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

<Michael> Hi Laura

<KM99> Hiya Laura

> Hi everyone!

<Alex Buck> Scott - you're from Kansas City too?

> How's everyone doing tonight? Staying warm?

<Scott in KC> Hi Laura!

<Michael> yep

> Hey Brendan...glad to see you made it in.

<KM99> It's minus 30 here

<Scott in KC> Yes, Alex.

<Michael> Merry Christmas *squawkwhistle*

<Alex Buck> Scott - no kidding. I'm down here in Olathe. Where are you?

<kurt> Jell-O again

<Scott in KC> Hyde Park...39th and Charlotte.

<Michael> Hi Kurt

> I'm in California and we have a freeze warning tonight.

<Brendan> Thanks Laura

> Hey kurt!

<kurt> If the former script secretary arrives, we can ask her 'bout Bing Crosby

<Alex Buck> What's the word on Bing?

<Scott in KC> LOL! Do you need your writers, too?

<Alex Buck> Ha Ha

> Jeanette Eyemann? What did she have to do with Bing?

<Michael> cna't stay too long and I've got a question regarding "Nottingham"

<kurt> Jack allegedly said something to Bing on the radio that he may not have said

> Go for it Michael

> kurt - Oh that. Got it.

<Michael> was DW playing "Nottingham"?

<kurt> What's the name of the former script secretary who sometimes comes to this chat?

> kurt - Oh! You mean Barbara!

> I don't think she's going to be here this evening. She sent me an E-mail that she might not.

<KM99> hmnmnhmhggrrrappphhh <==== Nottingham Impersonation

<Michael> LOL

<kurt> Well, dang. I'll hold the question for when she does show up

[Sun Jan 04 17:05:02 GMT-08:00 2004] donwilson has no profile.

> Hey Don

> Who is DW?

<Michael> Hi Don

<donwilson> hi jack

<kurt> No, I don't think DW played Nottingham

<Michael> DW = Don Wilson.... sorry

> Oh, no. Wrong voice quality.

<Michael> ok

> I've been curious who played him as well. Ask me in a few months and I may know by then.

<Scott in KC> You need to stoke up on those Grape Nuts Flakes.

<Michael> :-)

<kurt> Don didn't do that many sketches after the 1930s

<Michael> Ok

> Don was always good as an entree to the Sportsmen.

<Michael> true

<Alex Buck> I didn't know Don could sing

> You know, he sings the middle commercial on tonight's show, and he was a professional singer in the 1920s.

<kurt> He seldom blew his lines, too

<donwilson> he made a good "world" in the new tenant episodes

<Scott in KC> Laura...Did you know any of the main cast in real life?

<Michael> that middle commercial was the best I've ever heard

> Scott - Well, I had the opportunity to meet and/or talk with some of them.

<Scott in KC> That is so cool! :)

<Michael> Ok... I have to clear the line... hopefully I'll be back before this session is over

<Michael> Take Care all

<Scott in KC> You had a connection with the Golden Age of Radio.

<Alex Buck> Well, there was the "be lucky, go happy" line

> Take care, Michael!

<Scott in KC> Alex...Do you listen to OTR on KMBZ?

<kurt> Don once muffed a line in a Jell-O commercial. Jack rejoined with, "Don, you're blushing!"

<donwilson> wonder who told jack that buffalo were extinct for this epidsode

> Scott - It was quite a thrill to talk with them. I was particularly nervous with Dennis Day, but he had this wonderful way of putting you at ease.

<kurt> Don came back with, "That's the strawberry!"

<Alex Buck> Scott - that's 980 right?

> Kurt - I remember that...it was about 1939.

<Scott in KC> Yes Alex...KCMO carried the shows in the late 1980's

Are there stations that are carrying the Benny shows specifically, and not just "When Radio Was"?

<Alex Buck> Scott - KCMO's Sunday morning broadcasts were how I was introduced to OTR and are very fond memories from my childhood

<Brendan> February is Jack Benny month on our old radio program with Chuck Shadden

<KM99> QR77 plays Benny fairly regularly here in Calgary

[Sun Jan 04 17:10:47 GMT-08:00 2004] harlow wilson has no profile.

<Brendan> It is at wdcb.org and plays on Saturdays

> Brendan - Ah, of course. Is he rebroadcasting the Waukegan thing this year?

<Scott in KC> It seems like Dennis Day is the least pretenious actor I have heard. (Alex, we gotta meet to discuss OTR sometime.)

> Hey Harlow!

<Alex Buck> Scott - I think I remember hearing that 980 was doing some OTR late Saturday nights but I haven't had a chance to check this out. Are they random shows?

> Hey, all we need now is Lois to complete the family!

<Scott in KC> :)

<kurt> I'm still searching for Lois

> So did everyone have a chance to hear the show for tonight?

<Brendan> He plays parts of it now and then

> Kurt - As am I. A query to the OTR Digest turned up nothing.

<Scott in KC> They are from the show When Radio Was with Stan Freeberg

<donwilson> :-)

<KM99> LL - Just finished listening

<Alex Buck> OK, I'll show a little OTR naivity here. I've heard of Stan Freeberg but what's his shtick?

<Scott in KC> I have the "complete" MP3 CD collection...Remember, Laura, they MIGHT be bootlegs...I hope not!

> So what did everyone think about tonight's show?

<KM99> They got lots of laughs

> Scott - Probably are...but I won't make you discard them on that account. :)

<Scott in KC> Stan Freeberg was an advertising guy....very creative. He did "Dragonet" in 1953.

<harlow wilson> Nottingham was the best one on the show

<donwilson> loved the vault thing as usual.. cept the demise of the buffalo was just a bit premature

<donwilson> steve's character reminded me of homer bedlow

<Alex Buck> Was the vault gag very old at that point?

> It reminds me of the censor issue on another show where someone points out a herd of buffalo, and the censor insisted on it being "bison".

<kurt> The vault gag began in January 1945

<donwilson> andI cant stand Jack Benny Because............

> Who's Homer Bedlow?

<donwilson> he was the guy that always wanted to take the cannon ball off on petticoat junction

<donwilson> i cant remember his real name.. he was a character actor

> Ah, haven't watched enough of those episodes.

<Scott in KC> What is so bad about the word "buffalo"?

<donwilson> but he was homer bedlow on petticoat junction

> Scott - Well, the censor (I think) claimed that there were no buffalo in America, they were bison. So he wanted to be accurate.

> I think Milt's book may tell the story about that.

> "Hey, it's a bison stampede!"

<Scott in KC> Laura...That imdb.com would help you find out any TV and/or film actor (except Casablanca)

> Scott - Har har :)

<Scott in KC> Boson, New York?

<Alex Buck> Maybe Scott has something to add to this but I have never heard of Jack Benny statue in St. Jo, MO

<donwilson> no such thing as mad bison disease?

<Scott in KC> Bison

> Bison-flavored JellO

<Scott in KC> Ewww, Laura...LOL

> Alex - The phrase "They love me in St. Joe" goes back to vaudeville.

<donwilson> for atkins dieters no doubt

<Alex Buck> LOL

<Scott in KC> Got me, Alex

<shrugging shoulders>

> I was amazed that the gas man reference got such a great reaction!

<Alex Buck> Didn't George Burns have a book entitled "They Still Love Me in Altoona"?

<Brendan> There must have been a visual or something with the gasman comment

<kurt> No, it was all in Rochester's delivery

<Alex Buck> How long had the Charmichael polar bear gags been gone by this time

> They did that gag back in 1941...and it still got a good reaction.

<kurt> Carmichael disappeared for good when the new writers came in in 1943

> Alex - That was a subtitle, I think, of his first book "Living It Up". Great chapter in there about Jack.

<Scott in KC> Is it still in print?

> Carmichael has a significant role in the "Buck Benny" movies.

> Scott - Probably not. But got to www.addall.com/used and you should be able to find many copies of it.

<Alex Buck> Did the gas man's disappearance coincide with Charmichael's appearance or did the gas man gag come later?

<Scott in KC> Did Carmichael eat Toto? Thanks, Laura.

<kurt> But the bear's not as funny in the movie. On radio, you imagined him as much larger

> (Not an official endorsement, just a satisfied customer.)

> Alex - Gas man gag came later. Jack got Carmichael about 1938 (looking up exact date)

<kurt> The only person who could shut up Carmichael was Dennis' mother

> Kurt - Yeah, she made him faint!

<kurt> Carmichael arrived in February 1939

> Kurt - Good call. 2-12-39.

<Scott in KC> Near Jack's 39th birthday?

> Strange that he gets Carmichael sent to him anonymously, and I don't know that they ever established who sent him.

<Scott in KC> His allegded birthday.

<Alex Buck> Sounds like a gift from Fred Allen

> It was assumed to be Fred Allen, but then Carmichael turns out to hate Fred's program.

<Alex Buck> No kiddin - a bear of good taste?

[Sun Jan 04 17:22:52 GMT-08:00 2004] kurt2 has no profile.

> That's what Jack said!

<Alex Buck> I need to look these shows up

> Kurt2 - Are you a split personality of Kurt?

<Scott in KC> Was Carmichael a "bison" too? I guess not...Not politically correct.

<kurt2> Me and my crummy dial-up connection sometimes get kicked off

<kurt2> Jack also had Trudy, an ostrich, for awhile

> Kurt - Get broadband. I wouldn't be without it.

