The Way it Was

1956, Comedian Soupy Sales


Comedian Soupy Sales hugs a fan in a Christmas episode of his show // Photograph Courtesy of The Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

1956Comedian Soupy Sales loved children as much as he enjoyed taking a signature cream pie to the face. He hugs a young fan here during a Christmastime episode in this circa 1956 photo. His Lunch with Soupy (originally called 12 O’Clock Comics and later titled The Soupy Sales Show) was a live TV show filmed at WXYZ’s studios in the Maccabees Building in Midtown Detroit. It debuted in 1953. Sales delighted kiddies with his wacky skits and zany puppets White Fang, Black Tooth, and Pookie the Lion. But his fans weren’t limited to the pint-size set. He also had a late-night show called Soupy’s On, a comedy/variety directed at adults. A jazz buff, Sales often invited top performers on the show, including Duke Ellington, George Shearing, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. In 1960, Sales moved from Detroit and had shows in Los Angeles and New York, but he was always grateful for the start Detroit gave him. In 2001, he published his memoir, Soupy Sez! Sales was born Milton Supman in 1926 in Franklinton, N.C., and grew up in West Virginia. He worked in radio and television in Cincinnati and Cleveland before hitting it big in Detroit. In 2009, Sales died of cancer in New York at the age of 83.


Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Web Exclusive: Meeting the Beatles

Fifty years ago, a Detroit-area teenager won a contest to meet The Beatles.

Rocking in Style

John Varvatos and Alice Cooper talk about their musical and fashion influences — and Detroit’s comeback

Well-Versed in Classics

DSO oboe player tools around town in a rare pair of turquoise 1962 Lincoln Continentals

All Dressed Up & Ready ...

Cobo Center is still a work in progress, but Auto Show visitors will notice a host of improvements

One Night Only: Steven Spielberg and John Williams at the DSO

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Makings of the Shinola Hotel
    When the Detroit brand’s first foray into hospitality opens its doors, it’ll offer customers...
  2. My Two Christmases
    An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
  3. An Hour with ... Carmen Harlan
    Broadcast journalist and founder of the Carmen Harlan Collection
  4. New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn Style
    Tips for celebrating 2019 from the pros at Brooklyn Outdoor
  5. Hour Detroit and Detroit Home’s Downtown Living Tour 2018
    Hour Detroit and Detroit Home’s third annual Downtown Living Tour took place September 7th-9th....
  6. Main Review: SheWolf
    Born in Detroit but inspired by Rome, SheWolf takes diners on a culinary journey
  7. God-Given Talent
    A local choir sings its way to live television
  8. Cocktail Recipe: Toddy Incarnata
  9. Meet the Makers: Tait Design Co.
    How an after-work hobby ascended to a booming business
  10. The Art of Gifting
    Metro Detroit tastemakers from all walks of life offer a glimpse of what’s on their holiday...