Joel McHale’s Ready For Prime Time

by | September 15, 2009 at 8:02 AM | TV News

Joel McHale (NBC)

Joel McHale (NBC)

Discussing the juggling act involved with keeping his E! weekly half-hour snarkfest ‘The Soup’ going while taking on the lead role of NBC’s new comedy ‘Community,’ Joel McHale says that at least so far, working duel gigs hasn’t been a problem.

“Both E! and NBC have been incredibly accommodating,” the comic actor said yesterday, on a conference call along with ‘Community’ creator Dan Harmon to discuss the upcoming first season of his new series.

“I basically go into ‘The Soup’ one day a week now,” he added. “I do all the jokes and scripting writing on my laptop. I’m not able to watch TV the way I used to, but ‘The Soup’ staff is the best in the world, and they’re great at finding stuff.”

Watch clips of ‘Community’ here.

Prodded to deliver teasers to the upcoming season, both Harmon and McHale enthusiastically pointed to the so-called “Carpe Diem Teacher,” a guy Harmon said, “who’s seen Dead Poets Society too many times and who fancies himself as a liberator of the human spirit.”

Looking to skate and assuming such a class might be breeze, McHale’s Jeff Winger signs up, but gets more than he bargained for.

“The guy turns out to be so stringent about whether you seize the day or not, it becomes Jeff’s toughest class,” Harmon explained.

For his part, McHale says performing on a big-time network comedy – which premieres Thursday – has been invigorating. He specifically pointed to working with comedian and castmate Chevy Chase, comparing him to Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan at one point.

“He’s older than everybody, but when he decides to throw it, the throws hard,” McHale quipped.

That said, he still seems charged up by spotting great moments in reality TV for ‘The Soup,’ noting a recent scene on Fox’s ‘More to Love’ that he found particularly odd.

“This guy lured the girl to his room with cake… and they’re both obese!”