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C'mon now, Sprocket. Don't ya think that that's just a SLIGHT overstatement here?!

 

I mean how could "one of the un-funniest people who ever lived" be credited with saying that famous AND hilarious line, "It proves what Harry always said, 'Give the public what they want, and they'll come out for it'! ", while attending the surprisingly well attended funeral of the generally despised Harry Cohn, HUH?!

 

(...so at LEAST give the guy his due in THIS regard anyway, won't YA?!) ;)

 

LOL

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I know somebody is going to second this choice (somebody always does, for anyone who is mentioned), but it's not going to be me.

 

For SOTM Red Skelton would be somewhere around 987th on my list of possible choices, well below Wheeler & Woolsey or Eric Blore, and barely above Bob Hope or Bing Crosby. Once you get past Preston Sturges's top half dozen or so films, plus To Be Or Not To Be, those comedies and comedians from the 40's went stale faster than those from any other decade. They were the equivalent of wartime baseball with one-armed outfielders, better than nothing but not something you want to keep around after the war was over.

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>For SOTM Red Skelton would be somewhere around 987th on my list of possible choices barely above Bob Hope or Bing Crosby. (snipped) those comedies and comedians from the 40's went stale faster than those from any other decade.

 

I agree somewhat...for many, it's the viewer who grew out of them.

 

I think Red Skelton, Danny Kaye & the Harryhausen movies are a logical and decent stepping stone for kids interested in classic film once they grow out of the silly or insipid children's movies.

 

And for whatever reason, I still very much enjoy any movie with Bob Hope in it, no matter how silly. Well, it could be now I catch the double entandre of many of the jokes, who-hoo! (something Skelton or Kaye wouldn't do)

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SO true, SM.

 

And besides being un-funny, he was nauseatingly treacly in his television show. Who can forget being forced (only one television set in the house and parents who didn't know better, heck they were fans of Lawrence Welk!) to watch his hilarious show where the only person laughing was Red, and then having to watch him get all serious and stuff at the end with his vomitous send-off:

 

"Good Night and may God Bless"

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...and, to add insult to injury, he also made a lot of grammatical mistakes.

 

 

Jeez...Too bad for you JOHN HOUSEMAN didn't do comedy!

 

I've always been a Skelton fan. Yeah, his comedic style and movies lose luster over time, and people tend to "outgrow" it, like Jerry Lewis. But he WAS brilliant on TV, and gave us many memorable moments. Plus the fact the in his day, his movies were hugely successful is enough to grant him a SOTM slot.

 

Willing to bet that many of you who dis Skelton probably think BRINGING UP BABY is hilarious!

 

Man! Talk about unfunny...

 

Dargo, my favorite( one of them at least) line from Red comes from an HBO special shortly before he died. "My wife is superstitious. She refuses to clean house in any week that has a FRIDAY in it."

 

Sepiatone

 

Edited by: Sepiatone on Dec 26, 2013 12:08 PM

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*For SOTM Red Skelton would be somewhere around 987th on my list of possible choices barely above Bob Hope or Bing Crosby. (snipped) those comedies and comedians from the 40's went stale faster than those from any other decade.*

 

I agree somewhat...for many, it's the viewer who grew out of them.

 

I think Red Skelton, Danny Kaye & the Harryhausen movies are a logical and decent stepping stone for kids interested in classic film once they grow out of the silly or insipid children's movies.

 

I'd like to think that a much better stepping stone would be W. C. Fields or the Marx Brothers or Laurel & Hardy. There's a reason that younger moviegoers of the 60's and 70's took to them rather than the Skeltons and the Kayes and the Hopes and the Jerry Lewises. The latter group of comics seemed as dated as vaudeville once their time had passed, whereas the type of humor embodied in the former group has always seemed timeless.

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But I liked them ALL, Andy. Even Lewis, Hope, Skelton and Kaye.

 

The only "comedy" of yore that I've abandoned since then were The Three Stooges. Can't stand them now.

