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Joel McHale Keeps Climbing the Hollywood Ladder

Joel McHale anchors the eccentric cast of Community Joel McHale anchors the eccentric cast of Community

Joel McHale isn’t quite a household name yet, but the star of NBC’s fast-rising sitcom Community and host of the E! network’s The Soup is on his way. His sitcom debuted last season to rave reviews and solid ratings, an increasingly difficult task in the age of reality TV, edgy cable shows, and an internet rife with entertainment options.

Community tells the story of Jeff Winger, played with characteristic smartass charm by McHale, who goes to community college after being disbarred for having a fake law degree. He takes a financial hit and tries to get back on track with the only post-secondary education he can afford.

While attending Greendale Community College, Winger joins a study group for his Spanish class. The members of his group make up the eccentric cast of the show.

Standouts on Community include veteran comedian Chevy Chase, who rose to fame on Saturday Night Live before turning to a career in films. Chase starred in some of the biggest comedies of the ‘80s, including Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Three Amigos.

The cast of Community also includes standouts Danny Pudi (as Abed) and Ken Jeong (as Senor Chang).

As for McHale, his stint on The Soup has helped him develop his trademark sarcasm and wit, as well as bring him to a position of increasing prominence in the public eye. In fact, despite Community’s success on a major network, McHale has managed to balance his schedule and continue hosting the E! Network staple. He currently earns $2 million a year as host of the show, which trades in mocking the trashiest programming on TV. That makes him one of the best-paid stars on the small screen.

McHale also finds time to contribute to the stop-motion animated sketch show, Robot Chicken. McHale has made several appearances on the lowbrow hit, which has found a home on the Adult Swim network since 2005.

A graduate of the University of Washington, where he played tight end on the Division 1 football team as a walk on, McHale studied acting and honed his skills in the Seattle area before moving to L.A. and landing bit parts. His ascension to bona fide celebrity status started when he scored his spot on The Soup in 2004.

As Community heads into its second season, the show’s fans eagerly anticipate the return of the students of Greendale Community College. The first season was not without its warts, but some episodes made for the best television out there. Chevy Chase, Danny Pudi, and Ken Jeong will all be back in the fold. Joel McHale will be there to anchor them and continue to see his star rise.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 13:07

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