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The Soup is an E! Entertainment Television weekly series. It is a revamped version of Talk Soup that focuses on recaps of various pop culture and television show moments of the week. The show is hosted by Joel McHale, who provides sarcastic and biting commentary on the various clips.

History

The Soup started in July 2004 as the "What The...? Awards," but the name was changed to maintain name recognition with Talk Soup.

Format

The show features the host, Joel McHale, on a greenscreened 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 largely involved in the show, laughing and cheering along with the clips.

Although the show is scripted, a large portion of the show is ad-libbed.

On April 22, 2008, a blog was started for The Soup on E!'s website.

Regular characters

The Soup has its own cast of recurring characters. They include Mankini (a man wearing a bikini), a dancing maxipad, two nerds who dress as Star Wars characters, an intern named Matt who 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 Andrews, the show's announcer and a producer, have also made appearances on the show. Executive producer Edward Boyd's chihuahua Lou is used regularly in segment openings and elsewhere in the show. He also appears with Joel at the show's intro, which shows them watching a different TV show each week.

Regular features

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.
  • Chicks, Man, which focuses on female celebrity news.
  • Reality Show Clip Time!, which features clips from current reality shows.
  • 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 Kick-ass Clip of the Week, a clip considered to be the best clip shown on TV in the past week.


Other segments

The Soup has also featured other recurring segments:
  • "What's Pissing Off Steve Edwards This Week?" features clips from KTTVmarker'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 QVC or HSN.
  • "What The Kids Are Watching" 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 is Lookin' At" has clips from shows geared at male audiences, such as Scream Queens.
  • 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."
  • "My Stories" shows clips from daytime soap operas, such as The Bold and the Beautiful.
  • "Miley Cyrus News" documents stories involving Miley Cyrus, which always begins with a female voice 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 Nauseum" 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"


Special guests have been known to appear on the show, often in parody of themselves. Tila Tequila, Wolf from American Gladiators, Bret Michaels from Rock of Love, Tanisha from The Bad Girls Club and recently, Corey Feldman from The Lost Boys and Robot Chicken creator Seth Green have been on the show and reprised jokes made about them. Recently, Jeanne Bice from The Quacker Factory, Anil Kapoor from the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire, several cast members from the hit AMC TV series Mad Men, LeVar Burton, and Ashley Greene from the 2008 movie Twilight have appeared on The Soup. Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes from Spaced made an appearance poking fun at the outcome of the MTV reality series Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods, and Olbermann and McHale began a comedy feud about putting each other's footage on the other's shows.

Recurring jokes

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" and Larry King's age and how he is still alive (King is 75). 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.

Recently, the Spaghetti Cat from The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet has been used a number of times, usually with a model of the cat rolling in, looking at Joel, and then rolling back out.

Clips

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 25th, 2008 show. Joel often shows a clip of Kendra Wilkinson from 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 Sanjaya Malakar, Danny Noriega ("I guess somebody wasn't liking 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 Brothermarker 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-sounding voice "Come and Getcher POPcoooooorn!"

Edited clips

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."

Original content

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.

International broadcasts

In the UKmarker, the local version of E!, different to the one in rest of Europe, shows The Soup on a daily basis. In difference to the European version this feed also includes same day productions Chelsea Lately and the full 30 minute version E! News which are not on elsewhere in Europe.

The Soup Presents

In addition to regular episodes, special 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" specials focusing on reality TV females, and most recently, a show dedicated to television programs that have had recurring appearances on The Soup (the "shows [they] just can't quit"). During the holiday seasons, two-part episodes showcasing the best clips of the year are aired (Clipdowns).

Reception

The Soup started off as a relatively quiet show, but has become one of the most popular shows on E!. It is the third highest rated show on the network.

Other versions

Since E! is owned by Comcast Entertainment Group, their sibling channels have done tailored versions for Style, Versus and G4, all taped in the same studio and utilizing the same crew.

The Dish

On August 16, 2008, Style premiered The :Dish, a show focusing 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. The :Dish is hosted by Danielle Fishel and airs Saturday nights at 10pm ET.

Sports Soup

On September 15, 2008, E! parent Comcast Entertainment Group announced another spin-off, this time sports-related, of the series, which airs on the group's sports network, Versus, called Sports Soup and is hosted by Matt Iseman . Debuted on October 14, the program once aired twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Now, it's current schedule is weekly at 10pm ET on Tuesdays (or later depending on the end of NHL on Versus or other sports coverage).

Web Soup

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.

Celebrity Soup

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 Londonmarker's Big Benmarker instead of Hollywoodmarker, as in the U.S. original.

References

  1. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117992162.html?categoryid=14&cs=1&nid=2565


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