Friday, October 23, 2009

Soupy Sales Dies at 83

Veteran of the golden age of television Soupy Sales passed away earlier tonight after a lengthy battle with cancer.

I grew up much too late to have enjoyed his classic TV show "Lunch with Soupy Sales," and I only knew from legend his stunt of asking kids to raid their parents' purses and wallets and send the funny green pieces of paper to him. The story is different every time I hear it to this day. I wonder how seriously or how jokingly Soupy asked.

My memories of Soupy were of his appearances as a panelist on "What's My Line?" as well as other game shows and sitcoms. I remembered an aborted attempt at trying a variety show again in the 1970s that was abysmal, and the not so bad "Junior Almost Anything Goes" that he hosted. Later I remember a radio rivalry with the then rising star Howard Stern. By that time the man was sadly considered a has-been by much of the public - and Stern's methods of vanquishing foes certainly didn't help.

Toward the end of his career he appeared as Professor Prophet in the low budget softcore Roger Corman superhero series "Black Scorpion." Sales was no stranger to film, having his own starring vehicle in "Birds Do It" in 1966. He even did voice work for cartoons and was on Broadway as well.

Soupy Sales, despite the last few years out of the spotlight, was still one of the icons of the early days of television. He'll be missed.

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  1. I too am a little too young to have remembered him, but I googled an YouTube'd him too after I heard him discussed on NPR last week. Happy Halloween!

  2. This is the only write up I have seen on the death of Soupy. I grew up watching him. He gave 100% of himself in everything that he did for his craft. He will be missed by those of us who remember his early talent. T.V changed but Soupy never did. Sadly he got left behind along with so many other greats from early T.V show bizz folks.

    Thanks for the post.