Friday, October 23, 2009

Goodbye Soupy

On Thursday, October 22nd, we lost a true legend of the entertainment business. Soupy Sales, the slapstick- pie throwing comic, was 83 years young when he passed away at a hospice in the Bronx. He had been in failing health for many years though he continued to make appearances at local memorabilia shows until earlier this year. His comedic genius brought him broad appeal to children and adults alike throughout the land. It is estimated that he tossed well over 20,000 pies during his long career. And his on air capers in front of his children's audience would sometimes get him in hot water, which in turn would only boost his popularity.
One event in particular is probably his most famous blunder. It was New Years Day in 1965. Soupy was almost done with his show at 7pm when the producer told him he had a minute to kill. Soupy walked up to the camera and said "Listen children, your mom and dad are probably tired from last night and they're laying down in their bedroom. Go in the room quietly and look in your mom's pocketbook and your dad"s wallet. Look for any green paper that has pictures of men with beards on them. Take those funny green papers, put them in an envelope and mail them to me at the TV station. Once I get your envelope, I will send you a postcard from Puerto Rico!" Soupy was suspended for two weeks!
I had the pleasure to meet Soupy a few years ago at my buddy Gary Lyons' "Gotham Super Collector's Show" in NYC. He was very happy to be meeting his fans and signing autographs throughout the day despite showing the effects from a stroke he suffered a few months earlier. The photograph above is myself with Soupy at the show. A trooper to the end.
Goodbye Soupy. I wonder of St.Peter gave you a pie in the face as you went through those pearly gates!

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