NOT BEEN FEELING TOO WELL THIS WEEKEND SO I'VE BEEN QUIETLY LISTENING TO A PLETHORA OF OLD RADIO SHOWS TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER. And one of my favourite comedians of all-time is Fred Allen. I've listened to a half a dozen or so episodes of Fred's programmes including TOWN HALL TONIGHT, TEXACO STAR THEATER and THE FRED ALLEN SHOW (including both versions of the classic "Mr. and Mrs. Morning Radio" episodes with Tallulah Bankhead). The first time I heard this classic hilarious sketch was when I took out the LP "A GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY" from my Middle School library; it featured a bevy of radio comedians from The Mad Russian, Jack (Baron Munchausen) Pearl, Fibber McGee & Molly, Laurel & Hardy to Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason (!), Red Skelton and George Burns & Gracie Allen. You can read my little write-up on this album by clicking here. And you may also enjoy my homemade album cover for the two different versions of THE FRED ALLEN SHOW episode which aired; the original was broadcast May 5, 1946 and the repeat was actually re-performed on October 27, 1946. Oddly enough, the version heard on the GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY album is from NEITHER of these broadcast so it's still a mystery where THAT version comes from! The premise for the sketch is that Fred and Tallulah are lampooning the early morning radio shows which were abundant all over radio at the time; a husband and wife team would exchange pleasantries and gossip while shilling every possible product their sponsors could cram into the show. For your listening pleasure, I have put the audio for "Mr. and Mrs. Morning Radio" over in the box on the right; just click on it and play the audio! Oh and I almost forgot! Fred Allen actually reprised this comedy routine in a movie with Ginger Rogers playing his wife in WE'RE NOT MARRIED (which also starred a young Marilyn Monroe!). You can also watch a video clip from the movie by clicking here which will take you to our sister blog THE COBWEBBED ALCOVE. But I digress. . .
Now Fred Allen was known as a verbal wit (being a radio comedian will do that) but here I thought I'd post a few examples of some visual funniness from an ancient magazine article. And you can biggify the images by clicking on them and then you'll be able to read the text too. Enjoy!