Kevin McHale (actor)

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Kevin McHale
Kevin McHale by Gage Skidmore.jpg
McHale at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2010
Born (1988-06-14) June 14, 1988 (age 33)
  • Actor
  • singer
  • dancer
Years active2005–present
Partner(s)Austin P. McKenzie
Musical career

Kevin Michael McHale (born June 14, 1988[1]) is an American actor, singer, and dancer. Formerly one of the two lead vocalists of the boy band NLT, McHale is best known for his role as Artie Abrams in the Fox comedy-drama series Glee. From 2014 to 2016, he hosted the British panel show Virtually Famous on E4. Beginning in 2019, McHale and Glee co-star Jenna Ushkowitz have a podcast called Showmance, where they recap Glee episodes and interview Glee cast and crew members, as well as other dynamic duos.[2]

Early life[edit]

McHale was born in Plano, Texas to Christopher McHale and Elizabeth Payne, the youngest of four children. His older sister is a talent agent, and he got his start in acting by convincing her to let him audition for a local commercial. He grew up with actor and singer Demi Lovato.[3] He moved to California with his parents as a teenager in order to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. McHale attended Academy of the Canyons High School in the Santa Clarita Valley in California.[4]



Before becoming an actor, McHale joined the American four-member boy band NLT, which stands for "Not Like Them" as one of two lead singers. They were discovered by Chris Stokes in 2006, who subsequently signed them to his label, The Ultimate Group. On March 13, 2007, they released their first single, "That Girl". The following month, they opened (with Chantelle Paige) for The Pussycat Dolls.[5] The band also made a guest appearance in the film Bratz: The Movie as an auditioning band. While in the group, McHale, along with Timbaland and his bandmates, co-wrote the song "She Said, I Said (Time We Let Go)".[6] On April 30, 2009, member Travis Michael Garland announced that NLT had split.

McHale, who has a record deal with Universal Music Group, writes original music in his spare time. In an interview with Mario Lopez, McHale stated that he plans to pursue solo music post-Glee.[7] In 2015, McHale, Chris Moy, and Justin Thorne co-wrote the song "Heartless" which was featured on the latter's debut EP The Heartbreaker. That same year, he starred in the music video for Thorne's song "Summer Nights".[8] In April 2019, McHale released the pop song "Help Me Now", directed by Justin Thorne. The accompanying music video stars McHale and actor Nolan Gould. McHale described the video as having "a bootleg kinda gay Wes Anderson vibe."[9] In June 2019, he released the song "James Dean". The accompanying music video stars McHale and Pose actor Johnny Sibilly.[10]

In 2019, McHale released his first solo album, Boy.[11][12]

Also in 2019, he competed in The X Factor: Celebrity, in which he finished in seventh place.[13]

In 2021, McHale (with Chris Moy, Shelby Rabara, Justin Thorne, and Jenna Ushkowitz) began production on a musical children's show called The AlphaBeatZ. McHale voices Ross, one of the five animated teddy bear characters. A five-song Christmas EP was released on December 17, 2021.[14] McHale is credited as co-writer of the three original songs on the EP.


McHale (top row, second from left) with his Glee co-stars in August 2009

In 2007, McHale made a guest appearance on NBC's comedy series The Office in the season four episode "Launch Party", portraying a pizza delivery boy who is taken hostage by Michael Scott (Steve Carell). He then guest starred in three episodes of Nickelodeon's teen drama series Zoey 101 as Dooley Fibadoo. In 2008, McHale guest starred in two episodes of HBO's dark fantasy drama series True Blood, appearing as Neil Jones, a coroner's assistant.

In 2009, McHale landed his breakout role as Artie Abrams in the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee. His character, who uses a wheelchair after a car accident, joins the McKinley High glee club in the first episode. He had his first solo performance on the show when he sang "Dancing with Myself" in the episode "Wheels". In the episode "Dream On", he danced in a fantasy sequence to "The Safety Dance", and sang "Dream a Little Dream of Me". In the second-season episode "Britney/Brittany", he sang a solo (in a dream sequence) of "Stronger", after being anaesthetized for dental surgery. He also danced in a dream sequence alongside Harry Shum, Jr. to Michael Jackson's song "Scream" in the third-season episode "Michael". McHale, along with the main cast of the series, was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series four times, winning in 2010.[15]

