Joel McHale on ‘Community’

The actor behind Jeff Winger teases the end of the season, talks about staying in shape and jokes about a few voicemails from Chevy Chase.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

When Joel McHale promoted the last few season three episodes of “Community,” we got to ask him several questions. However his answers to every reporter’s questions were so funny we wouldn’t want to cut them out. You can assume that all the irrelevant questions were not us, but you’ll love his answers to them.


CraveOnline: Does the season end in a cliffhanger?

Joel McHale: Yes, we are literally on a cliff hanging off of it. It’s in Utah on the Zion national park.

CraveOnline: For real?

Joel McHale: No, I’m lying of course… No, everything’s all tightly wrapped up. Yes, I think it does end up in a cliffhanger.

CraveOnline: How much have you enjoyed how self-absorbed Jeff has gotten?

Joel McHale: Oh, I think it’s great and it really builds him up for next year because he is so insanely insecure that people that behave that way, something has to happen.

CraveOnline: It sort of did at the Bar Mitzvah.

Joel McHale: Yeah but you could blame that on the anti-anxiety drugs and the spray tan that mingled poorly. Even though that was kind of science fictionish, it shows you that at any moment he is ready to go.

CraveOnline: How much have you become identified with Jeff Winger?

Joel McHale: People are always like, “So you’re just like Jeff Winger?” I’m like, “No! I’ve been married for 16 years. I’ve got kids. Am I really that self-centered?”

CraveOnline: What’s the latest update on the Chevy Chase voicemail situation?

Joel McHale: Updated. There's four more voice mails coming out.  So that would make it a whole series, and it's going to be a book on tape. Or on DVD. 

CraveOnline: How did you feel about his comments that the show wasn’t funny?

Joel McHale:  He says that every day. We can just say, "It's not Karate Dog. That wasn't that funny. What do you care?”

CraveOnline: Do you envision a scenario where he might not come back next season?

Joel McHale:  Do I envision it? Yes, I see him wearing white robes and when he comes crashing through. No, you know, those voice mails, he wasn't obviously very happy, but he loves the cast and my guess is he will be back if we're back. Let's get the pickup, and then we'll see what happens. I have no idea. I'm assuming so if he gets the Bentley that he asked for.

CraveOnline: Should there be a season four, will there be a voicemail war episode?

Joel McHale: Well, we already did with Blanket Forts with doing the Ken Burns documentary, there was a lot of voiceover stuff so we might have already covered that. But if we get to season four then we’ll get close to the magic number of 100 episodes, and that would make money for everybody, right NBC? We’re hopeful and I’m so happy with the show. Who knows?

CraveOnline: Were you aware of Chevy Chase’s opinions on the show?

Joel McHale: Oh, well he’s obviously a very opinionated man but when he says those, first of all, I don't think it was actually him on those voicemails because there’s no way he could figure out voicemail. There’s a scene in the show in season two when he’s doing it, like, “Voicemail! Voicemail!” And in Morgan Spurlock’s “A Day in the Life,” he is trying to figure out his phone which aired on Hulu a couple weeks ago, check it out.

CraveOnline: What are your plans for the hiatus?

Joel McHale: I’ve been most recently just promoting the show, the show’s comeback so that has taken up a lot of time. I cleaned my garage. I really did. Both the cars fit in it now and you wouldn’t believe how actually satisfying that is. It’s way more than it should be. As far as vacation, I’ll be going to Seattle, my hometown and hopefully maybe a European country if we can find the right drugs to sedate my seven and four-year-olds in the airplane.

CraveOnline:  How much have you messed with Jim now that he's Academy Award winner Jim Rash?

Joel McHale: The tadpole brought it up today. I can't believe it accidentally landed in your book bag. When he came into the room today, the door barely opened, and just the leg came through. hen you're like, "Oh, Jim's here."  "Oh, what?  Oh, okay."  Yeah, he's insufferable now.  He's really hard to be around. But he's already nominated for next year, thank you.



CraveOnline: Who does the Internet love more, you or Alison Brie?

