Jack Benny chat, 6/3/01 - with Maria Rudolph

This is a partial transcript of the 6/3 chat, which was attended by Maria Rudolph, Jack Benny's second grandchild.  The name of the person "talking" is indicated in <> brackets at the start of the line.  Lines with only > at the start are written by me (Laura Leff).

[Sun Jun 03 17:12:08 PDT 2001] Maria has no profile.

> Hi Maria

<tom ruffino> hello everyone I dont know what I'm doing

<Maria> Hi Laura.  I've just been emailing you.

> Oh...hi!

<Alice> Strange, strange, strange

<Jeff2> Tom  I don't know what I"m doing either...first time I've been here, but at least I've gotten the chat to work!

> I'll take a look at it after the chat room.

<Alice> Hi Tom....Hi Maria

> For those not in the know, type what you want to say in the white window at the bottom of your screen

> then hit Enter when you're done.

<Maria> So, what have y'all been talking about tonight?  I didn't do my homework.

<Jeff2> Wonder what Jack would think of the internet.  I guess he coudn't even do simple things like change a light bulb!

<tom ruffino> hey it worked  ...who are you people   are there really other jack benny fans out there?

<Alice> I THINK so....

<JBDarnell> well...depends who you ask.....

<Bill> Those rose bowl shows were kind of a fixture of the JBP .. seems like they did one every year

<Jeff2> Well!

> There's over 800 fans just in the fan club!

[Sun Jun 03 17:14:38 PDT 2001] kennyfan: Susan/39/Texas/kennybakerfan@yahoo.com

<kennyfan> Jell-o again, folks!

<Jeff2> Is Kennyfan a fan of the Kenny that sang on the show or another kenny?

[Sun Jun 03 17:15:03 PDT 2001] Alan has no profile.

<kennyfan> Kenny Baker fan, #1 :-)

<Alan> Trying again!

<Jeff2> Poor Dennis...

<Alice> Hey Kenny....I STILL have to listen to "you" sing some more...

<Alice> It's getting a little easier....

<kennyfan> yes, poor Dennis...

<Bill> kennyfan is to baker as alice is to phil, dennis.. da da da da da

<tom ruffino> Are you the people who have been bidding against me on Ebay for the jack benny stuff?

<Alice> No....Dennis rocks!  It's poor Kenny

<Alan> Probably Tom!

<Alice> LOL Bill

<kennyfan> you got it, bill :-)

<Alan> Although lately I have cut back on ebay bidding

<JBDarnell> i'm probably one of those addicts on ebay

<Alice> Don't forget Nelson Eddy, Bill......

> I haven't looked at Ebay in a while

> What's there?

<Alice> I am DEFINITELY one of those addicts on eBay

> No wait...don't answer that...

<Alan> :)

<kennyfan> Dennis don't do NOTHIN' for me, Alice, but Kenny gives me CHILLS

> OK...so let's talk about the show for tonight.

<Bill> my fingers were tired  Im looking for a bumper sticker for ya

<ernie> does any one know if i could get jb radio programs recorded on mini disk?

<Alice> Kenny gives ME chills too...right down my spine.  Then I lie down and I feel better

> 1-5-47...with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

<Alice> ;)

<Jeff2> Has anyone ever purchased those JB CDs on ebay with hundreds of shows (apparantly) that you can listen to you your computer

<Alan> Yes, I did!

<Alice> I have Jeff

<tom ruffino> Are there any sources  for jack benny dvd's?

<Jeff2> Are they good?

<kennyfan> I enjoyed hearing Bogie and Bacall

> Ernie - I haven't heard of anyone offering that.

<Alan> I am listening to them chronologically, and I am up to mid 1943 now

<Alice> Yes, they are....

<Jeff2> good to know...

<Alice> DVD's...never seen any yet

<Bill> so who was buddy young?

> We have the MP3 library...you can get shows on CD from the club.

> Yes, who was Buddy Young?

<Bill> i tried to find out, and had no luck

<Alan> In fact, one of the CD's was bad, and the seller (from Canada) sent a replacement.

<Alice> You'd think there would at least be a DVD of To Be or Not To Be

> Was he a player from Illinois?  Since Jack said he was a friend of Rochester

<kennyfan> Alice, did you get my e-mail about the film Kenny and Phil were in together?

<Jeff2> I haven't progressed to the point of being able to listen to the show on the computer yet. I tried and it said it would take 20 mins. to download. Is that right?

<Alice> No, I haven't!!!  When did you send it?  I'm surprised...I usually can fish out anything with Harris in it...

> I found it something that this show was almost 10 years after the start of the Benny-Allen feud

> and they were still strong with the jokes about it.

> Jeff2 - Depends on the speed of your connection.

<Jeff2> Oh

> The show itself is about 6MB.

<Alan> He was the 1947 Rose Bowl Player of the Game

<Alan> He played for Illinois

<Bill> I  thought they were going to do another benny boulevard sketch

> Buddy Young was?

<Alan> A football player

<tom ruffino> where are all you people from?

<Jeff2> Florida

<Bill> kewl! thanks

> Bill - Why...because they were doing Fred Allen jokes?

> Tom - California

<Alan> Los Angeles here, but moving to Portland, Oregon this summer

<Alice> Michigan...WOO HOO!

<tom ruffino> I'm from buffalo bue i'm in sarasota now

<Bill> I suppose so.. he even did his nasal impersonation which i always thought was excellent

<Bill> I really enjoyed the shows with those sketches

<Alice> Jack did a GREAT Allen

<Bill> ky

> Yes, supposedly he put a clothespin on his nose sometimes to get the nasal tone.

<kennyfan> I'm from Texas

<Bill> laura, were all the shows done in front of a live audience?

<Jeff2> about a month or so ago Game Show Network showed a Fred Allen tv game show from the 50s. He was nothing to look at and did have a nasal tone, but what a wit!

> All the radio shows were.

> Bill - Sometimes they were recorded ahead of time, but always with a live audience.

<Bill> I just wasnt sure about the bogie segments in this one

<Bill> thats what I meant

> Bill - It was in television that they started to use canned laughter on occasion.

> Bill - What do you mean about the Bogie segments?

