Our Inductees: Red Skelton

Biography

Red Skelton was the 15th Inductee into the Offical National Comedy Hall of Fame®. He was an American comedy entertainer. He was best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971, and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. 

He has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, and also appeared in burlesque, vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist. Skelton began developing his comedic and pantomime skills from the age of 10, when he became part of a traveling medicine show. He then spent time on a showboat, worked the burlesque circuit, then entered into vaudeville in 1934. The “Doughnut Dunkers” pantomime sketch, which he wrote together with his wife, launched a career for him in vaudeville, radio, and films. His radio career began in 1937 with a guest appearance on The Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour which led to his becoming the host of Avalon Time in 1938. He became the host of The Raleigh Cigarette Program in 1941 where many of his comedy characters were created, and he had a regularly scheduled radio program until 1957. 

Skelton was most eager to work in television, even when the medium was in its infancy. The Red Skelton Show made its television premiere on September 30, 1951 on NBC. By 1954, Skelton’s program moved to CBS, where it was expanded to one hour and renamed The Red Skelton Hour in 1962. Despite high ratings, the show was cancelled by CBS in 1970, as the network believed that more youth-oriented programs were needed to attract younger viewers and their spending power.

Skelton moved his program to NBC, where he completed his last year with a regularly scheduled television show in 1971 he spent his time after that making as many as 125 personal appearances a year and workin on his art. Skelton believed that his life’s work was to make people laugh.

The One And Only

National Comedy Hall of Fame®

Cart

Museum Information

Phone: 727-9GIGGLE (727-944-4453)

Email: Info@NCHOF.com

Address: 2435 U.S. 19, Holiday, FL 34691

Hours: TBD

Hit Counter Visitors

You have Successfully Subscribed!