In 2010, McHale appeared briefly in One Call's music video "Blacklight" alongside former NLT bandmate Justin Thorne, who was a member of One Call. In June 2011, McHale appeared in Katy Perry's music video for her song "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" as the character Everett McDonald.[16] On July 22, 2012, McHale co-hosted the 2012 Teen Choice Awards with Demi Lovato.[17] In January 2014, it was reported that McHale would host a comedy panel show, Virtually Famous, for the British digital television channel E4.[18] The show also features comedian Seann Walsh and radio presenter Chris Stark as series regulars and team captains.[19]

On February 24, 2014, it was announced that McHale had signed on to play a supporting role in the Kathy Bates and Dustin Hoffman led independent film Boychoir. McHale's character, Wooly, is a young music teacher who helps a troubled young boy at his school.[20] In July 2014, it was announced that he and Aaron Tveit had signed on to star in the comedy film They Might Be Kennedys, but the film was postponed indefinitely in 2015 after the production was failed to be cast in time.[21] McHale was cast to play one of the leads, Teddy Mulligan.[22] In 2015, McHale competed with his mother, father, sister, and uncle on Celebrity Family Feud against Fred Willard.[23] In April 2016, McHale joined the cast of Dustin Lance Black's drama miniseries When We Rise as AIDS activist Bobbi Campbell.[24]

In December 2020, McHale was a part of a mini musical music video called "Stay Inside". He co-starred alongside dancer Haley Fitzgerald. The song and video were written by the composers of the Broadway and West End musical SIX, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. The video was choreographed by Kyle Hanagami. Viewers were encouraged to make donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the philanthropic heart of Broadway.[25]

On June 3, 2021 Ryan Murphy revealed McHale to be one of four actors starring in the upcoming spin-off series American Horror Stories.[26] McHale starred alongside Dyllón Burnside of Pose, Charles Melton of Riverdale, and Nico Greetham of Prom. Ryan Murphy announced the new cast via Instagram post where he dubbed the four men the Fantastic Four. The new series premiered on Hulu July 15, 2021 and concluded on Halloween. McHale played the role of Barry, a member of the fictional social media influencer group "The Bro House", in the fourth episode of the anthology series which was titled "The Naughty List".[27]

In December 2021, McHale was a part of an off-Broadway workshop in New York City for Radiant Baby, a musical about artist Keith Haring, where he was cast as Haring. The workshop was postponed due to a surge in Covid-19 cases. The production was originally set to run at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey from June 4–26, 2022,[28] but has now been moved to the Fall as apart of Two River Theater's 2022-2023 season.

Radio & Podcast[edit]

Beginning in 2014, McHale and Glee co-star Amber Riley hosted a radio show on Dash Radio called McRiley.[29] The show aired on Fridays at 3 PM PST/6 PM EST, but went on indefinite hiatus in 2015 due to their busy filming schedules for Glee. McHale then went on to become one of the four hosts of Sick of My Own Voice on Dash Radio in 2015.[30] The other hosts included his NLT bandmate and longtime roommate Justin Thorne, songwriter and photographer Brittany Burton, and YouTuber Amy Lynn Thompson. The four have been friends since high school. The show aired on Thursdays at 1 PM PST/4 PM EST.

In 2019 Kevin McHale and former Glee co-star Jenna Ushkowitz launched the podcast Showmance to discuss their on-screen and offline relationship.[31] One of the most requested discussion topics of Season 1 of the podcast was their time on Glee. In season 2 they started an in-depth recap of Glee Season 1. Each episode features McHale and Ushkowitz re-watching episodes of Glee and sharing behind-the-scenes secrets while also sharing personal sentiments and reflections about filming.[32] The podcast is part of the LadyGang network on PodcastOne.[33] The podcast is currently on hiatus and has been as of August 2020.

Personal life[edit]

In September 2012, McHale and his dog Sophie appeared in a PETA ad campaign, promoting the adoption of shelter animals.[34] In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting, in which McHale and other celebrities told the stories of the people killed there.[35] In September 2016, he co-created the mobile app +ONE, created with the intent to "provide people with one app to simplify the process of creating events."[36]

McHale resides in the Hollywood Hills.[37] He is a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.[38]

In April 2018, McHale came out as gay with a tweet.[39] He is currently in a relationship with actor Austin P. McKenzie.[40] McHale and McKenzie met on the set of When We Rise and have been in a relationship since 2016.

