10.23.2009

SOUPY SALES.HAS DIED... DETROIT COMEDIAN



Oh we are so bummed to hear that one of our Retro favorites passed away today at 83. Poor soup he had been in failing health and he is finally at rest now. Kimmer grew up with Soupy as her absolute favorite TV show as a kid. JUst loved him and all his characters. OUr thoughts are with Tony and Hunt and the Sales family.

Read My Post on Soup HERE I LOVE THIS VIDEO HERE
COMPLETE SOUPY TV SHOWS HERE


OBIT From the Detroit Free Press today
Soupy Sales, slapstick legend for generation, dies

By TIM KISKA
FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER

Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian who made an art form out of taking a pie in the face and delighted a generation of Detroiters with his loopy TV show on Channel 7 in the 1950s, died Thursday night in New York.

Sales, who had been in ill health for several years, was 83. His former manager, Dave Usher, said Sales last week entered a Bronx hospice, where he died. He is survived by his wife, Trudy, and two sons, Hunt and Tony.

“He was the first person from Detroit television whose first name had instant recognition from coast to coast,” said former Channel 7 anchorman Bill Bonds. “If you said ‘Soupy' in New York, they knew who it was. If you said ‘Soupy' in Los Angeles, everybody knew who it was. I'd worked in both markets, and the first thing anybody said when I mentioned I was from Detroit was ‘Soupy.' ”



Born Milton Supman in Franklinton, N.C., and raised in West Virginia, Sales was best known to Detroiters as the goofy yet cerebral host of “Lunch with Soupy,” a half-hour show that featured Sales hamming it up in a variety of sometimes surreal situations.

The show, which began airing in Detroit in 1953, featured a cast of unforgettable characters: an incorrigible dog by the name of White Fang, “the meanest dog in all Deeeetroit,” who communicated via a series of guttural noises; Black Tooth, an overly affectionate dog whom Sales would constantly tell “don't kiss”; Hippy the Hippo, and Willy the Worm.

Of course, there were the pies. Sales once estimated that he took 9,000 pies in the face during the course of his career.

But the most famous of Sales' bits was “lunch.” A typical menu might include a hot dog as the main course. Before Sales would take a bite, viewers would hear the sound of squealing pigs. Or, viewers might hear the sound of mooing cows as Sales sipped milk.

The lunchtime show was also known for its unpredictability. Sales would leave the set, camera in tow, and harass other Channel 7 hosts.


He once left the set in mid-show and hunted down Channel 7's Edythe Fern Melrose, a woman of unyielding dignity who was known as “The Lady of Charm.” Sales blasted her with a pie.

“She didn't know it was coming,” once recalled former Detroit radio personality Mark Andrews, himself since deceased, who watched the program as a grade-school student at Fraser's Eisenhower Elementary. “It might be the funniest moment I've seen on television.”

The show was “must-see” TV, long before NBC came up with the phrase. Thousands of Detroit baby boomers would become “Birdbaths,” the designation given to members of his club.

Tom De Lisle, a Detroit writer and TV producer, once recalled to the Free Press growing up on Detroit's east side and watching the show. He and his brother, Skip, lived close enough to their grade school that they could go home for lunch to watch Sales.

“We calculated that we could catch the last joke on the show and make it back to our desks by the time the bell rang if we ran like hell. And that's what we did,” recalled De Lisle. “We stood in the doorway, hung right to the last second of Soupy's show, said ‘Go!' and ran. The show was creative, different and live every day.”

4 comments:

rosemarie said...

"to one of the funniest men. rest in piece soupy sales"

Machinegun said...

HE WAS THE BEST EVER AND EVERYONE COPIED HIM, ROBIN WILLIAMS, JERRY SEINFELD, DAVID LETTERMAN, AND THE LIST GOES ON

richard rieckhoff said...

"Funny guy with talented kids. Soupy was the man !"

Samantha K said...

Soupy Sales practically invented the immortal pie in the face gag -- they don't make em like that anymore...

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