IJBFC Chat - February 6, 2005

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

> Hi Fiddler

<The_Fiddler> Hello

[Sun Feb 06 16:59:42 GMT-08:00 2005] Brad from Georgia has no profile.

<The_Fiddler> Again

> Hey there Brad

<Brad from Georgia> Hi, Laura--Hi, Fiddler. How are you?

> Doing OK here. Tired, but OK.

<Brad from Georgia> I hear you. Missed the last two chats--was in Philadelphia for one, Chattanooga for the other.

> How about yourself?

<Brad from Georgia> Can't complain! I liked the Benny show for this chat.

> It's a real classic.

<The_Fiddler> I missed the last chat also. Got on late and it had already ended.

<Brad from Georgia> Well, Philadelphia was cold and rainy, Chattanooga cold and snowy. All in all, I'd rather be chatting.

<The_Fiddler> It might be a small crowd tonight because of the Super Bowl

> Yes, the chats have been short but very concentrated lately.

<Brad from Georgia> Super Bowl? There's a Super Bowl?

<g>

> Which is OK with me because I have so much to catch up on at the weekends.

> I heard something about a super bowl. Is it clam chowder?

<The_Fiddler> If you were in Philadelphia, I'm sure you know there's a Super Bowl...

<Brad from Georgia> Chow-DAH. It's chow-DAH.

> Silly me...and I have so many friends in Boston.

<Brad from Georgia> Ah, I was in Philly back in Dec. And hardly got out of the Marriott the whole time.

> Brad - I'd make some sort of comment like "Was your lovely wife with you?" but I wouldn't want it to be misinterpreted.

<Brad from Georgia> She was, indeed, on both occasions. I hate going places alone.

[Sun Feb 06 17:04:14 GMT-08:00 2005] Barbara has no profile.

> Oh check it out...Chuck Schaden's calling me.

<Barbara> Hi everyone!

<Brad from Georgia> Hi, Barbara!

> Hi Barbara!

> How's life in SoCal today?

<Barbara> Is everyone watching the super bowl?

<Brad from Georgia> Not me. I don't like bowling.

> Only if it's minestrone.

<Barbara> It's a little rainy, Laura, but I like it. How is it up there?

> Or French Onion.

> Barbara - It's a beautiful day here. But I think it might rain tomorrow.

> So who all listened to the show for tonight's chat?

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, Laura--heard from Eddie Carroll this week. He did "Laughter in Bloom" in a 2000-seat auditorium in S.C.--and sold out!

> Brad - Wow! That's fabulous!

<Barbara> That was a cute radio show. I think I may have typed some of it.

> They were going to be in Florida as well around this time.

<Brad from Georgia> Listen to the show? As Frank Nelson says, YEEsssssssssss....

> Barbara - Now set me straight on something...would you type the scripts and then they'd be mimeoed? Or how was that done?

<The_Fiddler> I'm afraid I didn't listen to it. I'm sure I've heard it before though.

> Fiddler - It's the one where Jack wants to bet on Our Fancy and it has Bill Paley in it.

<Brad from Georgia> Say, Laura, was this show one of those in which Mary prerecorded her lines? She didn't sound quite as spontaneous as in the shows from the early forties.

<Barbara> Yes. We typed and proofread them and then they were mimeoed.

> Brad - At first, I thought that as well. But there were times when she was laughing under Jack's lines so I think not.

<The_Fiddler> OK. and Jack ends up not betting on it and winning. I remember that one.

> Fiddler - That's it.

> Barbara - OK, that's what I figured. Couldn't imagine each script was typed by hand.

<Brad from Georgia> Yes, funny episode. Classic example of the Benny "repeat a joke with variations" technique!

<Barbara> Maybe it's just me, but I'm not crazy for the vault bit.

> Barbara - That's OK...I'm not crazy for the Si-Sy bit. But everyone else seems to be.

<The_Fiddler> I'm not crazy for Mary's poems..

<Brad from Georgia> I did like the vault scene here. Jack gave Ed a couple of good punch lines. BTW, who played Ed? Sounded a little like Roscoe Kearns, but I don't think it was him.

<Barbara> I can see Jack being cheap, but isn't it servitude having a man down in the vault?

> Considering that it's the same basic structure every time. The only things that change are the password, Jack's banter with Ed, and how much Jack takes out.

> Brad - It was Joe Kearns.

<Brad from Georgia> Aha! That would explain the family resemblance!

> Brad - Yup. Joe Kearns played various parts on the show for many years.

<Barbara> It seems to get laughs, so I guess some people like it.

<The_Fiddler> It's like Fibber McGee's closet. It always comes crashing down the same, but it's funny.

> Barbara - Well, Carmichael never seemed to devour Ed.

<Brad from Georgia> I always thought the vault worked only on radio, not on TV.

> Brad - That's what most people say. Except for the elaborate gag on the Lucy Show when the bank builds a vault for Jack's money.

<Barbara> One of the most expensive shows Lucy ever did was when Jack took her down to the vault on TV.

> I've long contemplated that a big part of humor is the surprise. But on repeated gags like that, it's more the anticipation than any surprise.

> Barbara - The most expensive TV gag to date.

<Barbara> That's amazing. I see they got out of the quicksand.

<The_Fiddler> It's like looking for Hitchcock in one of his films. You know he's going to be in it somewhere, but where.

