Thursday, December 1, 2016

Red Skelton Hour Christmas

Red Skelton started the 12th season with hour long shows. The Christmas episode had the "Freddie and the Yuletide Doll" from 1961. 1962 episode also had the Modernairs sing "The Little Christmas Tree", ballet dancer Roberta Lubell dance to two Christmas songs composed by David Rose, Red singing with the Mitchell Boys Choir and a silent spot with Lubell and Skelton dancing in "The Spectre and the Rose". The Yuletide Doll was used in 1963. A week before the 1962 episode Red did a silent spot of a husband looking for his gift from his wife.

Sometimes Red repeated Christmas skits. In 1963 he did a silent spot about a Christmas rush in a toy store that may have been shown again in 1966,

1964 and 1965 Freddie was featured with Greer Garson in "The Plight Before Christmas". Freddie is looking for a place to have a show for orphans. Greer Garson just finished h
er performance as the Flower Lady in her theater. She is still in make-up when she can't get into her theater. Freddie lets her stay in his shake for the night. She get backs to the theater and offers the theatre for Freddie's show. Freddie does not realize that Garson and the Flower Lady are the same person.  The orphans' show has Freddie singing with the Hillcrest Elementary School Choir of Los Angeles. They sing "The Night Before Christmas" written by Red Skelton. Freddie does a mime bit of threading a needle. Greer Garson reads "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus". The show ends with Freddie and Garson singing "Side by Side". A week before the repeat of this show in 1965, there was a silent spot of Scrooge type newspaper vendor during Christmas.
In 1966 the Flower Lady returns. The 100-voice Recruit Bluejacket Choir from US Naval Training Center this time sings Skelton's "The Night Before Christmas".

A silent spot in 1967 had Santa on a slick roof. The next week had "The Christmas Urchin". The story was about a Freddie and a police officer (Howard Keel) helping a mother and a little girl (Linda Sue Risk). Keel sings Christmas music including Skelton's "The Night Before Christmas".

The 1968 Christmas episode is one I would like to see. The story is based on Christmas during the Revolutionary War. "Senator Dirksen reads Clement Clark Moore's 'A Visit From St. Nicholas' and narrates a dramatic sketch 'A Christmas Story - 1777', written by Red. Balerina Jiliana dances to a medley of David Rose tunes. Mrs. Red Skelton makes her first appearance on the show in eleven years, accepting gifts from four of Red's characters. In the Silent Spot, titled, 'Yes, There is a Santa Claus', Red reprises his classic routine as a husband playing Santa Claus contending with a slippery rooftop."  *IMDb

Linda Sue Risk returns in a 1969 silent spot "The Magic of Christmas". A toymaker on Christmas Eve. Risk appears in a silent spot in 1970. "The Gift of Giving" is about a shoeshine finds a way to help a mother with a little girl.

Red's last Christmas episode was on NBC in 1970 with Leslie Neilsen as a police officer helping Freddie put on a show for orphans.

Freddie appeared on TV again in a Bob Hope special in 1978.

Last Christmas special was for a HBO in 1981. In "Red Skelton's Christmas Dinner" Freddie has saved his money to pay for a Christmas dinner with his friend Professor Humperdoo (Vincent Price). While Freddie is trying to find his friend, he does acts of kindness. One of the them is doing a mime at a children's hospital. He ends up spending all his money on kindness and can't afford a dinner. But being kind has its rewards.

Red Skelton did one special that is played during Christmas because it it connected to Santa Claus but it really is a New Year's special. "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" has the red nosed reindeer looking for the baby new year. Skelton plays Father Time and also Baby Bear of the Three Bears. Baby Bear sounds like his Junior character from the radio.

Guest Stars - Don Knotts

Don Knotts (1924-2006)

Best know for his role as 'Barney Fife' on the "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968). He was a 'Nervous Chap' on "The Steve Allen Plymouth Show (1957-1960). He was the star in feature films in the late 60's and Disney films in the late 70's. Returned to TV on "Three's Company" (1979-1984). Don Knotts' daughter, Karen Knotts, performs a one-woman show about her father. She performed the show at the Red Skelton Center in 2015.

Guest star 1961-1965

San Fernando and Herbie (1961/05/23) San Fernando Red has a fixed talent contest. Herbie (Don Knotts) wants to be a comedian. (On DVD titled "Indiana".)

Deadeye and the Gunslinger (1961/10/17) Don Knotts spoofs "Have Gun Will Travel" character. 

Jerk and the Beanstalk (1963/05/28) Don Knotts is a fitness trainer helping Appleby.

How Are Things in Glocca Moron?(1964/02/25) Knotts is a diamond cutter and Clem is the guard.

A Creep in the Deep (1965/01/26) A Commodore of Lagoons wants to take down Freddie's houseboat in a park.