Just in case you missed the first time . . .
- 6 June: D-Day On the Air—73 Years Later
- 31 December: Here’s to the New Year
- 24 December: ‘Tis the night before Christmas
- 20 December: From Macy’s to Dickens on the plains
- 12 December: Eden rocked
- 9 December: The aftermath, continued . . .
- 8 December: Immediate aftermath
- 7 December: The date still lives in infamy
- 5 December: The mean widdle man-kid
- 21 November: Freed fall
We’re building a history here . . .
Tag Archives: Fred Allen
Leo Durocher has been no slouch about radio appearances, any more than he’s been about being in the public eye in general, since becoming the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949. Appearing with Fred Allen tonight will find Leo the Lip on the threshold of transition, even if he may not yet be aware of it.
Henry Ford, ABC, NBC, and CBS inadvertently band up to put paid to the radio career of one of its most legendary satirists, and the entire megillah begins on tonight’s date in 1948.
How would the two protagonists (who were actually good friends off the air) remember the origin of the Jack Benny-Fred Allen feud, by anyone’s measure the greatest dialogic running gag in network radio, enduring right up to the moment Fred Allen leaves network radio as a full-time host in 1949? (The greatest sound-effect running gag has to be Fibber McGee’s closet, of course.)
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:
Tallulah Bankhead might seem the least likely of such catalysts. But in 1950-51 the stage diva becomes the out-of-the-left-field-bullpen choice to spearhead what would come to be known as NBC’s most desperate bid to try cleaning up the damage done the network after Jack Benny and Bergen & McCarthy (who moved on Benny’s suggestion) defected to CBS.