RICHARD BERNARD "RED" SKELTON (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997)
was an American entertainer. He was best known for his national radio
and television acts between 1937 and 1971, and as host of the
The Red Skelton Show
The Red Skelton Show . He has stars on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, and also
appeared in burlesque, vaudeville , films, nightclubs, and casinos,
all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.
Skelton began developing his comedic and pantomime skills from the
age of 10, when he became part of a traveling medicine show . He then
spent time on a showboat , worked the burlesque circuit, then entered
into vaudeville in 1934. The
Doughnut Dunkers was a pantomime sketch
of how different people ate doughnuts which he wrote together with his
wife, and it launched a career for him in vaudeville, radio, and
films. His radio career began in 1937 with a guest appearance on The
Fleischmann\'s Yeast Hour which led to his becoming the host of Avalon
Time in 1938. He became the host of
The Raleigh Cigarette Program in
1941 where many of his comedy characters were created, and he had a
regularly scheduled radio program until 1957. Skelton made his film
debut in 1938 alongside
Ginger Rogers and
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in
Alfred Santell 's
Having Wonderful Time , and he went on to appear in
numerous musical and comedy films throughout the 1940s and early
1950s, with starring roles in
Ship Ahoy (1941),
I Dood It (1943),
Ziegfeld Follies (1946), and The
Skelton was most eager to work in television, even when the medium
was in its infancy.
The Red Skelton Show
The Red Skelton Show made its television premiere
on September 30, 1951 on
NBC . By 1954, Skelton's program moved to CBS
, where it was expanded to one hour and renamed The
Red Skelton Hour
in 1962. Despite high ratings, the show was cancelled by
CBS in 1970,
as the network believed that more youth-oriented programs were needed
to attract younger viewers and their spending power. Skelton moved his
program to NBC, where he completed his last year with a regularly
scheduled television show in 1971. He spent his time after that making
up to 125 personal appearances a year and working on his art.
Skelton's artwork of clowns remained a hobby until 1964 when his wife
Georgia convinced him to have a showing at the Sands Hotel in Las
Vegas while he was performing there. Sales of his originals were
successful, and he also sold prints and lithographs of them, earning
$2.5 million yearly on lithograph sales. At the time of his death, his
art dealer believed that Skelton had earned more money through his
paintings than from his television work.
Skelton believed that his life's work was to make people laugh; he
wanted to be known as a clown because he defined it as being able to
do everything. He had a 70-year career as a performer and entertained
three generations of Americans. His widow donated many of his personal
and professional effects to
Vincennes University , including prints of
his artwork. They are part of the
Red Skelton Museum of American
Comedy at Vincennes.
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Early years, the medicine show and the circus (1913–1929)
Burlesque to vaudeville (1929–1937)
* 1.2.1 "
* 1.3 Film work
* 1.4 Radio, divorce and remarriage (1937–1951)
* 1.4.1 "I dood it!"
* 1.4.2 Divorce from Edna, marriage to Georgia
* 1.4.3 A cast of characters
* 1.5 Television (1951–1970)
* 1.5.1 Richard\'s illness and death
* 1.5.2 The
Red Skelton Hour
* 1.6 Off the air and bitterness (1970–1983)
* 1.7 Skelton onstage
* 1.8 Later years and death
* 2 Art and other interests
* 2.1 Artwork
* 2.2 Other interests
* 3 Fraternity and honors
* 4 Awards and recognition
* 5 Legacy and tributes
* 6 Filmography
* 6.1 Features
* 6.2 Short subjects
* 6.3 Box office ranking
* 7 Published works
* 8 Notes
* 9 References
* 10 Sources cited
* 11 External links
EARLY YEARS, THE MEDICINE SHOW AND THE CIRCUS (1913–1929)
Born on July 18, 1913, in
Vincennes, Indiana , Richard Skelton was
the fourth and youngest son of Ida Mae (née Fields) and Joseph Elmer
Skelton. Joseph, a grocer, died two months before Richard was born; he
had once been a clown with the
Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus . During
Skelton's lifetime there was some dispute about the year of his birth.
Author Wesley Hyatt suggests that since he began working at such an
early age, Skelton may have claimed he was older than he actually was
in order to gain employment. Vincennes neighbors described the
Skelton family as being extremely poor; a childhood friend remembered
that her parents broke up a youthful romance between her sister and
Skelton because they thought he had no future.
Because of the loss of his father, Skelton went to work as early as
the age of seven, selling newspapers and doing other odd jobs to help
his family, who had lost the family store and their home. He quickly
learned the newsboy\'s patter and would keep it up until a prospective
buyer bought a copy of the paper just to quiet him. According to
later accounts, Skelton's early interest in becoming an entertainer
stemmed from an incident that took place in Vincennes around 1923,
when a stranger, supposedly the comedian
Ed Wynn , approached Skelton,
who was the newsboy selling papers outside a Vincennes theater. When
the man asked Skelton what events were going on in town, Skelton
suggested he see the new show in town. The man purchased every paper
Skelton had, providing enough money for the boy to purchase a ticket
for himself. The stranger turned out to be one of the show's stars,
who later took the boy backstage to introduce him to the other
performers. The experience prompted Skelton, who had already shown
comedic tendencies, to pursue a career as a performer.
Skelton discovered at an early age that he could make people laugh.
Skelton dropped out of school around 1926 or 1927, when he was 13 or
14 years old, but he already had some experience performing in
minstrel shows in Vincennes, and on a showboat , "The Cotton Blossom",
that plied the Ohio and Missouri rivers. He enjoyed his work on the
riverboat, moving on only after he realized that showboat
entertainment was coming to an end. Skelton, who was interested in
all forms of acting, took a dramatic role with the John Lawrence stock
theater company, but was unable to deliver his lines in a serious
manner; the audience laughed instead. In another incident, while
performing in Uncle Tom\'s Cabin , Skelton was on an unseen treadmill;
when it malfunctioned and began working in reverse, the frightened
young actor called out, "Help! I'm backing into heaven!" He was fired
before completing a week's work in the role. At the age of 15,
Skelton did some early work on the burlesque circuit, and reportedly
spent four months with the
Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus in 1929, when he
was 16 years old.
Ida Skelton, who held multiple jobs to support her family after the
death of her husband, did not suggest that her youngest son had run
away from home to become an entertainer, but "his destiny had caught
up with him at an early age". She let him go with her blessing. Times
were tough during the
Great Depression , and it may have meant one
less child for her to feed. Around 1929, while Skelton was still a
teen, he joined "Doc" R.E. Lewis's traveling medicine show as an
errand boy who sold bottles of medicine to the audience. During one
show, when Skelton accidentally fell from the stage, breaking several
bottles of medicine as he fell, people laughed. Both Lewis and Skelton
realized one could earn a living with this ability and the fall was
worked into the show. He also told jokes and sang in the medicine show
during his four years there. Skelton earned ten dollars a week, and
sent all of it home to his mother. When she worried that he was
keeping nothing for his own needs, Skelton reassured her: "We get
plenty to eat, and we sleep in the wagon."
BURLESQUE TO VAUDEVILLE (1929–1937)
Red and Edna Skelton at home, 1942
As burlesque comedy material became progressively more ribald ,
Skelton moved on. He insisted that he was no prude; "I just didn't
think the lines were funny". He became a sought-after master of
ceremonies for dance marathons (known as "walkathons" at the time), a
popular fad in the 1930s. The winner of one of the marathons was
Edna Stillwell, an usher at the old Pantages Theater. She
approached Skelton after winning the contest and told him that she did
not like his jokes; he asked if she could do better. They married in
1931 in Kansas City , and Edna began writing his material. At the time
of their marriage Skelton was one month away from his 18th birthday;
Edna was 16. When they learned that Skelton's salary was to be cut,
Edna went to see the boss; he resented the interference, until she
came away with not only a raise, but additional considerations as
well. Since he had left school at an early age, his wife bought
textbooks and taught him what he had missed. With Edna's help, Skelton
received a high school equivalency degree .
The couple put together an act and began booking it at small
midwestern theaters. When an offer came for an engagement in Harwich
Port, Massachusetts , some 2,000 miles from Kansas City, they were
pleased to get it because of its proximity to their ultimate goal, the
vaudeville houses of New York City. To get to Massachusetts they
bought a used car and borrowed five dollars from Edna's mother, but by
the time they arrived in St. Louis they had only fifty cents. Skelton
asked Edna to collect empty cigarette packs; she thought he was
joking, but did as he asked. He then spent their fifty cents on bars
of soap, which they cut into small cubes and wrapped with the tinfoil
from the cigarette packs. By selling their products for fifty cents
each as fog remover for eyeglasses, the Skeltons were able to afford a
hotel room every night as they worked their way to Harwich Port.
John Garfield at the 1944 FDR Birthday Ball
Skelton and Edna worked for a year in
Camden, New Jersey
Camden, New Jersey , and were
able to get an engagement at
Montreal 's Lido Club in 1934 through a
friend who managed the chorus lines at New York's Roxy Theatre .
Despite an initial rocky start, the act was a success, and brought
them more theater dates throughout Canada.
Skelton's performances in Canada led to new opportunities and the
inspiration for a new, innovative routine that brought him recognition
in the years to come. While performing in Montreal, the Skeltons met
Harry Anger, a vaudeville producer for New York City's Loew\'s State
Theatre . Anger promised the pair a booking as a headlining act at
Loew's, but they would need to come up with new material for the
engagement. While the Skeltons were having breakfast in a Montreal
diner, Edna had an idea for a new routine as she and Skelton observed
the other patrons eating doughnuts and drinking coffee. They devised
Doughnut Dunkers" routine, with Skelton's visual impressions of
how different people ate doughnuts . The skit won them the Loew's
State engagement and a handsome fee.
The couple viewed the Loew's State engagement in 1937 as Skelton's
big chance. They hired New York comedy writers to prepare material for
the engagement, believing they needed more sophisticated jokes and
skits than the routines Skelton normally performed. However, his New
York audience did not laugh or applaud until Skelton abandoned the
newly written material and began performing the "
Doughnut Dunkers" and
his older routines. The doughnut-dunking routine also helped Skelton
rise to celebrity status. In 1937, while he was entertaining at the
Capitol Theater in Washington, D.C., President Franklin D. Roosevelt
invited Skelton to perform at a
White House luncheon. During one of
the official toasts, Skelton grabbed Roosevelt's glass, saying,
"Careful what you drink, Mr. President. I got rolled in a place like
this once." His humor appealed to FDR and Skelton became the master of
ceremonies for Roosevelt's official birthday celebration for many
Ann Rutherford and
Virginia Grey as radio detective
"The Fox" in Whistling in the Dark (1941)
Skelton's first contact with Hollywood came in the form of a failed
1932 screen test. In 1938 he made his film debut for
RKO Pictures in
the supporting role of a camp counselor in
Having Wonderful Time . He
appeared in two short subjects for
Vitaphone in 1939: Seeing Red and
The Broadway Buckaroo. Actor
Mickey Rooney contacted Skelton, urging
him to try for work in films after seeing him perform his "Doughnut
Dunkers" act at President Roosevelt's 1940 birthday party. For his
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer screen test, Skelton performed many of his more
popular skits, such as "Guzzler's Gin", but added some impromptu
pantomimes as the cameras were rolling. "Imitation of Movie Heroes
Dying" were Skelton's impressions of the cinema deaths of stars like
George Raft ,
Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson and
James Cagney .
Skelton appeared in numerous films for
the 1940s. In 1940 he provided comic relief as a lieutenant in Frank
Borzage 's war drama
Flight Command , opposite Robert Taylor , Ruth
Walter Pidgeon . In 1941 he also provided comic relief in
Harold S. Bucquet 's
Dr. Kildare medical dramas, Dr. Kildare\'s
Wedding Day and The People vs.
