January 8, 1926: Comedian, TV Host Soupy Sales Born

Jan 8, 2018

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Comedian Milton Supman was born on January 8, 1926. Changing his name to Soupy Sales, he became a major TV star in the 1960s.

Although Sales was born in North Carolina, he was raised in Huntington, graduated from Huntington High School, and earned a journalism degree from Marshall College (now University). He started his comedy career as a script writer and disc jockey at WHTN Radio in Huntington. At night, he played club dates throughout the Tri-State area and honed his witty slapstick style.

In 1950, Sales left Huntington and hosted children’s TV shows in Cincinnati, Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles. He appeared nationally in a number of shows on ABC, including Lunch with Soupy Sales and The Soupy Sales Show, a weekday morning program that debuted in 1964. Sales made guest appearances on many prime-time programs, including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Beverly Hillbillies.

In 2003, he wrote his memoir, Soupy Sez. He received an honorary doctorate from Marshall University and is honored by the Soupy Sales Plaza at Huntington’s Big Sandy Superstore Arena. Soupy Sales died in New York in 2009 at age 83.