Baby Boomer Alert: How Many Remember Steve Allen? (VIDEO)
Steve Allen was born on this day, December 26, 1921.
Allen was a classic entertainment renaissance man. He literally did it all. Of course he is most famous for being the first permanent host of The Tonight Show. From his late night show, Steve Allen progressed to his own show. The Steve Allen Show was so popular that it actually dethroned The Ed Sullivan Show as the most watched program on Sunday evenings.
Allen was also an accomplished composer. He wrote more than 14,000 original, songs that were recorded by everybody from Tony Bennett to Perry Como.
In 1953 he entered into one of the biggest publicity stunts of his career. he bet his friend, singer Frankie Laine, that he (Allen) could compose 50 bona fide songs a day for a solid week. He rented a front window of a music store on Hollywood Boulevard and proceed to do his songwriting in front of the public passing by. Celebrities would also come by to watch him at work. This notoriety brought him great fame in the entertainment capital (and yes...he did it).
Singer Frankie Laine paid off his bet by presenting Steve Allen a check for $1,000 in front of a large crowd when the week was over!
Steve Allen was married to actress Jayne Meadows for more than forty years. Allen died in 2000 at the age of 78.