Joel McHale Explains Why He Has ’30 Good Years Left’ on The Soup

The host still loves to skewer pop culture, one ridiculous clip at a time

Treetop Cat Rescue (yes, that's a real show), the sad demise of hitchBOT, Lenny Kravitz's penis—all topics covered in just a single episode of E!'s The Soup.

"As you can see, it's a very high-brow show," deadpans Joel McHale, who has hosted the pop culture-skewering series since 2004.

Every week, a team of 14 staffers spends the week with their eyes glued to the tube in search of the most buzzworthy moments. "These poor people have to watch so much television they're going to shoot themselves in the eye," cracks McHale.

As with any topical TV program, having an online presence is a must. But since many of the clips The Soup uses are owned by other rightsholders, the show has to do some finagling around which videos can live online after the show airs. "We try to find clips that nobody else found, or we take a clip that everyone is watching and try to tell a joke that nobody has told yet," explains McHale.

The Soup has a knack for getting a weekly celebrity guest to join in on the fun. One memorable walk-on had actor Haley Joel Osment showing off his new career in "Haley Joel Osment Is a Cock Merchant," which made light of Peter Dinklage's Game of Thrones character Tyrion Lannister's Season 5 predicament.

"We saw that clip from Game of Thrones, and they kept repeating it over and over," says McHale. "We just thought, well, this is ridiculous and, much like 14-year-olds, it will give us an opportunity to say 'cock' over and over again."

As McHale works his way through 11 years with The Soup, he is often asked how much longer he'll continue. Given that he also stars in Yahoo's Community (despite recent press reports about its cancelation, the actor tells Adweek the show is still alive) and is set to guest star on Fox's revival of The X-Files ("People think that I can't do anything dramatic because I do so much in comedy," he bemoans), it's little wonder the question comes up.

"I've got a good 30 years left!" jokes McHale. "It's once a week, all my friends are doing it, and we have a great time. Why would I leave something that's clearly working?"

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This story first appeared in the Aug. 17 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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