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Tim Boxer

Boxer Shorts

Joseph B. Sprung and Diane LempertBEARS BRING BLISS Joseph B. Sprung, chairman, and
Diane Lempert, president, launch Bear Givers Inc. at a
reception at JBS Financial Services on Madison Avenue.
The program empowers schoolchildren and others to
engage in acts of charity by presenting gifts of teddy bears
to kids and adults with special needs. To participate visit

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THE ELDERS Sheldon Ritz, special projects manager at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, greets President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chairman of the Elders, an independent group of eminent global leaders, at a luncheon at the hotel.
Photo by Oren Cohen


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Soupy Sales signs his book at the Friars Club in 2001
Soupy Sales signs his book at the Friars Club in 2001
The Success Of Soupy Sales

OUPY SALES, who died on Oct. 22 at age 83, was born Milton Supman in Franklinton, N.C., where his father Irving was in the dry goods business.

"The local Ku Klux Klan," Soupy told me, "had to come to this Jew to buy sheets."

He gave credit to everyone and the KKK loved him for that. They even asked him to join them.

After Soupy’s father died, his mother Sadie worked 12 hours a day in another southern shtetl, Huntington, W.Va., to put her three sons through school. One became a doctor, the other a lawyer, and Soupy the class terror? After graduation from Marshall College in Huntington he went on years later to become the rising star of a 1960s television show where he made a career of throwing some 19,000 custard pies in the kisser of such victims as Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Jerry Lewis and many others who pleaded to be a target on the highly rated nonsensical children’s show.

Soup, who saw himself as a straight man in a world full of kooks, told his life story – better than any obit writer could – in his book, "Soupy Sez: My Life and Zany Times." Nipsey Russell, Kenny Kramer, Larry Storch and Vincent Pastore (Pussy of The Sopranos) came to Soupy’s book party at the Friars Club in 2001 where, instead of a pie in the eye, they hurled zany jokes in his direction.

Appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show, Soupy asked the host, "Mind if I throw you a pie?" Sure, Sullivan said, then hesitantly asked, "What’s in it?"

He needn’t worry. The pie was topped, as always, with shaving cream.

Mickey Freeman, who played Private Zimmerman on The Phil Silvers Show in the late ‘50s, reported at the Friars that Soupy’s book was already in its third printing. "The first two were blurred."

Mickey was on a roll, so he continued: "Soupy, your book saved my house. I had a card table with one short leg."

Bernie Ilson, Soupy’s publicist for 10 years from 1965, told me his client was the easiest to work with. "What you saw on the show was the same in real life," Ilson said. "Always on."

Soupy was hard working, getting up at 5 a.m. every weekday to prepare for a show that went live at 10 a.m.

"It was a one-man operation," Ilson said. "He wrote, planned and performed all by himself. It wasn’t just for children – adults loved the slapstick humor."

Soupy once told a story about a beer commercial he did. He had 30 seconds to open a bottle of beer before the shoot, but there was no bottle opener. In a panic he called out if anybody had one. A sophisticated gentleman walked up, put his wooden leg on the table and opened the beer bottle with an opener attached to his leg.


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Lou Jacobi always made you laugh with a one-liner or a two-step
Lou Jacobi always made you laugh with a one-liner or
a two-step
We’ll Miss Lou Jacobi’s Wisecracks

 MET Lou Jacobi many times, and each time I’d leave with a pocketful of one-liners. At the Stage Deli he asked the waiter, "What do you have that will give me heartburn right now instead of two in the morning?"

He asked a customer, ‘What’s the latest dope on Wall Street?" The customer said, "My son."

I won’t be meeting Lou anymore. He died on Oct. 23 at age 95 at his home on Central Park South in Manhattan.

Born Louis Harold Jacobovitch in Toronto "on the seventh Hanukkah candle," Lou got an early start in show business. At age three his father Joseph, who sometimes served as a cantor, taught him to sing "God, don’t desert me in my old age" from the Hebrew liturgy.

Lou’s mother Fay was furious: "Why teach a three-year-old a song like that?" The father said, "Let him know what it is to grow old."

His father spent a small fortune trying to make his 10-year-old son into a concert violinist. Eventually Lou hung up the fiddle and stepped out as a standup comedian, raconteur and character actor. It was the Great Depression and his father was horrified that his son would become a bum.

In his repertoire Lou delighted in relating the story of a rebbe who grabs a Jew off the street and tells him, "I need you for a special job. Stand on the roof of the shul as a lookout for the moshiach." The man wanted to know if it’s a steady job. "A steady job?" the rebbe exclaimed. "It’s a lifetime job!"

Lou made his Broadway debut in The Diary of Anne Frank in 1955. He gave the play eight days to run. It ran two and a half years. Lou appeared in a total of 10 Broadway plays.

An unknown writer tried to interest Lou in his play. Lou declined. He sent the script again, and again Lou rejected it. After getting it a third time, Lou finally agreed to do it. With Lou in a major role, Come Blow Your Horn was a Broadway smash for 80 weeks and proved a huge success for the up-and-coming playwright by the name of Neil Simon.

Lou married Ruth Ludwin of Teaneck, N.J., in 1957 under a chupah outside during his filming of Anne Frank in Hollywood. It was a Hollywood wedding that Jack Warden and Jack Klugman said wouldn’t last three weeks. It lasted until Ruth’s death in 2004.

"Ruth had to do something about the Six Million," Lou told me. "She had gone to Israel in 1948 and became a founder of Hasolelim, a kibbutz in the Galilee. I visited in 1968 and it was a remarkable achievement."

In 1982 Lou told me about working with Peter O’Toole and Lainie Kazan in My Favorite Year. It was a film for MGM which, he insisted, stands for "My Gantze Mishpocha."

Lou said he didn’t have to audition for the director, Richard Benjamin. "For a secure director, who knows what he wants, you don’t have to audition."

That reminded him of the young actress who auditioned 940 times over the years and was always rejected. One day she auditioned and the director said, ‘You got the part." She said, "I’m sorry, sir, I only do auditions."


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