Joel McHale

American actor and comedian

Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971) is an Italian-American stand-up comedian, actor, producer, writer, voice artist, and comedian. He is best known as the host of Talk Soup and as Jeff Winger in Community. He has acted in movies including Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World as Wilbur Wilson, Open Season 2 as the voice of Elliot (taking Ashton Kutcher's place), and Ted as Rex.

Joel McHale
McHale in July 2014.
Birth nameJoel Edward McHale
Born (1971-11-20) November 20, 1971 (age 52)
Rome, Italy
MediumMovie, television, stand-up
Years active1991–present
GenresNews satire, sarcasm, observational comedy
Subject(s)Celebrities, gossip, pop culture
SpouseSarah Williams (1996–present)
Notable works and rolesHost of The Soup
Jeff Winger on Community

Early life


McHale, the middle of the three brothers, was born Joel Edward McHale in Rome, Italy on November 20, 1971. His mother, Laurie, is from Vancouver, British Columbia, and his father, Jack, is from Chicago.[1] McHale and his brothers were born in Rome, where their father worked for an American university. He grew up in the Seattle area, graduating from Mercer Island High School in 1991. Also he participated at Youth Theatre Northwest.

He received a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Washington in 1995. While at the University of Washington, McHale briefly[2] belonged to the Theta Chi Fraternity. He was recruited to be on the rowing team, but later walked onto the football team, playing tight end for two years.[3][4] McHale received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington.



Stand-up comedy


McHale was part of the Almost Live! cast, a local sketch-comedy TV show produced by Seattle's KING-TV (Channel 5). From 1993 until 1997, McHale was a member of the improv comedy group at Unexpected Productions, participating in Theatersports! at the Market Theater located in Pike Place Fish Market in downtown Seattle.[5]



After earning his master's degree in acting, McHale moved to Los Angeles and landed small roles in Oliver Beene, 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.[6] 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 usually appeared in Countdown with Keith Olbermann in a humor sequence closing the show.

McHale played FBI Agent Robert Herndon in The Informant! (2009), alongside Matt Damon.

McHale at the Paley Center's 6th annual celebrity golf classic in Westlake Village, California on June 8, 2009.

He starred in Community,[7] which premiered in fall 2009 and ended in 2015. He also hosted The Soup from 2004 to 2025.[8]

Voice acting


McHale voiced the mule Elliot in Open Season 2 (the direct-to-video sequel to Open Season) since Ashton Kutcher didn't come back; but in Open Season 3, McHale didn't return himself and got replaced by Matthew W. Taylor, who was replaced by Will Townsend in Open Season: Scared Silly.

Personal life


McHale married Sarah Williams in 1996.[9] They have two sons: Edward Roy, "Eddie" (born 2005)[10] and Isaac Hayden (born 2008).[11] McHale and Williams live in the Hollywood Hills.[12]


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Spider-Man 2 Mr. Jacks
2005 Lords of Dogtown TV Reporter
2005 Game Time Johnson
2006 Mini's First Time Host
2008 The Onion Movie Office Worker Uncredited
2008 Open Season 2 Elliot Direct-to-video
Voice only
Replacing Ashton Kutcher
2009 The Informant! FBI Agent Robert Herndon
2011 What's Your Number? Paul Tyler
2011 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World Wilbur
2011 The Big Year Skeeter Yablans
2012 Ted Rex Filming

Television work

Year Title Role Notes
1993–1997 Almost Live!
1998 Bill Nye the Science Guy
2001 Will & Grace Ian
2004–present The Soup Himself – Host
2005 The Huntress
2006 The Fugitive
2006 Diagnosis: Murder
2007 The IT Crowd Roy Failed Pilot
2008 Robot Chicken Various Voice only
2008 CSI: Miami Greg Welch
2009 Pushing Daisies Harold Hundin
2009–2015 Community Jeff Winger
2010 Giants of Radio
2011 Phineas and Ferb Additional Voices


  1. "Mercer Island dons its autumn cloak - Mercer Island Reporter". Archived from the original on 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  2. Dan Curran (October 8, 2008). [1] OnMilwaukee. Accessed 2011-12-26.
  3. Dan Steinberg (February 14, 2005). THECHAT Washington Post. Accessed 2009-03-01.
  4. Joel McHale (September 29, 2009). [2] "Grantland". Accessed 2011-09-30
  5. "International Improv Festival". Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  6. "Joel McHale on Opie and Anthony". Archived from the original on 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  7. Jung, E. Alex (Aug 4, 2015). "Joel McHale Confirms That Season 6 of Community Was Its Last (For Real)". Vulture. Retrieved Mar 30, 2024.
  8. Wagmeister, Elizabeth (Dec 18, 2015). "'The Soup' Hosts: Where Are They Now?". Variety. Retrieved Mar 30, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "Report on McHale's marriage". Archived from the original on 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  10. The Soup. Season 6. 2010-01-15. E!.
  11. "'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for March 12". Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  12. Keeps, David A. (15 August 2009). "'Flipping Out's' Ryan Brown settles down in Los Feliz" – via LA Times.

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