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BW - EP137—001: St. Patricks Day On The Air—Fred Allen, The End And The Beginning

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Manage episode 356595660 series 2494501
Сделано The WallBreakers and James Scully и найдено благодаря Player FM и нашему сообществу. Авторские права принадлежат издателю, а не Player FM, и аудиоматериалы транслируются прямо с его сервера. Нажмите на кнопку Подписаться, чтобы следить за обновлениями через Player FM или скопируйте и вставьте ссылку на канал в другое приложение для подкастов.
In 1922 a twenty-eight-year-old Fred Allen, already a vaudeville veteran, was hired by J.J. Shubert for his broadway production of The Passing Show of 1922. Allen was gaining fame as a monologist. He was in charge of writing his own material. One popular gag was the "Old Joke Cemetery." Allen had a curtain painted as a graveyard, on the tombstones were the punch lines to forty-six old jokes. When Allen moved with the show to Chicago, he met a dancer named Portland Hoffa. There the producers told Allen to drop the cemetery gag. The show was moving to Hollywood. Allen quit. Back in New York he demanded royalties from the Shuberts when the gag turned up in their other acts. They re-hired him, to emcee Artists and Models. In the revue, the chorus women were topless. Allen came on after the women were finished. The Shuberts and Allen soon came to a mutual release. Fred and Portland were married in 1927 and Allen starred in similar revues until Portland joined him on stage. Together they were a hit. Four years later Allen was contemplating radio. By 1932 big names like Ed Sullivan, Ed Wynn, and George Jessel were on radio. Jessel convinced Allen to audition. Allen felt that writing a sketch show centered around characters in different business backgrounds would appeal. The Corn Products Company hired him. Their Linit Beauty Powder would be the featured product. Allen was paid one-thousand dollars per week, but he had to produce the show out of his own pocket. He co-wrote it with Harry Tugent. Producer Roger White remembered that time. The Linit Bath Club Review premiered on Sunday, October 23rd, 1932 over CBS. Right from the beginning Allen had trouble with his sponsors. The season rating was 11.9, thirty-ninth overall. Roughly five million people tuned in and the show bested the Manhattan Merry-Go-Round opposite on NBC. But, the program was canceled after six months. Fred returned to radio on Friday August 4th, 1933 over NBC. His new show was The Salad Bowl Review for Hellmann’s Mayonnaise. It would mark the beginning of a six-year relationship with the National Broadcasting Company. Allen was paid four-thousand dollars per week. Minerva Pious joined the cast. She’d later be known for her ethnic character portrayals. Allen introduced the Etiquette Department and the Question box. People could write in to have questions answered on-air, with instructions to try to slip things by the censors. He started a newsreel. It was the forerunner to the satirical comedy that would become a program staple. The ad agency who held the Helmann’s account liked the program so much that they aired it through autumn, long-passed mayonnaise’s shelf-life in a time when it was a seasonal condiment for salads. However, by December 1st, 1933 the show had to exit the air. Now Sal Hepatica laxatives from Bristol Myers wanted in. Beginning on January 4th, 1934, Fred Allen debuted as emcee for The Sal Hepatica Review. On March 21st, 1934 the broadcast was expanded to an hour. It now included Ipana Toothpaste and was called The Hour of Smiles. Allen was given no additional budget and each show had to be performed twice—once for each coast. Allen hired a couple of script-writers to help. One of them was Herman Wouk, who’d later win a Pulitzer Prize for his 1951 novel, The Caine Mutiny. By then, the program had become a local review with news. On July 11th the show was retitled Town Hall Tonight. The tight budget left no room for big guest stars. Allen had to develop plot lines. Things were running smoothly until Allen was called into the agency offices. They objected to some of his jokes and didn’t like the concept of a running gag—something Allen had begun to develop. Allen later explained that running gags were very important because they stimulated a listener’s memory and interest. The ad agency disagreed. Allen paid them no mind.
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476 эпизодов

