Last year, “Community” star Joel McHale learned of his Emmy snub in the worst possible way — he was one of the two stars of freshman series tapped to announce the nominees. His co-presenter Sofia Vergara did land a bid for her supporting work on the laffer “Modern Family.”
This year, McHale has a good chance at being one of the six nominees for Comedy Actor. Four of last year’s contenders are favored to return: winner Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), 2008 and 2009 champ Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”), five-time also-ran Steve Carell of “The Office” and Matthew Morrison. However, Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” had no new episodes this season while three-time winner Tony Shalhoub signed off with “Monk.”
But McHale admitted to Gold Derby senior editors Rob Licuria and Chris Beachum that earning Emmy recognition for “Community” remains an uphill battle. “With the competition we’re up against on Thursday nights (“The Big Bang Theory” on CBS and “American Idol” on Fox), it’s tough. I hope there’s awareness for it.”
Were he to be nominated, McHale says he is lucky to have a load of episodes from which to choose one for screening by the Emmy judging panels. In addition to “Intro to Political Science” (where he performs “Faith” while running for student government), he is also considering “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” (his character both hopes and fears his long-lost father might visit) and “Critical Film Studies” (parodies of “My Dinner with Andre” and “Pulp Fiction” have him opening up about his past).
McHale’s other gig is hosting “The Soup” on E! where he skewers pop culture, celebrities and the most unusual stories of the week. He admits to being surprised by the good-natured response from the stars he targets. “I’ve said some brutal things, but they all want to come onto the show and be made fun of. It’s bizarre!” The show, which has yet to be nominated for Best Variety Series, faces formidable competition again this year.