McHale is a member of the Democratic Party. He publicly supported Barack Obama's Presidential campaign in 2012, Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign in 2016, and Joe Biden's Presidential campaign in 2020.[41]

McHale is a supporter of Brazilian football team Palmeiras, as he is sometimes seen at the club’s stadium watching the games. In 2022 he visited the club’s headquarters and won a personalised jersey as a gift.



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Ruthless Neighbor Neil Short film
Bratz: The Movie Boy Band Member With NLT
2010 One Call: Blacklight Short film
2011 Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Artie Abrams Concert film
2014 Boychoir Wooly
2014 They Might Be Kennedys Teddy Mulligan Production postponed indefinitely


Year Title Role Notes
2005 All That Mark Season 10, Episode 13 "On-Air Dares"[1]
2007 The Office Delivery Kid Season 4, Episode 5 "Launch Party"
2007–2008 Zoey 101 Dooley Fibadoo 3 episodes
2008 True Blood Neil Jones 2 episodes
2009–2015 Glee Artie Abrams 113 episodes
2010 2010 Teen Choice Awards Himself Co-host
2012 2012 Teen Choice Awards Himself Host
2013 Whose Line is it Anyway? Himself Season 9, Episode 2
2014–2016 Virtually Famous Himself Host
2015 The Numberlys Task Master (voice) Television short
2015 Celebrity Family Feud Himself Season 2, Episode 3 "Dr. Phil McGraw vs. Garry & Penny Marshall and Kevin McHale vs. Fred Willard"
2016 HeILa Kevin Season 2, Episode 2 "House Sitting in LA"
2016-2017 We Bare Bears Barry (voice) 2 episodes
2017 When We Rise Bobbi Campbell Miniseries
I Want My Phone Back Contestant #2 Season 2, Episode 10: "Solo Artist"
2018 Nailed It Himself Season 1, Episode 1: "First Date to Life Mate"
2019 The X Factor: Celebrity Himself Contestant
2020 Elite Bill McKinley Season 3. Episode 7: "Nadia and Omar"
2020 Royalties Switchback Jacket Gutiarist Episode: "I Am So Much Better Than You at Everything" Television short
2020 MTV Cribs UK Himself Season 2, Episode 2
2021 American Horror Stories Barry Episode: "The Naughty List"[42]
2021 Whose Line is it Anyway? Himself Season 18, Episode 1
2021 The AlphaBeatz Ross (voice) Children's show

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Notes
2007 "That Girl" NLT Himself
2009 "She Said, I Said (Time We Let Go)" Himself
"Karma" Himself
2010 "Blacklight" One Call
2011 "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" Katy Perry Everett McDonald
2014 "Somebody Loves You" Betty Who
2015 "Summer Nights" Himself, Justin Thorne Himself
2019 "Help Me Now" Himself Directed by Justin Thorne
"James Dean" Himself Directed by Justin Thorne.
Special appearance by Johnny Sibilly.
"Arizona" Himself Directed by Justin Thorne
"Younger" Himself Directed by Hudson Rennan
2020 "Stay Inside: The Mini Musical" Himself, Haley Fitzgerald Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss.

Choreographed by Kyle Hanagami.

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2018 The Inpatient David Miller (voice) Voice motion, and capture

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Result
2010 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Breakout Star Male Glee Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Choice Music: Group Nominated
Gold Derby Award for Ensemble of the Year Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2011 Nominated
2012 Nominated
2013 Nominated




