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San Fernando Red [Red Skelton’s con artist character]

Red Skelton as the con man San Fernando Red

San Fernando Red is Red Skelton’s likable con artist character. He’s typically accompanied by his female accomplice, Ruby. Depending on the sketch, he’s either a corrupt politician, or a con artist. He’s not above bilking widows, blackmailing politicians, or selling worthless items.

He tends to be an unsuccessful con artist — which is probably part of why he’s as enjoyable character as he is. If he were successful, he’d be a downright villain, and unlikable. Proof of his lack of success is that he and Ruby are wanted in 49 out of 50 states — sometimes more!


One constant in San Fernando’s appearances, besides his outfit, is his accomplice Ruby. She’s portrayed by a variety of actresses. Often, by Amanda Blake of Gunsmoke fame. However, she’s always in on Fernando’s schemes. Although he’s not above trying to cheat her as well!

Ruby (Emmaline Henry): With all that back salary you owe me, I’m still wearing last year’s stockings.
San Fernando Red (Red Skelton): That’s no problem; you’ve still got last year’s legs in them!

Monotony on the Bounty

San Fernando Red quotes

My Friends, and you are my friends cuz nobody tells me who my friends are. When I was running for office I said there wasn’t nothing that I wouldn’t do for you,….and I’ve kept my word, I’ve done nothing!

This post office that we have here, the man that built it is as close to me as my own family. As a matter of fact, it’s my brother. I don’t want you to think that I’m getting any favors outta this. Let me repeat that. I never repeat myself, never repeat myself. Let me repeat that, I never repeat myself. Now, I hope I’m getting through to you. I got no favors outta this at all, only money.

Mountain Washin’

Rich Woman: You said money returned if not completely satisfied.
San Fernando Red (Red Skelton): Yes, and once I had your money, I was completely satisfied!

Monotony on the Bounty