Joel McHale

January 2, 2014

Joel McHale's AMA repilot: AMA.

I'm going to answering questions for the next hour or so. Oh and by the way Community returns tonight on NBC 8pm for TWO EPISODES.

I have to go now, sadly. My shipment of bourbon has just arrived. It goes without saying that you are some of the finest people that have ever been produced, and I wish I could personally open-mouth kiss each and every one of you. Thank you, watch Community tonight at 8, and stay gold ponyboy. #sixseasonsandamovie

How did you wind up being in Spider-Man 2?

I auditioned for the casting director, and she cast me. After I slept with her 48 times.

Hey Joel, wanted to say thanks for doing the AMA and ask a couple questions about Community. My questions are with Dan Harmon back on Community, what was different on the show during the time without him? Now that Donald Glover is departing, how do you think that will that affect season 5? Thanks!

A) you're welcome

B) Having Dan back is the same feeling you get from a Nestea plunge (absolute relief and delicious refreshment)

C) With Troy leaving (Donald), it gives a ton for the incredible, amazing Danny Pudi (Abed) to deal with. Danny should have been nominated for 10 Emmys already.

Joel, Thank you for doing this AMA! I saw you last year when you came to Cincinnati for your standup and you were hilarious. You said we were "the best folding chair audience" you've ever had.

With season five premiering tonight and early reviews being really positive how likely do you think it is that you guys will make it to six seasons and a movie?

A) Cincinnati is a terrific city and has some of the best stadiums built on a river I've ever seen. And with the return of Dan Harmon, I think we will get to 12 seasons and a theme park.

Which guest star were you most excited about working with this season?

There were so many. But to name a few: Brie Larson, Walton Goggins, Vince Gilligan, Chris Elliott, Robert Patrick, and the beautiful, dashing Nathan Fillion.

There were so many. But to name a few: Brie Larson, Walton Goggins, Vince Gilligan, Chris Elliott, Robert Patrick, and the beautiful, dashing Nathan Fillion.

Of course, the supersexy John Oliver is back for 7 episodes. And for 11 episodes, we have Jonathan Banks who is a fucking tour de force.

Hey Joel! What is your favorite Community episode? Super excited for Repilot.

I really couldn't say. That's like picking my favorite bourbon.

I really couldn't say. That's like picking my favorite bourbon.

But I am very excited (and I forgot to mention him) David Cross gueststars on our next Dungeons & Dragons episode.

If you had to watch only Community or The Soup on repeat for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

I don't think I could do that. Because I would die from shame at the size of my ego.

What's your favorite reality TV show?

Right now, my favorite reality TV show is MSNBC's Lockup.

According to Yahoo Answers, you're better than Brad Pitt.

Now that I made your day, may I PA for you? Here's some of my work directing.

Ma'am or Sir, this person posted that thing about Brad Pitt 6 years ago. I think people have come to their senses. If that one person has not come to their senses, then they must be deranged.

What is your relationship to the man who plays mankini?

I grew up with Dominic. I met him in 5th grade at Saint Monica's School in Mercer Island, Washington. He was the best man at my wedding. And we have a deal that if either of us falls ill, we may harvest each other's organs.

Hey Joel, let me start off by saying its 6 am here in Australia and I woke up especially for this AMA, as most people here will be asking due to the airing of the first episode of season 5 later on today I’d like to ask a question about the television show you’re a part of, Community. From the very first episode to the last one you’ve filmed, what has it been like working with the fellow actors and actresses that make Community such a unique and amazing show? I’d just like to thank you for giving us the chance to get to know the actor who we see on our screens every episode and on behalf of all Community fans I wish you luck on this new season.

Well hello Australia! And thank god you watch Community. I'm a huge Yahoo Serious fan. What's it been like working with these actors? I don't have time to run down each one, but I will say this: Jim Rash is a major a-hole.

Well hello Australia! And thank god you watch Community. I'm a huge Yahoo Serious fan. What's it been like working with these actors? I don't have time to run down each one, but I will say this: Jim Rash is a major a-hole.

