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Comedy and Jokes by Red Skelton

Ms. Inglish has spent 30 years working in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Skelton as the heavy drinker Willie Lump-Lump. Willie's wife nailed all the furniture to a wall to teach him a lesson.

Skelton as the heavy drinker Willie Lump-Lump. Willie's wife nailed all the furniture to a wall to teach him a lesson.

Joke's 'R' Us

That is where I need to go to purchase some funny material.

I cannot believe I am writing a Hub on jokes, but then, that's a big reason I joined Hub Pages a year ago - Not to write jokes, but to learn to write in a wider Universe. So here I am.

Sometimes I do funny things and make a class laugh. Sometimes I arrange words and pictures to illustrate a point with dry humor. So I have nothing to lose in presenting you with one of my favorite comedians.

Richard "Red "Skelton (1913 - 1997) was a clean-joke teller, an portrait artist, and a poet. He was in the same poetry association I joined and I was glad of it, because his work is good.

Laughter for Healing

University of Vincennes, Indiana: Red Skelton Museum Of American Comedy, Education Center, and Performing Arts Center.

University of Vincennes, Indiana: Red Skelton Museum Of American Comedy, Education Center, and Performing Arts Center.

At 10 or so years old, he left home and joined a Medicine Show. That's the traveling show Cher sang about in Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves. They sing, they do magic, they dance (some strip a little), they sell some tonic, and someone tells jokes or does slapstick.

This was like vaudeville, only it traveled in wagons or in old cars in the 1920s about the time of the prelude to the Great Depression. Growing up in extreme poverty, he needed something to laugh at and he was influenced by vaudeville and tent show comedian Ed Wynn.

Red learned a lot about funny faces, clowning, slapstick comedy and pantomime, but one of the best things he did was the Story Joke. The one presented below is from vaudeville, updated and cleaned up a little for mid-20th century television. Red did some "naughty jokes", as he called them, but never on film. He did not want audiences to see or hear them.

Red used to upset his weekly TV script rehearsals with these jokes to make himself laugh so hard that he could relax before the live taping later. However, he was relaxed while, others were annoyed.

Red Skelton, Bob Hope, and Johnny Carson

Red Skelton, Bob Hope, and Johnny Carson

Red Skelton Vaudeville Joke

A man goes into the confessional at church and says, "Forgive me, father. I have sinned."

The priest recognizes the man's voice. It is Charlie Smith, one of the most loyal, devoted members of the church. The priest says, "Charlie, I cannot believe that you, of all people, could possibly have committed a sin."

Charlie says, "Well, father, I am ashamed to admit that I did. My wife and I have been married for 42 years and for the last ten, we have been unable to have marital relations. And you cannot imagine what that is like, father. It just creates unbearable tension and causes my dear wife to believe that I do not love her, which is far, far from the truth."

"I understand," says the priest.

Charlie goes on: "Then, last Saturday evening, I looked at my wife and she was bending over a sack of potatoes. There was something about her at that moment...I suddenly experienced feelings I had not felt for a decade. I was suddenly filled with love and passion for my wife and I grabbed her and ripped her dress off and we made love, right there on that sack of potatoes. And that is how I have sinned, father."

The priest is puzzled. "That is not a sin, my son. The two of you are married...it is not a sin to express that love for your wife..."

There are tears in Charlie's voice as he gasps, "You mean it, father? You really mean it? We won't be thrown out of the church?"

The priest laughs. "Of course not. Why would we throw you out of the church?"

Charlie says, "Well, they threw us out of the Safeway."

Peter Lorre and Red Skelton perform The Honeymooners

Clem and Bela Lugosi

Red Skelton Museum

Pie Fight at Red Skelton Clown School, Held Annually in June

Historic Vaudeville Footage

Laughter and Medicine

  • Health: Laughter as Cure
    Humor was once badly criticized in parts of the medical profession and only bullyism and academics were respected. Times have changed for the better. Medical Students at many Universities in America are now trained in how to be funny.
  • Laughter as Medicine
    The medical community recognizes the healthful results of laughter. and encourages us to use it. The brain and the body can benefit.
  • How to Become a Certified Laughter Club Leader and E...
    Laughter is medicine and it can be cultivated with physical activity and even Laugh Clubs. Many physicians know the healing power of laughter and most children know it. You can too!

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 04, 2018:

His paintings are pretty interesting, too. I miss him and I miss the circus.

Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on January 03, 2018:

Very interesting comic. Loved the Red Skelton show as a kid.

louromano on March 25, 2012:

A great guy, I asw him first in the Poseidon Adneture when I was a kid.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 17, 2012:

I miss it too. Sometimes PBS reruns some episodes.

Mary Strain from The Shire on February 17, 2012:

My parents loved Red Skelton and we pretty much grew up watching Freddy the Freeloader and Klem Kadiddlehopper. I miss that kind of clean humor on TV. Good night and God bless, Red.

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on August 10, 2011:

You've rung a perfect note as Skelton comes off as a poet of comedy....I will try to look up some of his poetry online.;))

natureboy on April 14, 2011:

red was one of the best comics that ever was i got to see him live once and even met him once the only man that ever was ,,,that could lay down on his back on a stagh and make himself look like a piece of bacon ,,,frying on a hot griddle and not only get away with it but make people laugh ,,, they dont make people like that any more

BetsyIckes from Pennsylvania on August 12, 2009:

Oh this hub brought back memories! I use to watch the Red Skelton show as a kid! Great hub!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 14, 2009:

Yes, he has been one of the better members.

lxxy from Beneath, Between, Beyond on May 14, 2009:

Thanks for making me smile!

