Soupy Sales, 1926-2009

Do you feel that? The world just got a lot less funny. Comedy icon and TV personality Soupy Sales (born Milton Supman) left us late yesterday at the age of 83, the Los Angeles Times reports. He'd spent the past week in a Bronx, NY hospital in steady decline after years of battling a variety of health issues. Sales leaves behind a great legacy and a large family, including Trudy Carson Sales, his wife of 29 years, two sons, a brother and four grandchildren. Our thoughts are with them all on this difficult day.

Sales was perhaps best known for his long-running sketch comedy TV series, which ran at varying times between 1959 and 1979. "The Soupy Sales Show" operated under several different names and locations during its on-again/off-again run, but it was always marked by a cast of wacky characters -- of both the human and puppet varieties -- notable guest celebrities (a varied list, from Frank Sinatra to Alice Cooper), short, punchy sketches, and thrown pies. There's no "official" tally, but Sales claimed that he'd been hit by more than 25,000 pies over the course of his lifetime. An impressive legacy for any comedian to leave behind, to say the least.

Sales also appeared in a number of films, most notably the 1966 comedy "Birds Do It," in which he starred as a janitor who gains the ability to fly following a freak accident. His song, "The Backwards Alphabet" was featured on the soundtrack of filmmaker John Waters' "A Dirty Shame." Most recently, Sales appeared in the 2005 comedy "Angels with Angles," which also featured notable screen legends Rodney Dangerfield, Adam West, Julie Carmen and Frank Gorshin.

While you're out today, pick up a pie at the bakery. Don't eat it. Throw it at someone you love and laugh so hard you cry. Soupy, wherever he is, will certainly be looking down with a smile on his face.