Cover image for A critical history of television's The Red Skelton show, 1951-1971
A critical history of television's The Red Skelton show, 1951-1971
Hyatt, Wesley.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [2004]

Physical Description:
ix, 190 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1992.77.R45 H93 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Red Skelton Show was on the air for 20 years, the longest-running primetime network comedy variety series on television. It was a top 10 series for nine years - an accomplishment surpassed only by Gunsmoke and Home Improvement. The series has a few unimpressive achievements too, such as becoming the first top 10 series to be cancelled by a network. Here is the history of The Red Skelton Show, beginning with its debut in 1951 and its great initial success. It was one of the top five television series that year, and Skelton and his show were nominated for Emmys. The author then details the show's decline in popularity; its move from CBS to NBC in 1953 and its slow rise back to the top; its glory days of the 1960s, when it became an hour long show and finished at number two for two different years; CBS's surprise cancellation of the show in 1970 despite its place in the top 10; and the failed last season back with NBC. There are three appendices: Appendix A lists cast and crew credits for the show, Appendix B lists special guests by season, and Appendix C offers information on the post-Red Skelton lives of many of the shows principal players.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
1. Events Leading Up to Red's Television Seriesp. 5
2. 1951-1953: You're the Top, Now You're Notp. 18
3. 1953-1956: From the Bottom to the Top 20p. 34
4. 1956-1962: "I'm Just Lucky"?p. 51
5. 1962-1967: The Glory Yearsp. 71
6. 1967-1970: "We Had No Concept of That Show Being Cancelled"p. 100
7. 1970-1971: "It Would Be Presumptuous to Change, Modernize or Innovate Skelton"p. 122
8. 1971-Present: "It Should Be 'Red Skelton, Red Skelton, Red Skelton'"p. 140
Appendix A The Red Skelton Show Cast and Crew Creditsp. 161
Appendix B The Red Skelton Show Guests by Seasonp. 162
Appendix C Whatever Happened to...? A Select List of The Red Skeleton Show Principalsp. 175
Bibliographyp. 177
Indexp. 179