AMC – The Red Skelton Show – 14 episodes of Red Skelton’s TV series
AMC – The Red Skelton Show is a very nice compilation of episodes from The Red Skelton Show — a total of 14 episodes on 2 DVDs, for under $10.00. Frankly, several of these are personal favorites, and they showcase some of Red Skelton’s most famous characters, including Freddy the Freeloader, Clem Kadiddlehopper and Cauliflower McPugg. They also include some excellent moments of Red Skelton being himself, such as when he emceed the Look Awards and interacted with Judy Garland, Jack Lemmon, Walt Disney, Edmond O’Brien, Alfred Hitchcock, Bing Crosby, and many others.
A few favorite episodes from the DVD include “Freddie and the Spies” with Red Skelton’s hobo character, Freddy the Freeloader, having to hide “the little black box” from spies. It includes a wonderful guest appearance with Edward Everett Horton, made up as another hobo clown, with some priceless moments, such as Freddy returning from “shopping” in the dump, counting the peas, hiding the box from Horton, and discovering the “red herring” in the black box. This episode alone is worth the price of admission.
Other favorites include Red Skelton’s Clem Kadiddlehopper, a country bumpkin, who keeps getting mixed up with city slickers, and making fun of modern “art” in “Clem the Artist” — the scene early in the episode where he has to choose between the city and the country (and his girl) is hilarious — “the toast of the town! That’d be a lot to a crumb like me!” Another is “Cauliflower Goes to Hollywood” where Cauliflower McPugg, Freddy’s punch-drunk fighter, is hired to train a Hollywood dandy, played to the hilt by Vincent Price, in prize fighting for a picture. Against all odds, Clem wins the fight and the girl, despite Vincent Price’s best efforts. Red shines in this, but so does Vincent Price, who could have made a living doing comedy instead of horror.
Disc 1 of The Red Skelton Show
- “Navy Men” with guests, Buster Crabbe & Jamie Farr (5-15-56)
- “Freddie Needs a Lawyer” with guest, Mickey Rooney (6-12-62)
- “Clem the Artist” with guests, John Carradine and Franklin Pangborn (4-22-58)
- “George Appleby’s Garage” with guests, Mary Beth Hughes and Franklin Pangborn (2-21-58)
- “Clem’s Oil” with guests, Carol Channing and a cameo by Peter Lorre (1-01-57)
- “Mr. Lasagna” with guests, George Raft and Reginald Denny (1-01-55)
- “Quiz Show: You Take Your Chances” with guests, Marilyn Maxwell and Steve Dunne (10-23-63)
Disc 2 of The Red Skelton Show
- “Freddie and the Spies” with guest, Edward Everett Horton (1-13-59)
- “The South” with guests, Charles Ruggles and Marie Windsor (2-27-62)
- “Cauliflower Goes to Hollywood” with guest, Vincent Price (6-23-59)
- “Bolivar’s Beauty Salon” with guest, Nancy Walker (2-04-58)
- “Trailer Park” with guests, Mary McCarty and Reginald Denny (1-25-55)
- “The Cop and the Anthem” with guests, Allen Jenkins and The Mitchell Choir Boys (12-21-54)
- “The Look Awards” with cameos by Judy Garland, Jack Lemmon, Walt Disney, Edmond O’Brien, Alfred Hitchcock, Bing Crosby and many other stars (3-08-55)
I rate it 5 clowns on a 5-clown scale.