US TV Kids Show Host Soupy Sales Dies

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    Oct 24, 2009 1:03 PM GMT
    Long before there was the slightly psychotic Pee Wee Herman, there was Soupy Sales on US kids TV, which once mostly meant Saturday mornings until noon, when Soupy was on, and 7 to 9 AM the rest of the week for Captain Kangaroo and similar shows. Silly, irreverent and "hip" for the era, accented with jazz music, parents and other adults watched Soupy as much as the children did, because he slipped all kinds of adult content into his material, with major Hollywood stars often dropping by to knock on the door of his "clubhouse" and get a pie in the face.

    And he could be very bawdy, always manic, rarely serious. My own favorite moment was when he parodied pre-Sesame Street programs that attempted to teach children their alphabet and other skills.

    Soupy holding up a big white card with the letter "F" on it, while 2 of his off-camera semi-talking "pets" White Fang & Black Tooth tried to answer as he asked:

    "What letter am I holding?"


    "No, let's try again. What letter is this?"


    "I don't understand this! How come when I show F, you see K?"

    Speak the line above out-loud, and you'll get the outrageously risque joke he managed to put on-air in the early 1960s.

    The wonderful & original Soupy Sales -- RIP. He was 83.
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    Oct 24, 2009 1:05 PM GMT
    Another famous West Virginian....R.I..P. Soupy! icon_sad.gif

    Sales was born Milton Supman, in Franklinton in Franklin County in north central North Carolina to Irving and Sadie Supman. His father, a dry goods merchant, had emigrated to America from Hungary in 1894. Soupy Sales had two siblings, Leonard Supman (deceased) and Jack Supman. His was the lone Jewish family in this Southern town.

    Sales got his nickname from his family. His older brothers had been nicknamed "Hambone" and "Chicken Bone"; Milton was dubbed "Soup Bone," which was later shortened to "Soupy". When he became a disc jockey, he began using the stage name Soupy Hines. After he became established, it was decided that "Hines" was too close to the Heinz soup company, so he chose the surname Sales, in part after comedian Chic Sale.

    Milton graduated in 1944 from Huntington High School in Huntington, West Virginia. He then enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the USS Randall in the South Pacific during the latter part of World War II. He sometimes entertained his shipmates by telling jokes and playing crazy characters over the ship's public address system. One of the characters he created was "White Fang," a large dog that played outrageous practical jokes on the seamen. The sounds for "White Fang" came from a recording of "The Hound of the Baskervilles". He took the record with him when he left the Navy.

    Sales next entered Marshall College(ED: Now Marshall University of the "We Are Marshall" film ), where he earned a Master's Degree in Journalism. While attending Marshall College, he performed in nightclubs as a comedian, singer, and dancer. After graduating, he began working as a scriptwriter and a disc jockey at radio station WHTN in Huntington. He moved to Cincinnati in 1949, where he worked as a morning radio DJ and performed in nightclubs. He began his television career on WKRC-TV with Soupy's Soda Shop, TV's first teen dance program, and Club Nothing!, a late-night comedy/variety program.

    When WKRC canceled his TV shows, Sales moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he hosted another radio and TV series and continued his nightclub act. It was in a skit on his late night comedy/variety TV series Soupy's On! that he got his first pie in the face. Soupy claims he left the Cleveland station "for health reasons: they got sick of me."
    Sales moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1953 and worked for WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), ABC's O&O station.

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    Oct 24, 2009 4:10 PM GMT
    another great loss