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 Fred Allen

3 MP3 CDs - 179 episodes

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"They Almost Junked the Junket"
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All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2015 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.
Fred Allen
variety show (1932 - 49)

Fred Allen worked his way to radio fame from a New England upbringing that seemed to predestine his eloquent wit. Fred AllenHis father was a amusing storyteller who worked at the craft of bookbinding. Intelligent sharp witted humor seemed to run in the family. Fred wanted to be on the stage from an early age. Getting started as a juggler, by the early 1920's Fred was on the road, and began performing in New York City.

His big break came when he appeared on Broadway in The Passing Show in 1922. In this show, he met the lovely Miss Portland Hoffa, who he asked to become his wife and radio partner (ala Burns and Allen). Together they developed a wonderful give and take rapport, with Portland serving up the bubbly straight lines for Fred's witty rejoinders. They got on the radio in 1932 with a show called, improbably, "The Lintit Bath Club Revue." Other shows followed quickly, including The Salad Bowl Revue (1933), The Sal Hepatica Revue (1933-34) and The Hour of Smiles (1934-35). One of the featured segments in the early years was a segment where amateurs came up to do their bit, harkening back to the days of regional vaudeville itself when Amateur Night was a staple of the local theatre.

Text on OTRCAT.com 2001-2010 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved-Reproduction is prohibited.

Fred Allen & Dummy
Fred Allen with dummy circa 1916
Allen's comedy was almost always topical and satiric, and throughout his career he was famed for being as sharp with the quip as any live radio comedian. He wrote most of his own stuff, loved to comment on the daily foibles of the day, his sponsors, and the world of entertainment. In the New England spirit, he saw his show as something of a town hall gathering, and hit upon the name "Town Hall Tonight" as the show from 1934-39.

In 1939, Texaco sponsorship began, and the show was renamed in truly modern fashion, "The Fred Allen Show - Texaco Star Theater." One of his funniest and most popular regular segments, Allen's Alley, premiered on Sunday, December 6th, 1942. Allen strolled along in an imaginary neighborhood, knocking on the "doors" of various neighbors, including average-American John Doe (played by John Brown), Mrs. Nussbaum (Minerva Pious) pompous poet Falstaff Openshaw (Allan Reed), Fred Allen and Portland HoffaParker Fennelly as Titus Moody("Howdy, bub"), and boisterous southern senator Beuregard Claghorn (announcer Kenny Delmar.)

Among Fred Allen's greatest admirers was Jack Benny, with whom a feud (ala Edgar Bergen and McCarthy's with W.C. Fields) was created in 1936. It lasted on the air for years, to the amusement of all concerned. Sadly, a feud with his network brought the network censor into another feud, but other radio stars such as Red Skelton and Benny's pal Dennis Day, who got his own show too, took up for Allen by cracking jokes about the whole thing.

Fred AllenJack Benny and Fred Allen's infamous on-air feud began with Fred's ad-libbed comment that a visiting child violinist should put Jack's violin playing to shame. Writers from both programs met to plot out the feud much to the amusement of radio audiences and fans of both programs.

Allen's prime seasons of 1945-48 are great satirical radio, loaded with topical laughs, musical parodies and great characters that are timeless in their inventiveness and audience appeal. Allen was famous for ad-lib bing and cracking up the audience with running comments on the jokes and the show itself, as he had come up from Vaudeville and Broadway. After WWII, the Fred Allen show seemed somewhat dated, as the temper of the nation was ready for a new thing. In 1948 Allen's Alley (an urban concept, really) was heard no more on network radio. An era had passed, as America moved to the suburban 1950s.

Fred Allen ad for TexacoDespite radio and TV appearances, Fred slowly stepped aside for younger, brasher comedy, and the continued success of family-driven situations on radio and TV. Fred and Portland lived a long and happy life together, and we both known as sincerely appreciative and thoughtful to all their friends and show-biz buddies. This great collection also includes a treasure trove of interview material, excerpts from guest-spots and Fred Allen highlights and sidelights. This set is a fine overview of the singular wit and wisdom of one of the most intelligent of America's topical humorists, Mr. Fred Allen.

