Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on January 30, 2004
(né John F. Sullivan, 1894-1956)
Fred Allen was an acid-tongued, nasal-voiced and baggy-eyed Boston comedian who starred on radio continuously from the early 1930s through the late 1940s. Probably best remembered today for his long-running feud with Jack Benny, which was played by both comedians strictly for laughs. Town Hall Tonight was his major radio program from the 1930s.
Allen is seen as a jack-in-the box in Toytown Hall (Freleng, 1936), imitated in an appropriately nasal voice by the Edward G. Robinson gangster in Thugs With Dirty Mugs (Avery, 1939), and caricatured as a fox signing “Swanee River” instead of the title song in The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (Tashlin, 1937).