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Finding Aid for the Dave O'Brien Red Skelton Show scripts, ca.1955-ca.1969, (bulk, ca.1955-ca.1963)
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Dave O'Brien Red Skelton Show scripts,
    Date (inclusive): ca.1955-ca.1969,
    Date (bulk): (bulk, ca.1955-ca.1963)
    Collection number: 237
    Creator: O'Brien, Dave, 1912-1969
    Extent: 11 boxes (5.25 linear ft.)
    Abstract: Dave O'Brien was an actor and writer from the 1940s through the 1960s. The collection consists of script material for his work as the head writer for the television series The Red Skelton Show.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift, 2002.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Dave O'Brien Red Skelton Show scripts (Collection 237). Performing Arts Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    Dave "Tex" O'Brien started his career as dancer in early 1930s musical motion pictures. He is best remembered for his roles in the Texas Rangers films (1942-1945), his involvement with the Pete Smith shorts at MGM, and his role in Captain Midnight. He became the head writer on the Red Skelton television show, winning an Emmy in 1961. He passed away in CA, ca. 1969.
    The Red Skelton Show, one of the longest running variety programs on television (1951-1971), was one of the first shows to make the successful transition from radio to television. The program format consisted of an opening monologue by Skelton, followed by a music segment from David Rose and his orchestra, and a series of sketches featuring one or more of Skeltons characters. Skeltons regular characters included Clem Kadiddlehopper, Junior the Mean Widdle Kid, Sheriff Deadeye, and Freddie the Freeloader. Although many stars got their start on the show, the series did not rely on guest stars every week. Skeltons signature closing line became "Good night and may God bless".

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of Red Skelton Show scripts related to the career of writer Dave O'Brien. Script materials include bound volumes and loose scripts for programs aired ca. 1955-1963 and a few from 1969.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in chronological order as can best be determined.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    O'Brien, Dave,1912-1969 -- Archives.
    Television writers -- Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    television scripts.