Friday, October 23, 2009

RIP Soupy Sales

Sad news today that Soupy Sales passed away at the age of 83. Soupy Sales was one of the entertainers that crossed generational lines between my dad and me. Dad grew up on Soupy's live, largely unscripted afternoon show,and he would often recite bits from memory when I was a kid. He was about 10 years old when the original Soupy Sales Show started airing on New York stations, and I was about the same age when Soupy got his new show in 1978-79.

I also found this record at a garage sale when I was a kid, and I wore it out.

Though I can remember this record pretty much verbatim--Soupy is asked by the government to infiltrate a circus, and he has to perform some stunt where he's shot out of a cannon and hit in the face with one of his signature pies while in midair--I really want to find another copy of it again, since mine is long gone.

Today, it's hard to imagine a program like the original Soupy Sales Show, which would run for hours every afternoon, filled with often improvised comedy. Here's a clip from the show, which features Soupy's hit song, "The Mouse." It also shows a regular bit called "Soupy Sez," and the joke is really smart--one that I can't imagine a lot of 10-year-olds getting today. But one of the great things about this show was that Soupy never talked down to the kids.

You can find another funny clip here, featuring one of Soupy's pals, White Fang, who was just a pair of furry white claws. Soupy was also joined by Black Tooth and Peaches, two other friends who spoke in unintelligible grunts that only Soupy could understand.

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