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Gertrude & Heathcliffe Book by Red SkeltonGertrude & Heathcliffe - Cross-eyed seagull characters featured in skits performed by comedian Red Skelton on his comedy variety program THE RED SKELTON SHOW/NBC/CBS/1951-71. A children's book entitled "Gertrude and Heathcliffe" (Charles Scribners, 1971) was written by comedian Red Skelton. It featured his zany duo of seagulls and a series of silly jokes which could be acted out to the gestures used by his seagull characters Gertrude and Heathcliffe.

As the book said "to imitate a sea gull you must first believe that you are a seagull...hold your thumbs in your armpits and wiggle your fingers. This gives the illusion that you are flying, and also it's a way to get the audience's attention." Red always gave his birds "Doop-Dee-Doop" voices and silly grimaces when he performed.

Here is a sample skit from the book:

Heathcliffe: Tell me Gertie, What's a polygon?
 Gertrude: A polygon is a dead parrot.
Heathcliffe: I heard Peter Rabbit went to the dentist to get a tooth pulled, and they wouldn't give him any Novocain.
 Gertrude: Because Peter Rabbit is an Ether bunny!
  See also - BOOKS: "Kids Are Punny" 

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