Joel Edward McHale (born November 20, 1971) is an American comedian, actor, writer, television producer, and television host. He is known for hosting The Soup and portraying Jeff Winger on the NBC/Yahoo! sitcom Community. He voiced Elliot in the computer-animated comedy film Open Season 2, and has appeared in such films as Spider-Man 2, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, Ted, What’s Your Number?, and Blended.
McHale was born in Rome, Italy, where his father, Jack McHale, worked as Dean of Students at Loyola University Rome Center. His mother, Laurie, is from Vancouver, British Columbia, and his father is from Chicago, Illinois. Of Irish and Norwegian descent, he was raised Catholic in New Jersey and Seattle, Washington. He attended Mercer Island High School.
McHale received a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Washington in 1995. While at the University of Washington, McHale very briefly belonged to the Theta Chi Fraternity.
He was recruited to be on the rowing team, but later joined the football team. Despite most of his fellow players receiving scholarships to be on a major college team, McHale was a walk on, playing tight end for two years. According to the football team site, he did not letter in football. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington. He is a fan of the Seattle Seahawks.