BW – EP81: The Fred Allen Show—His Life On The Air (1932 – 1956)

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In Breaking Walls episode 81, we spotlight the life and career of one of the twentieth century’s most famous comedians, Fred Allen. Amongst other comedians and entertainers, almost no one was beloved as much as him. His comedic feud with Jack Benny was legendary, as were his battles with network executives and sponsors.


• John Sullivan is Born in Boston
• What growing up in Boston with his aunt was like
• How his job at the Boston Public library began his career in show business
• Learning to Juggle and Early Amateur Performances
• Harry LaToy and how Johnny Sullivan became Fred St. James
• Freddie James: The World’s Worst Juggler
• Becoming Fred Allen and going on Broadway
• Allen’s Radio Birth—Bath Towels, Laxatives, and Mayonnaise
• Town Hall Tonight is Born
• Jack Benny—The Feud of the Century
• Mr. Ramshaw— an Eagle on the loose
• Changing networks
• Texaco and Problems with NBC
• King for a Day
• Bowing out gracefully
• Fred Allen: Memoirist
• What’s my Line?
• Final Days

The WallBreakers:
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To support the show:

Special thanks to our Sponsors:
• Twelve Chimes, It’s Midnight

• The Fireside Mystery Theatre

The reading material used in today’s episode was:
• The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning
• Treadmill to Oblivion & Much Ado About Me … both by Fred Allen

Selected Music featured in today’s Episode was:
• Swingin’ on a Star by Bing Crosby
• Over There recorded live by George M. Cohan
• Auld Lang Syne by Guy Lombardo

A Special Thank you to:
Ron Baron
Ryan Kramer
Christian Neuhaus
Aimee Pavy
Rebecca Shield

My final thank you is to you the audience. Since December 1st, 2017 monthly downloads/streams are up 1500%. I am very grateful.

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