NEW YORK — There's no stopping Joel McHale this summer.

The 41-year-old actor is busy with his E! reality spoof "The Soup" and preparing for the fifth season of the NBC comedy series "Community," which starts shooting Aug. 20.

He's moving outside his comfort zone with a starring role in the upcoming supernatural thriller "Beware the Night." He plays a New York City police officer in the film, and at the time of the interview, was shooting on location in the Bronx.

McHale calls the role a dream come true, especially because he gets to work with Eric Bana.

He's also the host of the Klondike Celebrity Challenge, a social media effort. Fans decide the fate of three retro stars, including Alfonso Ribeiro of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and `80s pop singer Tiffany, by asking what they would do for a Klondike bar. A third star will be announced Aug. 12.

McHale has taken a "one-at-a-time" approach to his various projects and says E! has been "superflexible." In a recent interview with The Associated Press, he talked about his various projects.

AP: How would you describe "Beware the Night"?

McHale: Just to be in it, I was so thrilled, and then knowing I got to work with Eric Bana, who is one of my all-time favorites, was just a dream come true. Then you've got Olivia Munn in there and Edgar Ramirez is amazing. ... This cast is dynamite, except for myself.

AP: What's it about?

McHale: It's kind of a horror film at some points but it's about these cops in the Bronx ... and it's a very violent, harsh movie, but with a really good story, and I'm thrilled I got cast in it.

AP: You make fun of the Kardashian family quite a bit on "The Soup." Their show also airs on E! Are you ever told to tone it down?

McHale: Well, the Kardashians are incredibly savvy and they know if they are being talked about then that's good. And now Kris (Jenner) has a new talk show. They've got every single product. They are a machine and they actually now work very hard at what they're doing – I'm not sure what it is. ... For a while I know that they weren't (happy) and the Kardashians were going, `Can you stop doing that?' But when we make fun of Bruce (Jenner,) no one has stopped me from doing that until Bruce comes up and punches me in the face.

AP: Do you like the Kardashians?

McHale: They're incredibly nice. I've never witnessed diva behavior from them, which means they're pretty easy to work with, which is one of the reasons they continue. So many reality stars are, their egos become so awful and then they just ... peter out.

AP: How many shows do you actually watch for "The Soup"?

McHale: Not as many as you'd think because I almost went insane when we first started when I was watching a lot of television and I got to the point where I was watching TV all day and going home and watching TV and I was going, `I'm going to jump through this plate glass window if I have to watch another two hours of `Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,' which was a fine show but after eight hours of television. ... So, we got a bigger staff and they cover, they find things that I didn't even know existed, like `Felt' on Logo, which you should check it out because they take people's sex therapy sessions and have puppets act them out. Yeah. They do.

AP: Are you amazed that some of these shows are actually broadcast?

McHale: I'm amazed all the time by what gets broadcast. It goes back to what an old friend told me back in college is that 90 percent of all art is pretty much crap and 10 percent is terrific, and so I think that's the same for television. I think we are in an era right now of some of the best television ever, and I think there's also the worst television ever, and I benefit from the worst part.

AP: Are you surprised at the success of "Community"?

McHale: I knew the show was kind of a special kind of different show ... because (creator) Dan Harmon's brain is like nobody else's brain. Getting out of your first season is a nutso process as well. But to be in our fifth season, I can't believe it. And we've always had this lousy time slot. We've always been up against `Big Bang Theory,' which is a juggernaut. And NFL football and March madness, and survived it. We're syndicated on Hulu which, whenever I look at the list, we're doing pretty well. I think the success is that our viewers are so young that they don't watch the shows at the broadcast time. But they still watch. ... I hope we get to six seasons and a movie.

AP: What is the Klondike Celebrity Challenge?

McHale: People will Facebook or tweet what they would like a celebrity to do for a bar, and it can't be too crazy because the person suggesting it has to do it themselves. So you can't say, `I would like Alfonso Ribeiro to commit arson.'

___

Online:

http://www.thesouptv.com/

http://www.nbc.com/community/

http://Facebook.com/klondike

___

Follow John Carucci on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

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  • Michael Buble

    At a performance at the iHeartRadio Live concert at P.C. Richard & Son Theater in New York, Canadian singer Michael Buble announced to the audience, "Ladies and gentleman, I have a very special guest. Please welcome Kim Kardashian [to the stage]." The audience gasped but Buble revealed he was kidding adding, "Nah, just f**king with you! That bitch isn't coming on my stage." Buble dedicated his next song, a cover of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" to Kris Humphries and made another joke about the couple who filed for divorce after 72 days of marriage. "She hurt him, she hurt him! I wish she had hurt me!" he joked.

  • Jonah Hill

    It turns out Jonah Hill is a reality TV fan and <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1674209/jonah-hill-kim-kardashian-divorce.jhtml" target="_hplink">told MTV</a> that he "felt duped" by Kim Kardashian's short lived marriage. "I feel duped a little bit because I was all connected with the wedding. I watched the two-hour special. I was with them on that journey," he said. "I was on that roller coaster, and then the roller coaster just stopped, and they said, 'Everybody off' when we were right the top. I couldn't get off. What, am I going to plummet to my death if I get out of the roller roast at this point," Hill asked.

  • Samantha Ronson

    The DJ later followed up<a href="http://twitter.com/#!/samantharonson/status/131152899295297536" target="_hplink"> by tweeting</a>: "can he change his name back to "C"hris now?"

  • SNL

    "Saturday Night Live" did what it does best -- taking a sad situation and making it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/06/snl-mocks-kim-kardashians_n_1078541.html" target="_hplink">hilarious</a>. Even the Kardashians themselves felt the parody was fantastic. "[It's] probably one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life," Kris Jenner said on "Access Hollywood" after the skit aired. Kourtney tweeted 'I peed my pants,' and Kim wrote 'Oh my god funniest thing ever' and actually, I hate to admit it, they had me spot on." Even Khloe loved the spoof, tweeting "Ha! I just saw the SNL skit they did and I could not stop laughing.... LOL"

  • Kathy Griffin

    Comedian Kathy Griffin loves using celebrity news as her punch lines and we wouldn't expect her not weigh in on the Kardashian/Humpries split. <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/kathygriffin/status/131109091023142912" target="_hplink">She tweeted: </a> "Ugh! gay couples like Kim K & Kris H ruining the sanctity of marriage is the problem w the radical homosexual agend--- oh wait, oops:)" Griffin also promised during her appearance on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" that she'll have lots of Kardashian divorce material for her next Bravo special.

  • Country Music Awards

    Even Country Music Award hosts, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, got in on the fun of mocking the Kim's divorce. "I think you forgot to sing a song about what's weighing on everyone's mind in this room," presenter Eric Stonestreet of "Modern Family" said to Underwood and Paisley. "The divorce of Kim Kardashian and what's his name!" Together they sang: "I'm going to love you forever, or 72 days Amen, as long as Justin Bieber is not a conceiver, as long as Taylor Swift is with her current boyfriend. I'm going to love you for 20 million dollars, for a hit TV series or pics in Us Weekly, for 72 Days, Amen."

  • Daniel Craig

    Daniel Craig got in on the<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/11/29/daniel-craig-kim-kardashian_n_1117992.html" target="_hplink"> Kardashian bashing train</a>, calling Kim Kardashian a "f**king idiot" in the January 2012 issue of <em>British GQ.</em> He continued on his anti-Kardashian rant, saying: "Look at the Kardashians, they are worth millions. Millions! I don't think they were that badly off to begin with but now look at them". "You see that and you think, 'What, you mean all I have to do is behave like a f***ing idiot on television and then you'll pay me millions?' I'm not judging it. Well, I am, obviously," he told the magazine.

  • Jonah Hill

    Jonah Hill first joked that he was crushed by Kim's divorce and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/jonah-hill-the-sitter-kardashians_n_1146242.html" target="_hplink">later he told The Huffington Post</a>: "I have friends who work in TV and the Kardashians get higher ratings than their TV shows. Shows that people actually work hard on -- writing and creating and trying to tell stories. The fact that the Kardashians could be more popular than a show like "Mad Men" is disgusting. (Laughs) It's a super disgusting part of our culture, but I still find it funny to make a joke about it. Whenever I say I like reality TV, people write about it like they're in shock. I can't even understand it, so I watch it. I think it's funny and I definitely enjoy it in a making-fun-of-it sort of way, but where does the line sort of end? When do I stop making fun of it and become an actual fan?"

  • Jonn Hamm

    Jon Hamm didn't have kind words for Kim when <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/jon-hamm-slams-kim-kardashian-idiot-culture_n_1335411.html" target="_hplink">he told Elle UK</a>: "Whether it's Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated," he told the magazine. "Being a f**king idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you're rewarded significantly Incuriousness has become cool... It's celebrated. It doesn't make sense to me."

  • Spencer Pratt

    Spencer Pratt On Why America Hates Kim Kardashian