Dr. Kildare . Skelton was soon starring
in comedy features as inept radio detective "The Fox", the first of
which was Whistling in the Dark (1941) in which he began working with
S. Sylvan Simon , who would become his favorite director. He
reprised the same role opposite
Ann Rutherford in Simon's other
Whistling in Dixie (1942) and Whistling in
Brooklyn (1943). In 1941, Skelton began appearing in musical
comedies, starring opposite
Eleanor Powell ,
Ann Sothern and Robert
Norman Z. McLeod 's Lady Be Good . In 1942 Skelton again
Eleanor Powell in
Edward Buzzell 's
Ship Ahoy , and
Ann Sothern in McLeod's Panama Hattie . Skelton
(center left) in Panama Hattie (1942)
In 1943, after a memorable role as a nightclub hatcheck attendant who
Louis XV of France
Louis XV of France in a dream opposite
Lucille Ball and
Gene Kelly in
Roy Del Ruth 's
Du Barry Was a Lady , Skelton starred
as Joseph Rivington Reynolds, a hotel valet besotted with Broadway
starlet Constance Shaw (Powell) in
Vincente Minnelli 's romantic
I Dood It . The film was largely a remake of Buster
Spite Marriage ; Keaton, who had become a comedy consultant
to MGM after his film career had diminished, began coaching Skelton on
set during the filming. Keaton worked in this capacity on several of
Skelton's films, and his 1926 film The General was also later
rewritten to become Skelton's
A Southern Yankee (1948), under
directors S. Silvan Simon and
Edward Sedgwick . Keaton was
convinced enough of Skelton's comedic talent that he approached MGM
Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer with a request to create a small company
within MGM for himself and Skelton, where the two could work on film
projects. Keaton offered to forgo his salary if the films made by the
company were not box office hits; Mayer chose to decline the request.
In 1944, Skelton starred opposite
Esther Williams in
George Sidney 's
Bathing Beauty , playing a songwriter with romantic
difficulties. He next had a relatively minor role as a "TV announcer
who, in the course of demonstrating a brand of gin, progresses from
mild inebriation through messy drunkenness to full-blown stupor" in
the "When Television Comes" segment of Ziegfeld Follies , which
William Powell and
Judy Garland in the main roles. In 1946,
Skelton played boastful clerk J. Aubrey Piper opposite Marilyn Maxwell
Marjorie Main in
Harry Beaumont 's comedy picture The Show-Off .
Skelton's imprint ceremony at Grauman\'s Chinese Theatre , June
18, 1942. His wife, Edna, is on his left. Skelton also imprinted
"Junior's" shoes along with the message, "We Dood It!". Theater owner
Sid Grauman is in foreground of photo.
Skelton's contract called for MGM's approval prior to his radio shows
and other appearances. When he renegotiated his long-term contract
with MGM, he wanted a clause that permitted him to remain working in
radio and to be able to work on television, which was then largely
experimental. At the time, the major work in the medium was centered
in New York; Skelton had worked there for some time and was able to
determine that he would find success with his physical comedy through
the medium. By 1947, Skelton's work interests were focused not on
films, but on radio and television. His MGM contract was rigid enough
to require the studio's written consent for his weekly radio shows, as
well as any benefit or similar appearances he made; radio offered less
restrictions, more creative control and a higher salary. Skelton
asked for a release from MGM after learning he could not raise the
$750,000 needed to buy out the remainder of his contract. He also
voiced frustration with the film scripts he was offered while on the
The Fuller Brush Man , saying, "Movies are not my field. Radio
and television are." He did not receive the desired television
clause nor a release from his MGM contract. In 1948, columnist
Sheilah Graham printed that Skelton's wishes were to make only one
film a year, spending the rest of the time traveling the U.S. with his
Skelton's ability to successfully ad-lib often meant that the way the
script was written was not always the way it was recorded on film.
Some directors were delighted with the creativity, but others were
often frustrated by it. S. Sylvan Simon, who became a close friend,
allowed Skelton free rein when directing him. MGM became annoyed
with Simon during the filming of The Fuller Brush Man, as the studio
contended that Skelton should have been playing romantic leads instead
of performing slapstick. Simon and MGM parted company when he was not
asked to direct retakes of Skelton's A Southern Yankee; Simon asked
that his name be removed from the film's credits.
Skelton was willing to negotiate with MGM to extend the agreement
provided he would receive the right to pursue television. This time
the studio was willing to grant it, making Skelton the only major MGM
personality with the privilege. The 1950 negotiations allowed him to
begin working in television beginning September 30, 1951. During the
last portion of his contract with the studio, Skelton was working in
radio and on television in addition to films. He would go on to appear
in films such as Jack Donohue 's
The Yellow Cab Man (1950), Roy
Rowland and Buster Keaton's Excuse My Dust (1951),
Charles Walters '
Texas Carnival (1951),
Mervyn LeRoy 's
Lovely to Look At (1952),
Robert Z. Leonard 's The
Clown (1953) and The Great Diamond Robbery
(1954), and Norman Z. McLeod's poorly received Public Pigeon No. 1
(1957), his last major film role, which originated incidentally from
an episode of the television anthology series
Climax! . In a 1956
interview, he said he would never work simultaneously in all three
media again. As a result, Skelton would make only a couple of minor
appearances in films after this, including playing a saloon drunk in
Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), a gambler in Ocean\'s 11
(1960), and a Neanderthal man in Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying
RADIO, DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE (1937–1951)
Performing the "
Doughnut Dunkers" routine led to Skelton's first
Rudy Vallée 's The Fleischmann\'s Yeast Hour on August
12, 1937. Vallée's program had a talent show segment and those who
were searching for stardom were eager to be heard on it. Vallée also
booked veteran comic and fellow
Indiana native Joe Cook to appear as a
guest with Skelton. The two Hoosiers proceeded to trade jokes about
their home towns, with Skelton contending to Cook, an Evansville
native, that the city was a suburb of Vincennes. The show received
enough fan mail after the performance to invite both comedians back
two weeks after Skelton's initial appearance and again in November of
On October 1, 1938, Skelton replaced
Red Foley as the host of Avalon
Time on NBC; Edna also joined the show's cast, under her maiden name.
She developed a system for working with the show's writers: selecting
material from them, adding her own and filing the unused bits and
lines for future use; the Skeltons worked on
Avalon Time until late
1939. Skelton's work in films led to a new regular radio show offer;
between films, he promoted himself and MGM by appearing without charge
at Los Angeles area banquets. A radio advertising agent was a guest at
one of his banquet performances and recommended Skelton to one of his
Skelton went on the air with his own radio show, The Raleigh
Cigarette Program , on October 7, 1941. The bandleader for the show
Ozzie Nelson ; his wife, Harriet , who worked under her maiden
name of Hilliard, was the show's vocalist and also worked with Skelton
"I Dood It!"
Skelton with "Doolittle Dood It" newspaper headline, 1942
Skelton introduced the first two of his many characters during The
Raleigh Cigarette Program's first season. The character of Clem
Kadiddlehopper was based on a Vincennes neighbor named Carl Hopper,
who was hard of hearing. Skelton's voice pattern for Clem was similar
to the later cartoon character, Bullwinkle ; there was enough
similarity to cause Skelton to contemplate filing a lawsuit against
Bill Scott, who voiced the cartoon moose. The second character, The
Mean Widdle Kid, or "Junior", was a young boy full of mischief, who
typically did things he was told not to do. "Junior" would say things
like, "If I dood it, I gets a whipping.", followed moments later by
the statement, "I dood it!" Skelton performed the character at home
with Edna, giving him the nickname "Junior" long before it was heard
by a radio audience. While the phrase was Skelton's, the idea of
using the character on the radio show was Edna's. Skelton starred in
a 1943 movie of the same name , but did not play "Junior" in the film.
The phrase was such a part of national culture at the time that, when
General Doolittle conducted the bombing of Tokyo in 1942, many
newspapers used the phrase "Doolittle Dood It" as a headline. After
a talk with President Roosevelt in 1943, Skelton used his radio show
to collect funds for a
Douglas A-20 Havoc to be given to the Soviet
Army to help fight World War II. Asking children to send in their
spare change, he raised enough money for the aircraft in two weeks; he
named the bomber "We Dood It!" In 1986 the Soviet newspaper Pravda
offered praise to Skelton for his 1943 gift, and in 1993, the pilot of
the plane was able to meet Skelton and thank him for the bomber.
Skelton also added a routine he had been performing since 1928.
Originally called "Mellow Cigars", the skit entailed an announcer who
became ill as he smoked his sponsor's product. Brown and Williamson,
the makers of cigarettes, asked Skelton to change some aspects of the
skit; he renamed the routine "Guzzler's Gin", where the announcer
became inebriated while sampling and touting the imaginary sponsor's
wares. While the traditional radio program called for its cast to do
an audience warm-up in preparation for the broadcast, Skelton did just
the opposite. After the regular radio program had ended, the show's
guests were treated to a post-program performance. He would then
perform his "Guzzler's Gin" or any of more than 350 routines for those
who had come to the radio show. He updated and revised his post-show
routines as diligently as those for his radio program. As a result,
studio audience tickets for Skelton's radio show were in high demand;
there were times where up to 300 people needed to be turned away for
lack of seats.
Divorce From Edna, Marriage To Georgia
In 1942, Edna announced that she was leaving Skelton but would
continue to manage his career and write material for him. He did not
realize she was serious until Edna issued a statement about the
impending divorce through NBC. They were divorced in 1943, leaving
the courtroom arm in arm. The couple did not discuss the reasons for
their divorce and Edna initially prepared to work as a script writer
for other radio programs. When the divorce was finalized, she went to
New York, leaving her former husband three fully prepared show
scripts. Skelton and those associated with him sent telegrams and
called her, asking her to come back to him in a professional capacity.
Edna remained the manager of the couple's funds because Skelton
spent money too easily. An attempt at managing his own checking
account that began with a $5,000 balance, ended five days later after
a call to Edna saying the account was overdrawn. Skelton had a weekly
allowance of $75, with Edna making investments for him, choosing real
estate and other relatively stable assets. She remained an advisor on
his career until 1952, receiving a generous weekly salary for life for
her efforts. The Skeltons, circa 1957. Back from left: Red, wife
Georgia, sister in law Maxine Davis. Front: Son Richard and daughter
The divorce meant that Skelton had lost his married man's deferment ;
he was once again classified as 1-A for service. He was drafted into
the army in early 1944; both MGM and his radio sponsor tried to obtain
a deferment for the comedian, but to no avail. His last Raleigh radio
show was on June 6, 1944, the day before he was formally inducted as a
private; he was not assigned to
Special Services at that time. Without
its star, the program was discontinued, and the opportunity presented
itself for the Nelsons to begin a radio show of their own, The
Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet .
By 1944, Skelton was engaged to actress Muriel Morris, who was also
known as Muriel Chase; the couple had obtained a marriage license and
told the press they intended to marry within a few days. At the last
minute, the actress decided not to marry him, initially saying she
intended to marry a wealthy businessman in Mexico City. She later
recanted the story about marrying the businessman, but continued to
say that her relationship with Skelton was over. The actress further
denied that the reason for the breakup was Edna's continuing to manage
her ex-husband's career; Edna stated that she had no intention of
either getting in the middle of the relationship or reconciling with
her former husband. He was on army furlough for throat discomfort
when he married actress Georgia Maureen Davis in Beverly Hills,
California , on March 9, 1945; the couple met on the MGM lot.
Skelton traveled to Los Angeles from the eastern army base where he
was assigned for the wedding. He knew he would possibly be assigned
overseas soon and wanted the marriage to take place first. After the
wedding, he entered the hospital to have his tonsils removed . The
couple had two children; Valentina, a daughter, was born May 5, 1947,
and a son, Richard, was born May 20, 1948.
A Cast Of Characters
Photo of 1948 Raleigh Cigarette Program cast: Standing: Pat
The Four Knights , David Rose (orchestra leader). Seated:
Verna Felton ("Grandma" to Skelton's "Junior" character), Rod O'Connor
Lurene Tuttle ("Mother" to Skelton's "Junior" character).
Skelton served in the
United States Army
United States Army during
World War II
World War II . After
being assigned to the
Special Services, Skelton performed as many as
ten to twelve shows per day before troops in both the United States
and in Europe. The pressure of his workload caused him to suffer
exhaustion and a nervous breakdown . His nervous collapse while in
the army left him with a serious stuttering problem. While recovering
at an army hospital in Virginia, he met a soldier who had been
severely wounded and was not expected to survive. Skelton devoted a
lot of time and effort to trying to make the man laugh. As a result of
this effort, his stuttering problem was cured; his army friend's
condition also improved and he was no longer on the critical list. He
was released from his army duties in September 1945. His sponsor was
eager to have him back on the air, and Skelton's program began anew on
NBC on December 4, 1945.
