(Name of message originator in <> brackets at the beginning of each line;  lines starting with > are originated by Laura Leff)

[Sun May 04 16:58:14 PDT 2003] Barbara has no profile.

> Hi Barbara!

<Michael> sounds good :-)

<Michael> Hi Barbara

<Barbara> Hi everyone!

> How's life in the southland today?

<Barbara> Nice and sunny today after a heavy rain Friday and Saturday. How about you?

<Michael> Barbara.... where you from?

<Barbara> I'm from Canoga Park, north of L.A. Where are you from?

<Michael> ahhhhh ok

<Michael> am currently in Oklahoma

<Michael> weathers been a bit crazy today

<Barbara> That's a nice state.

<Barbara> My daughter lives in Lake Tahoe and they have snow.

> Yes, we had that rain as well. Even thunderstorms and a funnel cloud...very unusual here.

<Michael> except when it's like a scene out of "Twister"

> I haven't been to Oklahoma, but I've been to rural central Texas...I'm told it's much the same. Is that true?

<Barbara> Jack said it doesn't rain in so. Calif.--only heavy dew.

<Michael> depends on what part of the state you go to

> Barbara - Would that qualify as mountain dew?

<Barbara> Sure.

> Michael - Yes, I thought of that after I said it. I'm from Michigan originally, and it's difficult to qualify the whole state under any particular description. [Sun May 04 17:02:55 PDT 2003] kurt has no profile.

> Hey Kurt

<Michael> Hi Kurt

<kurt> for once, I'm early

> Kurt - I wasn't going to mention it... :)

> By the way, Kurt...Barbara...Barbara...Kurt...

> And Michael, of course...

<kurt> should I know Barbara?

> Just that Kurt and Barbara are a couple of trivia meisters on Jack Benny.

> Never had you in the room at the same time.

> Barbara worked at CBS.

<Michael> sounds like a momentous occasion then :-)

<kurt> Never been called a meister before

> Kurt - I could call you a meister brau, but I don't know if you drink beer.

<Michael> "CBS that's Crosby & Benny's Strongbox" --- Bob Hope

<Barbara> Speaking of Jack, I reallly enjoyed "Ida" on the violin and with Phil.

<kurt> Used to. Not anymore

> Michael - Ha! Hadn't heard that before.

<kurt> I got some Bob Hope jokes about Jack [Sun May 04 17:05:18 PDT 2003] stennie has no profile.

<Barbara> I didn't know you were from Michigan, Laura.

<kurt> They're not particularly funny, and they're kind of obvious

> Barbara - Yes, it was very cute, wasn't it?

> Barbara - Originally, yes.

<Michael> Hi Stennie

> Hi Stennie...welcome in!

<stennie> Hi!

<Barbara> Have I met Stennie?

<stennie> nope, I am new.

> Kurt - What say you share some of those Bob Hope jokes about Jack...

<Michael> welcome aboard then :-)

<kurt> Newbies always welcome

<stennie> Thanks! :-)

<kurt> Ok, let me get the sheafs from the Hope file

> While you're doing that, I'll throw open the floor for comments on the show for tonight.

<kurt> Mr. Billingsley was funnier being referred to than in person

<Michael> I liked the way the band played "For he's a jolly good fellow" anytime Jack said "10th Anniversary"

> Someone had asked me recently about the titles for the opening songs being made up...obviously, this one was.

> Kurt - Do you think the man at the door was Ed Beloin?

<kurt> Probably.

> Who was Peter the Hermit?

<stennie> I liked Mary's poem, and the reference to Carmichael and the gas man

<kurt> very funny gas man gag

<Michael> good question...

 

<Barbara> Wasn't the mailman missing too?

> Yeah...I haven't made an official study of it, but I didn't know they were still doing Carmichael jokes this late.

<Michael> although there were times when I felt like telling Mary to shut up...

> Michael - Just too brash and edgy? [Sun May 04 17:09:27 PDT 2003] Roger has no profile.

<Michael> I think so...

> Hi Roger!

<Barbara> I always feel like telling her that, but I won't go into that now. It would take too long.

<stennie> the recording skips once in her poem, does anyone know what got left out?

<Michael> Hi Roger

<kurt> Carmichael gags disappeared in 1943 with the new writers

> Barbara - Oh come on...go into it...

<Roger> Hi

> Stennie - I'd have to look at the script...not sure.

<Barbara> I can't help it, I feel that way.

> Kurt - That makes sense. When I research the expanded log I'll know better.

<Michael> I sometimes think the writers overdid things with Mary's Sarcasm

> I noticed that her delivery at this time was much more neener-neener-neener than the very flat delivery that she developed after the war.

> Do you know what I mean?

<Barbara> Why would Jack hang out with someone like her?

<Michael> I think so

> Why would anyone hang out with someone like her character?

<Barbara> Yes.

<stennie> didn't she have terrible "mike fright"? you really can't tell at all from listening to the show.

<Michael> well... originally Mary was the "Dumb Kid"

<kurt> Jack was forever being abused by whateve woman he was with

> It's a delivery that has a lot more highs and lows in it, a sort of upsy-downsy almost singsongy quality to it.