For those of you that do not get sarcasm (though most of you do on reddit, thank god), Jim Rash is one of the finest bald people I know.

How many bald people do you know?

Besides Jim Rash? And Sinead O'Connor? I know 3.

Hola, jefe... A few questions for ya. Picking and choosing is understandable >.>

  1. Of all the guest stars who are in this new season of Community, which one was your favorite to work with on camera, and which one was your favorite to just hang out with when the cameras weren't rolling?

  2. What's the ratio of good genes to high quality styling product when it comes to your hair, or is it all just magic?

  3. Some of my most favorite episodes of Community are Communication Studies, Home Economics and Critical Film Studies, so I was wondering if there will be any episodes in season 5 that focus on just Jeff and Abed together?

  4. Does Britta finally get that used iPod Nano?

  5. I've seen where you've worked on an upcoming crime/horror film called Deliver Us from Evil. How was it taking on a serious rather than comedic role? Do you think you'll do any more serious roles any time soon?

  6. I keep trying to get my friend Meaghan to watch Community, but she just keeps coming up with excuses and putting it off. Think you could persuade her to finally get on with it?

Thanks for doing this AMA. Keep rockin'. #sixseasonsandamovie

A) It's impossible for me to pick a favorite because all these people came in like designated hitters and hit grand slams. I will say this: it was hard for me to not break into laughter watching Mitch Hurwitz work.

B) It's a mixture of incredibly good lighting, precise messiness arranging, and diesel fuel.

C) There's not just a Jeff and Abed episode, but there's a lot of stuff between Jeff and Abed. And it's mostly romantic.

D) Ha ha you might be very happy over the next 2 weeks.

E) I had the time of my life working with Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez and Sean Harris. It was a blast. As far as serious roles go, yes, I love doing them. In fact I'm crying right now.

F) End your relationship with Meaghan.

Joel, Thanks for helping get Dan and Chris back for season 5. My wife and I are huge fans and we even got the chance to see you in Austin. That being said, we would like to know what is the best way for us to make season 6 happen for a full seasons worth of episodes. We already have all of our friends watching Community. What else can we do?

A) God bless you.

B) Keep doing what you're doing. Community's fans are the most vocal, best looking, strongest, fastest, smartest, and sexually virile out of any fans in the history of television. Use your powers to keep the word out there and I feel we will get to a 6th season. I sure as hell want one.

Hey, I still love Community but I just wanted to know how it felt to first have Chevy Chase leave the show and now Donald Glover? Thanks!

A) Thanks for still loving Community. I still like you.

B) We will miss Donald dearly. And Chevy left midseason last year and I wish him the best.

Hello Joel, I've been a fan of yours since you started on the soup. You are amazing! I really enjoyed watching your career shoot off. I was wondering what was your favorite segment from the Soup?

It's hard to pick a single segment, let alone remember them all. But years ago, when I handed Tila Tequila the statue for Entertainer of the Year with tongs while wearing a hazmat suit comes to mind.

First, thanks so much for being such a funny person. I've watched The Soup since the beginning and you have given me so many laughs along the way! What is the best advice you can give to an 18 year-old who is absolutely clueless on what she wants to do with the rest of her life?

This is too much responsibility.

Hey Joel, first of all thanks for doing this AMA ! I have one question and one request for you : First do you improvise a lot on stage or is it all written, and what is your favorite line that you or an other actor improvised on stage ?

Also my request is that there's a girl i like called Lea who is also a fan of the show, and, since you're more handsome than the guy who is famous for being handsome, would you please write her a message that i could transmit ?

I can't think of anything to say right now.

Dear Lea, Community premieres tonight at 8 PM on NBC. Watch it and you will be forever fulfilled. Love, Joel

Dear Mr. McHale,

I've been a huge fan of your work since I was ten years old (I'm almost fifteen). Community made me want to pursue comedy. You guys are my heroes.

The scene from "Football, Feminism, and You" where Jeff is trying to convince Troy to play football is one of my favorite scenes. The banter between you and Donald really struck a chord with me and made me realize that I wanted to act in and make comedy. So, I thank you and Donald and Dan for that.

I have some questions that I hope to get answered:

  1. Home Economics, Communication Studies, and Critical Film Studies are three of my favorite episodes. Jeff and Abed have a very interesting relationship that hasn't been fully explored. Does less Troy mean more Jeff + Abed?

  2. In the 90s, did you adopt your hairstyle from Eric from Boy Meets World?

  3. Who are your inspirations? What comedy were you into growing up?

A) You're going to see Danny (Abed) have to deal with the loss of Troy and it's absolutely brilliant. But Jeff and Abed do have some terrific exchanges.

B) No, I got it from Flock of Seagulls.

C) I watched a lot of MST3K, Woody Allen, and Monty Python.

What's the story of the scar on your left eyebrow?

I fell when I was 6 during a power outage into the corner of a brick fireplace.

Yup! I'm coordinated.

I fell when I was 6 during a power outage into the corner of a brick fireplace.

Yup! I'm coordinated.

No wait, that doesn't sound exciting. I fought a bear.

Hey Joel! Huge, huge fan of Community and The Soup.

What did you and Jim Rash say to NBC executives to get Dan Harmon back?

I like to think it began "maybe, just maybe..."

We said "please." And that's it.

Hey Joel. What is your favorite memory from University of Washington?

Getting to play football and the coffee.

If you could be cast in any TV show (currently airing or not), which one would you choose? Also, would you choose to be an existing character or make your own?

The live Sound of Music, part 2.

What's the best book you've read recently?

War by Sebastian Junger.

What's it like to be more handsome than the guy who's famous for being handsome?

A bit drowsy.

What happened to Lou??

Lou has started a venture capitalist firm in Equador.

What would be a good question to ask Joel McHale?

Hey Joel, do you think you'll have to come up with your questions for this AMA chat?


I've never been asked this. I'll have to think about it.

C'mon, go with a classic. Chicken noodle. It's a classic for a reason.

Again, never heard this before.

Realistically, what do you think the chances are of Community getting a 6th season and the movie (whether it's on NBC or if it gets picked up by Netflix or something like Arrested Development did)?

I really don't know. We'll know after we see the ratings and the DVR numbers after this season.

As a British fan, what would you recommend people in my situation to do to support the show?

Other than buy all the DVDs the instant they come out.

In traditional British fashion, assume the position of the Town Crier, and scream out about the show daily until it's #1.

Hey Joel, two questions:

1.) Dan Harmon credits you as being the one who was directly responsible for his return to the show. Can you shed some more light on how you managed to pull off this seemingly-Herculean feat, considering how no other show in television history has ever had a showrunner be asked to return after being previously let go?

2.) After four seasons it felt like Jeff had essentially completed his character ‘arc’, having made peace with his father, become a better person, found true friends, and graduated from Greendale. Obviously a lot of this immediately falls apart come Season 5, but could you describe what kind of place Jeff is at mentally when Season 5 begins, and how he develops throughout the rest of the season?

A) This is going to be a long answer. Dan was the only way I believe we would get to a 6th season since the show is in his head. Like J.R.R. Tolkien had Middle Earth in his. And I have to thank NBC and Sony for being open and willing to bring him back. And I'm as excited as a little schoolgirl.

B) I would explain it now but just watch the 2 episodes that play tonight and that should cover some of it.

I think that Bill Murray should be brought in to play Pierce's character, with no explanation. Do you agree?

(Edit: I can't take credit for this idea. It came from this thread in Metafilter. It's just so right, though.

Yes, if you have a phone number for Bill Murray, let's give him a call.

The show should just start replacing every actor with Bill Murray this season, he plays a new character every episode. No explanations.

Put the pipe down.

Joel, what was your favorite Community episode to film, and which one was your favorite to watch?

Again, hard to say. I really enjoyed making Modern Warfare because I got to play out the childhood fantasy of being an action star. And as far as watching, that really is hard for me to say.

Annie or Britta?


Why not both?


Hey Joel! Are you a fan of Donald Glover's music?

You bet.

You bet.

