The Honeymooners Spoof, with Peter Lorre and Vampira – The Red Skelton Show, season 4, originally aired January 18, 1955
Peter Lorre wants Red Skelton to help him create … a comedy show! This results in a unique, funny Honeymooners spoof with Peter Lorre. Peter Lorre acts like an Addams Family-version of Ralph Kramden. Red Skelton plays an interesting version of Art Carney‘s character, Ed Norton. Favorite line: “Ralph’s” wife (Vampira) asks him how his day was. Peter Lorre (who drives a hearse) replies, “Traffic was so bad, my passenger got out and walked!”
The sketch opens with Red visiting the executive committee of CBS-TV programming. Where he’s told that Peter Lorre will be starring in a TV comedy and has asked for Red to be his technical advisor. Watching the executives attempt to butter up Red is quite funny. Soon, a message from Peter Lorre is delivered … by dagger! It reads:
[Red comments that he doesn’t know how to spell] Oh, yes I do. I’ll expect you at my house at the stroke of midnight. I live two blocks from the graveyard. Will dig you later.”
Peter Lorre’s house
Red appears at Peter’s mansion late at night. It’s a very funny scene, between the Halloween atmosphere, meeting Peter Lorre’s butler Meredith the Gorilla, and nearly getting strapped into an electric chair. His and Her chairs, of course. Shortly afterward, he meets Sam Skelton and Peter’s lovely wife — Vampira.
After a very funny bit where Peter and Red rehearse a joke — where Peter keeps getting it wrong — they work on a domestic comedy skit. Like The Honeymooners. So, Peter introduces his writers.
The Peter Lorre Show
This takes us to “The Peter Lorre Show”, that begins with an entertaining, yet macabre, dance number. Peter then comes on stage, impersonates Jackie Gleason, and segues into the Honeymooners spoof.
Peter plays the role as Jackie Gleason would, including Ralph Kramden of the Honeymooners. Vampira plays his wife Malice, Red himself as Ed Norton, and Muriel Landers as Ed’s wife “Truxie”. It’s a very funny skit!
- The title refers to the Jackie Gleason skits, The Honeymooners.
- The macabre dance is performed to In the Hall of the Mountain King”. This is the tune that Peter Lorre’s character whistled in his classic film, M.
Cast of characters
- Red Skelton (Whistling in the Dark) … Self – Host / Ed Norton
- David Rose … Self / ‘Davy’ Rose
- David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
- The Redettes … Themselves
- Peter Lorre (Mad Love; Arsenic and Old Lace) … Self / Ralph Kramden / Jackie Gleason
- Mary Beth Hughes (Holiday Rhythm) … Self / Alice Kramden / Mrs. Lorre
- Muriel Landers (Doctor Dolittle ) … Trixie Norton
- Michael Ross (Attack of the 50 Foot Woman) … CBS Executive (as Mike Ross)
- Marian Carr (The Indestructible Man) … Secretary
- George Barrows … Meredith–Gorilla
- Ray Kellogg (The Twilight Zone season 5) … CBS Executive
- Jack Boyle (Yankee Doodle Dandy) … Supporting Player
- James Gonzalez (The Lucy Show) … Harry (as James Gonzales)
- Beth Carter … Redette Dancer
- Tex Brodus (South Pacific) … Supporting Player
- William Meader … Supporting Player
- Perk Lazelle … Supporting Player
- Jo-Ann Dean … Redette Dancer
- Bob LeMond … Announcer