Today is the birthday of Angus “Alan” Young (b. 1919) who, true to his name, always had a youngish face and voice…and is still with us at age 93!
English born, and with a radio background at the Canadian Broadcasting Company, he somehow landed himself an American network program in 1944 as a summer replacement for Eddie Cantor’s NBC show. The radio version of his show was on the air until 1949.
With his bland, goofy, inoffensive visage that somehow matches his voice perfectly, he was a natural to transfer his show to television, which he did from 1950 to 1953. Both the radio and tv versions of his show had stretches where it was a variety show, and stretches where it was a sit-com.
Amazing eh? Nine years of the Alan Young Show, and we haven’t even gotten to the stuff Baby Boomers know him best for…Scrooge McDuck and a certain chap name of Wilbur…who will be the subject of our next post.
For more on the history of the variety arts (including television variety) consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc