Joel McHale on Hosting CARD SHARKS - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Joel McHale on Hosting CARD SHARKS

June 12, 2019 by  

Card Sharks Joel McHale

CARD SHARKS – ABC’s “Card Sharks” host Joel McHale. (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Joel McHale has transitioned from acting (COMMUNITY, THE X-FILES) to unscripted fare (hosting THE SOUP, guesting on TO TELL THE TRUTH, THE MATCH GAME, and THE MASKED SINGER), but he’s taking on a new challenge: hosting a revival of CARD SHARKS.

In the game, contestants bet whether a card will be higher or lower than the one before it. ABC’s 2019 take is the fifth go-round for this show, and, in success, victors can take home hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Our version is different than the old version, because my suits are spectacular,” McHale joked to reporters. “The game is a really good game. It’s basically ‘War.’ The old game moves very fast. This one, we slowed it down so I can tell jokes. And like many game shows now, you get to know the people a bit.”

McHale admitted the contestants’ journey during the game has even gotten to him.

“I swear, when these people win money, I’m like, ‘This is the greatest thing I’ve ever done for someone,’” he said. “You see people’s faces change shapes when they win big money. It’s really fun to see people [have that]—and heartbreaking when they don’t.”

And the in-studio audience is equally invested in what’s going on. “The stakes are high,” McHale said. “If you start doing well and the money really starts piling up, the people in the audience really start losing their minds…numerous times there are hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line and people are jumping up and down.”

Though this is new to McHale, his biggest concern was simple: “I didn’t want to screw the rules up. I really was worried about it. The second day, I was like, I think I have the rules. But when I’d screw it up, the producers would just go, ‘Nope! Go back, dummy.’”

“There’s so much happening all at once, which is so different from THE SOUP, which was one camera and one curtain and one lightbulb,” he continued. “The amount of production that goes in is way more and makes me go, ‘Oof, don’t screw this up.’…It’s such a simple game, but when someone gets an 8 and there is $250,000 on the line. One woman was like, ‘I’m either going to buy a house or be a barista tomorrow.’ And all of a sudden I’m nervous.”

But just because McHale is enjoying his time as a game show host, he was clear the ideal, for him, would be to balance this with acting work.

“I’ll do it all,” he said. “This is how I always was. I like it all. I really enjoyed doing COMMUNITY…Because this is an eight-episode run this summer, it allows me to do other stuff.”

CARD SHARKS, Wednesdays, 9/8c, ABC

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