Monday, January 08, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOUPY SALES


Today is the 81st birthday of one of my all time favorite comedians: the one and only Soupy Sales. This dear man has provided me with more laughter and joy than you could ever imagine. I did voices for him briefly when Clyde Adler was ill many many years ago and that was the best money I ever made in my life. Of course I remember the risque things that he did and said-- oh the limitations of what you couldn't say or do on television in those days. I remember well the "words of wisdom" that were written on the chalk board every day such as "Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you" and the constant pies in the face. Soupy made pie-in-the-face an art re-invented. How well I remember the celebrities on the network version of the show. I did find out something I did not know about him-- that back in New York City version of the show in 1978, he and Howard Stern were feuding with Stern allegedly cutting the strings on Soupy's in studio piano. For those of you who may not remember all of the characters, here they are again:
White Fang, "The 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, often for comic effect. Next came Black Tooth, "The Sweetest Dog in the World". Also seen only as a giant black paw, and with more feminine, but similarly unintelligible dialogue. Hippie the Hippo, who never spoke at all. There was also Pookire the Lion, a 1950's hipster with a rapier wit. His repartee with Soupy was rapid-fire. For example: Soupy: "Do you know why my life is so miserable?" Pookie: "You got me!" Soupy: "That's why!" Other famous characters were:Peaches,Soupy's girlfriend, played by Sales in drag. "The Count" was an old vampire that used to say "One, Two, Three Four, tell the people what she wore-- no words can describe my emotions!" There was also the "Little Kid Next Door" who talked kind of falsetto with things like "My mother walks like a bird, talks like a bird and eats like a bird, but she's not around anymore" Then Soupy would ask the kid what happened to her and the little kid would answer with something like "The cat ate her" There was also a rich dog named "Marilyn Von Wolf" and of course the man next door who always complained about one of White Fang's antics ("Your dog just ate my trombone") or something silly like that. I loved it when Pookie the lion performed one of the Fractured fairy tales or did one his PookieTheatre routines. I still have Soupy's albums with wonderful songs like "Pookie", the Toreador" and "You're My Best Friend" sung to the character of "Black Tooth" Such memories! Such fun! Happy Birthday, dear Soupy Sales!

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