<donwilson> scott, i think there may be a picture of carmichael in the photo archive.. or else in one of the biographies

[Sun Jan 04 17:24:15 GMT-08:00 2004] Ari has no profile.

> Don - Yup...do a search for Carmichael on the Google on the home page...it's in a photo gallery.

> Hey Ari!

<Scott in KC> I have seen Carmichael in other sourse...But I will look up. Thanks! :)

<donwilson> imagine pitting polly vs trudy in a skit

> Kurt - Yup...there's a great scene with Carmichael chasing Trudy through the house.

<donwilson> what a script idea for the aspiring contest writiers

<kurt2> The show never seemed to pair Carmichael and Mr. Billingsley

> Don - Well, Trudy didn't say much, but just wreaked havoc.

[Sun Jan 04 17:25:18 GMT-08:00 2004] Ari has no profile.

> WB Ari

<Scott in KC> grass wreak, Laura?

<Ari> Hi

> Kurt - Hey, have you ever seen Trudy and Mr. Billingsley in the same room at the same time? Maybe they're the same person...

<kurt2> Didn't Mel Blanc make the Trudy noises, too?

<donwilson> well there is a talented script writer wanna be that just wants to give Trudy lines and to lay eggs

> Kurt - I don't think so. It doesn't sound like him. But it's definitely him on Carmichael.

<donwilson> and a mel blanc wanna be that wants to give trudy a voice, im sure

> Trudy's voice, as I recall, sounded more like a small horn.

> But I'd have to play them again.

<kurt2> Small horns saved money on actual actors

<donwilson> i gotta admit laura. i was not familiar with trudy

> So trivia time...we've talked about how Jack got Carmichael, but how did he get Trudy?

<donwilson> something to look for

<Alex Buck> I haven't heard too much of Larry Stevens before. The writers must not have had very many good lines for him

<kurt2> He accidentally bought her as a Thanksgiving turkey

> Don - Check out the shows around Thanksgiving of 1939, I think.

> Kurt - There you go.

<KM99> LL - Didn't Jack accidently buy an Ostrich instead of a Thanksgiving Turkey?

<Alex Buck> Wasn't there a gag about Jack riding Trudy back from the train station?

<kurt2> That was Trudy!

<KM99> Slow typing

<Scott in KC> Dang...You guys are outstanding!

<donwilson> wow, aint that a kick in the head!

> Alex - Noticed that. Am wondering if they didn't want to give him too much at the chance of "replacing" Dennis.

<kurt2> Trudy didn't appear very much

> KM - That's it!

> Jack also had a dog named "Baskerville" in one episode.

<Alex Buck> Maybe I'm thinking of a camel

<Scott in KC> Camel...on Jack Benny? Not!

> Alex - Blasphemy! Lucky Strike!

<Alex Buck> Well, it must have been during hte Jello days

<Scott in KC> GMTA, LL

<KM99> LL - Jack did get a Camel delivered from Cairo

<kurt2> Before Rochester, there was at least one episode with a Chinese houseboy

> KM - Oh I know. Just had to go for the joke.


<Brendan> Frank Nelson (character) was just on Simpsons

<Scott in KC> GMTA = Great Minds Think Alike

<Alex Buck> Good Health to All, From Rexall

> 1-9-44 - Jack gets the camel

<donwilson> jack had his own private zoo

<Scott in KC> Laura, did Jack and Fred have their "rivalry" even though Jack was on CBS and Fred on NBC? I assume it boosted each other's ratings.

> Brendan - I saw that! Frank Nelson commented how people were always trying to recreat that character.

> Scott - By the time Jack moved to CBS, the feud was so entrenched that it was still an ongoing gag.

<donwilson> freds run was about over by the time jack went to cbs

<Brendan> Sanford and son used Frank alot also

> Kurt - There are several mentions of Swing Hi, the Chinese cook, even after Rochester appears.

> Does anyone remember when Frank was a spokesperson for McDonalds?

<KM99> LL - He's often growing rice in the shallow end of the Jack's pool

<donwilson> i think fred was out sick near end ww2 (bp problems?) came back but was pretty much done by 48

> KM - Har har...that was Mel, though!

<Alex Buck> There was a very subtle reference to Hitchcock's Spellbound movie (1945) at the very end. Jack mentions that his portrayal of the New Year had the audience spellbound and that they had recently made a movie about it.

<Ari> I think I missed something. Was there someone other than Frank Nelson playing Frank Nelson on the Simpsons

> Don - There was a post about that in the last few days on the Forum...supposedly that he had to take time off because of hypertension, I think.

> Alex - Aha, thank you. I didn't "get" that joke.

<Ari> I think the Simpsons came on TV after Frank Nelson passed away

> Ari - Yes. They were just using the "Yessss" character.

<Alex Buck> LL - I'm a Hitchcock fan on the side

> Alex - Which side?

<Ari> I'd love to see that

<Brendan> Ari - yes he did.

<Alex Buck> LL - the profile

<Scott in KC> Polly and Trudy co-star in The Birds?

> Scott - LOL

<Ari> Frank Nelson is my favorite of all the Jack Benny characters

> Alex - I'm a Hitchcock fan as well.

<Alex Buck> From what I understand, Fred was a work-aholic. The hypertension bit makes sense

> Y'know, Frank made appearances on the show well back into the 30s. Just didn't have that character fully developed yet.

<Scott in KC> Off topic...Wasn't Ramond Burr in "Rear Window"?

<Scott in KC> Raymond*

<Alex Buck> He was the "bad" neighbor wasn't he

<kurt2> Frank was Virgil Reimer, World's Best Soundman

> Alex - Take a read of "Treadmill to Oblivion" and it's even clearer. He goes through his weekly schedule and it would drive anyone mad.

> Scott - I think you're right, plays the man across the way, but I'd have to look it up to be sure.

<Brendan> Treadmill is excellent reading

<Alex Buck> I tried to read his autobiography "Much Adoo About Me" years ago but it didn't do much for me

<Ari> To answer the earlier question, I remember Frank Nelson doing the Macdonalds commercials. They got other Mac employees to imitate him

> Alex - You have to be "into" vaudeville to really connect with it, I think.

<Scott in KC> The Happy Meal was created here in Kansas City, Alex...In 1976

<Alex Buck> I did not know that

> Ari - Yeah, that's it. It's where I first became really acquainted with the character, besides a short-lived cartoon called "The Oddball Couple".

<donwilson> i didnt know that either..

<Alex Buck> When did Frank die?

<kurt2> 1986

> Right.

> One of the things I like about tonight's episode is that it's an interesting snapshot of postwar America.

<Alex Buck> LL - did you get a chance to talk with Frank?

<Ari> I think he passed away from cancer in 1986

> You have Polly waiting for her carrier pigeon to come back

> Alex - Yes, I did. I've published part of the interview in the Times, but need to complete it. Hopefully this year.

<Scott in KC> That's when my father died, too. Dad said I could imitate Jack...I say, no way! They threw away the mold when he was created!

<kurt2> There was backed-up demand for a lot of consumer goods that had been promised would come back

<Alex Buck> Atomic power had such promise

> Larry singing "I'm Glad I Waited For You"

<harlow wilson> New cars

<KM99> And the housing crisis was just around the corner..

> Jack's speech at the end

<kurt2> Later, there were commercials for Herbert Tareyton, the cork-tipped cigarette that soldiers could only get overseas

<Ari> I was surprised to hear Jack get really political at the conclusion of his show

<Alex Buck> poor little new year's babies just back from the war couldn't find sufficient clothing

> It's this sort of relieved - picking up the pieces - cautious optimism that comes through.

<Alex Buck> Anyone up on Wilkie's One World Speech?

<harlow wilson> His speech reminded me of ronald colmans at a christmasn show

> Kurt - Is that it? I remember the ads for "filter tip Tareyton", but didn't know much about it.

<kurt2> He wasn't so political. Idealistic, yes. But that was very typical of the time, and nothing unusual for any major radio star. Bob Hope gave a similar speech at the end of one of his programs.

> Alex - I think it was a book.

> Interesting to hear Jack ask about his chances in television.

<Alex Buck> The speech wouldn't necessarily have been political if Wilkie hadn't thrown his hat into the presedential ring at that point

> Anyone notice Jack's blooper in the show?

<kurt2> Everyone knew TV was coming. If not for the war, TV would have been around already

<Scott in KC> I just heard a broadcast today from circa 1955 when Jack tells us to love each other...Christian/Jew...black/white...The man was ahead of his time! It was a PSA for National Brotherhood Week.

<Ari> TV must have had a very limited audience then. Jack must have been aware of the potential

> Kurt - True. Even in the 1930s shows there are comments about "This isn't television, you know".

<Alex Buck> LL - You mean his reference to radio and then question about television?

> Scott - Makes me think of Frank Sinatra's "The House I Live In"

> Alex - When he's talking to "the New Year" he asks about his chances in television.

<Scott in KC> Very similar, Laura. Not quite as sappy.

> Scott - Is that in a Benny broadcast?

<Ari> How many households had TV's at the end of the war?

<Scott in KC> Yes...I will email you the air date

<Brendan> LL - It is a movie short

<kurt2> Just a few hundred at the end of the war. There was no TV programming to receive

> Scott - Thanks.

> Kurt - Right. Why buy one when the only thing on was an Indian?

> Brendan - Which is? The PSA?

<Ari> Then Jack's thinking about going into TV must have been prophetic on his part

<Scott in KC> And wrestling.

