Friday, October 23, 2009
Soupy Sales, comedian, dead, 83, old age
DETROIT – Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian whose anything-for-a-chuckle career was built on 20,000 pies to the face and 5,000 live TV appearances across a half-century of laughs, has died. He was 83.
Sales died Thursday night at Calvary Hospice in the Bronx, New York, said his former manager and longtime friend, Dave Usher. Sales had many health problems and entered the hospice last week, Usher said.
You younger guys and gals probably are saying, who?
His greatest success came in New York with "The Soupy Sales Show" — an ostensible children's show that had little to do with Captain Kangaroo and other kiddie fare. Sales' manic, improvisational style also attracted an older audience that responded to his envelope-pushing antics.
Sales, who was typically clad in a black sweater and oversized bow-tie, was once suspended for a week after telling his legion of tiny listeners to empty their mothers' purse and mail him all the pieces of green paper bearing pictures of the presidents.
Sales was born Milton Supman on Jan. 8, 1926, in Franklinton, North Carolina, where his was the only Jewish family in town. His parents, owners of a dry-goods store, sold sheets to the Ku Klux Klan. The family later moved to Huntington, West Virginia.
My parents thought he was a pretty funny guy.