Detroit Historical Museum opens Soupy Sales exhibit
Display pays tribute to comedian who hosted Detroit-based show
To commemorate the late Soupy Sales, whose career of comic anarchy began with his Detroit-based kids show “Lunch With Soupy,” the Detroit Historical Museum will put back on display many of the Soupy artifacts from its recent show, “Detroit’s Classic TV Personalities.”
The Soupy display opened Wednesday at the museum and will continue through Sunday, Dec. 6. Memorabilia on loan from the Sales family collection includes puppets White Fang (“the biggest, meanest dog in the United States”), Black Tooth (“the nicest dog in the United States”) and Pookie the Lion, plus one of his bow ties, as well as books, records and other items.
Some of the collectibles are from the collection of Ed Golick, who runs the Web site detroitkidshow.com.
Sales, 83, died last Thursday night in a hospice in the Bronx, New York, after battling ill health for several years.
He was born Milton Supman in North Carolina, where his parents ran a small-town dry goods store and Sales developed that faint Southern lilt to his accent.
After college, service in World War II and several radio jobs, Sales landed in Detroit in 1953 and launched his first local kids show. Soon he added a nighttime variety show for adults to his workload; that show featured the best local and touring musicians, and today the only known film of trumpet legend Clifford Brown, available on youtube.com, is a clip from Soupy’s show circa 1955.
“Lunch with Soupy” went national in 1959, but a generation of Detroiters was already hooked.
Rocker Alice Cooper, who grew up on Detroit’s east side, relayed his thoughts via his publicist Bob Merlis:
“Being from Detroit, I came home every day and watched Soupy at lunch. One of the greatest moments of my life was getting piefaced by Soupy. He was one of my all-time heroes.”
UPI photo Soupy Sales was hit by more than 16,000 pies on his show.
Detroit News file photo “Lunch with Soupy Sales” originated on Detroit’s WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) in 1953.