They were my kinfolk, my people - many of whom I'm still friends with today, though we've scattered across the country, spilling out in different directions as fast as we could once we'd tossed our graduation caps in the air.

Aimee Nezhukumatathail - World of Wonders

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It's In the Past

Three Dave's No Waiting

Thursday, April 1, 2021

A is for Allen and Al

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Ar

April 1 2021 A to Z Challenge commences.

Hello to anyone visiting from the challenge.
 This year my theme is Alive in 1921.

Each day I will write about one or more person who was alive 100 years ago in 1921.My criteria for selection was to write about only people who I knew about before compiling the list.  I will give some biographical information, but I will also try to focus on my connection with the person.  

We are starting with Steve Allen, who was the first host of The Tonight Show in 1954.Allen was born the day after Christmas in 1921 so he was born in the last week of eligibility for t
his list.  

                                                        Years Lived Before 1921: Zero
                                                        Years Lived After 1921:   Seventy Nine

I know it is April 1st but when it came to hosting a late night show, Allen was no fool.  Many of the innovations he pioneered for his ground breaking progam are still in use today. Like this duet with himself

Steve Allen made a lot of appearances on talk shows and game shows in my youth.  What I remember him for most was his dead pan sense of humor.  In the 1980's a show by the name of Solid Gold ran on television. It did not run on broadcast or cable network it was syndicated and I watched a few episodes in it's first season.  On one of those episode Mr. Allen gave a "dramatic" reading.  I put dramatic in quotes as the reading was the lyrics of Donna Summer's Hot Stuff which topped billboard hot 100 chart in 1979. 40 years later the mere thought of the chorus lyrics below being read by Mr. Allen send me into a fit of hysteria.  I was unable to find a clip of this otherwise I would be posting it on my vlog.  

Steve is not the only Allen we are celebrating today. The other one spells it Allan and goes by Al.  His name is Al Jaffee.  Al Jaffee was an artist for Mad magazine.  Like Steve Allen, Jaffee was born in 1921 but unlike Allen who died in 2000, Jaffee is still alive, just celebrating his 100th birthday last month.  

                                             Years lived before 1921: Zero     
                                             Years lived after 1921:One Hundred (so far)

This is a good time to mention how I am incorporating my other blogs into the a to z challenge this year.  I have links to additional content on some of the people I will be featuring this month.  I am calling these A to Z Easter Eggs and there are 2 kinds.  A to Z extra are content I created specifically for the challenge and that I publish simultaneously with that day's letter. A to Z archives are previous posts which have previously appeared in the blog-o-sphere.  Today, I have none of the former, and 2 of the latter.  

A TO Z Easter Eggs

A to Z Archives 

Happy Birthday to Chris and Al at Random Acts of Roller. Mr. Jaffee's birthday coincides with my younger brother's, so I wrote them a fitting tribute which contains a little more biographical information as well as how I connect with the Mad artist.  

The Tonight Show: A History of Hosts at Dave Out Loud.    Steve Allen was the first of 6 hosts of the Tonight Show. I have some footage of each host. 

This should end my first installment of the A to Z challenge.  After you've looked at the additional content on my other blogs head back to the challenge and explore continue exploring. .         


  1. This is such a good theme, lots of long and interesting lives to look forward to.

  2. Talk about nostalgia! I remember Solid Gold so much ... I remember my Uncle Herman being such a fan of the Solid Gold dancers. My Favorite part of Mad Magazine was Spy vs. Spy ... no words necessary! Happy to have found your blog through the challenge, Dave!

  3. P.S. This is Eli from Just a Dad ... I wasn't logged in to my Blogger account last time!

  4. 100 years ago seems SO long ago when you read it, but my own mother would have been 2 in 1921. My father 7. I'll be interested in who you feature for each letter.

  5. This is a very clever theme! Steve Allen was a real Renaissance man, I thought, and Al Jaffee brought me many laughs back in my Mad-reading days.