Joel McHale's appearances in the 10th and 11th seasons of The X-Files had a bit of an unexpected consequence. The actor recently revealed that after playing right-wing conspiracy television show host Tad O'Malley in The X-Files revival he was contacted by real-life conspiracy theorists who wanted him to go on their shows, something that McHale said was "really interesting," and noted showrunner Chris Carter's ability to fold real-world elements into his approach to the show.
"Chris Carter is an amazing writer and showrunner because he is able to take everything that is happening on the planet and fold it into these dramatic scripts," McHale told PeopleTV's Lola Ogunnaike (via Entertainment Weekly).
"[Afterward], I was being contacted by conspiracy theorists to go on their radio shows," he continued. "And then I was like, this is where people go, 'Oh, he said that, so he must be that.' And I thought that was really interesting."
McHale appeared as O'Malley in three total episodes of The X-Files revival, Season 10's "My Struggle" and "My Struggle II" and one episode of Season 11, "My Struggle IV." In the series, McHale's O’Malley contacts Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) for help in investigating a woman's claims that she was abducted by men using alien technology.
The X-Files revival kicked off with Season 10 in January 2016, consisting of six episodes, and continued with Season 11 which debuted in January 2018 and ran for 10 episodes. Following the end of Season 11 in 2018 FOX confirmed that there were no plans to do another season of the series at that time while Anderson had previously revealed that Season 11 was her final performance as Scully, something that showrunner Carter said at the time wasn't a major surprise given that the Anderson, along with Duchovny, had been playing Scully and Mulder for quite some time.
"I wasn't aware when she announced it that she was going to say it, although for quite a while I've wondered how long David [Duchovny] and Gillian really wanted to do this show after doing it for 25 years," Carter said at the time. "They've played these characters, considering all the material that ended up on the cutting room floor, for probably 6-7,000 hours of their lives. That's a whole lot of time and so considering that and considering that they're still relatively young folk, I'm sure they have other things they want to do."
As for McHale, he's having a bit more fun with his experience playing Starman/Sylvester Pemberton on DC's Stargirl, even though the character is one that appears only in flashbacks.
"Believe me, I was just honored to be asked. It was a dream come true from Geoff Johns," McHale told ComicBook.com. "I was thrilled because I've always wanted to play a superhero. Starman, basically he came out at the same time that Captain America did in the '40s and I guess he just didn't have as good of a PR team. There's been a lot of different versions of him and after reading a bunch of stuff about him, it's really fun to play. And then I read the scripts and they were great. I knew [Brec Bassinger] playing Stargirl, that actor is terrific and she's a star."
What do you think about McHale being contacted by real-life conspiracy theorists because of his role on The X-Files? Let us know in the comments below.