IJBFC Chat - November 12, 2006

(Name of message originator in [] brackets at the beginning of each line)

Apologies that this is only a partial transcript due to some technical issues.  Many thanks to steve shimp who provided the capture of a significant portion of the discussion.

[steve shimp] speaking of Jack on downers...

[Brad from Georgia] Maxwell--I agree, from the little I've seen. He seems unpleasant.

[steve shimp] Anyone know of a good mp3 player for the computer where you can adjust the playback speed?

[steve shimp] I'd like to "tweak" some of those OTRs that are recorded at the wrong speed.

[steve shimp] They really throw off the timing when Jack sounds like he's underwater, e.g.

[Laura Leff] I'd get up and get my copy of 39F, but I'm having challenges bending over with my back...

[Brad from Georgia] steve--I don't, but I burned a CD with whatever version of Nero came with my computer, and it allowed me to tweak the speed and reduce the hisses and pops considerably.

[yhtapmys] Buy a reel-to-reel with vary-speed.

[steve shimp] Oh, OK, I've got Nero. I'll try fiddlin' with it. No pun intended.

[yhtapmys] ":)

[yhtapmys] We chucked out all of ours at work.

[Laura Leff] I traded a copy of the audio library for a RTR once

[Brad from Georgia] That reminds me--as I told everyone on the forum--I now have Jack playing "Love in Boom" as my cell phone ringtone.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Ah yes...how's that doing for you?

[yhtapmys] Ben.. I can hear them eating hors d'oeuvres

[yhtapmys] Haven't gotten to anything else yet.

[Brad from Georgia] Works great!

[Ben Bucky] Laura - anyway, my question is, just what is a "squab"?

[yhtapmys] Pigeon.

[Brad from Georgia] I was in a store when the phone went off, and a guy turned around and asked, "Hey, is that Rochester calling?"

[steve shimp] Pigeon with a low-garbage diet!

[Maxwell] So very small.

[Brad from Georgia] Baby pigeon, actually. Or at least a yearling. Those big bull pigeons are tough.

[yhtapmys] They hang around the gulls here.

[yhtapmys] So small, so firm, so fully packed!

[Laura Leff] Ben - It's a very small game bird.

[steve shimp] My grandmother used to make a dish called "city chicken" and I always worried it might just be pigeon.

[Maxwell] You were probably right to worry.

[Laura Leff] Ben - I've usually had it minced and wrapped in a lettuce leaf with hoi-sin sauce.

[Laura Leff] Ben - Not far off from a cornish game hen.

[Brad from Georgia] Once the Lutheran pastor was on a plane, and the steward leaned over and asked, "Do you care for gay men?" Only later when he saw the little chickens did he realize the word was "game hen."

[steve shimp] I still wonder what the heck a city chicken is! Served with a side of roach-a-roni...

[Ben Bucky] Thanks, Laura...it does sound like something Jack would serve to the entire gang

[yhtapmys] Well, he WAS a Steward...

[Laura Leff] Brad - That's like the re-interpretation of a 60s hit: "Scuze Me While I Kiss This Guy"

[Laura Leff] Steve - Dare I say it.....cat?

[yhtapmys] Laura, have you been able to capture the chat?

[steve shimp] It's important to aspirate....

[Ben Bucky] Mee-yow!

[Brad from Georgia] BTW, I took the cell phone recording of "Love in Bloom" from a CD: "Legends and Songwriters in Concert", a recording of a 1941 Hollywood Bowl concert.

[Laura Leff] Ben - Especially in the Depression

[Laura Leff] Yht - Nope. Copy and paste doesn't work for me.

[yhtapmys] Ach!

[Brad from Georgia] To think of all this wit going uncaptured. Sigh.

[Ben Bucky] Also, I didn't recognize the voice of the guy playing Rochester's brother September...who he?

[Maxwell] This is version designed for former Congressman Foley.

