Monday, October 29, 2012

Fred Allen Vs. Jack Benny

This was both the best and the first fake celebrity feud ever.  Today celebrity feuds are as common as crab grass and there's no telling if they are truly that vapid or if it's all for show ...or both. Does Minaj hate Mariah? Does Kim Kardashian hate Beyonce? How fake is the Kimmel and Matt Damon feud? It's all probably as fake as pro-wrestling and Fred Allen invented this ostentatious attention stunt. In real life they were good friends.

They faux feud mostly played it self out on the Jack Benny Show and the Fred Allen Shows. There are a lot of clips of these because they dragged out the gag for years. When they started the faux feud no one can say, either of them would have done anything for a laugh. My favorite clip [HERE] is from the Jack Benny Show and it's actually posted on Old Radio  This one was on the NBC Red Network out of KFI-AM, Los Angeles. The show is sponsored by Jell-O, and  Jack sings the Jell-O commercial, but is interrupted by guest Fred Allen. Jack and Fred have another feud installment then reminisce about their days in Vaudeville and then sing a duet together.

In 1940 Paramount made a movie based on the feud titled "Love Thy Neighbor."  Jack Benny and Fred Allen play themselves more or less. The movie is given a romantic comedy twist with Benny pursuing Allen's niece (played by Mary Martin) as a love interest. The promotional posters all show Allen glaring at  Benny or throttling him.