Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stuart Canin the man who started the Benny/ Allen feud

Saturday February 6th at the REPS meeting ( 2-4pm )we will have the pleasure of interviewing Stuart Canin by telephone. Today Stuart is a world class violinist but back in 1936 his appearance on the Fred Allen radio program inspired the long running Benny/ Allen feud. It was during an unscripted 15-minute segment of
Fred Allen's Town Hall Tonight called "The Town Hall Varieties" on December 30, 1936 that a 10 year old Stuart Canin appeared. On his violin he played Shubert's "The Bee" masterfully. Fred Allen commented, "A little fella in the fifth grade at school and already he plays better than Jack Benny." It was enough to inspire Jack to spend much of the first half of January 10, 1937 show panning Fred Allen.
This started a heated comedic feud that would last, more or less, until Allen's death 20 years later. The feud was of course a gag. In reality Jack and Fred always remained each other's friend and admirer. The interview is February 6th. We'll get the audio on the REPS web site shortly thereafter for all to enjoy at The Web Site of the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound

Walden Hughes


Anonymous said...

During WW-2 Stuart and I shipped to Europe In the same replacement company. Stuart played his violin several hours a day in the hold which served as our bunk room in the french ship Athos II.
Dick Haskin

rglater said...

And he played for Truman, Stalin and Churchill at the Potsdam Conference with Truman sending a photo later inscribed “Best wishes to an excellent violinist, Private First Class, Stuart Canin – Harry Truman.”"