Joel McHale
McHale at a panel at PaleyFest 2010 for Community
Birth Name
Joel Edward McHale
Gender   Male
Date of birth
November 20, 1971 (age 45)
Place of birth
Rome, Italy
Characters portrayed
Old Norm Head Prototype
Other projects
CSI: Miami
The Soup

Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971) is an Italian stand-up comedian, actor, writer, television producer, television personality, and voice artist. He is best known for hosting The Soup and for his role as Jeff Winger on Community .

McHale's role as a voice actor includes Elliot in Open Season 2, filling in for Ashton Kutcher. He also appeared in Spider-Man 2 in a cameo appearance as bank manager Mr. Jacks, CSI: Miami as Greg Welsh, and Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World as Wilbur. In Phineas and Ferb, he voices Norm's old head that got replaced with the new one.

Early life

McHale, the middle of three brothers, was born in Rome, Italy on November 20, 1971. His mother, Laurie, is from Vancouver, British Columbia, and his father, Jack, is from Chicago. 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. He also 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 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. 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 Market in downtown Seattle.


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. 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.

He recently starred in Community which premiered in winter 2009. The show was cancelled by NBC in summer 2014, but renewed in May 2015 in "Yahoo Screen". He continues to host The Soup. He also acted in Seth MacFarlane's movie Ted

Voice acting

McHale provided the voice of Elliot in Open Season 2 after Ashton Kutcher declined to reprise his role.

Personal life

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


Film 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 Voice only Replacing Ashton Kutcher
2009 The Informant! FBI Agent Robert Herndon
2011 Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World Wilbur
2012 Ted Rex

Television work

Television Year Title Role Notes
2004 Almost Live!
2004–present The Soup Himself – Host
1998 Bill Nye the Science Guy
2005 The Huntress
2006 The Fugitive
2006 Diagnosis: Murder
2007 Will & Grace
2007 The IT Crowd Roy
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 Old Norm Head Prototype Voice only

External links

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