Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton was an American entertainer best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971 and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. Skelton, who has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, also appeared in vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.
Skelton learned his comedic and pantomime skills beginning at age 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. A pantomime sketch of how different people ate doughnuts written by Skelton and his wife launched a career for him in vaudeville, in radio and in films. Skelton's 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 moved to The Raleigh Cigarettes Program in 1941 where many of his comedy characters were created and had a regularly scheduled radio program until 1957. Skelton was most eager to work in television, even when the medium was in its infancy.