> Michael - True, but I think that was much in the Harry Conn days and less so with Morrow and Beloin.

<Michael> right

<kurt> Ladies and gentlemen...Bob Hope!

> Stennie - She did, but I think it got worse over the years.

<kurt> The 1968 Oscars

> Kurt - True. Whether it was Mabel and Gertrude or someone else...

<kurt> "The fans in the auditorium are getting a lot of action. A yellow Ferrai pulled up and Steve McQueen got out."

<kurt> "A white convertible with steern horns on the bumper drove up and Dale Robertson got out."

<kurt> "Then a brown Santa Monica bus stopped and Jack Benny got out."

<stennie> haha

<Michael> :-)

> Wah wah wah wahhhh

> You can hear Hope saying that

<Michael> yep

> BTW, there's a picture on Ebay now that purports to be Jack Benny and Bobe Hope...was that Bob's sister?

<Barbara> Did you see the picture in the paper of Hope's room that holds all his jokes?

> Does it still exist?

<Barbara> It's big and has a lot of file cabinets. I wonder what is going to happen to them? [Sun May 04 17:16:36 PDT 2003] stennie has no profile.

> I see a university donation in their future...

<stennie> whoops.

<Michael> yep

> WB Stennie

<Michael> wb stennie

<stennie> thanks

> Any latest news on Hope's condition?

<kurt> All 400,000 hope quips are at the Library of Congress

> I'd heard that they were doing the tributes early due to his...well...declining condition.

<Barbara> I don't think it's too good, but he keeps hanging in there.

<stennie> I read somewhere that he's still very alert and determined to hang on, but he's too frail to attend any of the festivities.

<Roger> Is he wheelchair-bound?

<Barbara> I think George Burns was in better shape the last years of his life.

> Barbara - Yes and no...

<Barbara> Elucidate please, Laura.

> He definitely was in better shape before his fall in the shower

<Barbara> I'd forgotten he fell.

> But afterwards, he was in pretty rough shape. Although there were still stories of him going to his office occasionally.

> I don't know if I completely believe them.

<Michael> depends on the source I would think

<kurt> Hope has been "declining" for the past 4 years

<Barbara> It seems that Bob Hope has been very frail for many years now tho.

<kurt> Basically, he's a cap in a chair

> I tried very hard to get an interview with him after the fall, and an inside source told me, "Even if you could talk to him, you wouldn't get much."

> The last book...100 Years, 100 Stories...just seemed like people rehashing the usual anecdotes and pulling an occasional joke out of the Big Book of Jewish Humor.

<Barbara> I expect that's true.

Subject shift...what other comments about the show for tonight?

<stennie> pretty hot violin solo

<Michael> yes

> Dennis had very few lines in this show.

<Michael> I like the gift they got for Jack :-)

<Roger> Did Jack actually give out his REAL age?

> Very similar to one he did on a special with Mel Blanc leading "The Tijuana Strings".

<stennie> yeah, he did!

<Barbara> I have seen pictures where he did play the violin on top of his head as he mentioned.

> Roger - Almost...he was 38 when he debuted on radio.

> Barbara - Was that as a solo act, or with one of his partners?

<Barbara> As far as I know it was a solo vaudeville act [Sun May 04 17:23:06 PDT 2003] Mikewats: 39, Male, Oklahoma, Draft Status 4-F

> Hi there, Mike!

<Michael> Hi there Mike

<Mikewats> Hello Laura, hello all

<Barbara> Hi Mike!

<kurt> Any program that combines a violin solo, Mr. Billingsley AND the gas man is a classic.

> Barbara - Interesting. Sounds like something he might have done with Bennie and Woods.

<Mikewats>

<passes out Jell-O in ceremonial 10th anniversary dishes>

<Mikewats>

<passes out Jell-O in ceremonial 10th anniversary dishes>

<Barbara> Yes it does. I played the violin a little and don't think I could do that. I'll bet Jack's father wouldn't have liked it. [Sun May 04 17:24:20 PDT 2003] benitaaaaah!!!!!! has no profile.

> Hello benitaaaah!!!

> Hard to say that without yelling a bit...

<kurt> Has anyone heard the tape of Jack's 10th anniversary banquet?

<Michael> Hi Benitaaaaah!!!

> Barbara - Agreed. They always wanted him to be serious with it.

<Mikewats> Hi Benitaaaaaah!!!

<stennie> I think I have an mp3 of that. rudy vallee is MC?

<Michael> and on that note I have to head out

> Barbara - Have you ever seen Eddie Carroll's full stage show?

<Michael> See U all next time

<stennie> bye Michael

<kurt> By, Michael

<Mikewats> Bye Michael

> Take care, Michael!

<kurt> that's the one. With Rudy

<Michael> Take Care Everyone

> Kurt - I have, but haven't listened to the whole thing yet.

<stennie> same here -- I have it, but haven't listened to it all yet

<Barbara> I'm not sure what you mean by his full stage show. I did see him at the Hollywood Roosevelt, but it was a solo act.

> Barbara - I mean the hour and a half show.

<kurt> The tape is interesting, because Jack sounds either a little drunk or very tired

> It's a one man show.

