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The Soup is an American television series that aired weekly on E! from July 1, 2004 until December 18, 2015. The program was a revamped version of Talk Soup that focused on recaps of various popular culture and television moments of the week. The show was hosted by comedian Joel McHale, who provided sarcastic and satirical commentary on the various clips. On November 18, 2015, The Soup was cancelled by E! and its last episode aired December 18, 2015. On February 18, 2018, The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale, a spiritual successor to The Soup, premiered on Netflix.
|Created by||Jay James|
|Presented by||Joel McHale|
|Voices of||Anndi McAfee, Kelly Andrews|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||12|
|No. of episodes||618|
|Executive producer(s)||Edward Boyd|
|Production location(s)||E! Network Studios, Burbank, California|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||E! Entertainment Television|
|Original release||July 1, 2004– December 18, 2015|
|Preceded by||Talk Soup|
|Related shows||The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale|
The Soup Investigates
On January 9, 2013, The Soup debuted a new graphics package, including a new logo designed by Newspeak Agency.
Starting June 2, 2014, The Soup began airing live episodes. Originally only to last for one month, the program has since become a live show.
On November 18, 2015 The Soup was cancelled, the number of episodes that were to be produced was later reduced by one. A decision was made not to air the episode that had been filmed and intended to air the same day as the November 2015 Paris attacks due to multiple references to "killing Baby Hitler". As the episode was pre-filmed, it later aired on November 27, likely replacing a clip show due to it being the day after Thanksgiving.
The show features the host, Joel McHale, on a green-screened set with a screen to his right. The show is broken up into various segments that focus on themes such as reality television shows or shows on E!. McHale introduces each clip, which is then played. He then comments on the clip before moving on to the next one. There is a live audience on the show, composed of a small group of E! employees, their family and friends, along with the typical production personnel. The audience is involved in the show, laughing and cheering along with the clips.
Although the show is scripted, a large portion of it is ad-libbed.
On April 22, 2008, a blog was started for The Soup on E!'s website.
The Soup has its own cast of recurring characters. They include Mankini (a man wearing a bikini top and pants played by Dominic DeLeo, who is also a writer and producer for the show), a dancing maxipad (Tess Rafferty, a supervising producer and the only female writer on The Soup), two nerds who dress as Star Wars characters, an intern named Matt whom McHale shoots with a gun (often with the shooting sound effect purposefully played out of sync, or even played with other objects or with just fingers), Jewbacca (Chewbacca's lawyer), and "Spaghetti Cat", a cat eating spaghetti from The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. Additionally, Tom McNamara, The Soup's stage manager and former stage manager on Talk Soup, and Kelly Levy (née Andrews), the show's former announcer and a producer, have made appearances on the show, with Kelly portraying Courtney Stodden. Executive producer Edward Boyd's chihuahua Lou is used regularly in segment openings, most notably the "Clip of the Week", and elsewhere in the show. He also appeared with Joel at the show's intro, which showed them watching a different TV show each week, until the intro was changed in early 2010. The current intro juxtaposes brief clips introduced by announcer Anndi McAfee and a "reaction" by another clip, wildly out of context.
The show has a number of segments that focus on various genres of television shows. Regular segments include:
- "Chat Stew", which features clips from talk shows. Joel introduces the segment with either, "Let's have some chat stew, shall we?" or a reference to the previous clip being used for chat stew. Previously, the intro clip indicates a crockpot showing different talk shows in bubbles inside is shown with a rock intro, then the words CHAT STEW hit the top, cracking it. The introduction is voiced by producer Kelly Andrews (who also does the show's introduction voice overs) saying, "So meaty." Audience members sometimes reply with a groan or "Ew." As of 2013, a new intro card shows a kettle sucking up all the TV sets that broadcast different talk shows, then regurgitates them back out. The rock intro and the "So meaty." audios are kept.
- "Chicks, Man" which focuses on female celebrity news. Joel introduces clip with, "Let's talk about chicks, man." and a slightly deep male voice repeats, "Chicks, man." while a picture of baby chicks appears on the screen.
- "Reality Show Clip Time!", which features clips from current reality shows. Joel introduces segment with, "It's reality show clip time." (or sometimes total gibberish or other stuff), and the words REALITY SHOW CLIP TIME appear on the screen over a quick rock riff.
