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The Red Skelton Hour (TV Series 1951–2016) Poster

(1951–2016)

Trivia

Red Skelton had a reputation among comedy writers as being extremely difficult to work with, 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."
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On August 11, 2009, the U.S. Postal Service issued a pane of twenty forty-four cent commemorative postage stamps honoring early U.S. television programs. A booklet with twenty picture postal cards was also issued. On the stamp honoring this show, Red Skelton appeared as his Freddie the Freeloader character. Other shows honored in the Early TV Memories issue were: The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955), The Dinah Shore Show (1951), Dragnet (1951), "The Ed Sullivan Show" (originally titled The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)), The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950), Hopalong Cassidy (1952), The Honeymooners (1955), "The Howdy Doody Show" (original title: The Howdy Doody Show (1947)), I Love Lucy (1951), Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1947), Lassie (1954), The Lone Ranger (1949), Perry Mason (1957), The Phil Silvers Show (1955), "Texaco Star Theater" (titled The Milton Berle Show (1948), 1954-1956), The Tonight Show (which began as Tonight! (1953)), The Twilight Zone (1959), and You Bet Your Life (1950).
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Just four months after starting this show, Skelton earned Emmys for Best Comedy Show of the Year and Best Comedian.
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This show was on the air from 1951 to 1971, most of the time on CBS, but also for a few years on NBC.
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This show was sponsored by S.C. Johnson Wax.
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