Can the hobo Mayor of Central Park (Ray Bolger) stop the music that’s ruining the sleep of Freddie the Freeloaderr & other hobos?
The Mayor of Central Park – The Red Skelton Hour season 12, with Ray Bolger
- I just read in the newspaper where postal rates are going to be raised again. I never thought I’d live to see the day when a postal stamp would be a collector’s item.
- My cameraman, Curly, came up the other day, he says “Can I have a raise?” I says, what for? He says, “I want to write home to mother.”
- When I was a kid, we played Post Office. There were variations — we played carousel. It was like post office, only with more horsing around.
- This is the time of year when the citizens go to the polls and they elect new politicians. Better known as rearranging the graft.
- I can make jokes about politics because I don’t belong to any organized party. I’m a Republican.
- Gertrude and Heathcliffe, the two seagulls. She says, “Look idiot, why are you flying upside down?” He says, “The hunting season is on.” “What’s that got to do with it?” “In case they shoot me, I fall up!”
Freddie the Freeloader, after a hard 5 minutes’ day’s work, is preparing to lay down for the night. But his pal Mugsy comes by — does Freddie have a place for him to sleep? Of course! So Freddie pulls out a park bench underneath his park bench, for Mugsy to sleep on. After a short issue with sound effects:
Freddie the Freeloader: What a beautiful night! Listen to those cricket.
Mugsy: [cupping his ears] What crickets?
Freddie the Freeloader: They were there in rehearsal!
[crickets start chirping]
Freddie the Freeloader: Must have come by carrier pigeon …
Then, loud music is keeping all of the hobos awake! So, they redress their grievances to their elected official, Mayor Threadbare III (Ray Bolger). Who promises to look into it …
Freddie trails Mayor Threadbare to a café, and is shocked that he’s eating well …. And on the take! And Freddie vows to run against him!
Threadbare then does an entertaining extending song and dance routine to “I’m Fascinating“, followed by Freddie and Muggsy canvasing the park for votes. But Threadbare’s doing the same:
Remember: don’t vote for a man who may be dishonest. Vote for me and be sure!
Why put a low-down skunk into office when you’ve got me?
Freddie and Threadbare are going to debate each other on a TV broadcast. So, Threadbare’s sneaked into Freddie’s dressing room to sabotage Freddie! He hides ice cubes in the bed, then paints spots on Freddie’s handheld mirror. And when Freddie, comes in, he tells him that he’s fatally ill, with only three weeks to live!
Mayor Threadbare: It’s the Mona Lisa disease.
Freddie the Freeloader: I have been feeling drawn out lately …
Eventually, Freddie realizes the deception, and goes on to the debate. But Threadbare’s not done with his dirty tricks yet! He tricks Freddie into drinking a glass of “Gummo hair shellac” so he can’t speak!
“I don’t wanna complain about your tuna fish sandwiches, but I think they finally accepted Charlie.”
- Ray Bolger sings, ‘I’m Fascinating‘ – modified lyrics from his Broadway show, “All American”
- Brenda Lee sings, ‘All Alone Am I‘ and ‘Kansas City.’
In the Silent Spot, Skelton portrays a holdup victim turned pickpocket. And it’s very funny! Once the thief has robbed Red, a drunk (Jimmy Cross) comes by and sees Red’s arms still in the air. So, Red pretends he’s doing calisthenics! Jimmy walks away bewildered. But the thief’s accidentally left behind a book — “You too can be a successful thief!”. Red reads it, and decides to try his hand at larceny!
And he’s comically good at it! He picks one man’s pockets, runs down the street with his hand in another man’s pocket, and rips the pants off one victim while picking his pocket! Then, he tries to “crack the safe” of a lady’s purse, only to get nervous when her fox stole keeps watching him! Eventually, she snaps the purse on this hand!
Then, the Midnight Mission comes by, on a mission to save souls from sin. And Red even steals all the money they collected! But, the missionary lady looks at him sadly, he repents, and the mission people rejoice. Finally, the drunk comes by and decides — if you can’t beat them, join them, and joins Red in his arm exercises!
Cast of characters
- Red Skelton (Whistling in the Dark; The Clown) … Self – Host / Freddie the Freeloader
- Ray Bolger (The Wizard of Oz; April in Paris) … ‘Mayor’ Threadbare III
- David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
- Art Gilmore … Announcer
- Allen Jenkins (Five Came Back; Grand Hotel) … Muggsy
- Brenda Lee … Musical guest; also the Midnight Mission lady in the Silent Spot.
- The Modernaires with Paula Kelly … Themselves
- Jimmy Cross (The Amazing Colossal Man) … Hobo Lester; drunk in Silent Spot
- Gilchrist Stuart … Threadbare’s butler; Red’s first victim in Silent Spot
- Freddie the Freeloader’s full name is given as Frederick K. Freeloader