Red Skelton - Comedian Red Skelton
always held an expensive cigar while performing his comedy
routines in vaudeville and radio as well as on THE RED SKELTON
SHOW/NBC/CBS/1951-71, but he never lit or smoked the cigars. It
was just used as a prop/security blanket.
When Red started in burlesque, he originally held a corn cob pipe
and then later used a rubber cigar.
Reportedly, a friend named Matty Ellison told Red "Why don't you
learn to do all of those things you are doing with that cigar with
a real one". Red quickly adopted a real cigar for his act.
On the show the characters seen most often with a cigar included
San Fernando Red, a conman; Sheriff Deadeye, the scourge of the
West (dressed in a Mexican sombrero); Freddie the Freeloader, the
richest bum in the world; and Bolivar Shagnasty.
For years, Skelton received a supply of cigars from the US Tobacco
Company for being a spokesman.
Red Skelton, 84, died on September 17, 1997.
"Good night, and may God bless."
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