Saturday, December 29, 2007

Red Skelton on new PBS special

A new PBS special series about classic television will air this month. Check your local listing. In the Vincennes area it will be start Wednesday Jan 2. The third week will feature variety shows. They say that Red Skelton will be interviewed. Don't know if this will be new footage or the same clips from the PBS special "Pioneers of Primetime".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Dood It Club

Had the first meeting of the I Dood It Club. 5 people came. We talked about how we can focus attention to Red Skelton in Vincennes. Suggestions were made for the festival and ways to educate the public on the sites in town. Found out the locations of the grave sites of Clarence Stout and Father Henry Doll. This is good start.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Case of the Missing Hare"

Trying out putting Red Skelton related cartoons on my blog. This one has Bugs Bunny saying "I Dood It" at the end.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lorin's Space: Something Fishy

Lorin's Space: Something Fishy

Nice blog about someone naming goldfish after Red Skelton characters.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ludington Daily News

Ludington Daily News

Display of Red Skelton artwork in Michigan.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Robert Goulet was a Red Skelton guest star twice.

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Musical guest Robert Goulet sings "Two Different Worlds" and "Then I'll be Happy", and joins Red Skelton in a comedy sketch. Goulet plays government worker Harry Handout, who specializes in doling out farm subsidies. Harry meets his match in the form of Clem Kadiddlehopper (Red), who can't quite grasp the concept of being paid for not growing crops. This episode aired February 16, 1965.

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Robert Goulet joins Red Skelton in a "Sheriff Deadeye" comedy sketch. Auditioning for the lead in a western movie, Deadeye (Red) loses out to method actor Nathan Nothing (Goulet). In the musical segment, Goulet sings "Moment of Truth" and "Try to Remember". In the Silent Spot, a curmudgeonly old salesman (Red) is transferred to the toy department during the Christmas rush. This episode aired December 13, 1966.

Robert Goulet died October 30th.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Visit to Ball State for Red Skelton research and to see Mickey Rooney

Went to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana to do research on Red Skelton and to see Mickey Rooney. The archives has video tape of Red Skelton from his 1986 visit. There was video of a news conference and receiving his honorary degree. Red tells a great story about his visit to Philadelphia State Fair. They have slide from his 1977 visit. Did not see items from his 1981 visit.

Mickey Rooney had a good show. The first half was just Mickey showing clips from his movies, talking about his life with jokes and song. The second half was a singing from his wife. When Mickey came stage you could see that love they have for each other. It was great to see this legend up close. I hope he will be able to contact me and talk about his time with Red Skelton.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Red Skelton in new Hall of Fame

IMIN Announces Indiana Performing Arts Hall of Fame Inaugural Inductees

The Indiana Media Industry Network (IMIN), a not-for-profit trade association representing the film, television, new media, music and commercial production industry, announces the inaugural class of historic inductees to the Indiana Performing Arts Hall of Fame (IPAHF).

They are director Robert Wise, playwright Booth Tarkington, actors Scatman Crothers, James Dean, and Steve McQueen; actresses Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard, and Marjorie Main; comedian Red Skelton, lyricist Noble Sissle, composers Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter, and jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery.

“Hoosiers have made enormous contributions to the performing arts dating from the earliest days of film through today,” said David Smith, Chair of the IPAHF and author of Hoosiers in Hollywood. “The Hall of Fame will help our citizens learn more about our rich history and celebrate the vast talent of our native sons and daughters in the arts.”

Nominations for the Indiana Performing Arts Hall of Fame were solicited from the general public and from experts in film history, theatre, music, education and film and music production. A panel representing each of these areas considered the nominations and selected the inaugural class based upon each artist’s contributions to the

performing arts and to bringing honor to the State of Indiana.

An induction ceremony will take place in Indianapolis on June 19th, 2008 to honor these 13 historic inductees and 6 living ones, who will be announced next spring. A collective video tribute for the historic inductees and individual tributes for the living inductees will be presented during the ceremony.

The initial induction class includes 19 individuals, representing the 19 stars in the Indiana state flag, Indiana being the nineteenth state in the union. This larger class will kick off what will become an annual tribute to Hoosiers when 10 new inductees are added each year.

Initially, the Hall of Fame will be web-based, with the artist’s biography, photos, filmography/discography, and video and recording references. A permanent “walk of fame” with multi-media interpretation area is also planned for future development.