[Laura Leff] Steve - I'm pretty sure I've had cat from a pretty low-rent Chinese restaurant that did NOT serve minced squab

[Laura Leff] Ben - What's the date again?

[steve shimp] Hey Laura, it's working for me if I control-c and paste into word.

[Brad from Georgia] Maxwell--lol

[yhtapmys] Cut and paste works for me Laura.

[Laura Leff] Steve - That's what I tried, but got nothing. Could you do that and E-mail me the results when we're done?

[steve shimp] Heh, LL, I used to eat at those $1 chinese places in Berkeley on my grad student budget. Oh, I'm sure there was some meow mix in there...

[Laura Leff] Is everyone using IE? Maybe it's a Netscape thing

[yhtapmys] That's what I did Steve/

[Brad from Georgia] I'm using IE.

[Maxwell] I'm using Firefox.

[yhtapmys] Same here. Ver 6.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yes, I knew that chicken had an odd consistency.

[Laura Leff] Hmmmm

[Maxwell] "Tastes like cat."

[Brad from Georgia] I recently upgraded my IE, and this new version's kinda buggy.

[yhtapmys] I have version 7.

[steve shimp] I forget the real name of the restaurant but we called it "Bum Chow".

[yhtapmys] Pardon.

[yhtapmys] Hate version 7.

[yhtapmys] It doesn't interface with a bunch of stuff and freezes Media Player

[Laura Leff] Since I can't do anything on this version, I'll flip over to IE. If someone can grab the stuff so far, that would be great.

User Laura Leff has logged out.

[Brad from Georgia] Version 7 also makes me reload each page at least once. It tells me I'm not connected--and I know TONS of important people.

[yhtapmys] Yeah, Brad it sucks.



[yhtapmys] I won't use it at home.

[yhtapmys] I hope Laura can log on. It took me six minutes.

[steve shimp] Took me 20!

[Brad from Georgia] "Mr. Benny, it says on your license you're supposed to wear glasses." "I have contacts, officer." "Look, bud, I don't care who ya know! Ya gotta wear yer glasses to drive this car1"

[Brad from Georgia] See, there's my keyboard again. The ! comes over as a 1 unless I really pound down the shift key. I gotta buy a new one, I guess.

[yhtapmys] I finally chucked mine. The space bar gave out.

[Ben Bucky] Dave Berg used that joke once, circa 1962

[Brad from Georgia] I didn't have any actual trouble logging on, but it took over a minute for the Java applet to load.

User abbyl has entered this room.

[abbyl] hello

[steve shimp] Yeah, I was wondering who Carl was and why Jack was driving him!

[yhtapmys] But I have an old Underwood typewriter in the closet that works fine.

[Brad from Georgia] Hi, abbyl!

[Ben Bucky] Hello, Abby

[steve shimp] Hi abbyl.

[Brad from Georgia] Ben--I don't doubt it. The good jokes are the old jokes...

[yhtapmys] Depends on how old.

[abbyl] depends if they're done for tv or for radio.

[abbyl] I was wondering if maybe I could find some help here...

[Brad from Georgia] Caveman 1: Pull my finger....

[yhtapmys] I've read jokes from 19th century magazines and still don't get what's funny.

[yhtapmys] Sure Ab.

[Brad from Georgia] How may we be of service, Abby?

[abbyl] I'm doing a paper on the transition from Radio to TV for comedians

[steve shimp] Sounds like Mel Brooks' History of the World, Brad!

[abbyl] I LOVE that movie!

[Brad from Georgia] Jack is a good choice for that, Abby.

[steve shimp] good topic, abby!

[Ben Bucky] "Q. What's worse than finding a worm in an apple?" "A. Finding half a worm"



[steve shimp] Took me 20!

[Brad from Georgia] "Mr. Benny, it says on your license you're supposed to wear glasses." "I have contacts, officer." "Look, bud, I don't care who ya know! Ya gotta wear yer glasses to drive this car1"

[Brad from Georgia] See, there's my keyboard again. The ! comes over as a 1 unless I really pound down the shift key. I gotta buy a new one, I guess.