<Brad from Georgia> I did like the gag about Dennis and his "hamburg" hat. I'm just barely old enough to recall the brouhaha about Eisenhower wearing a homburg instead of more formal headgear. Or maybe it's just that I remember hearing about it.

> Also, you have both the Tout and Benny Rubin on this show. Rubin invented the tout character, but it was Sheldon Leonard by this time.

> Fiddler - Excellent observation. Or looking for "Nina"s in a Hirschfeld drawing.

<Brad from Georgia> A first--the racetrack Tout at the track!

<The_Fiddler> That's why towards the end of Hitch's directing, he put himself in the picture early so people wouldn't be distracted looking for him.

> Brad - I've often quoted that gag as a distinction between Dennis Day and Kenny Baker. There's some of the Gracie Allen "illogical logic" in wearing a hamburg instead of a homburg.

<Barbara> Phil wasn't in this was he?

> Fiddler - Really? I didn't know that. Interesting. I recently watched "The Paradine Case" and it's probably 2/3 of the way through before he appears.

<Brad from Georgia> Very typical follow-up gag, too: "Dennis, get your hat." "I ate it."

> Barbara - That you mention it, no. He had left the previous fall.

<Brad from Georgia> The band had very little to do in this episode. The end seemed a little strange--no "We're a little late, folks," and then at least part of two band numbers.

> Re the racetrack tout at the races, I kept thinking that they could have had a better punch line than just, "Who knows about horses?"

<Barbara> I didn't realize he had left so early. I heard it was over money, but then I heard it wasn't.

> Brad - That's because it was an AFRS version.

> Barbara - Phil said to me that it wasn't, but Al Gordon's story at 39 Forever sounded more plausible.

<Brad from Georgia> Ah, yes. Nice reproduction, too. I had a little bit of treble squeal, but it wasn't bad.

<Barbara> Money is usually the cause of most disputes I think.

> Did Phil have much of a career after leaving Jack's show?

> Barbara - Or greed of some kind.

> I think of most of Phil's recording career as being before or during the Benny years,

> and he was working for Disney on things like "Jungle Book" afterwards.

<Barbara> According to Alice, he was not terribly motivated to take on a lot of work.

> But aside from the Disney voiceovers, was he doing much?

> Barbara - And that would be in keeping with what he told me. That he and Alice wanted to focus more on having a family life.

<Barbara> I think he was relaxing in Palm Springs.

> Barbara - Which he was doing for a good bit of the rest of his life.

<Brad from Georgia> Phil was in a bunch of movies in the fifties--"The High and the Mighty," "Anything Goes," "Farewell, My Lady".

<Barbara> Alice wanted to go into TV but Phil thought there were enough family-type shows already.

> Brad - What were the years on those? Were they mainly early 50s? And when did their radio show end?

<Brad from Georgia> I remember Phil as almost a semi-regular on "The Andy Williams Show" in the sixties, too.

> Brad - No kidding! I used to watch that when I was a kid.

<Barbara> My favorite show was Phil Harris on This Is Your Life. It seemed so out of character for him.

<Brad from Georgia> Hmm... "High and the Mighty" was about '54 or '55, "Anything Goes" was '56, I think, and "Farewell My Lady," a boy and his dog story, was '56, '57, along in there. I saw it at the theater when I was a kid. Don't know about his radio show, though.

> So aside from his character on the Benny show, what was or would have been the perfect part for Phil?

<Brad from Georgia> Riverboat gambler!

> Didn't I hear that the lead in "The Music Man" was written for Phil?

<The_Fiddler> Bartendert

<The_Fiddler> bartender

[Sun Feb 06 17:21:46 GMT-08:00 2005] KM99: How Are Ya'

<Barbara> I always thought he had more potential than he used or was given.

> Fiddler - Put Phil with Frankie Fontaine...

> Hey KM!

<Brad from Georgia> I think Phil actually appeared in "The Music Man" somewhere. Don't know if the part was written for him.

<KM99> Hiya Folks

> Speaking of Phil...

<Barbara> How are things in Canada?

<KM99> ESP Helmet time....

> KM - Your shot glass must have been burning.

<KM99> Today it's cold. Last week it was quite warm

> (Quite warm = 35F)

<Brad from Georgia> It's been cold in Georgia, too. Got down to sixty today.

<KM99> I was watching the superbowl. It's the 39th so I figured I had to watch some of it.

> KM - Who's winning?

<KM99> (Quite warm = 55F)

<KM99> Tie - 7/7

> Seven and seven...PHil would have liked that.

<The_Fiddler> Maybe next year will be the 39th also. 39th Forever

> Fiddler - Good one.

<KM99> Barbara - I missed you. How are you doing?

<The_Fiddler> He's want a Canadian Club in it though (ha ha)

<The_Fiddler> He'd

> Gee...I think just about everyone in the room was at the 39 Forever convention. Fiddler - were you?

<Barbara> I miss you. Are you still handsome?

<Brad from Georgia> I wasn't. Really wish I could have made it!

<KM99> Barbara - You know it, sister.

<The_Fiddler> No, I wasn't there, sad to say

> Brad - Gosh, I must be confusing you with someone else who had a lovely wife there.

<The_Fiddler> I was in Doo Wah Diddy

> It ain't no town, it ain't no city

<Brad from Georgia> I'll tell her that. And then I'll expect a very nice Valentine's Day present from her.

<Brad from Georgia> My wife--now, that's what I like about the South.

> Walden is making me sing on the air these days, and he asked me to sing my favorite Phil Harris song recently. I did a few bars of "The Thing"

> Brad - A real Georgia peach...

 

> Hi Fiddler

<The_Fiddler> Hello

[Sun Feb 06 16:59:42 GMT-08:00 2005] Brad from Georgia has no profile.

<The_Fiddler> Again

> Hey there Brad

<Brad from Georgia> Hi, Laura--Hi, Fiddler. How are you?

> Doing OK here. Tired, but OK.

<Brad from Georgia> I hear you. Missed the last two chats--was in Philadelphia for one, Chattanooga for the other.

> How about yourself?

<Brad from Georgia> Can't complain! I liked the Benny show for this chat.

> It's a real classic.

<The_Fiddler> I missed the last chat also. Got on late and it had already ended.

<Brad from Georgia> Well, Philadelphia was cold and rainy, Chattanooga cold and snowy. All in all, I'd rather be chatting.

<The_Fiddler> It might be a small crowd tonight because of the Super Bowl

> Yes, the chats have been short but very concentrated lately.

<Brad from Georgia> Super Bowl? There's a Super Bowl?

<g>

> Which is OK with me because I have so much to catch up on at the weekends.

> I heard something about a super bowl. Is it clam chowder?

<The_Fiddler> If you were in Philadelphia, I'm sure you know there's a Super Bowl...

<Brad from Georgia> Chow-DAH. It's chow-DAH.

> Silly me...and I have so many friends in Boston.

<Brad from Georgia> Ah, I was in Philly back in Dec. And hardly got out of the Marriott the whole time.

> Brad - I'd make some sort of comment like "Was your lovely wife with you?" but I wouldn't want it to be misinterpreted.

<Brad from Georgia> She was, indeed, on both occasions. I hate going places alone.

[Sun Feb 06 17:04:14 GMT-08:00 2005] Barbara has no profile.

> Oh check it out...Chuck Schaden's calling me.

<Barbara> Hi everyone!

<Brad from Georgia> Hi, Barbara!

> Hi Barbara!

> How's life in SoCal today?

<Barbara> Is everyone watching the super bowl?

<Brad from Georgia> Not me. I don't like bowling.

> Only if it's minestrone.

<Barbara> It's a little rainy, Laura, but I like it. How is it up there?

> Or French Onion.

> Barbara - It's a beautiful day here. But I think it might rain tomorrow.

> So who all listened to the show for tonight's chat?

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, Laura--heard from Eddie Carroll this week. He did "Laughter in Bloom" in a 2000-seat auditorium in S.C.--and sold out!

> Brad - Wow! That's fabulous!

<Barbara> That was a cute radio show. I think I may have typed some of it.

> They were going to be in Florida as well around this time.

<Brad from Georgia> Listen to the show? As Frank Nelson says, YEEsssssssssss....

> Barbara - Now set me straight on something...would you type the scripts and then they'd be mimeoed? Or how was that done?

<The_Fiddler> I'm afraid I didn't listen to it. I'm sure I've heard it before though.

> Fiddler - It's the one where Jack wants to bet on Our Fancy and it has Bill Paley in it.

<Brad from Georgia> Say, Laura, was this show one of those in which Mary prerecorded her lines? She didn't sound quite as spontaneous as in the shows from the early forties.

<Barbara> Yes. We typed and proofread them and then they were mimeoed.

> Brad - At first, I thought that as well. But there were times when she was laughing under Jack's lines so I think not.

<The_Fiddler> OK. and Jack ends up not betting on it and winning. I remember that one.

> Fiddler - That's it.

> Barbara - OK, that's what I figured. Couldn't imagine each script was typed by hand.

<Brad from Georgia> Yes, funny episode. Classic example of the Benny "repeat a joke with variations" technique!

<Barbara> Maybe it's just me, but I'm not crazy for the vault bit.

> Barbara - That's OK...I'm not crazy for the Si-Sy bit. But everyone else seems to be.

<The_Fiddler> I'm not crazy for Mary's poems..

<Brad from Georgia> I did like the vault scene here. Jack gave Ed a couple of good punch lines. BTW, who played Ed? Sounded a little like Roscoe Kearns, but I don't think it was him.

<Barbara> I can see Jack being cheap, but isn't it servitude having a man down in the vault?

> Considering that it's the same basic structure every time. The only things that change are the password, Jack's banter with Ed, and how much Jack takes out.

> Brad - It was Joe Kearns.

<Brad from Georgia> Aha! That would explain the family resemblance!

> Brad - Yup. Joe Kearns played various parts on the show for many years.

<Barbara> It seems to get laughs, so I guess some people like it.

<The_Fiddler> It's like Fibber McGee's closet. It always comes crashing down the same, but it's funny.

> Barbara - Well, Carmichael never seemed to devour Ed.

<Brad from Georgia> I always thought the vault worked only on radio, not on TV.

> Brad - That's what most people say. Except for the elaborate gag on the Lucy Show when the bank builds a vault for Jack's money.

<Barbara> One of the most expensive shows Lucy ever did was when Jack took her down to the vault on TV.

> I've long contemplated that a big part of humor is the surprise. But on repeated gags like that, it's more the anticipation than any surprise.

> Barbara - The most expensive TV gag to date.

<Barbara> That's amazing. I see they got out of the quicksand.

