Where There’s Smoke, There’s a Dragon – The Red Skelton Hour, season 17, with Bert Lahr – originally aired October 3, 1967
In Where There’s Smoke, There’s a Dragon, Forsooth (Red Skelton) must vanquish a dragon that’s threatening the kingdom of King Foulup (Bert Lahr).
- I was listening to Frank Sinatra’s new record that he has out. “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.”
- Looks like Christmas came a little early down in Vegas this year. Somebody hung a sock on his nose already.
- Did you hear what Lady Bird Johnson said when she spent one day in Los Angeles with all this smog? She says, “I’ll be a dirty bird.”
- It’s so bad, a fellow walked up to a girl and he said, “Hi, gorgeous.” And it happened to be Phyllis Diller!
- There was a fellow got off an airplane in Bombay, he coughed, the other fellow says, “I didn’t know you were from Los Angeles.”
- There was one fellow, his wife caught him with another woman, but he was innocent. He said it was so smoggy he didn’t know where he was.
- I had a little argument with my wife this week, Little Red and I had an argument. It seems there was this lady driving in traffic, and she fainted. Downtown, right in the downtown area, and I was for about an hour and a half giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. [Audience laughs] She didn’t believe me either!
- It’s affecting everybody. I saw one fellow with big red eyes, tears streaming down the front of his face, and I said, “California smog?” And he said, “No, Reagan taxes.” [Audience laughs] I think Ronnie gave me that. [Editor’s note: Ronald Reagan was governor of California at the time]
- You know, the air out here’s starting to smell so bad, you’re starting to notice it on Sunset Strip.
- One of those hippies came up to me the other day and he says, “Is that air I smell?” I says, “It is, and you do.”
How hot is it?
- If the smog don’t get you, the heat will. The other day, a guy told me where to go, and I thought I was already there!
- It’s so hot out here now, I saw some people following Jackie Gleason around, just to sit in the shade!
- During the hot months, you know, the women walk around in halters, you know. You know why they call them “halters”? I saw one, it stopped me!
- And the bikinis the girls are wearing! I’ll tell ya, I’ve seen so many tummies this summer, I think the whole country’s going to pot.
- I saw one bikini, it looked like something a silk worm knocked off during his lunch out.
- I said to one lady, “You should show more scruples.” She said, “Some of you fellas are never satisfied.”
- There were two chipmunks talking, “Hey, Harold, did you hear about the wild goose who was so confused he couldn’t get his down up?”
- A giraffe is talking: “I gotta tell you, there’s nothing worse than a sore throat.” A little centipede says, “You’ve never had fallen arches, have you?”
Red segues into a pantomime about the muscle men at the beach – very funny.
Where there’s Smoke, there’s a Dragon
In Where There’s Smoke, There’s a Dragon, Forsooth (Red Skelton’s medieval character) is a lowly worker, cleaning out the moat. The Royal Guard tells him to stop playing with the alligators, and come clean the moat. Alligators? What alligators? Cleaning the moat for years, and he’s never seen an alligator! He comes in, with an inflatable alligator chewing on his backside! That’s an alligator? He walks off stage, and comes back with … Alligator suitcases!
After some slapstick “cleaning” the throne room, he accidentally knocks the kingdom’s soothsayer out the window! Forsooth takes advantage of the opportunity, and pretends to be soothsayer to King Foulup the First (Bert Lahr). He’s pretending to see the brave hero that King Foulup will send to defeat the dragon, that’s been ravaging the kingdom …. Forsooth! However, the royal guard comes in, and punctures Forsooth’s lie.
Just then, the latest group of knights return, from the latest attempt to vanquish the dragon. First, the empty suits of armor. “At least he returns the empties!” Followed by the knights themselves, skewered on their own lance. Which leads to a moment of prop comedy, as Red takes advantage of the situation.
Forsooth still wants to go in pursuit of the dragon, since he’s the bravest man in the kingdom! King Foulup takes offense, since he’s the bravest man in the kingdom! At least, until the magic mirror scares him!