[yhtapmys] I finally chucked mine. The space bar gave out.

[Ben Bucky] Dave Berg used that joke once, circa 1962

[Brad from Georgia] I didn't have any actual trouble logging on, but it took over a minute for the Java applet to load.

User abbyl has entered this room.

[abbyl] hello

[steve shimp] Yeah, I was wondering who Carl was and why Jack was driving him!

[yhtapmys] But I have an old Underwood typewriter in the closet that works fine.

[Brad from Georgia] Hi, abbyl!

[Ben Bucky] Hello, Abby

[steve shimp] Hi abbyl.

[Brad from Georgia] Ben--I don't doubt it. The good jokes are the old jokes...

[yhtapmys] Depends on how old.

[abbyl] depends if they're done for tv or for radio.

[abbyl] I was wondering if maybe I could find some help here...

[Brad from Georgia] Caveman 1: Pull my finger....

[yhtapmys] I've read jokes from 19th century magazines and still don't get what's funny.

[yhtapmys] Sure Ab.

[Brad from Georgia] How may we be of service, Abby?

[abbyl] I'm doing a paper on the transition from Radio to TV for comedians

[steve shimp] Sounds like Mel Brooks' History of the World, Brad!

[abbyl] I LOVE that movie!

[Brad from Georgia] Jack is a good choice for that, Abby.

[steve shimp] good topic, abby!

[Ben Bucky] "Q. What's worse than finding a worm in an apple?" "A. Finding half a worm"

[Brad from Georgia] So Abby, what do you want to know?

[yhtapmys] Jack made the transition well by keeping his characters and adding visual (and later musical) elements.

[abbyl] yep. I've been listening to his stuff for years. My dad has a HUGE collection of comedy records at home.. Anyway, I've been doing research and I know a bunch about it. The change of the old routines more back to the way they were in the vaudeville days

[abbyl] but the issue is that I don't know how to start

[abbyl] the paper that is

[Maxwell] "In the beginning, there was Joe Frisco..."

[Brad from Georgia] I'd suggest starting by observing that radio comedy became a mainstay in the Depression. It was cheap, and it came when Americans needed entertainment.

[Brad from Georgia] Much radio humor was topical, and today it doesn't seem funny--or at least it seems dated.

[abbyl] I've been thinking maybe I can do it as a fictionalized account of the last days of radio from the standpoint of a made up performer of the era bringing in people, specifically Jack, George and Gracie, Allen etc.

[Brad from Georgia] But some radio shows like the ones you mention are still fresh because they depend on the humor of characters and situations, not on topical references.

[abbyl] but the issue is that I just can't figure out where to start. THis is what I'm thinking if the professor lets me do this I might do.

[yhtapmys] I don't know how fictional you have to be.

[steve shimp] Right, there are lots of good anecdotes about Jack's frustration with his writers on the transition to visual media.

[abbyl] well its supposed to be a 5 page paper.

[yhtapmys] Start at the beginning of the transition.

[steve shimp] For instance, they wanted to OVERDO it - have jack hopping over things and doing pratfalls

[yhtapmys] Then outline how some entertainers did it and how others couldn't.

[steve shimp] Which he realized wasn't his style at all.

User Laura Leff has entered this room.

[Maxwell] Welcome back, Laura!

[Laura Leff] Well, that didn't work very well

[Brad from Georgia] Yeah, five pages isn't much. You might begin with a paradox: "Television killed radio--except when it made radio better."

[Laura Leff] Wouldn't load on IE V6

[Ben Bucky] WB Laura

[abbyl] good idea. (I'm really bad at doing these things lmfao...) Actually I was thinking of using the song as a starting point.

[abbyl] Hi laura

[Brad from Georgia] Of course, I really think Jack's program was better as radio.

