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Tobacco & Smoking 

Red Skelton - Comedian Red Skelton always held an expensive cigar while performing his comedy routines in vaudeville and radio as well as on THE RED SKELTON SHOW/NBC/CBS/1951-71, but he never lit or smoked the cigars. It was just used as a prop/security blanket.

Red Skelton

When Red started in burlesque, he originally held a corn cob pipe and then later used a rubber cigar.

Reportedly, a friend named Matty Ellison told Red "Why don't you learn to do all of those things you are doing with that cigar with a real one". Red quickly adopted a real cigar for his act.

On the show the characters seen most often with a cigar included San Fernando Red, a conman; Sheriff Deadeye, the scourge of the West (dressed in a Mexican sombrero); Freddie the Freeloader, the richest bum in the world; and Bolivar Shagnasty.

For years, Skelton received a supply of cigars from the US Tobacco Company for being a spokesman.

Red Skelton, 84, died on September 17, 1997.

"Good night, and may God bless."

Red Skelton as Freddie the Freeloader with Cigar


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