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Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971)[1] 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! sitcom Community. He has appeared in such films as Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011) and Ted (2012). He also starred in the CBS sitcom The Great Indoors.

Joel McHale
Joel McHale 2014 Comic Con (cropped).jpg
Birth name Joel Edward McHale
Born (1971-11-20) November 20, 1971 (age 46)
Rome, Italy
Years active 1996–present
Spouse Sarah Williams (m. 1996)
Children 2


Early lifeEdit

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, Canada, and his father is from Chicago, Illinois.[2] Of Irish and Norwegian descent,[3] he was raised Catholic in Seattle, Washington, and for a brief amount of time in Haddonfield, New Jersey, located near Philadelphia. McHale lived in New Jersey for two years before settling back to his native Washington state.[4] He attended Mercer Island High School.[5]

McHale received a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Washington in 1995. While at the University of Washington, McHale very briefly belonged to the Theta Chi Fraternity.[6]

He was recruited to be on the rowing team, but later joined the football team. Despite most of his fellow players receiving scholarships to be on a major college team, McHale was a walk on, playing tight end for two years.[7] According to the football team site,[8] he did not letter in football.[9] He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington. As a Seattle native, he is a fan of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.[10]



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.[11]


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.[12]

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.[13] He has been a judge on Iron Chef America. He was involved in the American version of the British TV show The IT Crowd.[14][15] 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 starred in the sitcom Community,[16] which premiered in winter 2009, and continued to host The Soup.[17] 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.[18] McHale appeared in The X-Files' 2016 miniseries.[19]

McHale played the lead role in the CBS sitcom The Great Indoors, which began airing in the Fall of 2016.[20][21]


McHale was the host at the 2014 White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner.[22] He hosted the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards and the 2015 ESPY Awards. In 2016, he appeared as an occasional co-host alongside Kelly Ripa in the ABC morning show Live! with Kelly. McHale hosted the 43rd People's Choice Awards on January 18, 2017 and the 2017 Webby Awards on May 15, 2017.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

McHale married Sarah Williams in 1996. They have two sons.[24][25][26] They live in Hollywood Hills, California.[27]

On episode 6 of The Nerdist Podcast, McHale and Chris Hardwick talked about being neighbors, including a story about Joel's son Eddie dressing up as a light switch for Halloween.[28]



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
2018 Futile and Stupid Gesture, AA Futile and Stupid Gesture Chevy Chase Post-production
2018 The Happytime Murders Filming
2018 Assassination Nation Nick Post-production


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"
2004–15 Soup, TheThe Soup Himself (host) 618 episodes; also writer and executive producer
2005 CSI: Miami Greg Welch Episode: "Urban Hellraisers"
2007 The IT Crowd Roy Television pilot
2007 Pushing Daisies Harold Hundin Episode: "Bitches"
2007–09 Robot Chicken Various voices 2 episodes
2009–2015 Community Jeff Winger 110 episodes
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"
2013–15 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja First Ninja (voice) 5 episodes
2013 2013 VGX Awards Himself (host) Television special
2014 Video Game High School The President of the United States Episode: "OMGWTFPS!?"
2014 White House Correspondents' Dinner Himself (host) Television special
2015 Regular Show DVD (voice) Episode: "Format Wars II"
2015 2015 ESPY Awards Himself (host) Television special
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Joel McHale Wears a Navy Zip-up and High Tops"
2015 BoJack Horseman Alex (voice) Episode: "Yesterdayland"
2016 Lip Sync Battle Himself Episode: "Jim Rash vs. Joel McHale"
2016 X-Files, TheThe X-Files Tad O'Malley 2 episodes
2016 Dr. Ken Ross Episode: "Dave's Valentine"
2016 Difficult People Felix Episode: "Hashtag Cats"
2016–17 Great Indoors, TheThe Great Indoors Jack Gordon 22 episodes
2017 Dimension 404 Dr. Matthew Maker Episode: "Matchmaker"
2017 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Doug McClure Episode: "At the Earth’s Core"
2017 Bill Nye Saves the World Himself Episode: "Saving the World—with Space!"
2017 Rick and Morty Death Stalker Hemorrhage (voice) Episode: "Rickmancing The Stone"
2017 The Gong Show Himself (guest judge) 1 episode
2017 Milo Murphy's Law Vincent (voice) Episode: "A Clockwork Origin"

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Lego Dimensions X-PO/Himself Voice

Awards and nominationsEdit

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. ^ Smith, Grady (November 25, 2011). "Monitor: Nov. 25, 2011". Entertainment Weekly. No. 1182. p. 30. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ Mercer Island dons its autumn cloak Archived January 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed February 25, 2014
  3. ^ "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT, One-on-one with Joel McHale; The Great Anjelica Huston". CNN. March 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Strawberry, Saroyan (June 2008). "Joel McHale". Details. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ Brodeur, Nicole (August 22, 2004). "From Mercer Island, jumping into "The Soup"". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ Curran, Dan (October 16, 2008). "An interview with the king of snark Joel McHale". Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ Steinberg, Dan (February 14, 2005). "THECHAT: Joel McHale". The Washington Post. p. D02. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Go Huskies". 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ International Improv Festival; accessed February 25, 2014
  12. ^ [2] Spider-Man 2
  13. ^ Joel McHale on Opie and Anthony; accessed February 25, 2014
  14. ^ The Failed U.S. Remake Of The IT Crowd Is Fascinating To Watch
  15. ^ Richard Ayoade Regrets Doing the U.S. Pilot for ‘The IT Crowd’ | Anglophenia | BBC America
  16. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (April 4, 2009). "NBC unveils new programs for fall". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  17. ^ Weprin, Alex (May 4, 2009). "E! Expects Joel McHale To Stay On 'Soup'". Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Joel McHale talks 'Community,' 'Soup' and upcoming movie". 
  19. ^ "Why Joel McHale Is Even More Excited About The X-Files Revival Than You Are". E! Online. July 14, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  20. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (February 16, 2016). "Joel McHale to Star in CBS Comedy Pilot 'The Great Indoors.'" Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  21. ^ Rife, Katie (May 18, 2016). "Manly Men and Eccentric Geniuses Dominate CBS’s Fall Schedule." Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  22. ^ "Joel McHale will host the White House Correspondents' Dinner". Los Angeles Times. February 14, 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  23. ^ "The 21st Annual Webby Awards Honor This Year's Internet VIPs". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  24. ^ Report on McHale's marriage Archived May 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ The Soup. January 15, 2010. E!. 
  26. ^ "'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for March 12". Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  27. ^ "'Flipping Out's' Ryan Brown settles down in Los Feliz". latimes. 
  28. ^ "'Nerdist Podcast Episode 6: Joel McHale". 

External linksEdit