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10/22/2010

One year ago: Soupy Sales

October 22, 2010 |  6:00 am

Soupy Soupy Sales was a slapstick comedian whose signature pie-in-the-face antics in the 1960s and '70s earned him national fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As the star of  "The Soupy Sales Show," he performed live on television for 13 years in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York before the program went into syndication in the United States and abroad.

The show contained a cast full of puppets with names such as Wyatt Burp and Marilyn Monwolf. The high point of every episode came when a sidekick launched a pie into Sales' face. Sales once estimated that he was hit by more than 25,000 pies in his lifetime.

Celebrities lined up to get their pie in the face too, as the gag evolved into a hip badge of honor. Frank Sinatra was first in a long line of pop-culture icons who clamored for the privilege to be cream-faced, followed by Tony CurtisMickey Rooney, Sammy Davis Jr., Dick Martin and Burt Lancaster.

Before the days of his fame, Sales fought in the Pacific theater in WWII and worked as a disc jockey and scriptwriter. After his show ran its course, he had a variety of TV and radio gigs, including frequent appearances on a game show called "What's My Line?"

For more on the comedian, read Soupy Sales' obituary by The Times' Elaine Woo. Also, see a photo gallery of moments in his life.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Soupy Sales. Credit: NBC

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