You should see me sing it in my car.

If you were able to predict a mass tragedy in which all the Kardashians died, how would they all pass? And how would you report it on the soup? (Other than with a smile on your face)

What the hell is wrong with you?

Besides the obvious choice of Jim Rash's episode, what was your favorite part of season 4?

Jim Rash's.

Hey Joel, I loved you in the movie Ted! Do you have any other major movies that you are working on that we can look forward to seeing?

Adam Sandler's Blended, Deliver Us From Evil (out on July 2), A Friggin' Christmas Miracle with Robin Williams, and some low budget softcore stuff.

Adam Sandler's Blended, Deliver Us From Evil (out on July 2), A Friggin' Christmas Miracle with Robin Williams, and some low budget softcore stuff.

Wait! Adam Sandler's Blended is now called The Familymoon.

Who's the best rapper on Community?


What could you possibly have to say that is going to be more entertaining than the guy talking about his two dicks?

The guy with 3 dicks.

What's the best smelling actor you know?

Edit: Also, do you have two dicks? If no, would you like to have two?

Nathan Fillion.

Depends on the season.


It's my food taster.

When will Alison Brie release her first rap album?

May 4th.

When you moved to L.A. you promised your wife that if you didn't make it in five years, you'd move back to Seattle. Soup happened in year four. What was it like for you before that, when your master's in acting was being put to use on roles like Quicky the Clown and the dead body on Diagnosis Murder?

Someone's been reading my Wikipedia page!

Someone's been reading my Wikipedia page!

And by the way, when I played Quicky, Annette O'Toole was absolutely lovely.

Was it weird to work with Richard Ayoade again on Critical Fim Studies after doing the IT Crowd pilot with him?

It was not weird. I love that guy. And I love his hair.

It was not weird. I love that guy. And I love his hair.

If you haven't seen his movie Submarine, you are missing out on cinematic genius.

What's your favorite movie?


Hi, Joel! Love the show. Does Jim Rash smell really good? He looks like he smells really good.

He smells like a mojito.

Your interview on Howard Stern a while back was really interesting! I enjoyed hearing about how The Soup works and its usage of all of those TV clips. Have there been any shows that have consistently fought to not have clips from their show aired on The Soup?

There was a time years ago when I don't think Tyra Banks was very happy about what we said about her show. But I've met her since and she was very cool.


Roxanne, Waterloo...

If you could bring in anyone to guest star on Community, who would you choose?

Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.

What's your takeaway from the VGX awards show?

Despite what some people thought, I fucking love video games.

Who would win in a fight, your or Tosh?

You mean just me versus Daniel Tosh? Or me versus the entire Tosh.0 staff?

If Community is The Wire of comedy, who would Jeff be?


Do you think you'll be able to attend the fan convention CommuniCon in LA that's happening annually around October?

I've cleared my entire October out for it.

How was hosting NYE with Fergie and Jenny McCarthy?

Terrific. I felt 6 foot 4.

What is the strangest interaction you've had with a fan?

The ones that want me to sign their genitals always get a bit awkward.

Hey Joel,

Happy new year!

Happy Year of the Horse to you!

Hi Joel, thanks for coming to do an AMA.

What are some of the things you get nervous for?

Not ruining a steak. And WWIII. And miscellaneous volcanos.

What was the more underrated film: Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, or Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol?

Come on! That's a trick question.

What are your go-to exercises? You seem like a fit dude and I'm looking for ways to keep my New Year's Resolution this year.

I try to go to the gym 3 times a day. And I don't eat anything.

Chicks, man?

So meaty!

What's your favorite clip from all the years? Mine is Whitney's "KISS MY ASS!"

Again, very hard to say, but that "KISS MY ASS!" is in the top 3.

Hi Joel,

Just one quick question: where does Jeff get all of his clothes from? Every outfit is magnificent. (If you say wardrobe or anything I'll never forgive you :-( )

Sabrina Rosen, head of wardrobe. In your face.

Do you ever hang out with Bill Nye, your colleague on "Almost Live"? If so, does he perform experiments on you?

