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McHale: Hardy Hopes for Doing Double Duty

May 17, 2009 8:01 PM

Joel McHale, host of E!’s “The Soup” and star of NBC’s new comedy “Community,” is excited to be doing double duty on both shows this fall.

Joel McHale

Mr. McHale, who will remain very much a part of “The Soup” despite his new show, thinks the weekly frequency of the E! show is optimal: “If the show went daily, it would not be the same show,” he said. “I think it would be a mistake.”

Since “The Soup” requires him to be in studio only one day a week, he’s free to appear in the new primetime series and write (and watch the requisite television) for “The Soup” from home.

When asked to describe his new NBC comedy, Mr. McHale made a couple of attempts, including “‘Short Circuit’ meets ‘Pretty Woman’” and “‘The Accused’ meets ‘Without a Paddle,’” before finally settling on “‘The Breakfast Club’ meets ‘Stripes.’”

In “Community,” Mr. McHale plays a lawyer who must go back to community college to re-secure his degree. In the process, he forms a ragtag study group that includes comedy legend Chevy Chase. Working with Mr. Chase is a dream come true for Mr. McHale, who said he continually quotes Mr. Chase’s lines from “Fletch” on the set.

“Community” is a change of pace for Mr. McHale, who generally performs his “Soup” gig in front of a green curtain; he finds performing against actual scenery “very off-putting.”

“I’m not a glorified weatherman in this [show],” he said.

Mr. McHale is already anticipating the demands he’ll be able to make on his co-workers should “Community” take off: “No more eye contact with commoners,” he quipped.

—Andrew Krukowski


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