Thursday, September 21, 2006

Soup is Good Food

One of my favorite TV shows is "The Soup" on E! Entertainment television. It airs at 10 pm eastern time Fridays and replays several times during the week. It is similar to VH1's "Best Week Ever" but "The Soup" has been around longer. The current host is Joel McHale, but over the years it has also been hosted by Greg Kinnear, John Henson and Hal Sparks. Roger Lodge from "Blind Date" has filled in a few times too. Kinnear went on to do NBC's "Later" program, once hosted by Bob Costas, and a successful film career. 2 of his best performances were in "As Good as it Gets" and this summer's excellent indie film "Little Miss Sunshine". John Henson currently hosts programs for the TV Guide channel. Anyway, "The Soup" started as "Talk Soup" since when it originated there was a plethora of talk shows such as Ricki Lake, Sally Jessy Raphael, Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Oprah and more. The show would feature clips from the week's programs punctuated by a smarmy comment by the host. Now the show talks about all types of shows, not just talk shows, so the name has been changed to simply "The Soup". The program shows clips from programs like Rock Star, Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars, Ellen, The Today Show, The View, Flavor of Love and others. Certain segments are featured each week, like chat stew, reality show clip time, clip of the week, chicks man, and let's take some E!, which has a clip from an E! network show. "Talk Soup" is funny since it takes all of the weird, crazy, amusing, or even disturbing clips from the strange world of television and wraps them up into 30 minutes. If a celebrity does or says something stupid during the week, you can be assured that it will show up on this show.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dave, Tom and Bart

59-year-old David Letterman has signed a 4 year contract extension with CBS. He will continue hosting the Late Show from New York's Ed Sullivan Theatre until 2010. Letterman hosted NBC's Late Night with David Letterman from Rockefeller Plaza from 1982-1993. After losing out on hosting The Tonight Show, he moved to CBS in 1993 and has been there ever since. 1993 was also the year that Conan O'Brien took over Letterman's old NBC time slot. In 2009, Conan and Letterman will go head-to-head, when O'Brien takes over for Jay Leno. In the past year, Leno has averaged 5.71 million viewers while Letterman trails with 4.16 million. If Letterman stays in late night until 2012, he will have tied his hero Johnny Carson, with 30 years in the business.

Oprah couch-jumper and parent of the seldom seen Suri, Tom Cruise no longer has a deal with film giant Paramount Pictures. His obsession with scientology and run-ins with Brooke Shields and a "glib" Matt Lauer were most likely the cause of his contract not being renewed. Paramount chief Sumner Redstone said "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal." It's a public relations crisis, and it just goes to show that what a star does off camera can hurt a career as well as what is done in front of the camera. Are you listening Mel Gibson? Star Jones? Maybe Cruise could start an all scientologists movie studio with films starring himself, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Leah Remini, etc.

This fall marks the 18th season for The Simpsons! This year will include the 400th episode. Creator Matt Groening has come a long way from drawing an obscure comic called Life in Hell to making one of the most successful, funniest shows in the history of television. The Simpsons started out as animated shorts featured on The Tracey Ullman Show in the early days of the Fox network. This year will have many guest stars as always, ranging from Dr. Phil to Richard Lewis. Anyone interested in the show should check out the biography by Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson). It's called My Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy. It tells of her early years working as a voice over artist as well as her big break working on the Simpsons. Her mentor was Daws Butler, who was the voice of Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound.

* Some source material is from Entertainment Weekly magazine.