<kurt2> People, at first, LIKED to watch the test pattern!

<Brendan> LL-sorry - The House I live in

> Scott - Ah, how could I forget Gorgeous George.

<Scott in KC> I used to watch the color bars.

> Brendan - Right. I've seen parts of it on various tributes.

> Scott - Sounds like you're more of my vintage.

> Kurt - Hey, in the 1920s they were watching Felix the Cat on a turntable...

<Scott in KC> I am 51, Laura. 10/8/1952.

> Scott - OK, approximately. 2/28/69.

<kurt2> Milton Berle did experimental TV in 1929

<KM99> LL - Jack's blooper - Asking Nottingham to answer the door when the phone is ringing

> KM - Good catch!

<Scott in KC> Felix was the first talent to appear on TV. 1918.

<Ari> kurt2, they had TV then?

<Ari> Who could watch it?

<kurt2> There was only experimental TV. There was an experimental station in New York City in the 1930s

> I have a magazine that talks about the ridiculous makeup they had to put on TV actors early on. The sort of green crap that made them look like martians in real life, but they photographed better.

<Ari> Scott, who had TV's in 1918?

<Scott in KC> WX2BZ later WNBC (stopped broadcasting during WWII)

<kurt2> Because of the lights and because of what was required to register on the primitive TV screens of the time

> Kurt - Right.

<Alex Buck> Wasn't FDR on TV at the Worlds Fair in NY

<Scott in KC> No...It was a test, Ari.

> There were some TVs where you looked at the screen reflected in a mirror, because it was thought that to look directly at the screen would be harmful.

<Scott in KC> Yes, Alex!

<Ari> Oh

<kurt2> On the experimental station. It also broadcast the New York City premiere of Gone With The Wind. With Ben Grauer!

<Scott in KC> ...and Jack Benny, Kurt? LOL!

> Trivia time...what was Jack's first line on TV?

<Ari> What year did people first have TV's in their homes in which they received broadcasts, anyone?

<Scott in KC> "Hello..."

<Alex Buck> I'd give a million bucks to know how I look right now

<KM99> I'd give a million bucks to see what I look like

> Scott - Smart aleck

<kurt2> Jack made his TV debut on KTTV in something like 1947, but his first "real" appearance was in 1949, also locally in LA

> KM - You got it.

<Scott in KC> "Hello, folks...." ?

> Kurt - Yeah, they did a pilot in 1949, with Lum and Abner, Isaac Stern, and a few others. But I don't know if it exists anywhere.

<kurt2> The coaxial cable that allowed coast to coast broadcasts live, instead of kinescopes, wasn't completed until 1952

> I asked Isaac about doing it, and he didn't even remember it!

> Kurt - Right, that's why Jack had to go to New York to do his TV broadcasts early on.

<Alex Buck> I suppose Isaac had a lot of things to remember

<Scott in KC> That is sooo cool you have met these people, Laura!

<Ari> Laura, how did you get to meet all these people?

> Scott - It really has been a blessing. I've got a lot of wonderful memories. Even put Isaac Stern in my little Miata and drove him to lunch afterwards!

<kurt2> It was her side business doing laundry!

> Ari - Just contacts with the fan club over the years.

> Kurt - Har har har.

<Ari> Oh

<kurt2> Also cutting Dennis Day's lawn

[Sun Jan 04 17:52:05 GMT-08:00 2004] JDarnell: 19/m/IL-IA

<Scott in KC> Laura...Was there a point in Jack's career he knew he was going to be remembered like we honor him, say, tonight?

> It took me years of communication with Isaac Stern before his assistant sent me an E-mail saying that he wanted to talk with me.

<KM99> Hiya JB

<Ari> How much did he pay you?

<JDarnell> hi km

> Hello JD

<JDarnell> hi Laura

> Scott - Good question. Late in life, Jack wondered if anyone was going to remember him.

<Scott in KC> He seemed so humble.

> Scott - So I'd guess that he was never "confident" that we'd be remembering him and analyzing his work 30 years after his death.

<Alex Buck> Considering the changing tastes of the '70's, I'd say Jack had grounds to be concerned

<kurt2> Humble up to a point. His career was very well managed, and it was largely because of his own initiative

<Ari> I hope he's watching us now

> Well, look at someone like Jackie Vernon.

<Scott in KC> I guess 12/26/04 will be 30 years, Laura. :(

> Kurt - Well, said.

> Scott - True.

<JDarnell> well of course he was concerned, gomer pyle beat him in the rating

<Alex Buck> I'd be depressed by that too

<Ari> JD, is that why he went off the air then

<kurt2> Well, yeah, but Jack was pretty old hat by the mid-60s. He'd been on the air for 34 years

> How much do we remember Jackie Vernon? Or Herb Shriner? Or even Fred Allen in the general public?

<Scott in KC> Goooollllleeee

<kurt2> 34 years is a long time to be on radio and TV that consistently

<Scott in KC> I think the public knows about Fred Allen..some.

> Some of the 1964 shows are fun, like him working with the Smothers Brothers. But there's a script I got of another show that is painfully unfunny.

<Alex Buck> Scott - try dropping Fred Allen's name in the 20 to 30 something crowd

> Scott - Maybe some, but it's becoming harder to find people my age who even remember Jack.

<KM99> LL - That's because you are still quite young... you're not even 39 yet!

<Scott in KC> I recently bought a CD collection of OTR, and they have the show when the robber says: "You're Money or Your Life," but has a booklet in it...and Jack has more print dedicated to him than anybody!

<kurt2> I guess we'll find out if Gary Giddins remembers Jack!

> KM - Too true.

> Kurt - Not well!

> Scott - Heck, my bound back issues is about 500 pages on its own.

<Ari> Jack said that line "your money or your life" produced the longest rcorded laugh

<Alex Buck> Scott - are there any Jack connections to Kansas City?

> Ari - No he didn't...have you read the page on the Web site about the longest laugh?

<Scott in KC> I am looking for that book...The Great Broadcast...Not the one I emailed you about.

<Ari> At least his response "I'm thinking it over"

> Scott - Is that a Mediabay set?

> Ari - Nope, it's only a few seconds.

<Scott in KC> No...Radio Spirits

<Alex Buck> Argh - my screen just cleared. Scott - did you have a response to the Jack Benny / KC connection?

> Scott - Same thing. (Mediabay owns RS) Is it a "Best of Benny" set?

(loss due to screen refresh)

> Scott - Aha, got it. There's a set coming out shortly that has 40 episodes that are supposed to be "the best". I helped them with the pick list, and am mentioned in the booklet.

<Scott in KC> Jack claims the longest laugh was when Mary told him to "Shut up!"

<Alex Buck> Way to go LL

<KM99> Alex - I seem to recall Rochester doing some advance work for Benny's summer tours in Kansas City...can't say when the show aired tho..

<Ari> Wasn't Truman on one of his first TV shows when he was president?

<Alex Buck> KM - interesting

[Sun Jan 04 18:00:44 GMT-08:00 2004] kurt3 has no profile.

<Scott in KC> George and Gracie claimed they were married in Kansas City...I heard another show, they said they were married in Cleveland.

<Alex Buck> Ari - I hadn't heard about that

> Ari - Truman was on the show, but on 10-18-59...after he was Prez.

<Ari> Oops, I'm wrong again

<Alex Buck> Before they renovated the Truman Library, they had a money clip on display of Jack's profile

> They did half the show at the Truman Library. We screened it at the Museum of Television and Radio during 39 Forever.

> Ari - No problem...glad you're bringing it up!

<Ari> Thank you

<Scott in KC> I have a pic of Jack on the violin and Truman playing the "Missouri Waltz" on the piano.

> Alex - Was that the Bouche caricature?

> Scott - Oh yeah, that's in the Borie biography I think.

<Alex Buck> Scott - I was just typing about that

<JDarnell> any news on getting jack's sister an actual gravestone?

> JD - Not yet.

<Alex Buck> LL - it was the Bouche caricature. I understand that Jack gave those out as gifts

<Alex Buck> Borie

<Scott in KC> I have it in a book by Mary Livingtone and I fogot her ghost writer

<kurt3> George Jessel: "Years ago, Jack had an younger sister named Florence. Today, he has an older sister named Florence."

> Alex - Yes, I've seen one that Jack gave to Bob Hope with Bob's caricature on the reverse.

<Alex Buck> Kurt - that line always stuck with me too

> Kurt - That's a good one.

<Scott in KC> LOL, Kurt

> Reminds me of the line from "The Happy Time" skit where Jack and his father (Mel Blanc) both say that they're 39.

<Scott in KC> I love it when Fred Allen crowns Jack King for a Day....

<kurt3> Anyone see the Bob Hope float in this year's Rose Parade?

> Someone (I think Mary) asks how both of them can be 39, and Mel responds, in French, "I got there first, it is mine!"

<donwilson> i did

> Kurt - There's a Bob Hope float? Does that confirm that he was frozen?

<Ari> Did Jack ever play violin with Nixon on the piano?

> Who sponsored it?

<kurt3> Lawsie, I thought perhaps the family had him embalmed up there in the blossoms, know what I mean?

<JDarnell> oh the bob hope float was great!

<kurt3> It was a GIANT reclining Bob!

[Sun Jan 04 18:05:17 GMT-08:00 2004] Josef has no profile.

<JDarnell> all hope's children were on it as well

<Alex Buck> LL - that borders on taste

> Hello Josef!