[Maxwell] I'm glad I have firefox, then.

[abbyl] no question there Brad

[steve shimp] George Burns oversimplified the transition...he said he and Gracie just "talked in radio and talked in TV" but there was actually quite a format shift.

[abbyl] Well here's the thing though.

[abbyl] George didn't make a question he broke the fourth wall all the time..

[abbyl] in a way the TV show was revolutionary.

[Laura Leff] Hello abbyl!

[yhtapmys] Well, that's the thing, Steve. The only thing that didn't change were sitcoms.

[yhtapmys] Ozzie and Harriet isn't much different in the two mediums.

[yhtapmys] Ozzie and Harriet isn't much different in the two mediums.

[Brad from Georgia] News really didn't change. I remember early newscasts--no visuals, just a guy sitting at a desk and reading copy.

[Maxwell] Neither was Father Knows Best.

[Laura Leff] abbyl - Very true. I've heard it mentioned in many of my media classes for just that reason.

[abbyl] I mean George would talk directly to the audience. There was that episode where he couldn't get in the front door and knowingly walked around the set to get in and acknoswledged it later.

[Laura Leff] Groucho Marx as well.

[abbyl] Most definately Laura

[yhtapmys] Brad, *I* had that reading TV news five years ago!

[steve shimp] LL, can you copy the chat now?

[yhtapmys] My transition from radio to TV wasnt the best

[Brad from Georgia] Jack occasionally talked to the audience as well--but of course, he had a studio audience in most of the TV shows (some were filmed outside the studio, though).

[Laura Leff] No, I'm back on Netscape. I couldn't get in on IE

[steve shimp] OK, I'll keep copying.

[yhtapmys] Took me about six minutes on IE.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yes, their show was self-conscious about the studio audience in the non-sitcom shows

[Laura Leff] Steve - Thanks much.

[Maxwell] Firefox was much quicker, but I obviously got booted when I tried to scroll back.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Maybe I'll just let it run and see if it ever lets me in.

[yhtapmys] I can scroll OK.

[abbyl] there's another difference from the radio days. There was a combination of sitcom/variety shows. Some days they'd be more of one or more of the other. On radio, Jack talked to the audience all the time.

[Brad from Georgia] "LIfe of Riley" was both a radio and TV show--TV version was vastly different from the radio version, though. Few of the radio characters made the TV transition there.

[abbyl] Anyone here familiar with Stan Freberg?

[Maxwell] Yup.

[yhtapmys] Yes.

[Brad from Georgia] For that matter, "Gunsmoke" and "Dragnet" were radio shows first, then TV.

[Laura Leff] abbyl - Oh yes

[abbyl] DAWSOME!

[abbyl] Awsome*

[yhtapmys] He was in town a few years ago.

[Ben Bucky] YTes

[abbyl] dang typos

[yhtapmys] Charged a fair chunk to hear him speak, though

[Laura Leff] Richard Dawsome!

[abbyl] hahahaa

[Brad from Georgia] I, too, know of this Freberg of whom you speak. At concerts, I always ask the rock groups to sing that song named after him.

[yhtapmys] Now cut that out!

[Laura Leff] I wanna fly...like a Freberg...

[Brad from Georgia] "If I should leave here tomorrow..."

[abbyl] yeah my dad went to one of those things he did in NY but he didn't show up i think.

[abbyl] anyway, I have to get my folks to send me a copy of Stan Freberg PResents the United States of America, if only so I can play the sketch about putting the national bird in the oven for my history professor

[Brad from Georgia] abbyl, for what it's worth, and despite the way I sound, I actually am a Professor of English in college.

[yhtapmys] I've got the album.

[yhtapmys] No mp3 of it, though.

[abbyl] really? nice. What college?

[Laura Leff] Is that a reference to Ben Franklin's wanting the turkey to be the national bird?

[Brad from Georgia] Gainesville State College, Gainesville, GA

[abbyl] nice. I attend college in Maryland.

