Marty Allen (1960)
Morton David Alpern|
March 23, 1922 (age 100)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Marty Allen (born Morton David Alpern, March 23, 1922 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and veteran of World War II. He has worked as a comedy headliner in night clubs and as a dramatic actor in TV roles.
Allen was born to Louis and Elsie Alpern. He graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1940 and was inducted into their alumni hall of fame in 2009.
- World War II
He then joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was stationed in Italy where he attained the rank of sergeant and earned a Soldier's Medal for his bravery during a fire which happened while a plane was being refueled. His heroism also earned him a full-dress parade.
After the war, Allen attended the University of Southern California where he studied journalism. He was still doing a comedy act in small clubs, but to supplement his GI Bill allotment, he became the first door-to-door dance salesman for a while. Eventually, the night club act became lucrative enough to cause him to leave college.
During the 1950s, Allen worked as an opening act for stars such as Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gorme, and Nat King Cole. It was during this time that he became part of the comedy team of Allen & Rossi with Steve Rossi.
That association produced a string of hit comedy albums, 40 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the film The Last of the Secret Agents.
In 1961/1962 Mr. Allen appeared on Broadway in "Let It Ride!" at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and then went on to perform in the pre-Broadway tour of "I Had A Ball" and then opened on Broadway in 1964.
He eventually began performing dramatic roles. His debut as a serious actor came on The Big Valley TV series as the hapless Waldo Diefendorfer. Allen appeared in several other dramatic productions, including Mister Jerico, The Ballad of Billie Blue and segment of Rod Serling's Night Gallery.
Throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, Allen made hundreds of television appearances, becoming a regular on Hollywood Squares. He also appeared on Circus of the Stars, in a cameo on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, on game shows such as Password, and in ten made-for-television movies.
In 2007, Allen began performing at the Gold Coast Casino in Las Vegas with his wife, Karon Kate Blackwell, as well as performing on cruise ships.
In 1968 he made a "Hello Dere" tour of military hospitals in the United States (a tour named after a catch phrase he popularized). He repeated the tour annually until 1972. During the tours, he would talk with and entertain wounded soldiers who had just returned from Vietnam. He is also involved in a number of charitable causes including the American Cancer Society, The Heart Fund, The March of Dimes, Fight for Sight, Cerebral Palsy, and is on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation.
Sample Marty Allen joke
Old man walks into a brothel. Says to Madam, "I want a woman."
Madam looks shocked: "Mister, how old are you?"
"One hundred and two."
"I think you've had it."
"Really? Well, who do I pay?"
- Hecht, Steve (August 27, 2009). "Comedian Marty Allen part of Allderdice's first hall class". http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-east/comedian-marty-allen-part-of-allderdices-first-hall-class-355087/. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- ""Both Sides of Marty Allen" The Jewish Reporter, May 22, 2009" (PDF). . May 2009. p. 30. http://www.jewishlasvegas.com/local_includes/downloads/33565.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "Broadway Database Marty Allen". ibdb.com. http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=95958. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Allmovie Database". allmovie.com. http://www.allmovie.com/artist/marty-allen-1041. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "IMDB Database". imdb.com. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004702. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- An Interview with Marty Allen, May 2011
- Marty Allen at the Internet Movie Database
- Marty Allen at the Internet Broadway Database
- Official site
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