Little Old Rainmaker, He – with Arthur Godfrey, The Red Skelton Hour season 17, originally aired November 28, 1967
In “Little Old Rainmaker, He”, San Fernando Red finds a rich sucker in a wealthy Montana rancher played by Godfrey. His huge acreage is going bone dry for lack of rain, so Fernando first tries to sell him a rain-making contraption, then they both go up in a rickety airplane to seed the clouds.
- Every morning I get up and reach for the floor 50 times. There’s no string in my pajamas.
- I may not look it, you know, but I’m at the in between age. I’m too old for Twiggy and I’m too tired for Zsa Zsa Gabor.
- I had my physical checkup, you know. And you know, the doctors are shrewd. They’re really shrewd. They make you wait for so many hours in the waiting room, you know, by the time you get into where he is, you’ve picked up two new diseases.
- I won’t say say how long the people have been sitting there in the waiting room, but one of the maternity cases was under Medicare.
- He told me that I had a falling stomach. I didn’t believe him ’til I tripped over it on the way out.
- [The doctor says] you’re putting on a lot of weight. I said, I sure have. I only weighed 8 pounds when I was born.
- He says, your stomach looks like a beer keg. I said, that’s what I’ve been using it for!
- Hey, I don’t want to complain about their bills. But did you ever notice there’s only two kinds of people that wear masks, bandits and doctors?
- If you’re in an operating room, you know why they wear those little masks? So in case something happens, you’ll never know who did it.
- [The doctor said] this is my bill. I said, you make my blood boil! He says, that’ll be another $50 for sterilizing your system.
- You know, what’s even worse is the hospitals. The hospitals are getting worse, $60 a day for a semiprivate room. I didn’t mind that so much until I found out what semiprivate meant. It meant two to a bed with one hot water bottle!
- And I was in a modern hospital down in Palm Springs, very modern down there. You know the gowns they give you, you’ve heard of topless? These are bottomless
Red ends with a pantomime of an old doctor, who has to help a young boy that’s swallowed a coin.
Little Old Rainmaker, He – Act I
After being forced to give a “refund” to a victim — which he regains with the use of a magnet, stealing the man’s pants as well! And, his underwear! Then, on a shetland pony, in rides Charley Drygulch (Arthur Godfrey). He borrows the phone, to call his ranch in Montana. Where in Montana? The entire state! And San Fernando and Ruby overhear that he’d pay $1,000,000 for some rain, to save his ranch!
“I’ve been so dry in my ranch, I had to teach my goldfish how to walk.”
So, the duo turn a xylophone, vacuum cleaner hose and dustpan into a phony weather machine. But Mr. Drygulch wants a demonstration of the kooky contraption first. So, San Fernando loads the pipes with gunpowder and vitamin pills, opens the skylight, and fires! But instead of rain, all he brings down are ducks!
Back at his ranch, Charley is awaiting for San Fernando to show up. Which he eventually does, but without his weather machine. He’s going to do an Indian rain dance instead!
But Charley notices Ruby spraying water Ron his roof with a hose! Is San Fernando trying to trick him? Well, yes, but he’s brought his airplane! They can try seeding the clouds!
But, it’s a very old airplane! And there’s some prop comedy, ending with them losing the plane’s tail and wing! Down they go, ending the sketch.
Classic Red Skelton sketch
Clem Kadiddlehopper in “Lt. Muscle”. A very funny Season 1 sketch, where Clem is repeatedly beaten up by an ex-G.I. who keeps mistaking him for Lt. Muscles. But he eventually gets into Daisy June’s house, where he’s expecting to get a free dinner. But instead, he gets to help with the dishes! And it turns into a Tide commercial, of course.
Red Skelton and Arthur Godfrey engage in some jokes, and a mutual admiration society. Red then coaches Arthur on the art of pantomime, lifting a heavy suitcase, then his classic “half-wit playing with a feather” routine. This then leads into:
One Minute Dramas
Red and Godfrey appear in several One Minute Dramas, titled
In the Silent Spot, set in the Middle Ages Forsooth portrays a hard-luck artist who is having trouble getting the king, an exercise and health nut, to sit still for his portrait. It’s a funny bit with a lot of prop humor, as Forsooth fights with the various exercise equipment. And there’s a running gag of people hitting their head against the doorframe on the way out, which becomes relevant at the end. And there’s a series of “samples” for the king — my favorite is “Custer’s First Stand”.
Act I jokes
Ruby: How did you become such a crook?
San Fernando Red: I started out by stealing diapers.
San Fernando Red: Diapers. I started from the bottom.
Charley Drygulch: I got a lot of cattle.
San Fernando Red: How many head?
Charley Drygulch: One for each cow.
Act II jokes
Charley Drygulch: I don’t think you know anything about weather.
San Fernando Red: Oh, no, I can tell rain. By my corns.
Charley Drygulch: What do you mean?
San Fernando Red: Well, if they get wet, it’s raining.
[about seeding the clouds with San Fernando’s airplane]
Charley Drygulch: Why didn’t you try that before?
San Fernando Red: It’s honest and legitimate, and it goes against my grain.
Cast of characters
- Red Skelton … Self – Host / San Fernando Red / Gertrude and Heathcliffe / Painter-Silent Spot
- The Alan Copeland Singers … Themselves
- Jan Arvan (20 Million Miles to Earth) … King — Silent Spot
- Guy Danfort … Jonesy — Charley Drygulch’s Ranch Hand
- David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
- Art Gilmore … Announcer (voice)
- Arthur Godfrey (The Glass Bottom Boat) … Self / Charley Drygulch
- Harpers Bizarre … Guest Vocalists
- Brad Logan … Hefty Man / Arab Soldier-One Minute Drama
- Joan Shawlee (Buck Privates Come Home, The Apartment) … Ruby — San Fernando’s Secretary
- Tom Hansen Dancers … Themselves