After what felt like a million lifetimes endured in a 12-month span, the year is finally winding down and heading out with a bang thanks to comedians, Joel McHale and Ken Jeong teaming up for one of the funniest New Year's Eve specials on TV. Looking back on all that was 2020, McHale and Jeong will commemorate the past year with their signature comedy stylings for FOX's three-and-a-half-hour Toast & Roast 2021 on Dec. 31 and ring in the New Year with a special like no other! In an exclusive with PopCulture.com ahead of Thursday's grand event, McHale teased the farewell dedicated to the highs and lows of 2020 promises to be a "really fun" and "easy hang" for all viewers.
"If you want a professional show, definitely tune in to Seacrest," McHale teased in our series, PopCulture @ Home. "I just want [viewers] to take away that it was an easy hang and that they had a good time. […] I don't want it to be the pressure of a Super Bowl Halftime Show where it's got to be all this stuff all the time, and here it all is, and now it's over — now there's just smoke and the players can't see anything. No, I just want it to be like, come hang out and hopefully, you'll laugh and you'll definitely get some good music thrown at you from Green Day to John Legend; Gloria Estefan's going to play and LeAnn Rimes, so that's going to be really fun."
Reiterating how the special alongside Jeong will be an easy-going, fun event for viewers at home, the two will wrap up 2020 with performances from a long list of stars, including iHeartRadio performances from some of the year’s best artists, as well as celebrity guest appearances by Leslie Jordan, Morris Chestnut, Tom Payne, Instagram favorite Doctor Elvis and more. The show will also feature musical numbers from Mayim Bialik and Cheyenne Jackson for their new FOX sitcom, Call Me Kat, premiering on Jan. 3; and Jane Krakowski and Randy Jackson for their all-new version of the classic game show, Name That Tune, premiering Jan. 6.
But with the show bound to offer viewers at home a hodgepodge of fun and laughter thanks to its eclectic mix of entertainment, just how is McHale feeling about hosting something of this magnitude for the first time in his career? "No, I'm terrified. I'll be drunk," McHale said dryly. "Boy, from doing live shows from stuff like — we did The Soup 1,000 times live. My takeaway was always, 'I can't believe how fast it goes when it's live.' When you're amped and you're like, 'Oh, this is a thing that's happening right now!' It zooms by and you're like, 'That segment was over. How long was that?' It's like, 'That was 18 minutes. Can't believe it!' So, that's always my takeaway from live stuff."
While McHale confesses he should be "more nervous" than he is, he admits he "stopped being nervous" 10 years ago. "I'm just excited to get to it. I really want to do it," he said. "And Ken, I'll drag him along and show him how to do it, and then he'll be thankful. But no, I'm really excited to do it."
FOX's New Year's Eve Toast & Roast 2021 hosted by Joel McHale and Ken Jeong airs live on Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET and continues the second part of its broadcast from 11 p.m. ET to 12:30 a.m. ET, check your local listings. For more with Joel, Ken and all your favorite FOX programming, stay tuned to the latest from PopCulture.com!