Red Skelton

American comedian (1913–1997)

Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton (18 July 1913 – 17 September 1997) was an American entertainer best known for his work in radio, television, and film.

Skelton in 1960


  • A comedian goes out and hits people right on. A clown uses pathos. He can be funny, then turn right around and reach people and touch them with what life is like.
  • They're taking shortcuts to get a big laugh instead of working for their audience. They can finish a show, hang up their tux and shirt, and put it up for next time. With mine, you have to wring out the sweat and send it to the cleaners. You gotta go out and work for your audience.
  • Why quit? It's the only thing I know. Quitting is like hanging up your soul on the wall and closing the door on it.

Quotes about Red Skelton

  • Don't laugh but I think the logical successor to Chaplin is Skelton. Red, to my mind, is the most unaclaimed clown in the business.
  • With one prop, a soft battered hat he successfully converted himself into an idiot boy, a peevish old lady, a teetering-tottering drunk, an overstuffed clubwoman, a tramp, and any other character that seemed to suit his fancy. No grotesque make-up, no funny clothes, just Red. There is no one around who can take a comic fall as magnificently as he can. He also sings, dances, delivers deceptively simple comic monologue and plays a dramatic scene about as effectively as any of the dramatic actors, Method or otherwise.
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