Beloved kiddie show host and '70s game show staple Soupy Sales died yesterday in New York at the age of 83. Sales was known for his deadpan puns, funny faces and pie-throwing routines, all of which made the various incarnation of his '50s and '60s children's shows a hit in the markets where they aired. After a stint in radio, Sales started on TV in Detroit, then moved to Los Angeles, and then New York. Everywhere he went, Sales drew audiences that included almost as many adults as kids, because he laced his shows with jokes aimed over the little one's heads. Show business lore is rife with Sales anecdotes, some of which are true (yes, his crew sometimes surprised him by placing naked women off-camera during broadcasts, and yes he once told his audience to go into their parent's wallets and send him "all the green pieces of paper"), and some not (no, he never said, "That ought to hold the little S.O.B.s" on the air when he thought the cameras were off). After live kiddie shows with hosts fell out of favor, Sales became a regular panelist on game shows like What's My Line, The Match Game and To Tell The Truth, and later he returned to radio (appearing between Howard Stern and Don Imus on WNBC in the '80s) and to nightclubs, where he performed regularly well into the '90s. Sales is survived by his second wife, Trudy Carson Sales, and by his sons from his first marriage, noted rockers Hunt and Tony Sales.
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