The year of celebrity deaths continues with the death of kids’ TV favourite Soupy Sales. His shows were before my time, and yet even as a kid, I’d heard of him. He was sort of a combination of two typical TV types: the kid-friendly comedian who does silly sketches and takes pies in the face, and the all-powerful host and authority figure, like Arthur Godfrey. The combination of adult and kids’ TV styles became a template for a lot of children’s TV (like The Muppet Show, another combination of kiddie-show slapstick with the insincere adult variety show format), and also became the inspiration for a lot of parodies; a lot of Krusty the Klown bits are Sales-inspired. In a way he was the David Letterman of kiddie-show hosts, sort of making fun of his own format and trying to loosen it up a bit.
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