rand’s esoteric otr

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Fred Allen Show, Pgm 147

February 13th, 2009

Here's an exciting little find for Fred Allen fans.  This appears to be an uncirculated episode of Fred's long-running series.

transcription label

Originally broadcast March 6, 1949, and distributed as program 147 by the Armed Forces Radio Service, it's "The Fred Allen Show" with guest Henry Morgan.  People along "Main Street" are asked if they think a child with a high IQ will be a success later in life.  Columnist Earl Wilson of the NY Post presents Fred with a Silver Mic award from "Radio Best" magazine.  Henry Morgan helps Fred with ideas to promote his radio show to compete against tv and we hear a cute parody of the Lucky Strike commercials heard on the "Jack Benny Show".  The program also includes a brief appearance by "Digby O'Dell" from "The Life of Riley".

Our mp3 was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription of the program.


  • Steve Kostelecky

    Thanks a lot for the fred allen post. Anything by allen is welcome. I hope someday a batch of his 1930s stuff shows up because those are my favorite, but everytime a gem turns up it makes me jolly. Thanks for being so generous with your finds. Hope my donation will help you get more in the future. Best, Steve

    Mar 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm
  • Dr. OTR

    Fred Allen was an acknowledged influence on Stan Freberg — Stan speaks in hushed tones of meeting Fred in his autobiography. It’s interesting to note the strong similarities between the sketch with Fred and Henry Morgan in this episode, and the “Freberg in Advertisingland” from The Stan Freberg Show, over 8 years later (10/13/57). I’m not saying Stan stole directly from this skit, but they have the same concept, even use identical gags. Just an example of two great masters of satire exploring the same topic in similar ways.

    Mar 19, 2009 at 12:28 pm
  • mackdaddyg

    Thank you very much for sharing this. The more Fred Allen that surfaces, the better. It sounds like the first visitor in Allen’s Alley (most likely Senator Claghorn) was edited out. I wonder why?

    May 25, 2009 at 2:08 pm
  • randsesotericotr

    Probably because the Claghorn segment included some kind of joke about current events. AFRS always edited out as many references to current events as they could since the shows might be distributed weeks or months after the original network broadcast.

    May 25, 2009 at 2:15 pm
  • Zaptoons

    Wow- great site, and great find! I love all the OTR comedies. So great to hear a ‘lost’ show. Keep up the great work. :D

    Jul 18, 2009 at 5:16 am
  • Yowp

    It’s appropriate Digger O’Dell appeared. He was played by John Brown, who had been a regular on Allen’s show for at least ten years. This was during the time Allen was pushing NBC to give Morgan his own show. Papers were speculating Allen was going to produce it. Del Sharbutt is the announcer at the end. Kenny Delmar must have enjoyed lampooning the Lucky Strike spot. He did them for a year on Benny’s show then American Tobacco’s agency fired him because they didn’t like his sound. And he wasn’t crazy about their hard sell. Earl Wilson mentions his appearance on the show in his column of March 11, 1949.

    Jul 8, 2012 at 6:08 am