Joel McHale

Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and television host. He is best known for hosting The Soup (2004–2015) and his role as Jeff Winger on the NBC sitcom Community (2009–2015). He has performed in the films Open Season 2 (2008), Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011), and Ted (2012). He also starred in the short-lived CBS sitcom The Great Indoors (2016–2017), hosts a reboot of Card Sharks (2019–present), and portrays the superhero Sylvester Pemberton / Starman on the show Stargirl (2020–present). In 2020, he hosted a special aftershow interviewing key subjects from the Netflix documentary series Tiger King. McHale also voiced Johnny Cage in the direct-to-video martial arts film Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge (2020), whom he reprises in the sequel Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms (2021).

Joel McHale
Joel McHale 2014 Comic Con (cropped).jpg
McHale in July 2014
Born (1971-11-20) November 20, 1971 (age 49)
Rome, Italy
EducationUniversity of Washington
Years active1996–present
Sarah Williams
(m. 1996)

Early lifeEdit

McHale was born in Rome on November 20, 1971,[1][2] the son of Jack McHale, who worked as the Dean of Students at Loyola University's Rome Center, and his wife Laurie. His father is American and hails from Chicago, while his mother is Canadian and a native of Vancouver.[3] McHale is of Irish and Norwegian descent,[4] and was raised Catholic. He grew up on Mercer Island, Washington, and briefly lived in Haddonfield, New Jersey, before returning to Mercer Island.[5] He attended Mercer Island High School.[6] He received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Washington in 1995, and was briefly in the Theta Chi fraternity but left it because he "couldn't stand it."[7]

McHale was recruited to be on the University of Washington's rowing team, but later joined its football team. Though most of his teammates received athletic scholarships, he was a walk-on who played tight end for two years on the scout team without appearing in an actual game.[8][9] He was part of the Almost Live! cast, a local sketch comedy television show produced by Seattle's KING-TV. 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.[10] He received an MFA from the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington.[11]



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 been a judge on Iron Chef America. He was involved in the American version of the British TV show The IT Crowd.[12][13] 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 also made an appearance as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11, Episode 4 "Trump: The Rusical."

McHale was the host at the 2014 White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner.[14] 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.[15]

In January 2018, it was announced that he would be receiving his own talk show on Netflix in February. The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale combined celebrity guests, pre-taped sketches and video clips in a half-hour series that focused on pop culture and news from around the world.[16] On August 17, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had canceled the show after 19 episodes, reportedly due to low viewership.[17]

On April 8, 2019, TVLine reported that McHale would host a revival of the game show Card Sharks for ABC.[18]

McHale currently co-hosts The Darkest Timeline podcast with former Community co-star Ken Jeong; the podcast was created in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.[19] Also in 2020, he hosted an after-show special of the Netflix documentary series Tiger King.

In 2021, McHale hosted Crime Scene Kitchen on Fox.[20]


McHale at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con

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.[citation needed]

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 Opie and Anthony.[21] He occasionally appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann in a humor sequence closing the show.

McHale starred in the sitcom Community,[22] which premiered in fall 2009, and continued to host The Soup.[23] 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.[24] McHale appeared in 3 episodes between the tenth and eleventh seasons of The X-Files in 2016 and 2018, respectively.[25]

McHale played the lead role in the CBS sitcom The Great Indoors, which began airing in the fall of 2016.[26][27] The series was later cancelled on May 13, 2017 due to low ratings.[28]

In 2018, McHale was cast in the recurring role of Chris on the second season of the Netflix horror-comedy series Santa Clarita Diet.[29]

In December 2018, it was announced that McHale was cast as Sylvester Pemberton, the Golden Age Starman in the DC Universe and The CW series Stargirl.[30] After sporadic appearances in its first two seasons, he was upgraded to series regular for the third.[31]Mitovich, Matt Webb (October 3, 2021). "DC's Stargirl: Joel McHale Upped to Series Regular for Season 3". TVLine. Retrieved October 3, 2021.</ref>

McHale was a guest panelist in The Masked Singer. He was a guest panelist in episode 8 and 9 of season two. He was also a guest panelist in the eighth episodes of seasons three and 4.

