Before Red's surgery, the show was doing fine. Red had his friend John Wayne do a walk on the show promoting Wayne's film "Big Jim McLain". Red had most of the same cast from last season. Added to the cast was Ned Glass and Mike Ross. Some of the cast appeared "The Clown". Charles Bronson was just starting in acting. He appeared in the film and TV show under the name of "Buchinsky". Just before the hernia, Red introduced Freddie the Freeloader. Freddie was wearing a pinstriped suit at first. Freddie was in the Christmas episode but that was not released on the Timeless DVD Early Years set. I don't know if he was wearing the top hat and tails. The Christmas show was the last show before the operation.
The show was still on the air while Red was recovering. Announcer Bob Warren and cast member Lucille Knoch introduced skits of Red that were filmed in season 1 and 2. The show did have new part by way of music. Singers like Helen O'Connell, Lucille Norman and others including Nat King Cole sang songs. David Rose played his music. This went on for about three months. The ratings went down.