<The_Fiddler> It's like looking for Hitchcock in one of his films. You know he's going to be in it somewhere, but where.

<Brad from Georgia> I did like the gag about Dennis and his "hamburg" hat. I'm just barely old enough to recall the brouhaha about Eisenhower wearing a homburg instead of more formal headgear. Or maybe it's just that I remember hearing about it.

> Also, you have both the Tout and Benny Rubin on this show. Rubin invented the tout character, but it was Sheldon Leonard by this time.

> Fiddler - Excellent observation. Or looking for "Nina"s in a Hirschfeld drawing.

<Brad from Georgia> A first--the racetrack Tout at the track!

<The_Fiddler> That's why towards the end of Hitch's directing, he put himself in the picture early so people wouldn't be distracted looking for him.

> Brad - I've often quoted that gag as a distinction between Dennis Day and Kenny Baker. There's some of the Gracie Allen "illogical logic" in wearing a hamburg instead of a homburg.

<Barbara> Phil wasn't in this was he?

> Fiddler - Really? I didn't know that. Interesting. I recently watched "The Paradine Case" and it's probably 2/3 of the way through before he appears.

<Brad from Georgia> Very typical follow-up gag, too: "Dennis, get your hat." "I ate it."

> Barbara - That you mention it, no. He had left the previous fall.

<Brad from Georgia> The band had very little to do in this episode. The end seemed a little strange--no "We're a little late, folks," and then at least part of two band numbers.

> Re the racetrack tout at the races, I kept thinking that they could have had a better punch line than just, "Who knows about horses?"

<Barbara> I didn't realize he had left so early. I heard it was over money, but then I heard it wasn't.

> Brad - That's because it was an AFRS version.

> Barbara - Phil said to me that it wasn't, but Al Gordon's story at 39 Forever sounded more plausible.

<Brad from Georgia> Ah, yes. Nice reproduction, too. I had a little bit of treble squeal, but it wasn't bad.

<Barbara> Money is usually the cause of most disputes I think.

> Did Phil have much of a career after leaving Jack's show?

> Barbara - Or greed of some kind.

> I think of most of Phil's recording career as being before or during the Benny years,

> and he was working for Disney on things like "Jungle Book" afterwards.

<Barbara> According to Alice, he was not terribly motivated to take on a lot of work.

> But aside from the Disney voiceovers, was he doing much?

> Barbara - And that would be in keeping with what he told me. That he and Alice wanted to focus more on having a family life.

<Barbara> I think he was relaxing in Palm Springs.

> Barbara - Which he was doing for a good bit of the rest of his life.

<Brad from Georgia> Phil was in a bunch of movies in the fifties--"The High and the Mighty," "Anything Goes," "Farewell, My Lady".

<Barbara> Alice wanted to go into TV but Phil thought there were enough family-type shows already.

> Brad - What were the years on those? Were they mainly early 50s? And when did their radio show end?

<Brad from Georgia> I remember Phil as almost a semi-regular on "The Andy Williams Show" in the sixties, too.

> Brad - No kidding! I used to watch that when I was a kid.

<Barbara> My favorite show was Phil Harris on This Is Your Life. It seemed so out of character for him.

<Brad from Georgia> Hmm... "High and the Mighty" was about '54 or '55, "Anything Goes" was '56, I think, and "Farewell My Lady," a boy and his dog story, was '56, '57, along in there. I saw it at the theater when I was a kid. Don't know about his radio show, though.

> So aside from his character on the Benny show, what was or would have been the perfect part for Phil?

<Brad from Georgia> Riverboat gambler!

> Didn't I hear that the lead in "The Music Man" was written for Phil?

<The_Fiddler> Bartendert

<The_Fiddler> bartender

[Sun Feb 06 17:21:46 GMT-08:00 2005] KM99: How Are Ya'

<Barbara> I always thought he had more potential than he used or was given.

> Fiddler - Put Phil with Frankie Fontaine...

> Hey KM!

<Brad from Georgia> I think Phil actually appeared in "The Music Man" somewhere. Don't know if the part was written for him.

<KM99> Hiya Folks

> Speaking of Phil...

<Barbara> How are things in Canada?

<KM99> ESP Helmet time....

> KM - Your shot glass must have been burning.

<KM99> Today it's cold. Last week it was quite warm

> (Quite warm = 35F)

<Brad from Georgia> It's been cold in Georgia, too. Got down to sixty today.

<KM99> I was watching the superbowl. It's the 39th so I figured I had to watch some of it.

> KM - Who's winning?

<KM99> (Quite warm = 55F)

<KM99> Tie - 7/7

> Seven and seven...PHil would have liked that.

<The_Fiddler> Maybe next year will be the 39th also. 39th Forever

> Fiddler - Good one.

<KM99> Barbara - I missed you. How are you doing?

<The_Fiddler> He's want a Canadian Club in it though (ha ha)

<The_Fiddler> He'd

> Gee...I think just about everyone in the room was at the 39 Forever convention. Fiddler - were you?

<Barbara> I miss you. Are you still handsome?

<Brad from Georgia> I wasn't. Really wish I could have made it!

<KM99> Barbara - You know it, sister.

<The_Fiddler> No, I wasn't there, sad to say

> Brad - Gosh, I must be confusing you with someone else who had a lovely wife there.

<The_Fiddler> I was in Doo Wah Diddy

> It ain't no town, it ain't no city

<Brad from Georgia> I'll tell her that. And then I'll expect a very nice Valentine's Day present from her.

