IJBFC Chat - February 5, 2006
(Name of message originator in <> brackets at the beginning of each line; lines starting with > are originated by Laura Leff)
> Hello again, folks!
<Maxwell> (That's one I haven't seen in several years.
<Steve - "shimp"> Hi Laura!
<Maxwell> Hey Laura
<Steve - "shimp"> Sorry 'bout the mixup.
<Kay Lhota> Hi Laura
<Pete> hello Laura
<Chris Vaughn> hello Laura - Chris here; first chat for me
> Steve - No problem. Even I wasn't really prepared.
<Kay Lhota> Hi Chris. Nice to meet you.
<Pete> 2d chat for me
<Steve - "shimp"> It's that kind of time...reschedule works for me.
> Hi Chris - Welcome in. Please feel free to offer any questions or comments...
<Maxwell> Hey Harry, Barbara, Jello
<Kay Lhota> It's my first chat in several months
<Steve - "shimp"> Holy cow, welcome Harry Barbara and Jello
<Barbara> Hi everyone!
> Steve - OK, much appreciated.
> Hey Harry, Barbara, Jello!
<JelloAgain> Hi group!
<Harry von Zell> Hello
<Kay Lhota> Hi Barbara
<Kay Lhota> Hi Jello.
<Harry von Zell> I see Steve is eating shrimp again...
<Maxwell> Or shimp
<Steve - "shimp"> I'm a scamp, I.
> Chris - Sometimes people get a little intimidated by some of the in-depth chatter, but please participate...we love new
<Steve - "shimp"> and OLD people
<Maxwell> And a lot of the chatter is scarcely in depth.
<Harry von Zell> Hey, I'm only 39, leave me out of that
<Chris Vaughn> I will
<Pete> what is everyones favourite Benny show (radio) mine is I stand condemed
<Kay Lhota> I was 39, a long time ago.
<Alex Buck> Hiya All
<Steve - "shimp"> HI Alex
<Maxwell> Hi Alex
<Steve - "shimp"> Not a lot of super bowl fans here!?
<Harry von Zell> Mine is when the kids put on the Jack Benny show as the characters in the show
<Kay Lhota> which version of "I Stand Condemned?" He did it several times?
> Hey Alex
<Maxwell> Mine is usually the last one I listened to.
> Super Bow? What's that? What you mix JellO in?
<Alex Buck> Well, I made it to Eddie Carroll's show
<Steve - "shimp"> My favorites change all the time...Jack trades in the Maxwell is a current one. I'm also REALLY partial
to the Halloween 1948 show.
> Pete - There were lots of variations on that...(I Stand Condemned)
<Barbara> I thought it was a good show this month. People got more culture than usual.
<Kay Lhota> oh, don't think I;ve heard that Halloween show
> Alex - You did? In Florida?
<Steve - "shimp"> Super Bow is what Jack tried putting on his violin equip, didn't work...
<Chris Vaughn> This year ends my 39th year
> Steve - Is that the one with the Beavers?
<Pete> I know of 2 one I stand condemed the other I forgot but it seems to me to be the same
<Maxwell> And there was that nice tie in to the I hate Jack Benny because thread on the message board.
<Alex Buck> Nah, the one he did in Hutchinson, Kansas a couple of weekends ago
<Harry von Zell> Super Bow is what Don tied with his new shoelaces he got from Jack for Christmas
> Pete - They did one with Peter Lorre, and one...um...I should know this...
<Steve - "shimp"> Yes, LL! Trick or treating....
<Kay Lhota> another is with boris Karloff
> Alex - Ah, OK. Another chat room regular just saw him in Florida.
<Alex Buck> I remember they did a I Stand Conbemed show with Boris karloff
> Kay - OK, that's right. I wanted to make sure I didn't say the wrong name.
<JelloAgain> metal tips or plastic tips?
> I've been absorbing a LOT of Benny recently, so things can get mixed up.
<Alex Buck> He had a head cold in Hutchinson. Had to clear his throat every other line. Still was worth the trouble to see
<Maxwell> I heard three shows within about 5 hours yesterday...and saw a TV show.
<Kay Lhota> I listened to three episodes today of "The Mel Blanc Show"
<Harry von Zell> He should have taken some Hat-a-col
<Kay Lhota> Or Sal Hepatica?
> Maxwell - The most I did over the past couple of months was 15 shows in one day. Nuts.
<Maxwell> You know why they called it Had-a-col don't you?
> How about some Sen-Sen
<Harry von Zell> They Had a col it something
<Maxwell> I couldn't listen to that much. I'd have to use the bathroom sometime.
> The alcohol content
<Steve - "shimp"> (rimshot)
<Kay Lhota> LOL Harry
<Maxwell> Harry got it.
<Alex Buck> All week long I was rolling over in my mind at what point in Jack's life he would be portraying. He mentioned
his Vegas shows so that allowed him a lot of earlier material to draw on
> I just wrote up a definition for Hadacol...do you know if was invented by a guy named LeBlanc?
<Kay Lhota> no
<Maxwell> Was he a violin teacher?
> Argh...meant that it WAS invented by a guy named Dudley LeBlanc.
<Kay Lhota> oh my
<Maxwell> Prof. Dudley LeBlanc
<Pete> My favourite routiens were violin lessons with p LeBlanc the mexican and anything with Franck Nelson
> One show Rochester says that he's putting Hadacol in the Maxwell's gas tank.
<Kay Lhota> LOL
<Alex Buck> My wife and I were obviously the youngest people in the crowd. I was filling her in on the context on some of
the stories during intermission when I looked around to see all of these
<Maxwell> Pete, you'd love Chuck Schaden's shows this month.
> Here's a tidbit for the room...I've found several scripts recently that were typed by our very own Barbara.
<Alex Buck> older people leaning in to hear what I was saying
<Maxwell> Mel Blanc with and without Jack.
> Alex - Har har
<Steve - "shimp"> Hey, that is very great, LL!
<Barbara> I loved seeing them again, Laura.
<Pete> Chuck Schaden's who is he?
> Barbara - My pleasure to share them with you! I was really happy when I saw your initials.
<Maxwell> Has an OTR show here in suburban Chicago. You can hear the shows from the previous week starting on
Tuesdays at his web site.