<kurt> Either that, or his radio voice was MUCH higher than his real voice

> Kurt - I can look it up, but remind me...what's the date on it?

<kurt> I think May 10, 1941

> Kurt - Is this the half hour version, or the whole unaired version?

<Barbara> Gee, Laura, I don't know how long it was, but it could have been.

<kurt> On May 11, 1941, they continued the "anniversary" show of May 4 with a long musical skit

<stennie> the one I have is one hour, and I think the date on it is May 9th, but I might be wrong on that

> Barbara - He has a scene in it where he's talking with Mayer, and his father makes it clear how sad he is that Jack is using the violin as comedy.

<Barbara> They gave Jack a big dinner for his 10th of which I have photos somewhere.

<kurt> Edgar Bergen spoke, and Burns and Allen made a joke about Harry Conn

> You know, Barbara...I have to say that I regularly envy you for all the Benny material you have at your disposal. It's great.

<Roger> IS Barbara the person who typed scripts for the show?

<Barbara> Laura, I can't say for sure as I remember him talking to Meyer, but I can't say he didn't. I assumed it was a full show.

<Barbara> I must confess that I did.

> Barbara - Well, not a big deal. Just that we were talking about how Mayer would have felt about it, and it made me think of that scene.

<Roger> Barbara- so did you meet all the stars who appeared on the show?

> Kurt - I'm just trying to remember what they did on Saturdays for the show...what Jack would have been doing earlier in the day...probably mostly editing at that point.

<Barbara> Jack did an interview where he talked about his father's disappointment in him and his mother not seeing him amount to anything.

<kurt> I think Saturdays were devoted to script trimming

> But Mayer also was proud of Jack by the end, and regular stopped strangers on the street to announce that Jack Benny was his son.

<Barbara> Roger, I can't say as I met any of the people on his show, but I did see them.

> There's a great story about that...actually, there are a few of them.

<Barbara> That's true, Laura.

<Roger> Barbara - still very cool!

<kurt> More Bob Hope material!

> *A hush falls over the crowd*

<Roger> What did you all think of the 2 hour retrospective on BH a couple of weeks ago?

<kurt> At the 1940 Oscars, he introduced Mervyn LeRoy. Said he appeared through the courtesy of Kenny Baker.

> Roger - I missed it, but heard that Jack made a few clips.

<Roger> JAck, of course, was quite funny.

<Barbara> Didn't Bob say once that the Oscars were a benefit for David Selznick?

<kurt> That's not the way the line was written

> Oh say, kids...watch for an NBC show entitled something like "Outrageous Live Television Moments" on May 21. I've been providing them with some stuff, including the show where Jack collapses into Bob Hope's arms.

<kurt> But what he said was, "I think this is a wonderful thing, this benefit for David Selznick."

<Roger> I liked his line about the Oscars being known as Passover in his house.

> Roger - LOL

<stennie> hee hee

<kurt> That was in 1968

<Barbara> Congratulations, Laura. I've seen that bit.

> Barbara - Live?

<kurt> In 1970, he said the Oscars, at his house, were known as Mission Impossible

<Barbara> No, on TV.

> Barbara - It's the only time of which I'm aware where Jack's complete collapse is captured on video.

<Barbara> It has been said recently that Bob Hope is probably the greatest comedian in the world. Do you agree with that?

<Mikewats> LOL, Roger

> Barbara - It depends on what your yardstick is.

<kurt> Only in the movies

<kurt> His topical gags don't hold up

<Roger> No way, Jose.

> Kurt - Movie comedian? What about Danny Kaye?

<kurt> Hope had a much vaster movie career than Kaye.

> A member sent me a NYT article where it credited Bob Hope with inventing all sorts of things

<stennie> he's certainly legendary. I don't think I'd count him among my favorites, though.

> Like the wisecracking emcee

<Barbara> I think Bob Hope did a greater variety of things.

> And staring at a person who'd just insulted his character

<kurt> Well, yeah, Bob was much fiunnier than Conrad Nagel

<Mikewats> Oh, I love some of his topical gags. 1944: "I've always voted for Roosevelt. My father's always voted for Roosevelt."

<Barbara> Also funnier than Richard Nixon.

> Ticked me off, there were so many things they discussed that Jack did first, or Jack did and took from others like Frank Fay.

<Barbara> He did admire Frank Fay tho, didn't he?

<Barbara> Not his personal life.

<kurt> Hope in 1971. Dolores has always been a devout Catholic. For years, she thought Norman Vincent Peale was a stripper."

> Mikewats - That's like an entry in an "In my day" contest of "In my day, we didn't have Strom Thurmond! Oh wait...yes we did."

<stennie> of Hope's stuff I like the Road movies best, but I like Crosby in them better than Hope most of the time.

> Barbara - I think everyone admired Frank Fay...on stage, not off it.

<kurt> Milton Berle once beat up Frank Fay

<Mikewats> LOL, Laura

<kurt> Fay was a big-time snti-Semite

<kurt> anti-semite, sorry

> Kurt - Did he? Where? Dish!

<kurt> Backstage in vaudeville. Fay sued, it was settled out of court

> Fay was a world-class jerk, so I've heard.

