Ta Ra Ra Bum Today [The Red Skelton Hour]

Ta Ra Ra bum Today title card

Ta Ra Ra Bum Today – The Red Skelton Hour with Fred Gwynne, season 14, originally aired April 27, 1965

Hobo Freddie the Freeloader (Red Skelton) camps out in the spooky house of Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne). And then Herman comes home!

Monologue.

  • I had a musical evening last night. Actually, I was listening to some woman singing, and I couldn’t take it any longer. I says to the guy next to me, “That’s the worst voice I ever heard. Who is she?” The guy says: “My wife.” I says, “Well, actually, the voice is not too bad, it’s that rotten song.” He says: “I wrote it.”
  • A few weeks ago, I bought 400 acres of land, see, and I went up to see it the other day. It’s under water! And I met the sucker that sold it to me today, and you know what happened? He sold me a boat!
  • There’s this teacher speaking to a group of children. “I want you to be good. If you’re good, you’ll go to Heaven. Don’t you want to go to Heaven?” One little boy pipes up, “I’d like to, but Mom told me to come straight home.”
  • Gertrude and Heathcliffe, the two seagulls. She says, “I’m telling you, boy, this laying an egg is a pain.” He says, “You’re always complaining! Come with me.” So they fly downtown to the city hall. She says, “What’d you bring me here for?” He says, “You’re always complaining. Hang around a few minutes, the mayor’s going to lay a cornerstone!”

Red does a pantomime, with narration, of an old man and a young boy at a drug store.

Ta Ra Ra Bum Today – Act I

Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster in "Ta Ra Ra Bum Today"

Freddie the Freeloader and his hobo pals are looking for a place to spend the night. They come upon 1313 Mockingbird Lane — the home of The Munsters. Fortunately for them, the family’ away, and the house is vacant. Unfortunately for them, Herman Munster comes home early! But he’s delighted to see that he has house guests, and tries to make them feel at home. But, the frightened hobos all run away — except for Freddie!

Ta Ra Ra Bum Today – Act II – Freddie and Herman in the park

Freddie the Freeloader takes advantage of his new friend, Herman Munster, to frighten a cop in the park

Freddie takes Herman to the park, to introduce him to the hobo life. Once there, Freddie uses his friend’s scary countenance to get various “left overs”. Cigars, food, etc. that people leave behind when they run away in terror. “What does everyone think my name’s ‘Eek’? It’s Herman.” Then, Freddie spies and unfriendly police officer. That police officer’s “on the ways and means committee — he thinks of ways to be mean to hobos”. Freddy uses his new friend to frighten the cop into submission, and take a little bit of revenge on him.

Ta Ra Ra Bum Today – Act III – at the fancy restaurant

Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) performs "Gypsy Melody" in the conclusion of "Ta Ra Ra Bum Today"

Freddie and his hobo pals arrive at the club “Swank-Ritz”. They plan to eat like millionaires, and have Herman arrive when the check comes. This way, everyone is frightened away, and they don’t have to pay the check! But the best-laid plans of mice and hobos oft go astray. Freddie’s plan to take advantage of Herman fails, when the police officer from Act II shows up, with a new job for Herman. So, when Freddie calls out the signal for Herman to enter — “let me have it” — the wait staff lets him and the other hobos have it! Then comes the floor show — Herman Munster performing “Gypsy Melody”! He literally brings the house down!

Red Skelton and Fred Gwynne on stage

Red Skelton in drag as Mary Todd Lincoln, Fred Gwynne as Abraham Lincoln - "that's my Gettysburg address"

Red: If I had a face like yours, I’d be ashamed to show it.

Fred: If I had a show like yours, I’d be afraid to face it.

Good natured kidding aside, they then do a short “drama”. Fred plays Abraham Lincoln, and Red (in drag) as his wife.

The Silent Spot

Technically, this is a one-person pantomime. Red pantomimes a tourist in Paris, at the Eiffel Tower, who wants to pay 18 cents to ride the elevator to the top. But his penny-pinching wife objects! She wants them to walk the 1,200+ steps up! It’s a very funny pantomime, with a funny ending as he tries to take her photograph as the top!n adventurous tourist (Red) and his wife try to snap pictures of the Eiffel Tower.

Billy J. Kramer

Music

  • Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas perform “Little Children” and “From a Window.”
  • “Love is a Game” — sung by the Skeltones? A very nice, haunting song that I can’t find any information on. If anyone can provide additional information, I’ll cheerfully update this.

Cast

  • Red Skelton … Self – Host / Freddie the Freeloader
  • The Dakotas … Guest Vocalists
  • Fred Gwynne … Herman Munster
  • Billy J. Kramer … Self – Guest Vocalist

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