date published: July 14, 2008

5 questions with...

Joel McHaleJoel McHale
by Josh B. Wardrop

Actor/comedian Joel McHale is best known to audiences for his hilarious, rapid-fire, snarky recaps of reality TV and talk shows on the E! network’s hit show “The Soup.” McHale recently wrapped filming in Hawaii on the movie The Informant, and brings his stand-up show to the Wilbur Theatre on July 25.

Q: What’s it been like filming The Informant with Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh?
Damon is an amazing guy—it’s stunning to see such a huge movie star who’s so down-to-earth and likable. I mean, I’m a host on basic cable, and I’m a complete jerk. And Soderbergh is so easy to work with—he’s already got his movie edited in his brain, so he isn’t terrified that he needs to shoot everything from 12 different angles.

Q: Damon had to put on weight for this movie. Did they ask the same of you?
Yes, indeed. I put on 100 pounds, and I didn’t do it safely. I drank sweet cream daily for six months.

Q: How sweet a gig is “The Soup”?
It’s pretty extraordinary. The schedule is easy, I get to sit around and watch TV, make fun of people and debate whether we should have a dude dress as a centaur or wear a “Mankini.” Best of all, I can tell my mom that every time she made me turn off the TV and go outside to play, it was hurting my future career.

Q: Have you had any awkward celebrity encounters stemming from “The Soup”?
Not yet. No one’s come up to me to say “How dare you?” I’m sure it will happen someday. Usually I run into reality stars and they say “I saw you making fun of me—that was awesome.”

Q: Are you looking forward to coming to Boston?
Totally. I haven’t been there since I was 7 years old, and I’m assuming that absolutely nothing has changed. Kevin McHale still plays for the Celtics, right? And no—there’s no relation, other than us being tall white dudes.