Personal lifeEdit

McHale married Sarah Williams in July 1996. They live in the Hollywood Hills with their two sons, Isaac and Eddie. [32][33][34] In a 2018 interview on Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert, McHale revealed he was dyslexic, having discovered this when his two sons were diagnosed.[35]

McHale has said that he has an interest in watches. His interest started because of stylist Jose Camilo who got him to wear a Ritmo Mundo watch then buying a Bell & Ross military watch. He now owns 12 watches altogether.[36][37]

McHale is a fan of the Seattle Seahawks football team[11] and the Los Angeles Gladiators esports team.[38]

Politics and beliefsEdit

He attends a Presbyterian church[39] and has been supportive of the LGBT community; while performing at the Durham Performing Arts Center, he wore a handmade gay-rights shirt, talked about the bathroom law passed weeks prior, said he was donating all proceeds to the LGBTQ Center of Durham, and would not perform in the state again until the law was overturned.[40][41][42][43]

McHale, along with several of his Community castmates, made a campaign video in support of Joe Biden in October 2020 entitled "Human Beings for Biden."[44]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Spider-Man 2 Mr. Jacks
2004 Wait N/A Short film
2005 Lords of Dogtown Reporter
2005 Game Time Johnson Short film
2006 Mini's First Time Host
2008 The Onion Movie Office Worker Uncredited
2008 Open Season 2 Elliot (voice)
2009 The 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 The Big Year Barry Loomis
2012 Ted Rex
2014 Blended Mark Reynolds
2014 Deliver Us from Evil Butler
2014 Adult Beginners Hudson
2014 A Merry Friggin' Christmas Boyd Mitchler
2018 Assassination Nation Nick Mathers
2018 A Futile and Stupid Gesture Chevy Chase
2018 Game Over, Man! Himself Cameo
2018 The Happytime Murders Agent Campbell
2020 Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge Johnny Cage (voice) Direct-to-video[45]
2020 Becky Jeff Hooper
2021 Happily Tom
2021 Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms Johnny Cage (voice) Direct-to-video[46]
2021 Queenpins Rick Kaminski Post-production
2022 Charizard the Dragon 2 TBA Post-production
TBA California King[47] Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Almost Live! Various Unknown episodes
1998 Bill Nye the Science Guy Defendant Episode: "Fluids"
2000 The Huntress Quicky the Clown Episode: "Springing Tiny"
2000 The Fugitive Curtis Episode: "Far from Home"
2000 Diagnosis: Murder Richard Episode: "By Reason of Insanity"
2001; 2020 Will & Grace Ian Episode: "Cheaters"
Phil Episodes: "Filthy Phil, Part I" and "Filthy Phil, Part II"[48]
2004–2015 The Soup Himself (host) 618 episodes; also writer and executive producer
2005 CSI: Miami Greg Welch Episode: "Urban Hellraisers"
2007 The IT Crowd Roy US pilot
2007 Thank God You're Here Himself 1 episode
2007 Pushing Daisies Harold Hundin Episode: "Bitches"
2007; 2009 Robot Chicken Various Voices 2 episodes
2009–2015 Community Jeff Winger Lead role
2011 26th Independent Spirit Awards Himself (host) Television special
2011 Phineas and Ferb Norm Head Prototype (voice) Episode: "Candace Disconnected"
2012 Sons of Anarchy Warren Episodes: "Small World" and "Toad's Wild Ride"
2013 Conan Conan O'Brien Episode: "Occupy Conan: When Outsourcing Goes Too Far"
2013–2015 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"
2016–2018 The X-Files Tad O'Malley 4 episodes
2016 Dr. Ken Ross Episode: "Dave's Valentine"
2016 Difficult People Felix Episode: "Hashtag Cats"
2016 Lip Sync Battle Himself Episode: "Jim Rash vs. Joel McHale"
2016–2017 The 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 Rick and Morty Death Stalker Hemorrhage (voice) Episode: "Rickmancing the Stone"
2017–2018 Milo Murphy's Law Victor Verliezer (voice) 2 episodes
2017, 2019 Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television Himself 2 episodes
2018 The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale Himself (host) 19 episodes; also writer and executive producer
2018–2019 Santa Clarita Diet Chris 4 episodes
2018 Drunk History George Corwin, Robert Ellis Cahill Episode: "Halloween"
2019 Joel McHale: Live from Pyongyang Himself Comedy special
2019 The Masked Singer Himself 5 episodes
2019 RuPaul's Drag Race Himself (guest judge) Episode: "Trump: The Rusical"
2019 The Rookie Brad Hayes[49] Episode: "The Shake Up"
2019–present Card Sharks Host and executive producer 5 episodes
2019 Mr. Iglesias Danny Episode: "Oh Boy, Danny"
2019 What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage Himself Episode: "Preetempted"
2020 Medical Police Himself Episode: "Deuce to Nines, Double Draw"
2020 Black-ish Himself Episode: "You Don't Know Jack"
2020 Dummy Jason Levy Episode: "Ideal Woman"
2020-present Stargirl Sylvester Pemberton / Starman Recurring role (Season 1-2); Main role (Season 3)[31]
2020 Tiger King Himself (host) Episode: "The Tiger King and I"
2020 The Twilight Zone Orson Rudd Episode: "8"
2020 Psych 2: Lassie Come Home Lassiter's Father Television film
2020 Game On! Himself (contestant) Episode: "Celebrity Guests: Becky Lynch and Joel McHale"
2020 Match Game Himself (contestant) 2 episodes
2020 The Cabin with Bert Kreischer Himself Episode: "Fresh Perspectives"
2021 Celebrity Wheel of Fortune Himself (contestant) 1 episode
2020 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Himself (contestant) 2 episodes
2021 American Housewife Doyle Bradford Episode: "The Election"
2021 Crime Scene Kitchen Himself (host) Also executive producer

