The Fred Allen material you are about to hear is from his radio show, Town Hall Tonight, in 1938.
Fred Allen was unique in the radio world of corny set up/punchline type snappy patter his former vaudeville and current radio peers like Eddie Cantor, Ed Wynn, Georgie Jessel, the Marx Brothers, and others favored.
Oftentimes Fred’s comic voice is compared to that of Mark Twain. All American and homespun wisdom disguised as jokes.
Fred ‘s wit focused on social commentary, gently poking fun at the foibles and eccentricities of human nature. Fred was gruff but mostly cheerful with a small town attitude, advocating common sense but tolerant of the mistakes of others.
Two of Fred’s greatest strengths were his ability to relate to regular people, and his improvisational skill. Very comfortable going off script and usually much funnier off the cuff than what was on the script.
These two factors influenced the head writer of Fred Allen’s show, a fellow by the name of Fred Allen, to put himself in situations on the radio where he could interact with people from all walks of life. And that’s what you are about to hear, Fred interviewing regular, not in show business folks, in a segment of his show entitled “I know You Didn’t Expect to Meet…..”.
The unexpected folks interviewed live in 1938 for this Podcast are:
- A Detective that investigates crooked card games
- A dancing instructor
- An Ice Lady
- A mail order physical fitness instructor
- A tobacco auctioneer
- And a Macy’s Department store Santa Claus