Joel McHale
Birth Date:
Rome, Italy
Birth Place:
November 20, 1971
6' 4" (1.93 m)
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“My goal and my career is definitely not to be famous. That's a really horrible goal, just to be famous for the sake of having fame.” Joel McHale

Joel McHale is an American comedian, actor, producer and writer. He is best recognized as host of the variety series on E!, “The Soup” (2004-?), which he started to produce in 2006 and has written since 2004,  and for his role as Jeff Winger on the NBC comedy series “Community” (2009-?), where  he won a TV Guide Award and was nominated for the Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical Satellite Award twice for his performance. He is notable for performances in such films as “Spider-Man 2” (2004), “Lords of Dogtown” (2005), “The Informant!” (2009), “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D” (2011), “What's Your Number?” (2011) and “Ted” (2012).

McHale is happily married to wife Sarah Williams. The couple reside in the Hollywood Hills with their two kids.  

Father of 2

Childhood and Family:

The middle of three sons, Joel Edward McHale was born on November 20, 1971, in Rome, Italy, where his father served as Dean of Students at Loyola University Rome Center. His father, Jack, is from Chicago, while his mother, Laurie, is a native of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Shortly after his birth, the McHales moved to Seattle, WA, where Joel attended Mercer Island High School and joined Youth Theater Northwest. After graduating from high school in 1991, he took a history major at the University of Washington and eventually received his degree in 1995. While as an undergrad, Joel briefly belonged to Theta Chi Fraternity from the Alpha Rho chapter and joined the football team for two years. He went on to gain a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Professional Actors Training Program at UW.

On July 20, 1996, Joel was married to interior designer Sarah Williams. They have two sons,  Edward Roy McHale (born in 2005) and Isaac Hayden McHale (born on March 12, 2008).

The Soup


Joel McHale began his career in 1993 as part of the Seattle improv troupe Unexpected Productions, a gig he would retain for four years. From 1995 to 1998, he performed as a regular with the locally produced sketch comedy show “Almost Live!”, which aired on  KING-TV, an NBC affiliate in Seattle. In 1998, he was featured as defendant in an episode of PBS's educational television program, “Bill Nye, the Science Guy,” called “Fluids.” After securing his master's degree, McHale headed to Southern California to find more opportunities.

In the early 2000s, McHale landed guest spots in television shows like “The Huntress,” “The Fugitive,” “Diagnosis Murder” and “Will & Grace.” He made his first feature film appearance as bank manager Mr. Jack in Sam Raimi's “Spider-Man 2” (2004).

However, McHale did not score a first big success until he hosted the weekly variety series “The Soup,” which premiered on E! on July 1, 2004. He began producing the show in 2006 and has written a number of episodes since 2004.

McHale continued to appear in films such as the Catherine Hardwicke biopic “Lords of Dogtown” (2005, as TV reporter), “Game Time” (2006), Nick Guthe's drama “Mini's First Time” (2006), the direct to video “The Onion Movie” (2008) and Steven Soderbergh's “The Informant!” (2009), in which he played the important role of FBI agent Robert Herndon. He guest starred in the television shows “CSI: Miami” (2005), “The IT Crowd “ (2007) and “Pushing Daisies” (2007) and had the notable supporting role of Doug Deerfield in the made for TV film “Giants of Radio” (2008), which was written and directed by Jason Winer. McHale also did voice overs in the direct to video sequel “Open Season 2” (2008), replacing Ashton Kutcher in the role of Elliot, and in two episodes of the cartoon series “Robot Chicken.”

McHale experienced another influential momentum when he was cast in the leading role of Jeff Winger, a snarky, glib former lawyer attending Greendale Community College, in the NBC sitcom “Community,” opposite Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong and Chevy Chase. Created by Dan Harmon, the series premiered on September 17, 2009 and it has received both critical acclaim and a cult following. McHale was nominated for the Satellite Award in the category of Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical twice in 2011 and 2012. He shared a 2012 TV Guide for Favorite Ensemble.

In 2011, McHale was cast opposite Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin in the comedy film “The Big Year,” which was based on the book “The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession” by Mark Obmascik, portrayed Roger the Boss in “What's Your Number?”, a romantic comedy film starring Anna Faris and Chris Evans, and co-starred in the 2011 installment “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D,” opposite Jessica Alba, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara. In addition, he made guest appearances in “CollegeHumor Originals” and “Phineas and Ferb.”   

In 2012, McHale had a recurring role, as Warren, in the FX crime/drama series “Sons of Anarchy,” starring Charlie Hunnam and Katey Sagal. The same year, he played the supporting role of Rex in “Ted,” a fantasy/comedy film directed, co-produced, co-written by Seth MacFarlane, and starring MacFarlane alongside Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis in leading roles, and starred in the short film “12 Angry Bros” with Drew Cohn and Eliot Dewberry. His voice could be heard in the TV series “Star Wars: Detours” (2012).

In late January 2013, McHale appeared in an episode of the comedy/talk show “Conan” called “Occupy Conan: When Outsourcing Goes Too Far.”


TV Guide: Favorite Ensemble, “Community,” 2012
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