> What's the URL, Maxwell?
<Alex Buck> We were used to hearing the censor sanitized comedy and were a little taken aback by some suggestive
jokes (nothing dirty, more like Mae West). I suppose these were from his Vegas act?
<Maxwell> So the first Benny Benny/Blanc show will be on Tuesday.
<Steve - "shimp"> So, Barbara, can you fill us in a little a bit about how the scripts were typed, how many copies were
circulated, did you do them from transcripts, etc.?
<Kay Lhota> Barbara and Laura, can you tell me more about these Scripts?
<Maxwell> Click on "Those Were the Days"
> Alex - Some were, some are just jokes adapted for the show. I've twice been one of the "three good leads".
<Maxwell> And yesterday's show started with Si!
> Kay - Sure...what do you want to know?
> Hi Louis!
<Kay Lhota> I don't know where to begin!
<Maxwell> Hi Louis
<Kay Lhota> What scripts were these, when were they typed?
<LOUIS> GOOD EVENING
<Pete> I was born in England and came here in 1951 I really enjoyed Benny better that TV
<Kay Lhota> Hello, Louis
> Kay - They're the scripts for the Benny radio shows.
<Chris Vaughn> I've always hated more scripts are available
<Steve - "shimp"> Kay, Laura, Barbara - were these the "as broadcast" scripts, or the ones prepared in advance to use on
<Barbara> Steve, the scripts were brought in by Jeannette Eyemann and we typed them. They were proofread,
mimeographed, collated and distributed. We had to give one to the censor first, but it had a fancy nam
<Alex Buck> Just as you said, LL, he was out front after the show meeting and greeting. He put in a good plug for you and
the website to the lady in front of us. I even got a good picture of him and
<Alex Buck> me doing the Benny pose
> Alex - Woo hoo!
<Kay Lhota> wow
<Barbara> name that I forget now. I forget how many copies we made--maybe 50.
> Pete - I've always been interested that Jack translated across the pond so well.
<Barbara> Where are you, Pete?
> Pete - Danny Kaye and Phil Silvers, too. And Jerry Lewis to France. But not, say Bob Hope.
<Steve - "shimp"> So the censor got his own special copy that needed approval before the others could be circulated?
<Alex Buck> Had to be one of the highlights of my 39 years
<Pete> yes he was big there but I was too young to remember I was 10 when I got here
<Kay Lhota> Barbara, I've always seen in the chats that you were knowledgable. I had not realized that you were that
> Barbara - Did you make the copies after the censor approval, I assume.
<Maxwell> I think it's kind of like what the winner of the I Hate Jack Benny Contest wrote.
<Barbara> The others were all circulated, but could not be final until the censor got his grubby hands on one.
> Alex - Very cool. Glad that Eddie got out to the heartland for you!
<Chris Vaughn> Are there more scipts available?
<Steve - "shimp"> That's fascinating, Barbara - do you know if the censor was an agent of the network, or the sponsor?
<Barbara> I've seen one or more on e-bay.
<Pete> strange Bob Hope was born in England
> Chris - Go to www.tobaccodocuments.org. Many of the "as broadcast" scripts are available.
<Kay Lhota> wow
<JelloAgain> sorry to interrupt....just wondering about the "very special announcement". Your e-mail peaked my interest!
> In fact...that might be a good segue to the important announcement.
<JelloAgain> what timing! lol
> Jello - You read my mind...
<Maxwell> I think Hope's character is more American than Benny's. Jack is more universal.
<Barbara> The censor was part of the network. The sponsor got copies too, of course. Once Jack was going to buy a pack
of cigarettes but couldn't decide what kind to get. The sponsor vetoed that right away.
> Those "as broadcast" scripts have come in quite handy to me lately.
> Because I've spent the past two months almost completely out of commission working on a project.
<Chris Vaughn> LL - I've checked them out before; I've always been shocked there isn't a bigger selection of scripts with
JB being on the air for so long.
<Pete> true hope was very young when he came to USA
> And that project is called "39 Forever Second Edition" Volume 2.
<Steve - "shimp"> Barbara, you've just answered a BIG Benny question for me! Thanks! And paying attention to the
<JelloAgain> fantastic news Laura!
> The insides are done...just waiting on some finalization of the cover.
<Steve - "shimp"> Congratulations!
<Kay Lhota> that's wonderful news
> So in the next few weeks, you'll see the official release announcement. A few weeks though before I get the actual
<Pete> I mentioned before there was a tape I had all about the Benny Alan fued I wish I could find another
<Steve - "shimp"> Volume 2 goes through the end of the radio series?
> Pete - Is it not one of the tributes in the audio library?
<JelloAgain> will this cover 1943-55?
> Steve - Yes indeedy. 1942-1955.
> All the rest of the regular radio shows.
<Steve - "shimp"> Fantastic.
> It's 581 pages.
<Maxwell> There goes my tax refund.
> Maxwell - LOL
<Steve - "shimp"> (there goes my bookshelf!)
<Maxwell> (I still need Vol. 1!)
<JelloAgain> what's a tax refund? lol
> Maxwell - I've still got about a case of them!
<Pete> I think benny and alan were so good togeather
> So yeah, I've been listening to at least 8 shows a day since mid-December. Sometimes more. Only day I missed was
New Years Eve when we had a 24-hour blackout.
<Kay Lhota> that's very intense
<Chris Vaughn> I should buy Volume 1, but in the spirit of JB, I'll let someone make it a present... LOL
> Pete - Very true. They played very well off each other..
<Maxwell> Which radio show was I listening to yesterday where Jack was talking about the bags OVER Fred's eyes. "He's
wearing them upswept this year.
<JelloAgain> and very enjoyable too I bet!
<Steve - "shimp"> Pete, I had that same tape with the edited Benny-Allen feud. I think there is an LP of it you may be able
to pick up on ebay.
<Pete> hope it wasn't too cold
> Kay - Sure was. Forgive me if I don't feel like hearing Benny radio shows for a while. :)
<Pete> thanks steve
<Steve - "shimp"> Yeah, my tape bit the dust too. Cassettes = not archival!
