Netflix's 'The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale' is the raunchy, lowbrow talk show of your dreams
Snarky, reality-television-show-hating Joel McHale is back and I couldn’t be happier.
As a huge fan of The Soup during its decade-long run on E!, I was thrilled to learn of its “return” on Netflix. Entitled The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale, it may not be exactly the same show… but it’s exactly the show. And that’s a good thing! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The return of McHale, K.P. Anderson, and a similar writing staff (shoutout to Dominic DeLeo aka Mankini aka One-Piece Man) gives the show a familiar feel, while its newly uncensored medium gives it a fresh coat of paint; a welcomed-unshackling of the production.
Shows like The Soup, and now The Joel McHale Show, provide a perfect counterbalance to the absurdity of pop culture. In a world where Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Bachelor are considered appointment television, audiences need a satirical outlet to keep us grounded.
On a purely comedic basis, this show is unmatched. No sitcom or parody news show yields as many laugh out loud moments within a 30 minute runtime. The blatant silliness of the platform is the perfect recipe for a mindless laugh. And that’s what this is. Mindless, but in the best way possible.
I stumbled across an opinion piece in The Harvard Crimson that stated “shoddy writing and annoying marketing” undermined the show’s “topical potential.” I feel the opposite. The poor writing and clunky execution is what gives the show its charm. It’s the same reason so many people fell in love with Late Night with Conan O’Brien. We’re all in on the joke and that feels rewarding.
If you want sophistication in your comedy, there’s plenty of that to be found. But there’s also a market for fun. If you find yourself shaking your head with a smirk on your face because a joke was “dumb,” guess what? You’re still smiling.
Joel McHale called upon a slew of celebrity cameos in the series premier, kicking things off with Kevin Hart and running through the gamut of Netflix stars. There was even an extended Community allusion featuring Alison Brie and Jim Rash with nods to Gillian Jacobs and Chevy Chase.
I highly recommend this show. It’s at least worth a half hour investment to see if you’re into this particular brand of humor. With new episodes airing every Sunday for its initial 13-episode run, this is officially part of my weekly rotation. Hoping for Donald Glover and Danny Pudi cameos next week.
(image via Netflix)