Showing posts with the label Vaudeville

Fred Allen and his Friendly Feud with Jack Benny

It is impossible to chronicle the birth of the Fred Allen-Jack Benny radio feud without going into the life and background of Fred Allen . At the age of fourteen, Fred Allen opened a book that would forever change the course of his life . Working as a stock clerk at the Boston Public Library, he picked up a book on the subject of humor. Not only did this literary work put him on the path of comedy, it also sparked a passion that culminated in a book collection. By the time of his death, Fred Allen’s personal library contained thousands of volumes written on the subject of comedy. Beginning his career in vaudeville, Allen soon learned that his comedic skills greatly outweighed his juggling ability and he decided to use the juggling act as an anchor for his comedy. He also appeared in a few short films, before getting his break on radio. At the age of thirty-eight, Fred Allen landed a job, as host of  The Linit Bath Club Revue . The show premiered on October 23, 1932 on the Co

Radio Vaudevillians at Christmas

Christmas seems to bring out the best in most of us, even when our best isn't that much to brag about! In 1936, Gracie Allen takes time out from her crush on Tony Martin to share with us a play she has written, Charles Dickens ' A Christmas Carol . George Burns is surprised, having thought that Charles Dickens had written it, but in the tradition of the Burns and Allen Show , he is corrected by his lovely bride. Of course for Gracie, we are haunted by the Ghosts Radio Past, Present and Future. These ghosts wind up being impressions of Eddie Cantor , Jack Benny , and Fred Allen to George's Scrooge, the Joke Miser, who steals everyone else's jokes! The real  Fred Allen  celebrates Christmas of 1937 with Portland Hoffa and the rest of the Town Hall Tonight crew, joined by his old Vaudeville pal, Jack Benny. This is a fun paring for Old Time Radio fans, taking place within a few months of the opening salvos of the famous Jack Benny, Fred Allen Feud . Be