Ranking The Hosts Of E!'s "Talk Soup"/ "The Soup"

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E!’s long-lived, snark-filled roundup of TV’s weirdest and wildest is celebrating its 500th episode, but who has been the show’s best emcee?

Hal Sparks

Ranking The Hosts Of E!'s "Talk Soup"/ "The Soup"

Tenure: 1999 to 2000

Sparks was like your adorable younger brother who thinks everything is funny and likes to joke about his lack of prowess with the ladies and is just so adorable. But that cuddly geek thing also kept Sparks from deploying the kind of sharp-edged snark required for the likes of Maury and Jerry Springer, and he decamped after just a year to star on Showtime’s Queer As Folk.

Still: So cute!

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Aisha Tyler

Ranking The Hosts Of E!'s "Talk Soup"/ "The Soup"

Tenure: 2001 to 2002

Beyond the fact that it was refreshing to know that making fun of talk shows wasn’t the sole province of white men, Tyler was the first (and, really, only) host who seemed to genuinely enjoy watching trashy talk TV. But the show’s format was growing as tired as its ’90s design aesthetic, and by the early ’00s, trashy talk TV was on the decline in favor of trashy reality TV. None of which was Tyler’s fault, but her tenure on the show suffered for it all the same. In 2002, after 11 years on the air, E! essentially canceled the show.

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John Henson

Ranking The Hosts Of E!'s "Talk Soup"/ "The Soup"

Tenure: 1995 to 1999

He’s the Roger Moore of Talk Soup hosts — not the first, most famous, or respected of his compatriots, but the one many people probably remember first seeing host the show. He also benefitted enormously from the rise of both Jerry Springer and Rosie O’Donnell as talk show celebrities, both of whom provided hours upon hours of prime content. And there was that time when Dustin Hoffman defibrillated his balls.

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Greg Kinnear

Ranking The Hosts Of E!'s "Talk Soup"/ "The Soup"

Tenure: 1991 to 1995

Well before anyone was using the word “snark,” Kinnear’s perfect mix of aloof charm and arched sarcasm pretty much invented what has become for over two decades the prevailing attitude towards a certain brand of so-bad-it’s-good TV. Most know him now as an actor (and an Oscar nominee, at that), but without Kinnear setting the gold standard, Talk Soup and shows like it simply would not exist.

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6 Comments

  1. Duke

    February 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    please tell me are all his guests a put up.got to be…eh.what do people think of jerry springer.one guy comes in on a wheelchair in a dress with no legs claiming he had cut them of coz he didnt want them anymore..eh what got to be joking

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  2. jdubdoubleu7704

    March 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    are you the person on the show, the person in the audience, the bouncer, the one watching at home or none of theses? I love Jerry Springer♥

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  3. Nick

    February 21, 2014 at 2:15 am

    What percentage of the American population act in such a way as you see on the Jerry Springer show and similar shows? Does anyone know? I know 3 people in my city (Youngstown, OH) and it seems like alot for a city that’s not that big.

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  4. Ssshhhh Im becoming aroused

    February 4, 2014 at 2:42 am

    hi :) okay today i was watching tv and i started to watch jerry springer and then steve wilkos. to me it seems completely fake, and the issues on jerry springer didnt like a big deal if they were fake, but then i was watching steve wilkos and he had a guy on who raped his daughter and i thought that was a very serious topic and someone like that shouldnt be put on tv on a talk show. and why would a network like the cw and pix11 put these people on their channel ???? becassue it looks like it is all acting to me…..but is it?

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  5. Sriram R

    January 30, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    This is for a church project, serious answers only please.

    (0)
  6. sarah w

    January 18, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Searching for a 1996 season 6 episode of Jerry Springer, where might I discover a copy of episode 131? Exists a cost-free site that I’ve overlooked?

    (0)

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