Upon returning to radio, Skelton brought with him many new characters
that were added to his repertoire: Bolivar Shagnasty, described as a
"loudmouthed braggart"; Cauliflower McPugg, a boxer; Deadeye, a
cowboy; Willie Lump-Lump, a fellow who drank too much; and San
Fernando Red, a conman with political aspirations. By 1947, Skelton's
musical conductor was David Rose , who would go on to television with
him; he had worked with Rose during his time in the army and wanted
Rose to join him on the radio show when it went back on the air.
On April 22, 1947, Skelton was censored by
NBC two minutes into his
radio show. When he and his announcer Rod O\'Connor began talking
Fred Allen being censored the previous week, they were silenced
for 15 seconds; comedian
Bob Hope was given the same treatment once he
began referring to the censoring of Allen. Skelton forged on with his
lines for his studio audience's benefit; the material he insisted on
using had been edited from the script by the network before the
broadcast. He had been briefly censored the previous month for the use
of the word "diaper". After the April incidents,
NBC indicated it
would no longer pull the plug for similar reasons.
Skelton changed sponsors in 1948;
Brown & Williamson , owners of
Raleigh cigarettes, withdrew due to program production costs. His new
sponsor was Procter it included segments of his older network radio
programs as well as new material done for the syndication. He was able
to use portions of his older radio shows because he owned the rights
for rebroadcasting them.
Skelton was unable to work in television until the end of his 1951
MGM movie contract; a renegotiation to extend the pact provided
permission after that point. He signed a contract for television on
NBC with Procter and Gamble as his sponsor on May 4, 1951, and said he
would be performing the same characters on television as he had been
doing on radio. The MGM agreement with Skelton for television
performances did not allow him to go on the air before September 30,
1951. His television debut,
The Red Skelton Show
The Red Skelton Show , premiered on that
date: at the end of his opening monologue , two men backstage grabbed
his ankles from behind the set curtain, hauling him offstage face
down. A 1943 instrumental hit by David Rose, called "Holiday for
Strings ", became Skelton's TV theme song. The move to television
allowed him to create two non-human characters, seagulls Gertrude and
Heathcliffe, which he performed while the pair were flying by tucking
his thumbs under his arms to represent wings and shaping his hat to
look like a bird's bill. He patterned his meek, henpecked
television character of George Appleby after his radio character, J.
Newton Numbskull, who had similar characteristics. His "Freddie the
Freeloader" clown was introduced on the program in 1952, with Skelton
copying his father's makeup for the character. He learned how to
duplicate his father's makeup and perform his routines through his
mother's recollections. A ritual became established at the end of
every program, with Skelton's shy boyish wave and words of, "Good
night and may God bless." Skelton as Willie Lump-Lump and
Shirley Mitchell as his wife, who appears to be walking on the wall in
a 1952 Skelton show sketch.
During the 1951–1952 season, the program was broadcast from a
NBC radio studio. The first year of the television show was
done live; this led to problems as there was not enough time for
costume changes; Skelton was on camera for most of the half-hour,
including the delivery of a commercial which was written into one of
the show's skits. In early 1952, Skelton had an idea for a
television sketch about someone who had been drinking not being able
to know which way is up. The script was completed and he had the
show's production crew build a set that was perpendicular to the
stage, so it would give the illusion that someone was walking on
walls. The skit, starring his character Willie Lump-Lump, called for
the character's wife to hire a carpenter to re-do the living room in
an effort to teach her husband a lesson about his drinking. When
Willie wakes up there after a night of drinking, he realizes he is not
lying on the floor but on the living room wall. Willie's wife goes
about the house normally, but to Willie, she appears to be walking on
a wall. Within an hour after the broadcast, the
NBC switchboard had
received 350 calls regarding the show, and Skelton had received more
than 2,500 letters about the skit within a week of its airing.
Skelton was delivering an intense performance live each week, and the
strain showed in physical illness. In 1952, he was drinking heavily
from the constant pain of a diaphragmatic hernia and marital problems;
he thought about divorcing Georgia.
NBC agreed to film his shows in
the 1952–1953 season at Eagle Lion Studios , next to the Sam Goldwyn
Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Later the show was
moved to the new
NBC television studios in Burbank . Procter & Gamble
was unhappy with the filming of the television show, and insisted that
Skelton return to live broadcasts. The situation caused him to think
about leaving television at that point. Declining ratings prompted
sponsor Procter his first
CBS sponsor was
Geritol . He curtailed his
drinking and his ratings at
CBS began to improve, especially after he
began appearing on Tuesday nights for co-sponsors Johnson\'s Wax and
Pet Milk Company .
By 1955, Skelton was broadcasting some of his weekly programs in
color, which was the case approximately 100 times between 1955 and
1960. He tried to encourage
CBS to do other shows in color at the
CBS mostly avoided color broadcasting after the
network's television set manufacturing division was discontinued in
1951. By 1959, Skelton was the only comedian with a weekly variety
television show; others who remained on the air, such as Danny Thomas
, were performing their routines as part of situation comedy programs.
He performed a preview show for a studio audience on Mondays, using
their reactions to determine which skits needed to be edited for the
Tuesday program. For the Tuesday afternoon run-through prior to the
actual show, he ignored the script for the most part, ad-libbing
through it at will. The run-through was well attended by CBS
Television City employees Sometimes during sketches, both live
telecasts and taped programs, Skelton would break up or cause his
guest stars to laugh.
Richard\'s Illness And Death
Mickey Rooney at dress rehearsal for The Red Skelton
Show of January 15, 1957. Skelton as a sailor and Rooney as his wife
play contestants on a parody of Do You Trust Your Wife? . This was
Skelton's return to television after his son Richard's leukemia
At the height of Skelton's popularity, his nine-year-old son Richard
was diagnosed with leukemia and was given a year to live. While the
network told him to take as much time off as necessary, Skelton felt
that until he went back to his television show, he would be unable to
be at ease and make his son's life a happy one. He returned to his
television show on January 15, 1957, with guest star Mickey Rooney
helping to lift his spirits. In happier times, he frequently
mentioned his children on his program, but found it extremely
difficult to do so after Richard became ill. Skelton resumed this
practice only after his son had asked him to do so. After his son's
diagnosis, Skelton took his family on an extended trip, so Richard
could see as much of the world as possible. When they arrived in
London, there were press accusations that the trip was more about
publicity than his seriously ill son. There were also newspaper
reports about Richard's illness being fatal, which were seen by the
boy. The family returned to the United States after the British press
The Skelton family received support from
CBS management and from the
public following the announcement of Richard's illness. Skelton
himself was beset by a serious illness and by a household accident
which kept him off the air. He suffered a life-threatening asthma
attack on December 30, 1957, and was taken to St. John\'s Hospital in
Santa Monica , where his doctors said that "if there were ten steps to
Red Skelton had taken nine of them by the time he had arrived".
Initially hospitalized for an indeterminate length of time, Skelton
later said he was working on some notes for television and the next
thing he remembered, he was in a hospital bed; he did not know how
serious his illness was until he read about it himself in the
newspapers. His illness and recovery kept him off the air for a full
month; Skelton returned to his television show on January 28, 1958.
Richard died on May 10, 1958; it was ten days before the child's
tenth birthday. Skelton was scheduled to do his weekly television
show on the day his son was buried. Though there were recordings of
some older programs available which the network could have run, he
asked that guest performers be used instead. Calling themselves The
Friends of Red Skelton, his friends in the television, film and music
industries organized The
Red Skelton Variety Show, which
they performed to replace
The Red Skelton Show
The Red Skelton Show for that week; by May
27, 1958, Skelton had returned to his program. The death of Richard
profoundly affected the family; by 1961 Richard's model trains had
been moved to a storeroom in the Bel Air mansion, but Skelton refused
to have them dismantled. In 1962, the Skelton family moved to Palm
Springs , and Skelton used the Bel Air home only on the two days a
week when he was in Los Angeles for his television show taping.
Red Skelton Hour
In early 1960, Skelton purchased the old
Charlie Chaplin Studios and
updated it for videotape recording. With a recently purchased
three-truck mobile color television unit, he recorded a number of his
series episodes and specials in color. Even with his color facilities,
CBS discontinued color broadcasts on a regular basis and Skelton
shortly thereafter sold the studio to
CBS and the mobile unit to local
KTLA . Prior to this, he had been filming at Desilu
Productions . Skelton then moved back to the network's Television
City facilities, where he resumed taping his programs until he left
the network. In the fall of 1962,
CBS expanded his program to a full
hour, retitling it The
Red Skelton Hour. While a staple of his radio
programs, he did not perform his "Junior" character on television
until 1962, after extending the length of his program. Skelton
as Freddie the Freeloader (right) and
Skelton frequently employed the art of pantomime for his characters:
a segment of his weekly program was called the "Silent Spot" and the
sketch was performed in pantomime. He attributed his use of pantomime
and few props to his early days when he did not want to have a lot of
luggage, so he crafted routines that used few of them. He explained
that the right hat was the key to his being able to get into
Skelton's season premiere for the 1960–1961 television season was a
tribute to the United Nations. Six hundred people from the
organization, including diplomats, were invited to be part of the
audience for the show. The program was entirely done in pantomime, as
UN representatives from 39 nations were in the studio audience. One
of the sketches he performed for the UN was that of the old man
watching the parade. The sketch had its origins in a question
Skelton's son, Richard, asked his father about what happens when
people die. He told his son, "They join a parade and start marching."
In 1965, Skelton did another show in complete pantomime. This time he
was joined by
Marcel Marceau ; the two artists alternated performances
for the hour-long program, sharing the stage to perform
The only person who spoke during the hour was
Maurice Chevalier , who
served as the show's narrator.
In 1969, Skelton performed a self-written monologue about the Pledge
of Allegiance . In the speech, he commented on the meaning of each
phrase of the pledge. He credited one of his Vincennes grammar school
teachers, Mr. Laswell, with the original speech. The teacher had
grown tired of hearing his students monotonously recite the pledge
each morning; he then demonstrated to them how it should be recited,
along with comments about the meaning behind each phrase. CBS
received 200,000 requests for copies; the company subsequently
released the monologue as a single on
Columbia Records . A year
later, he performed the monologue for President
Richard Nixon at the
first "Evening at the White House", a series of entertainment events
honoring the recently inaugurated president.
OFF THE AIR AND BITTERNESS (1970–1983)
As the 1970s began, the networks began a major campaign to
discontinue long-running shows that they considered stale or lacking
youth appeal. Despite Skelton's continued strong ratings,
CBS saw his
show as fitting into this category and cancelled the program along
with other comedy and variety shows hosted by veterans such as Jackie
Ed Sullivan . Performing in
Las Vegas when he got the
news of his
CBS cancellation, Skelton said, "My heart has been
broken." His program had been one of the top ten highest rated shows
for 17 of the 20 years he was on television. Skelton moved to
1970 in a half-hour Monday night version of his former show. Its
cancellation after one season ended his television career, and he
returned to live performances. In an effort to prove the networks
wrong, he gave many of these at colleges and proved popular with the
audience. Skelton was bitter about CBS's cancellation for many years
afterwards. Believing the demographic and salary issues to be
irrelevant, he accused
CBS of bowing to the anti-establishment ,
anti-war faction at the height of the
Vietnam War , saying his
conservative political and social views caused the network to turn
against him. He had invited prominent Republicans, including Vice
Spiro Agnew and Senate Republican Leader
Everett Dirksen ,
to appear on his program.
There were personal as well as professional changes taking place in
Skelton's life at this time. He divorced Georgia in 1971 and married
Lothian Toland, daughter of cinematographer
Gregg Toland , on October
7, 1973. While he disassociated himself from television soon after
his show was cancelled, his bitterness had subsided enough for him to
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on July 11, 1975; it
was his first television appearance since he no longer had a
Johnny Carson , one of his former writers, began
his rise to network television prominence by substituting for Skelton
after his dress rehearsal injury in 1954. Skelton was also a guest
The Merv Griffin Show in October of the same year. Any hopes he
may have had to ease back into television through the talk show
circuit came to an abrupt halt on May 10, 1976, when Georgia Skelton
committed suicide by gunshot on the 18th anniversary of Richard
Skelton's death. Georgia was 54 and had been in poor health for
some time. He put all professional activities on hold for some
months as he mourned his former wife's death.
