Clem and the Married Life

Married Red Skelton about to leave on his date with another woman in "Clem and the Married Life"

Clem and the Married Life is a funny Season 1 episode of the Red Skelton show. The centerpiece is a series of three sketches about married life.

Monologue

  • This Thanksgiving, we didn’t have turkey. It was so expensive, we just baked money. We had roasted money with Truman’s picture stuffed in it.
  • My little boy Richie was talking to Valentina about the turkey. “You oughta see that turkey. He is the meanest I ever seen. He took the axe away from Pop three times. I don’t think he was dead, because I opened up the ice box, and there he was without any feathers on, with two stalks of celery doing a dance.” [pantomimes a fan dancer]
  • I walked in the other day and said, “Hey! Are you pulling that cat’s tail?” And he said, “No, I’m not pullin’ it, I’m just holding on! He’s doing all the pulling!”

Red ends his monologue with a pantomime of a prize fight, playing both boxers and the referee.

Clem and the Married Life

Clem and the Married Life - Clem Kadiddlehopper's trying to sell a book on how to be happy while married

Clem Kadiddlehopper is trying to sell a book on married life. It’s completely free — although there’s a $10.00 cover charge. It’s a book on how to be happy — though married! “I’m not against marriage. I’m up against it!” Clem does his routine of giving out multiple, conflicting, phone numbers to order the book. This segues into how, from reading only one chapter in this book, a couple now has a happy marriage. This is a routine that Red did multiple times throughout the years. Three mini-skits on marriage:

The way the husband would like to have married life

Married Red Skelton about to leave on his date with another woman in "Clem and the Married Life"

A funny sketch, as Red comes in, and announces to his lovely, subservient wife (Lucille Knoch) that he’s taking his stenographer out on a date. And … Lucille helps him with it! Red plays an utterly self-centered person, going as far as to “kiss the one that I love” before leaving on his date. So, he kisses his reflection in a mirror! There’s a fair amount of physical comedy in the sketch as well – he hands a long-stemmed carnation to Lucille, to have the stem detach so he can put the carnation in his lapel. He was short a dime, so he’s only wearing one sock. He trips over a chair on the way out.

The way the wife would like to have married life

Lucille Knoch's quick change in "Clem and the Married Life"

Flipping the scenario around, it’s time for Lucille Knoch to go out for a night on the town with her boyfriend. Leaving her husband Red behind, of course. There’s a very funny bit as she walks off stage and back in 2 seconds, changing into her evening gown! “What took you so long?” “I had to do my hair.” And then her date comes in …. And he has the audacity to ask Red for fifty dollars to take his wife out on the town! Red knows his wife better, of course … And gives the man 100 dollars! It’s a cute clown bit, as Red opens a coin purse, inside a coin purse, inside a coin purse to get the money.

Married life as it really is

Married life as it really is - Willie LumpLump and his suffering wife Lucille Knoch at the breakfast table.  What's the secret ingredient to the coffee?

Red, playing a variation on his Willie LumpLump inebriate character, stumbles in for breakfast. His wife, Lucille, is at the breakfast table. She looks appropriately frumpy. He comes in, hungover, after a months-long binge. “Good morning.” “Are you trying to start something?” There’s a lot of comedy, ranging from a toaster shooting toast — that Willie tries to catch with a net! To a commentary on the “prizes” in breakfast cereals. Pulling a rife from a box of Prizo Crunchies! Finally, he apologizes for all of the fighting, and complements her on the coffee. Which is so thick he has to cut it with a scissors — “Crunchy, but that’s how I like it.” What’s the special ingredient this morning? Poison!

Skelton Film Scrapbook – The Rock Pile

Red Skelton and another prisoner on the rock pile in a Tide commercial

The Skelton Film Scrapbook features Red as a prison inmate, who, along with another inmate, breaks rocks from a rock pile. The skit eventually changes into a Tide commercial. “Whatcha in for?” “I threw my wife’s mink coat outta the 15th story window.” “They can’t put you in her for throwin’ yer wife’s mink coat out a window!” “Me old lady was in the mink coat.” “How long’d they give ya?” “500 years.” “At least they didn’t give you life.”

Swan Lake Ballet

Red Skelton performing in Swan Lake, with a slapstick twist, in "Clem and the Married Life"

Finally, Red joins ballerina Nana Gollner in a pantomime slapstick version of the Swan Lake Ballet. A lot of slapstick, and physical comedy. Very funny, and very enjoyable. It includes Red shooting down a herd of swans, one at a time! “It’s a good thing cows don’t fly!” And the ballerina borrows the rifle …

Conclusion

At the very end, Red is once again grabbed by his ankles and dragged under the curtain. Then, Bob Hope comes out, wiping his hands, and saying, “You know, you’re getting heavy. I gotta get more money.” And walks off, ending the episode!

Cast

  • Red Skelton … himself, host, Clem Kadiddlehopper
  • David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
  • Nana Gollner … Self – Guest Ballerina
  • Bob Hope … Self – Cameo
  • Lucille Knoch … Self
  • Peter Leeds … Self – as Herman / Clem Sketch
  • Bob LeMond … Self – Announcer
  • Pat McGeehan … Self – Announcer

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