Soupy Sales, the KKK, Mister Rogers and me

Two quirky notes about Soupy Sales, the pie-throwing comedian and early TV star who died yesterday:

Obit Soupy Sales1. The AP notes that Sales was born Milton Supman in 1926, in Franklinton, N.C., where his was the only Jewish family in town. His parents owned a dry-goods store and apparently sold sheets to the Ku Klux Klan.

Yikes.

2. TV writer Verne Gay notes that when Fred Rogers — Mister Rogers — graduated from a (Presbyterian) seminary and saw a TV for the first time in his parents’ home, the first thing he saw was Sales and someone else throwing pies at each other.

Mister Rogers was so turned off that he decided to start his own TV show as a non-pie-throwing alternative.

*****

One final, completely unrelated note: When I was a kid, my parents somehow came up with a Soupy Sales doll (remember, he was a big star back in the day). I cried whenever I saw the doll. I still remember the fuzzy black hair on its head.

I think I found a picture of it:

SmallDoll