Posted 11 months ago
By Kevin Horn
Tom Mullica will return to Alliance to portray legendary American comic Red Skelton (1913-1997). Mullica’s tribute will be Saturday, March 8 at 7 pm at the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are on sale at Thiele Gifts and More, the Carnegie Arts Center and the Hemingford Ledger or at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for students and seniors. There is no reserved seating.
Mullica, who presented his Red Skelton tribute in Alliance in November, 2001, and January, 2010, performs in Branson, MO, in what critics have described as “the funniest and most successful tribute show in America,” a show that transports audiences into a virtual Red Skelton performance featuring his most memorably hilarious and equally touching routines.
“Red came to see me when I was doing comedy and magic at The Tom-foolery, my club in Atlanta,” Mullica says, describing what would become for him a life-transforming meeting. “Red spent two hours with me after the show and told me that he really liked what I did. Best part was when he said he’d give me permission to use any of his material if I would simply clean up my show and aim it toward families.”
That may have been the best advice ever offered by a show business mentor, because Tom Mullica went on to develop his act and dazzle audiences across North America, Europe and Japan. Fine-tuning a spot-on Red Skelton impersonation has been the work of more than a decade, but has resulted in the widespread acclaim of those who fondly remember the rubber-faced clown. And, through the timelessness of Skelton’s routines, there is a new and continually growing younger generation of fans who are captivated by the Mullica tribute.
Despite his uncanny resemblance to the comedian, fully becoming Red Skelton had its challenges. “The voice was hard,” says Mullica. “It came last.” After months of studying Red Skelton television appearances, memorizing routines and bringing into perfection every nuance of every facial expression on every one of Red’s classic characters, the baritone Mullica had to heighten the pitch of his voice a little to convince audiences his take-off was a faithful one.
To learn more, log on to Mullica’s web site at http://www.skeltontribute.com/