Skelton made plans in 1977 to sell the rights to his old television
programs as part of a package which would bring him back to regular
television appearances. The package called for him to produce one new
television show for every three older episodes; this appears to not
have materialized. In 1980, he was taken to court by 13 of his former
writers over a story that his will called for the destruction of
recordings of all his old television shows upon his death. Skelton
contended his remarks were made at a time when he was very unhappy
with the television industry and were taken out of context. He said at
the time, "Would you burn the only monument you've built in over 20
years?" As the owner of the television shows, Skelton initially
refused to allow them to be syndicated as reruns during his lifetime.
In 1983, Group W announced that it had come to terms with him for
the rights to rebroadcast some of his original television programs
from 1966 through 1970; some of his earlier shows were made available
after Skelton's death.
Skelton's 70-year career as an entertainer began as a stage
performer. He retained a fondness for theaters, and referred to them
as "palaces"; he also likened them to his "living room", where he
would privately entertain guests. At the end of a performance, he
would look at the empty stage where there was now no laughter or
applause and tell himself, "Tomorrow I must start again. One hour ago,
I was a big man. I was important out there. Now it's empty. It's all
Skelton was invited to play a four-week date at the London Palladium
in July 1951. While flying to the engagement, Skelton, Georgia and
Father Edward J. Carney, were on a plane from Rome with passengers
from an assortment of countries that included 11 children. The plane
lost the use of two of its four engines and seemed destined to lose
the rest, meaning that the plane would crash over
Mont Blanc . The
priest readied himself to administer last rites . As he did so, he
told Skelton, "You take care of your department, Red, and I'll take
care of mine." Skelton diverted the attention of the passengers with
pantomimes while Father Carney prayed. They ultimately landed at a
small airstrip in
Lyon , France. He received both an enthusiastic
reception and an invitation to return for the Palladium's Christmas
show of that year.
Though Skelton had always done live engagements at Nevada hotels and
appearances such as state fairs during his television show's hiatus,
he focused his time and energy on live performances after he was no
longer on the air, performing up to 125 dates a year. He often
arrived days early for his engagement and would serve as his own
promotion staff, making the rounds of the local shopping malls.
Before the show, his audiences received a ballot listing about 100 of
his many routines and were asked to tick off their favorites. The
venue's ushers would collect the ballots and tally the votes.
Skelton's performance on that given day was based on the skits his
audience selected. After he learned that his performances were
popular with the hearing-impaired because of his heavy use of
pantomimes, Skelton hired a sign language interpreter to translate the
non-pantomime portions of his act for all his shows. He continued
performing live until 1993, when he celebrated his 80th birthday.
LATER YEARS AND DEATH
Family room where
Red Skelton is buried, in the Great Mausoleum,
Forest Lawn, Glendale
In 1974, Skelton's interest in film work was rekindled with the news
Neil Simon 's comedy
The Sunshine Boys
The Sunshine Boys would become a movie; his
last significant film appearance had been in
Public Pigeon No. 1 in
1956. He screen tested for the role of Willy Clark with
Jack Benny ,
who had been cast as Al Lewis. Although Simon had planned to cast
Jack Albertson , who played Willy on Broadway, in the same role for
the film, Skelton's screen test impressed him enough to change his
mind. Skelton declined the part, however, reportedly due to an
inadequate financial offer, and Benny's final illness forced him to
withdraw as well.
George Burns and
Walter Matthau ultimately starred
in the film.
In 1981, Skelton made several specials for
HBO including Freddie the
Freeloader\'s Christmas Dinner (1981) and the Funny Faces series of
specials. He gave a
Royal Command Performance for the Royal Society
for the Protection of Birds in 1984, which was later shown in the U.S.
HBO . A portion of one of his last interviews, conducted by
Steven F. Zambo, was broadcast as part of the 2005
PBS special The
Pioneers of Primetime.
Skelton died on September 17, 1997, at the Eisenhower Medical Center
Rancho Mirage, California , at the age of 84, after what was
described as "a long, undisclosed illness". He is interred in the
Skelton Family Tomb, the family's private room, alongside his son,
Richard Freeman Skelton, Jr. and his second wife, Georgia Maureen
Davis Skelton, in The Great Mausoleum's Sanctuary of Benediction at
Forest Lawn Memorial Park in
Glendale, California . Skelton was
survived by his widow, Lothian Toland Skelton; his daughter, Valentina
Marie Skelton Alonso; and granddaughter Sabrina Maureen Alonso.
ART AND OTHER INTERESTS
Skelton at home with one of his clown paintings in 1948
Skelton began producing artwork in 1943, but kept his works private
for many years. He said he was inspired to try his hand at painting
after visiting a large Chicago department store that had various
paintings on display. Inquiring as to the price of one which Skelton
described as "a bunch of blotches", he was told, "Ten thousand
wouldn't buy that one." He told the clerk he was one of the ten
thousand who would not buy the painting, instead buying his own art
materials. His wife Georgia, a former art student, persuaded him to
have his first public showing of his work in 1964 at the Sands Hotel
Las Vegas where he was performing at the time. Skelton believed
painting was an asset to his comedy work, as it helped him to better
visualize the imaginary props used in his pantomime routines.
In addition to his originals, Skelton also sold reproductions and
prints through his own mail order business. He made his work
available to art galleries by selling them franchises to display and
sell his paintings. He once estimated the sale of his lithographs
earned him $2.5 million per year. Shortly after his death, his art
dealer said he believed that Skelton made more money on his paintings
than from his television work. At the time of his death, Skelton had
produced over 1,000 oil paintings of clowns. When asked why his
artwork focused on clowns, he said at first, "I don't know why it's
always clowns." He continued after thinking a moment by saying. "No,
that's not true—I do know why. I just don't feel like thinking about
it ..." At the time of Skelton's death, his originals were priced at
$80,000 and upward.
Skelton was a prolific writer of both short stories and music. After
sleeping only four or five hours a night, he would wake up at 5 a.m.
and begin writing stories, composing music, and painting pictures. He
wrote at least one short story a week and had composed over 8,000
songs and symphonies by the time of his death. He wrote commercials
for Skoal tobacco and sold many of his compositions to Muzak , a
company that specialized in providing background music to stores and
other businesses. Skelton was also interested in photography; when
attending Hollywood parties, he would take photos and give the film to
newspaper reporters waiting outside. He was never without a miniature
camera and kept a photographic record of all his paintings. Skelton
was also an avid gardener who created his own Japanese and Italian
gardens and cultivated bonsai trees at his home in Palm Springs,
FRATERNITY AND HONORS
Skelton was a Freemason , a member of Vincennes Lodge No. 1, in
Indiana. He also was a member of both the Scottish and
York Rite . He
was a recipient of the Gold Medal of the General Grand Chapter, Royal
Arch Masons , for Distinguished Service in the Arts and Sciences. On
September 24, 1969, he received the honorary 33rd degree in the
Scottish Rite and was a Gourgas Medal recipient in 1995. Skelton
became interested in Masonry as a small boy selling newspapers in
Vincennes, when a man bought a paper from him with a five dollar bill
and told him to keep the change. The young Skelton asked his
benefactor why he had given him so much money; the man explained that
he was a Mason and Masons are taught to give. Skelton decided to
become one also when he was grown. He was also member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Independent Order of Odd Fellows , as well as a Shriner in Los
Skelton was made an honorary brother of
Phi Sigma Kappa
Phi Sigma Kappa at Truman
State University . In 1961 he became an honorary brother of the Phi
Alpha Tau Fraternity of
Emerson College when he was awarded the Joseph
E. Connor Award for excellence in the field of communications. He also
received an honorary degree from the college at the same ceremony.
Skelton received an honorary high school diploma from Vincennes High
School. He was also an honorary member of
Kappa Kappa Psi National
Honorary Band Fraternity; Skelton had composed many marches which were
used by more than 10,000 high school and college bands. In 1986,
Skelton received an honorary degree from
Ball State University
Ball State University .
Red Skelton Memorial Bridge spans the
Wabash River and provides
the highway link between
U.S. Route 50 , near
Skelton's home town of Vincennes. He attended the dedication
ceremonies in 1963.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Skelton's star for his work in television on the Hollywood Walk
In 1952, Skelton received Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Program and
Best Comedian. He also received an Emmy nomination in 1957 for his
non-comedic performance in
Playhouse 90 's presentation of "The Big
Slide". Skelton and his writers won another Emmy in 1961 for
Outstanding Writing Achievement In Comedy. He was named an honorary
faculty member of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
Clown College in
1968 and 1969.
Skelton's first major post-television recognition came in 1978, when
the Golden Globe Awards named him as the recipient for their Cecil B.
DeMille Award , which is given to honor outstanding contributions in
entertainment. His excitement was so great upon receiving the award
and a standing ovation, that he clutched it tightly enough to break
the statuette. When he was presented with the Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences ' Governor's Award in 1986, Skelton received a
standing ovation. "I want to thank you for sitting down", he said when
the ovation subsided. "I thought you were pulling a
CBS and walking
out on me." The honor came 16 years after his television program
left the airwaves.
Skelton received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors
Guild in 1987, and in 1988, he was inducted into the Academy of
Television Arts ">
LEGACY AND TRIBUTES
Skelton preferred to be described as a clown rather than a comic: "A
comedian goes out and hits people right on. A clown uses pathos. He
can be funny, then turn right around and reach people and touch them
with what life is like." "I just want to be known as a clown", he
said, "because to me that's the height of my profession. It means you
can do everything—sing, dance and above all, make people laugh."
His purpose in life, he believed, was to make people laugh.
In Groucho and Me,
Groucho Marx called Skelton "the most unacclaimed
clown in show business", and "the logical successor to Chaplin ",
largely because of his ability to play a multitude of characters with
minimal use of dialogue and props. "With one prop, a soft battered
hat", Groucho wrote, describing a performance he had witnessed, "he
successfully converted himself into an idiot boy, a peevish old lady,
a teetering-tottering drunk, an overstuffed clubwoman, a tramp, and
any other character that seemed to suit his fancy. No grotesque
make-up, no funny clothes, just Red." He added that Skelton also
"plays a dramatic scene about as effectively as any of the dramatic
actors." In late 1965 ventriloquist
Edgar Bergen , reminiscing about
the entertainment business, singled out Skelton for high praise. "It's
all so very different today. The whole business of comedy has changed
— from 15 minutes of quality to quantity. We had a lot of very funny
people around, from
Charley Chase to
Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and
Hardy . The last one of that breed is Red Skelton."
Harry Cohn of
Columbia Pictures also praised Skelton, saying, "He's a clown in the
old tradition. He doesn't need punch lines. He's got heart."
Skelton performing with
Marcel Marceau , 1965; the two were friends
for many years.
Marcel Marceau shared a long friendship and admiration of
each other's work. Marceau appeared on Skelton's
CBS television show
three times, including one turn as the host in 1961 as Skelton
recovered from surgery. He was also a guest on the three Funny Faces
specials that Skelton produced for
HBO . In a
TV Guide interview
after Skelton's death, Marceau said, "Red, you are eternal for me and
the millions of people you made laugh and cry. May God bless you
forever, my great and precious companion. I will never forget that
silent world we created together."
CBS issued the following statement
upon his death: "Red's audience had no age limits. He was the
consummate family entertainer—a winsome clown, a storyteller without
peer, a superb mime, a singer and a dancer."
Red Skelton Performing Arts Center was dedicated in February 2006
on the campus of Vincennes University, one block from the home in
Vincennes where Skelton was born. The building includes an 850-seat
theater, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and dressing rooms. Its grand
foyer is a gallery for Skelton's paintings, statues, and film posters.
The theater hosts theatrical and musical productions by Vincennes
University, as well as special events, convocations and conventions.
Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy opened on July 18,
2013, on what would have been Skelton's 100th birthday. It houses
his personal and professional materials, which he had collected since
the age of ten, in accordance with his wishes that they be made
available in his hometown for the public's enjoyment. Skelton's widow,
Lothian, noted that he expressed no interest in any sort of Hollywood
memorial. The museum is funded jointly by the
Red Skelton Museum
Foundation and the
Indiana Historical Society . Other Foundation
projects include a fund that provides new clothes to Vincennes
children from low-income families. The Foundation also purchased
Skelton's birthplace. On July 15, 2017, the state of Indiana
unveiled a state historic marker at the home in Vincennes where
Skelton was born.
