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The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy

The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy - The Red Skelton Hour with Jack Jones - season 16, originally aired November 22, 1966

The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy – The Red Skelton Hour season 16, with Jack Jones -, originally aired November 22, 1966

In The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy, Harold Handkisser talks the town into erecting a golden statue of his idol, Sheriff Deadeye. The only question is, who will steal it first?

Monologue | The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy | Classic | On Stage | Silent Spot | Cast | Songs | Jokes


Gertrude and Heathcliffe

Gertrude and Heathcliffe, the two seagulls, see, they’re flying past a television store, and they look in the window and see the NBC peacock in color for the first time. He says, “Oh, boy! Oh, isn’t that a beauty? Look at that, a turkey in bloom.”


I saw a guy running up the street this afternoon with an axe. And I says, “Getting ready for Thanksgiving?” And he says, “No, I’m making a parking space for my car.”

Did you know they didn’t say a prayer at the first Thanksgiving dinner? That’s because the children were afraid they’d offend the Indians. Now they don’t pray ’cause they’re afraid they’ll offend the teachers, or the state.

Red Skelton and the butcher

I saw a sign over in the butcher’s shop, it says: “Turkeys — easy terms”.

The butcher says to me, “You’re Red Skelton, ain’t ya?” I says, “Yeah.” He says, “I saw your show last week, and you want to buy a turkey?”

And the price of food has gone up. For 75 cents a pound, you can get a T-bone steak bone!

I gave the butcher a 20 dollar bill, and he wrapped the meat in it!

The butcher gave me a turkey that was so small, that a sparrow followed me all the way home, yelling, “My son! My son!”

John Alden

When I was first in show business, I was in a show called “Pilgrim’s Progress”, see. It was a little company, and we used to play theaters. Well, they weren’t actually theaters. As a matter of fact, they didn’t even have dressing rooms. We would dress in the rooming houses, and grab a bus, and go down to where we were playing, see. Well I get on this bus one night dressed as John Alden, see, the pilgrim. And I didn’t know I got on the wrong bus, and they were taking a whole group of people up to the funny farm. Now every time the bus would stop, they would count to see if they were all there. So I’m there, and this guys comes, “1, 2, 3, 4 … who’re you?” I says, “John Alden.” He says, “5, 6, 7 …”

Thanksgiving dinner

And every year some of the crew come over to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. Old Willy Dahl, our stage manager, he comes over. He brought a girl last year, and she looked like a million. But they tell me she wasn’t over twenty-five. She was wearing one of those mini skirts. I tell you, she looked like two gallons of Jello in a one-quart jar.

And Dave Rose brought some of the musicians over last year. The harp player didn’t make it, she had an accident on the freeway last year. She still plays the harp, but she doesn’t have to belong to the union anymore.

Red tells the story of a Thanksgiving dinner he spent at W. C. Fields’ house: “Bill Fields set on one side of this lady, and I was on the other side. And all she did was talk, talk, talk. And she says, ‘I feel like a rose between two thorns.’ Fields says, ‘No, no, my dear, it’s a tongue sandwich if you ask me.’

After the dinner, Bill Fields got up and he made a speech. This woman was getting on his nerves, he had to get away from her somehow. He says, “I remember one time, I took a head of cabbage. And I crossed it with a potato. And I got it with eyes on it. Then I took a stalk of corn, and got ears. Crossed the thing with a squash, and it had a long neck. T hen I crossed the whole thing with a cocoanut, that got hair. It’s with us tonight, and where it got that big mouth, I’ll never know.”

Red concludes with a pantomime about inviting a lot of people over for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy

Act I

Harold Handkisser (Jack Jones) meets his "hero", Sheriff Deadeye in "The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy"

Sheriff Deadeye is up to his old tricks. An old woman is raising money for his reelection, after 20 years as Sheriff. He’s making an arrest — “You snake in the grass!” He’s arresting a rattlesnake! The mayor warns him that it’s dangerous, but Deadeye assures, him, it’s only a baby — it’s playing with its’ rattle! After some jokes, feuding with he old lady, and stealing from a Miner 49’er, it’s on to the main part of the sketch.

