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Joel McHale Talks FitForFood, Fitness and Food Snobbery

'The Soup' star discusses the charity campaign he fronted for Fitbit, his obsessive training habits and his penchant for high quality food.

To say Joel McHale has been busy this February is an understatement. Aside from acting in the sitcom, Community, and hosting his usual gig on E!, The Soup, (often filming both in the same day), the funny man also fronted Fitbit's FitForFood campaign.

The goal was for Fitbit users to burn 1 billion calories--a goal that was reached in just over two weeks--after which Fitbit would make a donation to Feeding America. Now that the calories have been burned, 1.5 million meals will be provided for people in need. Men's Fitness caught up with the 43-year-old to talk about the campaign and other things McHale.

 MF: Why do you think Fitbit approached you to front this campaign instead of an athlete or fitness figure?

JMH: How dare you say I’m not an athlete! I just chose not to go pro. (He said with great sarcasm) Boy, I don’t know. They ran out of ideas; they ran out of names? I think one of the reasons is because I've had some success with making Internet videos for companies and making them funny, which is what they wanted. I'm sure it's also because I’m known as being somewhat athletic. I exercise a lot and I used to play sports. But I'm happy they picked me, especially the fact that it had a large charity component. I think it’s rare for companies to actively incorporate everything the way Fitbit did. You didn’t have to do anything other than sign up. They reached a billion calories so fast they probably are regretting it. 

MF: Did you have a hand in coming up with the FitForFood commercial? 

JMH: Oh, yeah. My friends and I wrote it, obviously with great approval from Fitbit. They were very liberal about what we could joke around with. I think I came up with the idea or maybe it was my friends Boyd and Brad—Boyd Vico, Brad Stevens and K.P. Anderson wrote the White House Correspondence Dinner speech. The only thing they wouldn’t let us do is smoke a cigarette. We wanted to say "Nic Fit" and it wasn’t because they didn’t want us to, it was because of legal reasons. But a cigar was okay. And the cigar almost made me vomit and pass out. I had to create a lot of smoke with it, so I just started puffing hard. If they ever show the outtakes, at one point I think I went to my knees and just went "Guys I’m gonna stay down here for a bit; I’m just going to wait here." Fitbit was great, though. I hope we do it again. It was really fun, and the whole thing about the calories buying meals is working. It worked. 



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