Detroit His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum opens Soupy Sales exhibit

Dis­play pays trib­ute to co­me­dian who hosted Detroit-based show

The Detroit News - - Arts & Style - BY SU­SAN WHITALL

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.

Angels’ Place

Detroit News file photo “Lunch with Soupy Sales” orig­i­nated on Detroit’s WXYZ-TV (Chan­nel 7) in 1953.

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