Joel McHale Jokes He Was Pranked and Lured to the Best Dinner Ever on the Side of a Mountain [Exclusive]

Actor/comedian Joel McHale will go to some pretty extreme lengths for a good steak. But when he recently accepted a challenge that included a two-mile hike up the side of a mountain, followed by a gourmet meal 100 feet off the ground, clipped into harnesses, he thought surely it was a ruse.  

McHale spoke to Showbiz Cheat Sheet from a breathtaking landscape in Estes Park, Colorado, moments before the mountain climb and he literally could not wait. “To leap from mountain top to mountain top while eating steak,” he envisioned. “This is put on by Certified Angus Beef. They are very creative and they were like, let’s do an extreme pop-up and let’s bolt the platform to the side of a sheer cliff and you’ll rappel down, we’ll set up a table and chairs and you guys will eat a five-star meal of some of the greatest beef on the planet.”

Was Joel McHale being punked?

The daredevil in McHale immediately said yes to the challenge, but he joked that he was convinced it was a prank when the offer was made. “So when the offer came through with the like, ‘Are you interested?’ I was like, ‘Yes, a hundred billion times I’m interested,'” he said. “This seems like you’re luring me to a trick. Then we’re not going to do this. This is just some sort of it’s some sort of prank. But it’s not.”

Actor, comedian and host Joel McHale and fifth-generation Colorado Angus rancher Ty Walter dine on Certified Angus Beef ® brand 100 feet in the air in the Rocky Mountains
Actor, comedian and host Joel McHale and fifth-generation Colorado Angus rancher Ty Walter dine on Certified Angus Beef ® brand 100 feet in the air in the Rocky Mountains | Photo courtesy of Certified Angus Beef

McHale was gearing up for the big climb in a matter of moments. “So we’re going to go up there literally after this interview,” he said. “And I cannot believe I’m going to eat Certified Angus Beef on the side of a cliff. It’s going to be so cool.”

How did Joel McHale train for the mountain climb?

McHale, who maintains a pretty intense fitness schedule, joked about how he got in shape for the epic climb followed by the incredible meal. “I did train. I’ve been eating two steaks a night,” the Stargirl actor quipped. “And I basically told Certified Angus Beef I think I’m going to need the equivalent of four large cows.”

“I’m going to get through two of those and then have two in reserve just in case. And so that has worked great,” he deadpanned.

Actor, comedian, and host Joel McHale performing a belayed rappel to the 100-feet high ledge where his epic dinner featuring Certified Angus Beef ® brand awaits
Actor, comedian, and host Joel McHale performing a belayed rappel to the 100-feet high ledge where his epic dinner featuring Certified Angus Beef ® brand awaits |Photo courtesy of Certified Angus Beef

Adding, “But I am in shape, so I should be OK. I have done a couple of things like this before,” McHale recalled. “My wife and I have climbed a couple of mountains and I did a thing with Bear Grylls. And also I’m obsessive about exercise, so I should be fine. It’s when you do the first step over the cliff that you’re going to get that little feeling in your stomach, like where your human instinct says, what are you doing right now? But then I’m lowering myself to a table and chairs with beautiful, beautiful, Certified Angus Beef. So my stomach’s going to be very happy.”

Why is Joel McHale so obsessed with Certified Angus Beef?

Beyond the taste, McHale loves the history of Certified Angus Beef. “This is for real, literally in 1978, I think it was more than 40 years ago, a bunch of cattlemen and cattlewomen got together and were like, ‘We need to have a system to certify flavor.’ It was like USDA, that’s all fine. It keeps it safe, but it doesn’t talk about flavor,” he shared.

Actor, comedian and host Joel McHale and fifth-generation Colorado Angus rancher Ty Walter dine on Certified Angus Beef ® brand 100 feet in the air in the Rocky Mountains
Actor, comedian and host Joel McHale and fifth-generation Colorado Angus rancher Ty Walter dine on Certified Angus Beef ® brand 100 feet in the air in the Rocky Mountains |Photo courtesy of Certified Angus Beef

“They were like, ‘We’re going to make it uniform and get a way to measure this.’ And so out of every ten cows, they only select three for Certified Angus Beef,” McHale said. “And so they really get top-shelf stuff. I always say, if you want to make a good steak, start with a good steak. And if you start with high quality, then you’re going to most likely get high quality unless you screw it up and overcook it. That would be the only thing.”

He added some advice too. “Seasoning … there’s all sorts of great stuff but it starts with how good the quality of the meat is. Don’t boil it. Don’t throw it into a pot of water.” Yeah … don’t do that.

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