<Alice> Hey 2....I think Allen was brilliant....he was too hysterical!

<Jeff2> And from what I understand Jack got upset at the canned laughter, telling them to tone it down..

> Jeff2 - Fred Allen definitely had a face for radio.

<Bill> I was just curious as to whether they had been transcribed and cut into the show

<tom ruffino> My only connection with the show was I met Mel Blanc at an antique watch convention years ago. I was a dealer and he was an avid collector

> Jeff2 - That's correct.  In Milt's book, he said that

<Bill> i dont know why...

<Alice> That's an OLD one LL....lol

> Jeff2 - there was this huge laugh when he said "Hello again", and he really hated it.

<Bill> i guess thats how they did marys parts in later years

> Tom - Tell us more.

<Maria> Is anyone going to the Benny statue unveiling in Waukegan this September?

> Bill - That's right.  Mary's lines were recorded at home, and edited in later.

<Bill> i guess they had an actress do her parts for the program and mr marx dubbed it over afterward?

<JBDarnell> i'm gonna be there

<ernie> i am 31 year old jb fan am i unusal?  ( with regards to being a fan that is).

> I am!

> Ernie - Nope.  I'm 32.

<Jeff2> 37

<Alan> I'm 33, so there are lots of us that are "young"

<JBDarnell> i'm 16.

<Alan> Now that is young!

> He is, too, you know.

<Alice> 29....but I'll deny it forever!

<Jeff2> If only the TV show would be rebroadcast, can you imagine how filled this chat would be?

<kennyfan> I'm 39, just like Jack <grin>

[Sun Jun 03 17:25:18 PDT 2001] tom ruffino: tarsbaby7@aol.com

<Alice> Sure you are Kenny....lol

> Jeff2 - Supposedly they were on TVland for a while.

<Jeff2> When?

<JBDarnell> but they only show 4 episodes.

> A while ago.  Someone mentioned it to me.

<Alice> Jeff it was on a few years ago on Comedy Central I think, and I used to skip my college classes to watch it

<Alan> It's great to have so many fans that never really got to see Jack when he was alive. I was 6 when he died. Although I think...

> JB - They do?

<kennyfan> I knew I'd get flack the moment I turned 39 <grin>

<Alan> if he was on tv more, there would be more fans. I think a lot of people have forgotten Jack

<ernie> and i thought i was special

<JBDarnell> yeah, its something around that number. eppys were on almost evry month, but were the same ones.

> You'd be surprised how many people have discovered him through the Web.

<Alan> Yes, that is true, I did in fact, pretty recently

<Jeff2> I am a big fan of the TV show Homefront and after a lengthy campaign they showed the show as a marathon one weekend and ran it for a while. Perhaps we need to start a campaign to get JB on!

> JB - I wonder if they were just showing the ones in the public domain.

<JBDarnell> i wouldn't be surprised

> OK, poll time.  How did you all discover Jack?

<Alice> Ernie, you ARE special.  You're a Benny fan!!!

<Alan> I'd love to see his tv shows more often, on something like comedy central. With so many channels, there has to be some outlet

<Bill> Wonder if the movie reels had footage of the Benny-Allen match in 36 or whenever it was?

<ernie> gee thanks

<kennyfan> KENNY BAKER!!!

> Bill - Was it filmed?  I thought it was just audio.

<Alice> Ummm....I'm going with Phil Harris

<Bill> Im not sure.. but it was sooo well publicized

<kennyfan> Kenny Baker is how I discovered Jack, no kiddin'

<tom ruffino> I used to run an old vaudville movie palace called the Sheas Buffalo. When we had our grand reopening George Burns was our first act that was about 1978

<JBDarnell> through a otr tapes that were playing in an old candy store that i later bought a set of.

<Alan> Listening to the Radio Drama Hour on KNX Radio in LA, heard a couple of shows, liked them, and decided to look into Jack Benny

<Bill> that would have been great newsreel fodder

> I really need to get to someone in MCA to find out about licensing.

<Maria> He was my grandfather, so he just kind of appeared.

<JBDarnell> i was wondering if you were that maria!

<Maria> I'm famous?

[Sun Jun 03 17:28:48 PDT 2001] Jeff has no profile.

> OK, the cat's out.  Maria is Jack's granddaughter!

> Maria - You are here!

<kennyfan> Well, hello again, Maria!

<Alice> Yeah for us Benny fans you are  :)

<Maria> Hi Kennyfan.  I remember you from the first chat.

<Alice> Besides, you have a GREAT name....

<Bill> i need to put my lips togeether and blow....to Maria!!!!

> OK, I'm going to sit back and let you all throw questions at Maria.  8)

<Jeff> Maria...I've just met a girl named Maria...

<ernie> how well did you know him? maria.

<Maria> Jeff- you date yourself.

<kennyfan> Thanks, Maria.  It was great listening to you at that first chat.

<Jeff> 37?

<Maria> So you're not only a Benny fan, but a Westside Story fan?

<kennyfan> Gotta love the musicals...

<Jeff> not really..

<Maria> Ernie - I knew him very well.  I was 17 when he died and he was a doting grandfather.

<Bill> It must have been so hard for kids to sort out jack the character and jack the person.  They were so

<Bill> entertwined.. for soooo many years.... more than any sit com today

<Bill> was it hard for him to get quiet time?

<Jeff> Maria, how much of his radio/tv material do you have to enjoy? Must be strange to be able to visit with him via those old shows...

<Maria> Bill -- that's very perceptive. It was hard. I hated going out in public with him because he caused such a commotion --  he stopped being Granddad and became Jack Benny. I preferred Granddad

<Bill> No one could do it today

<Maria> Bill -- he was good at getting quiet time.  When he was home, he was very quiet.

<Bill> not for that many years.....

<Maria> Jeff - I don't have much of his stuff at all.  It's still a shock when I come across him on TV -- it always shocks me.

> I recently heard that he decided not to go to some friends/family funerals around Waukegan, because he didn't want to create a distraction.

<Maria> LL - I don't know about that, but it's certainly true.

<tom ruffino> did he teach you how to play the violin?

<Maria> I remember going to the ICe Follies one time and left to go to the bathroom at the intermission and when I came back, I couldn't get back to my seat becuase of the crowd around him.

