Soupy Sales Dies At 83
October 23, 2009 at 5:58 AM (PT)
SOUPY SALES, whose children's television show drew a loyal audience of both kids and adults for many years, died THURSDAY night at CALVARY HOSPICE in the BRONX after a battle with cancer at 83.
SALES, best known for the syndicated daily television show he originated from METROMEDIA independent WNEW-TV/NEW YORK in the 1960s, started his career at WHTN-A/HUNTINGTON, WV, later working in radio in CINCINNATI and CLEVELAND, where he moved into television. He first became prominent with his TV show at ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV/DETROIT, with the show joining the network schedule in 1959. Production moved to LOS ANGELES in 1960, where it left the network in 1961 but continued locally through JANUARY 1962 on KECA-TV (now KABC-TV).
SALES moved to NEW YORK in 1964 for a local show at WNEW, which went into syndication in 1966 and drew guest appearances from celebrities like FRANK SINATRA (a fan, who participated in one of the show's trademark pie fights). His NEW YEAR'S DAY joke in 1965, when he told kids to find the green slips of paper in their hung-over parents' wallets ("put them in an envelope and send them to me ... and I'll send you a postcard from PUERTO RICO!"), drew him a suspension and became a signature story about the show. After that show's run, SALES did a similar show in syndication in 1978 before doing a daily radio show for WNBC-A/NEW YORK in the latter stages of that station's existence, memorably warring with the station's afternoon host, HOWARD STERN.
In addition to his hosting career, SALES was a regular on game shows like "WHAT'S MY LINE" and did guest acting roles in sitcoms. He starred in his own movie, "BIRDS DO IT," and recorded albums of novelty songs, with "The Mouse" reaching number 75 on BILLBOARD's Hot 100 in 1965 for ABC-PARAMOUNT RECORDS.
SALES' sons HUNT and TONY are musicians long associated with IGGY POP and DAVID BOWIE, as they were members of BOWIE's TIN MACHINE.
For a look and listen to what made SOUPY so special, just click here.