Joel McHale: Oh, boy. I think Alison by a mile. I mean, look at her. She has a way better body. No, she's hot. And she's got that movie coming out. She's doing good. No. Yes, I would go with Alison. At least that would be my choice.

CraveOnline: What is your favorite episode so far?

Joel McHale: Oh, I think the "Cheers" episode, the Thanksgiving one, 1998. The one where Carla bought the house by the airport. No. My favorite episode. Boy, that is hard to say. The one that pops into mind, at least this year, the "Glee" episode and the "Remedial Chaos Theory," the "Time Lines" episodes were really fun and the "Apocalypse Now" episode with Jim turning into Kurtz from "Heart of Darkness." That's it. Named three, yeah, that said, I think "Remedial Chaos," just I love watching that episode. I love looking at myself.

CraveOnline: You played tight end in college. Were you bigger in college?

Joel McHale: I weighed 245 lbs. and I’m like 188/190 now.

CraveOnline: How did you lose the bulk?

Joel McHale: Well, when I quit football to be an actor, everyone was like, “There’s a lot of acting jobs for 245 lb. football players.” I mean, there’s not. So I began eating less and running because a lot of football player friends, it all turned to fat. So I just began running and then I started running marathons.

CraveOnline: Do you still?

Joel McHale: No, because I ran too much and the patella on my knees wore down. The doctor was like, I’ve got a picture, I almost showed it on “Regis and Kelly” or just on “Live with Kelly, excuse me.” But I ran the L.A. Marathon and a couple other marathons. That’s how you keep it off. Now I just don’t eat.

CraveOnline: What do you do now?

Joel McHale: I do pushups and I chase my kids. And I don’t eat. I had some vegetables today. Believe me, I’m starving.

CraveOnline: Are you vegetarian?

Joel McHale: No! People are like, “I’m a pescatarian?” No. I only eat hoofed animals with faces.

CraveOnline: Do you not eat because you’re too busy or trying to stay lithe?

Joel McHale: Oh, well, if someone says, “Hey, you’re going to be naked on camera in two weeks” then there’s that freak out. In fact I’m going to start a diet called You’re Going to Be Naked on Camera In Two Weeks. I did that for my sister-in-law where she said she was going to lose weight and then I was like, “Well, what if I posted your picture on Twitter in two months with your weight loss and you have to wear a bikini.” So she did it and it worked.

CraveOnline: Could that be a very special “Community” episode?

Joel McHale: But what’s sad about it? The very special episodes are always like “Dealing with Alzheimer’s.” No, it’ll be very happy. That would be a terribly boring episode.

CraveOnline: You’ve cohosted Live. Would you want to do that?

Joel McHale: That was the first time I ever cohosted was last week. No one will ever top Regis and I’d have to cut about three feet of my legs off. It’d be hard to do with “Community.”

CraveOnline: in the future.

Joel McHale: When? When?

CraveOnline: Your life will be very long.

Joel McHale: How do you know? All right, I will do it in my 100s. No, I don't know. Kelly is one of the coolest people alive so I love working with her.

CraveOnline: What clothing do you love most on women?

Joel McHale: Oh, naked. I like my wife naked.

CraveOnline: Seriously.

Joel McHale: It really depends on the outfit but I’m just going to go with, hard to say, I guess like a whore’s costume, but very authentic.

CraveOnline: I can’t get a serious answer?

Joel McHale: No, totally, you can’t.

CraveOnline: Did you ever think twice about getting married in Hollywood?

Joel McHale: Wait, so you’re asking me do I sometimes go like, “Oh, I wish I had not gotten married so I can be in Hollywood?” What?

CraveOnline: You have a longlasting marriage.

Joel McHale: Right. I’m enjoying it thoroughly. I really like her. I totally like being around her. She’s like my best friend who allows me to have sex with her and I really like my kids. How long have you been married?

CraveOnline: I have not, would you believe?

Joel McHale: Oh, well, let’s go get married. I’m going to drop everything.

CraveOnline: So the fashion you like on women?

Joel McHale: Sweats, I like sweats. Topless and sweats. No, I’m not a lingerie man. I don't know, attractive people look attractive in things. You know when ugly people are wearing things, it’s not as attractive.