Joel McHale

There is some truly awful television out there. Lucky for us, we have Joel McHale to make fun of it. He’s the host of E!’s weekly clip show, The Soup. (No, not Talk Soup; please don’t make that mistake.) If you haven’t been watching it, well, what’s wrong with you? It’s one of the funniest things on television right now, and my reason for living on Friday nights. A local boy who got his start on Almost Live and his acting degree from the U-Dub (where he also played football, swoon!), McHale performs tonight and tomorrow in a homecoming stand that I’ve been looking forward to for months. What can we expect of the show? Speaking by phone from L.A., where he lives with his wife and two sons, he told me that he’s venturing into stand-up: “The Soup is basically a half an hour of stand-up. So after doing that for four years, I felt like I could tell a joke in front of people. It’s hard, but it’s really fun and rewarding, and I love doing it.” Who will be watching him? A lot of friends and family: “I don’t think you even understand how many people I’ve given tickets to,” he says. “I swear, I’m going to end up paying the theater.” His routine will cover plenty of Soup-esque pop-culture topics—I’m guessing a lot of Tyra and Seacrest—as well as stories from his life. But comedy’s not the only thing on his plate. Following in the footsteps of former Soup hosts Greg Kinnear and Aisha Tyler, McHale will now give movies a try. He landed a role opposite Matt Damon in the agribusiness price-fixing thriller The Informant (directed by Steven Soderbergh, just like Erin Brockovich!), due next fall. So, I ask, is film acting the ultimate goal? “Well, the ultimate goal is to be a good person and keep the Lord happy—and to raise my kids so they don’t get on a reality show.” That’s fine, Joel, just so long as you don’t leave The Soup. I’m not sure I could handle that—unless maybe we arrange to talk by phone every Friday? Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., 467-5510, $27.50. 8 p.m. SUZIE RUGH

Fri., Nov. 28, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 29, 8 p.m., 2008

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