<Maria> Tom - no, I played the piano.

> How did he feel about that attention?

<Alice> That must have been aggrevating for you though

<Maria> He enjoyed it most of the time, but that time at the Ice Follies, it really pissed him off.

<Jeff> I was surprised when Joan Benny said she didn't have all of those radio shows anymore. In her book she mentions listening to them in his library at home...

> Jack donated them to UCLA.

<Maria> And yes, it was very aggravating for me.  I just wanted Granddad.  I hated being a shadow.

[Sun Jun 03 17:34:19 PDT 2001] Alan has no profile.

<Maria> Believe it or not, he was very afraid that people would forget him, so I think he enjoyed the attention towards the end.

<Maria> And, he would have loved what Laura has done with his fan club and these chats.

<Alice> I don't think that would ever happen

> *blushing*

<Alice> People forgetting him, I mean

<Jeff> What was Mary like?

<Maria> ...particularly the young people.

<Alice> Bill...cimmaron rolls?  Lol

<Bill> I knew you would look

<Bill> I couldnt think of any movie trivia... I was too busy today

<Maria> Ah... Mary.  We called her Miss Mary -- she didn't like Grandmother.  She was difficult.

<Alan> Seems that there are many of us under 40 here, so he isn't forgotten. I hope more people discover his work!

> Miss Mary...that's interesting.

<Jeff> She seems to be painted that way in most of the books...

<Maria> Miss Mary was fairly moody -- could be very generous and fun or difficult.

<Maria> We always went to Trader Vic's for birthdays and she would get a bit tipsy. Then she was a lot of fun.

<Jeff> Do you still live in California?

> Why do you think she was that way?

<Bill> a closed phil?

[Sun Jun 03 17:36:24 PDT 2001] The Gas Man has no profile.

<tom ruffino> Is there anyone actively marketing Jack's works?

<Maria> No, Colorado.

> Hi Gas Man!

<Bill> closet

> Tom - Yes.

<Alice> Gas Man....how's it going?

<kennyfan> Jell-o there, Gas Man

<Maria> LL - I don't know why she was that way, but I think she always was.

<JBDarnell> hi gasman

<Alan> So, that's what happened to the gas man!

<Alice> Bill, no picking on Philsie

<Bill> i wasnt, really

<Alice> Lol....yeah yeah yeah

> Maria - How would you describe the relationship between your maternal grandparents?

<Alice> You KNOW how territorial I am....

> Maria - If it's not too personal of me to ask.

<Bill> Phil was my favorite supporting character

<Alan> Laura, any idea when the bound copies of the newsletter will be published?

> Alan - I'm going to get them to the printer this week.

<Alan> great!

<Maria> Granddad doted on Miss Mary.  I'm not sure how to describe how she dealt with him.

<Alice> Maria, may I ask what your favorite memory of your grandfather is?

<Maria> Driving with him.  He ALWAYS got lost and we had to tell him how to get home.

<Maria> He was really silly with us.

<Alice> Sounds like me....the driving thing that is....

<Maria> I never knew if he really got lost or was just letting us feel big.

<Bill> He used to tell some of those stories on the carson show

<Maria> What stories?

<Jeff> Do you remember him when he lived next door to Lucy or had he moved by then?

<Bill> but also used to talk about driving around and getting out of tickets and what not

> They moved in 1964...you would have been 7.

<Bill> I think Johnny Carson had a true affection for him

<Maria> I remember that house. My brother, Michael, and I used to spend the night there every Friday night and then go to George and Gracie's for "tea parties" on Saturdays.

<Alice> Who'd give a ticket to Jack Benny?

<Jeff> Cool!

<JBDarnell> frank nelson

<Maria> LL - you scare me sometimes.

<Alice> lol

<Alice> We're all in awe (AWWW!) of Laura

> Maria - What did I say???

> Maria - I'm sorry!

<Maria> You know when the house was sold and my birthday.

<Bill> Maria... you think they will ever try to do a movie bout your grandads life.. or would you want them to?

<Jeff> You are a walking encylopedia of Benny

> Maria - My apologies...

<ernie> maria; how well did you know george burns?

<Maria> He always said that his life was too boring to write about, so I don't know.

> Didn't mean to be a know-it-all.

<Maria> LL - but you do know-it-all.

<JBDarnell> thats cuz she's one of them...............commie spies!

> Maria - As long as that's OK with you...it felt very strange pulling out a copy of your grandfather's will last night.

<Jeff> He may have thought his life was boring, but I have three bios on him and guess more were written, so someone is interested! Perhaps his granddaughters point of view is next???

<Maria> Ernie - When Granddad was dying, I drove George to his house every day (for 3 days). We spent all day with him, reminiscing about his life.

<Bill> but was he ever bored himself?

> Maria - I appreciate your understanding!

[Sun Jun 03 17:42:00 PDT 2001] Mikewats: M, 39, Oklahoma USA

> Hey, it's Mikewats!

<Mikewats> Hi Laura, hi y'all

<Alice> Hi!

<Mikewats> Hiya Alice!

<JBDarnell> hi

<kennyfan> Jell-o there, Mikewats

<Maria> I don't really think there's much more to say about him that wasn't covered in one of the other books. My perspective would just be one of being a famous person's offspring, which has also been done.

<Bill> thanks alice

<Alice> lol...no problem

[Sun Jun 03 17:43:16 PDT 2001] KM99: KM99

> Hi KM!

<kennyfan> Jell-o again, KM99

<Alice> Hello KM

<KM99> Hello everyone! Sorry I'm late.

Bill> Maria have any children to?

> There have been four bios written on Jack, and one large book on the radio and television work.

<Bill> dote on?

<tom ruffino> I dont know about you guys but I can never hear enough aabout Jack benny...especially personal stories

<Maria> Nope, I don't have any children.  Nephews though.

<Jeff> What is Joan doing these days? I was pleasantly surprised that she responded to an email a while back. She seems like such a great lady in the interviews I've seen. Cool lady!

<Bill> Sometimes I would like to see a movie made.. other times I would be afraid they would just mess things up

<Bill> for the big bucks!