<Kay Lhota> Laura, what kind of copy of the James Stewart episode from early 1949 do you have? I have it on tape, and
two MP3s, but both MP3's are edited and the tape is complete
> Steve/Pete - There are a couple of them...one is the "Fight of the Century" two-record set, and a single record devoted to
> Kay - This is the one where they meet in the Brown Derby?
<Steve - "shimp"> I had the single disc (tape), Radiola, I think
<Kay Lhota> yes it is.
> Steve - I think they were both Radiola.
<Kay Lhota> One of the MP3's is really muddy and lousy sounding.
> Kay - I don't remember any problems with that. I was mostly using the MP3s for show listening.
<Kay Lhota> The tape I have is just fine
> Kay - But I'd have to go back to the book to see if I noted any problems with it.
[Sun Feb 05 17:25:17 GMT-08:00 2006] Chris Vaughn:
> Kay - Contact me off line and I'll get you a copy of our MP3 of it.
> WB Chris.
<Kay Lhota> if you have any problems, I have an excellent tape that I bought about 30 years ago.
<Chris Vaughn> got bumped
<Maxwell> It happens.
<Steve - "shimp"> Kay, think you're right on the Stewart episode, I have a tape that is fine and my mp3 is cruddy IIRC
> Kay - Thanks much. We'll compare the MP3 and see where we stand.
<Alex Buck> Well, gang. Hate to cut it short but got to help get the kids to bed. Catch you all next month.
> Take care, Alex!
<Steve - "shimp"> Bye Alex!
<Kay Lhota> goodnight alex
<Maxwell> So long Alex
<Chris Vaughn> Bye Alex
<JelloAgain> Laura any news to report or progress on Jack's 60's & 70's TV specials being released on DVD?
> Jello - Working on it. Things are going positively, but nothing official as yet.
<Kay Lhota> wouldn't that be wonderful to see those again.
> There's some seriously good stuff in those.
<Barbara> By Alex.
<JelloAgain> great...glad to hear!
<Chris Vaughn> I wish the majority of tv shows were available.
> Chris - Well, here's a nice bit of news that I pieced together recently...almost all of the TV shows are known to have a
copy SOMEWHERE in some collection.
<Kay Lhota> just to see the penguins romping through
<Pete> I have about 8 or 10 TV showes some vns some dvd
> I looked through the entire TV run, and I could only find about six that seem to be missing.
<Maxwell> All you have to do now is get them all in one place, straighten out copyrights, and there ya go!
<Steve - "shimp"> LL, that is good to know.
> Kay - Know who came up with the idea of the roller-skating penguins?
<Harry von Zell> They used to run them on The Disney Channel before they changed to almost all cartoons. They played
Ozzie and Harriet too.
<Kay Lhota> who?
[Sun Feb 05 17:28:09 GMT-08:00 2006] Mike Amo: Jello Folks!
<JelloAgain> or Phil Harris and the "Dr. with the dirty book"! lol
> Maxwell - That's on the horizon as well.
<Chris Vaughn> that's good - it's a shame more care wasn't given for the preservation of such things.
> Hey, Mike!
<Mike Amo> Hi gang!
<Maxwell> Hey Mike
<Steve - "shimp"> Hi Mike.
<Kay Lhota> Hi Mike. Who came up with the roller skating penguin?
<Chris Vaughn> Hey mike
> Jello - Yes, that one is in the library!
> Kay - Hickey Marks.
<Mike Amo> Hi LL, can't stay ... at a Super Bowl Party and it's dinnertime at Dori's...but I will have this on and keep up
when I can
> Mike - OK, no problem. Are you on for tomorrow evening?
<Pete> who do you think was the best Irish singer benny had my vote goes to Dennis Day
<Maxwell> Super Bowl? What is this...Super Bowl?
<Harry von Zell> I'd talk to The Disney Channel to see what Benny shows they have in their archive
<Mike Amo> I will work up a media list by Tuesday, with points of contact
<Pete> I didn't care as much for Larry Stevens (is that the right name)
<Kay Lhota> why did you not care for Larry Stevens?
<Kay Lhota> He seems okay as a singer. No personality to speak of.
<JelloAgain> Dennis was much funnier and a far better singer than Larry Stevens
<Pete> I just thought Dennis sounded much better
<Harry von Zell> And Dennis has two shows
<JelloAgain> lol right
<Kay Lhota> well, with wartime shortages, you had to take what you could get.
<Steve - "shimp"> OK, folks, as much as it pains me - I promised myself only a half-hour of chat time! Aarrgh. (Nose goes
back to grindstone) - will talk tomorrow LL!
<Maxwell> Dennis was a first-rate Irish tenor.
<Kay Lhota> bye Steve
<Chris Vaughn> I agree with Pete. Larry was good but it's like Crosby replacing Phil... it just ain't the same mix.
<Steve - "shimp"> Have fun, all, I'll catch up on the transcript.
> Take care, Steve!
<Maxwell> Later Steve!
<Pete> I have tried to buy songs from Dennis but find them hard to find
> Larry was never allowed to do much on the show. He was really just holding the spot for Dennis' return.
<Mike Amo> hi Steve, see you tomorrow
<Chris Vaughn> Dennis was a great impressionist too
<Maxwell> I think I only managed to find one album by Dennis on Rhapsody...the Christmas one.
<Kay Lhota> very talented man.
<JelloAgain> His Ronald Coleman was right on
> I used to count the number of lines Larry had on any given show. I could usually count them on the fingers of one hand.
> Sometimes the fingers of no hands.
<Maxwell> On Schaden's show they played one of the Egg and I parodies. His Percy Kilbride was right on.
<Kay Lhota> poor Larry
<Mike Amo> Hi Barbara, Pete, Kay, Harry (what are you doing here, and where's Fred?), Jello & Chris
<Chris Vaughn> His Jerry Colonga (?) was incredibly
<JelloAgain> ditto for his "howdy bub"
> Maxwell - You know about Fred Allen teasing Parker Fennelly (Titus Moody) about sounding like Dennis?
<Maxwell> Parker Fennelly <sp?>
<Chris Vaughn> true - phil's senator claghorn was great too! I love Foghorn Leghorn because of Phil Harris doing Claghorn
<Kay Lhota> I'll have to listen to those shows sometime. I haven't heard much of Fred Allen.
