Friday, October 23, 2009

Soup to nuts, Soup was nuts!

On all things soup

Soup is warm. Soup is nourishing. Soup is SUPER!

Soup is funny.

I’ve been ruminating on soup today, ever since I heard the news that Soupy Sales went to that great laugh factory in the sky last night. I know some people might be unfamiliar with the comedy stylings of Mr. Sales. I myself have a small nugget of knowledge about the man, which ironically has to do little bit to do with soup.

Mr. Sales was known for throwing pies into the faces of thousands of people and a silly style of humor. Pee Wee Herman is said to have “borrowed” some of his act from Soupy, and even SNL paid homage to his stunts. If you liked him as a kid, his antics stay with you in the back of your dark recess of a mind.

Soupy was a comedian who started out essentially in Detroit. He hosted “Lunch with Soupy” in the late 50’s and early 60’. It was a zany midday sketch show on Motown’s ABC affiliate WXYT-7. The show was so successful the station created a nighttime version of his show, which was a bit more adult and incidentally featured some great jazz artists of the time. He was raking in the dough and he helped the network tremendously. But like anyone who’s not actually from Detroit, he left to go to bigger markets, L.A and NY.

I realize now I saw all his shows in reruns. As a kid, I thought Soupy was this funny, goofy guy in Detroit who waited for me to turn on the TV so I could be amused.

Even then it was all about me.

I have fond memories of coming home for lunch, (my elementary was in our backyard) and slurping up steaming bowl of chicken noodle perched on a TV Tray chuckling at the old Zenith. That had 3 channels. Channels you had to get up and change, no remote, horror of horrors.

Reading about him today and going through some old clips, I also realize he was one of those guys that didn’t talk down to kids. His show featured real music, like Motown and jazz, not pre-made over processed bubble gum crap. Soupy also thought that executives were ruining the business. Something we all know continues today in TV and radio. His comedy might have been a little “punny” but he certainly kept the pie industry going.

They don’t make ‘em like the used to, that's for sure.


Lena said...

lol....I've never heard of Soupy but I know my wee niece would adore it - especially the dog bringing the arm back bit! I'll youtube some for her at her next visit!She gets fed up with the usual kiddie's stuff. There's too much choice these days!

I can remember waiting on children's hour every day for some shows - sadly not in Soupy style - but compared to today it was blink and it's gone!

Recovering DJ said...

You never heard of Soupy!? He was definitely part of the "golden age of television" ;)