Joel McHale stays busy at the Borgata

Joel McHale, host of "The Soup" on E!, star of "Community" on Yahoo Screen, and a movie actor, brings his stand-up comedy Sept. 13.
Joel McHale, host of "The Soup" on E!, star of "Community" on Yahoo Screen, and a movie actor, brings his stand-up comedy Sept. 13.
Posted: September 06, 2014

Catch Joel McHale while you can. The hardest-working funnyman in show business is taking advantage of a rare lull in his schedule to bring his stand-up act to the Music Box at the Borgata for two shows (7 and 10 p.m.) on Sept. 13.

Soon production will begin on the sixth season of Community, which is moving from NBC to Yahoo Screen this year. The Soup, the weekly show he has hosted for 10 years on E!, will be back in full swing. And he's increasingly active in movies like Blended and Deliver Us From Evil.

"I'm one of those people who can't relax very well," says McHale, 42, on the phone from his home in Los Angeles. Faced with some down time, he decided to dust off his comedy act and take it on the road. "That's when my wife said, 'You do like your family, don't you?'

"We just had our offer on a house accepted, and my wife wants to do some remodeling," he says. "So maybe this should be called the Remodeling Tour."

What can we expect? "Hopefully you'll get live monkeys, pyrotechnics, and 6,000 gallons of water on stage," he promises.

Really? "No," he admits. "I talk a lot about pop culture in very broad strokes. And my personal life and my family. If Community wasn't picked up, I was going to do a whole new tour."

Ah, Community. Yahoo signed the show in June, a day before the sets were to be dismantled. It was the latest stay of execution for TV's most arch, avant-garde, underappreciated sitcom.

Community has been on the verge of cancellation almost since it began because of slight ratings.

"There needs to be a big fat asterisk" next to those low numbers, McHale says. "We were time slot-challenged. Our direct competition was The Big Bang Theory."

You expect comics playing Atlantic City to take a few shots at the Garden State. McHale feels he's entitled.

"I lived in Haddonfield for two years as a kid. First and second grade," he says. "When I make fun of Jersey to your faces, you can't beat me up. I'm technically one of your own."

You probably can't beat him up anyway. McHale, a former college football player, warns that he's bigger in person than he appears on the screen.

"You should watch Deliver Us From Evil," he suggests. "I weighed 220 pounds when we were shooting that movie. And I actually lost weight for that part."

And that was before he had a couple of weeks of unaccustomed leisure. He must really have ballooned up now.


Joel McHale performs at 7 and 10 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the Music Box at the Borgata. Tickets: $55-$65. Information: 609-317-1000; www.theborgata.com.

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