Allen Swift





1/16/1924 , New York City,N.Y.

Birth Name

Ira Stadlin




Allen Swift seemed destined for a show business career.At an early age.He displayed a talent for mimcry by imitating members of his family and his father's clients(Mr.Stadlin..Swift's father was a realty broker).He won an art contest in grammer school and by the time he was in his teens.He was accepted into NYC"s High School of Music And Arts.But Swift spent more time playing hookey from hiss class and watching the movies and stage shows at NYC's Paramount Theater than paying attention to his studies.He soon left Music and Arts HS and went to The Catskills of Upstate New York.Where in his late teens,he made his debut as a stand up entertainer.Performing for hotel customers in "The Borscht Belt".Swift also found time to write produce and perform on the many dramatic radio shows that were being broadcast in NYC and in many of NYC's most popular night clubs.His radio and stand up career was interrupted by his serving in The US Army Air Corps during WWII.Upon his return to NYC following the war.He continued to write,produce and perform on radio drama shows and in nightclubs.He also did a stint at The mecca of Broadway musicals and vadeville:"The Palace Theater"in the 1950's.When Judy Garland played "The Palace".But he became disatisfied with the unacceptable atmosphere of the clubs and tried to find another venue for his talents.He finally found that venue.When he was invited to join the cast of CBS TV's and Robert Q.Lewis'"Robert Q.Lewis TV Show".He appeared in sketchs and sang some songs with Mr.Lewis and other members of the cast.It was during this time that Ira Stadlin changed his name to Allen Swift(He took the name from Fred Allen and Jonathan Swift).Swift performed on the "Robert Q.Lewis Show"for few years and he also did some voice overs for radio and tv commcercials.In 1953,he would leave the "Robert Q.Lewis Show"and join the cast of"Howdy Doody".Swift would not only ultilize his talents as a comic/character actor and mimic.He would also write the scripts,perform magic tricks and manipulate the puppets.He would also collaborate on the writting of one song for the show with "Howdy's"first head comedy writer and songwriter:Ed Kean:"Freddie The Mistreated Teddy Bear!".Swift would also serve as a puppeteer on the syndicated kids tv puppet series:"The Adventures of Blinky"With Doris Brown,Donald Soames,Lucy Emmrick and with Paul Ashley.He would continue to work on "Howdy Doody".Until he was fired from the show in May of 1956.On Monday September 10,1956.Swift would host the tv show for which he is best remembered by NYC youngsters:"The Popeye Show".Set against the backdrop of the deck and captain's quarters of a ship."Captain Allen"Swift would engage his viewers in songs,stories,craftmaking,hobbies,games,magic tricks,drawing lessions,informational segments and interviews with guest performers and personalities inbetween the reruns of "The Paramount/Fleischer"and"Paramount/Famous Popeye"Movie Cartoons.Swift would host the weekday evening version of the Show(Former "Merry Mailman"Ray Heatherton would host the weekend evening edition of "The Popeye Show" on WPIX TV Ch.11 in NYC.From Saturday and Sunday September 8,& 9,1956 to Saturday March 29,1958 and Sunday April 13,1958)on WPIX TV Ch.11 in NYC.From Monday September 10,1956.Until he was forced to leave the show on Friday September 23,1960 following a creative dispute with station management.(Radio/tv broadcaster and WPIX TV Ch.11's co-founder:"Captain Jack"McCarthy would succeeded Swift as the show's third and last host performer on Monday Evening September 26,1960 and Mc the program for the next 12 years).Swift would continue to do vo's for radio/tv commcercials and for numerious tv and movie cartoon series.He would also write,produce,direct and perform in plays and musicals in summer stock,off-Broadway and Broadway theater.Including a memorable turn in the critically acclaimed dramatic production"Checking Out!"as embittered ex Yidddish stage actor:"Morris Appelbaum".Swift would cut two children's records as"Captain Allen":One with Comic/character actress/mimic and singer:Mae Questel for Cabot Records(in 1957)and"Popeye's Favorite Sea Shanties!"(with the musical team of Bill Simon And The Crew)for RCA Camden Children's Records in 1960.His second children's recording:"Popeye's Favorite Sea Shanties!"was nominaited for a grammy award.But it lost out to Liberty Records and Ross Bagdasarin's"Alvin Show"Record.Swift's only on camera tv appearances have been on CBS TV's:"Kate & Allie"and"The Equilizer"and on NBC TV's"Law & Order".His son:Lewis J.Stadlin has become one of the most successful comic/character actors/singers and mimics in the theaters,the movies and on tv.