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'Talk Soup' sound bites

”Talk Soup” sound bites — Greg Kinnear hosts the snarky E! series

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Missed ”Teenage Transsexuals” on this morning’s Geraldo? No sweat. You can catch the highlights — along with the day’s best bits from The Tonight Show, Donahue, Jenny Jones, and 17 other chat shows — on Talk Soup, a 30-minute clip job of the wild and weird airing on cable’s E! Entertainment Television network.

”We have an entire staff whose job is to watch talk shows all day long and look for the best clips,” says Soup‘s host, Greg Kinnear, 29, the deadest deadpanner this side of Bob Newhart. ”They go through about 100 hours of talk shows every week, the poor devils. Just imagine the damage that can do to your brain.”

The series premiered in December 1991 as a spin-off of an earlier E! series, Highpoints, which featured snippets of daytime TV, and has since become one of E!’s most-watched programs. Soup has also become something of a booster for the shows that participate (Kinnear plugs upcoming episodes in exchange for the clips), and just about every talk show on the tube has rushed to contribute footage, including HBO’s talk-show satire The Larry Sanders Show.

There is one holdout, however. ”We just weren’t comfortable giving our clips out on a regular basis,” says a spokesperson for Oprah. ”Beyond that, we don’t have any further comment.” But with morsels from episodes like ”I Hate Sex,” ”Hairstylists and Lingerie,” and ”Verbally Abused by Dad,” Talk Soup tastes just fine without her.

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