On live television, anything can happen; and when it comes to The Soup, it's a good bet that anything will happen.
"It was always, especially in the first couple of years, the sense that no one was watching," The Soup host Joel McHale told reporters after a taping of last week's 499th episode. "It was like public access, and we could do anything."
With its 500th episode airing tonight, The Soup is taking that sense of freedom to a new level and doing two live episodes, one for East Coast viewers and another for West Coast viewers.
"I'm very much looking forward to it," said McHale of the live 500th episode. "Also I have full-on dyslexia, so that should be great," he added. Amid laughs from reporters, he clarified: "You think I'm joking; I really am dyslexic. I think it really adds a sense of danger."
Whether it's a sense of danger or the aforementioned sense of freedom, there must be something special about the show that's responsible for its success. After all, not many programs can say that they've been on the air since 2004.
However, McHale is banking on many more episodes. "Yeah, we have a 50-year plan," he joked. "This is phase one."
With the ever-changing landscape of reality TV, there's never a drought of material for The Soup to mock. There are, however, the occasional celebrity protests.
"Years ago, Tyra Banks did not want clips on our show," McHale recalls. "And we said, 'Uhhh, tough.'"
For the most part, though, celebrities have been more than willing to appear on the show, even if they've been mocked by it. McHale recalled his surprise at getting newsman Brian Williams to make a guest appearance, and lauded his comedic ability: "He could have been a comedian, an actor, anything...the jerk," said McHale.
As for tonight, expect to see The Office star B.J. Novak and comedian Adam Corolla as guests, among potential others. "Lady Gaga is pending," joked McHale.