John Steinbeck recognized Fred Allen as "unquestionably the best humorist of our time, a brilliant critic of manners and morals." Following in the footsteps of Will Rogers, Fred reintroduced topical political humor to radio. "Until that time, everybody was depending a lot on sketches and a lot that had been brought up from vaudeville and revues," explained scriptwriter Harry Bailey. "Fred began to mention actual people, places and events and use them for takeoffs and comedy." Fred introduced his classic "Allen’s Alley" segment December 13, 1942. The original denizens of the Alley included Alan Reed (later the voice of Fred Flintstone); John Brown (Digger O’Dell the friendly undertaker on The Life of Riley and Thorny on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) and Jack Scott Smart (The Fat Man) as Senator Bloat. Only Minerva Pious’ Mrs. Nussbaum remained in Allen’s Alley when the segment was revived in 1945 with Kenny Delmar’s Senator Claghorn, Parker Fennelly’s Titus Moody and Peter Donald’s Ajax Cassidy.
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