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Series / The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale

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The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale is a weekly Netflix original series starring Joel McHale, as a Spiritual Successor to The Soup.

Joel shows, and then mocks, various clips from Reality TV, dramas, talk shows, and more. Occasionally, celebrities pop in and skits break out.

The show was canceled on August 17, 2018 after one season.


This show provides examples of:

  • Adam Westing: Show producer Paul Feig plays an insane, sexually deviant version of himself with 'Nal Worms.
  • Better by a Different Name: A man being arrested on Live PD looks at the camera and asks, "Why is there a camera? What is this, COPS?"
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Toward Netflix. [Netflix chime plays]
  • Blatant Lies: Played for Laughs when Joel says that the Vice series Fuck That’s Delicious is produced by the Children’s Television Workshop (the old name of Sesame Workshop).
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  • Calvinball: Joel plays "Paddle Heads" against David Oyelowo. The rules aren't clear and David gets hurt, but Joel declares victory.
  • Compensating for Something: "Forged in Fire is a blacksmithing-themed competition where contestants vie to create the biggest and deadliest sword. Its working title was Micropenis."
  • Credits Gag: The lyrics to the end song are rambling, meta observations on the show and song itself, and change every few episodes.
  • Hugh Mann: Joel's interpretation of a pre-Oscars show presenter who has trouble with sunglasses.
  • Kid Has a Point: A kid in a clip from Love After Lockup, who keeps questioning his mother about marrying an ex-convict.
    Mother: He's been in prison for fifteen years, and you have to meet your stepdad.
    Son: Do we, though...?
  • Mixed Metaphor: In The Haves and Have-Nots, a D.A. starts an interrogation with "I'm just curious why your mother would give you up to me like a tossed salad."
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  • Mood Whiplash: In a clip from Married With Secrets, a man plays around with his girlfriend, then says, "I just wish I was dead."
  • Non-Indicative Name: Joel discusses a show called Warsaw Shore (one of the many foreign remakes of Jersey Shore made by MTV's international branches), pointing out that Warsaw is several hundred miles from any shore.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Spoofed when Mankini returns as One-Piece Man.
    Joel: My God. This changes one thing.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: "We did not edit this. This is how the show actually aired."
  • Old Shame: For Joel, The Great Indoors and later seasons of Community.
    Billy Eichner: If you can't make it on Yahoo, you're not going to make it on CBS.
    • The E! network gets a title card resembling that of a B-movie monster.
  • Once per Episode: Joel’s International Corner, a celebrity guest, a pre-taped sketch, and an appearance by Paul Feig.
  • Overly Long Gag: A montage clips from Korean shows showing people getting hit by vehicles. "This may stop being funny a couple times, but don't worry, it circles back".
  • Remember the New Guy?: In the last episode of the original batch of 13, Joel announces that he's sending off on holiday his recurring characters... most of which, up to and including "Guy who Claims to Be Seth Rogen", had never actually appeared in the series before that point.
  • Running Gag:
    • Each time Joel introduces The Vanderpump Rules, he gives it a new premise based on its name. This gag extends into a segment for another, completely unrelated reality show, which Joel inaccurately introduces by describing the actual Vanderpump premise.
    • The Netflix chime playing or being hummed every time Netflix is named.
    • Joel noting how racist the jingle for Joel's International Corner is (said jingle consisting essentially of a mishmash of a wide range of regional instruments, from bagpipes to didgeridoos).
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Thanks to WWE Smackdown's picture-in-picture commercial breaks, a State Farm commercial about a soup kitchen using a melancholy version of "Don't You Forget About Me" airs side-by-side with female wrestlers whaling on each other.
  • Spiritual Successor: The show basically amounts to an edgier version of The Soup where Joel is allowed to show more violent clips, swear whenever he wants, and given a larger budget, but is still irreverent in a similar manner that The Soup was.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: A guy on the The Bachelor who kisses a girl and says, "That makes me happy."
  • That Came Out Wrong: A girl on Vanderpump Rules: "It just feels absolutely amazing to finally spread my legs and be the person I know I am, musically."
  • [Trope Name]: The news and sports segments are named, respectively, "News Segment" and "Sports Segment".
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The national counterpart to "Joel's International Corner" is named "Joel's American Korner".
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