Thursday, July 18, 2013

Red Skelton 100th Birthday 18 July 2013

Red Skelton - 100th Birthday - 18 July 2013

I met him in Seattle, Summer 1977. My writing partner John Halvorson called me up on the phone. "You've got to get down here! Red Skelton is here! Olympic Hotel!" And he hung up. 

Zoomed down! Speed-walked into the Olympic Lobby. It was filled to capacity with Japanese tourists, and right in the middle, ignored by the tourists, chewing on an enormous unlighted cigar the size of a Presto-Log, was Red Skelton. 

He wasn't sad...exactly...but none of the tourists recognized him, or seemed to speak English. He brightened up, when he caught sight of us. "What are you doing here?" I asked. "Looking for you!" he replied.

The next hour was delightful. He told us he painted a painting and wrote a piece of music, every day. He told jokes - often - just like regular folks gab about the weather. He autographed my glossy of him, so it could hang on my Editing Room wall. "My Thanks, Red Skelton."

I asked if he'd autograph my copy of "The Groucho Files," because in it, Groucho wrote Red was the natural comic successor to Chaplin. Groucho wrote that Red could do anything. Monologue, pantomime, jokes, stories. He had all the comic gifts. High praise indeed, from another Master.

Red seemed quite moved. He turned to a tourist, and said "Look! Groucho Marx says I'm funny!" He only got a puzzled smile from the tourist, to which Red did a huge shocked take, which was...funny. Of course.

Wherever you are, on your 100th Birthday, bless you Red.

A delightful collection! More of Red Skelton's great comedy.

The Plege
The Pladge
The Pleadge
Red Skelton
Skelton Red
Ed Sullivan
Peforming Arts
Red Skelton Show
Red Skelton Pledge
The Red Skelton Show
Red Skelton Paintings
The Pledge Of The Allegiance
Red Skelton Pledge Of Allegiance
Pledge Of Allegiance Red Skelton
Pledge Of Allegiance By Red Skelton
John Wayne John Wayne John Wayne

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