1941, 42, 43 / 1:33:1 / 78, 74, 87 Min.
Starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford
Written by Robert MacGunigle, Nat Perrin
Cinematography by Sidney Wagner, Clyde De Vinnam, Lester White
Directed by S. Sylvan Simon
One night in 1950 during an especially frenetic episode of The Colgate Comedy Hour, Jerry Lewis stepped away from Dean Martin to address the camera point blank – “You get the idea – I’m supposed to be a 9-year-old kid.” Hardly a revelation – especially to Red Skelton, the reigning king of prepubescent horseplay.
That reign was begun in 1923 and fueled by broadly played gags that were both leering and infantile – like a burlesque version of The Bad Seed. One of Skelton’s most grating characters was a wisecracking brat called the “mean widdle kid” – wearing short pants and lace collar while delivering grown-up one-liners in baby talk he was a less feral version of Joe Besser’s