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Fred Allen Show, The

Fred Allen Show, The

Fred Allen was the star of the long-running The Fred Allen Show that aired from 1932-1949, although it went by many names. He was a well-known and beloved comedian who entertained listeners every Sunday as they eagerly tuned in.

Allen worked hard to produce a show that incorporated the events of the day. He was an avid reader of nine different newspapers and used clippings to help build a script. Often he used lesser-known news items to create a comic centerpiece for his show.

Born John Florence Sullivan on May 31, 1893 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fred was raised by his aunt after his mother died when he was age three. As a child he took piano lessons and later he worked for the Boston Public Library. In addition, he began learning to juggle. These three interests help him to learn more about comedy and hone his skills.

He began his career as a comic when he began competing in amateur contests. For the next ten years he would work on the vaudeville circuit, which allowed him to travel the world. In 1922 Fred left vaudeville to try his hand on Broadway working on the production of The Passing Show. It was while working on this show he met his wife, Portland Hoffa.

In 1932 he began his career in radio when he hosted The Linit Bath Review on CBS. In 1933 his show became the Salad Bowl Review sponsored by Hellman’s Mayonnaise. Finally, in 1934 he hosted the Sal Hepatica Revue, which later became the Hour of Smiles. It was renamed Town Hall Tonight a few months later and finally became The Fred Allen Show.

The Fred Allen Show ran until June 26, 1949. Over the years his wife Portland appeared as his sidekick adding to the comedy. But perhaps what Allen is known best for is his feud with real-life friend Jack Benny.

Together Benny and Allen launched a public “feud”. It began by accident, but listeners were so enthralled by it that the writers for both comedians were called together to stretch it out. It became a legendary feud though the two entertainers were very amicable. In fact, the two appeared in two films together – Love Thy Neighbor and It’s In the Bag!

After his radio show ended, he frequently made appearances on The Big Show. He also turned to writing as an outlet of expression. He wrote two autobiographic books – Treadmill to Oblivion and Much Ado About Me.

At the age of 61, Fred Allen passed away from a heart attack while on a late night walk. In 1988, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. Though he is no longer living, his recordings and books stands as a reminder of his true wit and humor.