Would-be thief Harold Handkisser has just robbed the hotel. But when he finds out that the lawman is his life-long idol, Sheriff Deadeye, he relents! In fact, after some quick puns, he “hides” the stolen loot in the Sheriff Deadeye collection box!

Act II

Sheriff Deadeye, in his expensive gold suit, with the pretty saloon girl in "The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy"

Deadeye is trying out his new solid gold suit! After flirting with the lovely saloon gal, “Diamond Jim Deadeye” gets his new pair of chinchilla shorts! And, a pearl-handled gun that misfires. The tailor makes some last-minute changes, while the old lady does a running gag of hitting Deadeye over the head for each pun. Then Harold comes in. “There’s my pen pal, who kept me out of the pen!” The mayor and townspeople come in, with $5,000 in donations for Deadeye. But Harold wants the town to build a gold statue in Deadeye’s honor!


Deadeye impersonating his own statue in "The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy"

With the solid gold statue complete, Deadeye wants to break it into pieces and disappear to Mexico. But, the old lady comes by first, mistakes the statue for Deadeye, and wallops it into pieces! They mayor’s coming by for the unveiling, so Deadeye takes the statue’s place.

After Harold unwittingly reveals the situation, the townspeople grab all of the pieces, and follow the mayor. Presumable to get the statue repaired. But gold-crazy Deadeye wants revenge on the little old lady! So he goes into the dentists’ office, and tries to pull her gold tooth! After a funny slapstick fight — he wins!

Classic Red Skelton – Debt of a Salesman

with Willy Lump Lump

On Stage

Red Skelton and Jack Jones on stage in "The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy"

Red bets Jack Jones that he can’t name a word that Red can’t rhyme.

Jack Jones: Put your money where your mouth is.

Red pulls a bill out of his pocket, and over his mouth.

Jack Jones: How’re you going to speak with that in front of your mouth?

Red Skelton: [squeakily] In a high voice.

Jack Jones: How come?

Red Skelton: This is a tenner. (tenor)

Jack Jones: They say money talks …

Red Skelton: All mine ever says is “goodbye”.

The bet is: a rhyme for the word “orange”. Red thinks for a moment, says the word “nothing”, and takes the money. Why? Everyone knows that nothing rhymes with orange!

The Silent Spot

In the Silent Spot a drunken Willy Lump Lump tries to get into his house late at night

In the Silent Spot, Red reprises his famous routine of a tipsy husband coming home late at night. The character is clearly Willy Lump Lump. It’s a funny routine, as he’s trying to get into his house. He has trouble getting there, getting over the fence, getting into the house …. Once there, he doesn’t have his key. So, he goes through the window, retrieves the key, goes out the door — and he’s locked out again! He gets the milk man to help him unlock the door — but gets locked out again! He finally gets in, tries to change to his pajamas — then thinks it’s time to go to work!


Jack Jones sings, ‘All I Need is the Girl‘, ‘A Day in the Life of a Fool‘, and ‘People Will Say We’re in Love.’


  • Red Skelton … Self – Host / Sheriff Deadeye / Gertrude and Heathcliffe / Inebriated Homeowner-Silent Spot
  • The Alan Copeland Singers … Themselves
  • David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
  • Sam Edwards (Twelve O’Clock High) … Dentist
  • Art Gilmore … Announcer (voice)
  • Henry Hunter … Townsman
  • Jack Jones (Over the Garden Wall) … Self / Harold Handkisser
  • James Lanphier (The Pink Panther) … Sculptor
  • Todd Martin (Crack in the World) … Hotel Clerk
  • Harold Peary (Gildersleeve’s Ghost, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year) … Mayor
  • David Sharpe … Agatha – Little Old Lady / in drag
  • Tom Hansen Dancers … Themselves


Townsman: Deadeye, you’ve never done anything for this town!
Sheriff Deadeye: I have too! I made it dry!
Townsman: You drank every drop of liquor!
Sheriff Deadeye: That’s how I made it dry!

Sheriff Deadeye and the miner 49er in "The Best Sheriff Money Can Buy"

[Miner walks up to Deadeye]
Sheriff Deadeye: You a miner?
Miner: 49’er.
Sheriff Deadeye: Got a daughter?
Miner: Clementine.
Sheriff Deadeye: Let’s not go into that.