Almost 20 years ago, America lost one of her premier and most legendary comedians, Red Skelton whose career spanned 70 years. He was a pioneer, establishing a benchmark of excellence in comedic entertainment. And when comedy began to evolve in the 1970s to more provocative and boundary-pushing topics including colorful and even extreme language, Skelton stood firm to his integrity and to his own brand of family-oriented comedy. He was uncompromising, and sadly, even though he still had a hit television show, it was cancelled, and the vintage acts of Red Skelton passed into legend.
His act had been in public view since 1923, when he began developing his comedic and pantomime skills at the age of 10 and joining a traveling medicine show. He graduated to burlesque and vaudeville in 1934. His radio career began in 1937 when he appeared on The Feischmann’s Yeast Hour. That led to his hosting Avalon Time in 1938 and then The Raleigh Cigarette Program in 1941. It was during this time he was creating many of his characters he would incorporate into his sketches.