<Mike Amo> And Maxwell, and anyone else I missed
> Chris - Dennis' Colonna was so good that Colonna's family was trying to figure out how he had gotten onto Jack's show.
<JelloAgain> and Jack himself was a great Fred Allen!
<Chris Vaughn> tha'ts what I've read - it is RIGHT on!
<JelloAgain> his nasal "ho-ho-ho" just kills me!
<Harry von Zell> Just put the clothespin on the nose
> Maxwell - After Dennis impersonated the character, I think that the next week Fred Allen went to Allen's Alley and
greeted Titus Moody with "Sounding a bit like Dennnis Day, eh?"
<Maxwell> I remember hearing Jack to Allen in an interview in Chicago in the '60s.
> Or words to that effect.
<Maxwell> hahahahahahahahaha...That's funny!
<Maxwell> to = do
<Pete> Sen Claghorn was Phill Harris?
<Maxwell> No, Sen. Claghorn was Kenny Delmar.
<Chris Vaughn> not on the allen show - they did a take off of it
> Phil played the role in some Benny send-ups of Allen's Alley, saying he was from the WEST.
> Liked Jack better than Allen because Waukegan was WEST of Boston.
<JelloAgain> Jack did that Fred Allen impersonation on The Tonight Show in June 1974 for guest host Rich Little
<Pete> he was the first Irish singer on JB?
> Pete - Frank Parker was probably the first regularly-remembered tenor on the Benny how.
<Chris Vaughn> there is a movie "It's a Joke Son" starring kenny delmar as claghorn; it's public domain and I downloaded -
I expect allen or benny to walk it
<Chris Vaughn> in
> how = show
<Maxwell> LL, you're typing's about as good as mine tonight.
> You know who does a dead-on Fred Allen impersonation? Dick Cavett.
<Maxwell> I'm getting things right on about the third try each line.
<JelloAgain> really? Never heard that
> Maxwell - I think my keyboard is tired from finishing 39 Forever Volume 2.
<Maxwell> I may have heard him do that once.
<Maxwell> Could be.
<Maxwell> Nice plug, btw.
<JelloAgain> the meathead on All In The Family does a good Groucho Marx! lol
> Maxwell - Wasn't intending it as a plug, but hey...
<Kay Lhota> I just saw today on a TCM commercial that the Dick Cavett interviews with Jack Benny and Groucho Marx
are coming out on DVD
> Well, he *is* Carl Reiner's son. I'm sure he was exposed to Groucho.
<Barbara> I saw that too, Kay.
<Maxwell> Those were some good interviews. I remember Cavett doing more than one show with Groucho.
<JelloAgain> oh wow that'll be a must have DVD!
<Pete> my favourite D Day song was Clancy lowered the boom
> Kay - Cool. We've got the Benny half of that in the library.
<Kay Lhota> I have a PBS program with highlights from some of those interviews
> another good Dennis Day song is "An Irishman Will Steal Your Heart Away"...many accents.
<Kay Lhota> love to see them in complete
> Y'know, we got rolling so well with the conversation
<Chris Vaughn> Cavett became a close friend of Groucho
<Barbara> I'm going to leave to catch some of the game. It was a good show this month.
<Chris Vaughn> those would be great interviews
<Pete> yes a lot of them were fun songs
<Kay Lhota> goodnight Barbara
<Maxwell> G'night Barbara
> Night, Barbara!
<Chris Vaughn> bye barbara
<Pete> night barbra
<Barbara> Happy Valentine's Day all!
> That, as Barbara mentioned, we haven't talked about the show for discussion this month.
<Maxwell> That's Happy Jack's Birthday.
> Happy Jack Benny's Birthday!
<JelloAgain> I'm gonna have to bow out too...been fun and informative. Goodnight all.
> So what did everyone think of the 2/3/46 show?
<Maxwell> G'night Jello
> Thanks for stopping, Jello!
<Kay Lhota> I've heard this episode, but not all of the contest episodes that were done before it
<Kay Lhota> I love Ronald Colman's reading of the winning essay
<Pete> Laura you must know more about Benny then he knew himself
> Kay - There's a lot that's common to those contest episodes, but they're pretty good at keeping a constant theme going.
<Maxwell> I always miss the commercials from the AFRS shows.
> Pete - It's entirely possible. I pick up an error in "Sunday Nights at Seven" from time to time.
<Pete> I think you told me that
> But Jack was living his life. I'm studying it and being a stickler for accuracy.
> Maxwell - Have you ever noticed the Mabel PSAs for USAFI at the end of some of them?
<Pete> how about the book by marry and hickey Marks?
<Kay Lhota> Laura, which was the writer that was convinced the opening song was "Hooray For Hollywood" when it's the
<Maxwell> Darn...Dog wants me to take him out!
> Pete - It's not really by them, it's mainly by Marcia Borie. Only the direct interviews with Mary/Hickey are them.
> Pete - And it's probably got the most errors of any of the books.
> Kay - Oh, that was Sam Perrin.
<Kay Lhota> Right. I remember you mentioned that last year.
<Chris Vaughn> LL - what's the perspective on milt's book on JB?
<Pete> how about the book 39 for ever what does that cover?
<Kay Lhota> I've always really loved Milt J's book
> Chris - Well, it's clear that Milt adored Jack. This makes it, in my estimation, the best reading of all the Benny books.
> It's got errors as well, and certain things that Milt just wouldn't go into or perceived the way he wanted to. But it's very
<Pete> what is the name of that book I want to see if I can pick one up on line
> Pete - The 39 Forever series is a deep-dive on Jack's media work. Volume 1 covers radio from 1932 to 1942, and Volume
2 covers radio from 1942 to 1955.
> Pete - Milt's book is "The Jack Benny Show"
> Milt Josefsberg
<Kay Lhota> it's loaded with some fabulous stories.
<Kay Lhota> Wonderful anecdotes
> Each of the books has things to recommend it based on what you want to find.
> Sunday Nights at Seven has Jack speaking in first person.
> Milt's book is fantastic reading and a very, very loving tribute to Jack.
<Kay Lhota> very loving, and very funny.
> Irving's book is probably the most factual and focuses a lot on the business behind the man (as, of course, an agent
<Maxwell> Ack! It refreshed while I was out!
<Chris Vaughn> I've read it MANY times; I've always wondered what your perspective is
> Maxwell - No worries...always the transcript
<Kay Lhota> mine just refreshed
<Chris Vaughn> I've got most, if not all, maybe not mary's, bios of JB
<Maxwell> Yup, and I have a whole month to catch up.
> Mary/Hickey/Marcia's is the lowest on my list...but still has stories you can't get elsewhere. Like the rose-a-day story.
<Pete> 39 for ever I can get from the J B sight
> Pete - Yes, from www.jackbenny.org. Only Volume 1 is available at the moment...Volume 2 will be available in the next
<Kay Lhota> yes, some of those stories are very moving. The rose a day, and the way that Mary fed him gooey desserts
at the end because he loved sweets
> If I had to send people to one book about Jack, it would probably be Milt's book.
<Harry von Zell> Geez, now my screen just refreshed
<Laura Leff> I'm sure mine will refresh shortly and I'll have to have someone send me some lines.
<Maxwell> Yeah, but were you letting your dog out when it did?
<Laura Leff> But not quite yet.
<Kay Lhota> I remember reading Milt's book on the bus home one day after school, and just busting out laughing.
<Chris Vaughn> I enjoy the comparison of the business/personal sides of Jack - very intriguing and entertaining at the same time.
<Laura Leff> Kay - I probably read Milt's book on my bus as well.
<Pete> when my dad was sick in a nursing home every day I use to bring him in an old radio tape he most enjoyed J B but he also liked gunsmoke and amos and andy
<Maxwell> Boy, you guys are YOUNG!
> Ah, there's my refresh.
> Could I get the few lines after Harry's plaint of his refresh?
<Chris Vaughn> so what's the average age here: I'm really 39! I turn 39+1 in 2 months
<Kay Lhota> I'm 48
> Pete - I've had people use Benny shows for various things like that. Perking up people in nursing homes...one person
even tried to bring a relative out of a coma with the shows because she loved them
> so much
<Kay Lhota> I don't know if there is an average age
<Harry von Zell> 49
> I'm 36
<Pete> I must be the oldest buzzard here at 64
<Chris Vaughn> average: young at heart!
<Kay Lhota> I've been sharing the episodes with my younger son, Daniel.
> "Age is a matter of mind. And if you don't mind, it doesn't matter"
> Of course, that from the kid of the room
<Maxwell> LL, the post-refresh is on it's way.
<Kay Lhota> LOL
> Kay - How does he like them?
[Sun Feb 05 17:51:21 GMT-08:00 2006] Alan:
> Maxwell - Thanks!
> Hi Alan!
<Maxwell> Hi Alan
<Chris Vaughn> At 39, I've actually been accused of being older because I know, and enjoy Jack Benny so much (as well
as George Burns, Fred Allen, Red Skelton, etc....)
<Maxwell> Yup, Pete, you've got about 8-9 years on me.
> Chris - Join the club. Someone guessed I was 46 when I was 15.
<Kay Lhota> Daniel loved Mel Blanc as Mr. Kitzel's 150 pound turkey that doubles as an English horse
<Pete> I am so glad that so many young people that wern't even born in 1955 when the last radio show was done still love
<Kay Lhota> and the spoof of Casablanca
> Chris - And there's the story of a couple asking about my husband. I was 10 at the time.
<Maxwell> I can't remember Jack on radio, and the earliest I remember on TV what when he was on alternate Sundays
with Private Secretary.
> Kay - Ah, I sense we have a surrealist there!
<Chris Vaughn> IMO, very few JB shows are out of date (maybe 1 or 2 jokes in a show) with younger people
> Pete - Oh definitely. It's very timeless. I get a lot of self-identified sub-39ers on the membership list.
<Kay Lhota> LOL Laura
<Alan> I am almost a 39er (recently turned 38)
<Chris Vaughn> what LL? tell the story
<Harry von Zell> Well, the War time shows are dated
> Chris - Which, about them asking about my husband?
<Harry von Zell> Especially when they use the word "Jap"
<Pete> I feel kind of sad when I find someone that has never heard of Jack
<Kay Lhota> Daniel will be 15 in April, so I think of him as the next generation in keeping this things alive
<Chris Vaughn> true - harry; i've always liked them though; you can hear the joy from crowd
> And most of the pre-fall 1936 shows are dated.
<Chris Vaughn> the soldiers
> Pete - It's an opportunity to introduce them to something good, though.
<Maxwell> My son (now 26) got into Jack watching reruns on local TV and on CBN.
> Pete - If they're amenable.
<Maxwell> He signed the stamp petition without hesitation.
<Alan> I started listening via knx and the old time radio shows they used to broadcast, shame they are no longer on
> Maxwell - You've probably heard me say that my parents bought our first VCR in 1982 so I wouldn't stay up all night to
see the Benny shows on CBN.
> Those tapes have provided some of the shows in the video library.
<Chris Vaughn> I probably think in relative terms of what I call "classic" JB shows with the classic cast. On XM radio
recently they played Jack's first and last shows back to back; there is a huge change
<Maxwell> Yeah, I have heard you say that.
> Alan - Indeed.
<Pete> I think the best shows are from around 1946 into the 50's I was a little upset when phill left dont know what year
why did he leave?
> Chris - Oh, there's no comparison. Completely different shows.
<Alan> well, it is something like 23 years from first to last!
> Pete - 1952
> Even Jack's character wasn't established. All the cheap jokes were about George Olsen, the bandleader.
<Alan> yeah, Bob was no Phil lol
<Alan> though I did like Bob, but Phil was quite a character
> I called 1946 to 1951 the "golden years" of the show in Volume 2.
<Maxwell> I still like Bob Crosby. Maybe it's because I saw him in person once or because I liked "his" band in the '30s,
> Bob didn't have much of a character of his own.
<Chris Vaughn> bob could hold his own; but Phil to me is impossible to follow
<Alan> Bing's brother lol
> He did jokes about the band members and about how rich Bing was
<Alan> that was pretty much it
<Alan> Phil was a riot
> But his only real character trait was having a lot of children and being Bing's brother.
<Alan> I agree, impossible act to follow for anyone
<Chris Vaughn> that's true LL - if you've ever done radio though, you have to love that crosby voice of bing or bob
> Chris - Oh, and I do. Very, very pleasant to listen to.
