I see that today is comedian Red Skelton’s birthday. Red Skelton aka Cauliflower McPugg aka Clem Kaddiddlehopper aka Sheriff Deadeye aka San Fernando Red, (not to mention his many other aliases: Freddy the Freeloader, Willy Lump Lump, The Mean Widdle Kid) was a clown, a composer, a painter, a short story writer, and a poet. And a patriot. His monologue explication of the Pledge of Allegiance has become a classic. And his sign-off phrase for his TV show was the first and best of the “good wishes” signatures: he said simply and sincerely, “Good night, and God bless.”
When asked about the character of Freddy the Freeloader, Red Skelton said:
“I get asked all the time; Where did you get the idea for Freddie the Freeloader, and who is Freddie really?
Well, I guess you might say that Freddie the Freeloader is a little bit of you, and a little bit of me, a little bit of all of us, you know.
He has found out what love means. He knows the value of time. He knows that time is a glutton. We say we don’t have time to do this or do that. There’s plenty of time. The trick is to apply it. The greatest disease in the world today is procrastination.
And Freddie knows about all these things. And so do you.
He doesn’t ask anybody to provide for him, because it would be taken away from you. He doesn’t ask for equal rights if it’s going to give up some of yours.
And he knows one thing … that patriotism is more powerful than guns.
He ís nice to everybody because he was taught that man is made in Godís image. He’s never met God in person and the next fella just might be him.
I would say that Freddie is a little bit of all of us.”
I have fond memories of watching Red Skelton on television back the olden days (the 70’s). If you’ve never seen him perform, head over to you tube and look him up. He’ll make you smile, and maybe, probably, that’s what you need today.
Good night, and God bless.