Friday, March 9, 2007
The Soupy Sales Show, ca. 1960
The Soupy Sales Show was an early day Pee Wee's Playhouse. It featured humor for children with plenty of inside jokes for the adults. In the 1950s and 60s, Soupy's shows appeared in numerous formats and time slots, with his Saturday afternoon show proved to be the most popular.
At the show's peak in 1960, it has been stated that Soupy had already been slapped in the face with tens of thousands of pies, which really sums up the the type of humor that was his hallmark. Produced live and in hurried fashion, it was often improvisational.
One broadcast day, Soupy again found he had minutes to fill and no material at hand. As the camera rolled and broadcast live to millions of homes, Soupy Sales developed a lengendary sketch. He asked the children in the audience to roam around the house looking for little green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents on them. He asked the kids to mail any of these green pieces of paper found around their home to him at the studio. Adding another comedic layer to the situation, Soupy told the children in the televison audience that he would send them a post card from Puerto Rico acknowledging receipt. As the money rolled in, Metromedia, the production company behind the show, realized Soupy had crossed the line. He was placed on suspension. Outraged fans called the station and pleaded for his return. Finally, Metromedia brought Soupy back on the air, and to the highest ratings the show had seen. Soupy donated any real cash received to charity.