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Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa on Radio Stars, February 1935 When Fred Allen met Portland Hoffa on the vaudeville circuit in 1922, he was telling jokes and performing badly as a juggler. She was a dancer. The two future comedy stars hit it off because of a conversation about her name: "I'm a doctor's daughter," Hoffa advised him. "My father named me after the city where I was born. Out in Oregon, you know." "I know," said Allen. ''You ought to be glad you weren't born in Terre Haute or ... (read more
Larry Thor as Danny Clover in Broadway is My Beat With the musical refrain of "I'll Take Manhattan," and the sound of impatient car horns in the background, another episode of Broadway is My Beat begins. New York police detective Danny Clover informs us that "Broadway is my beat. From Times Square to Columbus Circle -- the gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world." Homicide detective Clover, played by Larry Thor, narrates the introduction to each program's plot. In ... (read more
Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa on the February 1935 Radio Stars magazine The day of which I write was approximately five years ago. It was behind the scenes of The Passing Show, a fleshy, flashy piece of rhinestone entertainment on pre-Depression Broadway. It was one of those days on which stars have headaches, hoofers get runs in their stockings, and comedians look as full of joie de vivre as Egyptian mummies. It was a day on which a tall young man called Fred Allen, despondently leaning ... (read more
Don Ameche and Hildegarde Knef in Silk Stockings on Broadway Don Ameche armed himself with some letters of introduction, and set out. He wasn't afraid of New York. "I didn't have enough sense to be afraid," he said, with a wry grin. He delivered all the letters on his first day in New York, and like most letters of introduction, they didn't do any good. He was turned away politely, instead of brusquely; that was all. On his third day of job hunting, he met another young actor on the ... (read more