Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder

Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder - with Eve Arden- The Red Skelton Hour, season 16, originally aired January 24, 1967

Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder – with Eve Arden- The Red Skelton Hour, season 16, originally aired January 24, 1967

In Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder, after a misunderstanding George Appleby (Red Skelton) and his nagging wife Clara (Eve Arden) go to separate hotels for the remainder of their vacation. But fate has other plans …

Opening monologue

  • Ladies and gentlemen, before I start I must tell you about this lump on my forehead. That is a birth mark. I went to San Francisco over the weekend by train and I got on the wrong berth!
  • But it’s beautiful out here this time of year. The smudge pots are in bloom … Smudge pots, isn’t that a wonderful name? It sounds like a messy belly dancer.
  • And up in Berkley, they don’t use smudge pots. They have matches and draft cards!
  • And this is the time of the year that the flu season starts. Don’t fight it, just take off your clothes and go to bed. And if you’re a waitress in a bunny club, just put on some clothes and go to bed.
  • You know those bunnies, those bunnies in those bunny clubs, you never know if they’ve got a cold or not. They’re too polite to sniffle, and with those costumes, they’re afraid to sneeze!

Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder – Act I

Gussie (Marilyn Michaels), George Appleby (Red Skelton), and Clara (Eve Arden) in Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder

Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder begins with Social Director Gussie (Marilyn Michaels) looking for George Appleby. Another customer at the hotel, tired of waiting for George, begins throwing horseshoes by himself. Unlucky George catches it — in his mouth. Later, an obnoxious guest slaps George on the back, pushing him into Gussie — just as George’s wife Clara shows up.

After being slapped & kicked by Clara, George tries to open a deck chair for her — and fails.

Clara: My grandfather has more strength than you, and he’s been dead three years.
George: Well, your grandfather’s not only stronger than me, he’s luckier!

Clara tries to get George a sunburn — that is, suntan. “After being married to you, I’m grateful for any warmth I can get!”

Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder – Act II

Clara hits George Appleby goodbye in Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder

Back at the hotel, George and Clara eat at the restaurant. They’re bickering and fighting, and George keeps knocking the waiters through. He insults the couple at the adjoining table. And Clara suggests that they separate for the remainder of the vacation. And then Clara hits George goodbye.

Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder – Act III

Clara checks into a hotel, under the name of “John Smith” so George can’t find her if he’s looking. Shortly after, George arrives, also looking for a room. But the last room’s been taken. But he could share it with Mr. Smith!

So, there’s some comedy as one of them is out of the room when the other enters, with them both ending up in the same bed. Still not realizing who the other is.

Clara and George Appleby - who's that sleeping in my bed?

Soon, the couple reconcile, and even try to be romantic. Until the management bursts in! After all, it’s a family hotel, and they can’t have an unmarried couple staying the in the same room. But George pulls out his marriage license, and proves that they’re married. Clara is touched that he’s so romantic that he carries their marriage license with him. But George confesses that he keeps it to find a loophole & get out of the marriage!

Red and Marilyn Michaels

They do a short skit, where Marilyn teaches Red how to pull up his chest, to improve his singing. But he pulls too hard!

The Silent Spot

In the Silent Spot, Red plays Pop, his elderly character, as a mechanic. First, Pops ruins the coat of an overweight customer whose car he’s working on. But, it has a happy ending. Then, he tries to fix a flat bicycle tire for a nerdish young man. This ends less happily. Then, a customer drives his car in for gas … over Pops’ feet. While helping the man win a jackpot at the soda machine, Pops unintentionally fills his back seat with gasoline! The man drives of — with the gas pump! Finally, the first customer comes back and … her car gives birth!

Songs

  • Marilyn Michaels sings, You’re Gonna Hear From Me and Queen of the Nile.
  • Tom Hansen Dancers perform It Only Happens When I Dance With You.