[abbyl] yep that's the reference.

[yhtapmys] Gotta love Jesse White.

[Maxwell] I thought squab was the national bird.

[Ben Bucky] "We're waiting for a chirp, chirp, chirp..."

[abbyl] YES!

[Brad from Georgia] You know, our state song used to be your state song. Except we called it "Georgia Land" instead of "Maryland."

[abbyl] omg my history professor had never seen 1776, and he teaches american history

[abbyl] so I let him borrow my copy.

[Ben Bucky] Way to go, Abby!

[abbyl] Didn't know that brad. I'm actually a native NYer.

[steve shimp] Hey, I'm in Williamsburg, I LIVE 1776 every doggone day...

[yhtapmys] Didn't Jack catch the dollar Washington threw across the Potomac?

[abbyl] I used the egg reference in my ben franklin paper...had to include the lyrics so he'd understand the reference.

[Maxwell] Yup, and when George asked for it back, he refused. said it was his toll for fording the river.

[abbyl] hahaha classic!

[Maxwell] George said, he didn't use a ford. He used a Chevy.

[Brad from Georgia] Not surprised. Jack still had that dime he swallowed as an infant.

[Laura Leff] abbyl - My maiden name is Lee, so the song about Richard Henry Lee resonated with me at the time

[yhtapmys] Where'd I hear that?



[Laura Leff] Brad -

[Ben Bucky] "For God sake's, Jack, sit down!"

[abbyl] that people will ask why it isn't there in another. and I think that that that is a major loss on the part of the television takeover

[yhtapmys] To be honest, Ab...

[yhtapmys] ...I think that's only the feeling today.

[abbyl] yep?

[Laura Leff] I like radio...the pictures are better.

[abbyl] YES!

[yhtapmys] Look at shows like Lucy...

[Brad from Georgia] I always thought that Jack's stage set--the initial one, where he does the monologue--looked a bit cheesy. The curtain didn't photograph well.

[yhtapmys] There was no continuity in character names, etc.

[steve shimp] Well, Jack didn't seem to care really about that. He had a gazillion different "Jack's house" sets on TV

[Brad from Georgia] But I guess that goes with the "cheap" gags.

[yhtapmys] People only noticed YEARS later when this stuff was on daily in syndication.

[abbyl] thats the thing on TV there always had to be a visual gag to go along with everything.

[abbyl] M*A*S*H is credited with being the first show with a real memory, so long as we're talking about continuity.

[Brad from Georgia] Jack created great radio visual gags--we talked about that earlier. They do look clunky on TV (the vault, for instance)

[Laura Leff] You also didn't have the ability to watch shows whenever you wanted, ala VHS, and freeze-frame. So I don't know how much people really noticed those differences then

[yhtapmys] Yeah, Abby, and that's why some shows didn't make the transition all that well.

[abbyl] yeah. But you have to question

[Ben Bucky] True, Laura

[yhtapmys] What could Fibber McGee and Molly do other than dialogue? The closet gag wouldn't work every week.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Not all, though. I still think Jack hitting the jackpot in Vegas is much more effective on TV.

[steve shimp] Jack did some GREAT visual gags on TV.

[Laura Leff] Yht - They didn't even do it every week on radio.

[Ben Bucky] I think people pay a lot more careful attention to details in media now than they did in the 50s...

[Brad from Georgia] Well, even M*A*S*H had lapses in continuity. Hawkeye's mom was still living in some episodes, had died when Hawkeye was a kid in others.

[abbyl] why didn't charlie mcarthy make it. I mean... vantriliquism on the radio is one hell of a shtick. you'd think that they'd do better on tv. but the otehr thing is that radio isn't necessarily a physical medium. you can't see their faces.

[steve shimp] I love the bit with the "free" cake samples. Totally silent and totally Jack.

[yhtapmys] Yeah, Laura, because you can see his reactions.

[abbyl] very true brad

[Maxwell] The problem with Charlie was Bergen's lips.

[Maxwell] They kept moving.

[Laura Leff] Considering how much Jack recycled material, people must have either had short memories or loved hearing it over and over (ala Si-Sy)

[abbyl] exactly.

[yhtapmys] Well, the other thing was you'd forget he was a dummy on radio.

[Maxwell] Paul Winchell and Jimmy Nelson were the ventriloquists who made it in TV.

[Maxwell] Paul Winchell and Jimmy Nelson were the ventriloquists who made it in TV.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Oh, that's a fabulous bit.

[Brad from Georgia] Bergen was a bit past his prime by the time TV rolled around.

[yhtapmys] You couldn't do Charlie and Marilyn Monroe on TV.

[Maxwell] But Bergen made movies with the dummy, too. Several of them.

[Laura Leff] I've got another theory on Charlie McCarthy

[Maxwell] And the people listening to the radio show had to have seen those.

[Brad from Georgia] I beg your pardon, Maxwell, I was NEVER in a movie with Bergen.

[abbyl]

[yhtapmys] Those are with Fields.

[yhtapmys] And they worked because Fields didnt' treat him like a real kid.

[Laura Leff] I think that people had the character so in their mind as a separate person

[Ben Bucky] Yes, but Charlie was a real character...I remember the scene in the Fibber McGee and Molly movie when Charlie went to a soda fountain...alone

[Brad from Georgia] Ah, yes, now I see the resemblance. Dispiriting, I must say...

[yhtapmys] He treated him like a dummy.

[Maxwell] Brad, sorry. I thought you were.

[Ben Bucky] The first Fibber McGee movie, I mean

[Brad from Georgia] I remember once I was in the upper regions of the Massagassi, armed only with a native assegai....

[yhtapmys] Never saw it, Ben. But poor old Fibber didn't make the transition well, either.

[Ben Bucky] That's true, though the first two Fibber & Molly movies were pretty big hits, I believe

[Laura Leff] I've heard that Marion Jordan had her personal challenges

[Brad from Georgia] Again, that closet gag worked about twice on TV. It's much funnier to imagine the closet than see it.

[yhtapmys] Could be, Laura. I don't know.

[abbyl] I want to take an opposite side of the radio v. tv argument for a second. in that I watched an episode of the Jack Benny Program today and it was how Jack and Mary met. one of the early ones. and he's wearing a pokadotted shirt and he says hes had it for

[abbyl] a while.

[abbyl] and then in a flashback moment to the 1930s you see the same shirt in the window

[Laura Leff] But I've heard multiple stories about people hearing Charlie solo in a scene and thinking, "Bergen must be off sick tonight"

[abbyl] granted they wouldn't have needed to do a visual gag like that in the radio days

[Laura Leff] Hard to suspend that disbelief when you can SEE Charlie

[yhtapmys] Exactly, Laura.

[Ben Bucky] True, Laura

[yhtapmys] That's my point.

[steve shimp] The thing is that there are some visual gags that just got repeated on TV and still seemed to work ala the Fibber closet. What about Gracie's closet of hats? Same kinda thing.

[abbyl] but I'd like to see if there's an opinion on whether this added to or took away from the comedy.

[Laura Leff] abbyl - That show was done almost exactly the same on radio

[abbyl] I know.

[abbyl] but

[yhtapmys] Steve, I think that works because it's a truism.

[abbyl] the fact that it was a visual gag rather than a spoken one, does that change things in regard to the comedy and how it is presented in the eyes of those in the room?

[yhtapmys] It makes *sense* for Gracie's character.

[Laura Leff] abbyl - Whether what added? I got lost in the other comments

[abbyl] the shirt gag

[yhtapmys] Depends on the gag.

[Laura Leff] That's a complex question...hmmmm...

[yhtapmys] You see, in radio, people have some gags envisioned.

