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Joel McHale at the Moore Culture 2020

| October 21, 2020 | 0 Comments
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Joel McHale at the Moore

Seattle native Joel McHale returned home Nov. 29th to perform at the Moore Theatre during his national stand up tour. Fans crowded into the theatre in one of the few cities in the nation where people may actually know McHale for work other than his weekly gig hosting The Soup on E! Entertainment Television. After graduating from the University of Washington, McHale was part of local sketch show Almost Live! and then spent four years performing with the improv group Unexpected Productions. If Joel McHale was going to have a great show, it should’ve been here. Lucky for Joel, loyal fans of The Soup loved him. Unfortunately for Joel, his show also revealed him to be a one-trick pony.

Both Joel and his opening act, fellow Washington native Brooks McBeth, hit high notes with local jokes that stoked the egos of Seattleites by insulting nearby cities like Spanaway, Kent, and Renton. As for McBeth, the rest of his set seemed to be a lot of “air-humping” and threatening to have sex with an audience member in the front row. After that there was a lot of bemoaning the sad state of Washington’s flailing sports teams before any actual stand-up began.

Joel McHale is funny, yes, but his stand up act added little to his normal Friday night set on The Soup. Most of his jokes were expansions of the running jokes from the show and there were so many references to E! television shows that it started to sound like some sort of publicity trade. He did eventually change gears and start to tell jokes about his family, but they were definitely his weaker material. For the most part they came off like dinner party stories with punch lines about his children that were cute, but not necessarily something that an entire audience could relate to. His material may have been stronger had he not looked down and mumbled the end of many of his jokes into his microphone. McHale is great at improv and commenting on America’s obsession with celebrity, but his stand-up is a little rusty. In his defense, when his jokes were good, they were good. They were just padded with a lot of things that would’ve been just as funny on my TV

He ended with a quick round of celebrity references and left his set without any sort of connective thread or theme that most comics try to develop. He did stay behind to sign things and the crowd in the lobby proved that there was no lack of love for Joel. . I, for one, went home and laughed harder at Joel on The Soup.

Joel McHale will be returning to his element with his Seattle improv troupe “Unexpected Productions Theatresports” on Friday Dec. 19th at 10:30.

He ended with a quick round of celebrity references and left his set without any sort of connective thread or theme that most comics try to develop culture.

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