Allen, Fred original name JOHN FLORENCE SULLIVAN
(b. May 31, 1894, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.--d. March 17, 1956, New York, N.Y.), American humorist whose laconic style, dry wit, and superb timing influenced a generation of radio and television performers. - Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

Fred Said:

Crisis is a word used in advertising circles to refer to any incident to which the word "emergency" cannot be applied.

The president of the new agency had been a famous quarterback in college football an old wives tale told around the water cooler in the office related that, after he had left college when ever he met other players who had been on the team with him he could never recognize the fellow until he asked him to bend over.

The college quarterback started sending turtle-necked memos which intimated that, as the mink sayed as it backed into the electric fan, "the fur is going to fly".

A new headache tablet would be distributed to the staff and probably be very welcome. In the advertising game (it isn't buisness) a headache is an occupational side effect.

This man used to talk to himself incessantly. We called him the one-man conference.

This gentleman nursed two secret ambitions. The first was to put a day bed in his office so that he wouldn't have to sleep sitting up during conferences. His second and greater ambition was to keep changing elements we had in the program.

A conference(committe) is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done.

An advertising agency is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission.

A molehill man is a pseudo-busy executive who comes to work at 9 AM and finds a molehill on his desk. He has until 5 PM to make this molehill into a mountain. An accomplished molehill man will often have his mountain finished before lunch.

Where were you fellows when the paper was blank? [asking editors]

An actor's popularity is fleeting. His success has the life expectancy of a small boy who is about to look into a gas tank with a lighted match.

A telescope will magnify a star a thousand times, but a good press agent can do even better.

Treat employees like partners, and they act like partners.

It is probably not love that makes the world go around, but rather those mutually supportive alliances through which partners recognize their dependence on each other for the achievement of shared and private goals.

I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.

I'm going to Boston to see my doctor. He's a very sick man.

Television is a triumph of equipment over people, and the minds that control it are so small that you could put them in the navel of a flea and still have enough room for a network president's heart.

A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.

Television is a device that permits people who haven't anything to do to watch people who can't do anything.. [It is] radio fluoroscoped; the triumph of machinery over people; a "medium" because anything good on it is "rare."

The last time I saw him he was walking down Lover's Lane holding his own hand.

The world is a grindstone and life is your nose.

What's on your mind, if you will allow the overstatement?

Hollywood is the place where people from Iowa mistake one another for movie stars.

I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy.

Imitation is the sincerest form of television.

A kind of radio which lets people at home see what the studio audience is not laughing at.

[Television] The triumph of machinery over people.

Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted.

He's done everybody's act. He's a parrot with skin on. (about Milton Berle)

He's so small, he's a waste of skin.

He was so narrow minded that if he fell on a pin it would blind him in both eyes.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart.

California is a fine place to live -- if you happen to be an orange.

If the grass is greener in the other fellow's yard - let him worry about cutting it.

Most of us spend the first 6 days of each week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure.

Radio in the 30's was a calm and tranquil medium. Oleaginous-voiced announcers smoothly purred their commercial copy into the microphones enunciating each lubricated syllable.


What other's say:

"You can trust your car to the man who wears the star" was the motto of The Texaco Star Theater in which Fred Allen starred between 1940 and 1944. A bit of trivia: Fred's theme song in his earliest radio show (Linit Bath Club Review 1932) was "Hello, Evening Star"! Over the years, Mr. Allen's sponsors also included Hellman's Mayonnaise, Sal Hepatica, Ipana, Tenderleaf Tea, and Ford Motors. The show originated on CBS, but traveled to NBC in 1933, back to CBS in 1940, and NBC in 1945. The how changed its name several times, to reflect the sponsor's product. The Linit Bath Club Revue was sponsored by Linit Bath Oil, the Salad Bowl Revue was sponsored by Hellmann's Mayonnaise, the Sal Hepatica Review by (you guessed it) Sal Hepatica. The Hour of Smiles was sponsored by Ipana and Sal Hepatica, as was Town Hall Tonight. The '39 - '40 Fred Allen Show continued to be sponsored by Ipana and Sal Hepatica, but the theme song changed to "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile". -

Most unforgettable for all of the memorable characters he brought us, Fred Allen was perhaps one of the most dominant figures in radio comedy. His series had many titles, but this clip from Town Hall Tonight introduces the zaniness one came to expect from Allen and Company. There were both memorable characters and memorable lines. Some making their way into Warner Brothers Looney Tune Cartoons. Among some of them were Kenny Delmar's Senator Claghorn ("That's a joke, son"), and Parker Fennelly's Titus Moody ("Howdy, Bub"). Allen was sort of the facilitator of all of these characters. Most memorable was the Jack Benny-Allen "feud" which got lots of publicity and air play on both programs. Allen was more than a comedian, he was also a social satirist taking pot shots as the medium of radio and television. -

Fred Allen, the "man whose face was made for radio" had several long-lived programs on the radio between 1932 and 1949. The Jack Benny / Fred Allen "feud" was more well known, and lasted longer than the disagreements in the Internet OTR Digest.. Here are Jack and Fred ready to rumble in front of an NBC microphone.-



Fred Allen : His Life and Wit / Robert Taylor. Edition : 1st ed. Publisher : Boston : Little, Brown, c1989. Description : xii, 340 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm. Notes : Includes bibliographical references and index. Subjects : Allen, Fred, -- 1894-1956. : Entertainers -- United States -- Biography. : Comedians -- United States -- Biography.

Treadmill to Oblivion Author : Allen, Fred, 1894. with drawings by Hirschfeld. Edition : [1st ed.]. Publisher : Boston : Little, Brown, [1954]. Description : 240 p. : illus. ; 21 cm. Notes : Autobiographical. Subjects : Allen, Fred, -- 1894-1956.

Much Ado About Me (1956)

Fred Allen's Letters (1965)


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