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‘Animal Control’ star Joel McHale knows he’s played a lot of ‘d–ks’: I ‘craved’ work when I was jobless



‘Animal Control’ star Joel McHale knows he’s played a lot of ‘d–ks’: I ‘craved’ work when I was jobless


Hollywood’s busiest actor, Joel McHale is currently doing four projects simultaneously — and that’s how he likes it.

“A lot of stuff has been happening all at once, which is great, because I went from ‘Animal Control’ to ‘House of Villains,’ now to ‘Crime Scene Kitchen,’and at some point, [the ‘Community,’ movie]. So I’m very lucky. and a workaholic,” McHale, 52, told The Post.�

McHale is currently in Season 2 of the Fox sitcom “Animal Control,” (9 p.m. on Wednesdays). He also hosts the E! reality series “House of Villains,” the Fox cooking competition show “Crime Scene Kitchen,” and he’ll be in the Peacock movie for his NBC sitcom, “Community,” (none of the latter three have announced premiere dates, yet).�

“It’s a strange thing, because I used to just crave work, and I couldn’t get work,” he said.�

“Then, as soon as I got work, I never wanted it to stop, and I still don’t want it to stop. It’s one of those things where I’m like, ‘I can’t believe people want me to do this.’ I love performing.”�

Joel McHale as Frank in “Animal Control.” Bettina Strauss

“Animal Control” has already been renewed for a third season, and it follows the personal and professional lives of a group of Animal Control workers in Seattle.�

There’s cynical ex-cop Frank (McHale); his affable partner, Fred (Michael Rowland), who is determined to befriend Frank, despite Frank’s wishes; party girl Australian Victoria (Grace Palmer); family man Amit (Ravi Patel); and hyper-organized Emily (Vella Lovell, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”).�

Joel McHale gets up close and personal with all kinds of critters on his sitcom “Animal Control.” Bettina Strauss
Frank (Joel McHale) and Emily (Vella Lovell) in Season 2. Bettina Strauss

“It’s funny, because I have played a lot of characters that are kind of dicks,” said McHale.

“And I think this guy [Frank] is more hurt. He had to leave the police force and now he’s working for Animal Control, he’s got a big chip on his shoulder. And he has to reconcile those things while telling a thousand jokes and holding a chinchilla.”�

McHale said he enjoys playing abrasive characters because, “I think it is a fine thing to push against… if it’s just all black and white, then there’s no nuance, no fun. I  think if you ride somewhere in the middle and see what you can get away with, that gives these [characters] more depth.”�

Frank (Joel McHale) and Fred (Michael Rowland) in Season 2. Bettina Strauss
Joel McHale next to the sloth that he said was “strangely terrifying.”

The show uses a mix of puppets, CGI critters, and real animals. While interacting with the creatures, he found one that he was afraid of.�

“The sloth was strangely terrifying,” he said.�

“The trainer was like, ‘Everyone thinks sloths are slow and friendly. This one is neither.’ And I was like ‘Oh… okay.’ I didn’t get that near him, but we were together in the shot. The sloth’s eyes are completely black, but they have this bright sheen to them. So it’s like looking into the stars. And then, it has the most insane set of fangs you’ve ever seen. So you think it’s slow and friendly and it looks like something from a JRR Tolkien novel, like ‘What is this thing?’ And it was as big as a golden retriever! It was gigantic.”�

On the flip side, he said there’s an animal that he’s hoping to get to work with — a capybara.

“That’s all I want – which is the largest rodent on the planet and can be a pet, but they need a big source of water, like a pool,” he said going into Season 3. “But I really want to get a capybara. I think we’re going to get one next season, I’m very excited about that.”

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