In his day Fred Allen was probably one of the most famous people in America. He had a popular radio program, Allen’s Alley, and millions of people listened to him. His nasally voice was as familiar as any movie star or U.S. president. Nowadays I’d be safe in betting that if asked, very few people would know who Fred Allen was, or what he did to make him famous.
Some of Fred Allen’s radio shows can be heard on the Internet Archive.
Copyright © 1956, 2013 Time-Life
In 1956 comedian Phil Silvers was popular as Sgt. Ernie Bilko on the TV sitcom, You’ll Never Get Rich, aka The Phil Silvers Show. These ads for Camel cigarettes, which came out the same year, use Silvers and the cast to sell smokes. Silvers, and actor Maurice Gosfield, who played fat, dumb Private Duane Doberman, were as famous as anyone in America at the time.