ESPYs host Joel McHale preps sports jokes, talks Caitlyn Jenner, Stuart Scott
As Joel McHale, known for "Community" and "The Soup," prepares to host the 2015 ESPY Awards, he shared with Variety what's in store. The E! host even joked about fellow network star, Caitlyn Jenner, who will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, drawing most of the attention.
"I can't imagine what event is happening during this awards ceremony that would just draw people to it... I think it's me," he noted with heavy sarcasm. "Finally the guy from the Dunkin' Donut ads that were all over Facebook last month is hosting an awards show!"
McHale was understanding about responding to his umpteenth take on Jenner's ESPY award. "I think I've answered more questions about Caitlyn than Caitlyn has," McHale said.
"Call Me Caitlyn" may have been the most recent headline-grabbing story about an athlete, but the sports section provided a lot of other fodder and scandals. Think deflated balls, multiple abuse allegations and concussion lawsuits, and that's just one sport.
"Sports is like almost any other very public business in that there are very positive things, like the World Cup on Sunday, and there are very negative things. If it's a huge bummer of a story, my guess is it's not the greatest opportunity for comedy," McHale said. "I am not a comedian that just says stuff to be shocking."
McHale ensured that the show will choose its headlines carefully. "If we can find a way, then yeah, we'll do it. But it was definitely a year of scandals, so we'll probably definitely say something." He continued, "I'm not even sure what the joke is yet, but everything is up for grabs. But if it's a bummer, then no."
Although McHale was tight-lipped about the details of the ceremony, a tribute to late "SportsCenter" anchor, Stuart Scott should be a guarantee. McHale shared his recollection of Scott, whose 2014 ESPY acceptance speech for the Jimmy V Perseverance Award inspired many as he shared his battle with cancer.
"It is so sad that he died and he clearly was a good guy and everyone that I know that knew him said the same thing — that he was a pretty special human being. I always loved his catchphrase, 'as cool as the other side of the pillow.' He was always really funny," McHale said.
When asked what his sportscaster catchphrase would be, McHale's pales in comparison. "That was a good one! He made a good play, she made a good play!" The comedian admitted quickly after giving up, "Yeah, not too creative."
The 2015 ESPYs airs at 8 p.m. July 15 on ABC.More on Variety:
Bill Cosby statue removed from Disney World resort
'South Park' renewed by Comedy Central through 2019
'Star Wars' free app blasts out news, videos and 3D characters