Hailing from the rainy city, Seattle, Joel's background is made up of Irish and Swedish descent. While he was born in Rome, Joel spent his early childhood in New Jersey, until moving to Seattle. He graduated from Mercer Island High School, located just outside of Seattle. He became a cast member on the short-lived sketch comedy show Almost Live
in 1984. Joel attended the University of Washington as an undergrad during 1991-1995. While there he completed the Professional Actors Training Program, as well as a Bachelor's degree in history. He also played for the Husky football team as a walk-on tight end. They won the 1991 Rose Bowl game, earning Joel a ring.
He later moved to Los Angeles, landing roles on Oliver Beene
, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
, and Will & Grace
. He's also appeared in several motion pictures, Spider-Man 2
(2006) and Lords of Dogtown
(2005), and frequently guest stars on various reality and talk shows. Currently Joel resides in Glendale, California with his wife Sarah and their two sons, Eddie and Isaac. He's keeping busy writing, hosting, and producing The Soup
, E!'s surreal and hysterical weekly wrap-up of all things celebrity and TV related.
Currently, Joel is appearing on the NBC series Community
, his first lead television role.