<stennie> go uncle miltie

<kurt> Miltie decked him with a brace used to hold up scenery

<Barbara> Good for Miltie. Faye beat up Barbara Stanwyck, didn't he?

> Fay married Barbara Stanwyck and then beat her up, I think.

<stennie> I think I heard that, yeah.

> Benitaaah - Still with us?

<Roger> So who is Frank Fay?

> Oh...there's a question...I'll let someone else take it.

<Barbara> Has anyone read George Burns' book All My Best Friends? I find I have 2 copies if anyone would like one. Has quite a bit about Jack. [Sun May 04 17:43:12 PDT 2003] stennie has no profile.

<kurt> Fay was a longtime stage emcee

<kurt> A prototype more of Hope than Benny

<stennie> whoops again.

<kurt> Also the original Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey

> Stennie - If you go Web searching, launch another instance of your browser. Otherwise it boots you.

<stennie> yeah, I keep finding that out! :-)

<Mikewats> I know Fred Foy, but not Frank Fay

> Kurt - Yes, but was similar to Jack in his vaudeville and early radio days.

<Barbara> I'd like to see Fay perform, but he was even before my time.

> Mikewats - Do you have a copy of Milt Josefsberg's book on Jack?

<kurt> Fay was famous for his smirk. He'd come out on stage after a nude tableaux.

> Fay did a little movies, I think.

<Mikewats> Nope, I do not, Laura

> Mikewats - Oh well. If you're interested, look for it at www.addall.com/used. There's a mention of him in the chapter about men Jack hated.

<Barbara> You have it, don't you Laura?

<kurt> I'm watching the Lucy biopic.

> Barbara - The Josefsberg book? I have a couple copies.

<kurt> 45 minutes in, she's still blonde

> Kurt - Any good?

<kurt> She's making out in a convertible.

<Barbara> We have something to look forward to Lura.

> Fay was also famous for a variety of different things...

> Among them the wisecracking emcee,

> the effeminate manner

<kurt> Oh, it's OK. She's making out with Desi

> Kurt - I hope her top's up.

<kurt> Now they're just TALKING

> Barbara - What are we looking forward to?

<Mikewats>

<runs to see if her top is up>

<kurt> Wow, Desi's already cheatign on her!

> Jack basically stole his walk from Frank Fay.

<stennie> why would he steal that walk?

<kurt> Lucy: Are you screwing her?

> Kurt - Wow...good dialogue.

<Barbara> I was talking about the Lucy show since it's on later here.

<kurt> Desi: We're not screwing. We're dancing.

> Barbara - Oh right...I understand.

> I just dubbed over the Paul Revere show from beta to VHS a couple days ago.

> It's interesting to see Jack and Lucy work together, because their styles were so different.

<kurt> At this rate, William Frawley should show up any minute

<Barbara> Jack got very upset with Lucy at least once and said she needed a psychiatrist.

<kurt> Lucy's half-hour shows with Jack were essentially Jack Benny programs.

> Barbara - Was that when she wouldn't let him sit down?

<kurt> Lucy always was in Jack's world, not the other way around.

> Jack doing some slapstick in the skit...not completely in keeping with the overall character.

<Barbara> Almost. She wouldn't let him hold on to a table for balance and he fell.

> But it was a 1964-65 season, and the shows were getting weaker then.

<Barbara> Milt wrote for both of them so there's apt to be some similarity.

> Barbara - OK...I knew she wouldn't let him do something and he fell.

Hey, Kurt...who played Eddie Cantor in that?

<Mikewats> Some of her mid and late 60s shows were embarrassing

<kurt> I missed the Eddie Cantor segment

> Mikewats - You mean "Here's Lucy" and "The Lucy Show"?

<Barbara> I read the book, Lucy and Desi, and it was quite interesting. They were good onstage but had an awful marriage.

<stennie> the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour is pretty weak, too

> Kurt - Just curious. Not sure who'd I'd cast as Cantor these days.

<kurt> This is a really bad TV movie.

> Barbara - Maybe we don't have something to look forward to.

<kurt> The casting of Lucy is bad enough. Can't imagine who they'd use for Cantor

> Kurt - Just let me know if Jack appears in it and I'll watch it or not...

<stennie> now we know we can skip it.

> Kurt - I noticed that in the ads...I didn't think she looked like her.

<kurt> Holy crap, Clark Gable! The actor is totally putrid!

<Barbara> If it's too bad, I'll watch the stock market reports.

> Barbara - LOL

<kurt> No Jack. It's only up to her divorce from Desi

<stennie> she looks more like Carol Burnett. not her face so much, but physically.

> When did they divorce?

<Mikewats> Laura, I lost track of the titles...but starting about 1966, Lucy turned her show into these Lawrence Welk-type musicals that were just bizarre to watch

<kurt> You nailed it

<Mikewats> Not all the time, of course, but...

<Barbara> Did you read where Clark Gable was one of the few actors who wouldn't appear on Jack's show?

> Mikewats - Gee, I don't think I've seen any of those. Maybe that's OK>

> Barbara - That's a new one on me...why?

<kurt> Gable did almost no radio

<stennie> why not?

