Host Jade Catta-Preta on Serving Up a Fresh Portion of ‘The Soup’ on E!

NBCUniversal Events- Season 2020
Evans Vestal Ward/NBCUniversal

After more than four years, E! Is firing up another hearty helping of The Soup with new host Jade Catta-Preta. The Brazilian-born comedian and actress is looking forward to adding her own recipe of laughs and good times reacting to buzzy clips of the week.

She follows in a long line of impressive Talk Soup and The Soup alums going as far back as 1991 with Greg Kinnear to 2015 with Joel McHale. Before Catta-Preta gets cooking with her own brand of pop culture goodness, she tries to put into words how much this opportunity means to her.

How did this opportunity come about for you?

Jade Catta-Preta: I was already on the radar with E! because I’ve been working with them for a few years and even did a pilot for them with Nick Cannon that we were trying to sell. It was perfect timing.

How much of a fan were of the show?

I was a huge fan. I’m an immigrant and moved to the states when I was about 12. I credit a lot of my English to TV. I was addicted to the show when it was the John Henson era. He has always been my favorite. He is such a goofy guy. He was a big inspiration to me. I met him years and years ago and was so stars truck. I talked to him the other day, and he gave me all this advice. It has been really cool.

What was one piece of advice John gave you that really resonated?

Don’t take it so seriously. Have fun. It reads if you’re not having fun. I took that to heart. Just try and enjoy the process because it goes by quickly, and it’s such a huge opportunity to make so many people laugh.

Something we all could use right now.

Definitely. I want it to feel like an escape. There is so much crap in the media right now. I just want people to tune in and giggle and feel like I’m a friend.

What do you think will make this version of the show stand out compared to past seasons?

It is different already because we have so much media to pull from that they didn’t have. We have social media. We have morning TV. We have reality TV. We’re also pulling from scripted shows, TikTok. Who knew that would be a thing? Also, my perspective is different. I’m a fan of this stuff. I watch this stuff on my own accord and have been for many years. I just want it to feel like I’m looking up at these shows and paying homage to them as I’m making fun of them at the same time.

(Photo by: E! Entertainment)

What has been the experience in deciding what will make air?

It has been a dream. I can’t believe I get to talk about the Real Housewives of New Jersey at my job. We’re talking about 90 Day Fiancé in a serious way? I think it’s definitely a sensitive time. There is more attention to that than ever before. We don’t want to offend anybody, but we want to push the limits. Nothing is off limits. If it’s funny and a clip makes it into the room and makes us all laugh, that’s what we are going to use. Funny is funny. We hope people dig it.

How involved are you in the process?

Only if you like the show, then I’m super involved. If you don’t, I had nothing to do with it. I’m involved in the process from choosing the staff to being in the writers room every day. I really want it to feel like something I would say. I want it to be in my voice. I have been doing standup for almost 12 years. I want it to be my point-of-view and somebody else.

There were those little bits that were done on The Soup ? Can we expect to see those kinds of segments?

I have an acting background and really like playing characters. We want it to feel like it’s a bigger universe than ever. Reality TV has these mega fans right now. We just want to cater to those people. We also want to cater to the people who don’t know anything about these shows. We want to create a variety feeling like a Carol Burnett meets a late night talk show meets a clip show where I’m really in the universe. Maybe there will be a reality show, and I’m in it. We just want it to be an open door to a universe of reality and clip shows.

You’ve toured. You’ve done the grind. What does it mean to you to have this platform and environment to play around in?

Thank you for saying that. A tiny tear went down my face. This is an incredible opportunity because it gives me the chance to use every tool I’ve ever learned. You’re going through these crappy jobs in life thinking, “Why am I doing this?” Now it all makes sense. I had to do it all to be in this position. From being on the road and commercial work to doing acting work and live theater work to doing podcasts, you name it. This is definitely catering to all my talents and all my weird quirks.

(Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBCUniversal)

What has been the response since the announcement has been made?

People have been incredibly supportive and excited. Of course, there will be people comparing me to Joel. It’s just a natural thing. Change is hard, but I just want to make people feel like, “I got you slowly and surely. I’ll hold your hand. It’s time for a new era. We all need this. Let me be your guide.”

What are some of your long-term goals for the show?

I want to create this whole universe organically where people feel they know all of us. We have the writers, repeat offenders of guests. We want it to feel like one big family. I remember the first time I saw Lily Tomlin where I felt like I knew her. I just want that familiarity with people. I want it to be a relief.

I hope we have many seasons and that I feel as magnetic as when I met Joel. And maybe I pass on the torch to another lady. Joel and I actually did a show together recently at the Laugh Factory. It was so exciting. I was so starstruck and nervous to meet him. He is just the most charismatic guy. He just walks into a room, and everyone feels it. I hope I make him proud.

The Soup, Premieres Wednesday, February 12, 10/9c, E!