- "Let's Take Some E!", a segment featuring clips from other programs shown on E!, jokingly described by McHale as a contractual obligation. The name of the segment (along with its intro) is a reference to the party drug ecstasy, which is commonly known as "E".
- The show ends with the "Clip of the Week", a clip considered to be the best clip shown on TV in the past week. After Joel finishes joking about the next-to-last clip, he introduces this one with "...which brings us to our Clip of the Week."
The Soup has also featured other recurring segments:
- "What's Pissing Off Steve Edwards This Week?" features clips from KTTV's Good Day L.A. in which something or somebody makes Steve Edwards upset in the clip. Another episode featured a parody of the segment, "What's Exciting Rick Dickert This Week?"
- "Tales from Home Shopping" features clips from home shopping channels such as QVC or HSN.
- "Oprah's Vajayjay" features clips and or related to Oprah's discussions about the female anatomy.
- "What the Kids Are Watching", whose intro started with a boy and a girl watching TV, and ended with the sound of those children crying uncontrollably, showcases unusual and weird clips from children's shows and commercials aimed at children, such as Yo Gabba Gabba!. Two spinoff segments have been produced based on the segment: "What the Old Folks Are Watching", which no longer airs, does the same for content geared toward older people, and "What Your Boyfriend's Looking At" features clips of shows targeting males with Kelly Andrews asking "Are you even listening to me?!" to which a man in the audience nearly always responds with, "No!"
- Segments featuring clips from international programs have also been featured, such as "Clippos Magnificos" (which features Spanish programs), "Souper Fantastic Ultra Wish Time!" (which features Japanese programs), and the "International House of Soup."
- "Cyber Smack" featured the best viral videos from the internet. This segment eventually spun-off as Web Soup.
- "My Stories" shows clips from daytime soap operas, such as The Bold and the Beautiful. A running gag on the show includes increasingly unrelated and random music being played with the segment's title card.
- "Miley Cyrus News" documents stories involving Miley Cyrus, which always begins with producer Kelly Andrews yelling "It's Miley!" Variations include stories involving Britney Spears in which a highly modulated voice exclaims, "It's Britney, bitch!" or Lindsay Lohan news in which an overly hoarse and unenthusiastic voice states, "It's Lindsay".
- "Local Newsbreak" features embarrassing clips from local newscasts
- "Ad Nauseam" pokes fun at commercials, often with McHale misusing the product after the clip is done.
- "The Mail Nurse" showcases viral videos found on the Internet, and opens with Joel in a nurse's outfit seductively saying "It's time to check your RAM" as his nurse's cap clumsily slides off his head. McHale often comments on how much he hates this intro.
- "Stay Out of It Nick Lachey" features clips from One Tree Hill with cast members saying "Stay out of it Nick Lachey"
- "Gay Shows" features clips from LGBT-related television shows such as RuPaul's Drag Race. The segment is introduced with a title card featuring ultra-masculine things such as monster trucks and motorcycles while a heavy rock guitar solo plays. The title card ends with a gruff male voice saying the segment's name.
- "Gay Shows: Alaska Edition" features clips from Alaskan reality shows such as Gold Rush Alaska. The segment has the same introduction as "Gay Shows" except that it has pictures of bears added to the intro.
- "Take A Look At Myke Hawke" involves clips from Mykel Hawke's shows. Typically Joel pronounces his name "my cock" and make several phallic-themed jokes while introducing the clip.
- "Gavel Bangin'" is a segment where reality courtroom shows are mocked, especially Nancy Grace's Swift Justice. The title sequence is accompanied with The Soup voiceover's sexy voice saying, "All rise."
- Charlie Sheen News: Features news topics regarding Charlie Sheen. Introduced with a clip of Sheen saying, "Everything's good, everything's good."
- "RRRrrr with Brian Williams" showcases various clips from Williams' NBC show "Rock Center". The segment opens with an angry cat popping up suddenly, and a person imitating the cat growling.
- "Unlikely Voice of Reason" involves a clip in which a much-ridiculed character such as Greg Kelly or Stephanie Pratt says something unexpected and intelligent.
- "Clippos Magnificos" which shows clips from the melodramatic telenovelas shown on Spanish language television.The clips are introduced with an image of a piñata while The Mexican Hat Dance plays in the background.The piñata explodes and a man with a strong Spanish accent says "Are you serious?". McHale will then mention the name of the show and say "which I'm pretty sure means...", then give a ridiculous, comic translation of the show's title in English.