<Scott in KC> BRB...laundry

> Alex - Sorry.

<donwilson> bob would have loved that float

<kurt3> I'm afraid Bob may have been IN the float

> Bob reclining? Like...he was dead?

<Josef> hello

<Alex Buck> LL - not at all. I had to share that one with my wife

<Brendan> Wasn't there a movie called Hope Floats

<Alex Buck> LOL

> Brendan - LOL! I think you're right!

<kurt3> I have the Bob Hope memorial tchotchke

> Let's see...what would be the ingredients in a Bob Hope float...

<donwilson> pepsodent with irium, and jello

<Brendan> 3 scoops of ego

<KM99> Neopolitan Ice cream - since he did so many troop shows in Italy

<Alex Buck> golf balls instead of olives

> Maybe some cabernet sauvignon to give it a good nose

<Alex Buck> LL - I was trying to think of something about a flexy straw but yours is better

<kurt3> Love the nose gag!

> Kurt - What is the tchotchke?

> Josef - Feel free to jump in any time...

[Sun Jan 04 18:09:27 GMT-08:00 2004] Josef: Josef

<kurt3> A 3/3 chunk of glass, like a paperweight, with the Herschfeld caricature and "Thanks for the Memories" Bob Hope 2003. Came with cards from the family and his publicist in a blue velveteen box.

<Josef> huh

<Alex Buck> Nice

> Ah, very nice.

> Josef - It's the Bob Hope memorial tchotchke.

> The Benny family gifted me with a similar item during 39 Forever.

<Josef> Ah

<kurt3> A chunk of glass with Bob Hope on it?

> Kurt - Yeah! No....

<Alex Buck> Doesn't sound like something you'd pick up at Walgreens

<donwilson> boy, nothing to look forward to in february

<donwilson> less of course everyone wants to meet in indy for eddie carrolls show

<KM99> LL - Why don't you post a picture of it on the website?

> It's about a 3 x 3 piece of glass with a silver coin inside of it. Has Jack on it, and was specially minted after Jack's death. Gerald Ford gave it to Mary, and the family gave it to me.

> KM - I should, but I don't have a digital camera.

<JDarnell> when is carroll doing his show?

<donwilson> its posted on the website

<Scott in KC> DW...I beg to differ...2/14/04...Jack's 39th birthday (again)

> Don - Woo hoo...Jack Benny's birthday in Indy...

<kurt3> Ooooo.That IS cool!

<Alex Buck> Frebruray would be Jack's 110th - I mean 39th birthday

<Alex Buck> Laura - what a nice keepsake

<donwilson> ill be there

<donwilson> sstill have some powers kin that hasn't seen it yet

<Scott in KC> Laura...Are you planning any JB reions this summer?

<Scott in KC> reunions*

<Ari> Alex, you mean 39 for the 71st time?

<Alex Buck> There you go

> Scott - Well, I need to see what's planned in Waukegan for the Genesee opening.

[Sun Jan 04 18:13:45 GMT-08:00 2004] Josef has no profile.

<Ari> Laura, any chance it will be here in L.A. as it was last year?

<Scott in KC> It would be an honor to meet the folks in this room! All of us shaaring an American treasure!

> Ari - No, have no plans for that. My focus is mainly on research in this coming year.

<Scott in KC> Can Joan Benny help you, Laura? She must be getting kinda old herself.

> I'm working on two books (one non-Benny related), so I've got plenty on my plate.

<Alex Buck> Non-Benny? Do tell

<donwilson> lots of jb folks live up in the cincinnati area and go to the cinci otr convention in april

> Scott - Well, Joan's got a good amount of personal stuff going on right now. Good stuff.

<Josef> Cool

> Scott - But she is actually going to be helping in a way.

<Scott in KC> How young is she, Laura?

<donwilson> if jack is 39.. joan must be about......ten

> Alex - It's a business book.

> Scott - She's going to be 70 this year.

> 70 and still gorgeous!

<Josef> Wow.

<Ari> 10 for the 60th time

<Scott in KC> She looks so youthful...No wonder Jack was smitten by her. :)

> Hey Josef, have you been here before? I don't think I've seen you here previously.

<KM99> LL - That sounds like a pickup line to me

> Yeah, pick up a copy of the Password appearance with both Jack and Joan. It's great.

> KM - Har har

<Alex Buck> Plug!!

<Scott in KC> Is it on DVD?

<kurt3> Hmmm. Someone 'splain Beverly Hills doctors to Scott in KC!

> Scott - Yeah. Look under our Featured Items on the home page.

<Josef> No, I haven't been here before. I'm a big Benny fan, though.

> Not an official endorsement, just another happy customer.

<Alex Buck> Where you from Josef?

<Scott in KC> Thanks, all.

<Josef> Plymouth, MA

> Josef - Welcome in. Just was curious about your background and interest in jack.

> Ah, another Massachusetts member. Quite a few in your area.

<Josef> Big interest. I have about 6 cassette albums of him, and just bought his biography on ebay.

> Which one?

<Alex Buck> Which biography?

<donwilson> have you seen the george burns theatrical thing josef?

<Josef> Sunday Nights at Seven

<Josef> No, I haven't.

> Josef - Ah, very good. Milt Josefsberg's book is also very good.

<donwilson> we quote from that book alot josef.. good choice

> Josef - So you're going to know a WHOLE LOT about Joan shortly.

<Scott in KC> I just realized, Laura...We started this chat on Sunday Night at Seven (Central Time)! Good forethought! :)

> Hey harlow, you still with us?

<Josef> I hope to.

<kurt3> Lots 'n lots 'n lots!

> Scott - That's how I chose the time. Had quizzed members on the best night for these, and it seemed to be Sunday. So we went from there.

<Alex Buck> Lets see - there were books written by Joan, Mary, Josefsberg (sp?), it seems like there was a fourth. Who am I missing?

> Kurt - :)

> Alex - Irving Fein

<JDarnell> how is fein doing these days?

> Alex - Mary really didn't write that book. Her contribution is just her interviews.

> JD - Fein.

<Josef> Also, wasn't there one by Mel Blanc?

<KM99> Fein is Fine?

> Josef - There was, but it was an autobiography, not a biography specifically of Jack.

> KM - Yup.

<Alex Buck> That's right. Fein's was the first wasn't it.

<Josef> Ah.

<kurt3> Fein's is the most accurate, in some ways

<Ari> Laura, are you talking about the book co-written by Mary's brother Hilliard?

> Josef - But there are substantial references to Jack in it.

> Ari - That's it.

<Alex Buck> Did Mel have anything of interest to share

> Kurt - Agreed.

<Scott in KC> Laura...I hope this chat will be an every Sunday event...or at least once a month.

<kurt3> Except for his Bing Crosby memories.

> Scott - It's once a month, on the first Sunday of the month.

<Ari> I have that one & the one written by Joan. I thought Mary co-wrote it as a full writing partner

> Kurt - Har har har...

<Scott in KC> Thanks, Laura...I will put the date(s) in my Palm Pilot.

> Kurt - I don't think he was actually wrong, if you read it carefully. It may have happened while the show was being rehearsed, but not on the air.

> Ari - Not according to Joan. It was mostly Marcia Borie. So I always call it the Borie biography.

<kurt3> Had Jack said thaton the air, he might have gotten a big laugh, but the audience would have had to have stopped gasping first

> Scott - Great. Be happy to have you in attendance!

<Scott in KC> I hate to be negative, Laura, but was any of the cast uncooperative with you?

<JDarnell> isn't there another benny book in the works? i thought i read something about that in the forum...

> Kurt - That's just it, and was meaning to discuss that with you "off mike". I was talking with Dan last night about it, and we both have a hard time with the thought that it would get any laugh other than out of discomfort.

<kurt3> Well, we'll have to see what Gary Giddins has to say about it, I hope.

> Scott - Not at all, at least, not that I can remember. There's something magical about mentioning Jack's name, and people immediately get very happy and open with you.

<Alex Buck> LL & Kurt - what are you talking about?

> JD - There's a book of essays that's in the works.

> Kurt - Yeah, hope so.

<Ari> I didn't realize that. The book says Mary Livingstone Benny and Hilliard Marks with Marcia Borie

<Scott in KC> That is wonderful to know...I have met some famopus actors and they seem to be prima donas.

<kurt3> People like to have their happy memories preserved

<Josef> they sure do.

> Scott - Not the Benny folks. The only nut that was a tough crack was Mary, and I did finally get one brief letter from her.

<Scott in KC> famous*

<kurt3> Show bidness does funny things to one's self-esteem.

<Alex Buck> What did Mary have to say?

> Ari - It does, but it really is mostly Borie (and full of errors).

<Scott in KC> By the way, Laura, did Mary (Sadie) ever work at the May Company?

> Alex - Not much, just that my interest was very sweet.

<kurt3> And you had to stay how many yards away from her at all times?

> Scott - Yup. It was the Los Angeles May Company where Jack had the famous encounter with her at the hosiery counter. Of course, there are contradicting stories about it. Take a look at the Biography on jackbenny.org for an analysis.

> Kurt - Well, I was a pretty eager young fan then.

<Josef> What are the contradicting stories about their meeting at the May Company?

<Scott in KC> I thought it was an orban legend like Rita Hayworth at Schwab's Drug Store.

<kurt3> I envision you climbing over walls like Lucy and Ethel in search of Richard Widmark's grapefruit

<Ari> Laura, Interesting because the preface by Mary concludes "I am happy my brother and I have joined together to write this book".

