Friday, August 31, 2007

Red Skelton

I'm watching some DVD's of old Red Skelton shows. Now, he seems to be somewhat funny and this isn't my first introduction to him. What's amazing to me is that his show was on for 20 years and yet no one really ever talks about it. They talk a lot about "The Simpsons" going into its 19th year and "Gunsmoke" ran for 20 and praise is heaped upon "Walt Disney" and "Ed Sullivan", but "The Red Skelton Show" is virtually ignored. It aired from 1951-1971.

Perhaps it is because Skelton's type of humor was really sort of cornball. In fact, when I used to watch Skelton on TV when he appeared occasionally up until his death in 1997, I noticed his propensity to laugh at his own jokes that weren't very funny to begin with.

Skelton was also an anomaly in the movies as well. Whereas other stars of his caliber such as Bob Hope or Jack Benny transcended the "compilation" type feature like "Big Broadcast of 1938", Skelton happily immersed himself in those type of pictures, so that there isn't one defining moment of Skelton genius.

I guess that's what made him unique, but also very puzzling to me.

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