Joel McHale Describes ‘Celebrity Beef’ as ‘Cooking With Celebrities as We Screw Around’ [Exclusive]

Comedian Joel McHale described Celebrity Beef on E! as a culinary talk show where he gets to “screw around” and cook with a bunch of celebrities.

McHale will host a smattering of celebrities which include reality stars Caroline Manzo and Jeff Lewis to actors Cheryl Hines and Todd Bridges. The concept behind the show – other than screwing around – is to give celebrities a chance to “squash their beef,” while at the same time preparing a meal and winning some serious cash.

Joel McHale can’t believe he’s returning to E!

McHale, who serves as executive producer and host of the show laughed about his return to E! “I’m cooking with celebrities as we screw around. It’s called Celebrity Beef,” McHale told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. McHale took a beat to joke about his triumphant (?) return to E!

Joel McHale attended the  2022 CMT Music Awards
Joel McHale |Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT

“And that I’ll be back on E!” he exclaimed. “Can’t believe I’m back on E! … yeah I’m happy to be there. But if you said, [The Soup] will end and you’ll be back cooking, I’d be like, I don’t think that’s a thing, but OK, that’s a fantasy world you’re living in.”

McHale’s star took off when he became the host of E!’s The Soup in 2004. The show grew in popularity with McHale driving the pop culture fun bus and for 12 years it was a huge draw. But after 22 seasons, McHale said the narrative shifted at the network.

“E! got out of the comedy business when Chelsea [Handler] left and, sadly, Joan [Rivers] died,” McHale told The Music in 2017. “We were the last man standing.” Adding, “That did not fit their model and that was the end. We were doing perfectly well in E! ratings; we did great compared to other stuff on the network.”

Joel McHale makes up the rules along the way

While a return to E! may feel surreal, the mashup of cooking while riffing is something that makes McHale feel right at home. “It won’t be like Curtis Stone,” he joked.

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“I do all the judging and I make all the rules,” he said. But added that his set of rules will be very different from what is found on a show like Master Chef. “Like Gordon Ramsay has very good set rules on Master Chef. If we run out of time, I’ll just be like, ‘You guys got another minute. Go ahead. I see that you’re not done yet,” he said. “While we’re all giving each other crap.”

In the Celebrity Beef trailer, McHale snarks that actor Todd Bridges really thought he was actor Jason Sudeikis. Adding, “I don’t think anyone knows why they’re here. Especially me.”

‘Celebrity Beef’ is chaos, humiliation and anarchy

When McHale was on The Soup, E! producers encouraged him to make fun of the network. And now he’s back to drag E! any chance he gets. “We’ve got chaos. Anarchy. And humiliation. The cornerstone of all E! shows,” McHale joked in the Celebrity Beef trailer.

“As the celebrities attempt to settle the score in the kitchen, things get spicy as they reveal the inside scoop of their rivalry. As host, Joel acts as prosecutor, judge, and jury, creating twists and turns with various challenges throughout the showdown. The winner of each challenge will have an advantage over their competitor, such as being treated to exclusive ingredients, while the loser receives a cruel punishment, like swapping out their knives for gardening tools,” according to E!

“At the end of each episode, the contestants present their final meal to Joel for the ultimate taste test, as he crowns one person the winner and helps the duos squash their beef once and for all. The victor will also receive a trophy and is awarded $10,000 for their charity of choice.”

Celebrity Beef premieres on Tuesday, August 2 at 10pm ET/PT. 

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