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January 8: Soupy Sales

Soupy Sales (Milton Supman) was born on this day in 1926 in Franklinton, North Carolina. His parents were dry goods merchants (the local Ku Klux Klan, Soupy joked, bought their sheets from his folks) who nicknamed their sons ‘Hambone,’ ‘Chicken Bone’ and ‘Soup Bone.’ Milton shortened his nickname to Soupy and turned his family’s bent […]

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December 25: Rod Serling

Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) and one of the first screenwriters to recognize the potential of television for drama, was born on this day in 1924 in Syracuse, New York. A paratrooper in World War II, Serling suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome. He became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War and […]

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December 21: Paul Winchell

Ventriloquist Paul Winchell was born on this date in 1922. With his dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, Winchell hosted one of the most popular children’s television shows of the mid-1960s and (along with Shari Lewis) introduced the MAD magazine generation to the magic of ventriloquism. Winchell was also an inventor, the first person to […]

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