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Q&A with Joel McHale

The comedian talks about his health, his upcoming movie ("Ted"), and coping with a newborn's illness.

continued...

Do you make a point to eat?

I eat a fairly low-carb diet and I don't eat a lot. If I'm hungry, I'll eat a salad. I like the salads. Grown adults don't need to eat as much as when you were a growing kid. For an animal at full size, eating is just maintenance. I eat fish and chicken. Beef only once every other week or so. But I did just eat a sopressata salami right before I got on the phone, so...

What are a few of your guilty pleasure foods?

Ice cream. Mint chocolate chip, chocolate, and good quality vanilla.

Is it easy to switch off after work? Do you ever bring your TV personality home with you?

It's part of the person that you are, so you can't really switch it off completely, unless you are in the CIA and sworn to secrecy or something. At home, I can become very distracted by work sometimes. I do need to get off the phone and put it down. But if something doesn't go well at work, I'll express it to the wife and the kids will notice.

Would Jeff Winger, the character you play on Community, make a good father?

Probably not. He's pretty dang selfish. He'd make a pretty distant father. He doesn't even want to talk about his own father. Having a child is the last thing on his mind. I could not relate to that. I had a great childhood, and while I was never the type of guy who couldn't wait to get married and have kids, I found out that was what I really wanted. When that kid comes out, that is the moment you know what love is.

Did your sense of humor help you get through the period when your son was ill?

I always make jokes, but sometimes you can turn into a pretty big asshole if you do it at the wrong time and place. Doing The Soup was a welcome break from what was happening, but I did it as little as possible at that time.

As a comedian, are there any subjects that you won't joke about?

Nothing is off limits. Sometimes, in some situations, a part of my brain says to me "don't joke about that," but it's not like I tell myself something like, "'I won't make jokes about Buffalo, the city or the animal." Everything is up for grabs. As long as it is funny, I will tell the joke.

Is your own health a priority? Has that changed since you turned 40?

Me turning 40 has changed nothing. When it happened, I was too busy to think about things like, "now I'm 40, I should do this?" But I've been very lucky. No major medical problems.

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Reviewed on May 15, 2012

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