<Alice> Honestly though, WHO could play Jack?

<JBDarnell> no one, but i know kelsey grammer would do it at the drop of a hat!

<Bill> Bill Powers?

<Alice> Who?  ;)

<Jeff> Scene for the movie: Lucy is having dinner at her house when in walks Jack playing the violin...never says a   word..plays..and walks back out..... true story from Lucy's bio

<Mikewats> Leonardo DiCaprio?

<tom ruffino> Kevin Spacey as Jack?  any other candidates?

<Maria> Kelsey Grammar could definitely do it.  He practically does anyway.

<Bill> nah, ilook too much like don wilson

<Alice> Leonardo?  Oh please.....I'm going to be ill

<JBDarnell> kg did a nice impression of him on the doc he did several years ago.

<Mikewats> <fetching Alice a pint of "medication">

<KM99> Mike: me too?

<ernie> mikewats you are joking?

<Alice> Thanks, I'm feeling much better

<Bill> man, hollywoods stars dimmed alot this weekend, didnt it?

<Mikewats> Sure! <ferrying a pint to KM as well>

<Alice> That special was great...

<JBDarnell> it was great seeing the old set...

<Mikewats> Yes, Ernie

<kennyfan> what special do you speak of?

> Eddie Carroll should do it.

<Alice> Kelsey Grammer did a tribute to Jack a few years ago...

<Alice> I can copy it for you if you want it....it's great!

> Bill: What do you mean?

<Bill> I remember that episode

> Alice:  I saw that at Joe's.

<Bill> Anthony Quinn, Arlene Francis, Imogene Coca passed away

> No!

<Alice> Yeah LL....where've you been?

> I didn't know Coca was still alive!

<Bill> all had long full lives, but i will miss them

> I've been working on the FAN CLUB kids!

<Alice> I thought the same thing, LL

<Mikewats> She was 92!

<Jeff> I thought Arlene had left us already!

<JBDarnell> tony quinn did? i heard about the rest, not tony. he was great in la strada.

<KM99> I just heard about Mr Quinn a few minutes ago

<Alan> That was today

<Alice> Just today JB

<JBDarnell> oh dear. bless him and arlene and imogene.

<Mikewats> My gosh, I didn't hear about Quinn

[Sun Jun 03 17:49:22 PDT 2001] Mr. Kitzel has no profile.

[Sun Jun 03 17:49:30 PDT 2001] The Gas Man has no profile.

<KM99> He passed away in Boston

<kennyfan> Jell-o there, Mr. Kitzel

<Bill> We should all get as much out of our time as those folks did..

<ernie> maria did you ever meet groucho or bing?

<Alice> Mr. Kitzel!

<tom ruffino> Quinn was a great guy..I promoted him in Zorba at the Sheas Buffalo years ago

<Mr. Kitzel> Jeff now became mister kitzel after being disconnected twice as Jeff!

<kennyfan> wb, gas man

<Alice> No Jeff 3?

<kennyfan> oh, OK Jeff!

<Maria> I don't remember meeting Groucho or Bing, although I may have when I was very young.

<KM99> hiya Gas man

<Bill> how closely related were the marx brothers and mary?

<KM99> I thought Mary was a cousin

<Bill> Maria.  was the pool with the octopus still around when you were born

<Alice> A pretty distant cousin, I thought

<The Gas Man> Hi again.Must of had Bear hair jam up my modem

> Bill - they weren't.

<Maria> Yep, the octopus wax still there.

<Bill> Joan sure seemed to have a thing about that

<Bill> not related?

<Mr. Kitzel> That octopus story is hilarious!

<Alice> Wouldn't you?  With an octopus in your pool?  Even if it was tile...

> Bill - No.  I've heard people say they were cousins, but I don't believe it.

<Bill> i was just curious, not a very common stage name

> Kitzel - Tell the octopus story!

<Mr. Kitzel> Wasn't her name Sadie Marx?

> It was Sadie Marks...not Marx.

<Mr. Kitzel> Joan was apparantly terrified of the octopus!

<Bill> i saw your posting bout that other guy two, i had them mixed up

<Mr. Kitzel> Marks, Marx... oh...

<Alice> Potato, potahto...

<Bill> (i cant type)

(lost lines)

> Maria - What did you think of the Charing Cross house as compared to Roxbury?

<Maria> They were very different -- Roxbury was a big family house. Charing Cross was a big empty nesters house with a  living room you could land a plane in

<Maria>  There were more "servants bedrooms" in Charing Cross than occupants' bedrooms (only 2).

> Why did they tear down the Charing Cross house?

<Maria> Charing Cross was also on a large, hilly, wooded lot that was fun to explore whereas Roxbury was a flat city lot.

<Mr. Kitzel> Anyone been to Roxbury? I was there a few years back and naturally took pics of Lucy and Jacks etc. Postman went to Jimmy Stewart's door when we were there, but he didn't come out!

<Alice> Mr. Kitzel, you sound like my kind of tourist!

<Bill> I had brunch at the pink hotel one sunday

<Maria> The people who bought Charing Cross from us tore it down right after they bought it. Maybe because it was a huge, multi-million dollar 2-bedroom house on 1.5 acres.

<Bill> and walked up and down several blocks

<Mr. Kitzel> I get a kick out of the book where it says fans would walk up to the door to get his pic!

<Alice> You'd never get away with that now....

<Maria> He never turned a fan away that I'm aware of. He was always courteous to everyone -- even when we were waiting for him.

<Mr. Kitzel> You couldn't trust anyone!

<Alice> I couldn't imagine him turning anyone away...he seemed to have too much class

<Bill> Jack and mary have any pets maria?

<Bill> a favorite dog or cat or fish

> Polly

<Maria> Here's another memory -- one day I was riding my bike in the shopping area of Beverly Hills and heard my name called out. It was Granddad calling me. I was stunned that he knew who I was. Weird, huh?

<Bill> see..... i never know that... thanks

<Maria> They had a dog while Mom was growing up, but none since then.

<Maria> Make that after then.  Since then doesn't really make sense since they're dead.

<JBDarnell> i heard they got rid of it once Joan sneezed around it.

<Alice> As if you were stunned because Jack Benny knew who you were?

