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A List Of Comedians: A Few Clowns
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A List Of Comedians: A Few Clowns

Who are (or were) the clowns of comedy? A list of comedians of this variety would be Red Skelton, Danny Kaye, Benny Hill, and with a stretch, even David Letterman (well, at least he tries).

Red Skelton was the supper clown that brought happiness to so many. That was his goal in life and that is what he accomplished.

Benny Hill, who often patted his real father on the head in his inane skits, was what some would call risqué. Innuendo was always there and he always had that bad-boy grin.

Danny Kaye was mainly a movie star but he was often on television. I saw him perform in Korea with Marilyn Monroe as part of a USO show. A few of us were allowed to leave our units on the line to see the show, but we were right behind the line and we watched our aircraft strafe the Chinese just north of us. Danny went on the line and directed artillery. At the show, the troops cheered while he ridiculed the brass for taking the best seats.

David Letterman is a clown, doing little tricks with pencils and paper. But he is not a comedian or a real clown. But he at times rings a bell that says, "I'm a clown."

Clowns often play roles. Red Skelton played various characters. He was a vagrant, a cowboy, a salesman, a seagull, a crook, a bum, anything that could set up a situation to make people laugh.

Benny hill was a doctor, an ambulance driver, an American cowboy, a policeman, you name it. There was always a pretty girl and he was always after her. He was extremely creative and continually surprised his television viewers.

Danny Kaye also played many roles such as a member of royalty, an army officer, a bum, a great lover, a twin.

Benny HIll appeared in a number of movies but is best know as a star of television. English born, he took the stage name of Benny after Jack Benny, whom he admired. Like Red Skelton, he was the son of a clown.

Red Skelton was a radio and movie star before he was on television. The son of a circus crown he was guided by Ed Wynn and he perfumed in all types of shows including vaudeville, minstrel shoes, medicine shows and burlesque. He left his Indiana home before he was 15 years old.

In his later life, after a long career in movies and television, Red played at the Palladium in London in a royal command performance which performance is readily available as a download (streaming video) on the Internet. Skelton was a writer and also composed music.

Like Red Skelton, Danny Kaye played at the London Palladium where the royal family decided to sit on the front row instead of in the royal box. Danny was a talented performer, far more than a clown, who could dance and sing. He was born in Brooklyn but left home early to start perfuming first on the streets and then on the stage.

We are very fortunate in being able to see Red Skelton, Danny Kaye and Benny Hill perform whenever we wish. We need a laugh in these time when people are pinched for money, out of work, and out of patience with the economy, trying to find relief from a bad situation where they can't find a decent job.

I think it would be a good idea for Congress to open each session with a clip from one of these great comedians. Maybe then they could lighten up and get something done by working together.

If you were to make up a list of comedians who were or are clowns, who would be on it?

Fly Old Glory!


Street Talk

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