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Fred Allen

Next star: Pierce Brosnan
Previous star: David Bowie

Biography

Jack Benny (left) and Fred Allen (right), c.1936

Source: loc.gov

Fred Allen was an American comedian whose absurdist, pointed radio show (1932–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the so-called classic era of American radio. By the age of eighteen he was appearing in vaudeville as a juggler and comedian, both of which he had learned from reading about in his father's bookshop.

He transitioned to radio in 1932 with The Lint Bath Club Revue, which premiered on CBS and moved to NBC in 1933. Allen's perfectionism led him to move from sponsor to sponsor. His shows, for which he wrote much of the material himself, included The Salad Bowl Revue (1933), The Sal Hepatica Revue (1933-34), The Hour of Smiles (1934-35), and Town Hall Tonight (1935-40). The Fred Allen Show, his last series, ran from 1942 to 1949.

His best-remembered gag was his long-running mock feud with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny. Allen has been considered one of the more accomplished, daring and relevant humorists of his time. A master adlibber, he constantly battled censorship and developed routines the style and substance of which influenced future comic talents, notably Stan Freberg. Perhaps more than anyone else of his generation, Fred Allen wielded influence that outlived his contemporaries and transcended the medium that made him famous.

Fact file

  • Born: John Florence Sullivan May 31, 1894 Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Died: March 17, 1956 New York, New York

Read more about Fred Allen at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

Other stars

Fred Allen also has stars:
  • For radio
    6713 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood Blvd, north side, between Las Palmas and McCadden

In the news

Playbill Vault’s Today In Theatre History: March 27
Playbill Combined , 2015-03-27 04:00:21
1924 Long before Madonna sang about Vogueing, there were the Vogues of 1924. This revue at the Shubert Theatre stars Fred Allen and Jimmy Savo. It will run for almost three months.

PLAYBILL VAULT'S Today In Theatre History: MARCH 27
Playbill Combined , 2013-03-27 04:00:00
1924 Long before Madonna sang about Vogueing, there were the Vogues of 1924. This revue at the Shubert Theatre stars Fred Allen and Jimmy Savo. It will run for almost three months.

Old-time radio convention meets for last time (AP)
Yahoo Entertainment, 2011-10-21 19:54:04
AP - The annual Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention is signing off for the last time Saturday.

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