Comedians

12 Surprising Truths Of Red Skelton

1. 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.

2. Skelton, who has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, also appeared in vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.

3. Skelton began developing his comedic and pantomime skills from the age of 10, when he became part of a traveling medicine show.

4. He then spent time on a showboat, worked the burlesque circuit, then entered into vaudeville in 1934.

5. The Doughnut Dunkers, a pantomime sketch of how different people ate doughnuts written by Skelton and his wife launched a career for him in vaudeville, in radio and in films.

6. He became the host of The Raleigh Cigarette Program in 1941 where many of his comedy characters were created and had a regularly scheduled radio program until 1957.

7. He was most eager to work in television, even when the medium was in its infancy.

8. The Red Skelton Show made its television premiere on September 30, 1951, on NBC.

9. Despite high ratings, his television show was cancelled by CBS in 1970 as the network believed more youth-oriented programs were needed to attract younger viewers and their spending power.

10. Skelton moved his program to NBC, where he completed his last year with a regularly scheduled television show in 1971.

11. Sales of his originals were successful and Skelton also sold prints and lithographs of them, earning $2.5 million yearly on lithograph sales.

12. At the time of his death, his art dealer believed that Skelton had earned more money through his paintings than from his television work.

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