The Schnook of Araby – The Red Skelton Hour season 16, with Cesar Romero. Originally aired March 14, 1967
In The Schnook of Araby, Clem Kadiddlehopper is hired to be the bodyguard for th3e dictator Sheik (Cesar Romero). What could go wrong?
- Last week we had 350 Karate experts in the audience. You should seem ’em applaud, they broke their arms!
- I was going down Hollywood Boulevard yesterday, and some tourist yelled, “A topless on Hollywood Boulevard!” And I casually turned around [jerks his head violently] and what do you think it was? Yul Brynner and Jackie Coogan!
- The one thing that amazes tourists are the streets … There are no children playing in the streets. With the drivers we got out here, they wouldn’t dare!
- The freeways still frighten me. I don’t got a tiger in my tank, I’ve got a chicken!
- Policeman pulls a guy over on the freeway, he says, “Why don’t you take it easy? Don’t you realize your wife fell out of the car two miles back?” The guy answers, “Thank heaven, I thought I was going deaf.”
- We have less crime in Palm Springs than anywhere in the world …. Although Dean Martin got held up the other night. He had to be, or he’d have never made it home!
Red does a pantomime of the world’s greatest cat burglar.
Act I – The Schnook of Araby
At the Embassy of Yugo-Crazia, they have a problem with people bugging the embassy. In walks Clem Kadiddlehopper, bug exterminator. After clowning around with the ambassadors, they explain they’re looking for electric bugs that listen to conversations. So, Clem destroys the phone. Then, there’s a poster of a harem girl, with a jewel in her navel. That must be the bug — pull it out! “I don’t even know the lady.” But he does it, then sticks his finger in the hole. Poking somebody in the ear! He comes out, dancing in pain …. It’s their leader, Mustapha Dame, the Schnook of Araby!
He needs a bodyguard. “Anybody who would take the job of a dictators bodyguard would have to be the world’s number 1 idiot.” So, Clem’s hired! And nearly prevents an assassination attempt. But, the Sheik survives, and off they go to his country.
Act II – The Schnook of Araby
In the Sheik’s country, Clem Kadiddlehopper continues being an inept bodyguard. He actually manages to stop an assault by a poisoned snake. After putting it to sleep with a lullaby, he …. Snaps its neck! “My snake! You killed my snake! Why for did you kill my snake?”
Next, a beautiful harem girl comes in, to kiss the handsome sheik. But Clem gets in the way! “Not her! She’s different!” “You’re telling’ me!” But, she inadvertently kisses Clem’s hatband …. And its smoking! How to test for poison lipstick? Have her kiss the Sheik’s camel — Hubert Humpy! Who then dies off-stage.
The harem girl is led away to her execution. And Clem suggests that the Sheik gives her a goodbye kiss! Which leads to an extended “dying” scene. Thinking that he’s dying, he gives Clem his secret Swiss bank account number. He wants him to take the $Billion dollars that he’s swindled from his people, and use it to erect statues of the Sheik around the world. But the harem girl come in — he’s not dying! Only her lower lip is poisonous, the other has the antidote! She kisses him, and he’s well. Except that Clem’s on his way to take all of his money out of the bank!
Act III – The Schnook of Araby
At the Swiss bank, after interfering with a bank robber wanting to make a deposit, and getting in the way of another customer, Clem’s about to eat the slip of paper with the Sheik’s bank account. Just as he’s swallowing, the Sheik arrives. Too late! Can Clem remember the account number? After a silly chalkboard routine – yes! And the Sheik has his money. But wait! It smells funny — could it be poisoned? Clem asks the bank teller to just put his tongue to it to see. The man immediately dies, and Clem’s outraged! He didn’t tell them if it was poisoned first! Ending the sketch.
Classic Red Skelton Sketch
Red Skelton and Cesar Romero on stage
Red Skelton: What’s wrong? You act nervous.
Cesar Romero: Well, I tell you, Red, a girl’s been following me for four blocks.
Red Skelton: Girl’s been follow you for four blocks? How do you know?
Cesar Romero: Well, I went back three times to make sure!
Next, Cesar bets Red that he can make him admit he’s bad:
Cesar Romero: Put ice in coffee, what do you get?
Red Skelton: Iced coffee.
Cesar Romero: Put ice in tea, and what do you get?
Red Skelton: Iced tea.
Cesar Romero: Put ice in ink, and what do you get?
Red Skelton: Iced ink. [sounds like “I stink“]
Cesar Romero: I win! [takes the money and walks off stage]
In the Silent Spot, Red portrays a ham actor just trying to go to work. It’s a fast-paced slapstick fest! He fends off an autograph hound, a ticket-happy policeman — who keeps getting soaked! And a pie deliveryman who keeps bumping into him on his way to the theater. Only to find that his show, Navajo Nights, has been cancelled! So, he’s reduced to …. Becoming a cigar store Indian!
The Serenaders, a group of 14 youngsters from the LA area who perform old big-band standards, sing, ‘Sunrise, Sunset‘ and ‘Elmer’s Tune.’
Cast of characters
- Red Skelton … Self – Host / Clem Kadiddlehopper / Laurence O’Lavendor-Silent Spot
- Jan Arvan (20 Million Miles to Earth) … Yugo-Crazian Ambassador
- Stephen Courtleigh … Swiss Bank Customer / Stage Manger — Silent Spot
- David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
- Everett Dirksen … Self
- Art Gilmore … Announcer (voice)
- Ray Kellogg … Policeman — Silent Spot
- James Lanphier … Yugo-Crazian Deputy Chief of Mission
- Beverly Powers (The Comedy of Terrors) … Harem Girl / Fainting Woman-Silent Spot
- Cesar Romero (Batman the Movie, Two on a Guillotine) … Mustapha Dame
- The Serenaders … Guest Vocalists
- David Sharpe … Pastry Chef-Silent Spot
- Olan Soule (The Towering Inferno, Superfriends) … Swiss Bank Teller / Chauffeur — Silent Spot
- Glen Vernon (Bedlam) … Bit Role