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Detroit entertainer Soupy Sales is dead at age 83


Detroit entertainer Soupy Sales, who was catapulted to national fame on his comedy and pie-in-the-face slapstick, died today of cancer at Cavalry Hospital in New York City. He was 83.

Born Milton Supman, Sales was beloved by the Baby Boomer generation who rushed home to watch his afternoon show "Lunch with Soupy" on Channel 7-WXYZ.

The show, which also featured the characters Black Tooth and White Fang, later morphed into "The Soupy Sales Show" with much of the North Carolina-born physical-comic's shtick intact. It was ABC's first non-animated Saturday morning program.

Later after he retired his floppy polka-dot bowtie, Sales relocated to New York, where he was a member of the renowned Friars Club.

Sales' former manager Dave Usher recalled how beloved the comedian was nationally; for example, about a year and half ago, the aging comic was recognized outside Carnegie Hall in New York - and literally stopped traffic.

"We just had come in front of a bus, a city bus," Usher said tonight. "The bus driver honked the horn, opened the door of the bus, left all people on the bus and came out and kissed him and couldn't believe it was him. The traffic started, because they had a green light and the bus was still there and all the traffic were still there."
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