[Laura Leff] (As a student of comedy, I appreciate being challenged on these things...)

[Brad from Georgia] Actually, if I'm not mistaken, there was a late-fifties "Fibber McGee and Molly" TV show with the roles played by Bob Sweeney and Cathy Lewis, not by Jim Jordan and Marion Jordan.

[yhtapmys] And when they actually see them...

[Laura Leff] Readjusting while I consider that

[abbyl] i'm thinking of using this as a discussion in my paper

[Maxwell] Brad. Right. Lasted one season or less.

[yhtapmys] It may not be anything like they imagined.

[yhtapmys] But stuff like, say, Red Skelton's characters....

[yhtapmys] Are what they expect.

[steve shimp] I think so abbyl, but Jack also translated some "radio" sight gags to TV and they still worked the same they did in radio.

[yhtapmys] And there's a visual element addded.

[steve shimp] What is the one where Jack picks up a "lamb chop" and Roch tells him it's leftover beef stew glued to a something or other?

[Maxwell] Steve, we were talking about one of them earlier tonight: Jack and the Colmans/Stewarts at the concert.

[steve shimp] You see one thing but HEAR another - that's a radio-style sight gag.

[steve shimp] The polka dot shirt is a TV style sight gag.

[Brad from Georgia] And a great deal depends on audience expectation. Jack was a master at that--his audience laughed when they expected a gag and got it, AND when he fooled them and switched the gag, too.

[abbyl] true

[Maxwell] The polka dot shirt gag never would have been used on radio.

[Maxwell] It's strictly a TV-style gag.

[abbyl] it never could have been used on the radio because it's a purely visual gag

[yhtapmys] It'd take too much to set up.

[Laura Leff] I think many gags can translate from video to audio (or vice versa), you just have to package them differently.

[Brad from Georgia] Some TV visuals didn't work well--the one where a shop worker thinks a dozing Jack is a mannequin and carries him to the window just doesn't quite cut it because it's so obviously fake.

[Laura Leff] Let's say someone is sorting through a trunk and taking out mementos

xwell] On the other hand, Brad, Jack the robot worked pretty well in the Carson episode.

[Laura Leff] And on TV, they calmly take out a severed head (or something unexpected) just like anything else.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--as long as he doesn't drop them in Diet Coke.

[Laura Leff] On radio, you'd have a running narrative...

[abbyl] and therein, the packaging of the gag itself is the difference.

[Laura Leff] "Oh there's my yearbook from high school....

[Laura Leff] And my class ring...

[Laura Leff] And oh look...

[steve shimp] but when a gag perfectly fits the "packaging" it is primo.

[steve shimp] Jack did that a lot on radio.

[Maxwell] I saw a nice throwaway gag a few months ago on a Benny TV show...

[Laura Leff] There's the head of my team rival."

[abbyl] I know I've listened to a lot of it.

[Ben Bucky] I heard an Our Miss Brooks episode the other night with a radio/TV joke...

[steve shimp] For some reason I'm reminded of the Charles Addams cartoon

[abbyl] nice laura

[Brad from Georgia] LL-I got a huge laugh out of a Shadow episode: "Lamont! Look on this shelf! Its a baby food jar!" Shadow: "And it's full of toenail clippings!"

[abbyl] hahaahahah

[Laura Leff] Brad - See, great example. You have to TELL people what they're seeing.

[Maxwell] He and Rochester are cleaning out the attic, and Jack comes across I very large collar and leash. "Remember that?" Obviously a reference to Carmichael.

[Ben Bucky] Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton are heading to the malt shop for lunch, and Miss Brooks says, "As they used to say in radio, 'Here we are'"

[abbyl] I have to ask because

[Laura Leff] Notice how in the jam session episode of the Benny TV show, every time he opens the door, he says something like, "Why look, it's (so-n-so)!"

[abbyl] I'm half way throught the book right now.

[Laura Leff] Still very radio-scripted.

