Ira Stadlen (January 16, 1924 – April 18, 2010[1]), known professionally as Allen Swift, was an American voice actor, best known for voicing cartoon characters Simon Bar Sinister and Riff-Raff on the Underdog cartoon show.[2] He took his professional name from radio comedian Fred Allen and 18th century satirist Jonathan Swift.

Allen Swift
Born
Ira Stadlen

(1924-01-16)January 16, 1924
New York City, U.S.
DiedApril 18, 2010(2010-04-18) (aged 86)
New York City
OccupationVoice actor
Years active1946–2010
Children3 (including Lewis J. Stadlen)

CareerEdit

Children's TV hostEdit

Captain Alan Swift was an early television star who hosted The Popeye Show from September 10, 1956, to September 23, 1960, until he was forced to leave the program due to creative differences with station management.[3] But he later became a children's television show host named "Captain Allen" on WPIX in New York City.

Cartoon voicesEdit

Swift is best known for providing the fiendish voices for the cartoon villains Simon Bar Sinister and Riff-Raff on the Underdog cartoon show. He voiced for the cartoon character, Clint Clobber. He also voiced many of the characters in The Bluffers, the 1960s underwater puppet show Diver Dan, and Gene Deitch's 1961–1962 group of Tom and Jerry cartoons. According to Mopar Magazine, he was also the voice of "Tech" for their series of service training films providing color commentary and dry humor to help keep things digestible and interesting. He also voiced his talents for Sesame Street.

Rankin/BassEdit

In addition, Swift provided the majority of the voices in Rankin/Bass's Mad Monster Party?, credited as Alan (sic) Swift in the movie's credits.[4] He was also in other Rankin/Bass productions including the TV special The Enchanted World of Danny Kaye: The Emperor's New Clothes as the voice of Musty.

Howdy DoodyEdit

Swift supplied most of the character voices for the NBC Howdy Doody Show. When Buffalo Bob Smith—who himself did the voice of the lead puppet character Howdy Doody and had many times proclaimed that "nobody else could do Howdy"—suffered a heart attack, Swift took home some recordings over the weekend, came back on Monday, and supplied Howdy's voice for more than a year.[5]

WritingEdit

Swift became the second comedy writer for Howdy Doody following the abrupt departure of the series' first comedy writer and songwriter, Edward Kean.[6] He also wrote the play Checking Out.

Commercials and MAD MagazineEdit

Swift provided the original voice of the Frito Bandito in the animated Fritos Corn Chips commercials of the 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was the talking drain on Drano television commercials, and he impersonated Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker and Adolf Hitler as "Dolf" on MAD Magazine's vinyl insert recording of "Gall in the Family Fare," the All in the Family satire that ran in the magazine's Super Special No. 11 in 1973.[7] He also played Captain Cupcake in the Hostess Brands commercials.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Swift was married to actress Lenore Loveman, and is the father of character actor, mimic and singer Lewis J. Stadlen, holistic health practitioner Maxime Zahra, and psychotherapist Clare A. Stadlen. He resided in Manhattan. He was also a gifted figurative painter, creating and exhibiting landscapes and figures reminiscent of those of artists Leland Bell and Fairfield Porter.

DeathEdit

Swift had been "suffering with a series of health calamities for several years, since he fell and broke his hip while walking his dog. From that moment, one thing led to another," said personal friend and director Gene Deitch. "Even though [I've been] here for 50 years, hardly a year went by without a visit to his 57th Street apartment, nor a day go by without e-mail and most recently Skype visits," added Deitch, an American expatriate living in the Czech Republic.

Allen Swift died at his home on April 18, 2010.[9] Cremated.[10]

FilmographyEdit

Years Film/Show Roles Notes
1947-1960 Howdy Doody Most of the characters' voices
1956-1960 The Popeye Show Host
1960-1963 King Leonardo and His Short Subjects Odie Cologne, Itchy Brother, Tooter Turtle, narrator in "King and Odie" segments
1961-1962 Tom and Jerry Tom/Jerry/Various others Gene Deitch era
1964-1967 Underdog (TV series) Simon Bar Sinister/Riff Raff
1960s Fritos Commercials Frito Bandito
1966-1967 The Beagles Tubby, Scotty
1967 Mad Monster Party? Count Dracula, Igor, the Monster, Claude the Invisible Man, Ghoul the Invisible Boy, Boobula (Count Dracula's son), Ron Chanley the Werewolf, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Rosebud the vulture, Harold, Harvey, Post Office Boss
1971-1972, 1976 Sesame Street Voices in three animated segments
1972 The Enchanted World of Danny Kaye Mufti, Ivan Television special
1974 Where the Wild Things Are Narration (original soundtrack)
1976 Checking Out Writer
1986 The Bluffers Many characters
2000 Courage the Cowardly Dog Hunchback

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Allen Swift (1924–2010)". Cartoon Brew. July 24, 2006. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010.
  2. ^ Grimes, William (April 28, 2010). "Allen Swift, Voice Actor for Radio and TV, Dies at 86". The New York Times. p. B18.
  3. ^ The Popeye Show article in The NYC Kids Shows Round Up section of tvparty.com
  4. ^ Mad Monster Party? at IMDb
  5. ^ Tv Bloq section of TV Party.Com
  6. ^ "TV Bloq"/Past entry No. 168 at "TV Party.Com"
  7. ^ MAD Magazine presents "Gall in the Family Fare," YouTube
  8. ^ "CAPTAIN CUPCAKE". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  9. ^ "Allen Swift, 86, was voice of Simon Bar-Sinister Archived July 21, 2012, at archive.today". forum.bcdb.com, April 19, 2010
  10. ^ "Allen Swift (1924-2010) - Find a Grave Memorial". Find a Grave.

External linksEdit