Top Ten Divas, # 9

9.  Gracie Allen

Her comedic timing is impeccable, her delivery is understated and sincere, and her innocence is bewitching.  The legend is that when she and George Burns joined forces in the 20's she was the "straight man" until he realized her set-ups were getting more laughs than his punch lines.  She was the Queen of the publicity stunt long before Lady Gaga, and ran for President representing the "Surprise Party", showing up unannounced on radio programs looking for her supposedly missing brother, and performing the "Concerto for Index Finger" at Carnegie Hall and The Hollywood Bowl, as well as in the film "Two Girls and A Sailor" (seen above).  She also co-starred with George in a television sitcom in the fifties, which is how I was first introduced to her.  I would watch it late at night in re-runs, soothed by the thought that the world that was sometimes so mixed up and confused could make someone like her. Later I collected episodes of the radio show from which the sitcom originated and I would listen to them as I fell asleep at night, comforted by here presence, her humor, and her skill.