Friday, October 23, 2009

Sidecars for Soupy!

I won't go into the usual maudlin boomer banalities about Feeling Old When One's Childhood Idols die. Nobody gets out of here alive, famous or no...

But gee, I didn't need to hear about Soupy Sales on this "strange and mournful day," to quote the Paul Simon song. Soupy Sales was as much a hero in my growing-up household as Jean Shepherd and Ernie Kovacs. I remember when Ernie Kovacs died--way too young in an auto crash--that my parents were so upset I assumed he must have been a relative. I think I was well into my teens before I realized that he had not been. Jean Shepherd likewise; although he was a jerk in his personal life (and made a series of very creepy passes at Yours Truly when he visited my college radio station), I had to pull over my car and cry when I heard of his death one early morning on my way to work.

Not Soupy! Not yet!

And could he have been 83--roughly the same generation as my parents, this Mouse-doing sprite of a lunatic? I've been on Youtube all morning, amazed at the man's silly grace. He COULD dance. There's something a little wince-making about a clown, and Soupy was a clown. But he was a clown with the great clowns: shameless, corny, just delightful. He used to make me laugh until my face hurt.

Did anyone besides me see the show he did with Sammy Davis Jr? It was a Chez Bippy episode, and the pie fight got so intense that pies were being applied like deodorant, under the arms--something that I found so screamingly funny at the age of 13 that I could barely breathe.

I'm putting together a Cocktails with Chris for, and there are no MP3 files of The Mouse anywhere! And of all the scratchy 45's we have up at the station, no "Mouse". Nevermind. It'll be all over the TV. I did find a silly take-off by Soupy of MacArthur Park and something called "It's My Ego". And we'll have after-dinner drinks today--stuff that goes with airborne pies. Tune in at 4 EDT today if you get the chance:

RIP Soupy!