Joel McHale, Gooseberry

Jeffrey Mayer/, E! Networks

Though we always suspected that if Matthew McConaughey had a brother his name would be something like Rooster, we were surprised to learn this week that Rooster is set to head his own Deadliest Catch-type reality program called Black Gold. While The Soup Blog has already touched on the growing nepotism trend invading our airwaves, this news made us reconsider our negative assessment. (Look, when a Sexiest Man Alive tells you you’re wrong, you listen.)

So we are trying an experiment with this week’s episode of The Soup and replacing our regular host, Joel McHale, with his identical second cousin, Gooseberry McHale.

For you, the viewer, the changes will be minimal, verging on completely unnoticeable. But for those of us behind the scenes, it’s been a whirlwind of activity to refit the show to Gooseberry’s idiosyncrasies:

  • Joel prefers to be paid with an envelope full of cash personally handed to him within six seconds of the show’s finish. Gooseberry asked to be paid in bottle caps and twine.
  • Joel’s contract specifies that under no circumstances may any Soup staff member attempt to touch him. Gooseberry enjoys telling female employees that he works for the FBI (Female Breast Inspectors).
  • When having his hair and makeup done, Joel likes to offer his stylists a constant stream of condescending instructions. Gooseberry wriggles in his chair and asks that they “stop trying to make me look like a fussed-up lady man.”
  • Joel demands that all scripts be written in 12-point Courier font on 20-pound, 8-and-a-half- by 11-inch paper. Gooseberry requires an on-set tutor and nonpointed flatware.
  • Immediately after the show is finished taping, Joel is surrounded by a passel of bodyguards, planted into his Hummer and driven to his high-security compound where he spends the evening starving attack dogs. Gooseberry sneaks into the wardrobe department, searching pockets and stripping copper wire.

Although we think the experiment has proven to be an unqualified success, we’re sad to report that after this Friday, Gooseberry will be on the Greyhound back to Yakima. That’s assuming, of course, Joel’s doctors at the Mountain Creek View Recovery Center haven’t changed their prognosis. Conquering “exhaustion” can be a lifelong struggle, you know.

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