The town of Vincennes has held an annual
Red Skelton Festival since
2005. A "Parade of a Thousand Clowns", billed as the largest clown
parade in the Midwest, is followed by family-oriented activities and
live music performances.
In 2006, Travis Tarrants purchased the historic Vincennes Pantheon
Theatre , where Skelton performed during his youth. He established a
non-profit organization with the hope of restoring the theatre to its
1921 state. Tarrants was able to raise close to $300,000 for the
restoration. Two years later, donations for the project plummeted.
Tarrants lost the theatre to unpaid back taxes in 2012 and the new
owner was realtor Heath Klein. In late 2014, Klein sold the theatre
property to a Vincennes non-profit group, INVin. The organization
works to bring arts and arts-related businesses into downtown
Vincennes. In March 2016, the group proposed to turn the theatre into
Having Wonderful Time (1938) as Itchy
Flight Command (1940) as Lieut. 'Mugger' Martin
* The People vs.
Dr. Kildare (1941) as Vernon Briggs
* Whistling in the Dark (1941) as Wally Benton
* Dr. Kildare\'s Wedding Day (1941) as Vernon Briggs
* Lady Be Good (1941) as Joe 'Red' Willet
Ship Ahoy (1942) as Merton K. Kibble
Maisie Gets Her Man (1942) as 'Hap' Hixby
* Panama Hattie (1942) as Red
Whistling in Dixie (1942) as Wally 'The Fox' Benton
* DuBarry Was a Lady (1943) as Louis Blore / King Louis XV
I Dood It (1943) as Joseph Rivington Renolds
Thousands Cheer (1943) as Red Skelton
Whistling in Brooklyn
Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) as Wally 'The Fox' Benton
Bathing Beauty (1944) as Steve Elliot
* Ziegfeld Follies (1946) as J. Newton Numbskull ('When Television
* The Show-Off (1946) as J. Aubrey Piper
* Merton of the Movies (1947) as Merton Gill aka Clifford Armytage
The Fuller Brush Man (1948) as Red Jones
A Southern Yankee (1948) as Aubrey Filmore
* Neptune\'s Daughter (1949) as Jack Spratt
The Yellow Cab Man (1950) as Augustus 'Red' Pirdy
* Three Little Words (1950) as Harry Ruby
Duchess of Idaho (1950) as Himself (uncredited)
The Fuller Brush Girl (1950, cameo) as Himself - Fuller Brush Man
* Watch the Birdie (1950) as Rusty Cammeron / Pop Cammeron /
* Excuse My Dust (1951) as Joe Belden
Texas Carnival (1951) as Cornie Quinell
Lovely to Look At (1952) as Al Marsh
Clown (1953) as Dodo Delwyn
Half a Hero (1953) as Ben Dobson
The Great Diamond Robbery (1954) as Ambrose C. Park
Susan Slept Here (1954, cameo) as Oswald from North Dakota
* Around the World in 80 Days (1956, cameo) as Drunk in Barbary
Public Pigeon No. 1 (1957) as Rusty Morgan
* Ocean\'s 11 (1960, cameo) as Gambler
Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines
Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965) as The
Neanderthal Man / Passenger on Airport
* The Broadway Buckaroo (1939) as Red
* Seeing Red (1939) as Red / Doorman / Coatroom Attendant / Waiter /
* Radio Bugs (1944) as
Red Skelton (voice, uncredited)
* Weekend in Hollywood (1947)
* The Luckiest Guy in the World (1947, voice)
* Some of the Best (1949)
BOX OFFICE RANKING
For a number of years US exhibitors voted Skelton among the most
popular stars in the country:
* 1944 – 16th
* 1949 – 13th
* 1951 – 14th
* 1952 – 21st most popular
* Red Skelton's Favorite Ghost Stories. 1965.
OCLC 3695410 .
* A Red Skeleton in Your Closet; Ghost Stories Gay and Grim. 1965.
OCLC 1744491 .
* Gertrude & Heathcliffe. 1974.
OCLC 1129973 .
* The Ventriloquist. 1984.
OCLC 144598647 .
* Old Whitey. 1984.
OCLC 144598636 .
* The Great Lazarus. 1986.
* ^ Skelton's birth certificate lists him as Richard Bernard
Eheart. The surname comes from Joseph's stepfather, and it appears
that Joseph also used his stepfather's surname at times. There is
also an account of Skelton's using the birth certificate of one of his
older brothers as proof that he was legally of age.
* ^ Hyatt also refers to a People magazine story published in 1980,
where Skelton said he was in his seventies.
* ^ Skelton also told another version of this actor and young
newsboy story, with Raymond Hitchcock as the actor.
* ^ Edna Stillwell had two marriages following her divorce from
Skelton, first to director
Frank Borzage and then to Leon George
* ^ Skelton became a well-read man with a fine memory which he
began training in his youth.
* ^ Since much of Skelton's success had been in Canada at this
point, many reviewers believed he was Canadian, calling him "a
* ^ Skelton copyrighted the original "
Doughnut Dunkers" routine and
every possible variation of it.
* ^ The problem with doing the "
Doughnut Dunkers" skit was that
Skelton had to eat nine doughnuts at every performance. He was
performing five times a day and eating 45 doughnuts. He gained nearly
35 pounds, and had to shelve the routine until he lost some weight.
* ^ Examples of pre-
World War II
World War II television programming from WNBT,
New York; the station is known as W
* ^ Keaton became frustrated because of Skelton's focus on his
radio program, while Skelton wanted better film scripts. Gehring
quotes Skelton's movies vs radio and television statement while on the
The Fuller Brush Man as, "Movies are not my friend. Radio and
television are." In a 1948 interview, Skelton explained that his MGM
salary was $2,000 weekly and that his radio salary was $8,000 per
week. The cost of answering his MGM fan mail was billed to Skelton.
When Skelton agreed to make appearances approved by MGM, he did not
receive the fee for his work; it went to MGM, who continued to pay him
the contracted $2,000 per week. Since Skelton's radio program
participation was noted in his MGM contract, his radio show salary
went to him and not to MGM.
* ^ Director Jack Donahue, who directed Watch the Birdie, commented
about Skelton's tendency to ad-lib, "God help us all. If he manages to
say it in English, write it down and we'll use it."
Avalon Time was broadcast from
Cincinnati ; during the
time Skelton was part of the program, he and Edna traveled from
Chicago to do the weekly show.
* ^ Carl Hopper was a contemporary and a boyhood friend of Skelton.
Hopper, who was hearing-impaired, was often ridiculed or shunned
because of his hearing problem. As a boy, Skelton made it a point to
include Hopper in the activities of his childhood in Vincennes.
* ^ At their 1993 meeting, the former Soviet bomber pilot told
Skelton he would have thanked him for the bomber some time ago, but a
U.S. diplomat told him that Skelton was dead.
* ^ The couple cared deeply for each other, but for reasons known
best to them both, could have a successful professional relationship,
but not a marriage. Skelton can be seen in the film Whistling in the
Dark dancing with one of his female co-stars with his fingers crossed.
In a 1942 interview, he explained the reason for this, saying he only
loved Edna and when he did romantic film scenes, he always crossed his
fingers to indicate that the screen emotion was not real. After his
engagement to actress Muriel Morris ended, Skelton tried to persuade
Edna to remarry him; he was not successful.
* ^ Skelton later referred to Georgia as "Little Red". There is
evidence that Skelton also referred to Edna Skelton by this nickname.
A sketch by Skelton has a plaque reading "
Red Skelton sketch of Wife
Edna Skelton". The original is at the
Red Skelton Museum Foundation in
Fred Allen was censored when he referred to an imaginary NBC
vice-president who was "in charge of program ends". He went on to
explain to his audience that this vice-president saved these hours,
minutes and seconds that radio programs ran over their allotted time
until he had two weeks' worth of them and then used the time for a
* ^ The comedic hard knocks took their toll; before Skelton had
reached the age of 40, he needed leg braces and a cane for the
cartilage that was destroyed in both of his knees.
* ^ After the death of Richard, Skelton performed the George
Appleby character wearing his son's eyeglasses.
* ^ Skelton's original sign-off phrase was "God bless". When he
came to believe it appeared he was commanding something of God, he
added the word "may" to the sign-off. In a 1978 interview, Skelton
was asked about his frequent use of the phrase. His answer was, "I say
"may God bless" to people because I want them to find the same
happiness I've found. After all, God is good.". In 1982, he was being
interviewed in Wilmington, North Carolina, and declined a cameraman's
request for a posed shot of him waving and saying the phrase.
Skelton's explanation was that he felt doing it in this way would make
it not genuine. "I don't use it as a gimmick. I mean it from the
bottom of my heart."
* ^ Skelton had to be given oxygen to complete one of his live
television programs in June 1952; his doctors ordered him to take a
rest from all performing after his television show schedule ended
later in the month.
* ^ See
Color television for a more complete treatment of the CBS
* ^ One of his former writers called the laughter a "survival
technique"; the script was on the floor out of camera range and this
was where one looked when a line was forgotten. Skelton also appeared
to enjoy his material as much as his audience did. While breaking into
laughter during a story in a live performance, Skelton tried to
apologize by saying "I know what's coming!"
* ^ Earlier in the day, the Skeltons received some discouraging
news about Richard's medical condition.
* ^ Photo of Skelton's color television mobile unit
* ^ Columnist Hy Gardner requested a copy of Skelton's "Pledge of
Allegiance" speech. Skelton sent him a copy of the monologue and
granted permission for Gardner to print it in its entirety in his
* ^ Skelton also offered another reason for his
cancellation: that the network had asked him and
Jackie Gleason to
shift their family-oriented comedy toward racier scripts, and that
both he and Gleason turned them down.
* ^ Dirksen, who had a narrative hit record, Gallant Men, appeared
CBS show on April 18, 1967. His Gallant Men had won the
1967 Grammy for Best Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama Recording .
* ^ Agnew was a special guest and introduced Skelton on the
premiere of his
NBC Television show on September 14, 1970.
* ^ When Skelton was injured during a rehearsal and admitted to a
hospital, the live television program had lost its star two hours
before its scheduled air time. Carson was selected to fill in for
Skelton and earned the praise of television writers for his impromptu
work. This was the beginning of Carson's career as a network
* ^ In 1966, Georgia Skelton was wounded in a shooting at the Sands
Las Vegas while her husband was performing in the main
showroom. Valentina Skelton and her boyfriend heard the gunshot;
Georgia was found in the bedroom, surprised and confused about what
had happened. Georgia did not feel safe without a gun and the couple
brought it to
Las Vegas with them. The Clark County Sheriff declared
the shooting to be accidental. Gehring refers to Georgia's shooting
Las Vegas as a suicide attempt in an interview with Valentina
* ^ The People magazine story goes on to say that Skelton was
willing to reconsider his call for the destruction of all recordings
of his television show, if an arrangement could be made to distribute
them to home video only.
* ^ Skelton used a pseudonym of Victor van Bernard for his
television performances and named his television production company
Van Bernard Productions.
* ^ Skelton offered another explanation for refusing the Willy
Clark role: "I turned down the movie
The Sunshine Boys
The Sunshine Boys because I
refused to call
Jack Benny a son of a bitch and to look up under a
* ^ Skelton had been ill for some time but the nature of this
illness was not disclosed. Some sources have attributed his death to
* ^ Though aware of the value of his artwork, Skelton did not view
his works from a strictly monetary standpoint. He would often do an
impromptu sketch on whatever was at hand—often a restaurant's linen
napkin—and present it to a fan he was visiting with.
* ^ Skelton also painted ducks and had completed over 3,000
paintings of them in 1973. When he was not pleased with a painting, he
threw it into the trash; Skelton's garbage collector rescued these
discarded works and sold them.
* ^ Skelton gave an interview in 1984 where he said he had kept all
his personal effects since the age of ten; he also indicated that he
would "let someone else go through it".
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O Severo, Richard (September 18,
1997). "Red Skelton, Knockabout Comic and
Clown Prince of the
Airwaves, Is Dead at 84". The New York Times. Archived from the
original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
* ^ A B C "Lovable
Red Skelton Dies". The Deseret News.
September 18, 1997. p. A9. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
* ^ A B C Hyatt 2004 , p. 6.
