Joel McHale Miscalculates How Many Years He’s Hosted ‘The Soup’
Fans who have spent their Wednesday — and more recently, their Friday — nights watching The Soup will have to change up their schedules starting December 19. That’s the day after The Soup, the long-running E! program that regularly skewered pop culture, will air its final broadcast. The show made fun of television in all of its forms, including regular segments on home shopping, obscure reality shows, news and daytime talk. The Kardashian clan, who are an important part of the E! family, also bore the brunt of many a joke on The Soup.
Reacting to the show’s cancellation, host Joel McHale took aim at the Kardashians, as Entertainment Weekly reported. He also seemed to suffer a mathematics error when recalling the number of years he’s been at the show’s helm.
“I loved doing ‘The Soup’ for all of these years (86 to be exact) but am excited to solely focus on my acting career now. Thanks to all who watched and thanks to Kim Kardashian’s ass for all that it’s done for me and my family.”
McHale in fact hosted The Soup for a little more than a decade, from 2004 to 2015. The show’s precursor, Talk Soup, was on the air from 1991 to 2002. The comedian and actor joked during last Friday’s episode that his “birthday gift” was his Friday nights back. He also took pains to explain that although Talk Soup and The Soup had some shared lineage, they were in fact two separate shows.
E! released a statement that was picked up by The Hollywood Reporter. It praised both the show and McHale.
“We are incredibly proud of the long-running success of ‘The Soup.’[The show] has delivered countless laughs and unforgettable episodes, and we are grateful to the talented team’s fearless wit and clever approach week after week.”
“Joel took the show to new heights for more than a decade, and his irreverent humor and unique brand of comedy as captured so perfectly on ‘The Soup’ will be missed.”
As USA Today reported, McHale joked over Twitter that The Soup‘s plan to generate press during sweeps actually worked. Of course, that press was about the show’s demise.
Entertainment Weekly reported that the show had declined in popularity despite once being a huge ratings draw for the E! network. The site took the opportunity to count down some of McHale’s best “meta jokes,” including digs at the Kardashians, Ryan Seacrest, his own performance in a show sketch and the cancellation of his other beloved comedy show, Community.
Community, which still appears in reruns for late-night television viewers, aired for five seasons before being picked up by Yahoo for a sixth. In an July 2015 interview with Metro Weekly McHale said there would not be another season of that show.
In the same interview, he praised the people who worked with him at The Soup, saying the large staff was vital to put together a clip show of the worst — or the easiest to target — television on the air. He even made mention of how the number of people drawing a paycheck from The Soup had grown in the more than a decade the show had been on the air.
“We have the greatest staff of all time. A lot of them have been here a long time and watch tons of television. I don’t know how they do it. I used to do it and I thought I was going to blow my brains out. Cause when we started, there were like just 5 of us and we had to watch everything. So now we have 14 and it’s a lot more manageable.”
Despite the fact that show was beloved by its loyal viewers that still watched, it seemed the ratings just were not high enough to keep all of those people — or even any of them — on staff.
Fans of McHale can next see him in the X-Files reboot coming to Fox in 2016. The Soup airs its last episode on the night of December 18, 2015, the same day — as McHale pointed out on the show — that the new, highly anticipated Star Wars movie hits theaters.
[Main photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images Entertainment]