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Willie and the Burglar [The Red Skelton Show]

Willie and the Burglar - The Red Skelton Show

Willie and the BurglarThe Red Skelton Show, season 1, originally aired November 4, 1951

Willie and the Burglar is the main sketch in this episode. Also, Clem Kadiddlehopper sells real estate, Red Skelton hawks snake oil medicine, and Red and Lucille Knoch are artist and model.

Monologue | Real Estate | Pitchman | Artist and Model | Willie and the Burglar | Conclusion | Songs

Opening monologue

  • Say, this week you know it’s Halloween, and my little boy and little girl had an awful lot of fun. They were out in the kitchen and Richard, oh he’s getting to be a pip, he comes up and says, “Did you have the television set on last night?” I says, “Yeah.” He says, “How’d it fit?”
  • He came in the other day and he’s doing this, and I says “Stop bitin’ your nail.” He says, “I’m not bitin’ my nail, I’m scratching my teeth!”
  • And he was eating peanut brittle and I says, “Where did you get that?” He says, “Out in the kitchen. Grandma’s makin’ peanut brittle for trick or treat tonight. And peanut brutal, she’s eatin’ it.” I says, “Not brutal, brittle.” He says, “She’s got no teeth and it’s brutal.”
  • I says, “Well, you’ve had enough candy, give it to me.” And right now I’d like to meet the guy who said, it’s as easy as taking candy away from a baby.

Clem Kadiddlehopper sells real estate on TV

Clem Kadiddlehopper sells real estate in Willie and the Burglar
  • The first 10 people who call about this house get a free garbage disposal. And a year’s supply of garbage!
  • This is in the smog-free area. All the smog in this area doesn’t cost you a cent.
  • Now we have another lovely house, this has 27 rooms and its located right where they were going to build the freeway. And these people refused to sell. They’re ready to sell now, they’re ready to sell. The freeway’s all ready. It cost $2 billion dollars, a free way they call it.
  • Now some people say they’re afraid to buy in California. This is not true. We do not have earthquakes here. [earthquake strikes]

The Pitchman

Red plays a TV pitchman hawking bottles of patent medicine while singing The Tennessee Waltz.

  • Do you have variclose veins? Are your veins too close together?
  • Do you see spots before your eyes? And after they’re removed, do they leave circles?
  • Do you have halitosis, which is better than no breath at all?
  • Friends, there’s no need to suffer. Lay down and die.
  • [hawking their vitamins in bottle form as he pours it onto a spoon] It’s nice and gentle to your throat, [the spoon bends on contact] Well, it’s better if you drink it out of the bottle anyhow. Kind of close in like this because it’ll take the enamel off your teeth, that’s the only thing.

Artist and Model

Red in Artists and Models

Red performs as a painter, in a funny skit that turns into a Tide commercial.

  • That’s not a mountain range. That’s a rock garden that got away from me.
  • [describing a blank canvas as a painting] That’s a ghost in a snowstorm.
  • Customer: What does that cost?
    Red: 5,000 wouldn’t buy that.
    Customer: I’m one of the 5,000.
  • Red: You know, I would like to paint you.
    Customer: I prefer myself the color I am!
  • Red: I could see you as a flower.
    Customer: Yes, I’d like to be painted as a flower.
    Red: Yes, let’s see … what does a century plant look like?
    Customer: I’ll have you understand, young man, I’ve only seen 35 summers.
    Red: Musta been those hard winters that did it. Only time she’ll ever see 35 again is on a speedometer. This gal helped Paul Revere saddle his horse!

Red phones for a model, Lucille Knoch arrives in seconds.

[Lucille takes off her robe, wearing a swimsuit] The kind of girl you could take home to mother, if you could trust father.

Red tries painting with mud … and needs the model to wash out his smock! “In case you haven’t figured it out, here comes the commercial … ” Lucille uses Tide, but refuses to wash out his smock. She hits him in the face with mud and walks out.

Willie Lump-Lump and the Burglar

An inebriated Willie Lump-Lump hears a burglar in his house at 4:00 am.

Willie Lump Lump's wife turns over as he tries to wake her

Willie comes home in the middle of the night, and tries to wake his wife (Shirley Mitchell). “She is without a doubt the laziest woman I have ever seen. I have seen lazy women in my day, but she is the laziest woman I have ever seen! We operated on her last summer and cut 14 inches of mattress from her back.”

“The only time she moved is when we had an earthquake a couple of years ago, rolled her to the other side of the bed. Did you know that for five weeks she was talking about the trip? She’s probably tired, she missed her nap today. She slept right through it.”

Burglar robbing Willie Lump Lump blind in Willie and the Burglar

Willie tries to call the police, failing. In the meantime, the burglar comes in and starts stealing everything of value that’s not nailed down. Conspicuously leaving Willie’s photo of Red Skelton behind.

Finally, the burglar finishes successfully and leaves. Willie wishes him goodbye with “Give my regards to the boys down at the tax department.” With everything stolen, Willie gives his wife a good night kiss. Which finally wakes her up!


Red comes on stage to address the audience.

“Ladies and gentlemen, again may we thank you for allowing us to come into your living room, and I hope that you had as much fun as I had. It’s really a lot of fun to try and make people laugh because regardless to what your heartache might have been, while laughing for a few seconds you’ve forgotten about it.”

After a moment, Red is grabbed by the ankles and pulled back through the curtain, ending the episode.