> And with Jack's friendship with Carole Lombard, too.

<kurt> Some actors didn't like to do radio

<Barbara> Stagefright--appearing in front of a live audience. He was afraid he'd fall on his face.

<kurt> Humphrey Bogart did radio

<kurt> Katherine Hepburn did almost none

> Barbara - Hm...yes, I think I read that many years ago, now that you mention it.

<kurt> Jimmy Stewart even briefly had a series on radio

<Barbara> Jack pleaded with him but he wouldn't do it.

<Mikewats> Lucy did some very good radio...I heard her the other week with Bob Cummings in an very funny adaptation of "Bachelor Mother"

> Kurt - There's a show where Bogart guests with Jolson on Kraft Music Hall...haven't heard it in years, but I loved it then and listened to it many times.

> Gable would have been great on the Benny show. That's unfortunate.

> Now there's another question...

> Who would you like to have seen do a guest shot on Jack's show that never did?

<stennie> I just a DVD of an Ernst Lubitsch movie, and it has a Gulf Screen Guild production with Jack Benny and Claudette Colbert and Basil Rathbone. funny stuff. they repeated it a few years later with Barbara Stanwyck and Michael Curtiz and it was even funnier.

<stennie> (I just BOUGHT a DVD, that should say)

<Barbara> That was a great show, Stennie.

> I'd love to have heard Edward Everett Horton on the show.

<stennie> horton! that would have been a scream.

<Barbara> It's hard to think of many people who weren't on the show.

> I wonder how Fred Astaire would have been on the show.

> (Sorry, guess I'm stuck in Top Hat at the moment.)

<stennie> Carole Lombard would have been good - did she ever appear on his radio show?

<Barbara> Jack did take his place in a dancing show with Ginger, remember?

<Barbara> She was going to appear when she got back from the bond rally in Indiana.

> Barbara - I know...that's part of what made me think of it.

<stennie> awww. :-(

<kurt> Desi: "I will not be known as Mr. Ball."

> No, Carole never made it to Jack's radio show.

<Barbara> Most all of Jack's leading ladies were on, including Ann Sheridan.

> Kurt - That sounds like Billy Rose's comment about wanting to divorce Fanny Brice because he was sick of being called "Mr. Brice".

<Roger> The Jack & Ginger dance scene was great.

<kurt> More's the pity for him, too

<stennie> they could have had a lot of fun promo-ing To Be or Not to Be. it's a shame Carole died so young.

> Roger - I always want to look for the fly wires on Ginger during the lift.

<Barbara> I understand Jack was devastated by Carol's death and cancelled his show.

> Well, yes and no...

> The show went on, but Jack wasn't on it.

<stennie> the show went on but it was just music.

> It was all music.

<kurt> I think the show was the same day as her funeral, correct?

<Barbara> That's true.

> They got her body back awfully fast...

> I can't remember the exact date of her death, but I thought the plane went down on a Friday or so.

<Barbara> I believe it was not said why the show was cancelled. I guess most people knew.

<stennie> jan. 16, 1942

> Stennie - Is that when the plane went down?

<Barbara> Wow!!!!

<stennie> yes. I looked it up on imdb.com

<kurt> The show date was Jan. 18

<Barbara> Someone said the plane was flying aat 2400 ft. and the mountain was 2600 ft. and that's not good.

> Yeah, see...are you sure about the funeral on 1/18? I think it took them a while just to find the debris.

(loss due to screen refresh)

> Stennie - Send me an E-mail and I'll send you the E-mail of someone who sold me my copy. It's not great quality, but it's watchable. Shows up on Ebay now and then.

<kurt> Jack used to talk about cigars all the time pre-Lucky Strike.

> Kurt - And per the Camp Hahn video, apparently smoked them during the broadcast.

<kurt> He never mentioned smoking Lucky Strikes, though.

> So what else Benny-wise is on your minds this evening.

<stennie> thanks, Laura.

<Mikewats> Random note about tonight's show...

> Kurt - I don't think he did. Mary smoked cigarettes, but not Jack.

> Kurt - Although Barbara showed me a newspaper article with a very bizarre picture of Jack smoking a cigarette in bed.

<Mikewats> There were four hit versions of "My Sister and I", and all of them made the charts in May 1941

> Mikewats - Thanks...I was going to ask about that song.

<Mikewats> Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra did the best known version, which went to #1

> As they say, they don't write songs like that any more...if someone released a song with that title, it would have something lurid going on...

<Mikewats> In other words, Dennis sometimes performed the very latest hit songs

> Mikewats - True. It wasn't always Galway Bay.

<kurt> He always performed charted hits until the 1950s.

> I'm surprised that more of Dennis' songs didn't chart.

<kurt> Lucy's sitting in Jack Benny's director's chair!

> Wahoo!

> Is Jack there?

<kurt> Talking with Carole Lombard!

<Mikewats> Also, I saw an Ed Sullivan clip show on our local PBS station last night, and there was a segment of Rich Little imitating (among others) Jack and Rochester

> Kurt - Huh? What year is this?

<kurt> On the set of TBONTB

<Mikewats> The segment was in color, so it had to be after August 1965

> Kurt - Hm. Is this real or fiction?

<stennie> what's Lucy doing there? [Sun May 04 18:13:35 PDT 2003] RadioMaster: ready to receive call to fill Gray Davis' post

<kurt> chatting with carole lombard

<stennie> Lucy had a bit part in Broadway Melody of 1936

> Mikewats - Interesting...probably around the time of the start of the Dean Martin roasts?

<kurt> talking 'bout going to MGM

> Hey there RadioMaster!

> Kurt - TBONTB was a United Artists film, I think.

<kurt> carole's talking about flying to indians "for a war bond thing."

<Mikewats> Could be, Laura..a lot of the other clips on the show were from between 1967-70

<kurt> Now she's crying in her room. Newspaper hed says lombard dies in plane crash.

<kurt> So no jack.

<Mikewats> Boy, that's spooky synchronocity, Kurt

<stennie> UA distributed it, but I think it was an independent production. Kind of rare for those days.

<Mikewats> synchronicity, even

> Kurt - Probably because they simply couldn't find anyone to play him. Except Eddie or Will Jordan.

<kurt> No, actually, I wanted to see Jack stroll by.

> Kurt - Sort of like in the Claudette Colbert movie?

<kurt> Well, he might have provided some comedy relief.

> Can't recall the title right off...the one with John Wayne.

> Kurt - An unfunny bio of Lucille Ball...sad.

<Mikewats> Yeah, why couldn't they have had Eddie Carroll in teh scene?

> *Envisons Eddie Carroll in the Hamlet costume*

<stennie> hee hee

<kurt> Oooo. Not a pretty sight.

> Darnit...now I need to go find the name of this movie with Jack's cameo...

<kurt> Casablanca?

<stennie> without reservations

> Stennie - Right. Without Reservations.

> Good for you! [Sun May 04 18:18:14 PDT 2003] RadioMaster: ready to receive call to fill Gray Davis' post

> WB RM!

<stennie> There's tons o' cameos in that. I saw it years ago. I can't even remember jack's cameo.

<RadioMaster> Howdy all!

<stennie> hi, RadioMaster

> Stennie - Jack walks up to Colbert and asks for her autograph. You just see his back. [Sun May 04 18:18:58 PDT 2003] kurt2 has no profile.

> Then she asks who to make it out to, and he says, "Jack Benny". You see a slow realization go over her face.

> As he walks away, he turns around and that's the only time you see his face.

<stennie> I think TCM showed that about a month ago

> Fortunately, a member sent me a copy that's sitting on top of my VCR now.

> How's life, RM?

<RadioMaster> Busy

<RadioMaster> busy

> RM - I'm sure.

<kurt2> Now Lucy's at MGM

<RadioMaster> busy

> Say, has everyone voted (at least once) in the caption contest?

<RadioMaster> did I mention busy?

<kurt2> Omigosh, she's just met Red Skelton!

> RM - Hope you haven't lost too much more weight.

<Mikewats> And she's pretty red herself now...

> RM - Or are you just exchanging with V?

> Mikewats - I bet she's even well-red.

<RadioMaster> no, I've been stressing out with chocolate chip cookies and milk

> RM - Got it. I'll have to send you my family recipe.

<kurt2> They're doing a scene from "DuBarry Was a Lady."

<RadioMaster> exchanging-- very good LL

> RM - For chocolate chip cookies....not milk.

<RadioMaster> got THAT recipe

<Mikewats> I was gonna say..

> So what other Benny thoughts are out there tonight?

<kurt2> On the show for the discussion, Rochester gets off a very complicated punch line.

<Mikewats> I was reminded in this show tonight that Mary had just the most endearing giggle of anybody in radio

> Kurt - Which one?

<Roger> When are they going to do a movie about Jack's life?

<kurt2> Half the time, he'd muff a line like that.

> I remember there was a line from Rochester that was very hard to understand...

<kurt2> Something to do with Billingsley

> Roger - There's a couple people trying on that one...getting someone to fund it is the first order of business.

<stennie> the one that ended with "apropopopos"?

<kurt2> That's the one!

> Kurt - Oh, the one where he comes down in a dinner jacket, no pants, no shoes, no socks, nothing else?

> Sorry...a little slow on the trigger.

<kurt2> Another time, he built a robot

> Kurt - In Jet Benny? ;)

<Roger> Whats the best bio book of JB

<kurt2> Rochester said the iron man was "that way" about the electric refrigerator

> Kurt - Wow...that's an edgy line for the time.

<kurt2> There ARE no really good bios in print. Irving Fein's comes closest.

> Roger - Depends on what you want out of it.

<Mikewats> Rochester seems to be rushing his lines here a little bit

> Roger - Jack's is interesting to read because it's Jack.

<kurt2> "That way" was Louella-speak. Or a line used by Jimmy Fidler. Audiences recognized it instantly

<stennie> I just read Sunday Nights at Seven. that was a fun little read.

<Roger> I have th JB Show by M Josefsburg

> Roger - Milt's is the most hagueographic (sp?), but the accuracy varies.

> Roger - Irving's is probably the most factual.

> Roger - Mary's is definitely the least of the group.

<Roger> LL- hagueographic???

