It should come as no surprise that Joel McHale is funny AF. He masterfully wrings sarcasm out of conversation like he’s squeezing every last drop of juice from an orange. McHale’s humor and snark were on full display as my first guest on CNET’s new interview podcast, I’m So Obsessed.
Like many people, I first became a fan of McHale when he played student Jeff Winger on Dan Harmon’s offbeat comedy Community, which ended its six-season run in 2015. When our conversation turned toward Community, you can hear how much the show, its cast and creator, Harmon, mean to him even now.
“I don’t watch a lot of it because the memories are almost so wonderfully painful and I look back on it with such fondness,” McHale says. “I knew that Dan had this vision. The bones and world he was creating was in that first script. I was just like, ‘This guy clearly knows what he’s doing. He’s way smarter than me and he’s way funnier than me and I will follow that guy.'”
McHale is a triple threat as an actor, comic and show host. During the coronavirus pandemic, he joined forces with fellow Community alum Ken Jeong to record The Darkest Timeline podcast. The May 18 episode featured most of the Community’s cast, including Donald Glover, and was recorded just after the group did a reading of a Community episode to raise money for World Central Kitchen and Frontline Foods, charities that supply meals to first responders and vulnerable communities during the pandemic.
Then there was that viral Twitter and Instagram video of a shirtless McHale wearing Ikea animal print mats on his shoulders and a fake tattoo of the word Netflix below his beltline. He was promoting an aftershow episode he hosted for the Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which dominated pop culture and social media in the early days of sheltering in place.
In our wide-ranging conversation, McHale discusses everything from the Korean War to his kid’s obsession with Fortnite and his knife collection. And he eggs me on to complete some of the most epic interview topic segues I’ve ever had.
Listen to my entire conversation with McHale and subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode we catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsession.
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