Maxim Interview: Joel McHale

The actor and comedian talks Klondike Bars, The Soup, and Community. He’s also open to sexual reassignment surgery. Don’t worry about it.

Joel McHale

Joel McHale

You’ve been hosting E!’s The Soup (formerly Talk Soup) since 2004. What is it like being on both sides of the aisle, as both a celebrity gossip commentator, and a sitcom star? 
I’m the male version of Chelsea Handler. She does the same. I would liken it to a comedian that also acts. I see The Soup as kind of like a long late-night monologue that has a lot of clips in it. I took The Soup because—or rather, they offered it to me and I accepted—not just because of money, but because of the Greg Kinnear pedigree, where he transitioned from Talk Soup into acting, though at this point I’m not transitioning, I’m doing both (thank God). And when people see me on Community, I think they see that I can do both. I don’t think they’re like, “I don’t get it! He’s supposed to be telling me about the Kardashians! He’s not Jeff Winger!” But now, with the movie I’m doing now, it’s no joke. It’s not a comedy.

You’re talking about Beware The Night, with Erica Bana?
Yes, it’s heavy, dark, and violent. And really, it has some not-so-pleasant themes. Obviously Eric Bana brings serious cachet to the movie, and Edgar Ramirez is in it, and Olivia Munn.

Do you ever find that celebrities that you encounter off-screen are afraid that they’ll become targets on The Soup?
No, I mean no celebrity’s ever come up to me and said “How fucking dare you!” I mean, I would justify that by saying, well, don’t drive backwards on the highway while high and then I won’t make fun of you. I’m pretty sure Bruce Jenner’s not a fan of mine, and that’s fine. But The Soup doesn’t break stories – it’s the same thing as a late-night monologue. It’s not like “News flash!” People think that because we’re on E! that’s what happens. It’s just like with Chelsea [Handler] – she doesn’t break stories, she’s just commenting on them.

Read my entire interview with Joel McHale at Maxim.com.

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