Tag Archives: Minerva Pious

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:

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Allen’s quarterback sneak: Old-time radio listening, 11 October

The Fred Allen Show (Hour of Smiles): Satire on Surveys and Polls (NBC, 1939) 

Fred Allen probably found entanglement in microphones child’s play compared to tangling with myopic advertising agencies . . . (Photo: NBC)

Fred Allen wasn’t necessarily thrilled when a change in the advertising agency handling his sponsor’s account compelled a title and slight format adjustment away from his groundbreaking Town Hall Tonight.

The new agency was governed, Allen would write (in Treadmill to Oblivion) by a former college football quarterback who “could never recognise one of [his former teammates] until he had asked him to bend over.”

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