<Brad from Georgia> My wife--now, that's what I like about the South.

> Walden is making me sing on the air these days, and he asked me to sing my favorite Phil Harris song recently. I did a few bars of "The Thing"

> Brad - A real Georgia peach...

<Barbara> I also like "nobody".

<Brad from Georgia> "Oh, you'll never get rid of that bomp-de-bomp..."

<KM99> No Matter What you do.....

> Barbara - Doesn't he do a splendid job of that?

> I wonder if Bert Williams would have approved.

<Barbara> That one is great. Phil could have done more than he did it seems to me.

<Brad from Georgia> Phil's voice isn't great, but man, did he put a terrific feeling of enjoyment in every syllable!

> He did a flashy rendition of "G.I. Jive" that AFRS kept using for filler week after week.

<KM99> Phil had a deep rich tone that makes you feel like he was your best friend singing to make you feel better

> Pack up your junk...right into your trunk...fall in your bunk...CL-UNK!

<Brad from Georgia> Yeah, the guy sounded like he'd be fun to be around!

<Barbara> Phil would come out and do the warmup before the radio show. He was always a big hit.

> Someone you could have a drink with...

<KM99> uh huh

<Brad from Georgia> ...but couldn't keep up with!

> He was Thomas O'Malley in "The Aristocats", a largely forgotten Disney feature. He's great in it.

<KM99> Don't forget Jungle Book!

<Brad from Georgia> Yes, he's got his great intro song where he lists all his cat-names in "Aristocats."

> Look for the bear necessities, the simple bear necessities...

> Abraham Delacey Giuseppe Casey THomas O'malley the alley cat

> I used to play that LP to death when I was a little girl.

<Brad from Georgia> He also did a voice in a very obscure non-Disney animated film, "Rock-a-Doodle."

> Brad - Yes, I think he was making that when I interviewed him.

> I remember him mentioning it.

<Brad from Georgia> I'd guess that was probably about his last movie bit--about 1991, along in there.

> He would have been great as the rooster in "Chicken Run"...I think Mel Gibson did the voice.

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, and don't forget "Little John" in Disney's "Robin Hood."

> Brad - That sounds right. Because I think I interviewed him in the summer of 1990.

> Brad - Ah, good one. I don't think I ever saw that film.

<KM99> LL (Change of subject) - That was a nice write up on the Genessee Theater re-opening in the last JB Times!

> John Goodman seems to have taken his position in doing some of those "large character" voiceovers.

<The_Fiddler> I thought Alan Hale was Little John

<Brad from Georgia> BTW, my lovely Georgia peach daughter is working for Disney in Orlando now. She is primarily one of the "Lion King" puppeteers, but she has appeared as a costumed character, Little John, in the park!

<KM99> LL - I'm glad you went anyway

> KM - Thanks much! It was fun to be there and be a part of it.

> Brad - I didn't know that Little John was having a gender crisis... ;)

<Brad from Georgia> Alan Hale Sr. was Little John in the 1939 live-action Robin Hood. Phil was in the '73 Disney cartoon.

<Barbara> Wouldn't Jack have been proud of the theater now.

> KM - Remember that Italian restaurant that was our green room in 2002?

<Brad from Georgia> You know, they assign the masked characters completely on the basis of height? She was upset because she's too tall to be Minnie Mouse!

> Barbara - It's definitely worthy of him now.

<KM99> Why sure, honey chil'

> Brad - That makes sense.

> KM - Well, it's a fabulous Mexican restaurant now. I had one of the best Mexican meals I ever et there.

<KM99> LL - The sandwiches were great then

> KM - The food is orders of magnitude better now.

> KM - Oh, and some Waukegan rumor scandal and gossip?

<Brad from Georgia> Laura--so when will you put together the NEXT 39 Forever get-together?

<Barbara> Speaking of food, the waiter in the show didn't ask how they wanted their eggs.

<KM99> LL - I enjoyed the fact we 'HAD' a green room.

> Brad - I may consider it after the book series. But it was an overwhelming task. I'd probably have to take a year off from work to do it.

<The_Fiddler> When they ask me how I want me eggs, I tell them "Deviled" and wait for the response from the waitress...

<Barbara> Would you like to do that?

> Barbara - Good point. Reminds me of Frank Nelson as the waiter when Jack wanted oysters.

<Brad from Georgia> Heh, I know it. I've worked on some convention staffs before. Mind-numbing, ain't it?

<Barbara> Is that when Frank asked if he wanted male or female oysters?

> Brad - Totally overwhelming. I told a few people that if they want another convention, they'll have to pay for a divorce or a funeral, because one of 'em's gonna happen.

> Barbara - That's the one!

> KM - Remember the Fiesta Palace?

<KM99> LL - ?

> KM - In Waukegan?

<KM99> ?

> KM - Directly across Genesee Street from the Genesee Theatre?

<Brad from Georgia> I remember Ray Bradbury in Waukegan.

<KM99> Okay

> KM - It was going to turn into a steakhouse to service theatre patrons.

<KM99> I think I might have visited it waiting for the show to start

> But when I parked my car in the new lot next door to it

> KM - No, that was the place diagonally across from the Fiesta Palace. More of a theatre/auditorium.

