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Old Time Radio> Comedy
  Next Comedy Show (Travels of Mary Ward) >>

TOWN HALL TONIGHT
WITH FRED ALLEN, 1935-39

 Town Hall Tonight (Fred Allen)

1 MP3 CD - 26 episodes


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ABOUT THIS OLD TIME RADIO SHOW:
All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2014 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Fred Allen and Portland HoffaMost Vaudevillians who went into radio took their Vaudeville routines with them. They would often appear in the studio in the funny costumes they had used on stage, even though the radio audience couldn't see them. Fred Allen took a slightly different course. He made it a point to tailor his show to the radio audience at home.

He got his radio start hosting The Linit Bath Club Revue which lasted for a single season in 1932. Allen had trouble getting along with the sponsor, but the show was successful enough to attract imitators. One of the imitators was less successful than they had hoped, and with Allen unemployed, they hired him for what would become The Salad Bowl Revue, sponsored by Hellman's Mayonnaise. The show was intended to run through the summer, salad eating months of 1933, but managed to stay on the air through December (when the sponsor discovered, according to Allen, "there was nothing to put their mayonnaise on but the actors.")

Allen managed to keep the show running in the same time slot with the same cast, crew, orchestra and format, now as the Sal Hepatica Revue. The laxative was the product of Bristol Myers, who also produced Ipana Tooth Paste, the product sponsoring the show following Fred's. The sponsor became convinced that it would be more effective to have a single show plugging both products and filling the entire hour. The show became The Hour of Smiles in 1934. Allen was allowed to tinker with the format, and hit upon a Fred Allen"Town Hall" format. He had great fun spoofing the small towns that he knew from his vaudeville days. He became known for "topical humor", and often expressed it with a cast of unseen local characters, usually based on personal friends from outside show business.

Even more popular were the cast of regulars, Fred's wife Portland Hoffa and The Mighty Allen Art Players, the troupe of players that presented the sketch portion of the show. In addition to the professional players Allen took great delight in featuring amateurs. The acts were always unique, if not talented, and gave Allen a chance to ad lib. (It was an very talented young violin player appearing as an amateur that started the famous Fred Allen- Jack Benny mock feud, when Allen made less than favorable comparisons between the youngster and Benny's violin playing.)

The show became Town Hall Tonight in the 1934 season, and lasted until 1940. In the last season the sponsor insisted on changing the name to The Fred Allen Show and insisted there be more "Big Name" guests. This pushed out Allen's beloved amateurs, and when there came a chance to move to CBS for Texaco Star Theater Allen and company were more than happy to roll up their tent and move on.

All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2014 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.



MP3 DISK CONTENTS: [Help]
26 shows - total playtime 22 hours 35 minutes

Town Hall Tonight 350626 051 Last Show Of Season
Town Hall Tonight 351002 052 Once An Amateur Always An Amateur
Town Hall Tonight 351016 054 Who Killed Kirk Reuben
Town Hall Tonight 351106 057 Onegirl Band
Town Hall Tonight 351127 060 Amateur Show
Town Hall Tonight 351204 061 Case Of Disappearing Elepha
Town Hall Tonight 351211 062 Uncle Toms Hot Spot Or It Migh
Town Hall Tonight 351225 064 Department Store Santa
Town Hall Tonight 360101 065 Murder At Microphone
Town Hall Tonight 360129 069 Lord Falconbeaks Dilemma
Town Hall Tonight 360205 070 Going Going Gone
Town Hall Tonight 360219 072 Fatal Shot
Town Hall Tonight 361007 090 Who Killed Rappaport
Town Hall Tonight 361007 Who Killed Rappaport
Town Hall Tonight 370310 025 Murder On High Seas Or One Long Pan Helps Boy Meet Gull
Town Hall Tonight 370310 One Long Pan On Cruise Ship
Town Hall Tonight 371222 047 Santa Will Not Ride Tonight
Town Hall Tonight 380518 House That Jack Built
Town Hall Tonight 380608 071 Satire On Song Writers
Town Hall Tonight 380622 073 Telephone Weddings
Town Hall Tonight 381207 Disc 2 Only
Town Hall Tonight 381207 Disc 4 Only
Town Hall Tonight 390222 095 Subway Posters
Town Hall Tonight 390322 099 Murder At Addison Square Garden
Town Hall Tonight 390621 Capn Andys Riverboat

Recollections At 30 561121 22 Town Hall Tonight Benny Allen Feud

 


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