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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Burns and Allen Show, The

Gracie Allen and George Burns early in their comedy career

In 1929 they made their first radio appearance in London on the BBC. Back in America, they failed at a 1930 NBC audition. After a solo appearance by Gracie on Eddie Cantor's radio show, they were heard together on Rudy Vallee's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour and in February 15, 1932 they became regulars on The Guy Lombardo Show on CBS. When Lombardo switched to NBC, Burns and Allen took over his CBS spot with The Adventures of Gracie beginning September 19, 1934.
The title of their top-rated show changed to The Burns and Allen Show on September 26, 1936. When ratings began to slip in 1940-41, they moved from comedy patter into a successful sitcom format, continuing with shows on NBC and CBS until May 17, 1950. As in the early days of radio, the sponsor's name became the show title, such as Maxwell House Coffee Time (1945-49).
Burns and Allen had several regulars on radio, including Toby Reed, Gale Gordon, Bea Benaderet, Mary "Bubbles" Kelly, Ray Noble, singers Jimmy Cash and Tony Martin and actor/writer/director Elliott Lewis. The Sportsmen Quartet (appearing as "The Swantet" during the years the show was sponsored by Swan Soap) supplied songs and occasionally backed up Cash. Meredith Willson, Artie Shaw and announcers Bill Goodwin and Harry Von Zell, who were usually made a part of the evening's doings, often as additional comic foils for the duo.
For a long time they continued their "flirtation act" with Burns as Allen's most persistent suitor. Their real-life marriage was not written into the show until the 1940s. The couple's adopted son, Ronnie Burns, portrayed himself as a young drama student who tended to look askance at his parents' comedy style. Their adopted daughter Sandy was somewhat shy and not too fond of show business. She declined efforts to get her on the show as a regular, though she appeared in a few episodes as Ronnie's classmate. More information at Wikipedia

Watch an episode from Classic TV



  1. Thank you. Files 1-19 downloaded OK, but something is wrong with #20 (tried several times).

  2. In zip file #1
    40-01-17 is mislabeled. Sposored by Maxwell house coffee it could not be older than September 1945.
    It should be dated 46-01-17.

  3. CalfKiller,
    Thank you for all the great fills. The Bold Venture ZIV updates have especially been a real treat and a great addition for the whole OTR community. Please keep up the good work.

    Best regards to you,

  4. Invalid or Deleted File 1 FROM 20

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Dear CK,
    the first file is not found on MediaFire, which reports an, "Invalid or Deleted File."

    Might it be possible to have this fixed? Pretty please? We love the early shows - Gracie for president!

  7. Any chance of getting the invalid files (1, 8, and 20) fixed?


  8. I'd like to second Don's request. Could we please get renewed links for files 1, 8, and 20?
    Greatly appreciate your time in this matter. Thanks.

    1. Are these shows hidding at Timespast me and Rick are looking for them
      Thanks Howie

  9. Thank you SO MUCH! I love listening to Burns and Allen during the commute to work. A wonderful collection of episodes.



Times Past has no affiliation with Old Time Radio Researchers. Any related content is provided here as a convenience to our visitors and to make OTRR's work more widely known.

References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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