> Well, some say that Jack just yelled at her to ask where the men's room was, and she shouted back "Ask the floorwalker!"

<KM99> LL - At least you weren't picking people's cigarette butts out of ashtrays as collectibles....Wait a minute - You have Jack's cigar don't you?

<Josef> Huh.

> KM - I have George's cigar.

<KM99> I stand corrected

<donwilson> km shame on you!

<Scott in KC> "Wait a minute...Wait a minute....WAIT A MINUTE!" LOL!

> Ari - Well, Joan expressed that Hilliard wasn't able to contribute very much to the book.

<Alex Buck> George gave Joan a cigar and I think he said that she later gave it back to him

<donwilson> did you ever meet or talk with hilliard, LL?

<donwilson> what was he like

<donwilson> did he know anything about anything?

> Other stories have Jack coming in and buying stuff from Mary, and charming her into having dinner with him.

> Don - I never met him. But I have corresponded with a lady who was close with him for a few years.

<harlow wilson> Jack met sadie in vancouver

<Alex Buck> Is Hicky still around?

<donwilson> just curious

> Don - Unfortunately, Hilliard's memory is rather poor and contributes to a number of the errors in the book. Like that NBC invented the chimes because Jack's show ran long.

> No, Hickey is gone.

> Harlow - That's right. At her parents' house.

<kurt3> At a seder

<harlow wilson> She was related to the marx brothers

<Scott in KC> Her real name was Sadie Sachs?

> Don - If that was true, NBC must have been psychic because you can hear the chimes on Jack's first Canada Dry show.

<donwilson> :-)

> Scott - Sadye Marks. You're confusing the name with Naomi Emma Sachs, Jack's mother.

<Alex Buck> I've heard various opinions about the Marx bros relationship with Mary

<kurt3> Very distantly related to the brothers Marx, apparently

<Scott in KC>



<Senior moment

> Alex - They weren't related.

<donwilson> i remember something bout the chimes during NBC fabulous 50 miniseries in mid 1970a

<harlow wilson> She moved to the states and was to be married when jack came to california and asked her not to

<donwilson> arlene francis episode

> No, I've checked that to my own satisfaction. The Marx Brothers were from Germany, and Mary's father was from Roumania (I believe). Different families, similar spellings.

<Alex Buck> LL - how about that

> Harlow - That's right...good going!

<Scott in KC> John Lennon (Lenin) and Groucho (Karl) Marx? (I stole that from Firesign Theatre.)

> And yes, Jack says they were related in SNAS, but Mary says they weren't in her book.

<Alex Buck> SNAS?

<donwilson> the marx brothers always seemed like they should have known zsa zsa gabor

<kurt3> But Jack was with Zeppo Marx at the seder

> SNAS - Sunday Nights At Seven

<donwilson> in a hungariean sense or something

<Alex Buck> oh, right, right

<kurt3> Ohhh, I think Groucho knew Zsa Zsa!

> Kurt - Yes, but vaudevillians often had connections with people of their racial/ethnic background in various towns.

<Scott in KC> When did Mr. Kitzel pass away?

> So Jewish families would host Jewish performers so they could keep kosher, Chinese performers could connect with Chinese families, etc.

> Scott - Good question, can't give you an exact date right off. I think it was in the 60s.

<kurt3> African-American performers stayed with African-American families, because they usually were banned from hotels

<Scott in KC> Thanks...I am not trying to be clever and stump you...I am just wondering.

> Kurt - Even vaudeville performer hotels?

<KM99> Kurt - Except in Canada

> Scott - Oh, I know. I wish I could give you a date for it!

<kurt3> Segregation was pervasive everywhere when it came to hotels

<kurt3> Wasn't just in the South

> Kurt - Yes, I believe I recall stories of Bert Williams, a very famous vaudeville performer, not being able to stay some places.

<Scott in KC> Kurt...I read where Jack wanted Rochester to be at the same hotel with the rest of the cast...When management refused, he would take his business elsewhere. Good for Jack! :)

<Alex Buck> So I assume that Mary had to become a US citizen as well as legally change her name to Mary Livingstone?

> Scott - Amen to that!

<Alex Buck> Genealogy bug just bit me

<Scott in KC> I thought Mary was born in Seattle.

> Alex - I still wonder if she "officially" changed her name, or just took it like Jack took his stage name.

> Scott - Vancouver.

> Scott - Plainfield, New Jersey, silly... ;)

<kurt3> I think hotel arrangments were made in advance by Jack's managers. So I doubt there were any confrontations at hotel desks.

<Scott in KC> Thanks, Laura...She does have the lilt, eh?

<kurt3> Any hotelier dumb enough to not realize that Rochester was appearing with Jack shouldn't have been in business

> Kurt - There was a story somewhere about Jack moving the cast, but I can't remember the specifics.

<Scott in KC> Yes, Laura, silly me! Plainfield!

> Scott - KM has the lilt, too.

<kurt3> But I wonder, in those New York shows, when they spoke of cast members in different hotels, if Rochester really did put up at a Harlem establishment and not, say, the Sherry-Netherland.

<KM99> And I've got a wonderful Kilt to go with it

> Kurt - That's an excellent question...I don't know.

<Scott in KC> Did Jack have difficulty being placed in a hotel because he was Jewish?

> Scott - I've never heard of that...imagine getting turned away because he was an actor and a Jew...

<kurt3> Not in vaudeville tours, where there were vaudeville hotels. But there were resort hotels where he wouldn'

<Josef> What about Rochester, any problems with him in hotels?

<kurt3> There were resort hotels where Jack would not have been welcome.

> Josef - I'm recalling that there was a time when Jack moved the cast because of issues with Rochester, but I'm going to have to dig for it in my notes.

<Scott in KC> I am pleased to read that....I guess I watched "Radio Days" too much.

> Scott - Well, it's a legitimate question. I don't know how many people associated Jack as being Jewish based on his radio persona.

<Scott in KC> Laura...There is a reference to leaving a hotel in the Mary Livingstone book.

<Josef> Did really let people know he was Jewish?

> Scott - Ah, that may be where I saw it.

<donwilson> what year did Gentleman's Agreement come out?

<kurt3> A-HA!

> Don - 1947

<donwilson> just curious

<kurt3> Apparently he didn't say it in front of Bing Crosby on the air!

> Josef - I don't think he really made a deal about it in public.

<Scott in KC> I saw Mel Blanc's grave...It has a Star of David on it.

> Scott - Yup, Mel was Jewish. KMIT!

> Jack is buried in Hillside Cemetery, which is a Jewish cemetery.

<Josef> Wow

<Brendan> Say what in front of Bing?

> Oh boy, here we go...

<kurt3> Yep

<Alex Buck> Come on

> Kurt, mike's all yours.

<Scott in KC> Please understand, everyone, I am not suggesting in any way, shape, or form I am anti-semetic.

<kurt3> Allegedly, Bing and Jack had a radio routine about country club restrictions, and Bing said his place didn't take actors.


<kurt3> Jack's alleged response: "How would you like to be an actor AND a Jew?"

<Scott in KC> Alex...We need to meet and discuss this stuff in person, if you would like.

<kurt3> This was in The New York Times last Sunday

<Scott in KC> Wow!

<Alex Buck> Kurt - is there a recording of this?

<Ari> Laura I found that story about Rochester & the hotel on page 78 of Mary & Hilliard's book

<kurt3> Well, we haven't turned it up, and you'd think it'd be pretty easy to turn up. But it's not.

<Scott in KC> She is gone...You might want to repeat that at a more convient time...LOL!

> Say again?

> Ari - Thanks! I'll capture it in the transcript...

> Alex - I've listened to all the Benny shows featuring Bing and vice-versa, and it's not in any of the recordings.

<Scott in KC> I thought my memory was still OK. LOL. It is the only book I have about him...so far.

> Scott - The Borie book is the only one you have?

<Scott in KC> Yes, Laura...so far.

> Scott - Oh man, we've got to upgrade you!

<Scott in KC> LOL...Thanks!

<Alex Buck> Scott - check the libraries for others

<donwilson> scott, you would really like the newsletter that laura publishes

<Scott in KC> I wil, like the KCPL.

> Scott - Go look for Milt Josefsberg's book "The Jack Benny Show".

<donwilson> especially the library of back issues

<Josef> How many other books are out on Benny? I want to get them all someday.

<Ari> Jack's cast & crew stayed at a hotel near the Sherry Netherland where Jack & Mary stayed. The manager told Hilliard the hotel has some guests from the South who object to Rochester staying there

<Scott in KC> I plan to join officially..She will be putting in a bit of trivia I accidentally discovered off the Internet about Toto.

> Don - Thanks for the plug!

> Josef - There are four biographies and one book by the Museum of Television and Radio.

<donwilson> those things are very popular reading in my office

<Josef> Okay, thanks.

> Don - The back issues are?

> Josef - I think I listed them all in the FAQ.

<donwilson> no, im afraid someone would steal that

<Ari> Hilliard told him that's no problem. Rochester will move out tomorrow. The next day Rochester moved-along with 44 other -the cast & crew

<Josef> Thanks.

<Scott in KC> Don - I hope you are not a dentist.

> Ari - Woo hoo! Go Hickey!

<donwilson> but i put the new individual ones out there.. a few have gotten away

> Don - If you need extra copies, let me know.

> Been meaning to put up a page on a back issue blowout...

