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Movies to Read By

Clem Kadiddlehopper selling used cars in "Movies to Read By"

Movies to Read By, The Red Skelton Show season 1, originally aired December 2, 1951

Clem Kadiddlehopper tries to sell cars during a late-night movie in Movies to Read By. And Cauliflower McPugg, the clean fighter, does a Tide commercial — of course!


  • I read that President Truman had a cup of coffee down in Key West, and the guy who served it to him said he’d never wash the cup. Course, that’s the way it is. Nobody wants to clean up after Truman.
  • Truman paid for the coffee with somebody’s dollar.

Santa Claus jokes

Walking up stairs
  • This week in California, here, I was rather busy. I threw the switch that started the Santa Claus Lane Parade down Hollywood Boulevard, and something must have went wrong… [laughs] I threw the switch and all the fire plugs lit up.
  • I took my little boy over to, now this actually happened! I took the little boy over to see Santa Claus. He was on his big sleigh. So he walks up to him and Santa Claus says, “What is your name, little boy?” He says, “My name’s Richard.” He said, “Well, that’s funny, that’s my name too.”
  • He says to Valentina, he says, “Hey, what do we do now that we see Santa Claus? What do we do?” She says, “Well, you walk up and you tell him if you have been good or bad, and then he will look down the list, and for every time you’ve been bad, he takes one toy away.” Richard says, “Boy, the way I’ve been going this year, looks like I gonna give some of the toys back he brought last year!”
  • Santa Claus says, “You’ve been a good boy, haven’t you?” He says, “Yeah, I been a good boy.” He says, “I see you later, we’re goin’ on the float.” Now this big float that we were on, it looked like the back end of a Cadillac. You know, a big thing. And it was so foggy that we got lost, see, in the fog, and we wound up over the Griffith Park Lake. Two ducks swam by, and one turned to the other and says, “Gertrude, who hatched that thing?”
  • Red does a funny, classic pantomime of how people walk up stairs.

Sound effects man

Sound effects demonstration in "Movies to Read By"

Red demonstrates how sound effects work. Cocoanut shells, soldiers marching, etc. The sound effects man (Ray Erlenborn) really gets into his work!

Skelton’s Film Scrapbook

Cauliflower McPugg loses yet another fight, which of course turns into a Tide commercial.

Well, that's reasonable.  Cauliflower McPugg in the Tide commercial in "Movies to Read By"

Cauliflower McPugg: How much did I make in this fight?
Manager: 25 bucks.
Cauliflower McPugg: That’s reasonable, that’s reasonable.
Manager: Of course, there’s my half, which is 15.
Cauliflower McPugg: That’s reasonable.
Manager: And of course, five dollars for the trainer.
Cauliflower McPugg: That’s reasonable.
Manager: And five Bucks for renting the gym.
Cauliflower McPugg: Well, that’s reasonable.
Manager: And I came down to the fight by cab. Are you sure you wanted to take this fight?
Cauliflower McPugg: Sure, I need the money, I need the money!
[all while the trainer is twisting Cauliflower’s legs 360 degrees!]

Why couldn’t the manager throw in the towel during the fight? Because Cauliflower’s always been a clean fighter, and the towel was dirty! Here comes the Tide commercial

Movies to Read By – brought to you by Clem Kadiddlehopper, the used, Used Car Dealer

Clem Kadiddlehopper selling used cars in "Movies to Read By"

The very beginning of “The Desert Gopher” is interrupted by Clem trying to sell used cars. Then, it continues with the movie, a spoof of Adolph Hitler. With each “hail!” knocking Red (as Schicklegruber) down. And, back to the car commercial

Clem Kadiddlehopper: What can you get for $350? I’ll tell you, a rookin’

Red Skelton in a Nazi parody

And, back to the Nazi parody. Red takes the “globe” of the world, which is actually a ball. He bounces, dribbles, and shoots! Back to the car salesman …. And the car keeps falling apart was Clem tries to show how sturdy it is! Much prop comedy.

After another round of this, the Nazi aide goes to confront Clem Kadiddlehopper …. With a gun! But Clem’s okay!

The episode ends with Red, once again, grabbed by the ankles & pulled back through the stage curtains.

Cast of characters