Jeff Winger is a playboy, college dropout with some serious father issues on the NBC/Yahoo comedy “Community.” Joel McHale is not Jeff Winger. In fact, Joel McHale is the exact opposite of Jeff Winger.
McHale, who will serve as host of the 2015 ESPYs, is about as different as it is possible to be from his on-screen alter ego, a family man with a wife and kids and a pretty good relationship with his father. Here’s what you need to know about the McHale family:
1. McHale Married Sarah Williams in 1996
McHale and Williams met just one year after he graduated from the University of Washington and 1995 and first started dating after he called one of her friends and asked if he could ask her out. From there on out, it was a relationship and the two tied the knot in 1996.
McHale has described his wife as a “supermom” and told Redbook:
She just thinks of things I never do. If I were taking care of the kids, they’d be running around in potato sacks. People would ask, “Do your kids brush their teeth?” I’d be like, “Yeah, every year.” So she’s brilliant, and she’s beautiful.
2. The Pair Have Two Sons
McHale and Williams have two sons, Edward Roy and Isaac Hayden, born in 2005 and 2008. Although his sons aren’t normally in the Hollywood spotlight, McHale did relay a less-than-usual story on Conan recently.
While McHale was hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2014 where his son, Isaac, actually threw up in the middle of a meet and greet with the President. “So, there’s my son, it’s awful, it’s real and people are like ‘He’s pretty nervous, huh?'” Luckily, Isaac did not actually manage to throw up on the President.
Check out the photo of the McHale family post-sickness:
3. His Son, Eddie, Underwent Open Heart Surgery When He Was Two Months Old
The McHale family faced its biggest challenge yet when Edie had open heart surgery as a newborn. Joel and Sarah’s oldest son was born with two holes in his heart and was forced to undergo the procedure in order to save his life.
McHale told WebMd:
It was horrific; we couldn’t believe it. But we just started dealing with it. There’s nothing else you can do but proceed. One thing that was so hard was seeing this other family whose little boy died, just as Eddie was doing so great. Throughout the ward, there were all these kids who’d just had surgery, who had gone through things that a kid should never have to go through. It was a dark tunnel, but we came out the other end. For other parents, it’s a tunnel that never ends.
4. McHale Was Born in Rome but Moved to Washington With His Parents
McHale was born in Rome where his father, Jack, worked as the Dean of Students at Loyola University Rome Center. However when Jack left the school the family moved and criss-crossed the country until, finally, settling in Seattle, Washington.
McHale attended Mercer Island High School in Seattle where he played one year of high school football. He had actually been recruited to join the crew team at the University of Washington.
5. His Family Are Diehard Seattle Seahawks Fans
Although he know lives in Hollywood, McHale, and his family, can’t quite shake their Seattle roots and the comedian’s passion for the Seahawks is just as strong as ever. McHale was on hand when Seattle won Super Bowl in 2014 and has frequently posted his support for the team on social media.
McHale explained to The Hollywood Reporter how moving to California has actually helped his gridiron fandom grow:
After living in L.A. for 13 years without an NFL team, my allegiance only grew for the Seahawks as they got better and better and better and now are great — really great. Seattle has always been a great sports town.