Mobtreal: I’ve read that your mom was born in Vancouver—so technically, you’re one of ours.
McHale: That’s right! You know what you’re talking aboout. (Canadian accent)
Mobtreal: Any occasion to rethink your US citizenship these days? We’ve got plenty of room.
McHale: With increased Global Warming, I’m planning to buy a house in Yellowknife. The climate will soon be nice and moderate.
Mobtreal: We’re hoping for the same thing with our Montreal winters.
McHale: I was kidding! Actually, there’s no shortage of comedy material in our country right now. Comedians are actively speaking out.
McHale: I like them both. When we shot Community, we were working long days, really crazy hours. Thankfully, I enjoyed the cast and I think they enjoyed me—we were all very close. Filming Community was like making a movie each week; the way it was shot. It was great to have that connection, but I also love performing on stage. I feel it’s like asking, ‘Who’s your favorite kid?’ I love them both—except for the one we have hidden under the stairs.
Mobtreal: I’m sure there’s a good reason for that. (laughing)
McHale: When we shot Community, each year we thought we were going to be cancelled… It’s great having a steady gig. It’s like you catch a wave and ride it. I’ve been so lucky. I’m so blessed to even work in the field of entertainment.
Mobtreal: The Soup (which McHale wrote, produced and starred in) used to make me laugh like a little kid. After a really long stressful day, who or what makes you laugh?
McHale: Red wine or a beer.
Mobtreal: We have some great Canadian beers.
McHale: Yes you do! (laughs) I like to watch The Eric Andrew Show, John Oliver and something my kids love, called The Amazing World of Gumball. I don’t watch television as much as I used to. When I worked for The Soup, I watched so much of it that I needed to take a break. I’m so busy right now, but I think I would go back to do another Clip Show. Reality TV is everywhere now—it’s bonkers how much of it there is available. It’s like there are 200 people at a buffet for 500.
Mobtreal: I know—even the Cooking Channel is full of Reality shows.
McHale: The National Geographic! The History Channel is all Reality Television.
Mobtreal: So you’re coming back to Just for Laughs next week. What are you most looking forward to?
McHale: First of all, you have a stunningly beautiful city! I’m planning to stay a day longer, just to enjoy the scenery… It’s great to see people at the festival too. I remember when I met Wayne Brady. He was super nice; I’m really a fan of his—he can do anything.
Mobtreal: You’ve already hosted a JFL gala, as well as the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Are there any comparisons?
McHale: Not really. There were a lot less French speakers there. It’s totally different—I mean here, you’re not sitting with the First Lady and eating dinner for two hours.
Mobtreal: Yes, that’s a tough gig.
McHale: It’s the toughest!
Mobtreal: And your President didn’t go this year.
McHale: When someone in a position of power can take a joke, to their face, it makes them that much more powerful. It’s a really important tradition in our country, and his not doing it was very disappointing. It’s so important for a person in a position of power to be able to take criticism, especially humourous criticism.
Mobtreal: It’s important for everyone.
McHale: Absolutely! A well-developed sense of humour makes people light-hearted.
Just for Laughs Montreal
July 30, 9:45 p.m.
Place des Arts
Tickets: $34.38 to $101.83