In reality, Joel McHale is an actor-comedian who spends much of his life poking fun at the career of Ryan Seacrest -- while actually taking on as many projects as the diminutive American Idol host across different media platforms himself. In between razzing Jersey Shore, Kim Kardashian, and more obsure fare like I Love Toy Trains on E!'s The Soup, he cross-promotes his starring role on NBC's college sitcom Community, and is sure to tack on a reminder at the end about his latest stand-up comedy dates around the country (including Saturday at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood).
But imagine if McHale were primarily known for his pop music talents. He certainly isn't afraid to call out Denise Richards for not being able to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and for good reason. Hidden within a body of comedic work are an assortment of musical chestnuts that prove he's got much more than just Katy Perry's good looks and penchant for "Brite" costuming.
Here are five of the biggest moments Joel McHale's music career.
This is one of the most important aspect of gaining "authenticity" points from your fans. 50 Cent took nine bullets in the chest, for example. As for McHale, he worked his way up as a seal-clubbing hype man for another pop icon, Bindi Irwin. Why should Donald "Childish Gambino" Glover be the only rapper on Community?
Diversifying Skill Set
McHale proves he's not just a performer but a beatmaker too. As a response to "Somebody to Love" by Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester, his production team rush-released the Ed Westwick/Chuck Bass banger "I'm Bored (You Ruined My Pants)." The darkwave dance track is a slick mashup that reportedly piqued Danger Mouse's interest for a future collaboration.
Original material can be a tough go for upstart artists, and sometimes the best way to break through into the crowded pop landscape is by teaming up with established acts. Who bigger than Jimmy "Neil Young" Fallon and the cast of Glee? McHale provides a solid guest verse (at the 3:09 mark) on for a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" for some program celebrating TV shows called the Emmys. Yeah, hadn't heard of it either.
Once you become established as a solo artist, people can figure out who you really are, and what you believe in. In McHale's case, it's vegetable rights. If there's any song that tests his depth of vocal acumen and emotional range, it's this one.
Listen to the (woefully unembeddable) song here.
Burning Out, Not Fading Away
Finally, fame and fortune doesn't come to everyone in the music business, though. Just having an opportunity to sing for people is the most important part, right?