See also: Down Allen's Alley (with Fred Allen)

All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2015 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Fred Allen
Volume 1 - 51 shows - total playtime 45 hours 49 minutes

fred 321225 Mammoth Department Store
fred 330122 The Court of Judge Allen
fred 330123 Linit Bathclub Revue
fred 351002 Once an Amateur
fred 360115 Home on the Range
fred 360122 Amateur Show
fred 360930 Gangbusters
fred 361007 Who Killed Rappaport
fred 370310 Amateur Show
fred 370314 Jack Benny Vs Fred Allen
fred 370317 St Patrick's Day Show
fred 371222 Santa Will Not Ride Tonight
fred 380518 The House That Jack Built
fred 380525 Who Stole the Favorite
fred 380608 Satire on Song Writers
fred 390129 Bodyguard Jack Challenges Fred Allen
fred 390205 Training For A Fight With Fred Allen
fred 390222 Subway Posters
fred 390322 Murder at Madison Square
fred 390621 Crisis on the Showboat
fred 391011 Satire on Surveys and Polls
fred 391025 Guest Billy Rose
fred 391108 The Doughnut Master
fred 391227 Dr Allen Clinic
fred 400131 Mountain Justice
fred 400228 Life at the South Pole
fred 400320 Eagle Gets Loose in the Studio
fred 400327 Who Killed Mack Borden
fred 400424 Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson (Incomplete)
fred 400508 Barber College
fred 400612 Hillbilly Skit
fred 410122 They Almost Junked the Junket
fred 410205 June Brady, Major Bowes Amateur
fred 410212 Chief Nee Da Beh, Indian Guide
fred 410219 'Lindy' Lindemann, Restauranteur
fred 410302 Philanda Blank
fred 410305 Little Red Riding Hood
fred 410312 Philanda Blank
fred 410319 Nicotine Alley
fred 410326 The Wedlock Society
fred 410402 One Long Pan Charlie Chan's murder
fred 410416 Richard Kroener, Gargantua's Keeper
fred 410423 The Great American Pastime
fred 411210 Death Valley Days
fred 420308 The Life of Fred Allen
fred 420503 Freak Show Murder
fred 420510
fred 420524 Vaudville
fred 420607 English Radio Spoof
fred 420621 Mountain Justice
fred 420628 Vacation Plans

Fred Allen
Volume 2 - 79 shows - total playtime 38 hours 14 minutes

fred 421004 Charles Laughton
fred 421011 Roland Young Shrimp Cocktail
fred 421018 Les Miserables
fred 421025 Roy Rogers Courting of Jenny Sugs
fred 421101 Robert Benchley Trouble hearing show
fred 421115 Take It or Leave It
fred 421129 Adolph Menjou New Suit
fred 421206 George Jessel First Allen's Alley
fred 421220 Risa Stevens Santa Claus Sits Down
fred 430103 Peter Lorre One Long Pan vs Mr Moto
fred 430110 GuestJack Benny
fred 430131 Oscar Levant
fred 430207 Phantom of the Opera
fred 430228 Phil Baker
fred 430307 Judy Canova
fred 430404 Jimmy Durante Looking for Umbriago
fred 430516 Frank Sinatra 'Chile'
fred 430523 George Jessel Fred's Biography
fred 431212 (Ep428) Unknown
fred 431231 (Ep431) Unknown
fred 431231 Selection From An Hour Program
fred 440102 Albert Spaulding Hillbilly Band
fred 440109 Gets Head Hit by Berrel from Brewery Truck
fred 440319 Ted Lewis The Life of Ted Lewis
fred 440326 Ed Gardner Buying a bottle of liquor
fred 440402 Jack Haley Radio vs TV
fred 440409 Reginald Gardiner Fetlock Bones
fred 440423 North Dakota
fred 440604 The Killers
fred 440611 Deems Taylor South Dakota
fred 450111 Monte Wooley Charlie The Chicken
fred 451007 Auditions
fred 451021 Hillbilly
fred 451028 Charlie McCarthy Sues Fred for Slander
fred 451104 Lost Memory
fred 451111 Mob Buster
fred 451118 Karloff Renting a House
fred 451125 Brooklyn Pinafore
fred 451230 Radio Shows in Russia
fred 460106 Take It or Leave It
fred 460120 A Movie on Fred Allen's Life
fred 460203 Picadilly Take off on Oklahoma
fred 460224 Hillbilly Drama
fred 460303 Orson Welles Les Miserables (AFRS)
fred 460411 Basil Rathbone
fred 460411 Guest Basil Rathbone
fred 460416 Leo Durocher Brooklyn Pinafore
fred 460416 Leo Durocher
fred 460421
fred 460428 Racing Form Trial
fred 460512 Cairo
fred 460526 King for a Day
fred 461027 Breakfast Show
fred 470316 Beatrice Lillie
fred 470323 Suing Fred over Copyrights
fred 470525 Gimmick with a Microphone
fred 470615 Renting the Room
fred 471019 The Perfect Crime
fred 471026 The Haley and Allen Show
fred 471214 New Year's Eve Plans
fred 471228 Fred Tries to Sue to Return His Cukoo Clock
fred 480000 The Belmont Is On The Air, 1St Show Do
fred 480104 Psycopathic Spectacular
fred 480328 Husband and Wife Radio Show
fred 480411 One Long Pan Skit
fred 480418 Author Meets His Match
fred 480425 Scalping Baseball Tickets
fred 480502 Jp Morgan Court of Human Relations
fred 480509 Break the Contestant
fred 480523 Fred Wants to Do Bing's Life Story
fred 480606 Quiz Program and Soap Opera
fred 480615 With Ozzie and Harriet
fred 480627 Stop the Music
fred 481024 Prize for Listeners Missing Contest
fred 481111 Sam Shovel with Arthur Treacher
fred 481111 Samshovel With Arthur Treacher
fred 481128 George Tries to Get in the Roxy Theater, Free
fred 481205 TV Commercials
fred 481226 Maine Murder Trial

