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Burns and Allen

Burns and Allen was a network comedy radio show starring George Burns and his wife, Gracie Allen.

George Burns wrote most of the material, and played the straight man. Gracie Allen played a silly woman. Both attributed their success to the other, to the ends of their lives.

Burns and Allen developed their popular routine over more than three decades of stage, radio, film, and television. Historians of popular culture have often stated that Allen was a brilliant comedian, whose entire career consisted of engaging in dialogues of "illogical logic" that left her verbal opponents dazed and confused, and her audiences in stitches. During a typical 23-minute episode of the Burns and Allen show, the vast majority of the dialogue and speaking parts were written for Allen, who was credited with having the genius to deliver her lengthy diatribes in a fashion that made it look as though she was making her arguments up on the spot. (One running gag on the TV show was the existence of a closet full of hats belonging to various visitors to the Burns household, where the guests would slip out the door unnoticed, leaving their hats behind, rather than face another round with Gracie.)

A continuing joke on the show was that George would say, "Say 'good-night' Gracie.", and Gracie would say, "Good-night Gracie!"