Soupy Sales Dies At Age 83

The year of celebrity deaths continues with the death of kids’ TV favourite Soupy Sales. His shows were before my time, and yet even as a kid, I’d heard of him. He was sort of a combination of two typical TV types: the kid-friendly comedian who does silly sketches and takes pies in the face, and the all-powerful host and authority figure, like Arthur Godfrey. The combination of adult and kids’ TV styles became a template for a lot of children’s TV (like The Muppet Show, another combination of kiddie-show slapstick with the insincere adult variety show format), and also became the inspiration for a lot of parodies; a lot of Krusty the Klown bits are Sales-inspired. In a way he was the David Letterman of kiddie-show hosts, sort of making fun of his own format and trying to loosen it up a bit.

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