I am a member of the committee. The induction ceremony will be June 19th. Contact me if you want details. We are looking for family members of to contact and hope that they can come.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Giving spirits praised

Giving spirits praised

Ron Glass recieves Spirit of Giving award in his hometown of Evansville from the Vanderburgh Community Foundation. A endowment for the Evansville African American Museum was named after him.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Red Skelton's Mother and Brothers family

I have been working on researching the Skelton family but have reached a dead end. Looking for help. Sometime in the late 1920s the family moved to Mansfield, OH. Ida Mae married Gustave Soderstrom, don't know where. He was a railroad man and died in California June 1962 at the age of 71. Have not found more about him or his family. Red's brother were Chris, Paul and Denny. Chris had a cleaners in Lawrenceville, IL that was in a fire 1948. Still working on more. Paul ended up working in a Hollywood studio. I have heard that he was a prop man for "Lost in Space". Need more. Found details on Denny Skelton. He died in Mansfield, OH 06-07-1943 from a heart attack. His wife was Irene Mytle Rhodes. Daughters Jeannine and Linda. Irene remarred a Mitchell Boodman. Moved to Cleveland. Jeannie was born 11-16-1929. She married William Fredrick McKee 06-16-1951. I am guessing that they have a daughter also named Jeannine that became a golfer. She may have married someone named Burge. This is a guess. Linda married A. Charles Tuttle 09-06-1952. The Tuttles had a landscaping business. Found that they had a son named Charles Tyson Tuttle, born 08-09-1953. Tyson was a football player in Mansfield.

I would like to contact the family or get more info.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Community Press - senior news

Community Press - senior news

Senior center in Ohio will remember Red Skelton in October.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Red Skelton costumes

Went to a costume sale at Vincennes University and got some items that came close to Red Skelton costumes. Found a jacket like the Southern Yankee. Hats that could be Junior's and one with some work could be Old Man for some mime bits. Also got a suit that could be used as Clem.

Marcel Marceau with Red Skelton

1961-01-31 The Red Skelton Show live from New York, introduced by Desi Arnaz.
1965-02-02 The Red Skelton Hour "Concert in Pantomime" Hosted by Maurice Chevalier. Short mime acts with Silent Spot of Marceau as Pinocchio.
1966-01-18 The Red Skelton Hour "Concert in Pantomime" Short mime acts with Silent Spot "The Miracle of the Dolls".
1983-03-05 Red Skelton's More Funny Faces.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Associated Press: Marcel Marceau, Famed French Mime, Dies

The Associated Press: Marcel Marceau, Famed French Mime, Dies

Mime master Marceau appeared many times with Red Skelton. I will work on a list. I have seen Bip perform twice in New York and he came to Anderson, Indiana. One of my treasures is a letter from him. I wrote to him years ago when I hear he was sick. He wrote to me in French so I had to get it translated.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Red Skelton's grandpa

Found Red Skelton's grandfather's grave. Newton O. Skelton is buried in cemtery west of Princeton, Indiana.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Favorite Red Skelton memory

I was in Burris High School in Muncie, Indiana. Red Skelton was going to visit my Drama class. We were going to perform mime skits. I came to the class room early to rehearse with my partner. We were going to do a act about a dog that would not do a trick. I was the Dog. I was on the floor as a dog when someone opened the door then closed it. It was Red Skelton. We did a double take. Could not believe it was Red. We went outside and he was signing autographs to the students. I grabbed the newspaper and got his autograph. I wonder what he thought when he saw me on all fours.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Remembering Red letter

(The Sun-Commercial got the headline wrong. This was about the anniversary of his death and the date should be September 17th.)

Letters to the Editor

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007

Celebrate Red's birthday

Red Skelton died 10 years ago Sept. 10. Take a moment to remember one of America's greatest clowns and a native of Vincennes.

My early memories of Red Skelton are of him doing his seagulls, “Gertrude and Heathcliff,” on TV. One of my special memories is when I met him in person. He came to my high school drama class in Muncie and performed at Ball State University.

I knew him as a movie comic. It took research to find out about his career in radio and TV. I found out I was exposed to Skelton's characters through cartoons. “Junior the Mean Widdle Kid” and “Sheriff Deadeye” inspired characters such as “Tweety Bird” and “Yosemite Sam.” Radio and TV episodes gave me a better understanding of his characters.

While I lived in Anderson I made trips to Vincennes to see how he was remembered in his hometown. What I found was a clipping file at the public library and at the Vincennes University Lewis Historical Library. I was able to visit Vincennes right after he died. Outside the Vincennes Sun-Commercial office, Skelton was remembered with a wreath and black sash on the “Freddie the Freeloader” bench.

I wish I could have attended the memorial service that week. VU announced it was going to name the new performance center after Red Skelton. I thank Dr. Phillip M. Summers for telling me about the unveiling of the footprints in cement and introducing me to Vincennes' local expert on Red Skelton, Doug Carroll.

I kept up-to-date on the performance center. My hope was to use my knowledge and passion to help with the Red Skelton collection at VU and to keep Skelton's memory alive. I quit my job in Anderson and moved my collection of Red Skelton items to Vincennes.

My goal is to bring back those memories and bring them to a new generation.

Mark Kratzner


Thank you Doug. From Vincennes Sun-Commercial 9/16/2007

Remembering Red

Ten years ago on Sept. 17 the world lost one of its most-beloved clowns and entertainers when Red Skelton succumbed to pneumonia in a Rancho Mirage, Calif., hospital.

Fortunately, we had Red for more than 84 years and the world of entertainment claimed the Vincennes native for almost 75 years.

During his years in entertainment, Red performed and succeeded in just about every form of show business. He started in medicine shows at the age of 10 and moved on to minstrels, tent shows, show boats, a brief stint in a circus, Burlesque, Vaudeville, movies, radio and television.

His talent went beyond those performance arts. He was a painter, composer and writer and learned the fine art of pantomime. Some of his original clown paintings now sell for six figures and his list of musical compositions numbers around 8,000 published works.

Red's rendition of “The Pledge of Allegiance” has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

All these talents and successes are enough to call Red Skelton a true Renaissance man of the 20th Century, but there is another side to this famous Hoosier and American patriot that makes him even greater.

Red Skelton raised millions of dollars for charities including his first love - programs that benefited underprivileged or ill children. Red put his clown face on for Shriner's children hospitals in his attempt to raise millions of dollars to provide free health care to the most vulnerable of American society.

Even today Red Skelton is benefiting children and giving back to the citizens of his hometown. The Red Skelton Needy Children's Clothing Fund, with a generous discount from the Vincennes J.C. Penney Co. Inc. store, provides new clothes to low-income students in the Vincennes Community School Corporation every Christmas. Each child receives between $150 and $250 in new clothes for the holiday depending on the amount of interest earned on the fund's pubic trust account.

It's with all these talents and achievements in mind that a local man thinks Sept. 17 should be a day of celebration instead of mourning for the most famous native son of Vincennes. Mark Kratzner, a Red Skelton historian and owner of the Hall of Hollywood Hoosiers, 418 Main St., is that man.

The Hall of Hollywood Hoosiers displays Kratzner's personal Red Skelton collection and memorabilia of just about anyone with a tie to Indiana who has current or past connections to Hollywood. The Hall will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Red's death with extended open hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. Guests may view the Skelton collection, ask questions of Kratzner and discuss forming a club to keep the life and times of Red alive for future generations.

Kratzner refers to the proposed group as the “I Dood It Club,” which is named after the famous catch phrase uttered often by Skelton's “Mean Widdle Kid” character. There will be no dues or required duties since Kratzner simply wants to bring fans together to enjoy the talents of Red Skelton, talk about his life and share any memories members have of him.

The club would meet and find ways to remember Red Skelton. Kratzner envisions group members meeting at least quarterly at the Hall of Hollywood Hoosiers to watch a Skelton movie or video and talk about Red. Kratzner eventually would like for the group to grow and become involved as volunteers with community events such as parades, presentations and festivals to keep Red's name and talents alive.

“I am trying to keep Red's memory alive in his hometown and home state,” Kratzner said. “Many people remember Red Skelton but for some reason he did not get the exposure of Lucille Ball, James Dean, John Wayne and others of his time. My goal is to be a source for people who want to remember Red and to help expose his talents to a new generation. I just want people to get together and enjoy and remember Red Skelton.”

If you are interested in being a part of the “I Dood It Club,” visit the Hall of Hollywood Hoosiers during its special celebration on Monday and express your views and ideas or e-mail your comments to Kratzner at

If Red could dood it for almost 75 years to entertain millions around the world, then his hometown should be about to dood it to keep his name alive and well.

As a trustee for the Red Skelton Fund, I plan to be both a charter and active member in the “I Dood It Club.” What better way to remember Red Skelton and hear his famous words again, “Good night and may God bless.”

Carroll, Vincennes, is an education specialist for the Project ASPIREE Educational Talent Search program at Vincennes University.

Saturday, September 15, 2007