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Entertainers enter a political rally to get out of the rain and become part of the show. One of them (Powell) gives a speech in place of the besotted candidate (Walburn) and is chosen to be the candidate by backers he later exposes as crooks. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Although the golden days of radio were long before I was born, I've always enjoyed the great radio comedians and was thrilled to see this Fred Allen movie being shown around the time of the 2008 election.
Fred Allen, who passed away in the early 1950s, was a contemporary of George Burns, Bob Hope, and Jack Benny, who pioneered the format of the sitcom in radio and later onto television. Unfortunately, Mr. Allen did not live long enough to make it into television (and he admittedly had a "face for radio", as he put it).
It is AMAZING to see how much the political parody in the movie Thanks a Million still hits the mark; the song "Square Deal Party" is a gem. If you get the chance to see this movie, don't miss it (I would recommend taping it - if you enjoy political satire, you will probably want to hear the lyrics of "Square Deal Party" again). It should be shown by the classic movie channels again WELL BEFORE 2012!!!
Fred Allen has an enjoyably sardonic, self aware delivery in this movie; it can be argued that his political satire on the radio was the first America had within that genre, if not some of the finest at that time. The Looney Tunes character Foghorn Leghorn (think the big rooster with the southern accent) is obviously based on the character Senator Claghorn from his "Allen's Allen." Fred Allen was a wordsmith who coined the phrase "low man on the totem pole" and is seriously underrated, in my opinion. Anyone who has an interest in American comedy/political satire and is not yet familiar with Fred Allen should spend a little time reading up on him and learning about a great American comedian who is sadly neglected and unknown today.
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