Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
America's genius of mime
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 12/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Red Skelton's ability to shape his body into his characters was extraordinary, and he was our "Clown King of Comedy" as well as our master mime.
These excerpts are from 1951, and the transfer quality of this inexpensive DVD isn't bad at all...this is exactly how TV looked on my b&w set, oh so many years ago.
The skits are of "grandpa giving a young boy a chemistry set", and Skelton goes from the grandfather to the youth by turning his hat upside down, and by what would seem to be a rearranging of the bones in his body. I find myself not laughing out loud so much at Skelton's work, because I'm usually too awed by his skill at physical humor, and I'm more likely to gape in wonder than guffaw.
Skelton is also "Cauliflower McPugg", the has-been fighter who "goes Hollywood" (Vincent Price is in this segment); "Freddie and the Spies", where he is given a secret black box to hide, and this is the most ingenious skit as far as the set is concerned (I love the "Murphy bathtub"), and there is a section where Skelton does athletes in slow motion.
The DVD also includes the intros to the shows, which are marvelous, as well as some of the delightful dancers, choreographed by Jack Boyle.
Kudos must go to the sound effects people, who anticipate Skelton's every move with an appropriate bang, squish and pop.
The final section does not work as well, and is a show for the United Nations (the camera seems to favor a pretty, bored young lass in the audience who has an "I'd rather be anywhere but here" expression). The marvelous sound effects are replaced by a laugh track, and Skelton is not his usual vibrant self.
The selections are: "A fool and the feather"/"Slow motion tennis game"/"Old man playing golf"/"Chef mixes a salad"/"Foggy Foggy Dew" folk song/"Man & wife climb the Eiffel Tower"/Old man watches parade".
Total playing time is approximately 75 minutes.