Fred Allen (born John Florence Sullivan on May 31, 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, died March 17, 1956 in New York City) was an American comedian whose absurdist, pointed radio show (1934–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists 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 humorists 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.