Special Guest Is James Mason (Aired October 19, 1947)
While performing in vaudeville, Allen commissioned comic-strip artist Martin Branner to cover a theatre curtain with an elaborate mural painting, depicting a cemetery with a punchline on each gravestone. This was the cemetery where old jokes go to die. In Allen's act, the audiences would see the curtain (and have at least a minute to read its punchlines) before Allen made his entrance. Often, audiences would be laughing at the curtain before Allen even appeared. Robert Taylor's biography of Allen includes an impressive full-length photo of Branner's curtain painting, and many of the punchlines are clearly legible in the photo. Allen's wit was sometimes never intended for the vaudeville audience, but for other professionals in show business. After one of his appearances failed one day, Allen made the best of it by circulating an obituary of his act on black-bordered funeral stationery.
October 19, 1947. NBC network. Sponsored by: V-8 Juice, Blue Bonnet Margarine, Tenderleaf Tea. Allen's Alley Question: "Have you ever been swindled by a disciple of sharp practice?" "Special Guest James Mason"
joins with oriental detective One Long Pan to solve a British murder mystery. Fred Allen, Portland Hoffa, The De Marco Sisters, Al Goodman and His Orchestra, Kenny Delmar, James Mason. 29:29. Episode Notes From The Radio Gold Index.