Friday, October 23, 2009

RIP Soupy Sales

You kids are too young to remember--heck, this blogger is too young to remember--the work of comedian Soupy Sales. However, all of us who've ever laughed at someone getting a pie in the face owe a debt of gratitude to Milton Supman, who passed away yesterday at the age of 83. Before Captain Kangaroo, before Mr. Rogers, before big yellow birds and purple dinosaurs, Soupy Sales was the meringue-smeared face of children's television. Yeah, his jokes were cornier than the corn bread in the Gordy Center, but that didn't matter. Soupy drew on vaudeville and borscht-belt tradition, employed some hand puppets, dressed up as a wacky ensemble of memorable characters and cracked up whole families in the '50s and '60s. Now, through the magic of YouTube, the pies fly on.

I have to admit, the sight of a pie-faced Alice Cooper still has the power to warm the cockles of your heart. Soupy was beloved by generations, and he'll be missed.
If you want to learn a bit about the Soupman's impact on popular culture, look no farther than my favorite database, Pop Culture Universe. Here is a biography of Sales from The Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, courtesy of PCU.

Now, in honor of Soupy Sales, I want all of you readers to go into your roommates' wallets, pull out those funny little pieces of green paper and send them to the archive room in the library. And I'll send you an e-mail from Puerto Rico. ;)

Rest in peace, Soupy.

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