Let’s Talk About Father – The Red Skelton Show, season 1
Let’s Talk About Father is a Father’s Day episode. Willy Lump Lump is pacing the floor at the hospital, waiting for the birth of his child. While there, he narrates the Let’s Talk About Father sketch.
Monologue – Father’s Day
- Did you realize that half the parents in the world today are fathers?
- I remember Father’s Day back in Vincennes, Indiana. It’s kind of hazy to me now. I was 17 at the time. And I was going with a girl at the time, she was much older than I was. I won’t say how old she was, but when Grant took Richmond, she was taking Serutan.
- For a special treat this Father’s Day, my wife let me go don to the beach to see the new bathing suits. I’m going again next Father’s Day, too!
- Have you seen the new bathing suits? I’m telling you, there was one girl down there, it’s a wonder she didn’t get arrested! It’s a wonder I didn’t get arrested!
First Gertrude and Heathcliffe joke
- There were two seagulls flying, and one of them says, “Gertrude …”. And she says, “Yes, Ralph?” His name was really “Sam”, but it was a married seagull. He says, “Have you tried a chlorophyll?” She says, “What’s wrong with you?” He says, “It’s about your breath.” She says, “What about my breath?” He says, ” Have you been eating fish lately?”
Father’s Day presents from the kids
- This morning Richard and Valentina came into my room, and they had little presents, see, and I pretend I was asleep. And they came in and said, “Yeah, should we wake him up?” Richard says, “I don’t know, there’s the old boy laying there, look at him. He don’t look very brilliant, does he?” She said, “We could have done worse, we could have done worse.” He says, “Well, should we wake him up?” She says, “Yeah, but be sure and laugh or he’ll cut off our allowances.”
The Cat Complains
- The other day I walked into the living room, and the cat was laying there like this. [crosses arms, curls in hands to resemble cat paws] And I said, “What’s the matter, kitten?” He says, “What happens to me shouldn’t happen to a dog.” I says, “Richard again?” He says, “Who else?” “What now?” He says, “Not only does he want to pull my tail, but he wants to unscrew it, take it to school, and pull it there, too!” I says, “How could he unscrew your tail?” He says, “Do you see my tail?” I said, “No.” He says, “Why did you give that boy a monkey wrench?”
- Richard came to me the other day and said, “Let’s buy some chinchillas. They’re rabbits with mink coats on, you know. We can have two of them, and they cost $1,000 apiece. We’ll get two of ’em, and before long we’ll have four of ’em, and then we can sell the first two and get your money back. And that way I’m in business on my own.” I say, “I’m not gonna pay $1,000 for a chinchilla.” He says, “Then let’s buy one chinchilla, and that way we’ll soon have two chinchillas, and that way …”. You know, I still haven’t figured out a way to explain it to him!
Skelton Scrapbook – Let’s Talk About Father – with Willy Lump Lump
Expectant father Willy Lump Lump is pacing impatiently in the waiting room for expectant fathers. Literally walking a groove into the rug! Another expectant father offers him a cigarette to help him calm down. After nervously shaking the entire carton of cigarettes empty — Willy doesn’t smoke! The other father-to-be asks Willy what his secret is to remaining calm. “Wouldn’t you like to know!” What’s your secret to staying cool and collected? “Well, I keep cool – the doctor will collect later!”
What kind of baby do you want? “A rich one if I can get it.” Then, the two start disagreeing about the stork delivering babies, with Willy’s normal “Oh, no he don’t!” Until a giant stork comes out of the delivery room, and Willy changes to “Oh, yes he does!” Shortly after, an inmate — that is, intern — comes through with a bucket, for the expected Tide commercial. But then the skit continues, as Willy talks to the audience about the life of the father of the family …
Let’s Talk About Father
Willy narrates, as Father comes home after a hard day’s work. And Mom ignores everything he says. To tell him about all of her problems. And all of the latest gossip. And finally, she asks if he asked his boss for that raise? Yes, he did. Did he give it to you? “With both barrels!” The boss didn’t realize he’d been working there for 15 years. And still doesn’t know him from Adam. In fact, he kept calling him “Adam”! And then Mom calls him Adam as well!
After dinner, he sits down to watch professional wrestlers on TV. But Mom and Daughter come in, ignoring him completely, and put on their show instead. But Father gets his revenge — he comes into the living room, carrying the TV antenna! [Editor’s note: back in the dark days before cable TV and internet streaming, houses had large antennas to catch broadcast TV]
And then the son, Junior, comes in. [Editor’s note: no relationship to the Mean Little Kid]. He ruins Father’s newspapers, steals his cigars, and borrows his new suit. Then borrows the car, having crashed his own. And then comes back to borrow all of Father’s cash for his date!
And Daughter is monopolizing Father’s telephone. It’s to the point that he doesn’t recognize her face without a telephone in front of it! But soon, it’s time to go to bed. But he can’t take a bath before bed, since Mom is rinsing her nightgowns in it. Then Son comes in, having ruined Father’s new suit in a fight. And then, at 3:00 in the morning, music blares from downstairs! It’s Daughter, with her boyfriend. Or, she she introduces him to Father — her fiancée!
Willy completes reminiscing with:
Well, that’s Father’s Day. One of the better ones. He’s tired now, a bit disillusioned. But tomorrow he’ll get up with the idea he’s going out and conquer the world. A lot of people don’t realize it takes quite a bit to be a Pop. A lot of worry, and it’s an expensive proposition. But if you were to ask Dad, he’d tell you that having a family is like becoming a king. You may not always see eye to eye, but you always see heart to heart. That’s what makes him happy. That’s what makes him thankful. That what makes him … Dad.
And, for a comedy ending, Willy is about to leave – having a bad case of cold feet. But then, he sees his newborn daughter …. And changes his mind.
- Red Skelton … Self – Host / Willie Lump Lump / Gertrude and Heathcliffe
- Joby Baker (Key Witness) … Junior – Teenage Son
- David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
- Robert Easton (Star Trek VI) … Irwin
- Lucy Knoch (Executive Suite) … Lucy – Teenage Daughter
- Raymond Largay (April in Paris) … Father
- Bob LeMond … Announcer
- Pat McGeehan … Self – Announcer
- Edmund Penney … Expectant Father
- Gil Perkins (Batman: the Movie) … Hospital Janitor / Tide Commercial
- Elizabeth Slifer … Mother
- This episode bookends with “Let’s Talk About Mother“. it refers to Father’s Day which occurs on the third Sunday of June. The first Father’s Day was held on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised six children on his own. It gained little momentum until President Woodrow Wilson came to Spokane to honor the day in 1916.
- Red tells the first Gertrude and Heathcliffe seagull joke — but the male seagull’s named Ralph! Or, perhaps, Sam.