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Never on a Bum-Day [Red Skelton Show]

Freddie realizes that his Guardian Angel has fallen in love with Officer McGuire - and his goose is cooked in "Never on a Bum-Day"

Never on a Bum-Day (1965), The Red Skelton Hour season 15, with Robert Vaughn, Carol Bryon – originally aired December 7, 1965

In Never on a Bum-Day, guardian angel (Carol Byron) protects Freddie the Freeloader from Officer McGuire (Robert Vaughn). That is, until …


  • You know what an old maid is, don’t you? An old maid is a debutante who overdid it!
  • They had those little demitasse, you know, those little cups of coffee they serve in small cups … Lady next to me, she says, “I’ll have a demitasse.” I said, “I’ll have the same, and a cup of coffee.” The waiter comes back with a cup of coffee for her, she says, “I wanted a demitasse.” The waiter replies, “Drink just a little of it, lady.”
  • And everybody is sitting around, trying to impress each other, with their pinkies sticking out. The same people at home eat at the table, you reach out and it’s like putting your hand in a meat grinder!

Age jokes

  • You never know what to talk about at those affairs. My wife, Little Red, she says, “Red’s birthday is coming up. What can I do to surprise him?” Groucho Marx says, “Tell him your right age.”
  • Women like to dress young, and they say they’re younger than they are. A woman has seven ages: the right one and six guesses!
  • Little Red says to me the other day, “Do you think I’ll live to be a hundred?” I says, “Not if you stay 35 any longer!”

Royal protocol

  • At the reception they have what they call ‘protocol’, you know. If you walk one step in front of the lady, that means you’re married. One step behind means you’re single. If you walk three blocks in front of the woman, that means you’re with your mother-in-law!
  • But we did everything we could in this country to make the Princess feel at home. But Americans have always been willing to give their best to England. Don’t believe me, you ask Richard Burton.
  • You know what holds those dresses up? A city ordinance.
  • The Princess asked me where do I live? I answered, “Way beyond my means.”

Red concludes with a pantomime about the protocol of greeting royalty.

Never On A Bum-Day Act I

Freddie the Freeloader (Red Skelton) sleeping on a buzz saw in "Never on a Bum Day"

Freddie the Freeloader (Red Skelton) and Mugsy (Don Brodie) break into a sawmill, looking for a place to sleep. After a funny bit with Freddie trying to sleep on a buzzsaw, they’re interrupted.

Officer McGuire (Robert Vaughn) beating Freddie the Freeloader (Red Skelton) on the inside -- so the bruises don't show -- in "Never on a Bum Day"

Police Officer McGuire (Robert Vaughn) investigates the break-in. “Two of them must have broken in — the window’s broken on both sides!” And he takes pleasure in beating up Freddie! He has Freddie open his mouth, and beats him with his billie club through his mouth. “On the inside, where the bruises won’t show!”

Never On A Bum-Day Act II

Freddie the Freeloader hiding in the wishing well in "Never on a Bum-Day"
Freddie the Freeloader meets the Guardian Angel of Hobos (Carol Byron) in "Never on a Bum-Day"

Freddie the Freeloader is hiding in the city’s wishing well …. To collect the coins that are thrown in, of course. Soon, Office McGuire comes by to assault Freddie some more. Then, the unexpected happens. An angel — Amy, the Guardian Angel of Hobos (Carol Byron) — drops from the sky, to grant Freddie a wish. And he wishes to be mayor!

Never On A Bum-Day Act III

Mayor Freddie tormenting Officer McGuire in "Never on a Bum-Day"

At first, Mayor Freddie enjoys the perks of his office. As his secretary explains on the phone, it’s not the first time the city’s had a bum for a mayor! And one of those perks is getting his revenge on Officer McGuire. He threatens to reduce him to the lowest rank on the force – police dog on the subway patrol!

Freddie realizes that his Guardian Angel has fallen in love with Officer McGuire - and his goose is cooked in "Never on a Bum-Day"

But, after lighting his cigar off the officer’s tooth — and a joke about “hot lips” — Freddie relents. All seems well for Freddie, until the Angel reappears …. And notices just how handsome Officer McGuire is! In a flash, McGuire is made chief of police, Freddie is demoted to “hobo third class”, and the angel’s in love with McGuire.

Classic Red Skelton Sketch – the Four Knights

Red Skelton on stage with The Four Knights

The Four Knights perform “I Wanna Say Hello“. Red then brings them back on stage, and first thanks them for their work entertaining the troops. Then, he performs with them: “Sing like we never sang before. We’ll sing good this time.” He then proceeds to break them up with laughter, ending with: “You only left me because I wouldn’t buy you a fur coat. Yet, you wouldn’t darn my socks. I figure, if you don’t give a darn, why should I give a wrap?”

Skelton’s Film Scrapbook – Clean Politics

A funny San Fernando Red sketch from the first season. Like many of the first season’s funniest sketches, it’s a Tide commercial in disguise. Very funny! Especially the running gag where San Fernando Red gets slapped every time he says “mud”!

On Stage

Red and Robert Vaughn parody his then-popular role on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Red tells him that his wife Georgia, aka. Little Red, is a huge fan. So, Robert pulls out a “secret agent” phone. A cigarette pack with a rotary dial! And Red has to put a cigarette in his ear as the receiver! When they eventually get through, Georgia has a minor accident. But that won’t stop her!


The Doodletown Pipers sing “Those Were the Days.”

Silent Spot

Red does a pantomime as an expectant father, waiting anxiously in the waiting room. It’s a very funny pantomime — with a funny, unexpected, twist ending!

Cast of characters

  • Red Skelton … Self – Host / Various Characters
  • Don Brodie … Muggsy
  • Carol Byron … Amy, Freddy’s Guardian Angel
  • John Hart … Expectant Father — Silent Spot
  • Robert Vaughn … Officer McGuire