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Old Time Radio - Red Skelton Show

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Red Skelton Show

Avalon Time was an American old-time radio comedy/variety program that ran from 1938-1940 on NBC's Red Network. The program was named after its sponsor, Avalon cigarettes. Over the course of its run, Avalon Time was also sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh Pipe Tobacco and the Bulova Watch Company.
The program is often regarded as comedian Red Skelton's first big break in show business and on radio.[2]
On October 1, 1938, Skelton replaced Red Foley as the host of Avalon Time. Skelton's first wife Edna also joined the show's cast, under her maiden name of Stillwell.[7] The Skeltons worked on Avalon Time until late 1939.[8]
Red Skelton was the second host of Avalon Time. Skelton became well known for his "Doughnut Dunkers" routine[2] which led to Skelton's first appearance on Rudy Vallée's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour on August 12, 1937. Vallée's program had a talent show segment and those who were searching for stardom were eager to be heard on it. Vallée also booked veteran comic Joe Cook to appear as a guest with Skelton. The two proceeded to trade jokes about their home towns, with Skelton contending to Cook, an Evansville native, that the city was a suburb of Vincennes, Skelton’s hometown. The show received enough fan mail after the performance to invite both comedians back two weeks after Skelton's initial appearance and again in November of that year.
Skelton went on to do his own radio show, The Raleigh Cigarette Program, on October 7, 1941. The bandleader for the show was Ozzie Nelson; his wife, Harriet, who worked under her maiden name of Hilliard, was the show's vocalist and also worked with Skelton in skits.[9]
The Raleigh Cigarette Program (alternatively known as The Raleigh Cigarette Program Starring Red Skelton) was an American old-time radio comedy program that starred comedian Red Skelton.
The program originally premiered on October 7, 1941, on NBC. The program was a hit in the ratings airing Tuesday nights at 10:30 for its entire three season run. The program was cancelled after Skelton was drafted into World War II. The final broadcast of the show aired on June 6, 1944.
RaleighCigaretteProgram
Red Skelton 1960 Richard "Red" Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) was an American entertainer. 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.
Skelton began developing his comedic and pantomime skills from the age of 10, when he became part of a traveling medicine show.
Performing the "Doughnut Dunkers" routine led to Skelton's first appearance on Rudy Vallée's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour on August 12, 1937. Vallée's program had a talent show segment and those who were searching for stardom were eager to be heard on it. Vallée also booked veteran comic and fellow Indiana native Joe Cook to appear as a guest with Skelton. The two Hoosiers proceeded to trade jokes about their home towns, with Skelton contending to Cook, an Evansville native, that the city was a suburb of Vincennes. The show received enough fan mail after the performance to invite both comedians back two weeks after Skelton's initial appearance and again in November of that year.[73]
On October 1, 1938, Skelton replaced Red Foley as the host of Avalon Time on NBC; Edna also joined the show's cast, under her maiden name.[74][l] She developed a system for working with the show's writers: selecting material from them, adding her own and filing the unused bits and lines for future use; the Skeltons worked on Avalon Time until late 1939.[76][77]
Skelton introduced the first two of his many characters during The Raleigh Cigarette Program's first season. The character of Clem Kadiddlehopper was based on a Vincennes neighbor named Carl Hopper, who was hard of hearing.[m] Skelton's voice pattern for Clem was similar to the later cartoon character, Bullwinkle; there was enough similarity to cause Skelton to contemplate filing a lawsuit against Bill Scott, who voiced the cartoon moose.[80] The second character, The Mean Widdle Kid, or "Junior", was a young boy full of mischief, who typically did things he was told not to do. "Junior" would say things like, "If I dood it, I gets a whipping.", followed moments later by the statement, "I dood it!"[80] Skelton performed the character at home with Edna, giving him the nickname "Junior" long before it was heard by a radio audience.[81] While the phrase was Skelton's, the idea of using the character on the radio show was Edna's.[82] Skelton starred in a 1943 movie of the same name, but did not play "Junior" in the film.[83]
Skelton served in the United States Army during World War II. After being assigned to the Special Services, Skelton performed as many as ten to twelve shows per day before troops in both the United States and in Europe. The pressure of his workload caused him to suffer exhaustion and a nervous breakdown.[1][38] His nervous collapse while in the army left him with a serious stuttering problem. While recovering at an army hospital in Virginia, he met a soldier who had been severely wounded and was not expected to survive. Skelton devoted a lot of time and effort to trying to make the man laugh. As a result of this effort, his stuttering problem was cured; his army friend's condition also improved and he was no longer on the critical list.[111] He was released from his army duties in September 1945.[38][112] His sponsor was eager to have him back on the air, and Skelton's program began anew on NBC on December 4, 1945.[99][113]
Skelton went on to make thousands of public appearances and whatnot until his retirement in 1993. Skelton died September 17, 1997, at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, at the age of 84 after what was described as "a long, undisclosed illness".[32]
 

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