Appreciating all that makes America special

TV Show: The Red Skelton Show


Red Skelton's show was built around his cast of characters, including the Mean Widdle Kid, Klem Kadiddlehopper, and Freddie the Freeloader. Uploaded by

For twenty years, 1951-1971, The Red Skelton Show was one of the top shows on television, trailing only Gunsmoke and The Ed Sullivan Show in the ratings.

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The show featured Red performing his cast of characters, which included the Old West sheriff “Deadeye,” the crooked real estate agent “San Fernando Red,” the boxer “Cauliflower McPugg,” the hick “Clem Kadiddlehopper,” the brat “Mean Widdle Kid,” the seagulls “Gertrude and Heathcliffe,” and the hobo clown “Freddie the Freeloader.” The show usually had a musical act (the Rolling Stones made their first American appearance with Red) and a guest star. During the skits, it wasn’t unusual for the guest or Red to crack up, which was part of the show’s charm.

The show won a few Emmy Awards, but its greatest triumph was the loyalty its fans had during its long run. Red Skelton’s closing each week was the same, and is one of the most memorable in TV history: “Good night, and may God bless.”


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One Comment

  1. what can I say? Red is my favorite childhood (Alltime) comedian. Loved Gertrude and Heathcliff…Clem…Mean Widdle Kid… so much…..Good night, and God Bless.