Richard "Red" Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) was an American entertainer. He was best known for his national radio and
television acts between 1937 and 1971, and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. He has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio
and television, and also appeared in burlesque, vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist. Skelton began
developing his comedic and pantomime skills from the age of 10, when he became part of a traveling medicine show. He then spent time on a showboat, worked the burlesque
circuit, then entered into vaudeville in 1934. The "Doughnut Dunkers" pantomime sketch, which he wrote together with his wife, launched a career for him in vaudeville,
radio, and films. His radio career began in 1937 with a guest appearance on The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour which led to his becoming the host of Avalon Time in 1938. He
became the host of The Raleigh Cigarette Program in 1941 where many of his comedy characters were created, and he had a regularly scheduled radio program until 1957.
Skelton made his film debut in 1938 alongside Ginger Rogers and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in Alfred Santell's Having Wonderful Time, and he went on to appear in numerous
musical and comedy films throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, with starring roles in Ship Ahoy (1941), I Dood It (1943), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), and The Clown (1953).