Skelton devoted a lot of time and effort to trying to make the man laugh. The sketch had its origins in a question Skelton's son, Richard, asked his father about what happens when people die. In 1952, he was drinking heavily due to the constant physical pain of a diaphragmatic hernia and the emotional distress of marital problems. His MGM contract was rigid enough to require the studio's written consent for his weekly radio shows, as well as any benefit or similar appearances he made; radio offered fewer restrictions, more creative control and a higher salary. As for his father, Joseph Skelton, this genealogist has found that there is a grave in the Vincennes, Indiana  City Cemetery for Joseph E. Skelton, b. September 14,  1880; d. May  22,1913. The script was completed, and he had the show's production crew build a set that was perpendicular to the stage, so it would give the illusion that someone was walking on walls. He spent his time after that making as many as 125 personal appearances a year and working on his paintings. All relationship and family history information shown on FameChain has been compiled from data in the public domain. Red Skelton and his cast of characters bring you laughter and fun. [109][110] The couple had two children; Valentina, a daughter, was born May 5, 1947, and a son, Richard, was born May 20, 1948. [166] in November, Skelton fell downstairs and injured an ankle, and he nearly died after a “cardiac-asthma” attack on December 30, 1957. [g] The skit won them the Loew's State engagement and a handsome fee. To get to Massachusetts they bought a used car and borrowed five dollars from Edna's mother, but by the time they arrived in St. Louis they had only fifty cents. Now it's empty. He became the host of The Raleigh Cigarette Program in 1941, on which many of his comedy characters were created, and he had a regularly scheduled radio program until 1957. [10][205] CBS received 200,000 requests for copies; the company subsequently released the monologue as a single on Columbia Records. He then spent time on a showboat, worked the burlesque circuit, and then entered into vaudeville in 1934. [143][198], Skelton's season premiere for the 1960–1961 television season was a tribute to the United Nations. [298] The adjacent Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy opened on July 18, 2013, on what would have been Skelton's 100th birthday. Even though they divorced 13 years later, Edna remained his chief writer -- Red Skelton stated that Edna was responsible for much of his success, having "brought me up from $50 a week to $7,500 a week.". [266] He was never without a miniature camera and kept a photographic record of all his paintings. However, his New York audience did not laugh or applaud until Skelton abandoned the newly written material and began performing the "Doughnut Dunkers" and his older routines. See the Elon Musk family tree here at FameChain. [121][122], Skelton changed sponsors in 1948; Brown & Williamson, owners of Raleigh cigarettes, withdrew due to program production costs.