<stennie> least factual, or least good?

<kurt2> hagio. hagiographic

<Roger> Mary, his wife, wrotone>

> Kurt - Is that the right spelling on that word?

> Kurt - Thanks.

> Roger - Mary didn't really write it. Marcia Borie wrote it. Mary's only there in a few interviews...Hickey, same thing.

> Hagiography - The biography of a saint.

<RadioMaster> our president speaks ex cathedra

<Roger> Yes, I just found that. So MJ revered JB?

> If you're looking for the best read, it's probably Milt's.

<kurt2> Oh, rats. I must depart!

> Kurt - Rats! Take care...talk with you soon.

<stennie> bye Kurt!

<RadioMaster> bye Kurt

<kurt2> See you next month!

<Mikewats> Night, Kurt

> Roger - Definitely. He adored him and it shows on every page.

> RM - No, I speak ex machina.

<RadioMaster> hee, hee, heeeeeee

> President ex machina.

> I meant to make some Jell-O before the chat so I could enjoy it during, but didn't get around to it.

> Say, here's something that came up recently on the OTR Digest.

> Why are the commercials of the radio era seemingly so much more effective than those of the current age?

<stennie> they are, aren't they?!

> I have my own thoughts, but wanted to throw it open for discussion.

<RadioMaster> people were wrapped up in Radio--

<stennie> I swear, I went out and bought a pack of Lucky Strikes after listening to Jack's show

> Case in point...I knew I was going to listen to the show today, and immediately wanted Jell-O.

<RadioMaster> it was a part of the family-

> Stennie - You're not the first! I know of someone else, and they're not a smoker!

<RadioMaster> like Uncle Joe--

<RadioMaster> Abbottt

<RadioMaster> Amos...etc.

<stennie> well, at least I am a smoker. :-) I didn't take up smoking on account of the ads.

<Mikewats> Yeah, the commercials were put across by people you "knew"...

> Also, consider the middle commercial of the show for tonight.

<stennie> but even listening to the shows now, I get the feeling I should be buying this stuff.

> Look at all the time spent on what is effectively a commercial for the sponsor.

<Mikewats> And in shows when the actors did the middle commercial, they would "wink" at the audience a lot

> But I must say, I wasn't urged to buy a Burger's Black Beauty Buggy Whip.

<Mikewats> Like in all those times when Fibber and Molly would roll their eyes at Harlow Wilcox's sales pitches...

> (Or break Hortense Hooligan's heart.)

> What other shows did that...weaving the middle commercial into the "plot"?

<RadioMaster> didn't Ed Wynn and Graham McNamee start out kidding the sponsor?

<Mikewats> Well, I dunno...a Burgers' Black Beauty Buggy Whip would make a fine conversation item on the coffee table...

> RM - When you say "start out"...do you mean originated?

<RadioMaster> yes

<Mikewats> Fibber McGee, of course, and Burns & Allen...

> Right next to the leather collection.

<stennie> the first few Father Knows Best radio shows often featured Jim Anderson asking for a cup of Maxwell House.

> RM - Actually, I always hear that origination attributed to Jack. You can hear him kidding the sponsor even on the first Canada Dry show.

> Stennie - That reminds me of the TV show with Oscar Levant as a guest where the word "tea" is bleeped twice, once replaced with a recording of Jack saying "coffee".

<RadioMaster> I could easily believe THAT, of course, but I always assumed The Texaco Star Fire Chief was on before 1932..

<stennie> ha. and THAT reminds me of a bit on one of the radio shows where Fred Allen is on. Jack offers him a cigarette, and Allen offers him a teabag.

> RM - Hmmmmm...I should know that, but I don't have my reference books immediately at hand.

> Stennie - LOL! That's great! Hadn't heard that.

<RadioMaster> I could be wrong, though

> Stennie - Who was sponsoring Fred by that time, though? I know he was with Texaco in 1941.

<RadioMaster> Tetley Tea

<stennie> I don't know. I was thinking it must have been Tetley. I haven't listened to too many of Allen's shows.

<Mikewats> Fibber McGee's was kind of surreal, because Harlow Wilcox was obstensibly a character in Wistful Vista, but his character was "the announcer"...

> I lost track of the sponsors when it became The Fred Allen Show.

> Now there's an interesting note....I know the Benny sponsors (and others) because the sponsor name was in the name of the show.

<stennie> Harlow Wilcox was the pitchman for Auto-Lite on the Suspense radio show too, wasn't he?

<RadioMaster> Linit, Ipana, Sal Hepatica, Ford, Bluebonnet

<Mikewats> Yep, he got around

> Same with 30-early 40s Fred Allen shows.

> Stennie - Yes, I believe you're right.

<Roger> Good night, and remember...there's always room for Jello

<Roger> Bye

<Mikewats> Night Roger

<stennie> bye Roger

> Bye, Roger!

<RadioMaster> night Roger

> But take the sponsor name out of the title and it becomes hazier.

<stennie> Jack had a few less sponsors than Allen, it seems.

<RadioMaster> Also, back to your question...LL,..

> Stennie - I don't know if that's true if you count them all

<RadioMaster> The sponsors' owned the time, and therefore were able to "beat it" into the listeners heads

> Jack had six sponsors on radio (not counting the Best of Benny reruns).