<Maxwell> Bob's biggest asset was that he was an affable host. Something Jack didn't really need.
<Kay Lhota> the TV episode where he sings "Peter Pan" to little "Margaret Truman" was a delight
<Pete> . Phill was always so obnoxious and it was funny
<Kay Lhota> Phil was awesome
> Maxwell - Yeah, I talk about that in the introductory notes as well. What were they looking for? What did the "job
description" of that part look like?
<Maxwell> Good question.
<Kay Lhota> I love how he calls Mary Livingstone "Livvy"
> Kay - Ah, Beverly Washburn. That's in the library too.
> There's a lot of times when Phil ad libs endearments to Mary off the script.
<Harry von Zell> Or Jack "Jackson" because that was as close to Jackass as he could call him
<Pete> fill was a little like TED on the Mary tyler Moore show he was in love with himself
> I think he was trying to help calm down her stage nerves.
> Pete - That's a really good thought...never made that connection.
<Maxwell> But he was a drinker and a hell-raiser, unlike Ted who was a lot more pompous.
> Or even like Peppermint Patty to Jack's Charlie Brown ("you sly dog").
<Kay Lhota> LOL
<Chris Vaughn> when i talk about the benny show to someone - to me it has become the perfect cast of characters; every
good sitcom (radio or tv) follows certain traits which go back to Jack
<Kay Lhota> yes, I think you are right about that Chris
> Any time you have a good ensemble cast that plays off each other, it traces back to Jack.
<Maxwell> Hmmm...I think there might be a little Ted Baxter in Jack, come to think of it.
<Kay Lhota> the show was really structured to the cast
<Chris Vaughn> and it was written to be funny! plain and simple!
<Kay Lhota> consistantly funny
> It's amazing how much they were able to do with the characters.
<Kay Lhota> and you can sometimes laugh even before you hear the joke, just knowing where it's going to go
> It wasn't just (Phil does a drunk joke) (Dennis does a silly joke) (Mary says something cutting)
<Pete> Phill was always trying to use big words but would always use the wrong ones sort of like Archie Bunker
<Chris Vaughn> I did enjoy listening to the show that Milt said was a turkey in his bio - I didn't think it was THAT bad...
> Kay - I can't remember which show it was, but there was this one show...maybe the last Christmas shopping show...
<Kay Lhota> no, I thought Mel Blanc and Bea Benedaret as turkeys were hysterical
> where there are at least four "knowing" laughs from the audience. You can almost hear the wheel's in the audience's
collective heads turning and
<Kay Lhota> LOL
> laughing at lines that further the plot, knowing what's going to happen.
> Chris - Which one was that?
<Kay Lhota> one of the amazing elements of the show
<Maxwell> Schaden was talking about that yesterday...about how the show was written with the audience in mind...
<Pete> I love the christmas withh mal blanc wrapping the gifts several times everytime Jack changed his mind
<Maxwell> What their reactions would be to certain situations as they saw it set up.
<Kay Lhota> I suppose they got that with Fibber McGee, but I'm not as familiar with that series, really.
> It's like Don says that his wife is allergic to the oil in oil paints. And there's pause and this building "Oh my God" laugh
from the audience, knowing that Jack's going back to change the paints.
<Kay Lhota> LOL
[Sun Feb 05 18:04:09 GMT-08:00 2006] Chris Vaughn:
<Pete> thhhey did that with traps shoe laces golf tee's
> Kay - That's interesting that you mention that, because in doing the ratings research, I found that Fibber McGee beat out
Jack in the ratings for several years.
<Pete> not with me he didn't
<Mike Amo> Flying by, wheee
<Kay Lhota> it crossed my mind, from the shows that I've heard, but it's been a long while.
<Chris Vaughn> I believe that proves that Jack's show set the classic standard when compared to others
<Maxwell> I heard something in the Ma & Pa Kettle sketch yesterday that I wonder if it was a real ad lib....
<Mike Amo> Pete, 51 here, also liked Dennis's rendition of Clancy Lowered the Boom
<Maxwell> Jack (Fred) is milking Bossie (played by Mel Blanc), and he's saying, "Steady, Bossie...easy Bossie..."
<Pete> that was a great song along with Danny Boy
<Mike Amo> back to the gang I'm with here...will attempt to get some to the Rally
<Maxwell> And then he says something like "Right over here, Mel." Huge laugh followed by, "That might just get us thrown
off the air."
<Chris Vaughn> so how often does every one listen to a show
<Mike Amo> Hi Alan and Chris
<Kay Lhota> LOL Maxwell
<Chris Vaughn> hey mike
<Alan> Hi Mike
<Mike Amo> I have loads of them on tape and CD, mostly from Radio Spirits, but usually run them when I'm on long drives,
makes the time pass great
<Kay Lhota> I don't have a schedule, Chris. I try to listen to some old radio during the day when the kids are in school
<Mike Amo> brb
<Pete> I listen to several every week I have showes from 1932 to 1955
> Maxwell - Yes, that was one of the longest laughs. Watch for an upcoming article on that in the Jack Benny Times.
<Pete> I take mine in the car or truck
<Maxwell> Will do.
<Alan> I have a dvd with hundreds of shows from all years, plus some Mel Blanc shows too
<Kay Lhota> And when I listen, I try to log the cast, credits and songs as a place-keeping device. That way I know I've
heard it, and don't have to remember it all at once.
<Maxwell> Do you know if that was a real fluff or planned?
> Mike - Please do...the more the merrier
<Alan> It lives in my computer lol
> Maxwell - The "Hold still, Mel" line?
<Pete> I have a lot of Amos and andy gunsmoke suspence Jack benny charlie Mcarthy
> Pete - Charlie McCarthy is another that beat out Jack during the war years.
<Chris Vaughn> I'm like you Mike - i kind of regret company on long drives - jack and the gang go with me
> Maxwell - I don't think it was a fluff...sounds like a planned ad lib to me.
<Maxwell> That's what I was thinking.
> Maxwell - I can't remember if it's in the script or not.
<Pete> I would like to gather all the violin lessons mexican routine and others on one tape
> Pete - 39 Forever can help you to do that. It tracks running gags, cast lists, etc.
> You could gather together all the bloopers, or all the instances of the vault, etc.