<Alex Buck> Don - what type of office is - if you don't mind me asking

<Alex Buck> is thgis

<Alex Buck> is this

> Alex - Don't ask questions when you're not ready for the answer

> :)

<Alex Buck> typing trouflbeles

> Don is a wonderful doctor.

<donwilson> i may have to get a few more subscriptions

<Scott in KC> He has too much Canada Dry Ginger Ale in him, Laura.

<kurt3> Oh, dang! I must go! Then again, I've done my duty for this evening!

[Sun Jan 04 18:52:13 GMT-08:00 2004] Josef has no profile.

> OK, take care Kurt!

> Thanks again.

<Josef> Are any of these books on Benny still in print?

<Alex Buck> Catch up with you next month Kurt

<kurt3> If this had been a larger group, we might have gotten an answer to that issue

<Scott in KC> Nice meeting you, Kurt...Happy New Year! Be Happy, Go Lucky!

<kurt3> But I must soldier on.

<donwilson> phil would have liked my job

<Scott in KC> Don - Bartender?

<donwilson> not xactly

<Scott in KC> Brewmeister?

> Josef - No, don't believe so. But you can probably still get the MTR book from them. Go to www.addall.com/used and you'll be able to find lots of copies of all of them.

> OK, let's talk about something other than Don's profession.

<Josef> Thanks.

<donwilson> thanks laura

> Anyone notice that Jack is 37 in tonight's show?

<KM99> Yeah - I wondered about that

<Alex Buck> Yeah, and his new year role of 1912 doesn't work out with the match either

> I've really got to do the research on when Jack was 36, 37, 38...

<Scott in KC> He sometimes says he is even 38

<donwilson> weird aethers laura

> Don - and we could use some ether in here...

<Josef> I think he was 36 sometime during the mid-thirties.

> Scott - Yes, Jack's age does progress. But I've got to nail down when he was whatever age.

<Scott in KC> I think the show when he is interviewed by Collier's he says he is 38...The one when there is a hole in the birth certifiate.

> Workin' on it.

<Ari> Another time, Jack & the gang (15 people) went into a restaurant & the waiter saw Rochester & refused to serve them. Then he saw Jack & said ""sorry to keep you waiting. We'll serve you right away.

> Scott - Oh, they used that hole in the birth certificate thing a few times.

> 1949 and 1954 at least.

<Ari> Jack said " you had your chance" & they all left

<Scott in KC> OK...You're the expert. :)

> Scott - I'm sorry, not meaning to be overly authoritative. Apologies if it comes out that way!

<Ari> After a while, word got out "and we had no more problems"

> They reused jokes a lot. Like in tonight's show, there's the joke about Mary's rabbit muff snapping at a head of lettuce. They used that again in 1952.

<donwilson> the best part scott... is that everyone in the cast did VERY well for themselves

<Josef> Ya, I have both episodes of Jack turning forty. One in 49, the other in 54. Both are different, though. One has Phil, the other has Bob Crosby, but they're basically the same.

<Scott in KC> No...I took it in goodness...I was not hurt or insulted. I respect you a lot! :)

<donwilson> and history has been Very good to their legacies

> Scott - Thank you...*humble bow*.

<KM99> Josef - We merged those scripts for 39 Forever

> Josef - KM did a great job of "marrying" those two shows for 39 Forever.

<KM99> Darn ESP Helmet

<Josef> Cool.


<donwilson> In his own way, Roch probably did alot to tear down alot of barriers,

(loss due to screen refresh)

<donwilson> the writers would have been proud of that fete

<Josef> cool

> That Gisele talks about complimenting Rochester, and he says, "Well, it paid for my house."

<Brendan> I must leave to go shovel my vehicles out. Its been swell spending time with the experts.

> I just find that an interesting, almost passive response.

<KM99> Seeya Brendan

> Take care, Brendan. Please stop in again!

<donwilson> thanx brendan..

<Scott in KC> Laura...Did Jack accidentally on purpose put product's names into the scripys....The Forum really did not answer my question.

<Scott in KC> HNY Brendan.

<Alex Buck> Well gang, the time has come for me too. Have a good January and I'll hear from you all come February.

<donwilson> that was scripted

<KM99> Seeya Alex. Happy New Year

> Scott - Not at all...very intentional. There was a gag about Jack telling Roch to go up and "Turn on my General Electric blanket"

> Take care, Alex!

<Scott in KC> Did the comapnies pay a fee to mention their products?

> And Roch says, "But boss, we don't have a General Electric blanket"

> Jack says, "We do now!"

<donwilson> that was a phenomenon on several shows for awhile until the practice was largely outlawed

<Scott in KC> Bye neighbor, Alex!

> Scott - Yes and no...it wasn't, as far as I know, something that was planned ahead of time, but many of them sent free product afterwards!

<Scott in KC> Probably after Payola, I bet.

<donwilson> remember the name of the dogfood?

> Kooter's Korny Dog Food?

<Scott in KC> String Heart??

<donwilson> wonder if they got perks from santa fe too

<Scott in KC> Strong even

> Or from Cucamonga

<Scott in KC> Anaheim...Azua...and

<donwilson> there was a dog food polly had to eat for months because it got "mentioned" so often

[Sun Jan 04 19:02:33 GMT-08:00 2004] Frank_Remley has no profile.

> I liked the "Big Three" line on tonight's show

<donwilson> I cant remember the brand name now

<Scott in KC> Azuza* I can't type tonight

> Hello Remley!

<KM99> Well now, here's Frankiw Remley !!!

<Frank_Remley> I fell down, and I can't get up


<donwilson> frankie even types left handed

<Scott in KC> THE Frank Remley?

<Scott in KC> Well!

<donwilson> frankie must be back from sailing on the Scarlett Queen

> Well, better not be THE Frank Remley or you're going to have a big long-distance bill!

<KM99> Frank still has blue lips from drinking the Ink Ronald Colman left out one night

<Frank_Remley> Mr. Benny owns the payphone

<Scott in KC> I have broadband, too, Laura...LOL!

> Scott - Yeah, but your connection can't be as far away as Remley's!

<donwilson> scott do they still have the memorabilia shop down in that mall near union station

<donwilson> crowne center or whatever they call it

<Scott in KC> Laura...Do you recall the Dennis the Mennace TV show with Jay North? Joseph Kerns was the same Mr. Kerns who worked for the IRS when Jack was audited, and also Ed in the vault?

<donwilson> they used to have alot of otr memorabilia , photos and such

<Scott in KC> Don _ I have not been there in ages.

> Scott - Yup, it's one and the same!

<Scott in KC> Great Scott! LOL!

> Didn't I hear that Metro Golden Memories closed down? They were one of the mainstays of memorabilia

<Ari> I think Joseph Kearns also played a dentist that one pulled Jack's tooth

<donwilson> folks,, i have to work on my diction excercises.. nite

> Ari - Interesting...I'll have to check that out.

> Take care, Don!

<KM99> seeya don

<Scott in KC> Who was that other IRS guy?

<Josef> Who played the guy that always walked on and off the Benny program in the thirties? He alwasy had a telegram, etc to deliver.

<Scott in KC> Happy New Year, Don!

<Scott in KC> "I don't know...."

<Frank_Remley> Are you talking about the IRS agents trying to find more deductions for Jack?

<Scott in KC> Yes, Frank.

<Scott in KC> How do you do?

> Josef - Well, Ed Beloin delievered a number of the telegrams, but do you mean the guy who would knock on the door and say silly things?

<Josef> Yes. That guy.

> Scott - "I don't know" was either Benny Rubin or Joe Besser.

<Ari> Are you talking about the IRS agents that went to Jack's underground vault?

> Josef - That was Harry Baldwin.

> Funny, I've heard those shows a number of times, but I'd have to pull one and listen to it.

<Scott in KC> Who was the old guy who saud, "Howdy, Rube!" He sounded like Dennis Day a little.

> The IRS shows, I mean.

<Frank_Remley> I thought the "I Don't Know" was a Mel Blanc character

<Scott in KC> said*

<Josef> Thanks. He always drives me crazy in those episodes.

> Scott - Oh, that was the return of Sam Hearn! Who used to play Shlepperman.

<KM99> Frank - Nooooo It was Joe Bessseerrrr

> Frank - I was thinking that Mel played one of the agents at one time, but I'd have to re-hear it to be sure.

<Scott in KC> What did "rube" mean? "Bud?"

> Scott - "Rube" basically meant a hick.

<Frank_Remley> Rube is slang for a country hick

<Scott in KC> I see...thanks all.

<Scott in KC> Hey bud, c'mere.

> Yeah, Sam Hearn wanted to come back on the show, but they had Mr. Kitzel and didn't need two Jewish characters with Shlepperman.

> Scott - Sheldon Leonard.

<Scott in KC> Yep!@

<Scott in KC> I saw him in Its a Wonderful Life last month.

> Sam Hearn even played that rube character in the 1930s, but not as a regular. I think he may have been Andy Devine's father on one episode.

> Scott - Oh, he plays the bartender, doesn't he?

<KM99> Goodnite folks. I've got to go for now. Seeya next month

> Have a good one, KM!

<Josef> Bye!

<Scott in KC> Happy New Year

<Frank_Remley> Goooood niggghhhhhhtttt

> Merry Christmas!

> Frank - Now are you really Frank Remley, or just Elliott Lewis standing in for him?

<Scott in KC> Laura, I hate to be morbid...But did any character die in mid season or during the summer?