Volume 3 - 49 shows - total playtime 29 hours 52 minutes

470202 F.Allen L Melchio
Big Show 500126 (first 30 min) T.Bankhead F.Allen
Big Show 501105 Debut F.Allen J.Durante
Big Show 501126 F.Allen E.Wynn E.Gardner
Big Show 501203 F.Allen Phil Silvers Margaret Truma
Big Show 510304 F.Allen Herb Shriner Ethel Merman
Big Show 510506 F.Allen G.Marx George Jessel
Bing 480602 Bing Crosby Fred Allen
Fam Thtre William The Terrified
fred 1930s Sinatra Band as amateur (cutoff)
fred 401009 excerpt from show
fred 451216 Laurentz Melchoir (could also be 470202)
fred 490109 Book Revue guestAuthor H Allen Smith
fred 490130 F.Allen On American Comedydissertation on comedy
fred 490130 Rudy Vallee Fred Gets RudyVallee Into Tv
fred 490206 Planning a TV Show guest Bert Lahr
fred 490320 Mob Buster guest Victor Moore
fred 490424 One Long Pan guest Basil Rathbone
fred 490522 Babysitting guest Col. Stoopnagle
fred 490626 Final Show guests Jack Benny & Henry Morgan
fred 490626 first half of show
fred 560529 Portrait F.Allen (Biography in Snd)
fred 640318 Hugh Downs intvw F.Allen-Today Show
fred 661113 Chase-Sanborn Anniv F.Allen Tribute-Bergen
fred Allen's Alley Host Ben Grauer in 50s replay segmnt
fred Fued 1of6 The Vaudeville Days
fred Fued 2of6 Reunited After 7 Years of Feuding
fred Fued 3of6 Benny's Boulevard
fred Fued 5of6 Mammoth Department Store
fred Fued 6of6 The Wright Brothers True Story
fred Skits From Allen-Benny Shows (from Feud LP)
Gb450903 Edgar Bergen And Charlie Mccarthy Show
Gb461113 Edgar Bergen Guest Fred Allen
Gb471102 Edgar Bergen With Fred Allen
Gc500517 Bing Crosby With Peggy Lee Fred Allen
Gu391129 Gulf Screen Guild F.Allen Robert Benchley
Ip401115 Fred Allen
Ip411017 Information Please Fred Was A Panelist
Ip430215 Information Please Fred Was A Panelist
Ip441225 F.Allen James Wallace St. Alban's Ny Naval Hospi
Ip450212 Faith Baldwin Fred Allen



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