Inside Ken Jeong, Joel McHale’s Close Friendship, What Made Them Click?
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Ken Jeong and Joel McHale seem like an unlikely pair. One is an eccentric comedian known for outrageous characters, while the other is a charming leading man revered for his quick wit. The two have formed an incredibly close bond over their 14 years of knowing one another. Their friendship began on the set of the cult-hit sitcom Community in 2009.
They Formed a Connection Through Comedy
When Jeong and McHale first met, they quickly discovered that they shared a similar sense of humor. Though their Community characters, Ben Chang and Jeff Winger, who were often at odds on the show, the actors themselves enjoyed riffing off one another.
“Ken is one of the easiest people to talk to,” McHale said during an interview. “That was so valuable on set.”
They soon became partners in comedy, playing off each other’s energy, whether the cameras were rolling or not. Even as the show was fraught with controversies behind the scenes, McHale counts Jeong as one of the “rocks” that kept him grounded during the turmoil.
Meanwhile, Jeong has praised McHale’s leadership, believing it was a major reason Community lasted as long as it did. Their light-hearted chemistry coupled with mutual respect made for an unshakable bond.
Ken Jeong, Joel McHale Are Still Friends After All These Years
Fourteen years later, Jeong and McHale’s friendship is still going strong. Though they love publicly roasting each other any chance they get, Jeong insists McHale is one of his “best friends” and a “great man” whom he genuinely loves.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, they started a podcast together called The Darkest Timeline – named after an episode of Community. It gave them a chance to not only entertain fans but also have earnest conversations about the health crisis.
As Jeong has transitioned into being a judge on shows like The Masked Singer, McHale often makes guest appearances. Jeong never misses a chance to poke fun, joking that he’s only booking McHale out of “mercy.”
There may always be playful ribbing and bickering between the two former co-stars, but beneath all the roasting lies a sincere, unbreakable bond, one fans will likely get to see first-hand when the long-awaited Community film finally unites them on screen once more. Wherever their friendship goes from here, something tells us McHale and Jeong will be cracking each other up for years to come.