On July 30, multi-talented comedian Joel McHale hosts his Just for Laughs Montreal Gala at Place des Arts. Mobtreal spoke with the actor/writer/producer, who previously hosted a JFLMTL Gala in 2012.

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.

Mobtreal: You’ve starred on long-running Emmy award winning shows like Community and The Soup. Do you prefer the steady pace of a series, versus being on the road?

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.


Joel McHale Gala

Just for Laughs Montreal

July 30, 9:45 p.m.

Place des Arts

Tickets: $34.38 to $101.83

About The Author


Stephanie Ein is a Montreal-born writer & stand-up comedian. Since 2011, she has been writing about Montreal Comedy. As Boss Ein, she shares news, reviews and profiles of the city's dynamic comedy scene.

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