Five Minutes with Joel McHale

Ahead of his Thursday, June 29, stand-up show at the Palladium, the actor discussed how it will be like a Bon Jovi concert, and his upcoming stint on Drunk History.
Comedian and actor Joel McHale, star of the hit TV shows Community and The Great Indoors, arrives in Indy this week for a show at the Palladium in Carmel. Perhaps best known for his role as E!’s The Soup host, McHale has been finding time in his busy filming schedule to hit the road for a stand-up tour.
McHale sat down with IM to discuss his June 29 show at the Palladium, how it’s like a Bon Jovi concert, and his upcoming stint on Drunk History.
I hear you’re coming to visit us in a couple of weeks.
Eh, we’ll see—you never know what can happen between now and then. There could be disaster, there could be a dinosaur outbreak—you just never know. But that’s my plan.
Barring any disasters, what can people expect from your show?
It’s a lot like a Bon Jovi show from about 1985. Lots of pyrotechnics, feathered hair, leather-and-chains inspiration, all that. It is very expensive and I lose a lot of money each show. The stage show is so elaborate that I definitely cannot recoup that from what the ticket prices are.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve done a couple movies in the last few months, I just did Drunk History, and I’m also working on another show called Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television. A ton of traveling and hosting, and a ton of standup, with some voiceover stuff, too. It’s all over the map. So it’s much like when I was a 15-year-old when I worked as a dishwasher, I delivered newspapers, I weeded gardens, and I sold espressos, except I’m being paid way better now.
Can you give us a hint about what you did on Drunk History?
I don’t think I’m allowed, but I will say it has something to do with the Salem Witch Trials, and it is very funny.
So, your recent TV series, The Great Outdoors, got canceled—what happened? It was doing so well!
Yeah, that’s how those things go. We had very, very good ratings, and we were one of the top five new shows on air, but it was not meant to be, apparently. It was a lot like Game of Thrones and in the finale, everyone dies. So, I guess it was going to be hard for them to continue.
Tell us about the memoir you recently released, Thanks for the Money.
My life was not interesting enough to have a whole book about it, so it’s kind of half about me, and the rest is all a send-up of a Tony Robbins book on how to use the lessons that I’ve learned to apply to your life. Like when you become a celebrity—which you are going to have to figure out yourself. I’ll try and help you become a celebrity, but mostly it’s ridiculous that people just give you free things. As soon as you can afford it, people just start fucking giving it to you. It makes no sense. I mean, I love it, and I take advantage on every level, but it’s fucking crazy. And then I have diet tips, which is never eat anything ever, exercise until you pass out—only practical stuff.
You hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2014. Are there any topics you’re going to stay away from during your show at the Palladium?
Yes. Celery cottage cheese, and the evolution of murdered-out paint jobs on cars. No one talks about celery, no one brings celery. I will say that you’re going to have to wear a girdle to my show, because you don’t want your stomach muscles bloating from laughing.