Happy 100th Birthday, Dayton Allen!

Born 100 years ago today, comedian and voice-over actor Dayton Allen (Dayton Allen Bolke, 1919-2004).

Bolke got his start on local radio in NYC when he was still a teenager in 1936. One of his school friends was Art Carney. In the mid 1940s he began his long association with Terrytoons by voicing the characters of Heckle and Jeckle in animated shorts. He was one of the original cast members on Howdy Doody in the late ’40s and early ’50s, voicing puppet characters and playing live action one as well. He may be best known as a regular of The Steve Allen Show in the late ’50s and early ’60s. He was one of the Man on the Street characters (along with guys like Don Knotts, Louie Nye, Tom Poston, Pat Harrington, and Bill Dana. Dayton Allen’s character spawned the briefly popular catchphrase “Whyyyy Not?” Other well known voiceover work included the title character in Deputy Dawg (1959-63), the Astronaut in The Mighty Heroes (1966), and the title character (and sundry others) in Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp (1970). Allen retired from show biz in 1971, returning only to take a small role in The Cotton Club (1984).

His brother, Bradley Bolke, was also a voice-over actor, best known for playing Chumley on Tennessee Tuxedo, and Jangle Bells in Rankin-Bass’s The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974).