By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated December 04, 2010 at 12:00 PM EST
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Congratulations, The Soup! You’ve now been bringing us a weekly dose of Joel McHale for 300 episodes, and for that we thank you. (We also thank you for Community, which might not have happened if not for McHale, and which is on a highly underrated roll this season.) Only five more years before you catch up with your predecessor, Talk Soup! But still, we’re here to toast you.

And Friday night’s on-the-air celebration was appropriately heavy on cameos from The Soup‘s frequent targets — a game Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, wine-swilling Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, soft-lit Martha Stewart — congratulating McHale. It was a bit of a shock to see the real Sanjaya breeze through — it’s easy to forget he’s an actual person and not a figment of our collective imagination, and when I do imagine him, it’s usually with that faux-hawk he had that one time. It’s hard to believe Ma from Ma’s Roadhouse is real, too — in fact, the only way I know of her show is from The Soup — and I’m still not convinced she had any idea to whom she was croaking her congratulations or why.

The Top 3 Soup moments, as voted on by viewers, were a mixed bag: Loved the surreal pantsless Bruno Tonioli bit; the “don’t ask, don’t spell” Harry Potter trailer wasn’t especially original, though; and the Rainbow Brite: The Movie clip was only funny because it involved McHale dressed as the title character. McHale’s just better when he’s just being himself, rather than doing bits — that’s what makes The Soup fun. Here’s to another 300!

What did you think, PopWatchers? Are there other Soup moments you remember fondly? Are you hoping for another 300 weeks of McHale and company?

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