His latest show is fresh out of the oven.
Joel McHale hosts “Crime Scene Kitchen,” a new reality baking competition series where teams of chefs must “decode” what type of dessert to whip up.
“I do very much love hosting and I love cooking,” McHale, 49, told The Post.
“And the production team that makes this also makes ‘The Masked Singer’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’ and I enjoyed those shows,” he said. “Their take on this — it being an unboxing and mystery show on top of being a baking show — I thought was a great idea. And then they get Curtis Stone and Yolanda Gampp, who are super-experts. Their knowledge terrifies me, and so I jumped at it.”
Premiering Wednesday, May 26 (9 p.m. on Fox), each episode follows chefs scouring a kitchen for “clues” on dishes that were previously baked. Based on their guesses, they re-create the treats for judges Chef Stone and cake artist Gampp and compete for a $100,000 grand prize.
“[Contestants] have two minutes minutes and there are clues like, ‘Here’s some cocoa powder, here’s a fork that makes a pattern — go!’ You’ll be amazed at how much they get and how some of them completely miss it,” said McHale.
McHale, who’s based in L.A. with his wife and kids, spends a lot of time in the kitchen himself.
“I don’t do a lot of baking,” he said. “I do a lot of meat cooking, from fish to chicken to lots of steak, lamb, buffalo. I will say the skill level for baking is higher. Smoking a brisket takes precision, no doubt, but you can undercook a steak and if people want it more done, you can cook it a little more. But with cakes, if you screw up one part, forget it. And we saw that a number of times [on the show]. You won’t believe what people pull off in just a couple of hours.”
Although McHale is known for both hosting and acting, he has no plans to turn his focus on just one.
“I always really enjoyed game shows, and there was always a rule in Hollywood that you couldn’t do acting and hosting — especially game-show hosting. When I started hosting ‘The Soup,’ my actor friends were like ‘I wouldn’t do that!’ and I was like ‘I’m doing it, it seems fun,’” he said.
“Thank God for Jamie Foxx and Alec Baldwin and Dwayne Johnson. They blew the model off the thing. I really enjoy it, and seeing people actually win money is deeply satisfying. I have a tiny little ball-bearing of a heart, and it makes it grow two sizes.”
McHale often works on several projects at once and didn’t slow down during the pandemic year — playing a superhero on The CW’s “Stargirl,” starring in the rom-com movie “Happily” and reuniting with his “Community” co-stars for a table read, which ignited talks of a potential movie.
“I think after that table read, that really sparked us seeing each other [more]. We all missed each other. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said ‘Forget it,’ or like, ‘Sure, a movie, yeah,’” said McHale. “But now I’m like, ‘Oh, this could happen!’ But saying it could happen and then actually it happening for making a movie — there’s a lot of steps. And, we need millions of dollars.”
McHale said he has no plans to slow down his perpetual juggling of projects.
“This is how I always have been. Growing up I had a weeding job, I made espresso, I folded sweatshirts, I was a dishwasher, on top of doing different sports all the time…. I always had more than 1 thing going all the time,” he said. “I’m also an extreme extrovert, I’m like four Golden Retrieversin one. I still to this day can’t believe people are paying me to jump around on stage. I still get thrilled by that.
“I’m waiting for the job police to come and take me away and make me get a real job.”