Who knew that a single host and a green screen would make such a winning combination? Over the years, The Soup – along with host Joel McHale – has made a name for itself as E!’s go-to source for satire and snide remarks concerning Hollywood’s biggest names. The show launched numerous careers whilst making fun of others, but now it seems the era of The Soup is coming to a close.
NBCUniversal announced today that The Soup will come to an end before 2016. Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President of Programming & Development for E!, remarked on the successful 22 year run of the show, championing its years-long success and McHale's brand of comedy.
While the younger crowd identifies the show as The Soup, the program’s history goes even further back than that. Before McHale took over hosting duties in 2004, the show went by the name Talk Soup, and was hosted by a variety of household names including Greg Kinnear (As Good as It Gets), John Henson (Wipeout), Hal Sparks (Queer as Folk), and Aisha Tyler (Archer). Of all the comedians to go in front of the green screen, McHale holds the record for longest host – coming in at almost 12 years by the time the final episode of The Soup airs.
In addition to these front men (and woman), the show hosted innumerable guests including, but not limited to: Ken Jeong, George Takei, Chevy Chase, Shaq, Joan Rivers, and even Carrot Top. Check out the clip below of Talk Soup back in the early days; it’s got a distinctly 90’s style, but the core elements of the show are present even at such an early stage:
The Soup’s success created a formula that many other shows attempted to replicate. Programs such as Comedy Central's Tosh.0 and MTV's Ridiculousness similarly formatted themselves around a singular charismatic host set against a pop culture backdrop. However, few of these shows were ever able to replicate the success of The Soup, and were often maligned as imitators of the E! program.
We will keep you informed on more details as they become available. The Soup will continue to air original episodes every Friday at 10 PM on E! until the finale on December 18.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.