One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other: Joel McHale Talks “The Soup”, “Community” and “Sesame Street”

Photo: NBC Universal
Photo: NBC Universal

Joel McHale. He’s been the front man for E!’s satirical commentary of the world of television and the people who watch it, The Soup for over ten years and when he’s not standing in front of a green screen, McHale also stars as the disgraced lawyer Jeff Winger, the man at the centre of “The Study Group” on Community.

And now, finally, after 10 years and over 600 episodes The Soup has gained its very first Emmy nomination and it’s for one of The Soup’s greatest moments, their “tribute” to HBO’s much loved drama series True Detective.

Digital Spy recently spoke with the man himself about all things Soupy, Community and his greatest achievement to date. No it’s not hosting this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, it’s helping the children of the world understand the word “prickly” during an appearance on Sesame Street.

“I know that [True Detective creator] Nic Pizzolato showed it to Matthew McConaughey and apparently he liked it. The thing is, everyone’s like, ‘You made fun of that show!’ – no no no, we made a tribute to that show!”



In talking of balancing The Soup and Community duties, McHale explains that it’s not really a balancing act, more an ‘all or nothing’ type of deal.

“I remember once I didn’t have a day off for eight months. But to be able to work in Hollywood as an actor and be paid for it was always a dream of mine, so I have a hard time going, ‘No, I have to take this morning off…’ I just walk around in a constant state of exhaustion – kinda like Ryan Seacrest, just minus the billion dollars.”



And of course we couldn’t forget Joel and his prickly friends.

“It’s those moments – like when I was on Sesame Street, where I was like, ‘Oh, I have arrived – I have achieved a certain amount of success, because Sesame Street is asking me to come on’. It was thrilling – I couldn’t believe I was doing it.

“I was really profane when the camera was off. They sent me the script to see if I was okay with it – I’m like, ‘You don’t need to send me the script. It’s approved – approved all the way!’”



The Soup can be seen on E! Friday nights at 10pm and Community returns (YAY!) to Yahoo TV at a time and date to be announced.

Sarah Goddard