Once upon a time, there was a TV show host whose brand of humor was really popular with the kids! Pictured above, his name was Soupy Sales. I suppose he could be best described as a 60s predecessor to Pee-Wee Herman minus the influence of hallucinogens. Soupy's show was probably more along the lines of his contemporaries like Captain Kangaroo and Shari Lewis.
Sometime during the mid-60s, someone got the idea that Soupy would translate well to the comic book page. Not so unusual, really; many TV and movie properties of the time were adapted sequentially (yes, even the Beverly Hillbillies!). Dell and Gold Key were the primary comics publishers to scoop up publishing rights. So did these comic book giants have their sights set on the man called Soupy? Maybe, but, believe it or not, John Goldwater and the gang at Archie Comics published a one-shot comic in 1965 based on the adventures of Mr. Sales.
I vaguely remember seeing Soupy on TV when I was a child. It was probably during the late 70s when his career was fading. Some of you probably don't know who I'm talking about. You can search him on Youtube for clips from his shows. Or if you have nothing else to do, you can scroll through this post if you're curious as to how Archie portrayed this icon of kiddie shows! Let's do it!
Yes, our pal Soupy is credited with inventing a dance step called "The Mouse." I'm not sure if it was popular enough to surpass The Twist, The Mashed Potato, or even The Funky Chicken, but I'd be embarrassed to attempt this, even if I was alive back then. But Archie and his gal pals are eating it up! Wanna see Soupy in action? Here you go:
Now doesn't that make you want to move the coffee table out of the way and get your Mouse on? Yeah, me neither!
First page, we see Soupy (or at least Archie's version) singing and dancing his signature moves but is interrupted by a knock at the door. Must be a small child or a dwarf, judging the way Soupy is stooping.
Another thing I noticed at the bottom is that the comic is "published bi-monthly." Plans must have been made to have this train wreck continue as a series, but sales figures must have been below par. Poor marketing probably doomed this comic from the start or perhaps millions of Soupy fans just weren't interested in a comic book version. Sorry, Soups!
So we don't actually see this real mouse! The powers at Archie likely didn't want letters from Disney's lawyers.
Oh, ha, ha, ha! The mouse is so small it could only hit Soupy's shins! That's hilarious!
Hey, at least Soupy didn't get a beatdown like this (NOTE: Not Safe For Work!):
Ouch! Poor Joe!
Knock-knock jokes and pies in the face! Oh, please, stop! This is just too much! I'm just ROTFLMAO!!!
A marble cake? I think a better punchline would be something like "Grandma's Christmas fruitcake"! Not only are those things hard, they last for years and are hard to digest!
And the hilarity continues with flying boxing gloves to the face! This would have been funnier if the radio was lowered about two feet!
Apparently the writer has run out of gags featuring Soupy, so he has to resort to featuring a couple of young Soupy fans! Really reaching here!
So the young lad can't differentiate between the cards and the gum! Not the sharpest tool in the shed, is he? Sure, that bubble gum is stiff like the cards, but other than that...
If I were Soupy, I'd file a complaint with the PD's internal affairs department (after he gets checked out for a possible concussion). I'm pretty sure it's against department policy to use civilians as battering rams!
Is the sign misleading? Yes! Is it false advertising? I don't think so, unless Soupy can produce a larger plate from somewhere else in town, then he might have a case!
Can't you just picture teenagers in the mid-60s standing on street corners bragging about their Soupy fandom? And I thought Trekkies were bad!
Some fan! Even after Soupy showers the kid with gifts, he's going to trade all those cards for a Mickey Mantle baseball card! On the other hand, it's probably the shrewdest trade he could make! That Mickey Mantle card is probably worth thousands!
Just a thread from a sweater? Why not the whole sweater? The writer would have us believe that Soupy gets mauled by pretty girls as if he were one of the Beatles.
Whoever this girl is (Veronica with a bob haircut?), she obviously doesn't have a problem with destroying theater property to show her devotion to Soupy.
I hope that's a cardboard cutout he's got in that sack! If not, he's going to learn really fast the penalty for kidnapping! And girlie, you might want to apologize profusely to Soupy; it might prevent your being charged as an accessory!
Jughead has the right idea! Better to enjoy some brie than engage in this silly fad!
Did Goldwater outsource this story to a writer from the UK? "Telly"? Or maybe the Lodges have been faking their American accents for years but let their guard down for a moment.
OK, nevermind. Mr. Lodge is about to disappoint his daughter and her friends by hogging the TV. So what is his favorite program? "Perry Mason"? "Burke's Law"? "Gunsmoke"? "I Dream Of Jeannie"? Are YOU in for a surprise?
The gang is relieved that Lodge is a Soupy fan, too! An Archie fan...not so much! Nothing new though; Archie has been a thorn in Mr. Lodge's side for decades!
OK, Archie, maybe it's time for you to seek therapy. You're taking your Soupy obsession to an unhealthy level.
And where did Lodge get that pie all of a sudden? Just wondering...
And we conclude with the back page of the first, last, and only issue of the Soupy Sales comic with Archie dancing the Mouse one last time (as if you didn't get enough from the pages within). And now Reggie gets his turn to hurl a pie at his red-headed frenemy. We don't get to see a pie-covered Archie this time but we do see that Pop Tate's has a well-stocked comics rack (stocked with Archie titles, of course!). Gotta have that product placement to hopefully turn on the Soupy fans to Archie and the gang, right? I'm thinking this book didn't help much. After all, this comic lasted only ONE issue!
As for Soupy, he continued to be a pop culture influence throughout the 60s and into the 70s to an extent. Yes, I did rip on him some in this post, but it's obvious he was loved by many. He and his puppet pals entertained millions for years, so he obviously did something right. Many of those same fans fondly remember him to this day and were surely heartbroken when he passed away in 2009, RIP, Soupy!
So that wraps this post on Funny Book Funnies! Join us in about a week or two when Mayda Munny launches yet another scheme to lure Richie Rich away from girlfriend Gloria. What's the plan this time? Would you believe...a makeover? That's right! Check out the jaw-dropping post next time!