The award-winning actor and comedian is busy with more than one hit show
Community favourite Joel McHale is now headlining two different reality shows, and sat down with TV Week to discuss his current hosting duties.
FoxTV Week: You do a mix of scripted and hosting jobs. Do you get the same satisfaction out of both?
I do. You know, I love it all. Not that you’re asking me to make a choice, but a lot of people are like, “Gun to your head: What do you have to do, and what would you choose?” And I always thought, “Where is this place that they’re holding a gun to my head and making me choose something to do in my career?” I really do love it all. And when I started off on The Soup, I really enjoyed that format. And then, when I got to do Community, you know, it was this dream come true. Sure, I never saw my family, but I like doing standup and acting, and then yelling at bakers.
How is your own, personal kitchen prowess?
As far as my culinary skills go, I have taught Curtis [Stone] and Yolanda [Gampp, the show’s judges] a lot over the last month-and-a-half. They finally are not going to mess up a lot of the recipes that they consistently get wrong. But seriously, I do cook a lot. I cook a lot of meat and a lot of fish, but the world of baking is so complicated and incredible. It’s like magic. It’s like science. And to watch and listen to Yolanda and Curtis talk about this stuff, the precision is out of this world. I was so thrilled to see it all happening before my eyes.
What kind of “clues” will you be giving the contestants?
There’s not many clues, and you’re going to be blown away by how close people get to guessing what they find. And then, you’ll be blown away by some of the absolute wrong turns that people take. And you’ll also see that these bakers, some of them are very well-trained; they have formal training, and then, some of them are self-taught. And you will be so surprised at how far the self-taughts get and how not that far some of the trained ones get. Bringing in the “crime scene” really levels the playing field in such an interesting way.
If somebody said to you, “Joel, what would your ideal mash-up of genres be,” what would you say?
I think I would come up with something like this, but I would get a part of it totally wrong. When I was pitching it to Rob [Wade, Fox’s head of alternative programming], I’d be like, “It’s an actual crime scene; someone has died, and there are baking clues.” And then Rob would go, “Maybe we don’t have an actual dead body in there.” Then I would be like, “OK, it gets removed, but it will still be outlined.” And he’d be like, “Maybe just the clues from the cakes?” And then I would be like, “Fine.”
Has this show inspired you to do any baking experiments of your own?
I’m going to attempt something a little bit simpler like, I don’t know, some croissants or something. But those are insanely hard to do. Even though I cook all the time, I really need to watch more of Yolanda’s videos and make a hard helmet cake, and then do that. I really was totally blown away by how the desserts are kind of the culmination of human existence, where you take this wonderful-tasting stuff, and it’s a work of art that is on display the entire meal... and then you eat the work of art.
Crime Scene Kitchen airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox, and Card Sharks airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on City & ABC