Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971) is an American comedian, actor, writer, television producer, and television personality. He is known for hosting The Soup and for his role as Jeff Winger on the NBC comedy series Community. He voiced the character of Elliot in Open Season 2 (replacing Ashton Kutcher), and has appeared in such feature films as Spider-Man 2, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, and Ted.
McHale, the second of three boys, was born in Rome, Italy, where his father worked as Dean of Students at Loyola University Rome Center. His mother, Laurie, is from Vancouver, British Columbia, and his father, Jack, is from Chicago, Illinois. Of Irish and Norwegian descent, he was raised Catholic in Seattle, Washington, 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.
He was recruited to be on the rowing team, but later joined the football team, playing tight end for two years. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington. He is a supporter of the Seattle Seahawks.
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.
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.
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. 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 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.
He starred in Community, which premiered in winter 2009, and continues to host The Soup. 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
On February 14, 2014, McHale was announced as host of the 2014 White House Correspondents' Dinner, held in May. Previously, he was host of the Independent Spirit Awards in 2011.
McHale married Sarah Williams in 1996. Together, they have two sons. They live in Hollywood Hills, California.
Awards and nominations
- Official website
- Joel McHale at the Internet Movie Database
- Joel McHale on Twitter
- E! Online Biography