> So I parked my car and walked over to the theatre,

> and where the Fiesta Palace was

<KM99> Oh yeah - I must have been in the bar...next to the stage

<Barbara> The Barrison Theater is gone, isn't it?

> KM - That's it. If you went diagonally acrows the intersection, it would have be the FP

> Barbara - Yup, long time ago. That would have been about where KM was in the bar.

> But where the Fiesta Palace was

> Was.......................

> ................

> not a steakhouse.............

> ............

> a vacant lot.

<Brad from Georgia> Gee, I'm on pins and needles

<KM99> No way... more room for statues

> I later got the scoop from a local denizen

> That the construction workers on the parking lot

> had inadvertently set fire to the Fiesta Palace

> and burned it to the ground.

> "inadvertently"

> So no steakhouse there.

<KM99> I hate it when that happens on my jobs

> KM - LOL

<Brad from Georgia> I can't COUNT the number of times I've inadvertently burned down steakhouses.

> So they tried to clean it up as best they could for opening night.

<KM99>

<=== Construction kinda guy

> Brad - ROFLMAO

<Brad from Georgia> One careless little blowtorch, and there they go....

> Hopefully no one will inadvertently burn down Jack's statue.

> I have a couple really nice shots of the statue from that night

<Barbara> Does Fred Allen have any relatives?

> They had lights in all these trees around it

<Brad from Georgia> I think Fred had a daughter, didn't he?

<KM99> That would have been beautiful

> But they're too dark to reproduce (the photos that is)

> Brad - Nope.

> Fred and Portland had no children.

> Brad - You may be thinking of the photo of Fred holding James Mason's daughter, Portland.

> As far as I know, Fred has no living relatives.

<KM99> Hey -- Ed had a great part in tonight's show!

> KM - (Pssst...Barbara didn't like it.)

<Brad from Georgia> Probably. Sadly, I'm a Fred Allen fan only when Fred's a guest on Benny.

<KM99> I don't think I've ever heard him speak as much as in this one

> Brad - I think you're not alone in that.

> (Appropos of nothing...did you ever get an overwhelming craving for unagi and not be able to do anything about it? Grrr...)

<Brad from Georgia> Neat topical reference with the infamous Marilyn Monroe calendar, too.

> The comment about him hanging it upside down could be a veiled dirty joke.

<KM99> LL - no, never

<Brad from Georgia> LL-yes, but of course it works on the level of "I've been down here so long, I can't remember what a woman looks like" joke, too.

<Barbara> I underestand the writers had a lot of dirty jokes that they couldn't use on the air so they used them among themselves.

> Brad - Oh, I understand that. It just works on two levels if you want to see it that way.

> But of course, Mary's comment of, "Jack watches a movie with 50 beautiful girls and all he sees is the tenor" also can be read multiple ways.

<Brad from Georgia> Listening to the old shows, I am occasionally surprised at how a blue double-entendre slips in. Of course, I can't think of any examples.

> (That was on another show, not the one for tonight.)

<KM99> LL - Let's not start that again....

<Brad from Georgia> I liked Mel Blanc

> Brad - Well, there was a good one from Fred Allen on the show we're airing on Yesterday USA tonight.

<Brad from Georgia> Oops--hit return accidentally--liked Mel Blanc's racetrack announcer, too.

> Portland calls him "Mr. Allen" and he says something like, "Portland, we're not on the air now, don't call me that. We've been eased out of more hotels that way."

> I noticed that Mel was getting some mild laughs for his announcing, even though there wasn't much punchline.

<KM99> Brad - what did you think about Ed's double-exposure joke

> There was another back in the 30s where Jack is in Errol Flynn's dressing room, and women keep calling.

<Brad from Georgia> He did it very straight, but with just enough exaggeration to make it funny!

<Brad from Georgia> I thought the hilarious bit was just his asking for a camera. Writers must've worked on that one.

> A woman calls and Jack says, "Errol Flynn is in bed with a cold.......a COLD!"

<Brad from Georgia> And of course, Ed had the nice capper--"At midnight?" "Who knows?"

<Barbara> Mel Blanc was quite animated, so he would have gotten laughs just watching him.

> I like the bit about Rochester wanting his own phone in case the house is burning down and he doesn't have any change.

> Barbara - An excellent point.

<KM99> Barbara - It was great seeing Mel do his sound effects live on the TV show

<Brad from Georgia> LL-Yes, very subtle "cheap" joke! You could hear the audience titter as they started to get the drift.

> I like the comment about bird's eye maple out of Grand Rapids. I'm from Grand Rapids and I think I have pretty good breeding myself.

<Brad from Georgia> We've seen "Prairie Home Companion" many times. Tom Keith's vocal sound effects always crack me up--more so when I can see him as well as hear him.

<KM99>

<<<< esp moment show to heck

>>>>

<KM99>

<<< shot

>>>

> *snicker*

<Barbara> I remember Mel saying once he had an intestinal problem so told Jack he couldn't do any strenuous sound effects.

> There's a song in "This Way Please" entitled "I'm the Sound Effects Man". It's great.

<KM99> The Maxwell was rather strenuous, wasn't it?

<Brad from Georgia> I will always treasure a TV Benny moment when Mel did "an English horse."

> Too bad it's in such a forgotten movie.

<KM99> awwww hawwwww

> Brad - *whinny* ch-hawww!

<Barbara> It was KM99, You wouldn't want to be too close to him when he did it.

<KM99> Just a wee bit wet, wasn't it?

