Slightly offbeat television police comedy-drama. Tony Scali is the Police Commissioner in a small town, where solutions to difficult situations often require considerable creativity. Tony's... See full summary »
Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts, and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, ... See full summary »
Dan Tanna is a private investigator in the gambling town of Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas can be seedy or glamorous, depending upon the point of view. This show is also notable for perhaps the ... See full summary »
The Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming Territory of the 1890s is owned in sequence by Judge Garth, the Grainger brothers, and Colonel MacKenzie. It is the setting for a variety of stories, many more ... See full summary »
Red Skelton had a reputation among comedy writers as being extremely difficult, with whom to work, since he didn't like writers in general, and resented CBS for insisting that he use them on his show. He wanted to write all the sketches himself, his reasoning being that no one knew his characters as well as he did. Sherwood Schwartz, prior to taking the position as head writer on the show, had it written into his contract with CBS that Skelton was under no circumstances allowed to discuss anything about a show's script with him before he was given it prior to taping, which often resulted in Skelton not knowing what a sketch was about, nor even what character he would be playing until shortly before airtime. That's why Skelton would often break character in the middle of a skit and turn to the audience and say something like, "Don't blame me, folks, I don't write this stuff." See more »
MUCH IN THE same tradition of his contemporaries in comedy, Red Skelton made the transition from Radio to the new world of TV with nearly a bump in the road. Notable colleagues who also blazed the trail to the "tube" were: Bob Hope, Groucho Marx and Jack Benny.*
HAVING ALREADY STOCKPILED a stable of characters in his Bull Pen, all Red need do was to go ahead and visualize what the magic of Radio accomplished using our imaginations. Hence, we were treated to the likes of Clem Kadiddlehopper, San Fernando Red, Willie Lump-Lump and Cauliflower McPug in the flesh**. Missing in action and never having made the transition to the small screen was Junior, the Mean Widdle Kid.***
THE HOUR COMEDY/VARIETY series proved to be remarkable durable, having lasted a remarkable 20 or so seasons and two network switches. We all seemed to lock in on the Tuesday evening time slot and its customary presentation of Red and his guest stars. Along with these, his regulars included master Announcer, Art Gilmore and David Rose & His Orchestra. Mr. Skelton's theme song for so long was 'Holiday For Strings'; which is of course, a composition of Maestro Rose's.
HEARKENING BACK TO those days of yesteryear, one will doubtless observe that Comedy-Variety programs were a very popular staple of the networks' scheduling. Contrasted to the recent and present times, this genre seems almost non-existent Surely there are some very capable souls out there to give us the next RED SKELTON, JACK BENNY, CAROL BURNETTE or whoever have you.
COME ON NOW, you big-shot network "suits"; do it!
NOTE: * Others worth mentioning are ABBOTT & COSTELLO, JACKIE GLEASON and EDGAR BERGEN & CHARLIE Mc CARTHY. As for SID CAESAR and MILTON BERLE, while their shows were very successful, they weren't as popular on the Radio. (Schultz says that Sid Caesar was not on the radio very much, if at all)
NOTE: ** Mr. Skelton's characterizations were popular enough that Walter Lanz's Cartoon Studios based their character HOMER PIGEON on them.
NOTE *** Although a visual version of JUNIOR did appear in Red's starring feature film, THE FULLER BRUSH MAN, it was done with a child actor in the role. Junior was a casualty of progress; as was Lou Costello's SEBASTIAN ("....I'm a Bad Boy!")
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