King Foulup and Forsooth arrive at the dragon’s cave in style (a funny bit). Then, to test his strength, the King and Forsooth engage in arm wrestling — which turns into a dance! Thank goodness it’s not a battle of wits! Then, three trials await Forsooth:
Forsooth versus the Giant
First, the giant’s second arrives, to describe the rules of the fight. Resulting in the classic clown boxing routine, “Don’t do this!” (kick) “Or this!” (hit from behind) “Or this!” (hitting below the belt). Which King Foulup needs repeated, of course. Then the actual fight with the giant! Forsooth may not be smart, but he is clever, and gives the giant a hot foot!
Forsooth versus the Wicked Witch
For Forsooth’s second test, he has to defeat the evil witch! Frankly I was expecting a shout-out to Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West (where she co-starred with Bert Lahr) — but no. It’s a very beautiful witch! But, King Foulup warns, her lips are the kiss of death!
Forsooth’s perfectly ready to risk it …. But King Foulup decides to do this himself! He kissed the evil witch …
Forsooth: “Why aint you dead?
King Foulup: I’m in Heaven!
Forsooth vs. the fire breathing Dragon
Finally, it’s time for the main event — Forsooth versus the fire breathing dragon! It’s a very funny fight, with the dragon melting his sword, etc. But eventually Forsooth “punctures his smudge pot”, and stand victorious! And the dragon’s prisoner, the prisoner whom King Foulup has been waiting for 43 years for, is free! And …. plump. Forsooth and King Foulup previously declared a duel for the princess’ hand, they take their winchesters and shoot … The princess! Ending the sketch.
Classic Red Skelton sketch – people watching television
A sketch about how different people work different types of TV programs.
Red Skelton and Bert Lahr on stage.
Bert: You know, Red, I was born backstage.
Red: You were? You were born in a trunk?
Red: Well, you were always top drawer.
Bert: Yes … That’s why I always smell like a moth ball!
A series of modern takes short comedy blackouts from vaudeville and burlesque
- Bet you can’t eat just one! At the time, Bert Lahr was doing a series of commercials for Lay’s Potato Chips. They play on that here, with Bert taking & trying to eat a rubber potato chip!
- Bet you don’t know your wife’s eye color. Two people (Red and Jan Arvan) meet on the street. The conversation turns to Red’s wife, and Jan bets that Red doesn’t even know the color of her eyes. “You mean both of them?” Green! No, brown …. He goes home to check, where his wife is reclining on a sofa. He looks at her face and says, “Brown!” Bert Lahr pops up from behind the couch and says, “How’d you know I was here?”
- The Carnival. Red has his head throw a hole, and Jan Arvan throws balls at him to hit him …. But he misses every time. But Red keeps yelling “Ow!” Why? Bert explains, they have a 2nd game going on. The pedestal rotates to reveal that Red has a bulls-eye on his posterior, where someone’s been throwing darts!
- The Israeli 7-day war. A short skit, demonstrating just how short the war was!
In the Silent Spot, Red plays the do-it-yourself Mr. Butterfingers, who can’t do anything right. While trying to build a barbequue, he who drives his neighbor crazy. His neighbor Jan Arvan has his doorbell ruined, his wall broken, his gate cut, etc. Finally having had enough, he interrupts Red and borrows some bricks. Which he throws through the windows of Red’s car, parked on the street! Except it’s not his car — it belongs to a police officer (Ray Kellog)! Who arrests Jan, but lets him get one final moment of revenge before they go! A very funny skit, that gives Jan more screen time than normal. And, he make the most of it.
- Red Skelton … Host / Forsooth / Mr. Butterfingers (Silent Spot)
- The Alan Copeland Singers … Themselves
- Christian Anderson … Soothsayer (?)
- Jan Arvan … Self / Royal Guard / Butterfinger’s Neighbor-Silent Spot
- David Rose and His Orchestra … Themselves
- Art Gilmore … Announcer (voice)
- Fran Jeffries (The Pink Panther) … Self / Guest Vocalist
- Bert Lahr (Ship Ahoy, The Wizard of Oz) … Self / King Foulup the First
- Tom Hansen Dancers … Themselves
- Robert V. Barron (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Robotech) … Giant’s second
- Joyce Rees (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) … Evil Witch
- Ray Kellog … police officer in Silent Spot
- Fran Jeffries sings, ‘Too Close for Comfort’ and ‘Out of This World.’