<Bill> I thought Polly was Mel, laura.

<Bill> :-)

<Maria> Yes. I knew he was my grandfather, but he was so distracted being Jack Benny and he was so famous and I wasn't, that it just surprised me to have this famous person know who I was. Remember that out in public, he turned in to Jack Benny instead of Granddad.

<Alice> Wow

<Bill> Man, thats the part that would be tough

> What kind of dog?  What was the name?

<Maria> It was a black terrier and I can't remember its name.  Topsy, I think.

>   What was the difference between "Jack Benny" and "Granddad"?

<Maria> Did anyone know that at the end of his life, Granddad wanted to give up comedy and just play his violin professionally?   Laura, know-it-all, did you know that?

<Mr. Kitzel> Well, I must sign off for now. Hope to do this again soon... Don Wilson speaking. The Jack Benny Program is heard by our Armed Forces overseas..stay tuned for the Amos N Andy Show over most of these stations.....good night folks!

> Well, actually, I did...

<kennyfan> kennyfan knew that <grin>

<Maria> Figures.

<Maria> Were you in our house?  Did you have it bugged?

<Bill> he stole my character!!!!

<Alice> Hey...I did too "Kenny"

<kennyfan> gnite Mr. Kitzel

<Alice> Night Mr. Kitzel

<Mikewats> Night Mr. Kitzel

<JBDarnell> cya kitzel.

> Night, Kitzel!

<KM99> Woo Hoo Hoo Mr Ktzel

<Bill> Would maria be interested in the gift you got last week laura..?

> Maria - I was only 5 when your grandfather died...

<Bill> that seemed like a pretty neat honor

<Bill> nite

> Bill - Good idea.

<Bill> i have one a month

> Maria - I got a program from a March of Dimes dinner honoring your grandfather

> It's in the shape of a life-size violin.

> Pretty neat.  I can tell you more offline.

<Maria> When was the dinner?

> I think it was March, 1974.  I can run and get it, if you'd like.

<kennyfan> what a huge program!

<Maria> Not necessary.

> So what was the difference between

<ernie> i saw in a doc. jb laughed to the point of being dizzy in the presence of gburns. true or false?

> Jack Benny and Granddad?

> True.

<KM99> Rolling On The Floor Laughing

<Maria> My relationship with Granddad was personal and belonged to me. Jack Benny belonged to the world. I hated sharing him with the world. Everyone wanted a piece of him and just left me standing off to the side watching.

> Say more about that.

<Maria> And Granddad laughed at everyone. I can remember two separate occasions when I got him to fall down laughing. --   once on stage in Las Vegas.

<Bill> sorry alice, i cant make it work

<Alice> No problem...let me try it

> Maria - What did you do?

<Bill> it comes up but i cant type into it)

<Alice> All right...next time

> Maria - What did you do to make him laugh in Las Vegas?

<Maria> He had an act on the show -- 3 women who did this short comedy thing. Iris Adrian, Peggy Mondo and another woman. Peggy and I became friends and I would get together with her before the show and write improv lines for her to say during the act that he wasn't expecting. One time (I can't remember what the line was), it caught him so off-guard that he had to walk off-stage to pull himself together. It was very funny and the audience loved it, but I felt just a little big guilty.

> What were the women doing?  It wasn't the Jack Benny Fan Club routine, was it?

<Maria> Another time, I had her say that her name was Maria. That brought him up short too. He just said, "Maria, huh? That's a nice name." and then went on with the act.

<Bill> That means you have a gift as a comedy writer, Maria

<Maria> Thanks Bill. I've always wanted to do comedy (I am actually considered very funny), but never wanted to be compared to Granddad.

<Bill> Will, be our secret

<Maria> LL - I don't remember the routine anymore, believe it or not, since I saw it twice a night for two weeks.

<Bill> They have some of those acts filmed and archived out there

> Understood.  I've always been curious about his stage shows.

<Bill> I think Radio KLUC has a whole warehouse of them

<Maria> He use to play Vegas or Reno twice a year. We (Michael, Mom and I) used to go and spend a week with him every year.

<Bill> from the Lady Luck Lounge anyway

> When he was being "Jack Benny", was he just more in character?  Doing more hand gestures, etc.?

> Bill - Can you put me in touch with them?

<Bill> I have it somewhere.. I had a name but not the knowhow to get them

<Maria> Another Granddad vs. Jack Benny thing: We would sit backstage with him in his dressing room and he was this old, tired man. When it was time to go downstairs for his act, he would trudge down the stairs, but when his theme music came up, he would straighten up and the years would fall away and he would become JACK BENNY. It was an amazing transition that never failed to awe me.

<Bill> she went as far as to say there was a whole warehouse of audio and video out there of acts

<tom ruffino> Any Jack Benny bootlegs out there?  I just got a great ratpack one.

<Bill> i am sure others did same thing

> Maria - That was an amazing thing...he never seemed to age.  I still have trouble estimating age on photos of him.

<Alice> I always thought he looked great for his age

<Mikewats> That's amazing, Maria

> Maria - Until about the last year of his life.

<Maria> LL - It wasn't so much that he acted differently out in public, but everyone else treated him differently and he just BELONGED to everyone.

<Alice> He always looked about 20 years younger than he was

>      Except in the 40s when his hair was gray.

<Bill> Maria, they used to do alot of golfing skits, did he ever even play golf, or have the time?

<Maria> Also, in private, if he hadn't shaved, his beard came in gray and that made him look a lot older.

> Jack Benny with a beard...I'm trying to envision that...

<Alice> I can't see it myself....

<Maria> He LOVED playing golf. Golfed whenever he had time. I remember one time, I was playing tennis at Hillcrest, the country club and he walked past, golfing. I think he recognized me then too, but that time I saw him first, so I called him.

<Maria> Not a full beard -- just stubble.  Pretty thin and unattractive actually.

> If I try to think of him with a moustache, I think of "To Be or Not To Be"

> Tom - Video bootlegs, you mean?

<JBDarnell> he looked quite debonair w/ the mustache i think.

<Bill> thats neat! I always wondered that

> I think that nine holes was always more his game.

