Soupy Sales Money Stunt
- According to a January 1965 report in The
New York Times Soupy was temporarily
suspended from his television job for jokingly
suggesting that his young viewers go to their
parent's pocket books/wallets and send him some
of "little green pieces of paper" to the WNEW-TV
station in New York. His pitch went something
"Last night was New Year's Eve and I bet Mommy
and Daddy are real tired tonight, so tiptoe into
their bedroom and get Dad's wallet or Mommy's
purse and take out the little green pieces of
paper that have the guys with beards on them and
send them to me here at Channel 5 in New York,
and I'll send you a postcard from Puerto Rico."
Unfortunately, an irate mother contacted the
station which promptly suspended him on the
charge that he was "encouraging kids to steal."
However, pressures from popular demand got him
reinstated. The prank netted a few dollars
(allegedly $80,000, mostly Monopoly money). In
retrospect Soupy mused "It was the best thing
that ever happened to me...it made me a star."
Producer Bob Cahn remembered the "Money"
incident differently. He states that 1) It was
him and not Soupy who was suspended; 2) The
$80,000 received was more like two $1 dollar
bills and some Monopoly money; 3) The stunt was
not unique-Soupy had pulled it before; 4) And
the post card was from Buenos Aires, not Puerto
Rico. (TV Guide 8/15/98 p. 38)
On an episode of cartoon series THE BULLWINKLE
SHOW created by Jay Ward, the Bullwinkle Moose
character told audience members (a la Soupy
Sales' prank) to pull the knobs off their TV
sets so that "we'll be sure to be with you next
week." Reportedly some 20,000 kids followed his
advice. Fortunately, the following week
Bullwinkle told the kids to glue the knobs back
onto the sets.
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