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Soupy Sales Dead 1926-2009 (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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Soupy Sales 1926-2009

Slapstick comedian Soupy Sales, aka Milton Supman, died Thursday night in a New York hospice at the age of 83.   According to his publicist, he had been in ailing health for several years.

Sales claims to have been hit in the face with 20,000 pies over the course of his television career, which began in Detroit in 1953 where he hosted Lunch with Soupy.  He appeared with imaginary animal characters including dogs named White Fang and Black Tooth, Hippy the Hippo and Willy the Worm.

He went on to appear in a comedy-variety show called Soupy's On and then it was on to national syndication with children's shows in New York and Los Angeles.

He was suspended from the network in New York in the 60's when he instructed children to dig into Mommy's purse, pull out the paper money and mail it to him at the station.   Huge demonstrations in front of the television station forced network executives to reinstate Sales.

In the 70's and 80's, Soupy appeared as a regular panelist on the syndicated game shows What's My Line?, To Tell The Truth and The Match Game.

Sales hosted a radio in the 1980's in New York at the same station as Howard Stern.  The two did not get along.  There was a well-known incident of Stern's cutting the strings in Sales' in-studio piano at 4:05 p.m. on May 1, 1985.  In recent years Stern revealed this was a stunt staged for "theater of the mind" and to torture Sales; in truth, the piano was never harmed.  Stern named Sales as one of his childhood heroes, and has expressed regret over his harsh words and actions towards him.

Sales is survived by former Broadway and June Taylor dancer, Trudy Carson, and two sons, Hunt Sales and Tony Sales, both musicians who played with David Bowie, Todd Rundgren and Iggy Pop.

View more photos and video below.


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    What a genius in comedy: Lunch with Soupy , White Fang,Black Tooth, Willy the Worm,Pookie and the Soupy Shuffle. Hustle home so I could have lunch and watch his zaniness in early elementary school. A pie in the face was always a highlight and Willy the Worm was the sickest worm in all of DE-troit. When comedy wasn't blue and risque. Detroit wasn't the same when Soupy moved on.
    There will never be anyone as cool as Soupy and as genuine.

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    Soupy was genuine! When he was in Detroit during the 1950's he would say hello to us when we encountered him on the street or in the Maccabees Building from which the TV station WXYZ broadcast his Lunch with Soupy and Soup's On (evening show for adults) programs. He was no celebrity snob! I last saw him at a comedy club in Ann Arbor many years ago; he did not use any vulgarity or blue material in spite of the intimate surroundings! I am very glad that I got to meet him on a few occasions!

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    I was living in the LA Area in the 60's and hurried home from high school at lunch just to watch one of the all-time funny men. Everyone in school mimicked everything Soupy did on screen. Talkng like Black Tooth or White Fang was a daily activity for many of us. I think the most important part of Soupy was his loyalty to his audience and spoke to us like we were part of his family. How sad that I just learned of his death. I heard nothing in the media. At 65 years old, I am also tearing up for someone I have many fond memories of and will miss.

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    Dante Quinn, at the risk that this reply may end up completely lost in the wind, DITTO andI have to agree with you about the lack of any REAL tribute to Mr. Milton Supman AKA Soupy Sales. Soupy lived and died in New York but most NY dailies only gave 3 or 4 lines if any at all to the remarkable work of Soupy Sales. Although I was born in the 70s and had an expatriate childhood, my childhood TV memori es were bathed in cable reruns as most of the countries my Dad was posted to were behind time with TV. Anyway I certainly remember and appreciate the comic relief of Soupy Sales. He had such natural charm and wit.
    At least here on Bitten and Bound there was an article with pictures and merçi for that but some major newspapers didn't even bother to put a face to the man. As Peter Paul and Mary'(RIP) said...Where Have All The Flowers Gone...?

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    1.
    Dante Quinn, on October 25th, 2009 at 4:19 pm Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation. I am quite saddened by the loss of one of my great heroes and funny man, Soupy Sales. I grew up watching this man on TV when I was about 7-8 years old. What really gets me mad is that there was no real Tribute to the man or any real news broadcasts all weekend on the man, and his contribution to early TV. I only read a one column report on his death on the 3rd page of my local daily newspaper
    . Its a shame that a celebrity like Mr. Sales now in death is almost “erased” from the memories of his talent. by the people that put him there. I see no other kind of children’s programming on TV today. Where are the ” Heroes,” I grew up with other than learning how to surf the Internet. The only other one that was educational was Mr. Rogers
    Neighborhood. I understand they may make a biopic on Soupy Sales. I would appreciate any response.

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    he looks like mel gibson! lol

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    83? Good grief I never imagined him to be that young. How time flies. Altho I wasn't around in the 60s my childhood was bathed in reruns of What's My Line and Tell The Truth. Soupy and Arlene Francis really marked my childhood.
    I really liked Soupy and its only now that I notice the resemblance with GERARD BUTLER.
    Sad news. My condolences to his family. It may seem corny but I have tears wellig up. Adieu Soupy. Rest in Peace my friend...