The show has a number of recurring jokes and segments. One of the most frequent jokes is Joel McHale making fun of Ryan Seacrest. He usually comments on Seacrest's height, sexuality, clothing, busy work schedule, income, or demeanor.
Joel has also spoofed other actors, most notably CSI: Miami leading man David Caruso, who plays Lieutenant Horatio Caine. He usually makes fun of the character's tendency to always put on his sunglasses and say corny one-liners at the start of every episode (followed by the first 2–3 seconds of the opening sequence). Joel also will sometimes spoof a person after a clip.
Joel also jokes about how self-centered Tyra Banks is on her self-titled talk show. More jokes are Joel making fun of Spencer Pratt's "creepy flesh colored beard" as well as the ages of Larry King and Regis Philbin and how they are still alive. Also, McHale often comically berates or abuses "interns" for the show, usually ending with a poorly timed (or sometimes completely out-of-place) audio clip of a gun firing after McHale uses a prop gun on them. McHale has often attempted to "shoot" Mankini, but with no effect.
The Soup makes jokes at the A&E TV Series, Steven Seagal: Lawman. Whenever Joel would introduce a clip from the show, a sound clip would say "That's Right It's Steven Seagal", followed by Joel drinking a Steven Seagal energy drink that would humorously float into frame.
A number of clips have been repeatedly shown on The Soup. One clip features Oprah Winfrey saying "My va-jay-jay is painin'!" while hanging from a harness at the Miraval resort. Another clip involves Whitney Houston yelling "Kiss My Ass!" at her husband. McHale has mentioned that this clip is one of his favorites. Still another clip that is often shown is of The Today Show's news correspondent Ann Curry starting her report by saying, "Good morning, good morning everybody, in the news this morning, good morning", which Olbermann mimicked on his appearance on the July 25, 2008 show. Joel often shows a clip of Kendra Wilkinson from The Girls Next Door laughing. When someone mentions marriage on the show, they will often show a clip of Elizabeth Taylor screaming "Marriage?! Noooooo!" Shorter clips are sometimes used as interjections. Clips of Danny Noriega ("I guess some people weren't likin' it!"), and more recently, Tatiana Del Toro giggling uncontrollably, have been used as part of McHale's reactions to clips. Recent favorites include Gary Busey exclaiming "I'm going to pull your endocrine system out of your body", Tila Tequila yelling out "A pig's vagina!", Michelle Galdenzi from Scream Queens saying "and by record, I mean vagina.", Big Brother contestants Jase Wirey and Michelle Costa "talking" to one another using animal and computer sounds, respectively; "Chicken Tetrazzini" clip from Maury, Spencer Pratt from The Hills whispering "That's the problem", Billy Bush saying "It's Gross", and Kate Gosselin squealing in a chirpy/grating-sounding voice "Come and Getcher POPcoooooorn!". Recently, the Jeffrey Osborne song, "On the Wings of Love", has been used to mock the current season of The Bachelor. Vonda, a woman featured on the TruTv show Over the Limit has been featured saying, "Dunka Doo Balls." This clip has become a new favorite. Recently, a clip from Fantasia for Real featuring Fantasia's Aunt Bunny saying, "Gurl Please", has become a new favorite. Also, a clip of "Ma" from TruTV's Ma's Roadhouse saying "He's a douchebag," after Joel ask what she thinks of a less than favourable man, such as Mel Gibson, has come into use. Another clip of Ryan Seacrest saying, "Hell no, say what", has been used as reactions to clips. Calvin Tran, a contestant on Bravo's The Fashion Show, has recently been featured in a clip saying, "Oh, here go Hell Come." Frequently following Good Day New York clips, McHale will ask Greg Kelly to explain how something works, and this will follow with a clip of Kelly shrugging and saying, "Science".
The Soup will often make blatant and obvious edits to clips of shows, often killing off characters (as in their versions of Laguna Beach and The Hills) or splicing McHale and other characters into the shows. McHale will often punctuate the clip by saying "We doctored that." However, if a clip was shown that may have made the audience think that it was edited by The Soup for broadcast while watching it, McHale would state before hand "We did not doctor this."
