We may have missed out on Joel McHale bringing back his Spider Man 2 role but fans of Community will be happy to hear that hope is not totally lost for the cast of the hit show to reunite in some sort of reboot.
“Now I think there is a very good chance it could happen,” McHale told Yahoo Canada. “Just because Dan [Harmon] has talked about it and I know Sony would like to do it, and so it's getting everybody together that’s the hard part.”
“I am way more optimistic than I used to be,...I think there's a better chance than not that there will be good news about that.”
Looking back at his time on the show with co-stars, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi and the controversial Chevy Chase, McHale says there was always something special about Community.
“When it was airing new from 2009 to 2015, and canceled and then brought back on Yahoo, we knew the show was doing OK, ratings wise, and we didn't realize as a cast, I think, until we went to ComicCon, how people felt about the show,” McHale said. “We filled their big hall and people were dressed as us, and screaming, and that was a whole new ballgame for me, I've never been a part of anything like that.”
“We were always fighting for the life of the show… It may sound more arrogant than usual but I always knew when we were making the show that it was good, and I've been on things that are bad…but I knew the scripts were good… Now it is a vindication of like yeah, we knew it was a fun show, we knew it was unique and here we are.”
Now that streaming has led to new people discovering great shows of the past, McHale's kids are actually now watching Community.
“It's funny, my kids watch it now and they're 14 and 17,” McHale said. “I'll walk in, they'll be watching Community, and they'll go like ‘Oh, we love this episode except for your acting,’ and warms my heart, it makes me so happy.”
“They grew up going to set…and knowing the cast, and so for them it was dad's job. They were always kind of aware of it, but I would tell my wife, I'd be like ‘today's a good day to bring them down because we've got Crystal the Monkey, we've got a puppy parade and a trampoline’... So they would come to dad's work and jump on a trampoline and pet puppies and then Crystal the Monkey would sit on their head.”
As fans continue to debate what episode of Community is truly the best, McHale himself has trouble narrowing it down, but he did reveal that the paintball episodes let him live out his “childhood fantasies of being an action star.”
Joking about reality TV on 'The Soup' made a couple E! stars upset
While Joel McHale moved on to shows like Stargirl, movies like Ted and other television franchises with a huge cult following, like his role in the TV movie Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, there is one show that definitively bookmarked the rise of reality television, The Soup on the E! network, with a later version of the show on Netflix.
“When we started…basically no one watched and so…at the time [it] seemed like this tiny little show with just a green screen and we kind of just told jokes to ourselves, because we didn't know who was watching,” McHale said. “No one watched the show for about a year but it did OK and then it slowly really started to build.”
“I think reality TV back then was an open frontier. It was way looser and much more raw, and I don't want to say [we] got away with a lot more, you can get away with a lot now, but it's much more refined. It's way more polished… Celebrities and publicists are way more wary [now] of putting themselves out there in that way but for us making The Soup, it was a field day.”
If you missed out on one of our favourite shows, The Soup (a real tragedy that the E! show isn’t streaming anywhere), McHale, as the host, made jokes about what was happening on reality TV shows dating back to 2004, which included some true gems like Being Bobby Brown, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic, and I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, to name a few.
“Anything we wanted to talk about was pretty much fair game and the president Ted Harbert at the time encouraged it, and he also encouraged making fun of the network, which we couldn't have done The Soup if we didn't have that,” McHale said. “You have to be able to play the hand that feeds us, since you're in this position of power of telling jokes about other things.”
But McHale did spill that there were some circumstances where people weren't very happy about being made fun of on The Soup, Kris Jenner while Keeping Up With The Kardashians was on E! and Hugh Hefner while The Girls Next Door was on the network as well.
“We would make fun of the Kardashians, that was the first couple seasons, and Kris didn't like it, even though we got along she was always like, ‘they said this about us,’ and then Ted would be like, ‘Hey, can you hold off for like two weeks and then you can go back,’” McHale said.
“Same thing with Hugh Hefner, he's always like, ‘those guys make fun of me,’ and I was like, ‘well, again, when people are putting themselves out there in these shows,’ - our goal was don't try to invent anything that's not there, you let the clips speak for themselves before you tell jokes about them.”
Continuing his hosting duties on shows like Crime Scene Kitchen, and expanding to things like Super Bowl commercials and the "Listen to your Money" campaign for Mackenzie Investments, urging Canadians to invest their excess funds, McHale is happy to take on different types of roles.
McHale says that while hosting, in particular, is something he stumbled into, he’s happy to do it in addition to his acting.
“There was a time when hosts and actors, you did not mix those things, especially game shows,... for whatever silly rules Hollywood set for itself,” McHale said.
“But then Jamie Foxx and The Rock,...Elizabeth Banks and Alec Baldwin, all these people started doing game shows and reality show hosting, and now Jimmy Fallon is doing Password and Anthony Anderson does To Tell the Truth. So now anybody can do anything they want, if you're in a position to accept those things. I think it’s great.”