Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Feast of Saint Red

My Fellow Comedists,

This week is the feast day of Saint Red -- not to be confused with Saint Redd. Red Skelton was the son of a clown. His father passed away while his mother was pregnant with him, but at a young age, he too became a clown. Selling newspapers as a 15 year old to bring in money for the family, vaudeville legend Ed Wynn who happened to be in town spotted him and added him to his traveling troupe. Skelton worked everywhere he could, eventually joining the circus his father had worked for years earlier. The training never left him. He went on to star in films, on radio and television, but while he did sketch and stand-up, he was always a clown. Not one for clever, witty, and subtle language, his trade was his face which he would change and change back with lightning speed.

He created a number of characters, most memorably Clem Kadiddlehopper, the blank staring, dim witted country bumpkin. Skelton was convinced that the voice for Bullwinkle the Moose was a Kaddiddlehopper impersonation and considering suing, but ended up not.

He was a comic of a by-gone age, physical and silly.

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve