Although today most people think of Red Skelton as a star of Television, he was, in fact a big Film star.
No question that the comedian reached vast audiences via his radio and tv shows — the latter forming the mainstay of CBS’ Tuesday night prime time schedules from 1953 to 1970. Skelton was often mistakenly thought of as a creation of the tube, a daffy clown who excelled an creating an amusing lineup of eccentric characters.
But Skelton’s show biz bona fides were already established via Hollywood movies — about 40 of them to be more or less exact made from 1938 through 1989, eight years before his death at age 84.
He always was a favorite of family audiences thanks to a series of light comedies and musicals. He worked “clean” and believed heartily in leaving ’em laughing.
He also worked with some of classic Hollywood’s biggest stars. And, again, he was a star himself. How much do you known about Red Skelton? Why not take our Monday Quiz and find out. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Why was Richard Skelton, the pride of Vincennes, Indiana, known as “Red”? a) Because he was far left politically ; b) Because of the color of his hair; c) Because of his hair-trigger temper; or d) Because of his dislike of John Wayne and Ward Bond.
2) Question: Skelton’s highly popular impersonations of tv characters did NOT include which one of the following? a) Clem Kadiddlehopper; b) Freddie the Freeloader; c) George Appleby; or d) Mr. Rogers.
3) Question: Despite his clean-living public facade, Skelton was one of Hollywood’s renowned drunks. a) True; or b) False?
4) Question: When Skelton first started out at MGM, he was groomed to become another a) Ed Wynn; b) Bert Lahr; c) BobHope; or d) Lou Costello?
5) Question: Esther Williams, Skelton’s MGM costar in 1944’s Bathing Beauty, reported that the comedian fiercely resisted a requirement for his part as Broadway songwriter “Steve Elliott.” Why? a) He disliked wearing wigs; b) He refused to wear a dress in one scene; c) He balked at shaving off his profuse chest hair; or d) He loathed the idea of kissing Williams.
6) Question: Which contemporary comic actor is most often compared to Red Skelton? a) Seth Rogan; b) Jim Carrey; c) Adam Sandler; or d) Ice Cube.
7) Question: Although hilariously outgoing in movies and tv, Skelton was even funnier off camera. a) True; or b) False?
8) Question: Like Danny Kaye, Skelton was at one point married to his agent/manager. What was his affectionate term for his wife? a) ‘Little Red’; b) ‘Mamma’; c) ‘Doll’; or d) ‘Nut buster.’
9) Question: Skelton had fun playing himself in which one of these movies? a) 1946’s The Show-Off; b) 1950’s Three Little Words; c) 1943’s Du Barry Was A Lady; or d) 1960’s Ocean’s Eleven.
10) Question: Skelton is widely remembered for getting off a parting shot aimed at one of Hollywood’s most-loathed studio moguls. Who was this studio boss, and what did Skelton say about him?