Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971) is an American television host best known as the host of The Soup on E! Entertainment Television. He is also a comedian and actor.
McHale was born in Rome, Italy, and is of Irish and Nordic roots. He grew up in the Seattle area, graduating from Mercer Island High School in suburban Seattle in 1990. He received his Bachelor's degree in History from the University of Washington in 1995. While at the University of Washington, McHale belonged to the Theta Chi Fraternity. Before completing the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington, he became part of the Almost Live! cast, a local sketch-comedy TV show produced in Seattle. From 1993 until 1997 Joel was a member of the improv comedy group at Unexpected Productions, participating in Theatersports! at the Market Theater located in Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle.
McHale played football at the University of Washington where he was a tight end and was a member of the school's 1991 national championship team .
After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles and then landed small roles on Oliver Beene, CSI: Miami, and Will & Grace, and a TV reporter in the dramatic biopic Lords of Dogtown. He frequently appears as a co-host on Loveline. He has a long association with Circle X Theatre, where he has done several plays. He has also done commercials for Burger King, Dockers, and Sealy.
McHale is also a weekly guest on the The Adam Carolla Show and Mickey and Amelia Show, and on the Kidd Chris Show on 94.1 WYSP in Philadelphia, and is an occasional guest on the Opie and Anthony show. He has been a judge on Iron Chef America. He was involved in the American version of the British TV show The IT Crowd. He guest starred as a cast member on the NBC reality show Thank God You're Here during the pilot episode and also had a guest part in episode 1.6 of the ABC show Pushing Daisies. He also made an appearance in Spider-Man 2 as the bank manager. He made a guest appearance on the finale of Last Comic Standing season 6, when he gave a recap of the show's events in his typical format of jokes made popular on The Soup. He is currently filming The Informant in Decatur, Illinois in which he plays an FBI Agent.
McHale hosts The Soup, a satirical weekly television show on the E! television network. Throughout the show, he takes the audience through the oddities and ridiculous happenings of the week in television. The show has become a cult hit due to his stinging criticism of the dumbing down of American entertainment as well as for his comedic talent and off-kilter subject material.
McHale is married and has two sons: Edward Roy (b. 2005) and Isaac (b. 2008).