Joel McHale comes to Austin, riding the triumphant high of a renewed Community
Joel McHale is perhaps the busiest man in Hollywood at the moment.
Between hosting the E! talk show mock show, The Soup, and starring in the oft-neglected but again triumphant sitcom Community on NBC, he's also touring the country doing his one-man standup comedy show. And he has a wife and two kids waiting for him at home, should he ever get back there.
"I have about two weeks off in a row coming up in June," the good-natured and quick-witted actor/host/comedian/dad tells us from his home in Los Angeles. "It's maybe the longest summer break I've had since 2004. What I'm saying is, I don't get a lot of free time and my wife is probably the most understanding person in the world."
While some actors might balk at a daily schedule that includes waking at 6 a.m. for makeup and wrapping up well past midnight, McHale is happy for every opportunity that has come his way and commits fully to them all. "I probably don't say no to enough things," he admits.
But for our sakes, thank goodness he can't say no. America can't seem to get enough of his particular blend of swagger and young Clint Eastwood-style swagger. (And the writers on Community are picking up on it, too...)
While he most likely won't be shirtless at the show at the Long Center on Saturday night, he will be delivering jokes with the ease that makes him such a convincing lawyer on the show. As he explains it: "There's a lot of Soup elements in the show, lots of pop culture. But essentially it's me on stage talking for a long time."
Is it ever too much for the hardest working actor in Hollywood?
"When the getting's good, you gotta do it," he states, "even if it happens all at once. I remember when I was starting out, I just wanted to work. You always hear about big breaks for actors, but those people usually had thousands of auditions they didn't book before then. It kind of feels like winning the lottery, but it's not because I worked my ass off to get here."
McHale cites his continued amazement with the shows he's on as a large part of the inspiration he needs to keep up with the grueling pace.
"It really has been like a dream working at [Community]. I watched the video game episode last night live, and I don't know another show that would even attempt something like this. Even when the question lingered about whether we were going to get renewed, I could always say to myself, 'No matter what happens: I was a part of this series. That's amazing."
What's in store for the future? We already know Jeff Winger and the Greendale Gang are coming back for another season on NBC (#sixseasonsandamovie) and The Soup isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Plus, McHale will appear in the upcoming Seth MacFarlane/talking bear vehicle, Ted, which is inevitable to be a major studio success.
"And then it's off to ComicCon for Community," McHale adds. "Thank god for nerds! And then, who knows? I hope we all become mutants and find a way to move off planet. Is that too far into the future?"
See Joel McHale live at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, May 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets available through the Long Center box office. Win a pair of tickets at the CultureMap Facebook page.