The Soup's 500th Episode Serves Up Season's Highest Ratings
The series that has become the Wednesday night destination for weekly recaps of the craziest moments that pop culture has to offer memorialized the special occasion with two live episodes Wednesday, Aug. 21, each with different surprise celebrity guests including Adam Carolla, Lou Diamond Philips and B.J. Novak.
The episodes were streamed live on Eonline (www.eonline.com) allowing The Soup fans, for the first time ever, to watch one of the funniest shows on television live on every screen.
"It was always, especially in the first couple of years, the sense that no one was watching," Joel McHale told reporters after a taping of last week's 499th episode. "It was like public access, and we could do anything."
With its 500th episode, The Soup took its sense of freedom to a new level with separate episodes for East and West Coast viewers.
"I'm very much looking forward to it," said McHale before the airing. "Also I have full-on dyslexia, so that should be great," he added. Amid laughs from reporters, he clarified: "You think I'm joking; I really am dyslexic. It really adds a sense of danger."
Whether it's a sense of danger or the aforementioned sense of freedom, there must be something special about the show that's responsible for its success. After all, not many programs can say that they've been on the air since 2004.
However, McHale is banking on many more episodes. "Yeah, we have a 50-year plan," he joked. "This is phase one."
With the ever-changing landscape of reality TV, there's never a drought of material for The Soup to mock. There are, however, the occasional celebrity protests.
"Years ago, Tyra Banks did not want clips on our show," McHale recalls. "And we said, 'Uhhh, tough.'"
For the most part, though, celebrities have been more than willing to appear on the show, even if they've been mocked by it. McHale recalled his surprise at getting newsman Brian Williams to make a guest appearance, and lauded his comedic ability: "He could have been a comedian, an actor, anything...the jerk," said McHale.