> Barbara - Sort of like being around a golden retriever shaking himself off.

<Brad from Georgia> Anyone remember Benny doing a take-off on Jackie Gleason as the bartender? Dennis Day did a dynamite Crazy Gugenheim.

<Barbara> At least.

> Brad - Preview of coming attractions...I just got the TV show where Jack does Gleason with Audrey Meadows.

> Dennis was such a great mimc.

> mimic

> On one show in late 1945, they got Dennis and Colman in the same room and it was great.

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

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, did I notice Dennis fibbing about his age? When he was explaining how he decided to bet on #12, he said he was 26, but he would have been 36 or so in 1953. Maybe Jack rubbed off on him.

> Brad - Well, it would have been hard to say he was a silly kid and be 36.

<Brad from Georgia> Gee, I'm older than that, and people call me--

<Barbara> They didn't use him much on TV because he didn't look like a silly kid.

> Yes, come to think of it, I know of people up to the age of 60 who could still be classified as "silly kids."

<KM99>

<<< NEWS FLASH --- 3rd QTR NE 14 PE 7

>>>

> Barbara - Someone recently posted on the Forum that they don't look at pictures of the cast because they don't want to know what people really looked like.

> KM - Go Patriots. I guess.

<Brad from Georgia> I hope that Philly catches up. I've got a heavy bet on them, and I don't want to lose a whole quarter.

> I rooted for the Red Sox, so I get the Patriots by default.

> Brad - You must have been betting with Jack.

<Barbara> That's interesting, Laura. I personally don't think Jack aged particularly well after he turned 70 or so.

<The_Fiddler> Jack only bets on sure things

> Barbara - Notice what was happening about the time he was 70...

> TV series was ending

> Fiddler - Like Our Fancy

<Barbara> I was going to say change of life.

> Jack was doing more symphony dates and Vegas/stage gigs

<Brad from Georgia> Right about that time was when a friend of mine, a musician, met Jack during a symphony tour.

> Barbara - Right. He wasn't doing the weekly thing any more. AND he was moving out of his beloved Roxbury house.

<Barbara> Jack had a real fear of not being wanted as an entertainer any more. I don't think his relationship with Mary was great so he must have been depressed.

> Brad - Any stories or rememberances from that?

> Barbara - Mary had become fairly reclusive since her retirement in the mid-50s, and when Jack travelled, she usually didn't go with him.

<KM99> I think he was happy because he was able to do the symphonic shows and spend more time with a "Live" audience

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, yes. Butch (great name for a percussionist, right) told me that the musicians had rehearsed a program, and that Jack was to come in for a couple of rehearsals before performance. Jack showed up, and the conductor wanted to introduce him to all the musicians.

<Barbara> It still blows my mind that he agreed to leave the Roxbury house. As Joan said Mary must have had a hex on him.

<Brad from Georgia> Jack said, "Fellas, before we do that, I have something to tell you. I'm staying in the so-and-so hotel, and they serve the best fried-egg sandwich I ever tasted!"

<Brad from Georgia> Butch said at the actual performance, Jack, to everyone's surprise, had a touch of stage fright. But he didn't show it once he stepped out into the lights.

> It's to the point that I've sometimes wondered if he was borderline bipolar.

> But don't take that as a serious allegation, just something I've wondered.

<Barbara> You could be right. I copied a photo of him from ebay from the 40's and he looked either sad or preoccupied.

> To your point, Barbara...there's a photo of him from about 1972 on the Portraits section. I think he looks pretty fragile in it.

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, little unplanned moment: Jack was playing with one of the orchestra's violinists, and they got out of tempo. The orchestra violinist stopped, Jack looked at him, and the violinist said, "I just thought you needed some time to catch up." Jack cracked up about that.

<Barbara> I'll have to check that out. It's possible he wasn't all that well even then.

> Take the glasses off Jack and he looks much the same from about 1946 to 1964. But after that...

<KM99> LL - I've just been thinking about that... I remember hearing from Maria that Grandpa would become "Jack" just before stepping onto stage.

> Brad - What a great story!

<Barbara> Michael said his hair dye got all over everything, but he had to use it.

> KM - That's it. Play "Love in Bloom" and the years just fell away from him. But backstage he was somewhat..."small."

<KM99> LL - She said his posture would change and he would look years younger.

<Brad from Georgia> Anyone who was just used to him on TV would be puzzled by the 30s-40s references to his gray hair.

> Barbara - In the Americare 39 plan documents, his hair dye is downright ridiculous!

<Barbara> I've always wondered what George Burns meant when he said that Jack was a marvelous entertainer, but off stage he was "pathetic."

> Early on in my Benny career, I'd heard somewhere that his hair had somehow turned dark again, and I purported that for a few years. Silly me.

<Brad from Georgia> Burns seemed to think Jack was the world's best audience, all by himself.

<Barbara> Laura, what are Americare 39 plan documents?

> Barbara - I have a feeling that Jack's "small" appearance was probably it. That Jack could be depressed, fragile, stoop-shouldered, etc.

<KM99> LL - Don't forget he was a hypochondriac as well..

> Barbara - It's a bit he did around 1972 for a life insurance policy. He was the spokesman for the company. I happened to pick up one of their mailers, complete with soundsheet, at an estate sale many years ago.

<Barbara> Jack had a very unusual build which he referred to occasionally.

> KM - Right.

