McHale was born in Plano, Texas. Before becoming an actor, McHale joined an American Boy Group, NLT, which is short for "Not Like Them". The R&B group was discovered by Chris Stokes. On March 13, 2007 they released their first single "That Girl". The band had a guest appearance in Bratz: The Movie. On April 30, 2009, group member Travis Garland announced that NLT had split.
McHale currently stars on Glee as Artie Abrams, a member of the McKinley High glee club who uses a wheelchair. Although his character is in a wheelchair, McHale is a dancer and has responded that it was hard to control his feet from moving along with the music while he was on the set. He had his first solo single on Glee singing "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."
McHale's acting credits include a 2007 appearance on NBC's The Office in the season 4 episode "Launch Party", where he played a pizza delivery boy who is taken hostage by Steve Carell's character, Michael Scott. In 2008, McHale was on HBO's True Blood for two episodes as Neil Jones, a coroner's assistant. Kevin was also in three episodes of Nickelodeon's hit show Zoey 101 as Dooley.