It takes a lot for me to get excited for the ESPYs, ESPN’s annual manufactured awards show that takes place on the night after the All-Star Game. The ESPYs has had some great, heartwarming moments, don’t get me wrong, but the manufactured nature of “Hollywood, California meets Bristol, Connecticut” has always been a bit too much. The announcement for the identity of this year’s host just might get me to set my DVR, though.
ESPN couldn’t have made a better selection for the host of the 2015 ESPYs than the host of The Soup and star of Community (and noted Seattle Seahawks fan) Joel McHale.
The 2015 ESPYS Presented by Capital One will be hosted by comedian, actor and television host Joel McHale, most widely known for hosting The Soup on E! as well as playing Jeff Winger on Community. The ESPYS will be broadcast live on ABC Wednesday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ET from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.
McHale, who hosted last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, will this time be joined by top athletes and celebrities to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The ESPYS raise more than $1 million annually for The V Foundation, the charity founded by ESPN and the late basketball coach Jim Valvano to promote cancer research.
“Joel is an extremely talented performer, a unique voice and a huge sports fan,” said Connor Schell, senior vice president, ESPN Films and Original Content, who oversees The ESPYS. “His experience as a comedian and love of sports make Joel the perfect host for The ESPYS inaugural broadcast on ABC.”
McHale really is the perfect choice for ESPYs host among today’s slate of potential candidates. I might be a little bit biased in saying that because The Soup is one of the few programs that is appointment viewing for me every week and Community is one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. (What were you thinking letting that go, NBC!) Seriously, how great would an epic game of paintball be as an opening video montage?
ESPN has hit and miss in years past by going with actors, comedians, musicians, and even athletes to fill the role. Anyone remember how awkward pre-PED omission Lance Armstrong was as host? Yikes. But they’ve done best when they’ve had a talented comedian be able to go on stage, tell a few jokes, and know enough about sports to be relevant. McHale hits all those marks and should be a home run as ESPYs host.