<Harry von Zell> I have The Shadows, Fred Allen, It Pays To Be Ignorant, Amos and Andy, Lum and Abner, Fibber McGee,
and a few more sets of series
<Harry von Zell> Honest Harold
<Pete> harry do you remember Luigi Bosco
<Maxwell> Yeah, but do you have any Cimmeron rolls?
> Other comments on the show for discussion tonight? We sort of blew by it, but that's OK.
<Kay Lhota> Laura, I'm curious about an episode when Orson Welles was subbing for Jack. The log says "Little Red
Riding Hood" but I've never heard the actual episode
> Maxwell - As a matter of fact I do, with very fine ingrediments.
> Kay - Ah, yes. Often misdated. But I'm pretty sure it does exist. I think I have it on MP3.
<Pete> cinimeron rolls wat that with Mel Blanc?
> It was so early in Volume 2 that I can't remember for certain, but I'm pretty sure I heard it.
<Maxwell> Yeah. Schaden played that and its follow-up yesterday.
<Maxwell> Good stuff.
<Harry von Zell> Cimmaron Rolls
> Pete - That's right. A 1953 running gag.
<Harry von Zell> That's like a chis sweeze sandwich
> The whole final show closing the cimaron rolls bit is great...second half is Jack trying to inherit money.
<Kay Lhota> I wondered about it, because when I logged my MP3, it was the previous week's episode with the songs cut.
<Pete> I had forgot that untill just now
> Harry - Two great tastes that taste great together.
> Kay - Yeah, even I had to straighten it out in the tape library.
<Harry von Zell> Then put Johnson's wax on your head
> Eat them together on a grass reek.
<Kay Lhota> this is why I document the shows as I listen to them
<Kay Lhota> LOL Laura
> Kay - I hear you.
<Pete> remember the picture on look gee mable the wrinkles must be in the paper
> Fortunately now that I've done the radio series for 39 Forever, I don't have to do it again. Yet another reason I write
books...so I don't have to carry the information in my head.
> Pete - Ah yes, I have at least one copy of that Look Magazine.
<Maxwell> And that's an important thing as you get older.
<Kay Lhota> indeed. I can't keep it all
<Maxwell> Your head develops leaks.
<Pete> yes we ask so many questions of you
> Pete - Well, actually, the questions help keep it in my head. If I'm quizzed on something often enough, I tend to
<Pete> was it really on look
> Like the show where Jack gives 50 cents to a panhandler being 4/9/50.
> I didn't try to memorize that, I just got asked about it enough.
<Kay Lhota> Frank Fontaine
<Kay Lhota> good lord.
<Pete> we all are lucky to have you
> Pete - Jack was on the cover of Look a few times. One is a really great shot of him and Rochester in hats.
> Pete - Thanks very much *blush*
<Pete> thats cool
> Boy, you know...now that you've made me think of that....
<Pete> Laura I truly mean it
<Maxwell> If you weren't around, LL, people would have to rely on OFs like us with leaking heads.
<Kay Lhota> LOL
> That would be great on the cover of Volume 2. But I've already scanned the other.
> Maxwell - LOL
> Hey, my head leaks at 36.
<Pete> did Mel really make the maxwell car sounds?
> Pete - Thanks very much. I really do appreciate it.
<Maxwell> Yeah, but mine is a torrent.
<Chris Vaughn> I have to run; guys I've enjoyed it! I've been watching the jackbenny.org site for YEARS it seems. Finally
made it to a chat. THANKS
> Pete - Sometimes, but not always.
> Glad you could make it, Chris. Come back next month!
<Chris Vaughn> LL - I'll send an email to you and see if I'm still listed as a memeber.
<Maxwell> In the episode I heard yesterday, part was recorded, and part (the engine dying) was Mel.
<Maxwell> See ya Chris
> Chris - You probably are, but let's insure your info is up to date.
<Pete> some sounds did not sound human
<Kay Lhota> goodnight Chris
> Maxwell - Mel never did it on air without some SFX support.
<Maxwell> Nobody could do all of those sounds.
<Maxwell> You can tell the parts with Mel because the audience cracks up.
> The sound cues for Mel doing this are really hilarious. I've transcribed some of them in the book.
<Pete> I am sure
<Kay Lhota> I showed my mother the DVD of "The Mouse that Jack Built"
> I put the Maxwell down in the roles played by Mel on those shows.
> Kay - What did she think?
<Kay Lhota> she adored it. She thought that they captured Jack's gestures and Facial expressions
<Pete> that was Laura's favourite movie
<Kay Lhota> she thought the whole cartoon was darling
> Kay - Yes, it's a shame they didn't make that into a series as originally planned. But at least we have that one.
<Kay Lhota> it's being on the latest volume of Warner Bros. cartoons was the main reason that we wanted it for Christmas
> One of the things I've proposed to the estate is marketing the shows to parents as bedtime stories. I think that could be
included as an extra (if WB would lease it out) for video purposes.
<Kay Lhota> I love the way they capture it down to Don's stomping his foot when he doesn't get his way
<Pete> When I heard of Jack bennys death I was in tears was it 26 Dec 1974
> Kay - I never have any fun! Clearly after the TV series started, and people were familiar with that little "kick" gesture.
<Kay Lhota> oh yes
> Pete - Yes, it's amazing how deeply it touched so many people who'd never even met him.
> I can't think of any celebrity in the last 30 years who could have inspired that depth of sentiment.
<Kay Lhota> I'm old enough to remember watching Jack Benny on CBS and NBC as a little girl in the early 1960's
<Maxwell> He came into people's homes for over 40 years. People knew his character like a member of their own family.
> Maxwell - And a lot people, people still voice this to me today, really FELT like he was a close friend or beloved family
<Pete> I have a friend that met him in person in Providence RI he was installing lawn sprinklers and Jack came out of the
house to chat he said my you look like Jack Benny and Jack said I am
<Kay Lhota> He never even seemed old to me until those last few years. He had a hearing aid on a Bob Hope special.
<Maxwell> I was in my mid-20s when he died, and I felt that way. I'd grown up with him around.
> I sort of wonder if all his character traits (cheapness, violin, etc.) made him so real and "mappable" to relations that
people were able to feel close to him.