* ^ A B C D E F G H "Red Skelton, TV and Film\'s Quintessential
Clown, Dies". Los Angeles Times. September 18, 1997. Archived from the
original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
* ^ A B C D Glatzer, Hal (April 28, 1980). "
Red Skelton Isn\'t
Clowning Around When It Comes to His Paintings-they fetch $40,000
per". People. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012.
Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ A B C D Gehring, Wes D., ed. (March 1996).
Red Skelton and Clem
Indiana Magazine of History. pp. 46–55. Archived
from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
* ^ A B C Miller, Russ (July 19, 2007). "Red Skelton: An American
Legend". The Goldendale Sentinel. p. 2. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 22.
* ^ Parry, Florence Fisher (September 14, 1946). "I Dare Say!". The
Pittsburgh Press. p. 2. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 26.
* ^ A B Wetzsteon, Ross (March 14, 1977). "Red, the Renaissance
Goof". The Village Voice. pp. 17, 18. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
* ^ Pendergast 1999 , p. 388.
* ^ A B "
Red Skelton just wants to be a clown". Lawrence
Journal-World. November 9, 1966. p. 18. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 8.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , pp. 44=45.
* ^ A B C Swanson, Pauline (April 1949). The Skelton Saga. Radio-TV
Mirror. pp. 56–60, 93–99. Archived from the original on November
8, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Remembered as Area Performer Years Ago".
Observer-Reporter. May 13, 1971. p. D3. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
* ^ "Red Skelton\'s Wife Seeks Divorce: Continues to Write His
Gags". Warsaw Daily Union. December 30, 1942. p. 3. Retrieved May 19,
* ^ Bronzini, Tom (November 19, 1982). "Red Skelton\'s Former Wife,
Edna, Dies". Los Angeles Times. p. 1. Retrieved May 19, 2011. "Edna
Skelton Pound, a comedy writer who wrote some of Red Skelton's
best-known comic routines during and after their 12-year marriage, has
* ^ "Edna Skelton Pound Dies". The Modesto Bee. May 19, 1982.
* ^ "Skelton\'s Ex-Wife Married to Director". The Pittsburgh Press.
November 26, 1945. p. 15. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "California Death Index 1940–1997". FamilySearch.org.
Retrieved March 31, 2014.
* ^ A B Othman, Frederick C. (August 17, 1941). "If It Weren\'t For
His Wife Edna, He Would Be a Bum-Says Red Skelton". The Telegraph
Herald. p. 13. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 7.
* ^ A B Beck, Marilyn (September 21, 1969). "Making Audiences Laugh
Is Just One Of His Talents". Ocala Star-Banner. pp. 8, 22. Retrieved
May 5, 2014.
* ^ A B C Franchey, John R. (June 1942). Everything\'s Funny But
Love. Radio-Television Mirror. pp. 8, 9, 46. Archived from the
original on November 8, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 66.
* ^ A B C D Jubera, Drew (May 26, 1989). "Skelton always felt like
a millionaire". Lakeland Ledger. p. 1C, 7C. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ A B Adir 2001 , p. 197.
* ^ A B C D Shearer, Lloyd, ed. (April 15, 1950). Is He a Big
Laugh!. Collier's Weekly. pp. 22–23, 55. Archived from the original
on April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
* ^ "Rialto Theatre". The Daily Times. July 6, 1938. p. 5.
Retrieved May 26, 2011.
* ^ A B C Sterling 2013 , p. 343.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 9.
* ^ A B C Heffernan, Harold (August 2, 1941). "It Happened In
Hollywood". The Sunday Morning Star. p. 1. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
* ^ Harrison, Paul (October 27, 1940). "Funny Screen Test A Scream,
May Be a Feature". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. p. 15. Archived from
the original on January 16, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2017 – via
* ^ A B C Hyatt 2004 , p. 10.
* ^ A B C D Gehring 2008 , p. 191.
* ^ A B C D Thomas, Bob (October 13, 1953). "Red Skelton, Pleased
With Release By MGM; Back on TV Tonight". Reading Eagle. p. 26.
Retrieved May 10, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Laugh Getter". Eugene Register-Guard. October 5,
1941. p. 20. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
* ^ Cohen, Harold V. (January 8, 1944). "
Red Skelton Comes to the
Stanley In Another "Whistler"". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 12.
Retrieved May 2, 2014.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 319.
* ^ Foster 2003 , p. 23.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 154.
* ^ Langman & Gold 2001 , p. 286.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , pp. 174-190.
* ^ Knopf 1999 , p. 34.
* ^ A B Thomas, Bob (July 16, 1948). "Cornel Wildes Plan Separate
Careers". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. p. 6. Retrieved July 20,
* ^ Adir 2001 , pp. 199-201.
* ^ Affron 2009 , p. 138.
* ^ Vogel 2006 , p. 33.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Imprint Ceremony". Chinese Theatres. June 18,
1942. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved June 4,
* ^ A B C MacPherson, Virginia (November 28, 1947). "Skelton Has
Dreary Time Confining Comedy to Work". The Windsor Daily Star. p. 21.
Retrieved May 25, 2011.
* ^ "Pre-
World War II
World War II television programming from WNBT, New York".
Early Television. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010.
Retrieved March 28, 2014.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 171.
* ^ Thomas, Bob (November 19, 1947). "Skelton Says He\'ll Give Up
Films For Television". The Evening Independent. p. 14. Retrieved May
* ^ Gehring 2008 , pp. 171-172.
* ^ Chambers, Sue (January 3, 1948). "The Sad Little Boy". The
Milwaukee Journal. p. 12.
* ^ A B C Quigg, Jack (September 20, 1949). "Skelton Says Comedy
Needs Action, Not Gab". The Evening Independent. p. 20. Retrieved May
* ^ Macpherson, Virginia (June 2, 1950). "
Red Skelton Is Going
Movies\' \'Double Screen\' One Better". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p.
B3. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
* ^ "Skelton Famous For Added Bits In His Pictures". The Evening
Independent. September 22, 1948. p. 6. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
* ^ Abrams, Mark (April 23, 1992). "Recalling a Golden Age".
Reading Eagle. p. B8. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
* ^ Parsons, Louella O. (December 21, 1947). "
Red Skelton Doesn\'t
Plan To Leave Metro-Goldwyn". St. Petersburg Times. p. 40. Retrieved
July 21, 2014.
* ^ A B Bacon, James (March 16, 1952). "Irrepressible Cutup, Red
Skelton Takes TV By Storm". Youngstown Vindicator. p. C21. Retrieved
May 25, 2011.
* ^ Johnson, Erskine (November 3, 1950). "
Red Skelton Pleased With
Latest Contract". Ottawa Citizen. p. 10. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
* ^ Balducci 2011 , p. 286.
* ^ Reid 2006 , p. 46.
* ^ Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications. April 1990. p. 111. ISSN
0148-7736 . Archived from the original on 2016-05-08.
* ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (February 23, 1957). "List of 194
Post-1948 Films IN MGM Vault". Billboard: 13. ISSN 0006-2510 .
Archived from the original on May 20, 2016.
* ^ Maltin & Green 2010 , p. 528.
* ^ "Climax!". CTVA-Classic TV Archive. September 8, 1955. Archived
from the original on July 6, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
* ^ A B Thomas, Bob (May 15, 1956). "It All Goes In Cycles Red
Skelton Explains". Ottawa Citizen. p. 31. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
* ^ American Film Institute 1997 , p. 1097.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , pp. 72-77.
* ^ "Avalon Time". Radio Echoes. Archived from the original on
November 14, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
* ^ "Crosley Broadcasting 40th Anniversary" (PDF). Crosley
Broadcasting advertising supplement to Broadcasting magazine. April 2,
1962: 6, 32. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
* ^ Thomas, Bob (March 26, 1949). "Red Skelton\'s Writers Tell How
His Gags Are Launched". The Meriden Daily Journal. p. 6. Retrieved May
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , pp. 9-11.
* ^ Goldin, J. David. "
The Raleigh Cigarette Program Starring Red
Skelton". RadioGold. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014.
Retrieved April 1, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Hopes Doolittle Dood It Again!" (PDF). Movie-Radio
Guide. June 1942. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 25,
2014. Retrieved May 22, 2011. (large file) (
* ^ A B Hyatt 2004 , p. 11.
* ^ Adir 2001 , p. 199.
* ^ Steinhauser, Si (March 5, 1942). "Skelton\'s Success Due Wife".
The Pittsburgh Press. p. 35. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
* ^ "\'Old Acquaintance\' Drama Of Feminine Ways". The Montreal
Gazette. January 22, 1944. p. 9. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
* ^ Churvis, Mac (May 30, 1942). "Doolittle Dood It". Billboard:
116. ISSN 0006-2510 . Retrieved May 22, 2011.
* ^ Inc, Time (June 1, 1942). "Life on the Newsfronts of the
World". Life: 30. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
* ^ The original spelling was "We Doo\'d it" Archived 2015-07-13 at
Wayback Machine ..
* ^ Shabad, Theodore (November 7, 1986). "
Red Skelton Wins Praise
in Soviet Union". Harlan Daily Enterprise. p. 3. Retrieved May 22,
* ^ A B "Pilot thanks
Red Skelton for warplane". Beaver County
Times. May 25, 1993. p. A2. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
* ^ A B "
Red Skelton Is No Recluse". The Mount Airy News. April 17,
1984. p. 11A. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
* ^ Dunning 1998 , p. 570.
* ^ "Mrs. Skelton Quits as Red\'s Wife, Stays on as Red\'s Agent".
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 30, 1942. p. 8. Retrieved May 19,
* ^ A B "Comedian
Red Skelton Marries Former Model". Lewiston
Morning Tribune. March 10, 1945. p. 3. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Leave Arm In Arm". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. February 12, 1943.
p. 12. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
* ^ A B Cosby, Vivian (November 13, 1949). "Edna Skelton:Lasting
Loyalty". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 4.
* ^ Daniel, Jesse (January 16, 1944). "Divorce Can't Part Edna and
Red". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 14.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , pp. 134-135.
* ^ "Da Proboscis In Hot Demand". The Spokesman-Review. March 8,
1952. p. 5. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
* ^ "Consider Deferment For Film Comedian". The Telegraph-Herald.
May 17, 1944. p. 6. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
* ^ A B Hyatt 2004 , p. 13.
* ^ "Red, Muriel Make Ready for Wedding". Lewiston Morning Tribune.
April 8, 1944. p. 5. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Skelton Marriage Cancellation Real Mystery". The Evening
Independent. April 11, 1944. p. 1. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton to Join Army May 25". The New York Times. May 13,
1944. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved May
19, 2011. "
Red Skelton will be Private Richard Skelton on May 25."
(pay per view)
* ^ A B Adir 2001 , p. 202.
* ^ "Edna and
Red Skelton Collection" (PDF).
Society. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2014.
Retrieved June 1, 2014. (
* ^ "
Red Skelton To Get Wife, Lose Tonsils". Ludington Daily News.
March 8, 1945. p. 1. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton to Wed Montana Girl". Daytona Beach Morning
Journal. February 12, 1945. p. 3. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Faces Busy Time Today". The Evening Independent.
March 8, 1945. p. 7. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Father of 7 Pound Daughter". The Meriden Daily
Journal. May 5, 1947. p. 3. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
* ^ "Richard Freeman Skelton-California Death Index".
FamilySearch.org. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
* ^ "Lurlene Tuttle; radio, TV actress". The Day. May 30, 1986. p.
B15. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Laughter For Peter. Radio-TV Mirror. May 1952. pp. 41, 84.
Archived from the original on November 8, 2013. Retrieved March 25,
* ^ Adir 2001 , p. 201.
* ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (May 5, 1945). "B&W Hopes That Red
Skelton May Be Ex-GI By Fall". Billboard: 6. ISSN 0006-2510 .
Retrieved May 22, 2011.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 14.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , pp. 14-15.
* ^ "
Bob Hope and
Red Skelton Join
Fred Allen as \'Silent Stars\'".
Reading Eagle. April 22, 1947. p. 14. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
* ^ "
NBC Also Stills Skelton and Hope on Radio Ribbing". Spokane
Daily Chronicle. April 23, 1947. p. 14. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "
NBC Drops Ban on Radio Jibes". The Leader-Post. April 24,
1947. p. 4. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ A B "Red Skelton-Radio Hall of Fame". Museum of Broadcast
Communications. 1994. Archived from the original on December 23, 2013.
