It's one thing to talk sports with actors, musicians and entertainers, which we often do. It's another to talk with an actor who actually played sports at a big-time college. Joel McHale, the hilarious star of "Community" and "The Soup," is among the rare Hollywood guests who fits such a bill. With USC battling Washington on Saturday, it felt like a perfect time for McHale to join us for a conversation about his two seasons as a walk-on tight end for the Huskies. From there, we also talked about Hollywood, reality TV, and professional sports in Seattle.
The entire show can be heard here, or you can jump to specific parts by clicking the links in the breakdown below:John Shearer/Getty Images
McHale can make you laugh with stories about football or Snooki.
(2:31) - McHale relives his days as a walk-on tight end for the University of Washington, which basically translates to "glorified tackling dummy." He labeled himself only marginally talented, but considering he also only played one year of high school football, that he made the team even as a practice player is pretty impressive. Either way, it beats rowing crew and being surrounded by a bunch of hair pillows. (You heard that right: Hair pillows.)
(5:34) - McHale describes getting hit by legendarily brutal Huskies linebacker Dave Hoffman, who was tough enough to join the secret service after college. Every bit as fun as it sounds.
(10:43) - "Community" has been a breakout vehicle for McHale as an actor, but for co-star Chevy Chase, it's been a career resuscitator after some extreme highs followed by rock bottom lows. Arguably the premiere comedic actor in Hollywood throughout much of the 80's, bad projects and a reportedly even worse attitude derailed him. McHale says Chase doesn't shy away from the less flattering parts of his past.
(13:50) - McHale describes the art of ensemble comedy and praises NBC's patience with quirky, critically acclaimed shows that don't necessarily rule the ratings. Of course, it also helps that McHale is a focus group bully.
(18:12) - What's even sadder than the way stars of "The Jersey Shore," "The Bad Girls Club" and the like humiliate themselves? That said C-Listers actually want McHale to insult them on "The Soup," because it helps extend their 15 minutes of fame. Oh, the humanity!!!
(20:26) - McHale explains how the nature of comedy and what's funny to him has changed after being on "The Soup" and "Community."
(24:36) - Growing up in Seattle, McHale rooted Seahawks and Sonics. He assesses Pete Carroll's performance coaching the former team and the laments the absence of the latter.