Thursday, November 5, 2009

Soupy Sales had passed away

January 8, 1926 - October 22,2009

I just discovered that Soupy Sales passed away at the age of 83.

Soupy Sales was a regular visitor to my house when I was a teenager. My sisters and I watched his show all the time and I can remember some of the stunts he pulled that later became legend. I loved White Fang, which was basically just a big white furry paw - you never saw the rest of White Fang - who threw pies at Soupy. Black Tooth was the same only black and female and she gave Soupy big wet kisses.

His most famous stunt was the time he told the kids in his audience to sneak into their parents bedroom, rummage through their wallets or pants, take out a dollar (which he described as, “funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents”) and mail it to him. He then told the kids that they would get a postcard from him from Puerto Rico for it. The dollars started rolling in, Soupy tried to explain to the angry parents complaining that it was a joke and the money would be donated to charity, but he was suspended from the show for two weeks. When kids started picketing the TV station it just proved how popular Soupy’s show was.

Do you remember the “topless dancer behind the door” stunt his crew pulled on him? Remember he would open a door on the set to reveal a celebrity guest or just an arm he would joke with? Well, to Soupy’s surprise, his crew once positioned a topless dancer behind the door during the live broadcast (out of range of the show camera but covered with a few strategic balloons). He gave his great Soupy laugh and smile... his smile was always a little bit naughty.

I didn’t find out he had a Twitter account until I read the news of his death - I certainly would have followed him. One of his last tweets was, “Did you kids catch me at the Oscar ceremony last Sunday? Neither did security! KAPOW!” Typical Soupy humor.

Goodbye Soupy, thanks for all the laughs.