Tag Archives: Jack Benny-Fred Allen feud

29 January: Canned feud

(l to r) Portland Hoffa, Jack Benny, Fred Allen, and Mary Livingstone have a little wrestle and relaxation. (Photo: NBC.)

(l to r) Portland Hoffa (Mrs. Fred Allen), Jack Benny, Fred Allen, and Mary Livingstone have a little wrestle and relaxation. (Photo: NBC.)

Classic network radio has no better aural running gag than Fibber McGee’s closet, though you could argue that Jack Benny’s subterranean vault alarm might prove a close enough second. For a better verbal running gag, it’s hard to deny the Benny-Fred Allen mock feud. It’s even harder to believe that Fred Allen may actually feared it couldn’t be done in the first place.

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8 March: Uncanned feud

Benny (left) and Allen, the friendly feud that wouldn't quit until Allen's retirement as a full-time radio host. (Photo: CBS.)

Benny and Allen, the friendly feud that wouldn’t quit until Allen’s retirement as a full-time radio host. (Photo: CBS.)

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.)

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