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  • Wife: Portland Hofa
    "Mrs Fred Allen"
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  • The period of American History between the time that commercial radio broadcasting began to proliferate until Television became the dominate form of home entertainment.

    Radio content as entertainment had its origins in 1880s Paris with a service known as théâtrophone, or "theater phone." Quite simply this service entailed a microphone being set up in a theater or vaudeville venue, and the program would be broadcast live over telephone wires.

    Family Listening to RadioRadio came into vogue for mass communication after the Titanic tragedy of 1912, although it mostly used by amateur (Ham) operators until WWI. During the war radio became important for air and naval operations, and the technologies improved, speeding the transition from wireless telegraph to voice transmission due to the development of vacuum tube technology.

    After the war radio stations began to come on the air. The first radio broadcast news covered Detroit election results on Aug 31, 1920, and the first commercial radio station would be KDKA in Pittsburgh. The March 10, 1922 issue of Variety carried the headline "Radio Sweeping County: 1,000,000 Sets in Use."

    Seeing that Vaudeville and Broadway were becoming less and less reliable ways to make a living, Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa entered Radio in 1932...

    Fred Allen Radiography:

    Date Old Time Radio Series
    1932-1933 "The Linit Bath Club Revue" ran 10/23/32 through 4/16/33, Sundays on CBS.
    1933 "Salad Bowl Revue" ran Fridays on NBC from 8/4/33 through 12/1/33.
    1935 Thanks a Million
    "Sal Hepatica Revue" broadcast Wednesdays beginning Jan 3, 1934, on NBC through Mar 14, 1934, when it was expanded to an hour and named "The Hour of Smiles" until July 4, 1934. On Jul 11 the show became "Town Hall Tonight" until Jun 28, 1939. When a new advertising Agency took over the show became "The Fred Allen Show" for the fall season beginning Oct 4, 1949 until June 26, 1940.
    On Oct 2, 1940, Fred returned to CBS on "Texaco Star Theater", staying on Wed nights until Feb 25, 1942.
    On Mar 8, 1942, the hour long show moved to Sunday nights until Jun 28, 1942. When the fall season began on 10/4/42 "Texaco Star Theater" was reduced to a half hour until the end of its run on 6/25/44.
    "The Fred Allen Show" returned to NBC in a half hour Sunday night slot on Oct 7, 1945 under the sponsorship of Tenderleaf Tea until Dec 28, 1947. Ford Motor Company took over sponsorship on Jan 4, 1948 until the end of the run on Jun 26, 1949.
    Fred also appeared several times on the Jack Benny Show, and was a regular guest on "The Big Show" hosted by Tallulah Bankhead between Nov 5, 1950 and April 20, 1952.


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