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Clean Fighter

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Dirty McGurk (Gil Perkins), Cauliflower McPugg and his manager Dick Ryan in the "Clean Fighter" Tide commercial

Clean Fighter – The Red Skelton Show season 1, episode 17

Clean Fighter is a funny Cauliflower McPugg commercial for Tide. Willy Lump Lump comes home, Red Skelton & Lucy Knox do drug store skits, and Red mocks the upper class on Lovers Lane.

Willie Lump Lump comes home

Willy Lump Lump pantomime in "Clean Fighter"

Red pantomimes an inebriated Willie Lump Lump coming home and trying to enter his house. He can’t find his keys, so he opens a window, climbs inside, finds the keys, goes back out the window, unlocks the door and comes on in! Then he’s trying to make himself a meal. But in the end, even he can’t eat the meal he’s prepared, so he throws it out! He opens the refrigerator, pulls out and drinks a beer!

Red demonstrates how different people act in a pharmacy

  • Red as an impatient man comes to the counter, demanding a mouse trap. “Make it quick, I’m in a hurry. I’ve got to catch a bus.” Behind the counter, Lucy Knox replies, “I’m sorry, we don’t have any that big.”
  • Then Red’s a drug store cowboy, who wants two nickels for a dime so he can play the pinball machine. But the prop cash register won’t work! Finally, he tilts the machine vigorously, and wants his nickel back.
  • Finally, Red’s a very shy person coming into the drug store. But before then can start the sketch, he has to move the counter and the register — dropping it on Lucy’s finger! It’s only a scratch, but he keeps breaking her up on live TV with his ad libs about it!

Clean Fighter

The weekly Tide commercial, named “Clean Fighter”, features Cauliflower McPugg showing boxer Dirty McGurk and the fight manager how Tide detergent cleans clothes better than any other brand. I love how Cauliflower offhandedly gives his manager a horseshoe to put in his boxing glove — “for good luck”! At the end, Cauliflower ends the commercial by sneezing off McGurk’s toupee, showing ‘T-I-D-E’ in marker on his bald scalp!

Parking and Sparking

Red and his girl are parked on Lover’s Lane, next to another car inhabited by upper class elites. The comedy comes from the upper class couple saying sweet nothings, etc. and then Red and his girl “translating” it to the lower class dialect. For example:

Reggie (upper class, to his girlfriend): The moonlight makes you look like a goddess …

Red: In the moonlight, you look like a movie star.
Girl: Hideous Lamar?
Red: No, Humphrey Bogart.

Cast of characters

  • Red Skelton Red Skelton … Self – Host / Willie Lump Lump / Cauliflower McPugg
  • David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
  • Lucille Knox (Executive Suite) … Pharmacy Clerk / Pharmacy Skit (as Lucy Knoch)
  • Bob LeMond … Self – Announcer (voice)
  • Pat McGeehan … Self – Announcer
  • Edmund Penney … Reggie / Park and Spark Skit
  • Gil Perkins (Batman the Movie) … McPugg’s opponent – Dirty McGurk
  • Buddy Piper … Man With Shaving Cream on Face
  • Dick Ryan (Born to Be Bad) … Fight Manager / McPugg Sketch