Fred Allen (born John Florence Sullivan on May 31, 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) was an American comedian whose absurdist, pointed radio show (1934-1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humourists in the so-called classic era of American radio.
His best-remembered gag may be his long-running mock "feud" with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny, but Allen didn't need it to make or secure his own reputation. He was one of the most accomplished, daring humourists of his (and most any) time. The unchallenged master ad-libber, he battled censorship and created routines whose style and substance alike influenced several future comic generations. Perhaps more than any of his generation, Fred Allen wielded an influence that outlived both his contemporaries and the medium that made him famous.