Television audiences across the country know him as one of the brightest and funniest of today's hot, young comedians, as well as an acclaimed talk show host, writer and actor. Executives within the entertainment and broadcast industries also know him as a first-rate performer, and regard him as a smart producer and businessman.
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Byron Allen is a rare breed of talent who is able to combine the abilities of both entertainer and executive.
"No one takes better care of your baby better than you," says the savvy performer. In a day when major studios found the competition rough-going to mount and launch a nationally syndicated series, Allen raised the money to produce a pilot for his own show, "The Byron Allen Show," put on his distribution hat and sold the show to the top three markets (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) and went on the air with his weekly one-hour show in over 170 markets covering 90% of the country.
Allen's show business career began at 14, when he sneaked onto "The Tonight Show" set and sat behind Johnny Carson's desk. Shortly thereafter, the teenaged Byron Allen began making comedy club appearances throughout the Los Angeles area. In one of the clubs he was spotted by comedian Jimmy Walker. Walker was so impressed with the young comedian he invited him to join his writing staff who at the time included Jay Leno and David Letterman.
At the age of 18, Byron made his television debut on the very show he used to dream about, and to this day, remains one of the youngest comedians ever to have appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." At home watching were the producers of "Real People," a new show for NBC that was destined to become a hit. Byron Allen served as a "Real People" co-host throughout the show's successful five year network run.
Today, in addition to writing and performing live comedy concerts across the country, Allen's time is spent executive producing and hosting "Entertainers," a weekly one-hour nationally syndicated television show profiling stars in film, television, music, comedy, and sports, that launched its third season in September 1996. Through his production company, CF Entertainment, Allen also produces and syndicates two quarterly one-hour specials, "The American Athlete," featuring interviews with today's top athletes, and "The Gladys Knight Show," a talk/variety show hosted by the legendary entertainer Gladys Knight.
Byron Allen is one performer that understands that show business is exactly that -- a business.
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