Gracie Allen: The Funny One of Burns and Allen

Gracie Allen shown pretending to be running for president on the Burns and Allen radio show.

Gracie Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen was born on July 26, 1895 in San Francisco, California and died on August 27 in Los Angeles at 69 in Los Angeles, California.

She died 32 years before her husband George Burns died in 1996 at the age of 100.


Married in 1926

Gracie met George in 1922 while they were performing a comedy act and they married in 1926.

George was originally supposed to be the funny one of the act but he was smart enough to realize that Gracie was getting most of the laughs and switched roles with Gracie.

The radio program was originally named the Adventures of Gracie.

One of their most famous gags came during the 1932-33 season of the radio show when she conducted a search for her missing brother. Her real life brother was not amused and asked them to end the gag.


Imaginary Bid For Presidency

The most famous gag was in 1940 when Gracie launched a sham bid for the presidency. One of her sayings during the election was when she stated: “I don’t know much about the lend-lease bill but if we owe it we should pay it.” She actually campaigned on a train during the election and their radio program was broadcast from whatever city they happened to be in.

The show was broadcast on television but the popularity of the show waned when Gracie retired in 1958. Without Gracie the show was dead in the water and didn’t last long.


Adopted Two Children

The Allens adopted two children in the 30’s and Sandra and Ronnie Burns would appear on the television show from time to time.

Many humourous quotes have been attributed to Gracie including this collection of her quotes:

One of my favorites is this nonsensical quote from Gracie:

  • I read in the papers that the Los Angeles police are hunting for a Chicago gangster. But why do they want one from Chicago? Can’t they be satisfied with a hometown boy?(Gracie)

  • There may never be another comedienne as funny as Gracie since her kind of humor died when she retired from show business.

    Author: Andrew Godfrey

    Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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