Saturday, October 24, 2009

R.I.P. Soupy Sales

I had the good fortune to be a fan of his in my childhood. Did you?

Here's the Time obit.

Before making it big, he worked in a radio-TV spot in Cleveland. He later said he left that job for health reasons — "They got sick of me."

Years later this happened:

He did make trouble for himself on New Year's Day 1965, when, annoyed by having to work on a holiday, he impishly instructed kids to tiptoe into their parents' bedroom, take out "green pieces of paper with pictures of guys with beards" and send them to his New York station. The punch line: "And you know what I'm gonna send you? A postcard from Puerto Rico." For that he got suspended. He said that the kids were hipper than his bosses: many sent him Monopoly money. One adult enclosed a few dollars and wrote: "Now go to Puerto Rico."

What a character, huh?


  1. Mike, this is my last official comment before I go to New York tomorrow morning.
    When I was a 5 yer old kid...I watched Breakfast With Soupy on Channel 7 in Detroit, then he started to do Lunch With Soupy, so I saw him on my lunch breaks...then he moved to New York and it was for a season, Dinner With Soupy...he pied Sinatra and Sammy....

    Here in France, I met an older fellow, Rene, who was French but had lived in NYC for years. He had been a network cameraman for ABC.
    He was great for his anecdotes about all the programs he worked on...
    But his best stories were about Soupy Sales. He told how the crew would regularly play practical jokes, like hiring a stripper to be on the other side of the door when he opened it, then howling with laughter as he tried to somehow ad lib in front of the camera while doing a live kiddie show.

    You knew his sons, Hunt and Tony Sales had been David Bowies Touring Band rhthym section all through the 70's?...they also were member of Bowies band, The Tin Machine.

  2. Never heard of him. Way before my time.

  3. Micro, I remember that now about his sons and Bowie. Great stuff.
    Good luck in NYC. Let us know if you see any gun play.

  4. I thought he'd died decades ago. He must have been the only showbiz man from that era that didn't smoke 3 packs of unfiltered cigarettes a day.