I see him once in a while. The last time, I broke his knee.

Hey Joel! I'm such a big fan of your work; I followed you from The Soup to Community and I am in love. Request: describe your relationship with Dan Harmon as creatively as possible. I'm getting my fillings right now. Wish me luck!

Dan changed my life 5 years ago by casting me in Community and for that I am ever thankful. And he is also leading the pack on scruffy writers' beards. And I love working with him.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?

Finding $20 in an old pair of slacks.

Do you have anything you'd like to ask me?

Yeah! Where's my bourbon?

The boyfriend and I are huge fans, you make us giggle like schoolgirls. What's your favorite beer?

Pliny the Elder.


I'd probably star in 3 Men and a Little Lady and replace the "lady" with R2-D2.

Is it taboo for a fan to come up to you to say hello while you're on the lot? Is it a safe zone?

You can say hi but no eye contact.

Why were you naked in the pool scene? Couldn't you just wear undies?

I did have them on at one point! You could have just turned the show off then.

The only question I have is my sexuality whenever you're on TV.

Thank you?

Thank you?

You're welcome.

How do you get your hair so perfect?

The Jet Propulsion labs in Pasadena have used 30% of their resources to figure it out.

If Danny Pudi created a confection called Danny Pudding, what would it taste like?

And congrats on the new Community season, super pumped for it.

It would taste like a pun.

So am I! I'm very excited to see what you think. You, specifically.

It would taste like a pun.

So am I! I'm very excited to see what you think. You, specifically.

And for all of you to see it.

Hi Joel, huge fan. Couple of questions

1) Can I guest star on the show? I have no background in acting or comedy. I also have no money to fly wherever you're shooting. Just think it over.

2) I've heard a lot of fans say they disliked the show during Dan Harmon's hiatus. I personally thought it was great. I guess that wasn't a question.

3) What did you want to grow up to be as a child?

edit* to remove unnecessary extra bullet

A) Yes. And start walking.

B) Yeah I guess it's not a question.

C) I wanted to be James Bond or a chef.

How hungover were you this new years?

I'll give it a 5.

What do you get at taco bell?

A Big Mac.

Have you ever been to Harmontown in the audience? Also when will you finally appear as a guest?

I have never been to Harmontown. It is on my bucket list to either be in the audience or to be on it.

Are you hot to the touch ... or cool like ice?

I'm about 98.6 on the inside.

I'm a fan of yours, and of Donald Glover, but for some reason I don't watch Community. This AMA is making me rethink my decision.

In one sentence why should I watch it?

Because you've made a horrible mistake up to this point. If you watch all of it, you'll live to be 200 years old.

Could you please acknowledge my work of getting everyone I know to watch Community? I'm a huge fan. I just want a measly little thank you....or an epic Winger speech.

I thank you. The world thanks you. The solar system thanks you.

If you had to make out with one member of the Sons of Anarchy, who would it be?

Kurt Sutter.

Hi Joel, thanks a lot for doing this! Community is my favorite show.

Today's my birthday, any chance you'll say hello during a random dessert to me?

And here's a question, what about Community persuaded you to join back when it was doing casting?

It's possible!

It was the best pilot script I had ever read, and I could not stop laughing out loud while reading it. And they had chiclets in the casting room.

If you're in LA can I buy you lunch?

Again, I don't eat.

Joel I know your a large fan of the Supersonics and you were probably interested in the possibility of the Sacramento King's moving to Seattle. When you learned that the deal was a no go were you dissapointed that you would have to wait for another basketball team to be in Seattle. Or will your heart always be with the Sonics instead of some other random nba team?

Seattle is a great sports town. And they should have an NBA team.

Are you ticklish? If so where?

On my feet. And my appendix.

This is probably a better Troy or Abed question, but I'm making a blanket fort for my premiere party tonight. Which tape would be better: duct or masking or none of the above?

Thank you so much for bringing Dan back. This is truly the best timeline.

You're right, this is a Troy or Abed question. I'm emailing them now.

What's your favorite sandwich?

Ha! You can't fool me. I don't eat.