Retrieved May 29, 2011.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 16.
* ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (January 16, 1954). "To Star in
Transcribed Series Packaged By Ziv". Billboard: 5. ISSN 0006-2510 .
Retrieved May 26, 2011.
* ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (January 30, 1954). "Re-airing
Rights Owned By Skelton". Billboard: 2. ISSN 0006-2510 . Archived from
the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Signed to Multi-Million Contract". Ellensburg
Daily Record. May 4, 1951. p. 10. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Signs Radio, TV Contract". Reading Eagle. May 4,
1951. p. 27. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
* ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (June 16, 1951). "Skelton To Air
Live as TVA Waives 60-Day Kine Limit". Billboard: 4. ISSN 0148-7736 .
Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Inc, Time (October 22, 1951). "Rubber Face on TV". Life:
71–75. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 15.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. xvi.
* ^ LaSalle, Mick (January 25, 1989). "Replay:
Red Skelton at the
Circle Star, 1989". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the
original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
* ^ Mott 2003 , pp. 163-164.
* ^ A B Witbeck, Charles (June 2, 1959). "
Red Skelton Runs
Through". The Miami News. p. 4B.
* ^ Alert, Dora (May 1959). The Tragi-Comic World of TV. TV-Radio
Mirror. pp. 42, 43, 76, 77. Archived from the original on November 8,
2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , pp. 3,29.
* ^ A B Steelman, Ben (November 5, 1982). "America\'s Clown-Red
Skelton Comes to Wilmington". StarNews. p. 1C, 7C. Retrieved April 8,
* ^ "Red Skelton-
Hoosier legend left us laughing". Logansport
Pharos-Tribune. September 19, 1997. p. 4. Archived from the original
on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2014 – via
* ^ Harris, David L. (September 30, 1978). "Comedian Red Skelton
Still A Charmer". The News and Courier. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
* ^ Marx 1979 , p. 163.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 231.
* ^ A B "
Red Skelton Show live on NBC-TV".
NBC Television. Archived
from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
* ^ Helter Skelton. Collier's. March 29, 1952. pp. 26–27.
Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
* ^ Adir 2001 , pp. 208, 210.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Will Undergo
Hernia Operation". Lewiston Evening
Journal. December 12, 1952. p. 19. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Ordered By Doctors to Take Rest". Reading Eagle.
June 10, 1952. p. 21. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "Skelton In Hospital". The Calgary Herald. March 4, 1952. p. 3.
Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Marx 1979 , p. 178.
* ^ Thomas, Bob (October 22, 1952). "
Red Skelton May Quit TV If His
Sponsor Bars Films". Reading Eagle. p. 22. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "Skelton, P & G Stew Boiling". Billboard: 1. November 22, 1952.
ISSN 0006-2510 . Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "Craig Resigns as B&B Veepee For Radio-TV/Skelton Plans Variety
Format". Billboard: 5. May 30, 1953. ISSN 0148-7736 . Retrieved May
* ^ Marx 1979 , p. 194.
* ^ "Skelton To get 8:30 Tues. Slot". Billboard: 3. September 13,
1953. ISSN 0006-2510 . Retrieved May 26, 2011.
* ^ "CBS-TV May Boost Skelton Show To Hour in All-Out Tuesday
Fight". Billboard: 2. May 15, 1954. ISSN 0006-2510 . Retrieved May 28,
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 46.
* ^ "Color Programs Every Day On Two Television Networks".
Billboard: 30. September 22, 1956. ISSN 0006-2510 . Retrieved May 28,
* ^ "
CBS Orders Suspension Of All TV Color Plans". Billboard: 5.
October 27, 1951. ISSN 0006-2510 . Retrieved March 31, 2014.
* ^ Thomas, Bob (October 9, 1959). "
Red Skelton Keeps Busy". Times
Daily. p. 5. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
* ^ Lowry, Cynthia (August 21, 1962). "Red Skelton: Most Durable of
TV Comics". The Free-Lance Star. p. 2. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
* ^ A B Fantazia, Joan (April 30, 1998). "Watching Red Skelton
Means You\'ll Never Laugh Alone". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the
original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
* ^ Nachman 2000 , pp. 39,40.
* ^ Kloss, Gerald (February 1, 1985). "Old-pro Skelton is
laugh-perfect". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 8.
* ^ "Sad Skelton Stays At Home". Middlesboro Daily News. January 5,
1957. p. 2. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
* ^ "Medics Say Son Of
Red Skelton May Live A Year". Star-News.
January 4, 1957. p. 2. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
* ^ A B Oppenheimer, Peer J. (August 7, 1957). "No Time For Tears".
Eugene Register-Guard. p. 10D, 11D. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "Skelton Mugged For Camera But Real Drama Was Backstage".
Beaver Valley Times. January 16, 1957. p. 1. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 63.
* ^ "Skeltons Hope Victims of
Leukemia Will Benefit From Son\'s
Fatal Illness" (PDF). The Knickerbocker News. May 12, 1958. p. 6A.
Retrieved April 1, 2014. (
* ^ "Red Skelton\'s Son Doesn\'t Go Along With
Talk of Doom". St.
Joseph News-Press. August 1, 1957. p. 5. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Cuts Short World Tour, Hurt and \'Insulted\' by
British Press". St. Petersburg Times. August 5, 1957. p. 1. Retrieved
May 18, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Defends Trip". Middlesboro Daily News. August 3,
1957. p. 1. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Improves After Attack". The Deseret News. December
31, 1957. pp. 1–2. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Bacon, James (January 1, 1958). "Red Skelton, Upset Over Son\'s
Illness, Almost Suffocates". Times Daily. p. 10. Retrieved May 11,
* ^ "
Red Skelton Jokes About His Illness". Daytona Beach Morning
Journal. January 9, 1958. p. 19. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Indefinite Hospital Stay Due For Red Skelton". The Bulletin.
January 2, 1958. p. 9. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Itching to Work Soon". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
January 9, 1958. p. 10. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Practices for Return to TV". The Milwaukee
Journal. January 27, 1958. p. 2.
* ^ Bacon, James (May 12, 1958). "Red Skelton\'s Son Dies Thinking
of Mother". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
* ^ "Rites For Skelton Son:
Leukemia Victim\'s Funeral Will Be Held
Today". The New York Times. May 12, 1958. p. 50. Archived from the
original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014. (pay-per view)
* ^ "Skelton Family Finds Solace In Son\'s Battle With Leukemia".
Ocala Star-Banner. May 12, 1958. p. 1. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
* ^ "Skelton off air tonight for son\'s rites". Ellensburg Daily
Record. May 13, 1958. p. 3. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
* ^ "The
Red Skelton Show/
Red Skelton Variety Show".
CTVA-Classic TV Archive. May 13, 1958. Archived from the original on
April 13, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
* ^ Lockhart, Lloyd (December 11, 1960). "Red Skelton, A
Complicated Clown, Works Hard To Make People Laugh". Toledo Blade. p.
1. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
* ^ A B C "The Invincible Red". Life: 109–115. April 21, 1961.
Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 271.
* ^ "Red Skelton\'s official work week lasts just two days".
Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. October 26, 1965. p. 13. Retrieved May 25,
* ^ A B C Hopper, Hedda (March 1, 1964). "Old Readhead\'s Come a
Long, Long Way". The Detroit Free Press. p. 19. Retrieved January 14,
2017. (subscription required)
* ^ Adir 2001 , p. 215.
* ^ "Chaplin Studios Sold To Skelton". The Victoria Advocate. April
20, 1960. p. 6. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
* ^ Humphrey, Hal (July 14, 1962). "Red Will Outlast Amateur
Analysts". Toledo Blade. p. 1. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
* ^ RCA Color TV goes on location. Sponsor. March 13, 1961. p. 28.
Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved March 31,
* ^ "Trade ad for Desilu Productions". Billboard: 15. October 6,
1956. ISSN 0006-2510 . Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Marx 1979 , pp. 243-252.
* ^ "Truly Enjoyable". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 19, 1962.
p. 23. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
* ^ "Red Skelton". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Archived
from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
* ^ A B Huisking, Charlie (January 8, 1978). "
Red Skelton Gets Warm
Welcome During Visit". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 2B. Retrieved March
* ^ Gehring 2008 , pp. 247-248.
* ^ Agnew, Bruce (September 28, 1960). "
Red Skelton Laughs Way Thru
Iron Curtain at Opening Show". Prescott Evening Courier. p. 4.
Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Uses
Pantomime To Entertain U.N. Delegates".
Beaver County Times. September 28, 1960. p. 3. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
* ^ Lowry, Cynthia (February 3, 1965). "
Red Skelton in
Treat". The Evening News. p. 6b. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
* ^ "\'Concert in Pantomime\' Tonight". The Evening Independent.
February 2, 1965. p. 3B. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 12.
* ^ Gardner, Hy (August 13, 1969). "Glad You Asked That!". Tucson
Daily Citizen. p. 21. Archived from the original on April 20, 2015.
Retrieved March 21, 2015 – via
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 133.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , pp. 112-113.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 115.
* ^ A B C D E Gehring 2008 , p. xv.
* ^ DuBrow, Rick (February 20, 1970). "TV in Review". The
News-Dispatch. p. 6. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ A B C D Christon, Lawrence (September 22, 1986). "TV Academy
Honors The Genius Of Red Skelton". Los Angeles Times. Archived from
the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 139.
* ^ A B "
Red Skelton Kicked Off His Career With Circus". Beaver
County Times. July 30, 1974. p. B5. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
* ^ A B O'Brien, Jim (April 14, 1977). "
Red Skelton Returns To
Regular Television". The Evening Independent. p. 10B. Retrieved May 2,
* ^ "The
Red Skelton Hour". CTVA-Classic TV Archive. April 18,
1967. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March
* ^ Bronson, Fred (March 4, 2000). "Trivia". Billboard: 16. ISSN
0006-2510 . Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved
March 28, 2014.
* ^ "Grammy Award Winners". National Academy of Recording Arts and
Sciences. 1967. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013.
Retrieved March 28, 2014.
* ^ "The
Red Skelton Show". CVTA-Classic TV Archive. September 14,
1970. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March
* ^ A B "
Red Skelton Files For Divorce". The Press-Courier.
November 12, 1971. p. 8. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Is Married In \'Double-Ring\' Rite". Toledo Blade.
October 9, 1972. p. 2. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Married To Photographer". Schenectady Gazette.
October 8, 1973. p. 13. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
* ^ A B C D Hyatt 2004 , p. 144.
* ^ "Skelton Butts Scenery, Sprains Neck". Rome News-Tribune.
August 18, 1954. p. 12. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
* ^ "Johnny Carson-Professional Cutup". Daytona Beach Morning
Journal. July 4, 1965. p. 23. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
* ^ "Red Skelton\'s ex-wife dead". The Telegraph-Herald. May 12,
1976. p. 24. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Red Skelton\'s Wife Hurt". St. Petersburg Times. July 20,
1966. p. 13A. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Red Skelton\'s Wife Seriously Wounded". Sarasota Journal. July
20, 1966. p. 20. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , pp. 300-301.
* ^ "Georgia Skelton obituary". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. May
12, 1976. p. 7B. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Skelton\'s ex-wife is suicide". The Daily Sentinel. May 11,
1976. p. 2. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Writers Suing
Red Skelton Over Tapes". Ocala Star-Banner. July
11, 1980. p. 6A. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton to Preserve Old TV Shows". Eugene Register-Guard.
September 5, 1980. p. 6A. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ Gardner, Marilyn and Hy (March 13, 1983). "
Red Skelton To
Return via Reruns". The Victoria Advocate. p. 16. Retrieved May 2,
* ^ "Clowns Turn Out For
Red Skelton Museum". The Victoria
Advocate. June 11, 2006. p. C. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
* ^ Macy, Robert (July 18, 1987). "
Red Skelton Will Keep His Comedy
Routine Clean". Gainesville Sun. p. 11A. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
* ^ A B Bark, Ed (January 31, 1984). "
Red Skelton Doesn\'t Care For
Blue". The Spokesman-Review. p. A1. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
* ^ Hopper, Hedda (January 21, 1951). "Dane Clark Heading For
England Again For Another Picture". Toledo Blade. Retrieved May 6,
* ^ "Skelton Performs As Plane Engines Quit Over Alps". Lodi
News-Sentinel. June 29, 1961. p. 5. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 226.
