I figured Joel McHale would never have time to talk to me about Community, due to his dual schedule with The Soup and now a movie career too. My timing must have been perfect because I caught him several times on various PR tours for Community and his movie roles. That’s what it took to put together one series of interview questions, but they were worth it to get McHale’s pop culture wisdom and humor.
Crave Online: Beavis and Butt-Head are watching Jersey Shore now. Do you feel they’re stepping on your territory from The Soup?
Joel McHale: I don’t think so. If anything we stepped on their territory. We have commented on some videos so no, I think we stole from them more than they stole from us. I can’t wait for the new Beavis and Butt-Head.
Crave Online: Me too.
Joel McHale: I am so glad it’s back, I can’t wait.
Crave Online: Mike Judge said he got hooked on Jersey Shore. Have you ever gotten surprisingly hooked on a show for The Soup?
Joel McHale: Never got hooked on Jersey Shore, yet. Other than the hope that one of them would fall off a pier but that never seemed to happen. With Ultimate Fighter, I was as hooked as hooked can be. I was like, “I don’t know if he’s going to win.” I like Ultimate Fighter because it’s a very honest reality show. Like American Idol if you sing off key, you might get voted off but if you make a mistake on The Ultimate Fighter, the reality show, you have your nose broken and you’re unconscious. So that’s quite the consequence. And Hoarders, wow, what can you say?
Crave Online: It’s funny how Jeff is so obsessed with working out and his body. How do you actually maintain that with.
Joel McHale: I starve myself. I just don’t eat very much and I do pushups. I don’t have a gym membership or anything. I just drop down and do pushups. I swear to you, that’s all.
Crave Online: All day?
Joel McHale: Not all day, but when I get a chance. Especially if I know it’s coming up. I call it my patented You’re Gonna Be Naked On TV In Two Weeks diet where you just freak out. I burn a lot of energy just worrying about it.
Crave Online: Has Jeff come around to accepting his role in the group, even when they have hilarious arguments?
Joel McHale: Like Barenaked Ladies? I think he wants to be around everyone in the group except for Pierce, as evidenced by Pierce leaving the group at the end of last season. Now it’s different. We’re starting again and that has to be addressed because Chevy is obviously still part of the show. Yeah, that works itself out in a way but now we have John Goodman and Michael K. Williams on the show so I could not be more excited to have those guys.
Crave Online: Do you enjoy the loud, screaming arguments among the group?
Joel McHale: That was really fun. “So now they’re BNL? They’re BNL? That’s what they are?” I love how that came out of nowhere.
Crave Online: When you started the show, could you have imagined it would get to the point of doing all these parodies?
Joel McHale: Even with our parodies, it’s not like MadTV. If you look at what we’re doing, there’s serious character development happening. The zombie episode, I feel like there’s more than enough justification as to how we got into these situations. Even though it seems crazy, I see it like Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead where I’m like, “This could happen. These characters are real.”
Crave Online: What do you get to play in Ted?
Joel McHale: I play Mila Kunis’s boss who is after her, who is making many advances towards her. Mark Wahlberg is her boyfriend and he does not like me, and I don’t like him. It was really fun to play. I just got to be the biggest jerk I’ve ever played.
Crave Online: Do you have scenes with the bear?
Joel McHale: No, I don’t. The bear does talk about me and how much of a jerk I am, but I have scenes with Mark and Mila. That was pretty cool.