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Voice role
2015 Lego Dimensions X-PO

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 Nominated
EWwy Award Best Actor in a Comedy Won
Satellite Award Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
2012 TV Guide Award Favorite Ensemble Won
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
PAAFTJ Television Award Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Best Cast in a Comedy Series Won
EWwy Award Best Actor, Comedy Won
Satellite Award Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program The Soup Nominated
2019 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actor The Happytime Murders Nominated



  1. ^ Smith, Grady (November 25, 2011). "Monitor: Nov. 25, 2011". Entertainment Weekly. No. 1182. p. 30. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Agency, Magi Helena, Tribune Content. "YOUR DAILY ASTROLOGY, For release 11/20/19 for 11/20/19". Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  3. ^ Mercer Island dons its autumn cloak Archived January 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed February 25, 2014
  4. ^ "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT, One-on-one with Joel McHale; The Great Anjelica Huston". CNN. March 15, 2012.
  5. ^ Strawberry, Saroyan (June 2008). "Joel McHale". Details. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  6. ^ Brodeur, Nicole (August 22, 2004). "From Mercer Island, jumping into "The Soup"". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  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 March 30, 2012.
  9. ^ Curtis, Charles (August 30, 2012). "How good was Joel McHale at football?". ESPN. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  10. ^ International Improv Festival Archived October 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine; accessed February 25, 2014
  11. ^ a b 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. ^ The Failed U.S. Remake Of The IT Crowd Is Fascinating To Watch
  13. ^ Richard Ayoade Regrets Doing the U.S. Pilot for 'The IT Crowd' | Anglophenia | BBC America
  14. ^ "Joel McHale will host the White House Correspondents' Dinner". Los Angeles Times. February 14, 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "The 21st Annual Webby Awards Honor This Year's Internet VIPs". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  16. ^ Surette, Tim (January 19, 2018). "Netflix Nabs Joel McHale for Weekly Talk Show". Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 17, 2018). "'The Break With Michelle Wolf' & 'The Joel McHale Show' Canceled By Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  18. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (April 8, 2019). "Joel McHale to Host Card Sharks Revival". TVLine. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  19. ^ Darwish, Meaghan (May 18, 2020). "Joel McHale on 'Community' Movie Chances, 'The Darkest Timeline' Podcast & Reunion Table Read". TV Insider. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  20. ^ "Here's why Crime Scene Kitchen might just be the next big baking show". Guilty Eats. June 18, 2021. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  21. ^ Joel McHale on Opie and Anthony; accessed February 25, 2014
  22. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (April 4, 2009). "NBC unveils new programs for fall". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  23. ^ Weprin, Alex (May 4, 2009). "E! Expects Joel McHale To Stay On 'Soup'". Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  24. ^ "Joel McHale talks 'Community,' 'Soup' and upcoming movie".