<tom ruffino> Yes especially of his las vegas act

> Tom - Boy, if you find any, let me know!

<Maria> Actually, I think Miss Mary was a better, although less enthusiastic, golfer. I still have her golf clubs, come to think of it.  She didn't hit very far, but was very accurate.

<Bill> He was with those cast members for an amazingly long time... were they personal friends, any of em too?

<KM99> Maria - Do you know Jack's Golf handicap?

<Maria> No, sorry.

<JBDarnell> i believe he socialized with mel a bit...

> He spent a lot of time with Frankie Remeley

<Maria> I remember meeting Mel at least once.  He did voices for us.

<ernie> my wife and i , ivette, discovered this site today for the first time. she has just declared to me that this 'chat' has made her an even bigger fan than she was before.she especially loves maria's input.

<Bill> really, laura,, wow!

> Maria - Do you remember him taking off on those long car trips?

<Bill> the always talked about, never seen frankie

<Maria> Thanks.  My pleasure.  It's fun reminiscing about him.

<Maria> No, I don't remember the car trips.

<Bill> I had the Elliott Lewis image of Frankie when I was a kid

> Maria - You know the stories, though, right?

<Maria> Mom's stories?

> The stories about him going on car trips.

<Alice> Elliott was wonderful Bill...

<Maria> I think I've heard them, although I can't say I remember much.

> In short, that they'd take off to drive to Chicago or wherever on a whim.

> There was a time when he said something like,

<Alice> And drive in whatever direction they were heading instead of turning the car around?

<Bill> Alice needs to write a book about"all the men I ever loved"

<ernie> is the jb show not aired on tv due to pc reasons?

> Alice, you beat me to it.

<Bill> could be a song

> Ernie - No, it's licensing mainly.

<Alice> Bill...there are only about 5......really.  Lol

<ernie> explain.

<Maria> We'll have to get Michael on one of these chats sometime. He was Granddad's favorite and spent a lot of time with him. He even flew on Air Force 2 with him and Spiro Agnew (!) to go see one of the Apollo space launches. Grandded was a huge space program fan.

<Alice> Phil, Dennis, Jack, Nelson and.....someone else, I'm sure

> MCA owns the rights to all but 8 of the TV shows.

> Wow!!!!

<Alice> LL-Sorry I ruined your story....

<kennyfan> Nelson Eddy, Alice?

> Alice - No sweat...you saved me typing.

<Mikewats> Are those 8 shows the ones that stream on teh web, Laura?

<Alice> Of COURSE Kenny....of course!  ;)

> I didn't know Jack was that into the space program.

[Sun Jun 03 18:21:18 PDT 2001] Christine K has no profile.

> Mike - Yes.

> Hi Christine!

<Maria> Aha!  Something you didn't know.

> Maria - I have to point it up when it happens.  80

<Alice> Hi Christine

> 8)

<Maria> Michael also went to Colorado Springs with him one time -- just the two of them.

<Alice> She got you, LL!  :)

> Maria - What was his interest in it?  Just general?

<kennyfan> Jell-o there, Christine

<Christine K> Hi, everybody.

[Sun Jun 03 18:22:12 PDT 2001] mlentz@thinkextreme. has no profile.

> Hi mlentz

<Bill> hi cristine

<Bill> h

<Maria> Golf and violin. He really did practice for hours at a time. We would go to Palm Springs and I would play tennis and swim all day and every day, he would stand in the bar practicing his violin.

<ernie> what is mca's plans for the future?

<mlentz@thinkextreme.> hi

<Alice> Hi Mlentz

<mlentz@thinkextreme.> hi

<Maria> Hi Mlentz.

<Mikewats> <picks up the phone and orders more Jell-O...."we got quite a crowd here">

> Ernie - Don't know.  I need to get a contact there.  I just xeroxed the Catalog of Copyright Entries records on it yesterday.

<Alice> LL-Don't you HAVE a contact there already?  :::feigned shock:::

> Alice - I've been trying to find a way around it!

<Alice> :)

> You'd scarcely believe how many people I've contacted trying to find a back door.

<Alice> I'd believe it.  But I know you....you'll find a way in....

> Maria - Why do you think that he loved the violin so much?  Seems so much more than his parents wanting him to be good.

<ernie> :)  (:  comedy and drama

<Mikewats> <fetches Laura a plateful of lawyers>

<Maria> LL - That's a good question. I don't have any idea, but it was genuine. He always talked about his professional violinist friends -- Pinky Zucherman, Isaac Stern, etc.

<Alice> Mike....Laura doesn't need lawyers...Laura should BE a lawyer

> I need to call Pinky Zucherman.

<Maria> One of my biggest regrets about him is that I never got to see him do one of his comedy concerts. I was going to go to his next one, but he died before his next one. I understand they were hysterical.

<The Gas Man>  We could hire the two burglars who broke into Jacks bedroom.

<Alice> :::falling over:::  Did I forget already!!!!????

<JBDarnell> wasn't zubin mehta his favorite conductor, or was it yehudi menuhin

> Maria - Don't remember if I mentioned it, but I talked with Stern a few weeks ago.

<Alice> Who's Yehudi?

<Alice> Oops....sorry....I think that's a Bob Hope joke....

<Alice> It just slipped in.

> He did work with Zubin Mehta.

<Maria> Zubin -- he talked about him all the time too. Whenever we went to the L.A. Phil, we got to go backstage. One time, we even had chamber music at our house with Jascha Heifitz.

<Alice> That's it!  Bob Hope is the 5th man for me

<JBDarnell> that must have been great!

<Bill> working on six then.....

<Alice> That sounds fantastic!

> Maria - Do you know if the violins are still used by the L.A. Phil?

<Mikewats> I'll bet that was a memorable evening...

<Maria> I don't know about the violins.  I can't imagine that the Strad is just sitting there though.

> Ironically, Stuart Canin is in town today playing a Guarnieri that is normally just on display.

> in town = San Francisco

> Stuart Canin is the boy who started the Benny-Allen feud.

<Alice> Don't go bragging again, Laura

<Alice> He played "The Bee" right?

<JBDarnell> how old is he by now?

> Alice:  ???

