guy Defendant Episode: "Fluids"
2000 Huntress, TheThe Huntress Quicky the Clown Episode: "Springing Tiny"
2000 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Curtis Episode: "Far from Home"
2000 Diagnosis: Murder Richard Episode: "By Reason of Insanity"
2001 Will & Grace Ian Episode: "Cheaters"
2004–present Soup, TheThe Soup Himself (host) Also writer and executive producer
2005 CSI: Miami Greg Welch Episode: "Urban Hellraisers"
2007 Pushing Daisies Harold Hundin Episode: "Bitches"
2007–09 Robot Chicken Various voices 2 episodes
2009–present Community Jeff Winger Main cast
2011 26th Independent Spirit Awards Himself (host) Television special
2011 Phineas and Ferb Norm head prototype (voice) Episode: "Candace Disconnected/Magic Carpet Ride"
2012 Sons of Anarchy Warren 2 episodes
2013 Conan Conan O'Brien Episode: "Occupy Conan: When Outsourcing Goes Too Far"
2013–14 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja First Ninja (voice) 3 episodes
2013 2013 VGX Awards Himself (host) Television special
2014 White House Correspondents' Dinner Himself (host) Television special
2015 Regular Show DVD (voice) Episode: "Format Wars II"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Joel McHale Wears a Navy Zip-up and High Tops"
Year Title Role Notes
2014 Video Game High School The President of the United States Episode: "OMGWTFPS!?"

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2010 EWwy Award Best Actor in a Comedy Community Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actor in a Comedy Series Community Nominated
2011 EWwy Award Best Actor in a Comedy Community Won
2011 Satellite Award Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Community Nominated
2012 TV Guide Award Favorite Ensemble Community Won
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actor in a Comedy Series Community Nominated
2012 PAAFTJ Television Award Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Community Nominated
2012 PAAFTJ Television Award Best Cast in a Comedy Series Community Won
2012 EWwy Award Best Actor, Comedy Community Won
2012 Satellite Award Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Community Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program Soup, TheThe Soup Nominated


  1. Pollak, Kevin; McHale, Joel (2010-11-15). Kevin Pollak Chat Show. Interview with Kevin Pollak. 
  2. Smith, Grady (November 25, 2011). "Monitor: Nov. 25, 2011". Entertainment Weekly (1182): 30. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  3. Joel McHale is the voice of Elliot in Open Season 2
  4. Mercer Island dons its autumn cloak,; accessed February 25, 2014
  5. PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT, One-on-one with Joel McHale; The Great Anjelica Huston, 15 March 2012
  6. Strawberry, Saroyan (June 2008). "Joel McHale". Details. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  7. Curran, Dan (October 16, 2008). "An interview with the king of snark Joel McHale". Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  8. Steinberg, Dan (February 14, 2005). "THECHAT: Joel McHale". The Washington Post. p. D02. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  9. "Go Huskies". 
  10. [1]
  11. McHale, Joel (September 29, 2011). "The Walk-On: The Community star recalls his two-year football career at the University of Washington". Grantland. ESPN Ventures. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  12. International Improv Festival; accessed February 25, 2014
  13. [2] Spider-Man 2
  14. Joel McHale on Opie and Anthony; accessed February 25, 2014
  15. Fernandez, Maria Elena (2009-04-04). "NBC unveils new programs for fall". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  16. Weprin, Alex (2009-05-04). "E! Expects Joel McHale To Stay On 'Soup'". Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  17. [3]
  18. "Joel McHale will host the White House Correspondents' Dinner". Los Angeles Times. February 14, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  19. Report on McHale's marriage
  20. The Soup. 2010-01-15. E!. 
  21. "'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for March 12". Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  22. L.A. Times report on McHale's home in the Hollywood Hills

External links