Talk Show Pioneer
     In the history of television, there probably was not a more durable and versatile personality than Steve Allen.  Dating back to 1950, when he made the guest circuit on such programs as This is Show Business and What's My Line?, and continuing through the early 1980's when he hosted NBC's The Big Show, the Steve Allen Comedy Hour and the Emmy Awards Show, as well as four seasons of his award-winning Meeting of Minds on PBS, there were few weeks when Allen did not grace the tube on one network or another.

     Some of his television career highlights include:

- Created and hosted the "Tonight Show."   (September 27, 1954 - January 25, 1957) When Steve left the show, the format was continued by Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. It remains the highest rated series on late night television, and is the longest running entertainment series in television history.

Steve Allen

Click here for a classic comedy slideshow graphic.

- Starred in the critically-acclaimed NBC series "The Steve Allen Show."  (June 24, 1956 - 1960).  This Sunday night show had a neck-and-neck rating battle with Ed Sullivan's Sunday night CBS show, which saw Steve in the lead one week and Sullivan ahead the next.  Regulars were Louis Nye, Tom Poston, Don Knotts, Dayton Allen, Gabe Dell, Pat Harrington, Skitch Henderson and announcer Gene Rayburn.
- Starred in numerous other Steve Allen shows (1960 - 76) for ABC, CBS and various syndication companies, including episodes of late night comedies which David Letterman has credited as the single biggest inspiration for his show today.
- Created the award-winning Meeting of Minds (1977-1981), one of the most popular series presented by the Public Broadcasting Service.
- Continued to appear in many television programs through recent years. (complete list, click here).

In its 45 Year Anniversary issue published on April 4, 1998, TV Guide featured Steve in its "Titans of Talk" section and said:  "Let's face it, the guy has done everything involving television except make house calls to repair sets....Wait, that might be him at the door now.  But first and foremost Steve Allen's distinction hinges on his being the first--and some still say foremost-- host of The Tonight Show, virtually inventing the late-night form.  Says Steve Lawrence, 'Turn on Leno or Letterman and you'll see what Steve created.'  But Allen's contributions extend beyond the late shift.  Host, co-host, guest, panelist, walk-on, it doesn't seem to matter--his mastering of the brilliant ad lib always brightens the show and carries the day.  He acts, too, in everything from Homicide to The Love Boat, and has created the unerringly smart Meeting of Minds.  With those glasses, pompadours hair and cackling laugh, he appears to be the squarest guy in the room but is the life of the party.  Most often, in fact, he's its host."

Special Offer -- While Supplies Last!
You can own a hard-cover, guaranteed authentic autographed copy of Hi-Ho, Steverino! 
Only $19.95 plus s&h  (Limited Supply)
Steve Allen's 38th book is an autobiography covering his fifty years in radio and television. Filled with comedy, both on- and off-camera, this is Allen's first-person look at the Golden Age of TV. Hi-Ho, Steverino includes Steve's experiences as creator and first host of the Tonight Show, and his years as star of his own primetime comedy series The Steve Allen Show, where he worked with such gifted comedy players as Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Louis Nye, Pat Harrington, Jr., Gabriel Dell, Bill Dana, Dayton Allen, Buck Henry, Tim Conway, The Smothers Brothers, and Jim Nabors. In recalling the glory years of these series, Allen reminisces about getting to know such luminous guests as Jack Kerouac, Lenny Bruce, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. There's a chapter on Allen's award-winning PBS series Meeting of Minds, and reports on his other comedy-and-talk shows, series and specials, in which he relates on-the-air TV boners, mistakes, and technical mishaps that are now part of the comic folklore of television history. Along the way, Steve Allen pays tribute to Arthur Godfrey, Ernie Kovacs, Jack Paar, Dave Garroway, Jerry Lester, and other video pioneers.
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Makes a great gift!