Last time we looked at the classic panel game What’s My Line, and in the featured episode the “mystery guest” was Soupy Sales, so I thought this week we’d take a look at Mr. Pie-in-in-the-Face himself, Soupy Sales.
Born Milton Supman, “Soupy” is actually taken from a family nickname “Soupbone”. He had two other brothers, Leonard and Jack, who were respectively nicknamed “Hambone” and “Chicken Bone”. Yeah, I think it is pretty obvious just from that exactly where Mr. Sales might have developed his unique sense of humor.
Sales was not exactly known for his refined sense of humor. You may have noticed that I called him Mr. Pie-in-the-face earlier. That’s because taking a pie in any possible way he could became his trademark, and over his career, Soupy claimed that he ad the guests on his various shows had taken hits from somewhere around 20,000 (mostly cream) pies.
Sales had a number of different shows over the years, ranging from Lunch With Soupy which was an afternoon children’s program based in Detroit beginning in 1953, to The New Soupy Sales Show, which was broadcast out of L.A. in 1978.
Besides pies, Sales was also known for his work with puppet characters, the most famous of which was White Fang, which Wikipedia describes thusly:
“The Biggest and Meanest Dog in the USA”, who appeared only as a giant white shaggy paw with black triangular felt “claws”, jutting out from the corner of the screen. Fang spoke with unintelligible short grunts and growls, which Soupy repeated back in English, for comic effect. White Fang was often the pie thrower when Soupy’s jokes bombed.
Okay, I could go on, but really, the only way to appreciate Soupy Sales and his shows is to watch them, and today I’ve decided to give you two examples of his work over the years, one from the classic era when the show was broadcast out of New York, and the other from The New Soupy Sales Show.