Stargazer fred allen predicts end of that squeaky sanctum door (12-27-42)

The Pittsburgh Press (December 27, 1942)

stargazer fred allen predicts end of that squeaky sanctum door

radio comic turns seer, looks ahead to coming new year with hot air announcers’ stock in trade
by fred allen

fred allen – his typewriter lacks capitals or he doesn’t know what they’re for – is the only person in the world with enough courage to predict what may happen in 1943. he dips in his oar as follows.

this is war! next to war the second largest industry in the country today is viewing with alarm. prognosticators are on the wing. the economist looks up from his crystal ball and the politician peeks out from behind the eight ball to warn us that the offing is fraught with plight.

the businessman is cautioned that any profits showing at the end of the fiscal year will be purely coincidental.

the farmer is ordered to plow over what he formerly plowed under. this year, for the first time, the farmer will have more furrows in his land than he has in his brow.

the motorist is warned that come spring, he won’t have enough rubber left to make a mat for a bird bath, enough gas to remove a grease spot from his cuff or enough oil to lubricate his pince-nez.

every man knows where he is going to stand except the radio listener.

the radio listener is told nothing. what does the future hold for this bewildered denizen of the parlor. in an effort to be of service to the frustrated little men with his hand on his dials, i venture the following predictions:

for 1943, the radio listener can expect:

jack benny advertising a new product… this may start a trend: radio comedians who can’t find new jokes will find new sponsors. mr. benny will have nothing new this year but his commercials.

an eminent etymologist will claim that radio has added 7,239 new words to the english literature. this will not include some choice words coined by listeners.

two hundred and nineteen child actors will return from their christmas vacations to find that their voices have changed. the parents of these children will have to go back to work.

the treasury department will put a ceiling on the $64 question.

a radio announcer, while reading an anti-smoke soapflake commercial, will sneeze over a coast-to-coast network. his sponsor will say something, and it won’t be “gesundheit.”

a politician running for governor in a southern state will play hillbilly songs on his guitar over the radio. the politician will lose the election. if he sings during his campaign, the politician will also lose a lot of friends.

a violinist will play “glow worm.” a blackout warning will interrupt his solo. the violinist will switch to “dark eyes” until the “all-clear” is sounded.

three hollywood stars will broadcast a scene from their new picture, and 5,342,781 listeners will resolve to miss the picture.

some busybody will identify “that lady i seen you with.” several big-name radio comedians will be thrown into defense work.

a prominent announcer will broadcast a war bond plea from a blimp flying over new york city. the balloon will come down, but the announcer’s hot air will keep him suspended over radio city. for the first time in radio history, people will look up to an announcer.

the circus half-man half-woman will appear as a contestant on the battle of sexes program. the half-man half-woman will be his and her own opponent.

a commentator specializing in the “prediction of things to cone” will get his notice unexpectedly. this will prove that, where radio figures are concerned, the sponsor is supreme in “predictions of things to come.”

the raucous moron who yells “you’ll be sorry” at contestants on the take it or leave it quiz will be drafted. once in the army he can yell “you’ll be sorry” at hitler.

a gasoline program will have commercials that will tell you what gasoline is and how it is processed. they may tell you where you can get gasoline… but i doubt it.

the quiz kids will grow up and become information please. messrs. fadiman, kieran, adams and levant will finally attain their second childhood and become the quiz kids.

someone will appeal a case on the goodwill court.

autograph rationing will start. instead of signing their names, radio actors will only give fans their initials.

a new sound man at nbc will oil that squeaky door on the inner sanctum program. the new sound man will be fired.

a war correspondent will predict the outcome of a great naval battle. his prediction will be wrong. the network will arrange to have the battle fought over again to vindicate its war correspondent.

a boy in kokomo, indiana, will swallow a fishing worm to win a 25-cent bet, with the quarter the boy will buy a war stamp. the next evening the boy will be heard on we, the people. the worm will appear at the microphone with the boy. the worm will not be heard.

two bank robbers on “gangbusters” will conserve tires. instead of escaping in an auto, the bandits will make their getaway on pogo sticks.

a popular concert tenor will sing “shortenin’ bread” on a sustaining program. a total of 47,298 listeners will shake their radio sets to get the crums out.

a middleweight boxer will pant “hello, ma, i’ll be right home” into a microphone. the middleweight boxer will then duck around the corner and spend the next three days in a beer joint.

the eddie cantor and red skelton programs will merge. cantor’s new slogan will be “ida dood it.”

b-o will be conquered, and 253,795 jingle writers will be thrown into unemployment.

this looks like a great year for listeners. radio is marching on! on a treadmill!

happy new year!!!