<Alice> I meant bragging about being in SF, while I'm in Michigan  lol

<KM99> 73

> Let's see...the feud started in 1937 and he was 10

<Alan> He'd be mid 70's I think

> So about 74.

<Bill> I had to order fred allen cds so i can follow the feud

<Alice> LL-It was "The Bee"....not "Flight of the Bumble Bee" I believe, if I remember a later interview with Jack that I heard

<Alice> Is that right?

<Bill> Ill have to quit flying and start driving just so I can hear all of this stuff

> Alice - Same thing, I thought.

<ernie> ow did the feud start and why?

<Alice> I think they're two different pieces, LL

<Alice> According to Jack, "The Bee" was more difficult

<kennyfan> correct, Alice

<Alice> This kid was on Fred's program

<Alice> And when he was done, Fred Allen said something like

> Does anyone else want to answer Ernie's question?

> Go, Alice.

<Bill> so, i may have that episode?

<Alice> Jack Benny ought to be ashamed of himself, knowing Jack would be listening

> This kid = Stuart Canin

<Alice> So Jack had his writers respond on the next week's program and they were off and running

<KM99> I thought Stuart explained over the radio to Jack how he should hold the violin

<Alice> According to that same interview with Jack, they weren't even aware that it was a "feud"

<Alice> until about 6 months later

> Well, they didn't talk to one another about it until some time later.

<tom ruffino> Goodnight everyone, thanks for allowing me to be apart of this. 

<Alice> Maybe that

<Alice> that's what I was thinking of

> Thanks, Tom!  Hope to see you again.

<Mikewats> Night, Tom

<JBDarnell> night tom

<KM99> TTFN Tom

<kennyfan> gnite Tom

<Alice> Night Tom!

<Bill> nite

<Christine K> bye tom

<The Gas Man> nite tom

> And tonight's show was from 1947, almost exactly 10 years after the start of the feud, and they're still making jokes about it.

<Bill> and 64 years later too

<Alice> It probably remained "fresher" because they didn't harp on it ever week

<Alice> *every week....sorry

> has anyone else seen "Love Thy Neighbor"?

<JBDarnell> i love the TV eppy where Fred was trying to steal Jack's sponsor. then eddie cantor chimed in..

> The movie that was based on the feud

> JB - There was a TV episode about that?

<Alice> I wish I had LL....Jack's movies don't pop up too often!

<kennyfan> someone let me know when "Love Thy Neighbor" is broadcast.  Isn't it on TCM or AMC sometimes?

> Take a look at our links page...there's a page that tracks that.

<Alice> Sue....you can go to a website and it will tell you...let me get the address.  It's called the Jack Benny television schedule, or something like that.

<kennyfan> will it notify you when a requested show is scheduled?

<JBDarnell> yeah the broadcast date was 4-19-53. the script is in the jb :radio and tv work book.

[Sun Jun 03 18:36:09 PDT 2001] harx1 has no profile.

> Hi harx1

<Mikewats> Welcome, Kerri!

<Alice> June 25....the Horn Blows at Midnight!!!

<harx1> Evening folks!

<Alice> Hi Harx

<kennyfan> Jell-o there, harx1

<JBDarnell> hi  kerri. aren't you on wennlist?

<Bill> so Maria,, one more ? and I will stifle myself

<Alice> And June 6....he's on an episode of the honeymooners

<Bill> who is YOUR favorite supporting character?

<Alice> www.tv-now.com

<kennyfan> did you plug in Jack's name on a search, Alice?

<harx1> Yes.  I'm on the wennlist JB.

<Maria> Oh Bill -- that's not fair -- I haven't seen many of his shows. I know that the person that I get asked about the most is Rochester.

<Alice> Yup....you can pull up anyone Sue

<kennyfan> thanks for the info, Alice :-)

<Maria> I'm embarrassed to say that I don't really know his early work very well.

<Bill> I just thought you might have a favorite

> http://www.tv-now.com/stars/jackben.html

<JBDarnell> kerri-so am i, but i don't post often. (i'm fat jack there..)

<Alice> No problem~Even if you ARE on the other side....

<kennyfan> yep, just might, Bill! <grin>

<harx1> Ahhh.  I see.  Cool, well, hiya.

> Maria - No need to be embarassed about it. I think any one of us would trade our knowledge about your grandfather for a few of the experiences that you had!

<kennyfan> what is wennlist, harx1?

<Maria> LL - thanks.

<Alice> LL-I think you're right!

<harx1> It's a mailing list for the show Remember WENN (a show about a 1930s Pittsburgh radio station), kennyfan.<harx1> A now dearly, departed show.

<JBDarnell> Thanks to that vile AMC sstation

<kennyfan> I have heard of it, harx1

<Alice> Maria-Laura's right.  We only know the public Jack, you knew him personally. 

<Maria> It's just kind of weird -- you all know his work so much better than I do.  I feel like a fraud.

> I have to admit, that he's larger than life to me. 

<Mikewats> Not at all, Maria

<kennyfan> And we're glad you're here to visit with us, Maria!

> It's almost like devoting yourself to someone who's not real.

<Alice> It's almost hard to imagine him as a person...and thanks for sharing your experiences Maria!

<Maria> I guess because I knew him so well, I didn't feel the need to study his work.

> Yeah, what Alice said.

> Maria - I completely agree with that.

<Alice> I hate to say that I would have been one of those people who annoyed him for his autograph.

<JBDarnell> thanks maria, i can hardly imagine actually knowing jack

<Alice> But I would....

> Maria - It's sort of like making up for what we didn't know of him personally by knowing all *about* him.

<Alice> I think if I ever had gotten to meet him, I would have just fainted....LOL

<harx1> Ditto. 

<Alice> LL-You have hit the nail on the head sister!

<kennyfan> touche, Laura

<Mikewats> I would have annoyed him for his autograph, but only if there was someone brassier than me in front of me annoying him for his autograph as well

<Mikewats> Well said, Laura

<Bill> but we will all cheer you on at the Comedy Club Maria

<harx1> That would have been me, Mike.  Years of stage door experiences.

<Alice> I wouldn't have interrupted dinner or followed him for blocks or anything.....

<Bill> and fall off our chairs at least once each!

