For more than three decades, Red Skelton was a household name, a top star on radio and television.
He started on NBC television, but in 1953, he moved over to CBS. The incredible video included in this post aired from Television City in Hollywood in January of 1969. I particularly recognize that stage from Studio 33, where Carol Burnett did her show each week and where The Price is Right has taped from day one in 1972.
When I visited that stage back in 1997 for a work assignment, it was to produce a behind-the-scenes look at the game show. But as I walked around that stage, and stood particularly in the area right in front of Contestant’s Row, it did dawn on me, right that minute, that I was standing in the exact same spot legends like Burnett, Skelton and Jack Benny had previously stood.
The history in that room was overwhelming.
The history in this clip, in which Skelton talks about a special teacher who gave him a perspective on the Pledge of Allegiance most of us really need to hear these days, is likewise overwhelming.
The pledge is still delivered, last I checked, in our schools, though the debate over the words, “Under God” continue as they have since they were added in the 1950s.
But I hope this clip will really make you stop and think about those familiar words we too often repeat by rote without taking the time to remember their significance.