|by Doug Graham|
"They" say that deaths of important people come in groups of three. We already lost a princess, a saint, and now comes the third, a clown. Richard "Red" Skelton, who died in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at the age of 84, wouldn't mind be called a clown either.
The "googly-eyed" Skelton was Jim Carrey long before Carrey caught the public's fancy, with trademarked characters such as Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader, Sheriff Deadeye, Cauliflower McPugg and Bolivar Shagnasty. Even one of Skelton's film titles was The Yellow Cab Man, reminescent of Carrey's The Cable Guy. Probably his most famous bit was called "Guzzler's Gin", in which a pitchman can't handle the product he's selling and gets drunker and drunker. And through it all, Skelton was also the clown, singing, dancing and doing what ever it took to make people laugh.