Saturday, November 7, 2009


Our dear friend DAN LINCK (he produced "GOIN' UP") has the kid-show jones in his DNA. He just posted a Big Bowl Of Soupy memories in our comment section, and it's so well written I couldn't just leave it there. So - - illustrated with pictures from the Flexitoon archive - - here's guest blogger Dan REMEMBERING SOUPY. . .

Soupy's humor talked up to us, cracking us up along with the crew of 50-something union lifers, which made it hilarious.

Soup, in constant mental hotfoot, Southern twang dripping like Carolina molasses, gave the joke, often was the joke and made the straight man an artform. An unselfish performer, he let Clyde Adler run amuck with his myriad characters, CA getting more out of one hand and forearm than a whole company of lesser improvisational geniuses.
The two of them (and Frank Nastasi in New York) kept the circus riveting and rolling for the fastest 30 minutes on black and white TV. Soup was the ringleader, the best friend, the cool uncle who never creeped you out and just gave you laughs with genuine innocuous warmth, for it was his heart out there dancing as fast as his wit. He was a kid in an adult suit, a PeeWee's Playhouse without the over-effort, allowing the laughs to come from character and a cast trying to one up each other -- and let you in on it. Irreverence ruled. Like a Warner Bros cartoon, the inferences might of jumped over our heads, but the ghist, the attitude, stuck...and we learned a more sophisticated humor from it. Way before kid shows started their Barneyizing devolution, kids were thought to have brains and Soupy was among the elite, the best of them took that and ran with it. Paul Winchell, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett. . .

. . . Chuck Jones might have first been aiming at adult theatre auds but never diluted their material - when TV appeared and the audience was clearly young, they stayed smart, unleashed their inner childs and brought us up to their level using tools they invented -- no babytalk, no simplification, no explanations...teaching us puns and how a joke worked without our knowing. Soup was a comedia del arte clown for the electronic age, sans makeup, as he needed none. (but he'd be getting a pie any second) By using a blackboard for sayings of the day and other groaners, he brought the familiar schoolroom tool into a new realm -- instead of lessons, we got jokes and we absorbed them twice as fast.

Soup knew when it was time to take a break -- no narcissicist he. He'd do his bit and bang! It was time for Pookie "Hey...Boob-bee-ing" at the window, giving a hand-puppet double-take that outdid Red Skelton.

Bang! It was the hard sell con man at the front door pointing, jabbing, and finally dumping a pail of something on Soup or setting up one of Soup's baaaadddd puns.

Boom! It was White Fang, a white polar bearish dog arm with an arresting speech impediment "rah-uh-row"-ing with a demented jazz scat and slapping The Soup around like a rag doll.

And of course, his alter ego Black Tooth, a black feminized "dawgie" arm whose mission in life was to shower Soup with loud, puckerized smacks of canine love mwahs.

And he broke the fourth wall as an artform, possibly creating a fifth -- we were in that room with him. Fast, fun, warm, easy and altogether smart, Soup set the bar for the hosted kid show that was never crossed. His Fosbury Flop coasted up to heights rarely seen since, over that bar and into our collective memories. A true gift from a true talent. The world just became, contrary to current global warming dogma, a colder place with the passing of this true intuitive showman with magic in each one of those stage-manager-launched pies.

Rah-uh-row. We'll miss ya, Soupy.

Dan Linck


  1. Dear Craig,

    Great Photos of Soupy's tv shows over the years..When I met Soupy

    a few years ago.

    I showed to him the photo of Mr.Clyde Adler throwing that pie into

    Soupy's face on the latter's friday night ABC TV "Soupy Sales Show".

    I asked him..what was the name of the little old guy..handing the

    pie to Mr.Adler's "White Fang"?

    Was he a director or an asistant director or a stage hand?

    Soupy told me that his name was Bobby and he was a stage hand

    on the show.

    The photo of Soupy..sporting his trademark beat up black top hat,

    floppy checkered bow tie,black sweater and being carressed by that

    black paw.

    According to the tv history book"How Sweet it Was"by Arthur Shulman

    & Roger Youman..that is not "Black Tooth"..that is a forgotten character

    from The ABC TV Network version of the show known as"Marilyn Monwolf".

    (A spoof of Ms.Marilyn Monroe)

    Thanks for sharing these rare photos of Soupy's TV work,


  2. Dear Craig,

    The original "Words Of Wisedom"that Soupy used on his ABC TV Network

    version of"Lunch With Soupy Sales"were not all comedic.

    Here is one that was used on his WXYZ TV Ch.7 Detroit,Mi.

    edition of the show"Roses Are Red..Violets are blue..Eating too

    many goodies can spoil a meal for you. Cut down on sweets right

    before dinner and your appetite will be a winner!".

    This edition of "Soupy Sez!:The Words Of Wisedom"can be seen as a

    kinnie film clip from The A&E"Biography"TV tribute to Soupy at "You