An oil painting on canvas of Red Skelton in character as Freddie the Freeloader by Fred Williams.

Freddie the Freeloader

Red Skelton’s career bridged the transformation of comedy from the vaudeville days of performing on a small platform in a field through radio and well into the television era.

The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy is a fun and interactive environment with numerous hands-on exhibits.
The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy is a fun and interactive environment with numerous hands-on exhibits.

His life of laughter is memorialized at the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy. In Red Skelton’s hometown of Vincennes, Indiana, the museum is on the campus of Vincennes University.

The childhood home of Red Skelton in Vincennes, Indiana.
The childhood home of Red Skelton in Vincennes, Indiana.

Red Skelton introduced the iconic Freddie the Freeloader clown in 1952 on his television program, The Red Skelton Show. The gags and one-liners entertained families for twenty years.

I personally believe that each of us was put here for a purpose — to build not to destroy. If I can make people smile, then I have served my purpose for God.

Red Skelton
The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy is on the campus of Vincennes University.
The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy is on the campus of Vincennes University.

Most notably, once Red Skelton secured his fame he sought out ways to help those less fortunate. His philanthropic efforts included being a Freemason and Shriner, and lending his name, resources and talents to many other organizations. Since 1963, the Red Skelton Needy Children’s Christmas Clothing Fund continues to provide warm clothes to the children in his hometown of Vincennes in southwest Indiana.

Freddie the Freeloader came to life from Red Skelton's makeup case which contained the charcoal for his cheeks and clown white makeup to highlight his mouth and eyes.
Freddie the Freeloader came to life from Red Skelton’s makeup case which contained the charcoal for his cheeks and clown white makeup to highlight his mouth and eyes.

The childhood home of Red Skelton is just a block away from the museum and school. Vincennes University is a public university with about 17,000 students.

Red Skelton received three Emmy Awards.
Red Skelton received three Emmy Awards.

Diverting slightly from his comedic routines, Red Skelton’s performance of “What the Pledge Means” is inspiring.

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A couple weeks ago, I explored Bentonville, Arkansas – the corporate headquarters for Walmart. Here’s a few photos that exemplify how integrated Walmart is into the local community.

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