February 14-16, 2003

So what's up?  How did it go?

Hello again...I'm delighted and proud to say that the 39 Forever weekend was a smashing success.  Everyone who spoke with me expressed their enthusiasm about the wonderful time that they had.

As far as a write-up, I realized that I was so involved in the actual production of the event that I can't fully do it justice from the attendee/participant standpoint.  I would like to invite everyone who was in attendance to submit their personal view on the weekend, what stood out in their mind, their favorite funny or serious moment, someone with whom they connected as a result of the event.  Please E-mail your submissions to me at and I will post some of them to the Web page, and include some in the next Jack Benny Times.

I will be posting photos of the event as I receive them...don't forget to E-mail copies to the address.  My deepest thanks to all the people who made this such a wonderful and unforgettable weekend!

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Attendance fees are:

Walkups are welcome at all events except the Friars' Club banquet



Friday, February 14 - Birthday party and radio show recreation - 7:00 - 10:00 PM

7:00    Cocktails
7:30    Buffet
8:00    Welcoming remarks
8:20    Radio show recreation
9:00    Socializing

Saturday, February 15 - Jack Benny Marathon - 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

8:00    Auditions for script contest winner recreation
9:00    Jackpardy! team trivia game

10:00  Benny Coworkers panel - Irving Fein, Al Gordon, Kay Linaker, Beverly Washburn

12:00  Jack Benny television program screening

1:00    Benny Family panel - Joan Benny and Michael Rudolph - moderated by Michael Levine

2:00    Benny Musical panel - Gisele MacKenzie, Jay Meyer (Sportsmen Quartet), Robert Clary, Brian Gari (Eddie Cantor's grandon), Norma Stevens (Mrs. Larry Stevens)

3:00    Jack Benny's impact on comedy - Actor/writer/director Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, This Is Spinal Tap, The Truman Show), BBC comedienne Emma Kennedy, Improv owner and founder Budd Friedman, TV Guide writer Tim Williams, producer Jack Rollins (Annie Hall), Leo Gorcey, Jr, and Eddie Carroll - moderated by Michael Levine

4:00    Recreation of script writing contest winner
4:20    Drawing for Benny prizes and memorabilia

Saturday, February 15 - Friars Club Celebrity Banquet - 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM

6:30    Cocktails
7:30    Dinner and music
8:30    The Ink Spots
9:30    The comedians pay tribute to Jack Benny
10:15  Sid Caesar presents National Comedy Hall of Fame award to Joan Benny

Sunday, February 16 - Down Memory Lane

All Day    Self-guided Benny tours
All Day    Museum of Television and Radio - Benny media available for private viewing

Noon  Hillside Memorial Park - Memorial service for Jack Benny
1:00    Canter's Delicatessen - Informal lunch
2:00    Museum of Television and Radio - Theatre screening of Jack Benny shows and 20th Anniversary Special

Friday evening, February 14, 2003

Birthday party and radio show recreation - featuring EDDIE CARROLL 
Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles Airport
6101 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles

Opening night gala featuring Eddie Carroll, the world's foremost Jack Benny impressionist. This is as close as you can get to seeing Jack perform live. Plus a recreation by the "Not Ready for Sunday at Seven Players" (seen at left in performance in Waukegan) of the program where Jack turns 40...or does he?  

Light buffet, birthday cake, cash bar.

Saturday morning/afternoon, February 15, 2003

The Jack Benny Marathon
Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles Airport
6101 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles

A jam-packed day of Benny events, including:

Saturday evening, February 15, 2003

39 Forever Celebrity Banquet at the Beverly Hills Friars' Club
9900 Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA

A star-studded evening of food, music, and comedy devoted to the legacy of Jack Benny. The evening will be capped by the formal induction of Jack into the National Comedy Hall of Fame, with SID CAESAR presenting the award to Joan Benny and the family. (That's Imogene Coca in the picture at right, not Joan!)

featuring...the fabulous INK SPOTS!

The Ink Spots and the Manny Harmon Trio will share their extraordinary musical legacy at the 39 Forever banquet.  The Ink Spots appeared on the Jack Benny program in 1948 and 1950, and continued to be one of Jack's favorite musical groups.  

Although there have been several changes and replacements throughout the years, as all of the original members have passed away (The FOUR INK SPOTS originated in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1932), the unique sound which made them famous is still alive, through JIM NABBIE who joined the group in 1945 to replace Bill Kenny. 

JIM NABBIE passed away suddenly in September 1992 and has been replaced by GRANT KITCHINGS. Shortly before Jim Nabbie's untimely death, he named GRANT KITCHINGS as his successor as lead tenor.  He was welcomed enthusiastically by the Ink Spots and audiences alike. 

The Four Ink Spots have had 86 hit recordings ... many of them million sellers. "IF I DIDN'T CARE" (their "anthem") has sold 19,000.000. Some of their other million sellers are:

Sunday afternoon, February 16, 2003

Down Memory Lane


Hotel Information

The Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles Airport is the official hotel of the 39 Forever Celebration.  All Friday and Saturday events (except for the Friars' Club banquet) will be held at that location.  We have negotiated the following excellent rates:

Room Single Rate Double Rate
Nonsmoking King $89 per night $89 per night
Nonsmoking Double $89 per night $89 per night

These prices are exclusive of applicable state and local taxes, which are currently 14.045% per room, per night.

How to Reserve

Please contact the hotel's reservation department at 310-642-1111 or through the Central Reservation Office at 800-325-3535.  Please identify yourself as being with the International Jack Benny Fan Club.  All reservations for these special rates must be made by January 24, 2003.

Related Information

Shuttle service is available from Los Angeles Airport.  All reservations will be held after 5:00PM and guaranteed for late arrival only if accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed to a major credit card.  Guests will be responsible for their own guest room, tax and incidental charges upon checkout.  

The Sheraton is located at 6101 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

For more information, please E-mail us at

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