Joel McHale: The French, Cursive Cowboy

By Wyatt Langstraat

I have been a huge fan of Community for years now, so when I heard that Joel McHale had been picked as the Homecoming comedian for this year, I kind of freaked out. The star of one of my favorite shows of all time? Coming to my school? It’s a dream come true! Then I got hired at the Publicity Center and was told that I may be able to interview Joel over the phone. And the dream continued.

There was a bit of a scramble the day of the interview. Everything came down to the last minute, but luckily, I was available to interview him. In the interview, he showed how funny he is; there were plenty of times I had to stifle my laughter. Here are some highlights from the interview.

As he is a Washington native and attended the University of Washington, I started off by asking him if he thought the ‘Hawks have what it takes to make the Super Bowl this year. He said that of course we do. Elaborating, he said that “almost every year since 2013 we’ve had a team that can do it. If people are healthy, we’re gonna be really good.” Seahawks’ fans can rest assured. Jeff Winger thinks that we will go all the way this year!

For all you game show fans out there, Joel has some sage wisdom for you: “Tune into the game show network and watch the Match Game.”

Joel loves game shows, which is fitting now that he hosts the rebooted Card Sharks on ABC, a game where contestants first compete in predicting responses to survey questions, à la Family Feud, then predicting a sequence of ten cards. I asked him if he had big shoes to fill hosting a rebooted game show.

“Oh, no, I have bigger feet than anybody.” Classic. He did say he was having a blast hosting the show. “I have a very tiny, little heart that is made out of a shriveled peach,” he said, “you know the inside of a peach, the core, it’s just all shriveled up into nothing, but it does genuinely get me excited to give a decent amount of money.”

When I asked Joel to describe his comedy style, I definitely threw him for a loop. I figured it would make him think and give a good response. And he really did.

“I don’t know, uh, French? Cursive?” he responded hesitantly. “I spend most of my comedy trying not to f*** it up and trying not to make it bad.”

He went on to praise comedians that he looked up to.

“I worship Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, and Bill Cosby, with an asterisk next to his name because he’s a monster,” he said. “I don’t know if my comedy is like that, but that’s what I love. I don’t know if I have a particular style, I don’t know, cowboy-way?”

Overall, the interview with Joel was very fun and got me excited to see him this Friday! In his own words, “I’m writing a bunch of new material for you guys,” so you will definitely not want to miss his show! He performs on Friday at 8 p.m. in the SURC Ballroom. Tickets are on sale now at www.cwu.edu/tickets, and cost $18 for CWU students with ID and $25 for general admission! Check out our other blog post for the full Homecoming week schedule!


Wyatt Langstraat is a Professional and Creative Writing major, former intern for the Lion Rock Visiting Writers’ Series, and a Student Writer for CWU’s Publicity Center. He does his darn best.