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The Nag and I

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Nipsey Russell and George Appleby in The Nag and I

The Nag and IThe Red Skelton Hour season 16, with Nipsey Russell

In The Nag and I, CBS fires the henpecked George Appleby from his job as a page. Nipsey Russell is a fired police officer. So, they form a comedy team!

Monologue | The Nag and I | On Stage | Silent Spot | Jokes | Cast


At the beach

  • You know what I did last week? I went down to the ocean, and I went right into that cold water. I never did find out who pushed me …
  • And did I get sunburnt! I was so sunburnt that a lobster came up to me and he said, “Sam! Where ya been?”
  • You know how when you get sunburnt, you peel? A little kid came up to me, and he was crying. I says, “What’s wrong?” He says, “Look at my skin, look at my skin! Four years old, already I’m wearing out!”
  • Another little kid came up and he was crying. “I drop me lollipop in the sand.” I says [reaching into his pocket for money], “What do you need, an all day sucker?” He says, “No, you’ll do.”
  • Wonderful weather down here, really, you get the spring feeling, you know. I said to my wife this morning, Little Red, “You know, I feel like I’ve got a tiger in my tank.” She says, “Why don’t you try bicarbonate?”
  • [talking about going to the beach at Santa Monica] There are these voluptuous, gorgeous women down there, oh hundreds of ’em. It’s like a Welcome Wagon for Mickey Rooney.

Bathing Suits

  • I says to my wife, “Look at those bathing suits.” She says, “Well, now I’ve seen everything.” I says, “Well, they couldn’t.”
  • There was one girl wearing a Declaration of Independence bikini. All the truths were self-evident.
  • It’s not exactly bathing suits they wear. They take a handkerchief & say a prayer.
  • And the bathing suits are so skimpy! The Chief of Police arrested a girl. He didn’t want to, but it was his turn.
  • You get embarrassed sometimes, you go down to the beach, you know — your physique. Look at a physique, you can tell right away who the guy is, you know. Like Tarzan, see, right away you think Johnny Weissmuller. One girl down there thought I was a relative — I took off my coat, she says, “Oh, brother.”

The Nag and I – Act I

CBS page George Appleby showing some tourists Jim Arness' pants (Gunsmoke)
CBS page George Appleby showing some tourists Jim Arness’ pants (Gunsmoke)

Clara Appleby has gotten her husband George a job at CBS as a page. After hiding from Clara — and his new boss — George’s first assignment is to show a group of tourists around the wardrobe department. After some interactions with the tourist, George clowns around with some of the props. And, gets fired!

The Nag and I – Act II

George Appleby & Officer Nipsey's act - stealing a banana from a woman's hat - "The Nag and I"

Officer Nipsey has been fired from the police force — for dancing on duty! Soon, George Apppleby is tossed out of the CBS building, and the two friends commiserate. Maybe they could be a two man team? Like the Smothers Brothers … Or Jackie Gleason! Just then two executives from the “XYZ Network” come by. Nipsey handcuffs them to a parking meter — and they have a captive audience! They audition as an animal act — Hickory Hickory Daktari — with Nipsey as the safari leader, and George as an ape! He does a pantomime of milking a giraffe, and steals a banana from a passing woman’s hat! It’s so bad, the network executives pull up the parking meter and run away! They decide to do a comedy act, after a hurricane of old jokes.

The Nag and I – Act III

Nipsey & George Appleby keep trying to audition for the network executives - at a duck blind! "The Nag and I"

The XYZ Network executives are trying to relax with duck hunting. Until the two would-be comedians show up! And the puns continue. Finally, the two executives can’t take anymore — after accidentally shooting their own dog and a cow — and take aim at George! And Nipsey changes sides, ending the sketch!

Classic Red Skelton – How to cure hiccups

Clem Kadiddlehopper’s trying to sell a book on how to cure hiccups. From The Railroad Station.