Поделиться
 
Manage episode 356595660 series 2494501
Сделано The WallBreakers and James Scully и найдено благодаря Player FM и нашему сообществу. Авторские права принадлежат издателю, а не Player FM, и аудиоматериалы транслируются прямо с его сервера. Нажмите на кнопку Подписаться, чтобы следить за обновлениями через Player FM или скопируйте и вставьте ссылку на канал в другое приложение для подкастов.
In 1922 a twenty-eight-year-old Fred Allen, already a vaudeville veteran, was hired by J.J. Shubert for his broadway production of The Passing Show of 1922. Allen was gaining fame as a monologist. He was in charge of writing his own material. One popular gag was the "Old Joke Cemetery." Allen had a curtain painted as a graveyard, on the tombstones were the punch lines to forty-six old jokes. When Allen moved with the show to Chicago, he met a dancer named Portland Hoffa. There the producers told Allen to drop the cemetery gag. The show was moving to Hollywood. Allen quit. Back in New York he demanded royalties from the Shuberts when the gag turned up in their other acts. They re-hired him, to emcee Artists and Models. In the revue, the chorus women were topless. Allen came on after the women were finished. The Shuberts and Allen soon came to a mutual release. Fred and Portland were married in 1927 and Allen starred in similar revues until Portland joined him on stage. Together they were a hit. Four years later Allen was contemplating radio. By 1932 big names like Ed Sullivan, Ed Wynn, and George Jessel were on radio. Jessel convinced Allen to audition. Allen felt that writing a sketch show centered around characters in different business backgrounds would appeal. The Corn Products Company hired him. Their Linit Beauty Powder would be the featured product. Allen was paid one-thousand dollars per week, but he had to produce the show out of his own pocket. He co-wrote it with Harry Tugent. Producer Roger White remembered that time. The Linit Bath Club Review premiered on Sunday, October 23rd, 1932 over CBS. Right from the beginning Allen had trouble with his sponsors. The season rating was 11.9, thirty-ninth overall. Roughly five million people tuned in and the show bested the Manhattan Merry-Go-Round opposite on NBC. But, the program was canceled after six months. Fred returned to radio on Friday August 4th, 1933 over NBC. His new show was The Salad Bowl Review for Hellmann’s Mayonnaise. It would mark the beginning of a six-year relationship with the National Broadcasting Company. Allen was paid four-thousand dollars per week. Minerva Pious joined the cast. She’d later be known for her ethnic character portrayals. Allen introduced the Etiquette Department and the Question box. People could write in to have questions answered on-air, with instructions to try to slip things by the censors. He started a newsreel. It was the forerunner to the satirical comedy that would become a program staple. The ad agency who held the Helmann’s account liked the program so much that they aired it through autumn, long-passed mayonnaise’s shelf-life in a time when it was a seasonal condiment for salads. However, by December 1st, 1933 the show had to exit the air. Now Sal Hepatica laxatives from Bristol Myers wanted in. Beginning on January 4th, 1934, Fred Allen debuted as emcee for The Sal Hepatica Review. On March 21st, 1934 the broadcast was expanded to an hour. It now included Ipana Toothpaste and was called The Hour of Smiles. Allen was given no additional budget and each show had to be performed twice—once for each coast. Allen hired a couple of script-writers to help. One of them was Herman Wouk, who’d later win a Pulitzer Prize for his 1951 novel, The Caine Mutiny. By then, the program had become a local review with news. On July 11th the show was retitled Town Hall Tonight. The tight budget left no room for big guest stars. Allen had to develop plot lines. Things were running smoothly until Allen was called into the agency offices. They objected to some of his jokes and didn’t like the concept of a running gag—something Allen had begun to develop. Allen later explained that running gags were very important because they stimulated a listener’s memory and interest. The ad agency disagreed. Allen paid them no mind.
  continue reading

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