Biography

Charles 'Chic' Sale was primarily a stage comedian, who, although he infrequently appeared on Broadway from 1902-30 and appeared in a handful of silent films, spent the majority of his career treading the boards of vaudeville as a comedian, usually in the persona of 'Lem Putt', a carpenter from Urbana, Illinois who specialized in the building of outhouses.

By age 49 his stage act had become so popular that he felt compelled to write, with the help of two newspaper writers, a 3000-word collection of his monologues (at the urging of his lawyer who expressed dismay over lesser comedians stealing his act), which was published as "The Specialist". The book was a huge hit, published in nine languages, and remains in print to this day. (Sale took six months off touring to personally answer fan mail resulting from the book. A sequel was published as "I'll Tell You Why".) During the 1930s and '40s there were outhouses sporting "Chic Sale" signs all over the world, his name becoming synonymous for toilet (which didn't please him in the least) and the butt of fellow comedian Groucho Marx's jokes.

After appearing in a flop Broadway show in 1930, Sale headed for Hollywood for good and became, thanks to effective makeup and complete mastery of his lanky body, a character actor. Still in his mid to late 40s, he convincingly played octogenarians. He did this so well that it was quite a shock to see him out of make-up; he was unrecognizable from his old man screen persona.

Chic Sale died of pneumonia in 1936 at just 51 years of age. He was survived by his wife Marie.

Charles 'Chic' Sale was primarily a stage comedian, who, although he infrequently appeared on Broadway from 1902-30 and appeared in a handful of silent films, spent the majority of his career treading the boards of vaudeville as a comedian, usually in the persona of 'Lem Putt', a carpenter from Urbana, Illinois who specialized in the building of outhouses.

By age 49 his stage act had become so popular that he felt compelled to write, with the help of two newspaper writers, a 3000-word collection of his monologues (at the urging of his lawyer who expressed dismay over lesser comedians stealing his act), which was published as "The Specialist". The book was a huge hit, published in nine languages, and remains in print to this day. (Sale took six months off touring to personally answer fan mail resulting from the book. A sequel was published as "I'll Tell You Why".) During the 1930s and '40s there were outhouses sporting "Chic Sale" signs all over the world, his name becoming synonymous for toilet (which didn't please him in the least) and the butt of fellow comedian Groucho Marx's jokes.

After appearing in a flop Broadway show in 1930, Sale headed for Hollywood for good and became, thanks to effective makeup and complete mastery of his lanky body, a character actor. Still in his mid to late 40s, he convincingly played octogenarians. He did this so well that it was quite a shock to see him out of make-up; he was unrecognizable from his old man screen persona.

Chic Sale died of pneumonia in 1936 at just 51 years of age. He was survived by his wife Marie.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 22

Birthday 1885-08-25

Day of Death 1936-11-07

Place of Birth Huron, South Dakota, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Charles Partlow Sale
  • Charles Sale
  • Chas. 'Chic' Sale
  • Chick Sale
  • Chic Sale

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1988 James Stewart's Wonderful Life as (archive footage)
1937 You Only Live Once as Ethan
1936 The Man I Marry as Sheriff Clem Loudecker
1936 The Gentleman from Louisiana as Deacon Devlin
1936 Old Shep as Farmer
1936 Important News as Elmer 'Scoop' Stevens
1936 Man Hunt as Ed Hoggins
1935 The Great American Pie Company as Ephraim Deacon
1935 The Perfect Tribute as Abraham Lincoln
1935 Rocky Mountain Mystery as Tex Murdock
1934 Treasure Island as Ben Gunn
1934 Hollywood on Parade No. B-9
1933 The Chief as Uncle Joe
1933 Whisperin' Bill as Mr. Bowman
1932 Men Of America as Smokey Miller
1932 A Slip at the Switch as Lem
1932 When a Feller Needs a Friend as Uncle Jonas Tucker
1932 The Expert as John T. Minick
1931 The Star Witness as Private 'Grandpa' Summerill
1931 Stranger in Town as Ulysses Crickle
1924 The New School Teacher as Professor Timmons
1921 His Nibs

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