On Stage

Red Skelton and Nipsey Russell on stage

Red Skelton introduces his guest star, Nipsey Russell, who proceeds to recite a poem about his love life:

I met a girl who was a rage
She looked like a page
From a glamorous magazine
She said, “For me, a man must be rich, handsome, and clean.”
“All men are brothers under the skin,” I said, “Of that there is no doubt.”
She said, “Go back under the skin, my friend, and send your brother out.”

And another poem about April 15th:

Internal Revenue is calling, they say, let’s face the facts:
If you didn’t have the income, you wouldn’t owe the tax.
You cannot take it with you.
Well, this much we all know.
They won’t let us take enough to last until we go!

I can’t understand the women of today
With lipstick, eye pencil, and colored hair spray
Girdled and padded in every kind of way
Yet they’ll laugh at a man if he wears a toupee.

Red and Nipsey joke back and forth, and Nipsey shows Red how to do various modern dances.

The Silent Spot

In the Silent Spot, Red is an exterminator, called to a home to get rid of an annoying cricket in the wall. However, it’s a magician’s home, and Red gets in trouble with virtually every magic prop! A very funny skit.


Australian entertainer Lana Cantrell performs “I’m All Smiles” and “Let Yourself Go” accompanied by the Tom Hansen Dancers and Alan Copeland Singers.

Jokes – Act I of The Nag and I

Clara Appleby: [referring to George Appleby’s page uniform] You don’t have all your buttons!
George Appleby: If I did, I’d still be single!

Act II Jokes

Nipsey: I could tell the story about the little porcupine that backed into a cactus, and said, “Holy mackerel! Is that you, Momma?”

George Appleby: Or the nearsighted turtle that fell in love with the Army helmet.

Nipsey: Or the little dog that sat on the sandpaper, and said, “Rough! Rough!”

George Appleby: Or the girl that stole her mother’s corset, but didn’t have guts enough to wear it.

Nipsey: Or the farmer that crossed a cow with a kangaroo and got his own milkshake.

Jokes – Act III

George Appleby: You oughta be ashamed of yourself! You just show a garter snake, and now his socks are dragging!

George Appleby: If dogs have puppies, and cows have calves, what do Elks have?
Nipsey: I give up – what do Elks have?
George Appleby: Conventions!

Nipsey: Your son is in water up to his ankles!
Executive: What’s so bad about that?
Nipsey: He fell in head first!

George Appleby: A funny thing happened to me on the way to the duck hunt. I was with Duke, and so we had a Duke dinner.
Nipsey: You mean a “duck” dinner.
George Appleby: No, the Duke forgot to duck!

Nipsey: And if you take one more of my lines, there’ll be troops & pickets in front of this building tomorrow!

Nipsey: Hey, looks like you got a Jersey cow.
George Appleby: How do you know it’s a Jersey cow?
Nipsey: I see his license plate!

Cast of characters in The Nag and I

  • Red Skelton … Self – Host / George Appleby / Gertrude and Heathcliffe / Paul the Exterminator-Silent Spot
  • The Alan Copeland Singers … Themselves
  • Lana Cantrell … Self – Guest Vocalist
  • Minnie Coffin … Woman Passerby (Main Skit)
  • David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
  • Milton Frome  (The Nutty ProfessorPies and Guys) … XYZ-TV Network President
  • Kelton Garwood … Minor Role
  • Art Gilmore … Self – Announcer (voice)
  • Nipsey Russell (The Wiz) … Self – Officer Nipsey Ralston
  • Bill Shannon … Voila the Magician-Silent Spot
  • Tom Hansen Dancers … Themselves
  • Herb Vigran (Charlotte’s Web) … Man on CBS Studio Tour
  • Lennie Weinrib (H. R. Puffinstuff) … CBS Hiring Manager
  • Mary Wickes (On Moonlight Bay) … Clara Appleby
  • Bonnie Evans (The Ladies Man) … Dancer
  • Barbara Morrison (Project Moonbase) … Homemaker With Cricket on Wall-Silent Spot
  • Currie Pederson (Mame) … Dancer
  • Ed Pfeiffer (The Carol Burnett Show) … Dancer


  • The title is a spoof on “The King and I“, the famous musical.