Alice Cooper on The Soupy Sales Show
Alice Cooper’s many appearances on The Muppet Show have become legendary, and mark him as someone who doesn’t take his dark persona too seriously. But The Muppet Show was fun for all ages, and especially with the benefit of hindsight, he doesn’t seem that out of place among the Muppets. Alice Cooper probably has at least a little Muppet DNA in him and is as much a vaudeville showman as he is a shock rocker, as anyone who’s seen Mae West’s camp swansong Sextette knows.
His appearance on The Soupy Sales Show, however, was complete anarchy. Soupy Sales was the manic missing link between The Marx Brothers and Peewee Herman and is best remembered for telling his young audience to mail him the “funny green pieces of paper” from their parents' wallets and the national furor that ensued.
Alice Cooper appeared on The Muppet Show dressed as Bela Lugosi’s dapper Dracula, but on a show that was exclusively for children, he looked like a zombie leather daddy who’d just lost a fight with a lump of engine grease. The sketch involved Soupy discovering a spider that plays piano; Alice Cooper wants to recruit the spider as an opening act until the world’s meanest dog smashes it with a mallet from off-screen. When Cooper rips up the contract he takes a cream pie to the face in retaliation. Soupy Sales made Alice Cooper seem reserved.
At about this time, Sales’ two sons Hunt and Tony were in a band with fellow Detroit rock legend Iggy Pop, and would go on to play in David Bowie’s late 80s band, Tin Machine.