Fulcrum Book's  home page
Fulcrum's bookstore
Gardener's Bookshelf home page
Fulcrum Teaching Resource's home page
B2B Books to Booksellers


Search not available for this demo.

Calendars Catalogs


Press Room
Author Tips

Mailing List
About Us

Return to Kathy’s Portfolio


All the Sincerity in Hollywood:
Selections from the
Writings of Fred Allen

Compiled and with an introduction by Stuart Hample

Read related New York Times article

A tart and wise collection of writings
from radio’s greatest wit.

“You can count on the thumb of one hand the American who is at once a comedian, a humorist, a wit and a satirist, and his name is Fred Allen.”

—James Thurber

“Fred Allen is America’s Voltaire, England’s Ring Lardner … Spain’s Heinrich Heine.”

—Groucho Marx

book cover

ISBN 1-55591-154-4
5 x 7.5, 256 pages
hard cover

bing & fredFred Allen was the only satirist among the comedians of radio’s Golden Age. As a satirist and wordsmith, his telling phrases and takes on the foibles of daily life, as well as the events of his time, were as quotable then as they are now. Allen transformed popular comedy by lampooning news events, commercials, and big business. He set a direction followed by a number of entertainers, including Bob & Ray, David Frost, Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Garrison Keillor, Chevy Chase, Dennis Miller, and even Saturday Night Live.

In place of situation comedies, slapstick, stock characters, or standard joke forms, Allen offered a thinking person’s humor, delivered every week to 30 million Americans in his 17-year-long radio show (1932–1949). All the Sincerity in Hollywood showcases many of Fred Allen’s previously published and unpublished letters, essays, radio scripts, and quips to create the best refresher course in laughs that survive the test of time.


Allen’s Aphorisms
Random thoughts Allen penciled on the sheets of foolscap he kept in his pockets, some written as grist for his radio comedy, others for reasons known only to himself. Note how many of his lines carry a freshness, immediacy and universality that belie their advanced age.

Metaphors and Similes
everything in radio is as valuable as a butterfly’s belch.

as nervous as a jellyfish on a ford fender.

the … coffee tasted like something you’d get if you milked a rubber reindeer

Felicitous Figures of Speech
peeling the onion of doubt.

suffered [from] contusions [of] a former marriage.

friendship ripened into apathy.

won’t say i hate you—but my admiration for you is under control.

the world is a grindstone, and life is your nose.

how to develop new power. every mon–wed & fri do something you don’t want to do. tues–thurs & sat don’t do something you want to do. sun—do as you please.

the emotional world sees men and things otherwise than as they really are, it makes a picture of the object of affection & loves this picture, not its real object.

a child knows far better how to live than does an adult—he can still live in the fullness of spirit because he has not yet come under the domination of his ego—he fears no king, even the majesty of death does not faze him.

a conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done.

lawyer—a coward’s weapon.

celebrity—person who works hard his whole life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.

Fulcrum Publishing – 16100 Table Mountain Parkway, Suite 300 – Golden, Colorado 80403
1.800.992.2908 – 303.277.1623 –