Tag Archives: Allen’s Alley

30 December: The rivals and their “comebacks”

Benny and Allen enjoy a splendid mutual comeback beginning in 1945. (Photo: NBC.)

Friendly rivals Benny and Allen enjoy a splendid mutual comeback beginning in 1945. (Photo: NBC.)

It might be difficult for a 21st Century fan to believe, if clinging strictly to the general image of the man, but Jack Benny thinks he’s in radio trouble by the 1945-46 season: his Hooper rating has dipped a cumulative 35 percent since 1941, culminating in a tenth-place finish for 1944-45, his lowest rating in a decade.

The good news is that, for all that steady slippage, Benny still has never finished a season shy of a 20 rating. Regardless, the comedian entered the season bent on keeping that bottom line at minimum and getting back near the top of the beanhill at maximum.

Posted in classic radio, comedy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

30 May: Celebrating a perfect 110

Mr. Allen, still at the height of his career. (Photo: NBC.)

Mr. Allen, still at the height of his career. (Photo: NBC.)

We’ll let the man’s own recollection, shortly before his death, speak for itself here:

Posted in classic radio, comedy, old-time radio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 March: Allen’s Alley days

Fred Allen (left) with the Alley demimonde (l to r): Minerva Pious, Alan Reed, Kenny Delmar. (Photo: NBC.)

Fred Allen (left) with the Alley demimonde (l to r): Minerva Pious, Alan Reed, Kenny Delmar. (Photo: NBC.)

Fred Allen has returned to full-time network radio in 1945-46, following a one-year sabbatical under his doctor’s orders; the satirist’s hypertension had hit height enough for alarm during his four-season run under the Texaco Star Theater banner for CBS.

That run has provided a series of refinements, not always to Allen’s liking at first, including the paring back to a half-hour show. But it also provided the beginnings of what would prove his best-remembered element: the transformation of his long-time, formerly groundbreaking newsreel satires into “Allen’s Alley,” which has now rounded into its most enduring shape:

Posted in classic radio, comedy, crime drama, mystery/thriller, old-time radio | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment