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CLAGHORN’S THE NAME

CLAGHORN’S THE NAME BUT CALL HIM KENNY – DELMAR, THAT IS BY TWEED BROWN THAT grinning whirlwind whipping in and out of Radio City isn’t a refuge from the sound effects cabinet. On closer inspection it will prove to be a bushy-haired young gent out of Boston by name of Kenneth Frederick Fay Howard, attempting to keep up with his radio commitments. This bustling Bostonian has ample reason to rush, for under the professional name of “Kenny Delmar” his actor-announcer talents are in such demand as to require would be sponsors to queue up for considerable distances. Not only is Delmar sought for more announcing chores than he can shake a Social Security card at, but his brainchild, “Senator Claghorn” (That’s a joke, son!) is currently the “hottest” thing in radio. If you don’t immediately identify “the Senator” as the unreconstructed tenant of Allen’s Alley—on the Fred Allen program—then he is the person responsible for normally sane citizens from Wenatchee, Wash.,

ONE OF A KIND: Art Carney is the Only Network Staff Actor

VERSATILE ART, DIALECT EXPERT, CAN BE CHARACTER ACTOR OR MIMIC ONE OF A KIND ART CARNEY IS THE ONLY NETWORK STAFF ACTOR ART CARNEY is a young man with a job that many a free-lance actor would give his eyeteeth and ten years of his life to have. It is the only position of its kind existing in any of the four large networks. Art is the only actor who is a regular salaried staff member of the Columbia Broadcasting System . As anyone who has gone through the exhausting throes of becoming a radio artist can tell you, the hardest part of attaining prominence  is getting established with the network producers. It is a long tale of auditioning, getting interviews with producers and directors, and beating out a shoe leather symphony between advertising agencies and network offices. After some small encouragement, you spend all your time and ingenuity reminding the producers that you exist and are available for a little work. When you are in demand there is a vas

Amos ‘n’ Andy Still Struggle for Script Ideas

The Milwaukee Journal – Jul 1, 1941 Amos ‘n’ Andy Still Struggle for Script Ideas TWO gentlemen from the west were entertaining H. Allen Smith of the New York World Telegram in an elegant suite of the elegant Savoy Plaza. One of the two, wearing a tan bathrobe over his shorts, was on a chair next to a window and was squinting into a kaleidoscope—not one of your little cigar size Kaleidoscopes, but a kaleidoscope as big as a virgin bologna. As he turned the thing slowly in his hand he kept saying: “Lawd, lawd! Is that purty! Purtiest thing I ever saw in my life.” The other gentleman from the west—a handsome fellow in expensive togs- sat on the edge of his chair and occasionally reached out hesitantly for the kaleidoscope. “C’mon, now,” he said. “Lemmy look a while. It’s my turn gold urn it, and you had it long enough.” The names of these two are Amos ‘n’Andy . On the desk stood a portable typewriter and in it a script sandwich composed of two sheets of onion

Darn Clever, These Sound Effects Men

The Milwaukee Journal – Apr 23, 1939 Darn Clever, These Sound Effects Men CLEVER, these sound effects men. They’re not merely content in inventing a gadget for a given sound; they make the same gadget do for many sounds. Knives and forks, for example, are used not only in eating sequences, but in exciting dueling scenes as well. A compressed air tank used for decompression hisses, can give the illusion of a tinkling bell buoy bobbling back and forth at sea. All you have to do is strike the side of the tank with a soft mallet. Squirting a seltzer water bottle sounds over the air just like turning on the water faucet. The seltzer bottle doubled in a comedy scene on a recent “ Town Hall Tonight ” broadcast when FredAllen used it to produce the sound of milk strumming into a pail.

A Stroll Down Allen’s Alley

The Milwaukee Journal-Nov 16, 1947 A Stroll Down Allen’s Alley                  By ROBERT FLEMING MEET THE CHARATERS WHO TICKLE  YOUR FUNNYBONE ON SUNDAY NIGHTS EACH Sunday night, in millions of American homes, a nasal voice suggests, “Now let’s be off to Allen’s Alley .” And during 15 seconds of music, bridge games are halted, children are hushed, papers are laid aside, and people all over the nation chuckle in anticipation. Fred Allen is off to another gay adventure in neighborliness. “Allen’s Alley” users about five minutes of each Fred Allen show. Since his program currently tops the listener surveys and has been near top for season after season, it’s almost unnecessary for him to say he’s about to visit Senator Claghorn, Titus Moody, Mrs. Nussbaum and Ajax Cassidy. Regular listeners know the four. But before the conversational Mr. Allen comes into the “alley” again, let’s visit the place, look around, and investigate the residents. The “alley” is o

Say Hello To- ANN THOMAS

Say Hello To- ANN THOMAS—a sweet-faced young miss of 23 who is radio’s expert in tough-gal roles. You hear her tonight as the thick-witted maid, Lily, in Meet Mr. Meek over CBS —and other days when you tune in a particularly tough feminine voice, the chances are that’s Ann too. She’s a veteran of same 35 productions on Broadway , and long since lost count of all her microphone characterizations. Her big-guest thrill recently came when Minerva Pious, Fred Allen ’s dependable comedy actress, had to go to Hollywood for two weeks and Ann was chosen to handle her roles on the Allen program. She’s blonde, New York born, and single.

The Mighty Allen Art Players

The Milwaukee Journal – Feb 21, 1943   Browse this newspaper>> The Mighty Allen Art Players Two Russian one Englishman, a Yank and a star who impersonates Chinese detectives. That’s Fred Allen and his famed “Mighty Art Players.” TAKE Charlie Cantor, for instance. Charlie was born in Russia on Sept. 4, 1898. He was such a tiny tot when his parents brought him to America that he never knew the name of his birthplace. His parents never mentioned it, so he honestly wouldn’t know his home town if you showed it to him. Fred Allen  fans currently know Cantor’s voice as either Socrates Mulligan or Rensselaer Nussbaum, two residents of that mythical slum section called Allen’s Alley . Charlie doesn’t even have to clear his throat to change to a high voiced dope, a rasp throated taxi driver or a mincing vice-president. His voice agility makes him quite a favorite with radio directors . . . which should provide listeners with a lot of fun trying to identify him on as

A Man Of Many Voices

The Modesto Bee – Jun 21, 1977 A Man Of Many Voices Alan Reed , who died the other day at age 69, was one of those actors whose ability to change voices and dialects was so essential to the golden age of radio. At one time he was appearing on 35 shows a week. As one character or another, he was part of the lives of those who are now middle-aged or older. Within this distinguished one-man cast of characters, our particular favorite was Falstaff Openshaw, the ham actor whom comedian Fred Allen encountered on his Sunday strolls down “Allen’s Alley.” The acidic Allen, bemused after coping with Sen. Claghorn (Thass a joke, son!), Titus Moody (Howdy, Bub) and Mrs. Nussbaum (you was expecting maybe Eleanor Rosenfeld?), was never able toget away before Falstaff, in that plump, stagey voice proclaimed: “I have wrrit-ten a po-em.” Then, despite  Fred Allen 's protests he would read it. Worse doggerel you’ve never heard. That’s the way it went, week after week. It

Win With a Wife!

The Miami News – Mar 30, 1941 Win With a Wife! America’s Ace Radio Comedians Find Success Was Aided by Their Mates IF YOU want to succeed in radio get a wife. That is the advice of Jack Benny , George Burns , Jim Jordan (Fibber McGee) and a score of other top radio stars whose acts on the air wouldn’t be possible without their “ever loving” wives. Imagine, if you can, Jack without his constant heckler. Mary: George without Gracie’s stupidities: or McGee with no Molly to admonish him with, “T’aint funny, McGee,” and you begin to see what marriage means to the comics. Many a radio funny man has taken a woman unto himself and thereby reaped a fortune. No happier or more profitable union in radio exists than that of Jack Benny  and Mary Livingstone .The antics of this celebrated couple send laughter rolling from coast to coast and brings dollars rolling into their pockets. But it wasn’t always that way. Jack’s first clear impression of his acid tongue

Radio Gagsters Won’t Laugh By Jack Sher

Sunday, January 7, 1940           THE MILWAUKEE OURNAL –SCREEN and RADIO       11                  Radio Gagsters Won’t Laugh By Jack Sher MILTIE BERLINDER, aged 7, stood in front of the mirror in the Berlinger’s Bronx apartment making faces. He knitted his eyebrows furiously. He seriously studied his image in the mirror. He knitted his eyebrows furiously. He decided it was pretty good. Papa Berlinger put down his paper, pointed a long finger at Miltie and addressed Mama Berlinger. “Lookit our boy.” He wagged his head disapprovingly. “All day he’s gonna stand there and make monkeyshines in the mirror?” Mama Berlinger wagged a finger back at papa. “So if Miltie wants to make faces, it hurts you? Leave him alone. Something will come of this.” “From such foolishness comes nothing,” Papa Berlinger replied and went back to his paper. Miltie turned from the mirror and shuffled across the room. Mama Berlinger began to chuckle. “Miltie,” she laughed. “Just like Charl

"Was Jack Benny Gay?": The Amount of Weight In Jack Benny's Loafers

While doing research for an article I came across an unexpected search result: "Was Jack Benny Gay?" There was no more than the question as previously stated from the original poster, but the replies made for interesting reading, ranging from: Jack Benny Celebrating his 39th Birthday "Of course not, he was a well known skirt-chaser in his youth, and he was married to Mary Livingston for many years" "Sure he was, everyone in Hollywood with the possible exception of John Wayne was and is homosexual!" "Part of Benny's "schtick" was his limp-wristed hand-to-face gestures. He was not gay, but emphasized what his fans observed as "acting like a girl" for humor. While heterosexual Benny tried to gay it up, many really gay actors or comedians in those days tried to act as "straight" as they could muster." "... the idea behind his character was to have him a little on the ambiguous side. His charact