<Brad from Georgia> "Mr. Benny, you have the worst case of hypochondria I've ever seen." "There, see? I KNEW I was sick!"

<KM99> Brad - LOL

> Take a look in the last Times and you'll see an excerpt from a book written by the guy who worked with him on Americare 39.

> Brad - Har har.

> Barbara - How do you mean?

<Barbara> Jack could have put that on his own sarcophagus. Nobody knew he was so sick.

> It's like the hypochondriac who has one word on their gravestone: "See?"

<Brad from Georgia> I remember reading that he was depressed toward the end because he wanted so badly to do "Sunshine Boys."

<Barbara> Laura, I forgot what I was referring to to tell you what I meant. Refresh my memory.

> I think he was depressed over turning 80. And just the usual general depression.

> Barbara - Jack's "unusual build".

<KM99> "I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either..."

<Barbara> He was very short waisted as was quite noticeable in the photo I was referring to. He had long legs which gave him his height, but he was very short when he sat down. Does that make sense?

<KM99> NE 14 PE 14 TIE GAME !!!

<Brad from Georgia> LL-Do you know if there are any makeup tests or test shots of Matthau and Benny for "Sunshine Boys?"

 

<Brad from Georgia> KM99-My quarter may be safe!

> Barbara - Ah, OK. I knew Jack was short waisted, and that he was about 5'10.

<Barbara> Yes, there are. In the new DVD release.

> Brad - Yes. Get the new DVD and you can see them.

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, gee, now I'll have to get it!

<Barbara> I'm afraid my pizza is here so I'll have to leave you. Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

> Brad - It's worth it for hardcore Benny fans.

> Happy JB's Birthday, Barbara!

<KM99> Take care, Barbara !

> Now if I could just get someone to deliver sushi here to the house....

<Barbara> Thank you.

<The_Fiddler> Sushi, ewwwww

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, I'm thinking of making up a card to send to Eddie Carroll: Outside: We want to wish you a happy day on Jack Benny's 39th Birthday. Inside: Gee, wouldn't THAT news give him a swelled head!

<KM99> LL - You live with a chef. What don't you ask him to make it for you?

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

> KM - Because he's working for a caterer tonight.

> Brad - Har har...you should do it.

<Brad from Georgia> LL--is it true that "Love in Bloom" became Jack's theme after he picked up a violin and played a few bars of it (it was the music on the stand) in a night spot one evening?

> Anything else? Should we call it a wrap for this month?

> Brad - No, not really true.

<The_Fiddler> Tell him you were going to send him shoelaces, but didn't know whether to send him ones with plastic or metal tips

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, and he told that story so well on "The Tonight Show"!

> The complete story can be best seen in "39 Forever", but...

<Brad from Georgia> Fiddler--PERFECT! PERFECT! Thank you!

<KM99> Brad - I think it was a guest "call up" at a night club that sealed it.

> In 1935, Jack has a gag for a few weeks about trying to play "Love in Bloom" on the air

> and getting constantly interrupted.

> So the story goes that when Jack and Mary went out to dinner,

> the orchestra started playing "Love in Bloom" when they entered the room, in response to that gag.

> Then later on the show, Jack's entrance is music bedded with "Love in Bloom".

> And it was off and running.

<The_Fiddler> Hadn't heard that story before

> But all the shows on which the gag started are currently lost...hopefully one day will be found.

<Brad from Georgia> I remember so well Jack's talking to Johnny Carson about the theme song and saying, "I never LIKED 'Love in Bloom.' I mean, listen to the lyrics!" and then he gave the funniest deadpan recital of the lyrics, ending with "Now, I ask you, does that sound like ME?"

> Brad - Speaking as someone who has probably heard "Love in Bloom" a number of times that's second only to Jack...

> I can understand Jack getting a little sick of it. Dan and I were making up obscene lyrics to it by the end of the convention, and Dan still sings them from time to time.

<Brad from Georgia> Sounds like the kind of thing we do at the Atlanta Radio Theatre--if we're lucky, while the mics are off!

> I heard one interview with Jack where he was pretty demonstrative about how much he disliked the song!

> Brad - Yeah, gotta watch that! I almost cursed casually on my Yesterday USA spot once.

<Brad from Georgia> Oh, my, where does the evening go? I'm going to have to depart. As Kermit says, "Time's fun when you're having flies."

<KM99> LL - can it be my knees that bend to please...

> Fortunately I said, "I don't frigging know" and then caught myself.

> KM - !!!!!!

> Brad - Good luck on your bet! Hope to see you next month.

<KM99> LL - a bow, Laura, a bow

<The_Fiddler> I guess you aren't on a 7 second delay

> Fiddler - Well, we were prerecording and I let Walden make the call on it.

<KM99> Or a curtsy, if you are so inclined

<Brad from Georgia> Well, try putting on a WWI British accent and sayng, "That foolish plucky fellow!" very fast three times.... See you!

> G'night Brad!

<KM99> Seeya Brad

<Brad from Georgia> G'night, everyone! I'm off the air...

<The_Fiddler> Goodnight Brad

<KM99> I ought to sign off as well. The 4th quarter is heating up

> And I have a ton of stuff to do. So let's call it good.

<KM99> Seeya Folks !

> Thanks guys! Have a great month!

<The_Fiddler> What's the date for the next chat

> Fiddler - First Sunday in March.

<The_Fiddler> OK, goodnight.

> Good night folks!