George Appleby, Red Skelton‘s henpecked husband character
George Appleby is the ultimate henpecked husband. In addition to holding down (at least) one full-time job, he does the cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc. around the house. None of which is to the satisfaction of his bossy wife, Clara.
His job varies according to the need of the episode, but he’s typically a lower-ranking office worker, with no hope of advancement. He’s physically near-sighted, and always wears a pair of round glasses. He’s typically dressed in a suit and bow tie. Like most of Red’s characters, he wears a hat. In his case, a bowler.
George is a perpetual loser, although he maintains a happy attitude, like many of Red’s characters. In some ways, he’s very similar to Freddie the Freeloader — if Freddie held down a job, and was hen-pecked.
He will occasionally talk back to Clara, but quickly backs down. When she’s not in earshot, he will sometime comment on her bad looks — although she’s been portrayed by some of the leading ladies of Hollywood. For example:
- Eve Arden
- Janet Blair
- Pat Carroll
- Virginia Grey
- Marilyn Maxwell
- Audrey Meadows
Clara constantly demeans and belittles George. Although, deep down, she does truly love him. And he loves her as well — although we won’t admit it to her. The ending of Absence Makes the Hate Grow Fonder is a good example of this.