Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Fred Allen Show: Christmas Programs

The Fred Allen Show was a popular and long-running American old-time radio comedy program starring comedian Fred Allen and his wife Portland Hoffa. Over the course of the program's 17-year run, it was sponsored by Linit Bath Soaps, Hellmann's, Ipana, Sal Hepatica, Texaco and Tenderleaf Tea. The program ended in 1949 under the sponsorship of the Ford Motor Company.

 The most popular period of the program was the few years of sponsorship under the Texaco Gas Company. During this time, the program was known as Texaco Star Theatre with Fred Allen. On the December 6, 1942 episode of the program, Allen premiered his first in a series of segments known as "Allen's Alley". The segments would have Allen strolling through an imaginary neighborhood, knocking on the "doors" of various neighbors, including average-American John Doe (played by John Brown), Mrs. Nussbaum (Minerva Pious), pompous poet Falstaff Openshaw (Alan Reed), Titus Moody (Parker Fennelly), and boisterous southern senator Beuregard Claghorn (announcer Kenny Delmar). Texaco ended its sponsorship of the program in 1944.

Some prominent guest stars on Allen's program ove the years included Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, Roy Rogers, Bela Lugosi, Ed Gardner, Norman Corwin and Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy.

Fred Allen: Linit Bath Club Revue - Mammoth Department Store - December 25, 1932

Fred Allen: Town Hall Tonight - Santa Will Not Ride Tonight w/Jack Benny - December 22, 1937

Fred Allen: Texaco Star Theater - Otto Hottendorf - Decemeber 25, 1940

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