Soupy Sales 'Pie in the
Face' - In the tradition of the Mack Sennett slapstick
comedies, Soupy Sales' trademark was the pie in the face.
During his career, Soupy reportedly got hit with over 20,000
pies. (actually aerosol shaving creme). His pie in the face
gimmick really caught on when Frank Sinatra (a big fan of
Soupy) requested to visit Soupy's show (THE SOUPY SALES SHOW)
and be hit in the face with a pie. Reportedly, Frank wanted to
impress his children. Other celebrities to come under the
creme included Sammy Davis, Jr., Trini Lopez, Burt Lancaster,
Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis, Mickey Rooney, and Bob Cummings.
In his autobiography "Soupy Sez! My Life and Zany Times",
Soupy revealed just why he started to get hit in the face with
a pie in the first place.
"When you're young (and desperate) you do things you wouldn't
ever do when you're older. But when you're 24, you'd do just
about anything -- I've got pictures to prove that --
especially if you're a comedian and there's the possibility of
getting a laugh."
Long before Soupy threw his pies, however, early Keystone
movie comedies were famous for pie-throwing. Legend has it
that comedienne Mabel Normand threw the first pie during a
filming break on a Mack Sennett movie lot. Grabbing a lemon
meringue pie a workman was saving for lunch, she let it fly at
Ben Turpin to make him laugh. An alert cameraman began
cranking the camera and got the whole bit on film. In the film
A Muddy Romance (1914), Mabel Normand gets hit in the face
with a pie. Since then, the likes of the Three Stooges and
others took the silly act and turned it into high art.
In later years, during an eight-day shooting of a pie throwing
scene in Blake Edward's The Great Race (1965), a total of
2,357 pies were tossed on the set. The raucous game show THE
CHEAP SHOW/SYN/1978 punished incorrect answers with a pie in
Lyrics to Soupy's Song "Pie in the Face"
I love to get a pie in the face
Because it makes the people laugh.
It makes them smile, instead of frown
It picks them way up
When they are feeling way down.
I makes the world a happier place
When they smash me with the pie.
That's why I love to get a pie in the face
Cause I'm a love to get 'em
...Would someone get me a towel?
TRIVIA NOTE: On the January
24th, 2006, Tuesday installment of the LATE SHOW WITH DAVID
LETTERMAN, actress Emma Thompson, who had thrown a pie at her
co-star Angela Lansbury in her latest film "Nanny McPhee",
spoke of the incident saying "Proudest moment of my acting
career, really. I didn't know that pie-throwing was so
cathartic. It's heaven throwing pies. But they have to have
weight to them - heavy cream." As Emma finished, host David
Letter produced a cream pie and challenged her to a pie
throwing competition. Obliging, she threw a pie at Dave and
hit half of his face. Dave responded in kind with a counter
attack and hit Emma in the face as well. The whole incident
sparked a frenzy of pie throwing that involved the show's
bandleader (Paul Shaffer), the show's announcer and the cue
Back to Top