Original skits are integrated into the show as responses or jokes to clips. Fake movie trailers and advertisements are created as spoofs to segments or clips. Among the movies spoofed are Spider-Man 3 (in reference to McHale's appearance in Spider-Man 2), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Made of Honor, Righteous Kill, Mamma Mia, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Quarantine, (which McHale spoofed with QuaranTween about Disney Channel celebrities), Prom Night, Fast & Furious, and a Tyler Perry movie.
- In Australia, the show airs on the local version of E! every Sunday at 7pm.
- In Israel, The Soup airs on E! Israel, a week after the original American broadcasting, on Thursdays at 10:40PM.
- In Mexico and Latinamerica, the show airs on E! Latino, a week after the original American broadcasting, it airs on Friday at 10PM followed by the Venezuelan version of the show, La Sopa (The Soup in Spanish).
- In the Philippines, the show airs on Velvet every Tuesday at 7:30PM. "The Soup Presents" aired after The Soup.
- In the UK, the local E! network shows The Soup on a daily basis. This feed also includes same day productions Chelsea Lately and the full 30 minute E! News which are not available elsewhere in Europe.
The Soup PresentsEdit
In addition to regular episodes, special "Best of..." episodes of The Soup have been shown under the header "The Soup Presents". Episodes of this nature have been produced on topics such as models and modeling shows, fights on television, and talk shows, two "Chicks, Man/Ladies, Ladies, Ladies" specials focusing on reality TV females, a show about love and marriage called "Love and Other Burning Sensations", and most recently, a show dedicated to television programs that have had recurring appearances on The Soup (the "shows [they] just cannot quit"). During the holiday seasons, two-part episodes showcasing the best clips of the year are aired (Clipdowns).
The Soup started off as a relatively quiet show, but became one of the most popular programs on E!. By 2006 it was the third highest rated show on the network.
In July 2013, The Soup averaged 682,000 viewers, and about 56 percent of viewers watch a recorded version of the show. The 500th episode of The Soup recorded 909,000 viewers, with 653,000 of those in the 18—49 demographic.
The one-hour finale on December 18, 2015 ended with 561,000 viewers.
Since E! is owned by Comcast Entertainment Group, their now-defunct sibling networks aired tailored versions for their networks, including Style, Versus and G4, all taped in the same studio and utilizing the same crew.
On August 16, 2008, Style premiered The Dish, hosted by Danielle Fishel. The show focused more on celebrity, magazine, and fashion industry trends, along with style and fashion-related reality programs in more detail, including Project Runway and various shows on the shopping channels, HGTV and DIY Network. It was cancelled on March 20, 2011, two months after the merger of NBC and Comcast was complete. It was thought[by whom?] the cancellation was the direct result of former competitors Bravo and Oxygen coming under common NBCUniversal ownership with Style; the two networks and their programming had been among the major comedic targets of The Dish.
On September 15, 2008, E! parent Comcast Entertainment Group announced another spin-off, this time sports-related, of the series, which aired on the group's sports network, Versus (now known as NBC Sports Network since 2012), called Sports Soup and was hosted by Matt Iseman. Debuted on October 14, the program once aired twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Later, production was reduced to weekly at 10 pm ET on Tuesdays (or later depending on the end of NHL on Versus or other sports coverage). It was cancelled on July 15, 2010.
A third version, airing on G4, titled Web Soup, hosted by Chris Hardwick debuted June 7, 2009 at 9 pm ET. This version is more of a blend of the commentary and reaction portions of The Soup and two other G4 programs; Whacked Out Videos and the Around the Net viral video segment which opens Attack of the Show. This show ended after its 3rd season on July 20, 2011.
Celebrity Soup was the British version of the American show hosted by comedian Iain Lee. Unlike The Soup, Celebrity Soup airs 19 episodes in a season, instead of year-round like in the United States. It had some of the same features as the original (i.e. "Chat Stew"), but also has its own running gags and features. The series had a similar set, with a window overlooking London's Big Ben instead of Hollywood, as in the U.S. original.
The Soup InvestigatesEdit
The Soup Investigates was a spin-off of The Soup. It features most of the same crew, including Joel McHale as the host. In the spin-off, the reporters go looking for potentially funny celebrity news stories. It is a spoof of investigative journalism.
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