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Soupy with Pie in FaceSoupy 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 the face.


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
Laughing guy

...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 car holder.


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