<Frank_Remley> No, it's my 1st time on the chat

> Scott - Did any *character* die, or any actor?

> Frank - No problem...just wanted to tease you since Elliott Lewis played Remley on the Phil Harris-Alice Faye show.

<Scott in KC> Yes....Not the main ones, but supporting actors?

> Scott - *thinking...thinking...thinking...*

<Frank_Remley> Had to think of a funny name, I'll use a different one next time.

> *still thinking*

<Scott in KC> That's OK, Laura.

> If anyone died, they didn't mention it.

> I think most of the people died after their work on the show.

<Scott in KC> Rochester had an African-American friend who was a porter...someone like that.

> Like Sam Hearn died in 1964.

> Scott - Well, there were a number of supporting actors who may have appeared on rare occasions, but not running characters.

<Josef> What about Joan Benny? Was she in any of the episodes during its run? I know on a couple occasions she stood in for Mary.

> I do recall a show where Roch is talking with a porter and telling him how he writes Jack's show and all, but not sure who plays the porter.

<Frank_Remley> She was a girl scout collecting cookie money

<Scott in KC> I think I heard the porter on "Amos and Andy," too.

> Josef - Well, she stood in for Mary on the performance, and then Mary's lines were dubbed in afterwards.

> Joan did play herself on the shows where Jack dreams he's married to Mary

> And she played a secretary at the Beverly Hills Police Station on a TV show

<Scott in KC> I just heard that tonight! Wow!

<Josef> Ya, cause I have a Christmas episode where a girl scout sold Jack cookies, and I was wondering if it was Joan.

<Frank_Remley> Jack mentioned how her father should dress her better

<Josef> Yes. It got a big laugh from the crowd.

> Scott - It's entirely possible (the porter)...I imagine many of those character actors, like Bea Benedaret, worked many shows.

> Oh that's funny...I haven't heard that!

<Scott in KC> I guess Phil Harris outlived his band members?

> Scott - Yes, I asked him about that. I could see that it was painful for him to mentally run down the names and find them all gone.

<harlow wilson> How much did phil harris really drink

> I know Remley (present company excepted) died in about 1968.

> Harlow - Funny you ask that...he was very demonstrative in talking with me that he didn't drink nearly as much as they portrayed on the show. BUT...

> He gave me a glass of iced tea, and I stared at it for a bit. My mother and I used to joke that if Phil Harris ever gave me something to drink, watch out for the kick!

<harlow wilson> He really liked to party at mardi gras

> So I said, "There isn't any vodka in this, is there?"

> And he said, "No, you want some?"

<Frank_Remley> I wouldn't think anyone that drank as much as he portraid would last very long

> He seemed quite serious and ready to provide it!

> Frank - That's just what he said.

<Scott in KC> Is Alice around still?

> No, Alice passed away a few years ago.

<Scott in KC> Around the same time, then?

<Scott in KC> When Phil passed on.

> Let's see...Phil died 8-11-95.

<Josef> Is anyone, other than Joan Benny, still arounmd that used to work on the shows?

<Frank_Remley> I think it was several years after Phil, wasn't it

> I think Alice passed in about 2001 or 2002. Have to look it up.

> Josef - Yes, there are some of the younger cast members. Like Harry Shearer, who used to be one of the Beavers.

<harlow wilson> ISome of the beavers should still be around

> We also had Beverly Washburn, who was on the show as a girl.

<Scott in KC> Was the laste Richard Crenna a Beverely Hills Beaver?

> Also met a gentleman in Los Angeles in November who was one of the Beavers,

> and another fellow whose name is escaping me at the moment.

> Scott - Not that I know of, but it's possible.

<Scott in KC> He might have been a tad too old

<Josef> Anyone else still around?

> Well, there's Ray Erlenborn who was a sound effects man.

<Scott in KC> He was on Our Miss Brooks, as a teenager..The Beavers were younger, I think.

<Ari> Barry Gordon is still around. He played Jack Benny as a child when there was a show about Benny's cast played by children

[Sun Jan 04 19:23:49 GMT-08:00 2004] Frank_Remley has no profile.

> And a couple of the Sportsmen Quartet are still around.

> Ari - Oh, when the Beavers do the show?

<Scott in KC> Ah yes! Mr. Ravenscroft!

> Scott - Yup. Gotta interview him one of these days.

> Scott - Jay Meyer as well. He's wonderful.

<Ari> Was that show done by the Beavers?

<Scott in KC> Please give him and the others our love and regards!

> Ari - Well, I know there were a couple shows late in the radio run where the Beavers perform Jack's show.

> Scott - I will do that. He's grrrrrrrreat.

> Sorry, had to say it.

<Frank_Remley> One had Phil Harris and one Bob Crosby

<Ari> It was a show in which children played Jack, Dennis, Frank, Rochester, etc. Remember that show?

<Frank_Remley> I like the Phil Harris one alot better

<Scott in KC> Yep...You stole my line! I am glad because imitation is ithe sincerest form of flattery.

<Ari> This was on TV

> Ari - Oh was it? I'm thinking of the radio show. I haven't seen that one.

<Josef> Anyone know where one could get the Dennis Day show, and Phil Harris show?

<Scott in KC> On tape or CD

> I know there's a show with Harry Shearer where Jack's auditioning people for his life story.

<Frank_Remley> I love the opening line, "And now a man who was the 1st dollar he ever earned. Not because he's cheap, but because it's illegal to pass Confederate money"

> Har har...

<Scott in KC> That soiund Fred Allenesque

<Ari> Jack was looking for someone to play him & started to interview a child. The child said he has an agent. In walks in Barry Gordon(child) with a briefcase.

> There was a line that Mary had on another show about Jack paying them in Confederate money.

<Josef> It doesn't matter. Tape or CD, who cares?

> Ari - Ah, we're talking about the same show. Harry Shearer is the other child.

<harlow wilson> radio spirits

<Ari> Barry acted so obnoxious that Jack ended up hiring him to play Jack. It was funny. Anyone remember this episode?

<Scott in KC> I would say, Josef...BUT...I will honor Laura's wishes because the guy I got my MP3CD's from might be a bootlegger, and that would dishonor the Benny Family Estate.

> Ari - Yah, that's the one where Jack's auditioning people for his life story.

<Ari> This was TV not radio

<Ari> Yes, that's it

> Scott - Appreciate it...I just can't endorse any sources who are selling the shows without paying the proper royalties. It's illegal and that's that.

<Josef> Okay. Well, is there any "legal" organization that sells the tapes of Phil Harris/Dennis Day. I know for a fact Radio Spirits doesn't.

<Ari> Barry Gordon later costarred in Fish with Abe Vigoda. He is sometimes a Cantor during the High Holidays for the Temple Shalom for the Arts

<Scott in KC> I agree...I ordered them out of total ignorance.

<Ari> Temple Shalom for the Arts serves congregants from the entertainment industry

> Josef - Just a side note...I only know about the rights to the Benny shows, and the estate has an exclusive with Radio Spirits for those. Can't say about the rights for Phil Harris or Dennis Day shows.

<Josef> Thanks.

> Ari - That's pretty cool. Do you think I could contact him through there?

> Scott - So go ahead, Scott...reveal your source on Phil Harris-Dennis Day shows!

<Scott in KC> Maybe the Library at UCLA Josef

<Ari> I don't know. I'll see if I can find the number of the Temple. BRB

<Scott in KC> I am not sure if they have them, Laura

<Josef> Thanks, Scott

<Scott in KC> The Journalism School at UCLA....Maybe

<Scott in KC> I know, I should say, think Jack donated his scripts to UCLA

> Josef - Phil and Alice's collection is in Indiana...they might be able to help, but I don't recall if they've transferred anything from disc.

<Josef> Thanks.

> Scott - That's correct. I'm going to be down there this year to work with the collection.

<Scott in KC> Wow...Can I go, too?

> Looking forward to it. I loved working with the collection at the Boston Public Library.

> That's a big part of the research that I'm doing this year.

<Scott in KC> Was the Boston Public Library where Fred Allen's stuff was?

> Scott - That's it. I initially went there for that, and then they reminded me that they had some great Benny stuff as well.

> They were really great, and I was able to do a lot of clean-up on their collection and putting dates to items that had no dates.

> Still need to give them the folder index, but will need to go back there and put my hands on things to insure accuracy.

<Scott in KC> I am surprised Jack did not tease Fred having the middle name of his sister...Florence (and my grandma, by the way).

> Interesting point...I never made that connection.

<Scott in KC> Too bad Fred Allen died just before TV really took off.

> So what else Benny-wise is on everyone's mind this evening?

<Frank_Remley> Fred was a regular panelist on What's My Line for several years

<Scott in KC> Gosh...I have a zillion questions.

> Scott - True, although I'm not sure that he really enjoyed television. His comments at the end of Treadmill reflect a lot of cynicism on that.

> Frank - Was it several years? I never quite got to looking up exactly when it was.

> Scott - Go for it!

<Frank_Remley> I think it was at least 2 years

<Scott in KC> Laura...again, check out imdb.com for your answer.

<Frank_Remley> Fred took over after Steve Allen got married to Jane and moved to California

> Scott - Yeah, I use IMDB for a lot of referencing!

> Steve Allen's toupee attacked me once.

<Ari> I tried calling the 2 numbers I had for Temple Shalom for the Arts with Rabbi David Baron but those numbers are no longer good. If I find out their new number I'll let you know

<Scott in KC> Laura...I feel like a kid in the candy shop.

