Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Joel McHale: Live at Casino Rama

There is never enough Joel McHale in my life.  The actor in NBC's Community (#sixseasonsandamovie) & host of E!'s clip show The Soup is always welcome on my television screen.  I had assumed everyone with a TV felt the same way, but I was shocked by how many of my friends asked "who?" when I told them I would be going to his first show in Canada.  "Is he an indie singer or something?"

OMG you guys! I'm talking about Joel-fucking-McHale!

Even up at Casino Rama, not many seemed to know who he was (although it's a safe bet that the college dudes in hoodies who were giggling at elderly gamblers did).  Our server at dinner was surprised that the comedian in the venue that night was also on Community.  "I guess I should have told my brother he was here - he watches that show."  When choosing our tickets, the box office staff recommended the tiered seating, far from the stage...but, she mentioned nonchalantly, she could also give us 11th row, centre, if we actually wanted to see him.  Hmmm...you've never even seen a photo of Joel McHale, have you, Susan?  He is not one of those redneck comedians on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour that stops here in Orillia occasionally.  I want to inhale the scent of this guy (scotch, cinnamon & newborn baby).

Was she warning me he might be TOO handsome in person?

I was super excited for this show, as I know I am Jeff Winger's dream girl.  Not Joel McHale's: both Joel & I are happily married (to 2 very lucky people, obviously).  I am the dream girl of his Community character, Jeff.  The 0:55 mark has the proof.

So, I wanted to look my best, should Joel McHale saunter past the bar & notice the redhead drinking scotch & shouting "YippeeKaiYay, mother fucker!" at random intervals.

Maybe driving for an hour & a half with open windows wasn't a great idea.

I wondered how Joel's live show would go over with those who only knew him from Community, or those who just wandered into the show from the casino floor, not knowing who he is.  I can say with absolute certainty that it didn't matter - the material was hilarious, Joel was funny & charming, & we didn't stop laughing once*.  

There are fantastic shots from the Casino Rama show here (warning: he is handsome), & I only wish it had been recorded because I want to watch it again.

Joel's stand-up felt like being at a taping of The Soup, but without the TV clips.  There were in-depth, hilariously animated stories about how short Ryan Seacrest is, & how much the Kardashians (or, "the gaggle of gypsies & a scarecrow") hate him for all the awful things he says about them.  There were I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant jokes, & Hillbilly Handfishin' jokes, which had the older gentleman a few rows in front of us taking off his glasses to wipe the tears from his eyes as he shook with laughter.  Despite the recent Community shake-ups, there wasn't a great deal of dirt, other than some jokes about how old & out of touch Chevy Chase is.  I read an interview where when asked about Chevy, Joel said he was "a...true original", so that gives you an idea of the general tone surrounding the Chevy jokes.

As much as I thrive on the mockery & sarcasm Joel spews towards his celebrity targets, his stories about his family were the real highlights.  Joel recounted his father's winning war on retail: the man successfully returned a jacket after 8 years of wearing it.  Joel's insistence that his son Eddie is either "a retard or a genius" (but nothing in between) was brilliant**.  This is a young child who, when he came face to face with a little person, pointed & yelled, "What is that?"  There is a great story about Eddie's desire to be a light switch for Halloween, & Joel realizing too late that he had made the straps too long, resulting in a suggestive placement of the switch his son kept switching on & off.

We even got some Canadian content, perhaps since Joel's Mother is from Vancouver, making Joel 1/2 Canadian.  Which 1/2?  "My dick."  Before the show, Joel had tweeted that he'd like something from Tim Horton's, preferably "a double-double with scotch."  He ran out on stage with a box of Tim's coffee & a dozen doughnuts that he passed down to the front row.  
He seemed surprised at our lack of sports enthusiasm, but this is a crowd that watches The Soup.  He proceeded with the CFL jokes anyway. "I like the Hamilton Tiger-cats, because Tiger-cats really reinforces what it is."
Later in the show, Joel sang the first 2 words of a Barenaked Ladies song specifically to annoy his audience.  "It's been..."  It's been stuck in my head since Friday night, is what it's been.  But since it now makes me think of Joel McHale, & this "handsome, funny, handsome, good-looking" show, I'm ok with that.

*I did take short breaks from laughing for the purposes of swooning, but then it was right back to the laughing.
**Eddie is a genius

If you aren't familiar with The Soup, it rounds up the best of the worst TV of the week & makes fun of it (& if anyone knows how one would get the job of watching all of this awful television for The Soup, please let me know).  I discovered this show 2 years ago, & a week does not seem complete without it.  The Soup airs Wednesdays at 10pm, & it is so low-budget that when Joel (or a guest) screws up a line, there's no retake.  I love that.

Watch Joel share the glory of Sci-Fi's "Super Shark" with us, & wonder why you haven't been watching this awesome show.

More Joel McHale, always.
To find out if Joel will be near you, check out his tour dates here.

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