The Popularity of The Burns and Allen Show Essays

The Popularity of The Burns and Allen Show Essays

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Vaudeville was very popular from the late 1800s to the early 1900s in North America. Vaudeville shows were made up of many random acts that were placed together in a common play bill. Some acts were, for example, plays, clowns, jugglers, comedians, etc. Once the radio was introduced, vaudeville’s started to become less popular as the radio’s popularity started to increase. The radio started out with maximum five programs but as the demand for radios increased so did the amount of programs, which went up to almost 500. Radios was the place families and friends gathered to hear the news, sporting events, music, entertainment, etc. One show millions of people listened to was The Burns and Allen Show, starring George Burns and Gracie Allen. Allen was the one who had all the punch lines and was very silly and Burns was the straight man, serious, and was the one who allowed Allen the opportunity to say her punch lines. Burns and Allen were one of the few people who succeeded in different medians and brought changes to the way entertainment was performed.
Burns was born into a Jewish immigrant family and was the ninth child out of the twelve. Burns’ father died of influenza epidemic and therefore, Burns started working extra jobs to be able to maintain the family. While working as a syrup maker, Burns met a few boys, all in the same age range, and soon the boys made a group called the Pee-Wee Quintet and sang for money in the streets. Unlike Burns, Allen was born in California into a performing family. Allen was born with an abnormality called heterochromia, one eye was blue and the other eye was green. Allen’s first on stage debut was at age 3 and at age 14, Allen dropped out of a Catholic girl’s school to join the family business; en...


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...ling of the Gracie Allen Drive, which was one of the last public appearances of Burns, Burns said “It's good to be here at the corner of Burns & Allen. At my age, it's good to be anywhere”. A few months later, Burns died of cardiac arrest.
Burns and Allen were one of the few entertainers that succeeded in vaudeville, film, radio and television. Both established a new format in performing; domestic situation comedy, which was imitated by many directors till this day. Burns and Allen succeeded in their career and made millions of people laugh for decades. Burns and Allen had a successful partnership, marriage and family. The Burns and Allen Show was one of the few shows during the 1920s and 1930s that did not include clown, jugglers, etc., to make the show funny and was a great example of a successful transition from theater to film to radio and finally to television

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