Friday, October 23, 2009
Soupy Sales :(
When I arrived at the radio station this morning I had heard on the CBS News at the top of the hour that legendary comedian Soupy Sales had passed away at the age of 83. I was bummed. I mean, I knew he was not doing too well but it still takes your breath away some when you hear about the passing of someone who you actually got to know. Long before I started working for The Improv I was the host and manager for a comedy club in Reno called Just For Laughs. They would rotate the managers/comics every few months and I was fortunate that during my watch Soupy Sales was booked for an entire week! I was so jazzed and nervous both at the same time being able to work with such an iconic figure. In addition to being the host the week he was here I was also assigned to be with him when we would do radio and TV to promote his week at the comedy club. The hotel gave us access to a limo and I took Soupy to several radio and TV stations and had a blast just hanging out with him. I asked him if it would be okay to videotape him in the limo while doing the publicity so he could tell some of the more memorable stories about old Hollywood and what it was like working during the golden age of comedy and when television was just starting to emerge as a force for the 'live' comedic variety shows. Soupy had one of the most groundbreaking shows on television and of course most still remember him for his pie throwing antics.He gave me several videos of his TV show and while we were waiting for lunch one day started drawing stick figures of him throwing pies at other stick figures and then just gave them to me. I have so many fond memories and was also fortunate to meet his wife, Trudy who was also a New York City Music Radio Hall Rockette. Not long after his week at Just For Laughs I was at San Jose's Cinequest Film Festival reviewing some movies and met Christopher Cage (Nicolaus Cage's brother) and when he found out I had this video of Soupy wanted to know if I would sell it to him. The offer was nice buty I had promised Soupy I wouldn't it so I passed. It's weird when you actually know people you grew up only knowing on TV and then one day get to work with them professionally. Surreal. I miss Soupy and will always remember those cool stories of his both on and off stage.