Image via WikipediaSoupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian whose career was built on 20,000 pies to the face and 5,000 live TV appearances that spanned a half-century, has died. He was 83.
Sales was born Milton Supman on Jan. 8, 1926, in North Carolina and grew up in Huntington, West Virginia, close to my hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio. I remember that he was always considered a hometown favorite and that Huntington considered him as one of their own.
The comic's pie-throwing schtick became his trademark, and celebrities lined up to take one on the chin alongside Sales. During the early 1960s, stars such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Shirley MacLaine lined up on his show to get splattered with pies right alongside Soupy.
Perhaps one of the most memorable points of his career was when he was temporarily suspended for telling the kids at home to collect all of the green pieces of paper from their mother's purses that had pictures of presidents on them and to mail them to him. In fact, Saturday Night Live once paid homage to that event by encouraging their audience to send in their joints. Aspects of Paul Reuben's Pee Wee Herman character appeared to be associated with Sales TV persona.
Yes, in this year of celebrity deaths, another great one has died. Enjoy the clips from Soupy's show that I have added as a tribute to this comedy legend.