* ^ Arnold, Maxine (May 1957). Command Performance (PDF). TV-Radio
Mirror. pp. 10–12. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2,
2013. Retrieved February 12, 2012. (
* ^ Graham, Sheilah (September 4, 1951). "Skelton Going Abroad
Again". The Spokesman-Review. p. 5. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
* ^ Reeher, Ellen Holt (September 4, 1987). "Owensboro interpreter
for hearing impaired working with Red Skelton". Daily News. p. 5A.
Retrieved May 6, 2014.
* ^ A B Hyatt 2004 , p. 156.
* ^ A B "Skelton Rejects Role He Craved". The Miami News. June 12,
1974. p. 5B.
* ^ Haber, Joyce (May 22, 1974). "Skelton, Benny Set For Film
"Sunshine Boys"". Sarasota Journal. p. 6B. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
* ^ Haber, Joyce (August 23, 1974). "Skelton Says \'Sunshine Boys\'
Pay Insufficient". Sarasota Journal. p. 5B. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
* ^ Thomas, Bob (April 13, 1984). "
Red Skelton keeps \'em
laughing". The Telegraph. p. 26. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
* ^ Beck, Marilyn (January 7, 1975). "Hollywood Closeup". The
Milwaukee Journal. p. 5.
* ^ "Seven Rolls Royces Remain in Driveway and Skelton\'s Happy".
Eugene Register-Guard. March 1, 1977. p. 9C. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
* ^ "Make \'Em Laugh". Schenectady Gazette. December 12, 1981. p.
12. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
* ^ "Looking At Pay TV". The Milwaukee Journal. August 16, 1981. p.
* ^ A B "
Red Skelton Back On TV Next Month". Ottawa Citizen.
January 25, 1961. p. 40. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Is Honored". Schenectady Gazette. March 24, 1984.
p. 2. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Thomas, Bob (April 15, 1984). "Skelton replays old comedy skits
for royal crowd". Lakeland ledger. p. 46. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Pierce, Scott D. (July 16, 2005). "
PBS will showcase \'Pioneers
of Primetime\'". The Deseret News. Archived from the original on
October 23, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ A B Horn, John (September 18, 1997). "Comedian, actor Red
Skelton dies at age 84". Daily News. Bowling Green, Kentucky. p. 6B.
Retrieved May 7, 2014.
* ^ "Good Night and God Bless". Cedar Rapids Gazette. September 18,
1997. p. 79. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
* ^ Castro, Peter (October 6, 1997). "Good Night and God Bless".
People. Time Inc. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
* ^ Seff, Marsha Kay (April 30, 1978). "Cemeteries Provide
Recollections From Past". Toledo Blade. p. 4. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
* ^ Bacon, James (May 14, 1958). "Torrents Of Tears Well In Red\'s
Twinkling Eyes". St. Petersburg Times. p. 15A. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , pp. 280-282.
* ^ Gavin, Mike (June 21, 1964). "Red Skelton\'s Paintings
Exhibited At Las Vegas". Park City Daily News. p. 14. Retrieved May
* ^ Castro, Peter. "Good Night and God Bless". People. Archived
from the original on March 10, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
* ^ Wilson, Earl (July 1, 1973). "Skelton an eccentric painter".
Independent Press-Telegram. p. 27. Archived from the original on
January 7, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017 – via
* ^ "Red Skelton, Beloved Clown, Dies At 84". Eugene
Register-Guard. September 18, 1997. p. 4A. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton complex but happy". The Leader-Post. April 27,
1967. p. 6. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Debunks Impression All Clowns Just Like a
Pagliacci". Reading Eagle. November 11, 1962. p. 57. Retrieved May 28,
* ^ £Hopper, Hedda (March 19, 1964). "Stars In Exodus From
Hollywood". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 2B. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Thomas, Bob (March 9, 1965). "
Red Skelton Insulates Self
Against Misfortune". The Free Lance-Star. p. 2. Retrieved May 28,
* ^ A B C "Red Skelton". Ararat Shrine Temple. Archived from the
original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton wins top
Scottish Rite honor". The Northern Light.
1995. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved May 22,
* ^ Sawyer, Tommy E. (Fall 1998). "An Afternoon With Red Skelton".
The Texas Mason. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011.
Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ Gehring 2008 , p. 7.
* ^ "Famous Phi Sigs".
Phi Sigma Kappa
Phi Sigma Kappa at Purdue University.
Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved January 26,
* ^ "College Honors Comic With Honorary Degree". The Windsor Star.
November 6, 1961. p. 20. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
* ^ "Triple Honors for Red Skelton". Warsaw Times. November 8,
1961. p. 5. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Prominent Members of
Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity". Kappa Kappa
Psi fraternity. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved
May 7, 2014.
* ^ "Red is honored". The Nevada Daily Mail. September 19, 1986. p.
15. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ Wilson, Earl (September 12, 1963). "Earl Wilson". The Milwaukee
Journal. p. 11. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ A B "Skelton Honored at Emmys, Recalls Pain of Cancellation".
The Dispatch. September 22, 1986. p. 18. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ A B "Emmy Awards Database-Red Skelton". Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
* ^ "
Red Skelton for \'The Big Slide\', Playhouse 90". Academy of
Television Arts & Sciences. 1957. Archived from the original on May 6,
2014. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
* ^ "
Clown College Again Honors Red Skelton". St. Petersburg Times.
October 24, 1969. p. 4B. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
* ^ "Director Herbert Ross Sweeps Movie Categories". Times Daily.
January 27, 1978. p. 8. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
* ^ "Skelton will receive highest academy honor". The Deseret News.
July 25, 1986. p. A3. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
* ^ "Eight inducted into TV Academy Hall of Fame". Palo Verde
Valley Times. January 20, 1989. p. 2. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
* ^ "People-Red Skelton". Gettysburg Times. December 3, 1987. p.
7A. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
* ^ "
Television Hall of Fame Archives". Academy of Television Arts
& Sciences. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved
May 21, 2011.
* ^ Danilov 1997 , p. 169.
* ^ Heim 2007 , p. 200.
* ^ "Performance by
Red Skelton to aid Circus World Museum". The
Milwaukee Journal. May 2, 1989. p. 5B.
* ^ "Hepburn, Skelton among comedy honorees". The Pittsburgh Press.
May 24, 1989. p. C11. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
* ^ A B "Red Skelton-Hollywood Walk of Fame". Los Angeles Times.
Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
* ^ Marx 1959 , pp. 136-137.
* ^ "You Can Go Back to Allen\'s Alley Sunday Night" (PDF). Utica
Observer-Dispatch. November 12, 1965. p. 11. Retrieved October 30,
* ^ Benbow, Charles (March 16, 1982). "Red Skelton, America\'s
consummate clown, is always in character". St. Petersburg Times. p.
1D. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
* ^ Hyatt 2004 , p. 137.
* ^ A B "
Red Skelton Performing Arts Center". Vincennes University.
Archived from the original on June 24, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link )
* ^ "Town Honors
Red Skelton With Theater". Los Angeles Times. June
11, 2006. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved May
* ^ A B C D "
Red Skelton Foundation".
Red Skelton Foundation.
Archived from the original on June 23, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link )
* ^ "Grand Opening of the
Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy".
Red Skelton website. July 18, 2013. Archived from the
original on February 13, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Performing Arts Center". Vincennes University.
Archived from the original on June 3, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link )
* ^ "Zany comedy of a classic clown still brings laughter". Daily
News. Bowling Green, Kentucky. April 12, 1984. p. 15C. Retrieved May
* ^ "
Red Skelton Museum Foundation,
Indiana Historical Society Form
Indiana Historical Society. September 9, 2010. Archived
from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
* ^ Shane, Katie (November 22, 2010). "
Red Skelton Museum Gets One
Million Dollar Donation". My Wabash Valley. Archived from the original
on March 20, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
* ^ Hitchcock, Allie (July 16, 2012). "Lilly Endowment will aid
Vincennes University in completing
Red Skelton museum". Evansville
Courier and Press. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014.
Retrieved May 2, 2014. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown
* ^ "
Red Skelton Birthplace". Historic Vincennes-Knox County.
Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
* ^ McNeece, Jenny (July 15, 2017). "Skelton\'s birthplace takes
place in state history". Vincennes Sun-Commercial. Retrieved July 20,
* ^ Brown, Alex (July 13, 2017). "State to Dedicate Red Skelton
Historical Marker". Inside
Indiana Business. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Tribute Festival". Archived from the original on
April 13, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
* ^ "
Red Skelton Tribute Artist Brian Hoffman Attending Fifth
Red Skelton Festival, Vincennes Ind". release-news.com. 2010.
Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
* ^ Twitty, Tiffany (18 May 2006). "1921
Pantheon Theatre will be
part of downtown Vincennes\' future".
Indiana Economic Digest. IBRC
and IAR. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 6 May
* ^ McNeese, Jenny (December 24, 2014). "Another chance for
Pantheon Theatre where
Red Skelton first performed".
Vincennes Sun-Commercial. Archived from the original on December 31,
2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
* ^ McNeese, Jenny (March 10, 2016). "Group sees 1919 Vincennes
theater becoming shared work space". Vincennes Sun-Commercial.
Archived from the original on December 31, 2016. Retrieved November
* ^ "
Bing Crosby America\'s Screen Favourite.". The Argus .
Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 24 March 1945. p. 8
Supplement: The Argus Week-end Magazine. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
* ^ "Filmdom Ranks Its Money-Spinning Stars Best At Box-Office.".
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Sydney Morning Herald . National Library of Australia. 30 March
1950. p. 12. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
* ^ "BOX OFFICE DRAW.".
The Barrier Miner
The Barrier Miner . Broken Hill, NSW:
National Library of Australia. 29 December 1952. p. 3. Retrieved 4
* ^ Skelton, Red (1986). "The Great Lazarus". Skelton Publications.
Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
* Adir, Karin (2001). The Great Clowns of American Television.
McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1303-4 .
* Affron, Charles and Mirella (2009). Best Years: Going to the
Movies, 1945–1946. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-4845-6
* The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in
the United States. University of California Press. 1997. ISBN
* Balducci, Anthony (2011). The Funny Parts: A History of Film
Comedy Routines and Gags. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8893-3 .
* Danilov, Victor J. (1997). Hall of Fame Museums: A Reference
Guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-30000-4 .
* Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time
Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507678-8 .
* Foster, Charles (2003). Once Upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in
the Golden Age of Hollywood. Dundurn. ISBN 978-1-55002-464-7 .
* Gehring, Wes (2008). Red Skelton: The Mask Behind the Mask.
Indiana Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-87195-275-2 .
* Heim, Michael (2007). Exploring
Indiana Highways: Trip Trivia.
Exploring America's Highway. ISBN 978-0-9744358-3-1 .
* Hyatt, Wesley (2004). A Critical History of Television's The Red
Skelton Show, 1951–1971. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1732-2 .
* Knopf, Robert (1999). The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton.
Princeton University. ISBN 978-0-691-00442-6 .
* Langman, Larry; Gold, Paul (2001). Comedy Quotes from the Movies:
Over 4,000 Bits of Humorous Dialogue from All Film Genres, Topically
Arranged and Indexed. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1110-8 .
* Maltin, Leonard; Green, Spencer (2010). Leonard Maltin's Classic
Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965. Plume. ISBN
* Marx, Arthur (1979). Red Skelton: An Unauthorized Biography. E. P.
Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-18953-4 .
* Marx, Groucho (1959). Groucho And Me. Da Capo Press. ISBN
* Mott, Robert L. (2003). Radio Live! Television Live!: Those Golden
Days When Horses Were Coconuts. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1812-1 .
* Nachman, Gerald (2000). Raised on Radio. University of California
Press. ISBN 978-0-520-22303-5 .
* Pendergast, Sara and Tom (1999). St. James Encyclopedia of Popular
Culture. St. James Press. ISBN 978-1-55862-400-9 .
* Reid, John Howard (2006). Hollywood Movie Musicals. Lulu.com. ISBN
* Sterling, Christopher H. (2013). Biographical Dictionary of Radio.
Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-99376-3 .
* Vogel, Michelle (2006). Marjorie Main: The Life and Films of
Hollywood's "Ma Kettle". McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-6443-2 .
Wikimedia Commons has media related to RED SKELTON .