 

Sepiatone

 

And Bringing Up Baby may be among my favorite 5 comedies ever. I think this confirms my suspicions that we weren't really separated at birth. :)

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Skelton did a one-man show at my college back in 1978 and I took my parents. I thought he was wonderfully funny that night, and I wasn't always the biggest Red fan. He was in his sixties and still on top of his game.

 

The Guzzler's Gin/When Television Comes sketch from Ziegfeld Follies was a major treat.

 

On a side note, while dining Red lost a ring he was wearing valued at more than $100,000.

 

Someone found and returned it.

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>I don't think I'd group Hope with Skelton, Kaye , and Lewis. He's on a higher plane than that. Woody Allen has always been a huge fan of Hope, and cites him as a major influence.

 

I dunno, finance. It seems to me that just because Woody MAY have personally liked Hope more than the rest of these comedians, I don't think this alone "proves" anything. Comedy HAS always been a very subjective thing, ya know.

 

Now, I've always thought of all the "rubber-faced" comedians listed here, Danny Kaye had the most overall talent of ANY of 'em. Kaye was not only a great physical comedian like the rest of these gentlemen(Hope possibly being weak in department), but he could also sing and dance much better than any of these fellows. Add in Kaye's great ability at Scat/Double Talk and the rest of his considerable verbal skills, and this is the reason I personally would place HIM on a "higher plane".

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Bob Hope's comedy was very verbal, he had hired a bunch of the best writers and could do a great monologue. Johnny Carson was heavily influenced by Hope, Johnny wrote for Red Skelton (and admired him) , and of course Jack Benny was Johnny's number one hero. So many of these guys drew from a range of comedy styles. And back to Red, lets remember that he was a very big Buster Keaton fan.

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Dec 26, 2013 9:57 PM

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I don't think I'd group Hope with Skelton, Kaye , and Lewis. He's on a higher plane than that. Woody Allen has always been a huge fan of Hope, and cites him as a major influence.

 

I'm not that big a fan of Woody Allen, either, with a few exceptions like Broadway Danny Rose and Husbands and Wives. Too many of his films seem like the ones that just preceded them, especially those that came before Annie Hall, and his style of humor is a bit too jokey for my taste. My idea of a perfect comedian / comedienne runs much more along the lines of Fernandel, Harlow, Hepburn/Grant, the Sturges stable, and more recent comedians such as the characters on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But then as always it's just a matter of taste, and I'm not trying to promote Larry David for SOTM. ;)

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All true, Mr. R, and don't get me wrong here, as I too always liked Hope....well, in his younger days anyway, as I and I know many people feel he became almost a parody of himself later in his career.

 

I would guess that Woody would probably also agree with this sentiment, because Woody's "wisecracking coward shtick" in films(though in his case infused with an intellectual flavor) often mimic Hope in his movies up and until the mid-50s.

 

Red was, well, always Red...the goofball who's main talent was the pratfall and his ability to bring to life in a bombastic manner his totally outlandish alter egos.

 

(...and ah, regarding Jerry...well, I'll just leave HIS assessment up to the French...you know, the same country that somehow thought Gerald Depardieu was a "male sex symbol"!!!) LOL

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on Dec 26, 2013 8:27 PM

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>AndyM said: I'd like to think that a much better stepping stone would be W. C. Fields or the Marx Brothers or Laurel & Hardy. (snipped) the type of humor embodied in the former group has always seemed timeless.

 

True, for a teen maybe. I was mostly thinking of pre-teen ages when seeing adults act like kids can be entertaining to them.

TikiKid (mid teen) loves Harpo Marx, but doesn't catch ANY of the verbal comedy of Chico or Harpo-it's too fast.

 

>willbefree said: his hilarious show where the only person laughing was Red, and then having to watch him with his vomitous send-off: "Good Night and may God Bless"

 

Indeed. I have ALWAYS hated comedians that laugh at themselves (although watching the crew holding back on Carol Burnett is a hoot)

And I love your adjective "vomitous", perfect!

 

Now if only our politicians would stop "blessing America" as if we sneezed and need protection from a demon.

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