Soupy Sales, the 60’s era TV host who was adored by kids — and their parents with a wild sense of humor — died on Thursday, October 22nd. in New York at the age of 83. Sales once said he took more pies in the face, probably 25,000 than any man who ever lived, and he was probably right.
Sales, born Milton Supman in 1923 in North Carolina, was beloved by kids with a 60’s era TV show notorious for its semi-adult humor and ribald sense of humor. He also recorded a novelty song “Do the Mouse” which became a pop culture hit and a dance he came up with, The Soupy Shuffle, was also a major fad.
His crew loved to play pranks on him and vice versa. On one show, off camera but within his eyeline a naked woman danced and the crew convinced him the feed was going out live.
In 1964, he got in trouble with his bosses when he jokingly told kids to send him money…telling them to go into their parents wallets — while they were sleeping — and send him those pictures of “George Washington…Lincoln…Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson on them.”
He mostly got Monopoly money but some money did come in and Sales was suspended for a week.
His show, “Lunch with Soupy Sales” which was also known as “The Soupy Sales Show” aired from 1959-1962 and from 1962-67. His show, a precursor to Pee Wee Herman and his Playhouse concept, featured cartoons, and rotating “friends” like White Fang, known as the meanest dog in the world; Black Tooth, a naughty gorilla; Pookie the tiny lion; and a mob figure named Onions Oregano, known for having bad breath.
By the 70s, Sales often showed up on game and trivia panels and appeared on shows like “The Love Boat” and “Love American, Style.”
In the 80’s, he was hired by WNBC radio, where he was sandwiched between morning man Don Imus and afternoon shock jock, Howard Stern. That gig lasted three years.
Below is one skit I enjoyed in particular, “Fang’s Talent Agency”. It was originally done in 1965.
Enjoy! R.I.P., Soupy!