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Town Hall Tonight with Fred Allen, 1935-39

old time radio's favorite Fred Allen stars in this early version of Allen's Alley with his famous ad libbing and funny amateur guest stars.

26 old time radio show recordings
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
25 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from February 19, 1936:

"Fatal Shot"



... or click here to save the Mp3 file to your computer

About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2016 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.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2016 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    26 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 22 hours, 35 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      26 shows - total playtime 22 hours 35 minutes
      1. Recollections At 30 561121 22 Town Hall Benny Allen Feud.mp3
      2. Town Hall Tonight 350626 051 Last Show Of Season.mp3
      3. Town Hall Tonight 351002 052 Once Amateur Always Amateur.mp3
      4. Town Hall Tonight 351016 054 Who Killed Kirk Reuben.mp3
      5. Town Hall Tonight 351106 057 Onegirl Band.mp3
      6. Town Hall Tonight 351127 060 Amateur Show.mp3
      7. Town Hall Tonight 351204 061 Case Of Disappearing Elepha.mp3
      8. Town Hall Tonight 351211 062 Uncle Toms Hot Spot Or It Migh.mp3
      9. Town Hall Tonight 351225 064 Department Store Santa.mp3
      10. Town Hall Tonight 360101 065 Murder At Microphone.mp3
      11. Town Hall Tonight 360129 069 Lord Falconbeaks Dilemma.mp3
      12. Town Hall Tonight 360205 070 Going Going Gone.mp3
      13. Town Hall Tonight 360219 072 Fatal Shot.mp3
      14. Town Hall Tonight 361007 090 Who Killed Rappaport.mp3
      15. Town Hall Tonight 361007 Who Killed Rappaport.mp3
      16. Town Hall Tonight 370310 025 Murder High Seas-Boy Meet Gull.mp3
      17. Town Hall Tonight 370310 One Long Pan On Cruise Ship.mp3
      18. Town Hall Tonight 371222 047 Santa Will Not Ride Tonight.mp3
      19. Town Hall Tonight 380518 House That Jack Built.mp3
      20. Town Hall Tonight 380608 071 Satire On Song Writers.mp3
      21. Town Hall Tonight 380622 073 Telephone Weddings.mp3
      22. Town Hall Tonight 381207 Disc 2 Only.mp3
      23. Town Hall Tonight 381207 Disc 4 Only.mp3
      24. Town Hall Tonight 390222 095 Subway Posters.mp3
      25. Town Hall Tonight 390322 099 Murder Addison Sq Garden.mp3
      26. Town Hall Tonight 390621 Capn Andys Riverboat.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    26 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 22 hours, 35 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      26 shows - total playtime 22 hours 35 minutes
      1. Recollections At 30 561121 22 Town Hall Benny Allen Feud.mp3
      2. Town Hall Tonight 350626 051 Last Show Of Season.mp3
      3. Town Hall Tonight 351002 052 Once Amateur Always Amateur.mp3
      4. Town Hall Tonight 351016 054 Who Killed Kirk Reuben.mp3
      5. Town Hall Tonight 351106 057 Onegirl Band.mp3
      6. Town Hall Tonight 351127 060 Amateur Show.mp3
      7. Town Hall Tonight 351204 061 Case Of Disappearing Elepha.mp3
      8. Town Hall Tonight 351211 062 Uncle Toms Hot Spot Or It Migh.mp3
      9. Town Hall Tonight 351225 064 Department Store Santa.mp3
      10. Town Hall Tonight 360101 065 Murder At Microphone.mp3
      11. Town Hall Tonight 360129 069 Lord Falconbeaks Dilemma.mp3
      12. Town Hall Tonight 360205 070 Going Going Gone.mp3
      13. Town Hall Tonight 360219 072 Fatal Shot.mp3
      14. Town Hall Tonight 361007 090 Who Killed Rappaport.mp3
      15. Town Hall Tonight 361007 Who Killed Rappaport.mp3
      16. Town Hall Tonight 370310 025 Murder High Seas-Boy Meet Gull.mp3
      17. Town Hall Tonight 370310 One Long Pan On Cruise Ship.mp3
      18. Town Hall Tonight 371222 047 Santa Will Not Ride Tonight.mp3
      19. Town Hall Tonight 380518 House That Jack Built.mp3
      20. Town Hall Tonight 380608 071 Satire On Song Writers.mp3
      21. Town Hall Tonight 380622 073 Telephone Weddings.mp3
      22. Town Hall Tonight 381207 Disc 2 Only.mp3
      23. Town Hall Tonight 381207 Disc 4 Only.mp3
      24. Town Hall Tonight 390222 095 Subway Posters.mp3
      25. Town Hall Tonight 390322 099 Murder Addison Sq Garden.mp3
      26. Town Hall Tonight 390621 Capn Andys Riverboat.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    26 recordings on 25 Audio CDs
    total playtime 22 hours, 35 min

    Disc A001

    1. Town Hall Tonight 350626 051 Last Show Of Season

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A002

    1. Town Hall Tonight 351002 052 Once Amateur Always Amateur

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A003

    1. Town Hall Tonight 351016 054 Who Killed Kirk Reuben

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A004

    1. Town Hall Tonight 351106 057 Onegirl Band

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A005

    1. Town Hall Tonight 351127 060 Amateur Show

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A006

    1. Town Hall Tonight 351204 061 Case Of Disappearing Elepha

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A007

    1. Town Hall Tonight 351211 062 Uncle Toms Hot Spot Or It Migh

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A008

    1. Town Hall Tonight 351225 064 Department Store Santa

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A009

    1. Town Hall Tonight 360101 065 Murder At Microphone

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A010

    1. Town Hall Tonight 360129 069 Lord Falconbeaks Dilemma

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A011

    1. Town Hall Tonight 360205 070 Going Going Gone

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A012

    1. Town Hall Tonight 360219 072 Fatal Shot

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    Disc A013

    1. Town Hall Tonight 361007 090 Who Killed Rappaport

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    Disc A014

    1. Town Hall Tonight 361007 Who Killed Rappaport

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A015

    1. Town Hall Tonight 370310 025 Murder High Seas-Boy Meet Gull

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A016

    1. Town Hall Tonight 370310 One Long Pan On Cruise Ship

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A017

    1. Town Hall Tonight 371222 047 Santa Will Not Ride Tonight

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A018

    1. Town Hall Tonight 380518 House That Jack Built

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A019

    1. Town Hall Tonight 380608 071 Satire On Song Writers

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A020

    1. Town Hall Tonight 380622 073 Telephone Weddings

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A021

    1. Town Hall Tonight 381207 Disc 2 Only
    2. Town Hall Tonight 381207 Disc 4 Only

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A022

    1. Town Hall Tonight 390222 095 Subway Posters

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A023

    1. Town Hall Tonight 390322 099 Murder Addison Sq Garden

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A024

    1. Town Hall Tonight 390621 Capn Andys Riverboat

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Disc A025

    1. Recollections At 30 561121 22 Town Hall Benny Allen Feud

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00