The Soupy Sales Show was originally broadcast out of Detroit in the '50's and he truly was a hip Jim Carrey of his day to young kids. He was a speedy, slightly naughty, iconoclastic but incredibly kind older brother.
Soupy Sales 1926 - 2009
Because of the smaller screen size and production limitations of 1950's television, the medium was much more dependent on the abilities of the person in front of the camera. Soupy Sales was a masterful communicator and comic artist, a gifted performer with a twisted sense of humor and contagious laughter. He had an incandescent spark that lit up that small black and white box, like all three Marx Brothers squeezed into one.
Children loved his fast-paced assault of puns, innuendoes and asides - adults found Soupy enjoyable as well. Time magazine called him "the last genuine comedy primitive" and that he was, at least until Jim Carrey came along.
At the end of his stint at WXYZ, Soupy's show was slotted to temporarily replace Detroit's 'Uncle Al Lewis Show' (not the guy from 'The Munsters'). That got the attention of ABC who scheduled Lunch with Soupy Sales for Saturday at noon during the 1959 - 1961 seasons.
By this point, Soupy could lay claim to taking 14,000 pies (bakery crust with shaving cream) in the face. "There's no message to this show," Sales explained. "It's actually a kid's show for adults - we even get letters now from people who have pie-throwing parties in their basements."
The setting for the show was Soupy's living room; besides pies in the face, regular features included 'Soupy Sez' (words of 'wisdom'), song and dance numbers (like 'The Soupy Shuffle'), comic narration over silent films and riotous routines with Clyde Adler's rebellious puppets. Soupy would eat lunch with his viewers, hence the title, topping it off with Jello ("It wiggles, kids"), the show's sponsor.
So long and thanks for the great yuks and kindness, Soupy.