When you start getting into international territory, are you concerned about political correctness? I feel like you're risking 10,000 essays about why Joel McHale is problematic.
McHale: Oh, yeah, I'll tell ya: I don't care. If we get a searing indictment from a South African writer saying that we shouldn't have used the word "cunt" -- if we get blowback on that, I can't help you. We found it funny. I think you can tell from the way we introduce the segment that we're coming at it with the approach of being not necessarily well-informed Americans. I hope that self-deprecation will buy us some latitude. But at no point are we saying, "this culture is stupid," or "this culture is crazy." We could do that with any clip, about almost anything: this is stupid. We never do. We embrace it, we find joy in it. Isn't it great that we have all this crap? I think the phenomenon in South Korea of people getting hit by cars on soap operas can fairly be seen as peculiar.
Besides which -- and I say this as a loving Canadian -- there's no culture stupider than American culture.
McHale: Well, you're just jealous of us, my friend. We make all the cars. See, I think American culture can be some of the smartest and some of the dumbest. Whereas in Canada, you guys try to cover up the silly parts of your culture. Like when you had that guy who was running for national office and was a plumber and there was footage of him peeing into a cup. I was like, there we go. That's the Canada that we're gonna find out about. Remember that guy?
I remember that guy. I also live in Toronto, where you may recall we had a crack-smoking mayor.
McHale: He was amazing. He's dead now! I can't believe he's dead.
You would think he'd live forever.
McHale: You say America is the dumbest culture, but you had a crack-smoking mayor of the biggest city in your country. It's pretty remarkable. I wish I could do that. I guess he was your Marion Barry.
So a friend of yours, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, once mentioned to me that you had an amazing collection of knives. I don't know if that's something you want to talk about--
McHale: Oh I'm more than happy to. I brag about that stuff. I've always been obsessed with edged weapons. I don't know why. It's been since I was a child. Back in the 60s, my dad brought back a whip and a cool curved sword from Egypt, and I loved it since the moment I saw it. Growing up I played with swords. I've taken fencing. I've done lots of stage combat. And I started collecting knives. My wife thinks I'm insane. I leave way too many of them lying around. As I'm looking around my study right now, I'm looking at five swords, a bowie knife, a boot knife, an African knife I love, a number of axes. I would say it's problematic, but hey, it's better than doing heroin.
I am holding an 18-inch knife in my hand right now, with a pressure point on the handle. It's really a glorious thing that I like a lot. Oh and here's a small katana -- I'm pulling them out as we speak, this is great.