Soupy Sales died yesterday. He was one of the greatest Jews who ever lived. Or, to be more specific, one of the greatest Jews who ever lived in Franklinton, North Carolina. There were five Jews in Franklinton: Mr. and Mrs. Milton Supman (pronounced “soup man”) and their three sons whom they nicknamed Hambone, Chickenbone, and Soupbone (honestly). Milt owned a dry goods store and sold sheets to members of the KKK (also honestly).
I watched the Soupy Sales Show religiously. He seemed to be a true anarchist. And he loved pie. What’s not to like? Plus he had his two dogs (puppets really) White Fang and Black Tooth, the meanest and nicest dogs in America, respectively. My favorite line of the show was “Black Tooth, don’t kiss.” I use it to this day. In fact I spend most days looking for a opportunity to say, “Black Tooth, don’t kiss.” When I finally find the right moment and utter these immortal words, I get a warn feeling inside and know my day is complete. I should probably live alone.
I learned how to dance from Soupy Sales. Soupy did this odd shuffle thing that I copied. It made me stand out on the dance floor. When I realized people were just staring at me, I would say, “Black Tooth, don’t kiss.” It was a non sequitur, but I could never think of anything else to say.
Some of you know this dance move, though unlike myself you may not performed it in the last day or two. As a tribute to and in memory of Soupy Sales I invite all of you who know this dance to dance together with me today at noon Eastern Time (11 Central, 10 Mountain, 9 Pacific).
Soupy Sales is famous for lots of things, not the least among them his on-air pitch to each of the children of America to send him a dollar. Eighty thousand dollars in Monopoly money flowed in. I like to think that it was Soup Sales, a Jew, who gave Evangelical preachers the idea to go on television and ask for money. It isn’t true, of course, but I like to think that.
I like to think a lot of things. Right now I like to think of Soupy Sales, the Greatest Jew of Franklinton, NC, being graciously welcomed into Heaven by God, and having Soupy pie the Almighty in the face. With God and Soupy laughing joyously, Black Tooth runs up and licks God’s face clean while Soupy himself says, “Black Tooth, don’t kiss!”
My day is complete.