<Frank_Remley> Fred took over for Steve Allen in his spot

> Ari - Much appreciated. You can just E-mail it to me.

> Remley- I've never seen Allen on those shows, but I bet he was wonderful with his quick wit.

<Frank_Remley> I have several taped from when they were showing them on Game Show Network

<Scott in KC> My brother's father in law was on I'Ve Got a Secret, lest I digress.....

<Josef> Did Fred Allen ever make an appearance on Jack's TV show?

> Jack was on The $64,000 Question...

<Ari> Wahat is your E-mail address?

> Josef - Sure did! With Eddie Cantor, too.

> Ari - jackbenny@aol.com

<Ari> OK

> Josef - 4-19-53. You can get a complete copy from shokus.com.

<Josef> Thanks!

> Josef - Tell them you're an IJBFC member (if you are) and you'll get 10% off.

> It's a great show. I love it.

<Scott in KC> OK, Laura...I have a question. Did Joan Benny not follow her parents' footsteps and go on to a different career, or even work?

<Josef> Okay. And, yes, I am an IJBFC member. Joined last year at this time.

> Scott - What was your brother's father-in-law's secret?

> Josef - OK, very good. Just wanted to make sure!

> Scott - Well, that's a good question.

<Scott in KC> He was in the USAF, and worked for NASA, and ate a turkey dinner through a tube in a space suit...This was in 1958.

> Scott - Joan did a few different things, be a Mom, a teacher, and I vaguely recall that there may have been some discussion of her doing a talk show (but don't quote me on that)

> She also did work with SHARE charities.

> And has done the lecture circuit talking about being a child of Hollywood.

<Scott in KC> By the way, he stumpted the panel and got $80 and a carton of Winstons (he does not smoke).

> But in general, she's a lady of leisure now, and enjoys travelling and various things like that.

> Scott - Har har...what did he do with them?

<Scott in KC> Good for her! :)

<Scott in KC> He gave to my father.

<Scott in KC> them

<Scott in KC> Gary married the girl next door...literally.

> Hey, share the wealth...

<Scott in KC> Not for me, thanks. Not even a Lucky.

<Scott in KC> Luckie?

> I only have the occasional cigar. Very occasional.

> I probably haven't smoked in over a year.

> Scott - I've seen both spellings.

<Scott in KC> So, Laura, how did you ever get involved with such a wonderful project?

> I started it!

<Scott in KC> But why? Did you hear/see his show and smitten ever since?

> The short version of the story is that I was 10 and talking on the phone with an adult friend in California, and I said, "Gee, I know so many people who like Jack Benny, I ought to start a Jack Benny Fan Club."

> She said, "Well, it's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."

> And as they say, the rest is history.

<harlow wilson> Got to go I Love Lucy is on soon

> Scott - Actually, it was the cartoon "The Mouse That Jack Built" that got me started.

<Josef> Bye!

> Take care, Harlow! Thanks for stopping.

<Ari> She lived next door to Jack for years

<Scott in KC> Is she stomping grapes or eating chocolate?

> Or eating spaghetti and staring at Robert Taylor?

> Ari - Yes, some great stories there.

<Scott in KC> You know your TV trivia Laura...NO, that is NOT a slam! :)

<Ari> Or hanging from Cornel Wilde's hotel balcony?

> Scott - Thank you, although I'm pretty siloed on Jack. At one radio convention, they brought me up front and started asking me Tom Mix questions. I mean, come on...

<Frank_Remley> or stealing John Wayne's footprints from the Chinese Theater

> At least ask me something about COMEDY...

> Frank - Yeah....SMASH!

<Josef> Or meeting Superman dressed as Superwoman

> Or doing the mirror scene with Harpo Marx

<Josef> Love that scene.

<Ari> Or playing Harpo Marx's reflection in a "mirror"

<Josef> Or writing a musical that she herself cannot even sing.

> A true classic, whether it's Lucy or Groucho.

<Scott in KC> OK, Laura...I do not know the answer, but what did Mae West say so racey on the Case and Sanbourne Hour that got her banned from radio. It was very sexy for the day.

> Scott - Ah, it's been years since I heard that show, but I do have it. It was a routine about Adam and Eve.

<Scott in KC> I can imagine...LOL

<Scott in KC> Adam's leaf falling?

> Scott - Yeah, fig leaves at the ready...

<Scott in KC> LOL...Do you want to hear another one that slipped by the censors?

> Scott - You know, I can't recall the exact line. But it's something that wouldn't even cause a kid to blush any more.

> Scott - Sure!

<Josef> Was Lucille Ball ever on a Jack Benny episode? Or vice versa?

<Scott in KC> She said: "He gave me a pair of stockin's. One said Merry Christmas and the other said Happy New Year! I told him, 'See me between the holidays'!"

> Ah, I'd heard that line, but never knew the source.

<Ari> Yes both

> Josef - Yes, she was. Hang on, I'll give you dates...

<Scott in KC> Man, she is great, huh guys?

<Ari> Lucille Ball played Mrs Paul Revere & Jack played Paul Revere on the Jack Benny show

> Lucy was on 10-2-64 Benny show (rerun 6-11-65)

> Ari - Yup, that's the same show.

> Jack was on the Lucy show on multiple occasions.

> Here's Lucy 9-30-68

<Scott in KC> Mr. Mooney was on Fibber McGee and Molly too

<Josef> Thanks.

<Ari> Mrs Revere didn't believe he was away warning about the British. She thought he was messing around with another woman

<Scott in KC> Gale Gordon

> Hmmm...don't have exact dates for the others...

> But Jack was on at least three times. In one, Lucy was helping him write his life story, and once she tries to get Jack's account by building a vault even safer than Jack's.

<Josef> Huh.

> In the latter, she and Jack descend into "quicksand" at the end, and it was the most expensive TV gag to date.

<Ari> When Jack (Paul Revere) started singing "Hello Dolly", she said "aha, so it's Dolly Madison"

<Scott in KC> Fort Knox can't light a candle to Jack's vault!

> And I have a still from an episode where Jack and Bob Hope play plumbers with Lucy.

> Scott - And they don't even have Ed!

<Josef> Thanks for the info!

<Ari> I remember that episode. They both sink in the quicksand protecting the bank's vault. Only then is Jack convinced it's safe enough for him

> Ari - You have a good memory. I even saw that episode recently and didn't remember that.

<Scott in KC> You said Jack was unaware of his "star power." Was he aware of others, like Hope, etc.

<Scott in KC> Not just as guests, but their worldwide appeal?

<Josef> Hey, everyone, I've got to get going, but it was great talking about Jack. See you next month!

<Scott in KC> Happy New Year Josef

> Have fun, Josef. Talk with you next month!

<Frank_Remley> I need to go too, I need another drink....

> Have a good one, Remley!

<Scott in KC> And I gotta call my lady friend.

<Josef> Yep, bye!

<Frank_Remley> Goodnight

> Scott - Well, I think a better definition...

> Do you need to go, Scott? We can hold that for next month if you'd like.

<Ari> One time Jack told Lucy "I was in the war"(He was in WWI). Lucy said "I didn't know you were in the Korean War". Jack said"Bless you"

<Scott in KC> No, please answer...I wanna sleep tonight. :)

> Ari - Ha!

> Scott - OK, I'll try to be brief.

<Scott in KC> No rush...I am all eyes....

> I think more accurately, Jack didn't expect special treatment because of his celebrity.

<Ari> He was unique

> He'd stand in line for theatre tickets until the manager (or someone) would spot him and pull him out of line for VIP treatment.

> Stuff like that.

<Scott in KC> Yes, Ari...One in a million.

> He'd talk with people on the street casually, not act like a bigshot.

<Ari> I will chat with you next month & I'll try to get that info to you before then

<Ari> Bye

> So it isn't necessarily that he didn't recognize his celebrity, but he didn't demand special treatment.

> Bye, Ari! Take care.

<Scott in KC> All this is wonderful....It is soooo refreshing...I assume the cast was the same way. Although I heard Mary was very shy.

> As opposed to Hope or Ball who regularly treated others as underlings. There's even a story and Ball was on an airplane and when the stewardess tried to ask her something, she said to her neighbor, "Please tell her that I don't talk to the help."

> Mary was a funny one, and a complex person. But everyone else that I've met from the cast has been really wonderful.

> Does that answer your question?

<Scott in KC> I used toi have an apartment next to where they housed players for a local dinner theatre...I saw a goodly share of has-been actors...Some, like Gorgia Engel, were kind.

<Scott in KC> Yes, thank you!

> I think that by the time actors get to be "has beens" they're either appreciative of recognition or bitter about it.

> By all accounts, Jack was really one of the most beloved and down-to-earth celebrities of the 20th century (and possibly any other!).


> Scott - Oh, fully appreciated. I just never want to come across as being pushy or obnoxious with the trivia and all!

<Scott in KC> hARDLY! :)

> If I'm correcting anyone, it's purely in the interest of accuracy, not a power play or anything.

<Scott in KC> ooops Hardly!

> Sometimes you can't tell how things appear on the "other side of the screen."

<Scott in KC> I understand and deeply appreciated! :)

> And vice-versa.

> And thank you very much for your kind words and support.

> That's the kind of thing that's kept me going for 24 years with the club!

<Scott in KC> I will find the date of that show...Until next time, "We're running a little late, so good night folks...." God bless & Shalom!

> Shalom!