Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971 in Rome, Italy) is an American comedian, actor, sports fan, and host and producer for various television programs. He appeared as "Doug McClure" in Experiment #1114 - At the Earth's Core.
Background and career
Of Irish and Norwegian descent, McHale was raised Catholic in New Jersey and Seattle, Washington. He received a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Washington in 1995 after briefly belonging to the university's Theta Chi Fraternity. He was recruited to be on the rowing team, but later joined the football team, playing tight end for two years. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Professional Actors Training Program.
McHale was a member of the cast of Almost Live!, a local sketch-comedy television show produced by Seattle's KING-TV (Channel 5). From 1993 to 1997, Joel was also 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. From July 1, 2004 until December 18, 2015, McHale was the host of the E! channel's The Soup, which recapped and lampooned television shows each week.
He later became the star of the TV comedy Community, which aired for five seasons on NBC from September 17, 2009 to April 17, 2014. Its sixth season was produced and distributed by Yahoo!Screen. Many critics praised the show's acting and writing as well as noting its heavy use of meta-humor and pop culture references. While the show suffered from low ratings throughout its run, it developed a devoted fanbase as it progressed. Fans of the show embraced the phrase "six seasons and a movie" (a line from a second season episode) to show their support for the series.
McHale also made guest appearances and recurring appearances on shows such as Bill Nye the Science Guy (which starred his former Almost Live! castmate), Will & Grace, CSI: Miami, Pushing Daisies, Robot Chicken, Phineas and Ferb, Sons of Anarchy, Conan, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, Regular Show and the 2016 revival of The X-Files. McHale has hosted various award show programs and was the featured entertainer at the 2014 White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner.
He had supporting roles in feature and indie films such as Mini's First Time (with Carrie-Anne Moss and Jeff Goldblum), Steven Soderbergh's The Informant! (with Matt Damon), Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (with Jessica Alba and Danny Trejo), The Big Year (with Owen Wilson), Ted (with Mark Wahlberg), Deliver Us from Evil (with Eric Bana) and Adult Beginners (with Rose Byrne). All of the film roles had him lending either dramatic or comedic support.
- McHale appeared in the film Spider-Man 2, which was released as a RiffTrax Presents production on September 5, 2008.
- McHale teamed up with Michael J. Nelson for the RiffTrax commentary of 1984's Red Dawn, which was released on the official site on July 2, 2009.
- Joel guest-starred on a March 15, 2010 episode Chris Hardwick's The Nerdist podcast, the sixth episode of it's first season. McHale revealed on the show that he and Hardwick were once neighbors.
- The 2013 episode of Community "Intro to Felt Surrogacy" featured the main characters depicted as puppets. One of the puppeteers for this episode was Russ Walko, who would later go on to operate Tom Servo.