Hey Joel. Have you heard Donald Glover's new album? What did you think about it?

I have heard it. I think it's terrific. And I want my shirt back from the album cover.

How is it that each season of Community you look like you're getting younger? What's your secret?

It's the right combination of red wine, scotch and bourbon.

When will we see rainbow bright again?

I'm doing the movie now.

Hello, Jeffery. Fan since the begining that basically got all my friends and family into watching the show as well. 2 Questions. 1. If the Community Movie was decided to be a corny Action movie with big name actors, who would you use to recast the cast? 2. Will there ever be an episode about LARPing to reference movies like LotR and GoT? I mean we got the pillow fighting, but that was more western themed.

A) You're right this is a very important question. It's going to take me a good 6 months to think about it.

B) I'll have to look those up to see what you're referencing.

What is your favorite TV series (besides Community). How often do you watch TV?

Masters of Sex, MSNBC's Lockup, Bryant Gumbel's Real Sports, Jabberjaw, Game of Thrones.

Hi Joel! If you had to murder the president of Uruguay and make it look like an accident, how would you go about it?

Exhaustion from Community marathon.

Joel. What would you say is more important for an upcoming actor, traditional acting training (i.e. Meisner/Adler/Hagen etc.) or Improv training? I know they're both important but I can only afford either or at the time.

P.S. I'll do both eventually I'm just asking which I should do first.

Do as much acting as you can.

Joel have you seen Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?

Have I seen it? I lived it.

What do you do in your spare time besides being funny and suave?

Spare time? Ha.

Spare time? Ha.

No, really, spare time? Ha.

Do you watch the show when it premiers every week? And act like a normal viewer?

Yeah, the only thing that can possibly run into it is me putting my kids to bed. Those darn kids!

What was your day like today?

I got up at 5:30 and started doing radio interviews. This is by far the best part of my day. Screw it, best part of my year doing this reddit chat.

What's your very best life advice?

Be nice to people.

Hey Joel! My wife informed me that you are a bourbon drinker. I myself like to partake in the drink and was wondering what your favorite is! Thanks for doing the AMA! Can't wait to watch the new new episode tonight! I'm going to finish the rest of my Angels Envy in honor whist watching it.

Right now, I'm drinking Black Maple Hill (which is incredible, but Rick Dees gave me a bottle of Pappy van Winkle, which I'm excited about drinking).

I know this is a Community-centric AMA, but I watched "The Getaway" on Esquire network. How long were you in Ireland for?

Also, how did the approach you with the idea?

"Hey, take a vacation, we'll pay for it, and you can go anywhere in the world!"?

I was there for 2.5 days. It was a blast. And I love the people of Belfast.

Yeah, it was kind of like that.

Will you please make more fun of the real housewives on the soup? it warms my heart and keeps my boyfriend watching them

Yes, I will give in to your demands.

Hey Joel, shout out from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico over here. Instead of asking you about Community, I would like to know what is it like to work in The Soup/The Soup Investigates; and how is the creative process behind every episode? Whenever I watch those shows it seems like you're having an amazing time.

The Soup staff are some of the coolest people and good friends that I have. And we have a blast making it each week and thank god for crappy television or I'd be out of a job. The staff makes me look good every week.

Who's a better kisser: Alison Brie or Gillian Jacobs?


I heard you describe on a podcast your relationship with your wife. You explained that you always try to move toward her, and not take her for granted. That was a very thoughtful and endearing view.

Do you find that this is more difficult to accomplish as the demands on your time have increased, or does your relationship serves as a shelter from all that peripheral distraction?

Wow, that's a thoughtful question. Yes. Because of my schedule, it's hard to be around as much as I want. But believe me, there are way more other people with bigger time constraints than I have. My number 1 goal is to spend as much time with my wife and kids as possible. That, and playing Call of Duty.

What makes poking fun at Kathy lee and Hoda so much fun?

They're terrific broadcasters and you add a couple of bloody marys into the mix and it becomes Soup gold.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Joel McHale conducted on Reddit on 2014-01-02. The Reddit AMA can be found here.