Eve Arden Show on DVD June Cleaver book

Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD Lancelot Link Secret Chimp on DVD Route 66 season 1 on DVD Classic Commercials on DVD Tennesee Tuxedo on DVD Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD

 

FRED ALLEN / FRED ALLEN TV SHOWS
by Billy Ingram

TV Blog / Fred Allen TV Shows in the 1950s
When television first began it made perfect sense to transplant primetime network radio programs into the hot new medium.

Many network radio stars made that transition - Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Jack Benny - but one of radio's biggest talents, Fred Allen, failed to make the TV grade. Allen's freewheeling, satirical radio show, Allen's Alley (also known as The Fred Allen Show), really was one of the funniest programs on the air in the 1940s, I would say comparable to The Daily Show today.

Here's a 1945 Fred Allen radio broadcast (with a young Frank Sinatra as guest imagining what his career will be like in 1995) from the end of World War II that includes a prime example of the Jack Benny - Fred Allen feud that was a highpoint of both of their careers.

A lot of ink has been spilled over the decades to try to explain Fred Allen's inability to translate to the box but I'm not sure there ever was a definitive reason. He had health problems in the fifties, that was one major factor, then there's the fickle public. Who knows, if he had lived longer than 1956 maybe he might have found the right format.

He initially tried bringing his popular radio format Allen's Alley to the tube but that was a no go. Here's part of one of Allen's TV forays called Judge For Yourself, a game show that allowed the witty host to verbally spar with the contestants. It worked for Groucho but then Groucho had that unmistakable leer that made all of his quips sound like double entendres even in the rare instances when they weren't. Then again, Judge For Yourself gets bogged down by a needlessly clumsy format.

A subsequent show, Fred Allen's Sketchbook, also fizzled so Fred Allen settled into a regular slot on the game show What's My Line in 1954 where, presumably, he could have stayed for a decade or two had he not died of a heart attack two years later.

But Fred Allen got the last word on television, "You know, television is called a new medium, and I have discovered why they call it a medium — because nothing is well done." He was vociferous in his view that TV was for, "people who haven't anything to do to watch people who can't do anything." I believe he also originally quipped what I've been saying for years: "Television isn't for watching it's for appearing on." Touche.

Here's a link to an archive of Fred Allen radio programs.

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!


Please consider a donation
so we can continue this work!

 

Amazon Prime - unlimited streaming
of your fave TV shows and movies!
Get your FREE 30 Day Trial!

 

 


Video Vault / Holiday Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV!

Television's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the Seventies / The Eighties / TVafterparty / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments
1950's TV Shows / Fess Parker & Davy Crockett / Jack Benny Program / 1952 Olympics Telethon / Amos 'n' Andy / Little Rascals & Our Gang / Howdy Doody / The Lone Ranger / TV's First Working Woman / Abbott & Costello TV Show / The Three Stooges: The Where They Were / The First 'Black' Show - Beulah / Women on TV in the 1950s / The Today Show / Serious 1950s TV shows / Remembering David Susskind / TV's First Rerun Series / The Ken Murray Budweiser Show / Saturday Morning Serials / Two Variety Shows of the Fifties / Game Shows of the Fifties /1950's TV Wrestling / Mr. Adams and Eve / TV's First Star / TV's First Star / History of the Laugh Track / The First Interactive Video Game / Designing Winky-Dink / The McKimson Brothers & Animation / Interview with a Show Business Legend / The Soundies / Snaders Telescriptions / Steve Allen Interviewed / Racket Squad / The Big Show / Beverly Garland & Decoy / Roger Muir / Noel Coward's 1955 TV Special / Jon Provost Interview / 1950's TV Shows on DVD / 1950's Old Time TV Thanksgiving / Outrageous 1950's Commercial! / The Real Superman? / Mickey Mouse Club's Cheryl / Gale Storm / Captain Allen Swift / NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade Telecasts / Julie London / The Goldbergs / 1950's Female Singers / The Dead End Kids / Bowery Boys / Fred Allen / Ed Wynn / Mr. Belvedere Movies / Art Linkletter / The Bickersons / Marty & Live TV / George Gobel & Red Buttons / Barbara Billingsley / Billy Gray Interview / Abbott & Costello Show / The Honeymooners / Three Stooges' Joe Besser / Whirlybirds / Burns & Allen Show
Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / North Carolina Actors / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / Gay Icon T-Shirts / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!

Classic TV Shows on DVD

Get it here!

SAVE MONEY
ON EVERYTHING!

TV Commercials on DVD Time Tunnel on DVD Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD Carol Burnett Show on DVD Fireball xl5 on DVD The TV Series that travelled from city to city across America :Route 66 on DVD 1950's Saturday Morning Shows Rat Pack Golddiggers Book RAT PACK GOLDDIGGERS
/ TV Shows on DVD / / / Rat Pack Golddiggers Obscure 70s Music
Looking for classic TV on DVD?/See below:
TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Contact Us / Survey
Other Cool TV Sites

TV Blog