  25. ^ "Why Joel McHale Is Even More Excited About The X-Files Revival Than You Are". E! Online. July 14, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  26. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (February 16, 2016). "Joel McHale to Star in CBS Comedy Pilot 'The Great Indoors.'" Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  27. ^ Rife, Katie (May 18, 2016). "Manly Men and Eccentric Geniuses Dominate CBS's Fall Schedule." Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 13, 2017). "The Great Indoors' Canceled By CBS After One Season". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  29. ^ Petski, Denise (February 16, 2018). "'Santa Clarita Diet': Joel McHale, Maggie Lawson, Gerald McRaney & Zachary Knighton To Guest Star In Season 2". Deadline. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  30. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (December 12, 2018). "Joel McHale Cast as Starman in DC Universe's "Stargirl"". Variety. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Patten, Dominic (July 19, 2018). "Geoff Johns To Write & Produce 'Stargirl' Series For DC Universe – Comic-Con". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  32. ^ The Soup. January 15, 2010. E!.
  33. ^ "'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for March 12". Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  34. ^ "'Flipping Out's' Ryan Brown settles down in Los Feliz". latimes.
  35. ^ Haas, Mariah. "Joel McHale Discovered He Was Dyslexic After Son's Diagnosis". People.
  36. ^ "Joel McHale Talks Timepieces & Glashütte Original With aBlogtoWatch: One Of Hollywood's 'Real' Watch Guys". aBlogtoWatch. July 2, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  37. ^ "Joel McHale Is Addicted to Watches". The Hollywood Reporter. November 27, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  38. ^ "'McHale attends Gladiator Match' for March 12". Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  39. ^ Tyler Daswick (February 25, 2015). "Joel McHale's Rise to the Bottom". RELEVANT. Archived from the original on March 2, 2019. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  40. ^ Andrea Park (April 9, 2016). "Joel McHale donates proceeds from North Carolina show to Durham LGBT Center". Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  41. ^ Tom McKay (April 10, 2016). "Joel McHale Says He'll Protest North Carolina Religious Freedom Law With Major Donation". Mic. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  42. ^ Randy Shulman (July 30, 2015). "From Soup to Nuts: An interview with Joel McHale - Metro Weekly". Metro Weekly. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  43. ^ Zach Johnson (April 18, 2013). "Joel McHale Addresses Gay Rumors: "I Take It as a Compliment"". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  44. ^ Schneider, Michael (October 31, 2020). "'Community' Cast Reunites to Support Biden with an Unusual Get Out the Vote Message". Variety. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  45. ^ Couch, Aaron (January 17, 2020). "Animated 'Mortal Kombat' Movie Sets Cast With Joel McHale, Jennifer Carpenter". Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  46. ^ Couch, Aaron (June 16, 2021). "Animated 'Mortal Kombat Legends' Sequel Arriving This Summer (Exclusive)". Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  47. ^ Lang, Brent (July 9, 2021). "Victoria Justice, Joel McHale Starring in Comedy 'California King' (Exclusive)". IMDb. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  48. ^ Swift, Andy (October 3, 2019). "Joel McHale Joins Will & Grace's Final Season as [Spoiler]'s Love Interest". TVLine.
  49. ^ "The Shake Up". The Rookie. Season 1. Episode 17. March 26, 2019. ABC.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Host, Card Sharks
Succeeded by