When Nuthood Was in Flower, The Red Skelton Hour, season 15, originally aired January 4, 1966 with Milton Berle
In When Nuthood Was in Flower, Red Skelton appears as Forsooth in a sketch set in the Middle Ages. He begins as apprentice to a torture device manufacturer, and ends entertaining the troops … With guest star Milton Berle! The ad libbing and improvised comedy is hilarious!
[Red comes on stage, carrying a rain slicker.] Do you know what this is? A new California sun suit! In California out here, this time of year, the weather’s beautiful … the umbrellas are in bloom, you know. It’s really picturesque to see those Sunkist oranges floating down the drain … You know, with Noah it rained 40 days and 40 nights. Out here the weatherman calls that “light to moderate”.
You know, there’s never any water in the Las Angeles river rout here. When it last rained, there were these two fish talking, and one of them says, “This is that stuff I was telling you about.” The other fish says, “Well, lets get out of here before we get drowned!”
I saw a little boy fishing in the gutter. I asked him how the fishing was, and he said, “The fishing’s great!” Then, I asked what he caught, and he said, “Nothin’.” I said, I thought you said the fishing was great? “I did! The fishing is great. It’s the catching that’s lousy!” I asked him what he’s fishing for, he said a “goodaloop”. I asked, him, what’s a goodaloop? He said, “I don’t know, I ain’t caught one yet!”
Pantomime of the things you have to do to enjoy the California weather.
When Nuthood Was in Flower
Red, as Forsooth, is the apprentice to Max Fracture (Jan Arvan), proprietor of the “Ye Olde Pain & Torture Shoppe”. Forsooth accidentally burns his own hands, Max’s, and Lord Fancypants, before spilling boiling oil on them. No-Good (Milton Berle), Max’s son, returns home from college, having flunked out.
Forsooth: Forgive me, Sewer.
No-Good: Sewer? Young man, that’s “sire”. You have very bad breeding.
Forsooth: If I have very bad breeding, how did I know you was a sewer?
No-Good: Even for the Middle Ages, that joke’s pretty old.
Max sends his son & Forsooth to the King (Henry Corden) — Prince Charlton of Heston — as traveling salesmen. After entering with a bad song, and failing to interest in the latest cure for dandruff — a head chopper — they show off their new torture device. The people stretcher!
Forsooth: Good thing I was wearing my stretch pants!
The King, however, decides to hire them as entertainers — for the troops in the battlefield. If they’re not funny, he threatens to can them.
No-Good: Just think, he’s gonna can us. We’ll go down in history as the first canned hams!
Soon, they’re doing their corny jokes for the solders. “The biggest schmoe in the USO …”
No-Good: A Duke is born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Forsooth: I’ll bet that tickled his mother!
Soon, the enemy appears, and the two groups of soldiers fight. But No-Good keeps interrupting the fight to tell jokes like:
No-Good: What is black-and-white and black-and-white and black-and-white?
Forsooth: I don’t know.
No-Good: A penguin rolling down a hill.
Soon, the soldiers all surround their mutual enemies — the comedians! And threaten to burn them at the stake. Or, chop off their heads. Of course, a hot stake is better than a cold chop …
Red Skelton and Milton Berle on stage
Red and Milton come on stage, standing in front of a backdrop. The backdrop has a picture of a front door, back doown, and western-style swinging doors with a spittoon. Milton first bets Red that there are actually four doors — including the cuspidor. Then, he bets that there are only three — it’s not a cuspidor, it’s a spittoon. Frankly, the funniest part is where Milton asks Red for change — two tens for a five. Red does a visual bit that’s very funny as he checks the math, ending with “For a minute, I thought you were cheating me.”
Red and Lucille Knoch dance … badly. This leads into Red doing a hilarious pantomime about a woman getting up in the morning, putting on makeup, putting on her girdle, etc. Red said that it was originally done by his father in the Wallace Hagenbeck circus. He did an expanded version of this in Bathing Beauty.
In the musical segment, Linda Bennett performs ‘I’m Nobody’s Baby‘ and ‘Limehouse Blues.’ The sleepy medieval hamlet in which Forsooth lives is identified as Anasthesia.
Red demonstrates what happens when a bridge fanatic is desperate to find a fourth for bridge. During a hurricane! It’s a funny routine, with a lot of prop humor.