It was New Years' Day, 1965. I was five years old. I watched Soupy Sales's program that day, and Soupy told me to remove all the "funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents" out of my parents' wallets and mail them to him. Of course, I did so. I got a severe beating (spent over a week in the hospital, and I still walk kinda funny to this day), my parents sued, lost their case, and lost their house due to all the legal bills. As we struggled to get our lives back in order thanks to Sales' irresponsible prank, we cursed his name every day and I never ever watched any Soupy Sales show again.
And of course, this is bullshit. That said, I think Soupy Sales would appreciate the joke.
Actually, truth be told, I never really paid a lot of attention to the Soupster on TV back in the early '60s. I vaguely remember the version of the show that ABC aired around 1965 or so, which I might have viewed once or twice (probably not on New Years', though) and he was a constant guest-star presence on shows (The Flintstones, even!) that I did watch as that decade went on, continuing in the '70s, where he always seemed to be popping up on game shows and stuff like Love American Style. Still, he was a definite part of the cultural zeitgeist, and everybody knew who the heck he was.
So, it's with a little bit of sadness that I see where he has passed on- while he wasn't as "special" to me as he was to some, He was a small part of my rapidly-fading childhood memories- heck, he even appeared as a panelist on Match Game- and thus will be missed.
The quote above was the only quote I could find attributed to him; I'm sure that better can be found with enough digging, so by all means keep looking!
Another Soupy-related side note- his sons, Hunt and Tony, pursued a career as professional musicians and played on a lot of music that I have bought and listened to- with Todd Rundgren on his first couple of solo albums, on through a short stint in Paris, the post-Fleetwood Mac group with Bob Welch, as well as David Bowie and Iggy Pop in the late '70s, on some of the best albums by either. They reunited with Bowie in his late '80s Tin Machine group project as well.