  1. ^ "Glee: Kevin McHale". Wetpaint. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale and Jenna. "PodcastOne: Showmance: Glee Recap Edition with Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz". Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  3. ^ "Demi Lovato Talks Hosting Teen Choice Awards With Friend Kevin McHale". MTV News. July 23, 2012.
  4. ^ "Glee Stars' Real Yearbook Pics!". Us Weekly. June 3, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  5. ^ "Pussycat Dolls were pretty tame". Evansville Courier & Press. April 11, 2007.
  6. ^ "She Said, I Said (Time We Let Go)". Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. 2014.
  7. ^ "Interviews: Kevin McHale". iHeartMedia. February 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Ashagre, Aggi (September 4, 2015). "Former 'Glee' Star Kevin McHale Makes His Musical Return With Justin Thorne on 'Summer Nights': Exclusive Video Premiere". Billboard.
  9. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (April 22, 2019). "Kevin McHale Sheds His 'Glee' Persona With Quirky Music Video". HuffPost. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  10. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (June 7, 2019). "Kevin McHale Of 'Glee' Is Ready To Steam Up Your Summer With A Video That's Sexy AF". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  11. ^ Bergado, Gabe. "Kevin McHale on Making Music With an Ex-Boyfriend, Messing Up at "Glee" Reunions, and His Solo EP". Teen Vogue. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  12. ^ "Kevin McHale Discusses Debut EP 'Boy' & What Pride Means to Him: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  13. ^ Duke, Simon (October 12, 2019). "When is X Factor: Celebrity on? ITV show returns with star lineup". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  14. ^ "The AlphaBeatZ - The AlphaBeatZ Christmas!". Retrieved December 20, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards scorecard". Los Angeles Times. January 23, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  16. ^ Mapes, Jillian (June 13, 2011). "Katy Perry Parties With Rebecca Black, 'Glee' Cast in 'Last Friday Night' Video". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Kevin McHale to Co-Host Teen Choice Awards". TV Guide. July 22, 2012.
  18. ^ Fletcher, Alex (May 19, 2014). "Glee star Kevin McHale to host new E4 panel show". Digital Spy.
  19. ^ Finbow, Katy (November 26, 2014). "Glee star Kevin McHale's Virtually Famous gets two more series from E4". Digital Spy.
  20. ^ Kilday, Gregg (February 24, 2014). "Debra Winger and Eddie Izzard Join 'Boychoir'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  21. ^ Purcell, Carey (September 30, 2014). "'They Might Be Kennedys,' With Aaron Tveit and Kevin McHale, Delays Filming". Playbill. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  22. ^ "Aaron Tveit & Kevin McHale Headed to Hyannis Port for Big Screen Kennedys Comedy". July 14, 2014.
  23. ^ "Kevin McHale, Dr. Phil, Rob Gronkowski, More Set for "Celebrity Family Feud"". Headline Planet. June 5, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Leslie (April 26, 2016). "ABC's Gay Rights Mini Enlists Michael K. Williams, Sets All-Star Guest Cast". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  25. ^ Tube, Stage. "VIDEO: Watch Kevin McHale & More in STAY INSIDE Musical from SIX Composers". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  26. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (June 3, 2021). "'American Horror Stories': Ryan Murphy Unveils Cast For 'AHS' Spinoff Series". Deadline. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  27. ^ Reiher, Andrea (July 29, 2021). "'American Horror Stories' Episode 4 Skewers Influencer Culture With 'The Naughty List'". Variety. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  28. ^ "Two River Theater Presents Radiant Baby". Two River Theater. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  29. ^ Anthagio. "Kevin McHale News". Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  30. ^ Clarke, Kristyn (May 2015). "Kevin McHale Talks DASH Radio Show "Sick Of My Own Voice", Saying Goodbye To GLEE And More!". PCM World News.
  31. ^ "From The Office to Drag Race, TV recap podcasts are the perfect accompaniment to your lockdown rewatch". The Independent. January 28, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  32. ^ Russo, Gianluca. "Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz Will Be Recapping "Glee" Season 1 on Their Podcast". Teen Vogue. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  33. ^ "Exclusive: Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz are hosting a 'Glee' recap podcast". Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  34. ^ "Kevin McHale & His Super Cute Dog Stump for PETA's Pet Adoption Campaign". Access Hollywood. September 6, 2012.
  35. ^ Brown, Jay (June 29, 2016). "49 Celebrities Honor 49 Victims of Orlando Tragedy". Human Rights Campaign. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  36. ^ "GLEE's Kevin McHale Launches New App Available Today on App Store". BroadwayWorld. September 19, 2016.
  37. ^ Beale, Lauren (April 18, 2012). "'Glee' star Kevin McHale dances into Hollywood Hills". Los Angeles Times.
  38. ^ Anthagio. "Kevin McHale News". Kevin McHale News. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  39. ^ "Glee's Kevin McHale Comes Out...With Help From Ariana Grande | E! News". April 20, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  40. ^ "Kevin McHale Accidentally Gave Boyfriend Austin McKenzie Salmonella: 'He Should Break Up with Me'". People. August 3, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  41. ^ "Glee's Kevin McHale implores fans to 'show up' and vote in US presidential election". November 2, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  42. ^ "'American Horror Stories' scares up 'the Fantastic Four' of stars for spin-off series". Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  43. ^ "Boy". Spotify. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  44. ^ "The AlphaBeatZ - The AlphaBeatZ Christmas!". Retrieved December 20, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by Teen Choice Awards host
Succeeded by