Dan Snierson
September 08, 2009 AT 09:39 PM EDT

In this week’s issue of EW, you can read all about the rise of jocular Joel McHale, who is going from host of The Soup to… host of The Soup with a promising prime time comedy (NBC’s Community) and a movie (The Informant!, starring Matt Damon).  So let’s use this space instead to discuss McHale’s, um, little obsession.

We know that McHale serves the public good every week on E! by delivering a swift, metaphorical kick to the junk of all deserving TV personalities and reality contestants. (“If you are doing something so egregious that you actually are louder than the rest of the ball of noise that Hollywood makes, we’re going to make fun of you,” he reasons. “It’s like, what do you expect us to say? ‘You are famous for having sex with Flavor Flav…. Congratulations?;”) But he’s also taken a special interest in a fellow E! asset: Ryan Seacrest. McHale frequently pokes fun at the American Idol host/E! superanchor for his ever-expanding empire and adorably compact size. For example, when Seacrest signed a $45-million Idol deal in July, McHale cracked, “This not only makes him the richest host in reality television, it also means the mushroom he lives in is getting a pool!” So, what’s up with the Seacrest fixation? “He is the king,” explains McHale. “I liken it to when Letterman was constantly berating GE, when he was at NBC. Seacrest is GE. He has all the money. He has the looks. He has a full head of hair. And he is slowly taking over our world. He is the one we always are going to make fun of because you always make fun of the big guy—even though that big guy is 4’11”.” (For the record, Seacrest says he’s 5’9″, while our Soup man measures 6’4″.)

When McHale recently appeared on The Tonight Show—the night before Seacrest was to be as a guest—he suggested that Conan O’Brien greet Seacrest by searching the floor for him, then picking him up and putting him on his knee. “The day after that appearance, McHale received a call from Comcast Entertainment Group CEO Ted Harbert, who oversees E!. Recalls McHale: “He was like, ‘Ryan’s pissed. You went a little too far last night.’ And I was like, ‘Goddammit! I knew it… I’ll call him.’ After getting through his nine assistants, [Ryan] called me back, and I was like, ‘Hey man, just want to say I understand that you’re pissed. I know I say all sorts of crap and I tell a lot of bad jokes….’ And then there was this long pause and he was like, “Gotcha, McHale!!!” And I was like, “Goddang it!” So, does this mean that McHale will lay off Seacrest? “It will not stop,” vows McHale, “until he buys an island like David Copperfield and we never hear from him again.”

What do you think, PopWatchers? Are McHale’s constant jokes about Seacrest an ever-replenishing fountain of funny?

You May Like