> I have a lot of people over the years who asked me "what was Jack Benny *really* like?"

<Alice> Harx...you do that too?

<Maria> I remember coming out of a restaurant with him one time and this man couldn't wait to get his attention. He said, "I saw you at (some theater) a long time ago." I thought he was so pathetic. I mean, who really cares that he saw him before? But now I understand that he was letting him know how much he liked and respected him.

> I always want to say, "How the h**l should I know?"

<Alice> ROFL

<Alice> Maria-I think you're absolutely right

<harx1> Less so now, but when I was younger I did it all the time, Alice. Now, I'll only do it if a friend is with me, cause at 25, it feels a bit weird sometimes.

<Alice> Harx, you young thing you....I'd STILL do it!  But nicely...

<Maria> Since that time, I remember seeing Bonnie Raitt at a small concert at the college that I went to. I have seen her since then and always wanted to tell her that I had seen her back in college. I thought it would mean something to her that I had been a fan when so few people were. But then I remembered that fan of Granddad's and realizedd that that was he was doing too.

<Mikewats> Yeah, well, I'm too shy to run up to somebody like that all on my own...

<Alice> Jack just seemed so accessible<Alice> Jack was just so good at what he did, he made you feel (I would think) that you could just walk up to him and have a normal conversation with him....

<Maria> He was pretty accessible, all things considered.  If you happened across him, he would take the time to talk to you.

> I've had so many members say that they felt like Jack and the gang were family.

<Alice> They ARE like family....sad, but true!  Lol

<harx1> That's so nice to know, Maria. 

<JBDarnell> thats what is so appealing about it...you just want to get to know these wonderful people.

> Maria - Did you ever see anyone hassle him about his "character"?  Being cheap, etc.?

> Some people can't separate the two.

<Alice> Like my friend at work who waited on him one time and stole the butt of the cigar he was smoking....now THAT'S sad.....

<Bill> (oops, raining into the convertible again....  i should just turn it into a planter!"

<Maria> One of my best friends, growing up, was Donna Reed's daughter. I remember her also being terribly annoyed that everyone thought of her mother as their mother. (I did too, actually, because she was SO nice.)

<Mikewats> It sounds like he was great at putting people at ease....

<Alice> Bill, do you EVER put the top up?

> Alice - I have the butt of a cigar that George Burns discarded...am I sad?

<Bill> WELL, NOW!

<Alice> Yup....I stole Dorothy Lamour's cigarette butts too....

<Maria> Those cigars were SO gross. Granddad and George always had one hanging out of their mouths and the ends were wet and sloppy and totally disgusting. and no, I don't remember anyone giving him a hard time about anything.

<Mikewats> This is a "collectable" I haven't heard of...

<Alice> So I'm sad as well.....I thought I told you that story, LL....that's why I said that.....

<Mikewats> Are "butts of the stars" being sold on eBay?

<Christine K> I have a picture of George Burns with a cigarette butt. Does that  count?

<Alice> Close enough Christin

<Alice> *Christine<Maria> His cigars were green, by the way.  I don't see green cigars anymore -- just brown ones.

> Yes, he really loved cigars!

<kennyfan> lol mikewats

<Alice> I'd better go before I'm accused of being a stalker....

> Oh, I've seen green cigars.  At Cantor's in Los Angeles.

<Maria> Is it a Jewish thing?

> Not that I know of...I think green cigars are just incredibly cheap.  (No joke intended)

<Bill> I saw in the paper where the tobacco auctioneer thing is nearly a thing of the past here

<kennyfan> still lol, mikewats :-)

> I bought a green cigar with "Cantor's" on the band.

<Maria> I don't actually think Granddad smoked cheap cigars, although he may have. But if he did, it's becuas he didn't know the difference, not because he was cheap (which, of course, he wasn't).

> George Burns always said he smoked cheap cigars.

<Alice> LL-in honor of Banjo Eyes?

<Maria> I'm telling you, -- he didn't so much smoke them as chew the slimy ends.

<JBDarnell> ma, he's makin eyes at me {:')

> Alice - No, just in honor of the place.  It's just about across the street from CBS.

<Alice> LOL JB

<JBDarnell> its my fave cantor song. eddie was great

> They have a sandwich there called something like the Buck Benny.

<harx1> Ahhh, Cantor's.  I used to pass it all the time when I lived in LA.  Never went in, though.  Sigh.

<Alice> I like "If You Knew Susie"<JBDarnell> thats a goodie too, as well as yes, sir that's my babie.

<JBDarnell> *baby.

<Alice> And Makin' Whoopee?

> Maria - I'll have to find out more about the green cigars.  I'm a cigar fancier, but I don't smoke that often.

<Maria> Well, folks, I've got to get going here.  Any more questions?

> Maria - It's been wonderful.  I'm so glad you could join us tonight.

<Alan> I used to go to Cantor's a lot growing up, have not been there in a long time though

<Bill> thanks so much!

<kennyfan> thanks for being here, Maria.  please come back again!

<Maria> I'll see some of you at the Statue Unveiling.

<JBDarnell> another bride, aother june.......

<Alice> Maria-Not from me, but thanks for showing up and sharing your remembrances with us!

<KM99> Maria ;  do you knwo what Jack's favorite TV show was?

<Alice> It's only 3 months away!  Waukegan in September!  :O<Alan> Maria, thanks for participating. It's really interesting to have someone who knew Jack well here to talk to

<Maria> No, I can't remember watching TV with him.

<KM99> Thanks Maria

<JBDarnell> thanks maria. see you in waukegan!

<Mikewats> Thanks very much, Maria, and goodnight

<Maria> Thanks for making me feel special again.

<KM99> Goodnight Maria

> Any time, Maria.

<Alice> Night Maria

> Well, yee-hah!

<Alice> I STILL like that name....

<harx1> Night Maria!

> So glad she showed up...

<Alice> I thought that might be her....I knew it wasn't me!

<kennyfan> relatives here...amazin'!

<Bill> Very very neat!  Thanks for letting me participate

> Joan and Maria were here for the first chat room, but it wasn't well-attended.

> All the grandkids are great.

<kennyfan> I was here! :-)

<Alice> Not too bad of a crowd here tonight...