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G. I. McPugg [Red Skelton Show]

G. I. McPugg title card

G. I. McPuggThe Red Skelton Show season 1, originally aired November 18, 1951

G. I. McPugg is a very funny, fast-paced episode of The Red Skelton Show. Clem Kadiddlehopper tries to sell toothpaste on a TV commercial. Cauliflower McPugg tries to get an Army pass. Willie Lump-Lump does a hilarious turn as a private eye!


  • I want to tell you about my little boy Richard, and Valentina. They’re both in bed, they’re sick this week. But they went to a little party, this being a National Education Week. At school they gave a little party, and Richard came home and told us all about it. “Boy, I never had so much fun in all me life! They served cake, not like that stuff that Mom makes. This stuff will stay with you, this stuff will.”
  • “We played puss in the corner. Some guy hit me in the puss, and I laid in the corner.”
  • “Then we played ‘Pin the Tail on the Elephant’.” I said, “You mean, the donkey.” He said, “No, they is Republicans.”

Clem Kadiddlehopper sells toothpaste

Clem Kadiddlehopper sells toothpaste in "G. I. McPugg"
  • “It comes in the handy powder form”. This gives Clem an opportunity for some prop comedy, as he sneezes at the “powder” and knocks over some sample boxes.
  • “Or the handy tube!” Clem squeezes the tube, and toothpaste flies all over!
  • A recurring joke begins here, with Clem giving out a series of phone numbers to order, which conflict with the numbers shown on the screen.

Red as soda jerk

Red Skelton as soda jerk, Lucille Knoch as customer, in "G. I. McPugg"

Red begins pantomiming how different people sit on the stools at a soda fountain at a drug store. It’s a funny routine. He then becomes the person behind the counter, interacting with some folks, ending with the lovely Lucille Knoch. She simply wants some ice cream. But, Red’s been selling so much, he gets sick at the mention of the flavors. A funny bit that he did on-screen in the movie Thousands Cheer.

G. I. McPugg – Red Skelton Film Scrapbook

Cauliflower McPugg (Red Skelton) with his Army sergeant (Gil Perkins) in "G. I. McPugg"

Like many of the early Red Skelton episodes, this is a funny sketch that turns into a Tide commercial. Cauliflower McPugg’s in the Army, and his jealous sergeant doesn’t want to give him leave. Since they’re both dating the same girl. So, he makes sure Cauliflower’s uniform is dirty, leaving into a Tide commercial.


  • The Modernaires sing “The Customers is Always Right”. Very entertaining, complete with plate spinning!

Skelton ScrapbookPrivate Bloodshot Eye

For me, “Willy LumpLump – Private Bloodshot Eye” is the highlight of the episode. The comedy is fast-paced, both verbal and prop comedy. In it:

Willy LumpLump- Private Bloodshot Eye
  • Willie breathes on flowers – they wilt
  • He falls backward off chair
  • He chases the new secretary (Shirley Mitchell) around the office
  • His wife wants him to bring home home rat biscuits. “You get her on the phone & tell her that if the rats can’t eat what we’ve got around the house, they can move!”
  • Secretary: “You look tired.”
    Willie Lump-Lump: “I was up all night working on a case. But I finished it! I have no idea where I was or what I did, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!”
  • Reporter: “I’m Brown from the Sun.”
    Willie Lump-Lump: “You look pale as a ghost to me!”
  • Willie: My dog’s a coward. He pays the cat for protection!
  • Willie: [after shooting himself in the foot] Oh well, my toenails were too long anyhow!
  • Willie demonstrates sharp shooting, destroying plates the secretary’s holding. Holding up a mirror, he shoots behind himself. But his shots are out of sync with the items being destroyed!
  • Insanely long desk drawer — prop comedy.
  • Box from his mother-in-law, resulting in a punch in the nose – boxing glove inside the box.

Closing segment

Red comes out for his farewell to the audience — and once again, stage hands grab him by the ankles and pull his back through the curtain, ending the episode.

Cast of characters

  • Red Skelton … Self – Host / Cauliflower McPugg / Willie Lump Lump / Clem Kadiddlehopper
  • Lucille Knoch (Executive Suite) … Woman in Pharmacy Soda Shop
  • Shirley Mitchell (I Love Lucy) … Secretary in Willie skit
  • Gil Perkins (Batman: The Movie) … Sergeant – Cauliflower McPugg sketch
  • Dick Ryan … Mr. Brown – Newspaper Reporter