We Ought Hear This Every 4th... If Not Every Day!
Richard Bernard “Red” Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) was an American comedian who was best known as a top radio and television star from 1937 to 1971. Skelton's show business career began in his teens as a circus clown and went on to vaudeville, Broadway, films, radio, TV, clubs and casinos, while pursuing another career as a painter.
In 2002 during the controversy over the phrase "under God," which had been added to U.S. Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, a recording of a monologue Skelton performed on his 1969 television show resurfaced. In the speech, he commented on the meaning of each phrase of the Pledge.
At the end, he added: "Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?" Given that Constitution advocates were arguing that the inclusion of "under God" in a pledge recited daily in U.S. public schools violated the First Amendment separation of church and state, Skelton suddenly regained popularity among religious conservatives who wanted the phrase to remain.