1. Though he got his start in radio, Allen is best known for his television career.
2. He graduated to become the first host of The Tonight Show, where he was instrumental in innovating the concept of the television talk show.
3. Allen won the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Original Jazz Composition, with his song written with Ray Brown, “The Gravy Waltz”.
4. Allen wrote more than 50 books, has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Hollywood theater named in his honor.
5. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and was trained as an infantryman. He spent his service time at Camp Roberts, California, and did not serve overseas.
6. Allen became an announcer for KFAC in Los Angeles and then moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1946, talking the station into airing a five-nights-a-week comedy show, Smile Time, co-starring Wendell Noble.
7. During one episode of the show reserved primarily for an interview with Doris Day, his guest star failed to appear, so Allen picked up a microphone and went into the audience to ad lib for the first time. exposing Allen to a national audience for the first time.
8. He knew nothing about wrestling, so he watched some shows and discovered that the announcers did not have well-defined names for the holds.
9. When he got the job, he created names for many of the holds, some of which are still used today.
10. After CBS radio gave Allen a weekly prime time show, CBS television believed it could groom him for national small-screen stardom and gave Allen his first network television show.
11. The Steve Allen Show premiered at 11 am on Christmas Day, 1950, and was later moved into a thirty-minute, early evening slot.
12. This new show required him to uproot his family and move from LA to New York, since at that time a coast to coast program could not originate from LA.