Red Skelton is one of your species best comedians! =)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 05, 2009:

He still makes me smile, too. We need this humanity these days, but perhaps every generation does. :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 05, 2009:

Brings back many happy memories of watching those shows on early television with my parents and sometimes even my grandparents. His act was that of a big hearted clown of a person with a soft side. Freddie the Freeloader was a favorite character. Thanks for writing this hub. It is making me smile just thinking of Red Skelton.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 24, 2008:

I agree with you Mr. Moulds. The could benefit from both radio and Red Skelton for imagination and laughter. Red on film still makes me laugh so hard I cannot breathe.

Thanks for stopping by and giving a nice comment!

Warren Moulds on February 24, 2008:

Few of any comic actors had the range of characters, voices or brilliant pacing of Red. When we were kids, his weekly radio show was something we lived for. Later it was his tv show. Now, just thinking about him and Junior, Klem and his other characters cracks me up. Kids today are really denied by not having Red Skelton in their lives.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 19, 2008:

johnr54, than you for the additional information. Great input. I hope to visit the museum this summer.

Hazok - thank you, I appreciate your comments.

Hazok from Malaysia on February 19, 2008:

Great as always. whatever u touch patty turns to gold.

Joanie Ruppel from Texas on February 18, 2008:

In your links you have the Vincennes University Red Skelton Museum. Vincennes is quite proud of the fact that Red was born there. In additon, they are trying to preseve his birthplace, and the major bridge over the Wabash River was named for him decades ago. I remember watching him on Saturday nights, and he is still a favorite of my parents.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 18, 2008:

I was just thinking, Red would be pleased to know he still has an audience!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 18, 2008:

William - thank you very much for that link. And I'll check Amazon as well. I'll have some good things to listen to and watch very soon thanks to your help, friends!

Kiz Robinson from New Orleans, Louisiana on February 18, 2008:

Patty!!! Amazon.com has some amazing Red Skelton stuff too!

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on February 18, 2008:

Patty, there are a few companies that sell oldtime radio shows. I haven't used this one, but it's one option:

http://www.radioshowcds.com/cd_red_skelton.html

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 18, 2008:

WalMart it is - I have to go there next week and will look, Thank you!

Kiz Robinson from New Orleans, Louisiana on February 18, 2008:

I loved the part of his sketch on TV one night where someone from his crew got him to say the word 'Hell'. He was so flustered!! A real golden hearted character, and a huge part of my growing-up process.

On a side note, you can pick up one or two skit dvds at walmart for a buck. Well worth it!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 18, 2008:

Thank very much Rhym. I miss him more every day now.

Rhym O'Reison from Crowley, Tx on February 18, 2008:

Very nice story. Everything I know about Red Skelton I owe to you. Thanks.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 17, 2008:

Thank you for this story, BoCot. After doing this Hub and having this dicussion thread, I really miss Red Skelton. I will definitely tray to find tapes of his radio shows. Radio brought so much out of the imagination!

BoCot from Illinois on February 17, 2008:

You brought back memories, when I was kid and Red had his show on radio and he was playing one of his characters "Junior" about kidnapping Santa. He had him trapped in his closet and wasn't going to let him out till he gave him the present he wanted. His skits were always hilarious. note: I never got much for Christmas, so I loved it. I was rooting for Junior BoCot

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 17, 2008:

Thank you, Im really glad you like it. The vid with Peter Lorre is priceless.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on February 17, 2008:

Patty, this is fantastic! I loved learning more about Red Skelton and his era. The Safeway Joke is priceless. Excellent Hub!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 17, 2008:

Red Buttons as pretty funny himself!

Ashok Rajagopalan from Chennai on February 17, 2008:

Oops, that was Red Buttons, sorry.

Ashok Rajagopalan from Chennai on February 17, 2008:

A great guy, I asw him first in the Poseidon Adneture when I was a kid.

Thank you, Patty.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 16, 2008:

I'm glad you stopped by, William. I remember seeing Peter Lorre on two other comedy shows, but Red's was the funniest. I'm sorry the readio show was before my time. Perhaps on CDs these days.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on February 16, 2008:

I loved Red Skelton's movies and his TV show. The video is great, and Peter Lorre is one of my favorites, too, but I don't think he did much comedy. Jack Benny's been all over satellite radio this week because his birthday was on Valentine's Day. He had a wonderful radio show. Nice going, Patty.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 16, 2008:

YES! The Horn Blows at Midnight - a favorite of mine. OK, will write.

gredmondson from San Francisco, California on February 16, 2008:

I loved Red Skelton on television as a kid. I remember thinking that I'd start my homework after the Red Skelton Show. Then, later I discovered his movies from the 40s. It's been a long time since I have seen one, but I'm going to Tivo Red Skelton right now. How about writing something on Jack Benny? He was another favorite. His movie "The Horn Blows at Midnight" I think is comic genius.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 16, 2008:

Thanks Doghouse! I was writing something about his recitation of the Pledge of Alegience, so it all sort of fell together. He was one of the funniest people I ever saw in my life,a s well as nice, but he had a sarcastric edge. I liked that. George Reeves as Superman had it as well.

In The Doghouse from California on February 16, 2008:

Patty

Red Skelton is one of the funniest men on earth. Thank you for helping us remember that.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 16, 2008:

You're welcome!

Stacie Naczelnik from Seattle on February 16, 2008:

Thanks for introducing me to Red Skelton. I love that Safeway joke. Too funny!

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