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Comedian Soupy Sales (January 8, 1926-October 22, 2009) was born Milton Supman in North Carolina and raised in Huntington. He achieved fame as a wacky, pie-throwing television personality. After graduating in 1943 from Huntington High School and then earning a B.A. in journalism from Marshall College (now Marshall University), he started his career as a script writer and disc jockey at WHTN Radio in Huntington. At night, he played club dates in the Tri-State area.

In 1950, Sales left Huntington and broke into television, hosting children’s shows in Cincinnati, Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles. ABC aired Lunch with Soupy Sales on Saturdays during the 1959–60 season, and brought the show back from December of 1960 to March of 1961. From January to March of 1962, Sales hosted an ABC mid-season nighttime replacement series from Hollywood. The Soupy Sales Show, a weekday morning show, debuted in 1964 from New York, and went into national syndication from 1965 to 1967. In 1976, Sales hosted ABC’s one-season morning game show, Junior Almost Anything Goes. Another Soupy Sales Show was offered in syndication in 1978 and lasted a year. Sales also made appearances on prime-time television shows including The Ed Sullivan Show.

Sales published a memoir, Soupy Sez in 2003. His zany and witty slapstick style endeared him to generations of fans. He received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Marshall University and is honored by the Soupy Sales Plaza in front of the Mountain Health Arena and Convention Center (formerly Huntington Civic Center). Sales lived in New York City, where he died.

This Article was written by Larry Sonis

Last Revised on August 16, 2023

Cite This Article

Sonis, Larry "Soupy Sales." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 16 August 2023. Web. 30 May 2024.


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