Fred Allen


Biography of Fred Allen

Fred Allen (born John Florence Sullivan; May 31, 1894 – March 17, 1956) was an American comedian whose absurdist, topically pointed radio show (1932–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio.

His best-remembered gag was his long-running mock feud with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny, but it was only part of his appeal; radio historian John Dunning (in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio) wrote that Allen was radio's most admired comedian and most frequently censored. A master ad libber, Allen often tangled with his network's executives (and often barbed them on the air over the battles), while developing routines the style and substance of which influenced contemporaries and futures among comic talents, including Groucho Marx, Stan Freberg, Henry Morgan and Johnny Carson, but his fans also included President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and novelists William Faulkner, John Steinbeck and Herman Wouk (who began his career writing for Allen).

Fred Allen was honored with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for contributions to television and radio.

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