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October 13, 2015

Joel McHale Isn't Leaving 'The Soup,' Says Writer Tess Rafferty

by Nick Zaino, posted May 27th 2010 6:04PM
Tess Rafferty, writer for 'The Soup'For the past six years, Joel McHale has led one of television's most enjoyable clubhouses on 'The Soup.' It's a place where the crew and writers can get in on the fun and even get onscreen.

But ever since 'Community' became a hit for McHale, and he has been shooting films with Steve Martin and Anna Farris, rumors have been circulating that McHale might leave 'The Soup,' rumors that McHale has denied.

You can count longtime 'Soup' writer Tess Rafferty among those who think McHale will stay. She says she has no reason to believe McHale will leave, and that any speculation to the contrary is just that, speculation. "It really is," she says. "They've been doing that for years. Also, Joel sees it as a personal challenge to push himself to the point of death working on projects. Then they'll make a reality show of that and we'll cover it on 'The Soup.'"

Rafferty says the writing staff is a tight-knit group, led by head writer KP Anderson. And if you're picturing a crazy office environment and all-night, drug-fueled writing sessions a la the apocryphal salad days of 'Saturday Night Live,' you're off the mark. If anything, 'The Soup' staff are wine and food snobs, according to Rafferty.

"Joel used to work in a wine store before he became a television star," she says. "So he has an appreciation of wine, and the rest of us do, as well. We're more apt to drink wine than anything. We know a lot about wine."

A couple of years ago, 'The Soup' hosted a brown bag tasting for the folks at Variety. Rafferty says the wine appreciation started early on, when there were more late night writing sessions. "One night someone has beer there, and it's crappy beer, too," she says. "I mean we still drank it. But I hate to drink bad booze and I started saying I could bring a bottle in some night and we all started to come out of the wino closet, as it were. It turned out that a lot of us really liked wine and that appreciation has only grown over the years."

Considering the job of a 'Soup' writer is to watch as much bad television as possible, sometimes alone in your office, it's no surprise the staff might want to loosen up with a little wine tasting after work. In her nearly six years on the show, Rafferty says she has watched a lot of horrible things (she somehow wound up with the bulk of the country music awards coverage).

"Oh the things I've seen!" she says. "I could be treated for PTSD. I cover the pageants and they're kind of sad. Their hobbies are working out and laughing and yet they list their role models as MLK. I mean I'm sure he liked to laugh. But I'm not sure they know who he is. I think all they know is that because of him they have an extra day off a year to work out and laugh."

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Tess Rafferty is ludicrously beautiful & talented! Check her out with The Soup's "Man-kini" doing a song & dance number:


May 28 2010 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So I'm watching the re-run of Community's pilot. Did the Matt & Kim music get taken out?

May 27 2010 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

If they have a writing staff then why wasn't the Soup affected by the Strike 2 1/2 years ago??? I've always wondered this

May 27 2010 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tony DIMeo's comment
Joe Nickel

Perhaps their writers were not Guild members.

May 27 2010 at 9:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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