The Pied-Eyed Piper, with Joe E. Ross, Pat Carroll – The Red Skelton Hour season 17
The Pie-Eyed Piper – Can Bolivar Shagnasty help Willy Lump Lump stop drinking? Can Willie be the pie-eyed piper to lure his fellow drunks away?
- I was up all night protecting the gold fillings in my teeth! We’ve got a French maid …
- Then I spent the rest of the day in the refrigerator, buying up frozen assets.
- I knew we were gonna have trouble over this gold with DeGaulle. He’s got a nose for gold …. And what a place to store it!
- What a nose! I hear every time he buys a handkerchief, the price of cotton goes up.
- [In France, Red was walking by a wedding. He explains to the audience that “Je ne sais quo” means “I don’t know”.]. There was this 60 year old man, and he was marrying this 20 year old girl. And …. I said to a fellow standing there, “Who’s getting marries?” “Je ne sais quo.” So the next day I go by this same church, and they’re having a big funeral. I says, “Who’s dead?” “Je ne sais quoi”. “That’s what he gets for marrying that young girl!”
- I went backstage at the Folies Bergère, and one of the girls back there kept saying, “Venus de Milo! Venus de Milo!” I said, “What do you mean, ‘Venus de Milo’?” She said, “That means ‘hands off’!”
Act I – The Pie-Eyed Piper
Bolivar Shagnasty is behind on his phone bill. So, he calls his bookie to place a final bet on the horses. After some funny puns about the horses’ names the phone company comes and disconnects the phone just as he’s about to find out if he won. Then, Mrs. Lump-Lump is pounding at the door. She’s looking for her boozing husband, Willy Lump-Lump, who’s sleeping it off on Bolivar’s bed. In order to not get caught by Willy’s wife, Bolivar tilts the bed up, and Willy goes out the window!
The suffering Mrs. Lump-Lump has an idea. She’s willing to ignore Bolivar’s past rent — he’s three years behind! — if he can get rid of Willy’s boozy pals, so he can sober up. Bolivar agrees to do it, with the help of Clancy the Cop. After a little blackmail, of course. Then, Bolivar exits, and Willy Lump-Lump climbs in through the window. After some verbal jousting with his wife, he pulls out his secret stash of alcohol. Which his wife begins pouring down the sink. Then, surprisingly, Willy joins her! And she’s proud of him — a very funny bit. But when she leaves, he reveals that the booze all flowed into a large jug underneath the sink!
Act II – The Pie-Eyed Piper
Willy’s drank all of the liquor in the house, and stumbled over to the local tavern for more. But Mrs. Lump-Lump can’t follow him there — no women allowed. So Bolivar goes in after him, after a run-in with a drunk (Jimmy Cross). In the meanwhile, Clancy the Cop and Mrs. Lump-Lump discuss what — if anything — can be done to stop Willy’s drinking. Speaking of which, Willy stumbles out of the tavern, and starts a running joke of mistaking a fire hydrant for a naked Indian boy. He then lights his cigar from a streetlight in a bit of prop comedy, and stumbles toward home. But he’s locked out!
So, in a funny bit of slapstick, the drunken Willy finally manages to climb onto a box, open a window, crawl inside, and open the door. Then he goes back out the window, to walk in the front door! But his wife’s locked himself out again! She comes out to confront him, and Red cracks her up with a joke about the Indian kid keeping her company! Back in character, she threatens to throw him out the window if he sets foot in the house that night! This leads to Willy’s patented “Oh, no you won’t! Oh yes, you will!” routine, and out the window he goes!
Act III – The Pie-Eyed Piper
First, Willy jokes with Clancy the Cop about telling time with garbage lids. How? Make a lot of noise with the garbage cans and lids, and someone will open a window and yell, “Knock it off! It’s 3 o’clock in the morning!” Then, Clancy has an idea. Use Willy as a decoy, to lure all of the local drunks to a different neighborhood, and Willy will be free of their influence, and stop drinking. Willy makes a title drop about being a pie-eyed piper, and Clancy exits.
Then, the local milkman arrives. For younger readers: dairies used to actually deliver milk to your house. That was the milkman’s job. Here, the milkman is using an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage. Willy wants to use the wagon to cart his fellow drunks out of the neighborhood. So, he and the milkman begin singing “Show Me the Way to Go Home” to summon the drunks. And it works! But then Clancy comes by, and threatens to arrest the milkman! So, the drunks take a deep breath, and blow poor Clancy’s uniform off!
Classic Red Skelton Sketch – selling a robot!
The Silent Spot – Over the Wall
In the Silent Spot,’Over the Wall’, convict Red plots an escape from prison.
Act I Jokes
- Bolivar Shagnasty: [betting on the horses] I’d like “Miniskirt” to show …. What’s the odds on “Woolen Underwear”? He’s been scratched! …. “Busted Girdle”s out in front …
- Mrs. Lump-Lump: You perspire bourbon?
Bolivar Shagnasty: Yeah, I got a transfusion from Dean Martin.
- Clancy the Cop: What a busy day I’m having! I just broke up another fight.
Mrs. Lump-Lump: Who was fighting?
Clancy the Cop: A burglar and me. I was lucky …. He let me get away!
- Clancy the Cop: What’s wrong with Mr. Lump-Lump? Don’t he ever kiss her?
Bolivar Shagnasty: He ain’t that drunk!
- Clancy the Cop: How come you owe three years’ rent?
Bolivar Shagnasty: I’ve only been here three years.
Jokes in Act II
- Clancy the Cop: We Irish, we can’t resist a little joke.
Mrs. Lump-Lump: I know, I’ve seen your wife.
- Milkman: No you don’t! Remember what happened the last time you poured booze into my milk bottles?
Willy Lump-Lump: Yeah, 300 people went down to the dairy and tries to buy the cow!
Act III Jokes
- Willy Lump-Lump: Give a guy a cigar and no match? That’s what I call police brutality!
- Milkman: Do they imbibe?
Willy Lump-Lump: [thinks for a moment] I don’t think so, they’re too busy drinking.
- The title refers to the Pied Piper of Hamlin, a legend about the abduction of many children from the town of Hamlin, Germany and used in stories written by the Brothers Grimm and Robert Browning.
Cast of characters
- Red Skelton … Self – Host / Willie Lump Lump / Bolivar Shagnasty
- The Alan Copeland Singers … Themselves
- Pat Carroll (The Little Mermaid, Cinderella 1965) … Self – Mrs. Lump Lump
- Jimmy Cross (The Amazing Colossal Man) … Drunk
- David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
- Art Gilmore … Self – Announcer (voice)
- Brad Logan … Self – Telephone Repairman / Guard #2
- Joe E. Ross (Car 54 Where Are You, It’s About Time) … Self – Clancy the Cop
- Tom Hansen Dancers … Themselves
- Ray Kellogg … Milkman