Bye Soup

Soupy Sales R.I.P.

Soupy Sales R.I.P.

Soupy Sales died last night. I know a great number of people are asking, ‘ Who the hell is Soupy Sales ‘ ?

Well, if you don’t know you can always look him up on Wikipedia.

I loved Soup. Jeez, I grew up on him. He launched his television career the same year I was born…1953 from WXYZ-TV in Detroit…just two hours down the highway from my home in London, Ontario. In those days you could only get half a dozen channels and the most powerful ones were beaming their signals into Canadian homes directly across the Great Lakes.

soupy sales showSoupy Sales was a perfect representative of the heyday of local television production, when any crazy kook could seemingly launch a show and build a loyal audience. There were kids show hosts (like Soup) and local game shows and (my personal favorite) the Saturday afternoon horror movie host. I will never forget Ernie Anderson as Ghoulardi out of WJW-TV in Cleveland. Every tv station was absolutely cranking out local content as fast as it could. It must have been a blast!  Those days are long gone. I guess I was lucky to have had a little taste of it when I first got into broadcasting in the mid-1970’s but I have always felt like I was born about ten years too late.

Television now is a lean, mean, flinty machine, folks. There is no wiggle room for experimentation and local content (outside of News) has pretty much evaporated.  Now that’s the real pie in the face. See ya Soup. You were an original.

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4 Responses to “Bye Soup”

  1. Grant Bowen Says:

    I grew up with southern Ontario TV too. I fondly remember “a fire overnight in Cheektawaga” on Buffalo’s Eyewitness News
    Lot of fires in Cheektawaga… and in North Tonawanda too

    (apologies for my spelling of these illustrious cities)

  2. wayne cox Says:

    Dave,
    I too was saddened by the news of Soupy’s passing. I too was a huge fan and never missed his t.v. show, trying to keep up with his corny jokes, writing them down in a little notebook. Anxiously waiting to see what crazy would arrive at his door. Even if it was just Fang, it was always a riot.
    I had the opportunity of seeing Soupy in person, in Montreal during Expo 67. He was starring in the live production of Hellzapoppin. Very funny!
    You’re right, it was a wonderful free-wheeling era in radio and television. One of Soup’s most memorable tv gags….he told kids to go into Mom and Dad’s bedroom, search through Dad’s pants pockets and when you find some paper that has a President’s face on it, mail it to me here at the station. Yes, he was either fired, fined, or both.
    Great Showbiz.
    Wayne

  3. Peter Clemente Says:

    Don’t forget Josephus Josiatui, a.k.a. “J.P.Patches” on either KING 5 or Kiro 7 out of Seattle. He is still alive and shows up on channel 9 about once ever 2-years during a pledge drive. He has 100’s of hours of kinescoped J.P.Patches programs that he brings with him. It is very special day when that happens. Nothing on earth like live T.V. a la 1950’s and ’60’s.

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