<Mikewats> What makes the commercials on radio more enjoyable for me was their economy...they made their pitch and got out of the way for the program...no five minute breaks in which eight or ten commercials hit you, one after another after another

> But it would make sense for Fred to have more, since he was always at odds with the network, sponsors, and any other executives he could find.

<stennie> the bulk of the years, though, he was mostly with Jello and Lucky Strike. and Grape Nuts during the war.

> Mikewats - Very true.

<RadioMaster> he HATED them!

> Stennie - True. 1934-1955.

<stennie> he bounced around a bit the first couple of years.

> Right. Canada Dry didn't like him kidding the product.

<RadioMaster> neither did Chevy

<stennie> and look what it did for Jello! he put them back on the map.

> I think some exec at Chevrolet didn't think he was funny.

> Stennie - Exactly. They were a complete also-ran to Knox at the time, and within a year he made them the top-selling gelatin dessert.

> Jell-O was almost a non-entity to General Foods at the time.

> The General Tire schedule is strange...only 26 shows over a spring-summer.

<Mikewats> I wonder what happened to that exec at Chevrolet?

<g>

<stennie> I don't think the Chevrolet shows are as funny as the ones for Jello. and the Lucky Strike ones are the best -- the show got funnier as it got older. I'm sure that's got more to do with the writers than the sponsorship, but it's interesting to me.

> There was a story that Canada Dry replaced Jack with a program of organ music, but I haven't been able to substantiate that. [Sun May 04 18:48:16 PDT 2003] RM has no profile.

> Stennie - What makes the Lucky Strike shows the best?

<RM> ooops

> Stennie - Not disagreeing with you, just pursuing the line of thought.

<stennie> I'm not sure, exactly. they just make me laugh more.

<RM> don't worry, LL doeas that to provoke thought and discussion

<stennie> when I think of the shows that I find the funniest, they mostly seem to be from the Lucky Strike years

> More of the sitcom style and less of the "show about nothing" with the cast in some nebulous location chatting?

> RM - Yup. You know me. Thanks.

<stennie> could be. more cohesive overall, perhaps.

<RM> :)

> I know we've talked about this before, but I always find the responses interesting. For the Jell-O shows, where are these characters? Like in tonight's show?

<Mikewats> More sitcom style, better writing

> Where do you envison them?

<RM> Hey, I've got to go...see you all later!!!!

> I think the silence may be an answer in itself...

> Take care, RM!

<RM> bye

<stennie> bye RM

> So what other Benny topics would you like to discuss?

<stennie> for tonight's show I just picture them in the studio doing the show. I've tried to picture in my head how that "studio" looks.

> I've seen pictures of the studio, so I always think of that.

> I wonder what was going on with the "workers" opening the "crate"...it got a good audience reaction.

> I think it was all just sound effects. Maybe a big bouquet of balloons being popped.

<stennie> there are a lot of times when I wonder what must be going on onstage, because of the audience reaction.

> Stennie - Like King for a Day.

<stennie> yeah! I just heard that one the other day.

> Stennie - Plenty of argument on whether Jack actually lost his pants or not.

<stennie> it sounded like he must have

> Yes, I think he did with all the uproar in the audience.

<stennie> there was one "end of the season" show where Jack asks Mary for a kiss, since it's the last show of the season, and she says "okay" and from the audience reaction he must have really planted one on her

> Ah, there's one like that in the 2/13/49 show as well.

> You get a big "woaaaahhhhhhhh!" sort of gasp from the audience.

<stennie> when Bogart and Bacall were on, they had a kissing scene that got a big reaction, too.

<stennie> yeah

> Yes, doing the "To Have and Have Not" routine.

<stennie> right

<stennie> and then I think Bogart does the scene with Mary and it gets a big reaction too.

> In the same show? I may be forgetting it...

<stennie> and from that, I can't tell if it's the kiss or jack's reaction to the kiss.

<stennie> I think so. maybe I'm remembering it wrong.

> Bogart was also on 2/1/42 for the second half of the Frightwig Murder Case, but I haven't heard that one in many years.

<stennie> I have been downloading the radion shows off the internet like mad, and then burning them onto CD to listen to in the car during my commute.

> You may be remembering it right...I am always awash in Benny trivia, so I forget things here and there.

> Stennie - You getting WAVs or MP3s?

<stennie> mp3's

<stennie> mostly from WinMX

> Stennie - Do you have a RioVolt (or something similar) in your car?

> Stennie - Tip...check out crispy.com

> Or our audio library.

<stennie> No, a standard CD player. I have to convert the bitrate of the mp3 to make a standard audio CD

<stennie> ooh, thanks.

> Hey, you may be new, but you're very well-informed!

> It's good to have you here.

<stennie> thank you!

<stennie> good to be here.

> Well, on that note...I'm thinking of wrapping it up for this evening.

<stennie> okay. see you next month!

<Mikewats> Yes, I need to take care of the doggy and Sunday night chores...

> Take care, all!

<Mikewats> Night, Laura...and thanks as always

<stennie> bye!

> And vice-versa.