Broadcast: December 25, 1932
Added: Dec 27 2005
Broadcast: 23rd January 1933
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Jan 18 2005
Broadcast: 22nd January 1936
Added: Feb 28 2012
Broadcast: 7th October 1936
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Aug 01 2003
Broadcast: 10th March 1937
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Aug 08 2003
Broadcast: March 17, 1937
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Mar 17 2016
Broadcast: 18th May 1938
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Aug 15 2003
Broadcast: 22nd February 1939
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Feb 22 2009
Broadcast: June 21, 1939
Added: Apr 20 2015
Broadcast: 11th October 1939
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Aug 29 2003
Broadcast: 27th December 1939
Starring: Various
Added: Feb 20 2002
Broadcast: 31st January 1940
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Sep 19 2003
Broadcast: 20th March 1940
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Sep 05 2003
Broadcast: 27th March 1940
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Sep 12 2003
Broadcast: 8th May 1940
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Sep 26 2003
Broadcast: 5th March 1941
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Mar 05 2005
Broadcast: 12th March 1941
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Mar 12 2005
Broadcast: 19th March 1941
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Mar 19 2005
Broadcast: 26th March 1941
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Mar 26 2005
Broadcast: 2nd April 1941
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Apr 09 2005
Broadcast: 23rd April 1941
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Jun 27 2006
Broadcast: 10th December 1941
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Dec 13 2005
Broadcast: 28th June 1942
Starring: Judy Canova, Fred Allen
Added: Jun 06 2006
Broadcast: 4th October 1942
Added: Nov 05 2005
Broadcast: 11th October 1942
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Oct 25 2005
Broadcast: 18th October 1942
Added: Oct 18 2005
Broadcast: 1st November 1942
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Nov 01 2005
Broadcast: 15th November 1942
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Nov 15 2005
Broadcast: 29th November 1942
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Nov 29 2005
Broadcast: 3rd January 1943
Starring: Peter Lorre, Fred Allen
Added: Jan 11 2005
Broadcast: 31st January 1943
Added: Jan 25 2005
Broadcast: 28th February 1943
Added: May 23 2006
Broadcast: 4th April 1943
Added: Feb 05 2006
Broadcast: 23rd May 1943
Added: Apr 03 2008
Broadcast: 2nd January 1944
Added: Jan 04 2005
Broadcast: 9th January 1944
Added: May 09 2006
Broadcast: 19th March 1944
Added: May 16 2006
Broadcast: 26th March 1944
Starring: Ed Gardner, Fred Allen
Added: May 30 2006
Broadcast: 2nd April 1944
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Apr 02 2005
Broadcast: 11th June 1944
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Jun 13 2006
Broadcast: 11th January 1945
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Jul 04 2006
Broadcast: 7th October 1945
Added: Jul 02 2006
Broadcast: 21st October 1945
Added: Jul 23 2006
Broadcast: 28th October 1945
Added: Jul 30 2006
Broadcast: 4th November 1945
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Nov 08 2005
Broadcast: 11th November 1945
Added: May 08 2008
Broadcast: 18th November 1945
Added: Nov 24 2009
Broadcast: 25th November 1945
Added: Nov 26 2009
Broadcast: 30th December 1945
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Dec 31 2010
Broadcast: 13th January 1946
Added: May 01 2008
Broadcast: 20th January 1946
Added: Apr 04 2008
Broadcast: 3rd February 1946
Added: Mar 28 2008
Broadcast: 24th February 1946
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Jul 09 2006
Broadcast: 16th April 1946
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Apr 26 2008
Broadcast: 28th April 1946
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Apr 28 2006
Broadcast: 26th May 1946
Starring: Jack Benny, Fred Allen
Added: Jul 16 2006
Broadcast: 27th October 1946
Added: May 02 2006
Broadcast: 23rd March 1947
Added: Apr 10 2008
Broadcast: 25th May 1947
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Sep 10 2006
Broadcast: 19th October 1947
Added: Nov 22 2005
Broadcast: 26th October 1947
Added: Apr 18 2008
Broadcast: 14th December 1947
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Dec 13 2004
Broadcast: 28th December 1947
Added: Dec 20 2005
Broadcast: 4th January 1948
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Aug 06 2006
Broadcast: 28th March 1948
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: May 21 2007
Broadcast: 11th April 1948
Added: Feb 08 2011
Broadcast: 18th April 1948
Added: Aug 13 2006
Broadcast: 25th April 1948
Added: Aug 20 2006
Broadcast: 2nd May 1948
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Aug 27 2006
Broadcast: 9th May 1948
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: May 11 2008
Broadcast: 6th June 1948
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: May 17 2008
Broadcast: 15th June 1948
Added: Jun 17 2007
Broadcast: 24th October 1948
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Jul 26 2009
Broadcast: 11th November 1948
Added: Aug 02 2009
Broadcast: 28th November 1948
Added: Jan 01 2008
Broadcast: 5th December 1948
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Dec 06 2005
Broadcast: 9th January 1949
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: May 29 2008
Broadcast: 30th January 1949
Starring: Fred Allen, Rudy Vallee
Added: Aug 09 2009
Broadcast: 6th February 1949
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Jul 19 2009
Broadcast: 22nd May 1949
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: May 22 2008
Broadcast: 26th June 1949
Added: Jun 19 2011
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Jack Benny, Fred Allen
Added: Apr 12 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Added: Apr 13 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Jack Benny, Fred Allen
Added: Apr 14 2008
Broadcast: 1932
Starring: Fred Allen
Added: Apr 15 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Added: Apr 17 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Jack Benny, Fred Allen
Added: Apr 19 2008