> Pete - Funny...I never knew Jack installed lawn sprinklers. ;)
<Pete> He was so amaized he didn't know what to say
<Kay Lhota> I was 17 when he passed away.
<Harry von Zell> I thought he only had the laundry business
<Pete> jack didnt my friend did
<Maxwell> The thing about Jack was that his faults were definitely obnoxious, but not enough to make you hate him...Just
enough to relate to.
> I was 5, so unfortunately I have no memory of him being alive.
> Sometimes he's a little like Zeus to me.
<Maxwell> We all know people with Jack's character's faults...
<Kay Lhota> which is what the essay in the contest said Maxwell
> Pete - I know, just had to tease you.
<Maxwell> And as the winner said in this month's show, it's really ourselves.
> Maxwell - Yes, very well said.
<Pete> thanks I needed that
<Alan> yeah, I was 6, not really tuned into it at the time
<Harry von Zell> I listened to a show once where Jack had been "The Walking Man". What was that all about.
<Kay Lhota> I remember my Mom saying, "I'm going to miss him." She said the same thing when Edgar Bergen passed
> Anyone want to take Harry's question, or should I?
<Maxwell> And it's true about all the characters. They're eccentric, but not TOO eccentric.
<Maxwell> Truth or Consequences.
<Kay Lhota> That was from the Ralph Edwards show
<Maxwell> It was a contest.
<Harry von Zell> I figured it was a contest
<Maxwell> They gave a clue every week.
> Kay - I remember Edgar Bergen passing away. Before that, my parents asked me if I wanted to see Victor Borge (I was
about 8). I was enthusiastic, but I was upset when
<Maxwell> Each supposedly revealed a little more about it being Jack Benny.
> Borge didn't bring out Charlie McCarthy.
<Maxwell> Bergen, Borge...close.
<Pete> remember the contest in 50 words or less why I hate Jack Benny
> There's actually a really good in-depth discussion of it on the Forum Bulletin Board.
<Harry von Zell> Thanks Maxwell
> it = Walking Man contest
<Maxwell> The first guess was on an episode of Truth or Consequences with a guest appearance by "Chester A. Riley."
> The clues are really bizarre...I wouldn't have guessed it was Jack.
<Pete> was that WM Bendix?
> I put an article on what ever happened to the woman who won the Walking Man contest in the most recent newsletter.
<Kay Lhota> yes, I read that.
<Maxwell> He and Edwards did a crossover that night. Truth followed Riley.
> Instead of Riley following the truth, I suppose.
<Maxwell> Something like that.
<Maxwell> Same soap company sponsored both shows.
> So what else Benny-wise is on everyone's mind this evening?
<Maxwell> P&G I think.
> Anyone coming to the 39 Man March in Washington?
<Kay Lhota> sorry, no.
> (Besides Mike, of course)
<Maxwell> Can't make it. Gotta work for a living.
<Pete> does any one know why Phill left the show was it because he had his own show?
> Maxwell - Understood. Now with the book finished, I have to get back to that as well.
> Pete - There are a lot of stories on that.
> Phil himself told me that he and Alice wanted to cut back and raise a family.
> Al Gordon (writer) said that it was because there was a rift over Jack not sharing the proceeds of his sale to CBS with the
rest of the cast.
<Pete> phill lived to around 90
<Harry von Zell> Don't think my Maxwell would make the trip
> On the show, they said it was because Phil had too many commitments.
<Pete> time for a new car
<Maxwell> My Benny thought is just another plug for Jack Benny Month featuring Mel Blanc. Links to the web sites to
listen to the shows are on the message board.
<Pete> don't be so cheap max
<Kay Lhota> so, all of the stories are there, and they all may be true or sort of true
> So it's hard to say exactly what it was. Maybe a combination.
> Phil also said that there wasn't much for him to do on the show anyway.
<Maxwell> Hearing all of them, my guess is a combination.
<Kay Lhota> what websites are these, Maxwell
> Kay - Yeah, like the blind men and the elephant.
<Maxwell> For WDCB for the live stream and Nostalgia Digest for the "replays" later in the week.
> Anything else, or should we call it good for the month?
<Kay Lhota> I have some old audio tapes of the Mel Blanc show
> Kay - Which one, Mel Blanc's Fix-It Shop?
<Kay Lhota> yes
<Harry von Zell> How many people have said they'll be at the march
<Pete> I can't wate untill next month
> Harry - I'll have to check...we'll be doing a Washington media blitz this week, so hopefully we'll be able to get some local
<Maxwell> I hear you Pete. I started these last year sometime and I haven't missed one since.
<Pete> I wish I could go but my health is not the greatest
> The chats are always fun and informative. We've got a great group.
<Maxwell> We're expecting photos on the web site, Laura.
> Maxwell - Good point...I'll have to deputize some photographers.
<Kay Lhota> they are wonderful chats, Laura. I've been missing them.
> Kay - And we've been missing you, too!
<Kay Lhota> It's been several months since I;ve been able to come.
<Harry von Zell> Have fun at the Smithsonian. The American History museum is great, the one where the Charlie McCarthy
<Maxwell> What LL said.
<Harry von Zell> One of the original pair of riuby slippers from The Wizard Of Oz is in the same display case
> Harry - Will do. I won't be with the group for that tour, because I've got meetings with the Illinois Senators and the
Representative from Los Angeles.
<Pete> Laura keep up the good work and I see you got my email about 50years between putting one on a stamp
> I may try to stop by there on Monday, because I've got more Congressional meetings then and will be in the
<Kay Lhota> just refreshed
<Maxwell> Dixon and Obama seem to be pretty good people.
> Pete - Yes, I did. I've heard that as well, but like I said, the Committee has chosen to bypass that rule when they see fit.
<Pete> give them hell on the stamp
> Maxwell - Yes, they've been supportive so far. Looking forward to seeing what we can do.
> OK, good stuff folks.
<Maxwell> Let's hope a lot!
<Pete> It would be nice but come what may
> So we'll hopefully see you all next month!
<Kay Lhota> we'll see you Laura
<Harry von Zell> OK, until next month
> Take care everyone, and thanks for being here!
<Kay Lhota> thanks so much for tonight
<Maxwell> We're running a little late fol....
<Maxwell> Bong Bong Bong