The Soup, formerly Talk Soup, introduced TV audiences to many things: Joel McHale, the idea that all the bad content generated on TV should be endlessly rehashed and mocked in a show devoted purely to that, and Spaghetti Cat. It will soon be gone. It existed in some form for 22 years, but for the past 12, its modern incarnation has been defined by McHale—wait, 12 years? Oh man. 2003. Today's 30-year-olds graduated high school in 2003. Whoa.
Yesterday, E! announced the show would end on Dec. 18, a mere however many years since it already seemed like it had been on forever, and only slightly fewer years since Joel McHale's growing success made viewers wonder how he had time to commute to all his different shows.
Part 1: I loved doing @TheSoup for all of these years(86 to be exact) but am excited to focus solely on my acting career now(soft core)...— Joel McHale (@joelmchale) November 19, 2015
Part 2: Thanks to all who watched and thanks to Kim Kardashian's ass for all that it's done for me and my family. #SpaghettiCat— Joel McHale (@joelmchale) November 19, 2015
Although it aired new episodes at 10pm on Fridays (since becoming a live show in 2014), The Soup was best known for its recurring bits and its recurring reruns all day on E!. It was your unemployed roommate's favorite show, and for good reason—it was reliably funny, had a charming host, and could rely on the bounty of celebrity culture, cable TV, and later Internet video, to provide a never-ending supply of bizarre clips to mock. Fortunately, there are plenty of highlight reels of Joel McHale going through highlight reels over the years.
Maybe its cancelation makes sense in an age where plenty of YouTube channels put on the same show for free and even TMZ seems old-fashioned in its celebrity journalism. Like the end of Jon Stewart's tenure on the Daily Show, this is a transition that makes people aware of just how much time has passed—both since the show started and since they last got every cultural reference on it.
If you've ever been a daytime TV person, comfort yourself with the fact that Joel McHale, at least, has plenty of jobs now and won't be sitting around in the middle of the day. Take a moment, however, to feel for the rest of the staff there, who will now have plenty of time to watch their own reruns.