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Soupy Sales Show, The


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Characters & Voices
Soupy Sales -
Clyde Adler -
Frank Nastasi -
Following the cancellation of his Saturday afternoon kid cult tv comedy series "Lunch With Soupy Sales", Soupy And his comedy asistant and puppeteer, Clyde Adler, continued as a local program on KABC TV Ch.7 in L.A.,Cal. The show was still popular with Southern California viewers, the success of the series soon came to the attention of the heads of The ABC TV Network who were looking for a replacement for The Friday Night "Steve Allen Show".

On Friday Night January 29, 1962 "The Soupy Sales Show" made it's debute on ABC TV. Unlike his previous series, the show dropped the "Lunchtime" segments and the narrations of old silent film comedies in favor of creating and presenting comedy skits and song and dances numbers aimed at a family audience.

The series also featured skits in pantomime where Sales played a hapless character at odds with authority figures.

An extra added attraction were guest appearances from many well known stars. Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, Jerry Lewis, Troy Donahue, Dean Martin and Shirley MacClaine all appeared at the front door of Soupy' house to get a pie from Adler's "White Fang". One unique guest performer was Burt Lancaster, who appeared on the show dressed up in a beat up black top hat, baggy black pull over sweater, white shirt, white jeans and floppy checked bowtie, and when he came thru the front door he got a pie in his face.

"The Soupy Sales Show" became the hit of The ABC TV Network, but the series soon fell prey to creative interference from the network execs and the program was cancelled following it's Friday Night April 13,1962 broadcast.

Soupy went onto to do guest appearances on many tv shows and he appeared in one movie, "The Two Little Bears" with Eddie Albert, Jane Wyatt, Nancy Kulp, Butch Patrick and Brenda Lee. His success as a kid tv comedy performer was still in demand and the heads of WNEW TV Ch.5 in NYC soon contacted him to revive his series in NYC.

Soupy was ready to make the move to New York, but Clyde Adler turned down Sales' offer to do the show again in NYC and he returned to Detroit, Mi. Needing a another comedy asistant and puppteer, Soupy Contacted Frank Nastasi to take Clyde's place. Nastasi had been a performer since his teens. He had worked in repetory and summer stock theater. He had also performed comedy in vaudville, burlesque, in nightclubs and on many local tv shows on WXYZ TV Ch.7 in Detroit.

Nastasi's credits also include working on three popular Detroit, Mi. based kids tv shows: "Tommy Twinkle & The Elf" (as "Mother Goose's bookeeper "Mr.Purdy"), "Barnaby Bear & The Ranger" and "Wyxie's Wonderland!" (In which he played "Gramps"). At the time that he was approached with the offer to do the program. Nastasi was relunctant to work with Soupy. Mainly because he had received an opportunity to perform with a theater Co. in Dallas, Texas. However, after reconsidering Soupy's offer, he agreed to do the show, and on Monday Afternoon September 7,1964 "The Soupy Sales Show"appeared on WNEW TV Ch.5 in NYC.

The show was seen weekday afternoons and Saturday evenings. Unfortuneatly, the show again fell prey to creative interference from the station execs. They objected to The pie throwing, to"White Fang's" grunting sounds and to the appearance of Nastasi dressed up as Soupy's girlfriend "Peaches" (Nastasi would sport a dress sleeve at the front door of Soupy's house, while Sales' appeared in drag on film).

The two comics tried to deal with the problems from management, but it became more and more difficult. One incident that almost ruined the show was Soupy's joke in which he told the kids watching at home to "go into their parents' bedroom" and "Go Into Your Dad's pants and your Mom's pocketbook", get their parents' wallets and grab their monies and to send in the monies from their parents wallets to Soupy's TV Show via the mail, and Sales would send them "A picture postcard from Peutro Rico". The Joke didn't sit well with the station execs or with one mother, who angrily sent two letters of complaint; one to the FCC Commishoner and another to the heads of Metromedia TV demanding that Soupy either be fired or suspended for the stunt.

Contrary to many stories, Sales and Nastasi were not cancelled because of the joke. The pair was suspended for ten days for the stunt, but the kids who didn't believe that their favorite comedy performers were enouraging them to steal from their parents, protested the suspension and "The Soupy Sales Show" returned to Ch.5 as a weekday evening and Saturday morning show.

The show was even bigger hit with viewers and it gave Soupy the opportunity to do personal appearances, cut comedy records for ABC/Paramount and license his characters and format for a plethora of Memorabilia. Sales and Nastasi went to Florida to appear in fantasy film comedy "Birds Do It" with Tab Hunter and Edward Andrews.

New skits and tunes also appeared on the show. The pair did a spoof of crime dramas "The Adventures Of Philo Kevetch" (Soupy played the duel roles of "Philo" and his arch enemy "The Mask". Nastasi played"Onions Oregeno" and "Bruno The Killer Ape). Sales also performed a song titled "The Mouse", that became a rock sensation with the kids and Sales Recording of the tune won a Gold Record and a 1965 Grammy.

Unfortuneately the creative interference from that station execs also returned. They continued to censor the show, until Saturday September 11,1966. Soupy became fed up with the problems caused by management and he quit the show.
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