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Friday, October 23, 2009

The Soupy Sales Show

TV personality Soupy Sales (1926 – 2009) died last week. He was a wacky comedian, actor, and host of a well-known New York area television show for children called “The Soupy Sales Show.’’ He died at Calvary Hospice in the New York at the age of 83.

He had a hit song around 1965 called "The Mouse" and I've included a copy of the sheet music cover below.

The song's words and music by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell are not very impressive. The main lyric was the word "Yeah!" I don't recall if Soupy actually sang pitches or not, but here is a sample of the opening music.

While his TV program was ostensibly for children, the show attracted older views who enjoyed his madcap, vaudevillian comic style. At times his programs verged on theatre of the absurd. Soupy would push the envelope on live TV in ways that wouldn't be tolerated today. For example, on one program he told his young audience to sneak into their mothers’ purse, extract all the pieces of green paper bearing pictures of presidents, and mail them to him. It resulted in Mr. Sales getting lots of envelopes of cash, and being suspended from his job for a week.

The show ran for many years, and I grew up with the earlier programs. I loved the hand puppets and skits.

On YouTube you can find various clips from the programs, but here is a later program from the 1970s where he had rock star and composer Alice Cooper as a guest. Cooper is not someone you would normally associate with children's programming. His concerts featured guillotines, electric chairs, snakes, fake blood, and children's dolls. His heavy metal music is grandly theatrical, violent, and designed to shock.

Here is the YouTube of Soupy Sales together with avant garde composer/musician Alice Cooper...