[abbyl] oh they read off of scripts.

[abbyl] but with TV they had to memorize everything and it took

[steve shimp] True, LL, but those were also "appplause-cue" lines for those guest stars.

[abbyl] more time and energy.

[Ben Bucky] And this was a 1949 radio episode, so I was surprised they were making TV jokes that early

[Laura Leff] Steve - True.

[Laura Leff] Ben - Oh they were making TV jokes back in the mid-30s

[Laura Leff] "This isn't television, you know"

[Laura Leff] There are theories that television was intentionally held back from general distribution.

[Laura Leff] Conscious technology lag, you know.

[abbyl] well they were pretty expensive to own a set.

[yhtapmys] Laura, there was a TV dealer here in Vancouver in1927.

[yhtapmys] Listed in the Yellow Pages.

[Laura Leff] Yht - And on the one channel was a rotating picture of Felix the Cat.

[Brad from Georgia] The episode we talked about today has a TV joke in 48. Phil Harris: "When I got my radio show, what happened? Television starts up. They wanna SEE me, too!"

[yhtapmys] I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

[Ben Bucky] Mechanical televsion had a huge appeal to hobbyists in the 20s

[Laura Leff] About as exciting as the Indian test pattern.

[steve shimp] Ironic since Phil had no interest in TV.

[yhtapmys] Jack had TV jokes in the 30s.

[Brad from Georgia] Yeah, but it was a great gag, yth!

[yhtapmys] He and Kenny Baker did one in one show I heard.

[Laura Leff] I was blown away when I heard a show from something like 1934 or 1936 with a TV reference in it.

[abbyl] well think about it this way

[Maxwell] TV was pretty much held up by two things: Mechanical (CBS) vs. electronic (RCA), and WWII.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Right

[steve shimp] There's a 1935 or so Bela Lugosi movie called "Murder by Television"!

[Brad from Georgia] Mark Twain wrote a short story about television in 1894.

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[Maxwell] CBS didn't decide to go electronic until a couple of years after the war.

[abbyl] hold on gonna jumpon wikipedi\a and see

[yhtapmys] The NBC/CBS thing was post war, so I think the war pretty well held it up.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Later to be made into a Japanese horror movie called Ringu

[Ben Bucky] Have all of y'all read the book, "Please Stand By: A Prehistory of Television"?

[Laura Leff] Hello Clint!

[yhtapmys] Not me, Ben.

[Clint Case] Hello

[Brad from Georgia] Ben--not me.

[Maxwell] Hi Clint.

[steve shimp] Hi Clint

[Maxwell] I haven't either.

[yhtapmys] Who wrote it?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Are you sure about that? I didn't know Philo Farnsworth had gotten that far then.

[Ben Bucky] It's by Michael Ritchie, and it's a great read about television in the 20s, 30s, and 40s...lots of history and very funny anecdotes

[Laura Leff] I think I've heard of it

[abbyl] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television>

[Laura Leff] Goodness knows I may have it in my library...

[abbyl] hi clint

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[abbyl] no I haven't heard of that book

[Ben Bucky] Like the early TV news atempt to recreate the attack on Pearl Harbor, which failed when the strings holding up the warplanes got all fouled up...

[Laura Leff] Bye Clint

[Brad from Georgia] Yes--Twain didn't call it television, but same concept. The point of the story is that a man condemned for a murder is exonerated when a TV transmission gives him an alibi.

[Laura Leff] Ben -

[steve shimp] Oh, man.

[Laura Leff] Brad - How so?

[Laura Leff] Pearl Harbor, directed by Ed Wood

[Ben Bucky] Here (hopefully) is a link to the Ritchie book...

[Ben Bucky] http://www.amazon.com/Please-Stand-Prehistory-Michael-Ritchie/dp/0879516151/sr=8-1/qid=1163387265/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-1267630-2348911?ie=UTF8&s=books <http://www.amazon.com/Please-Stand-Prehistory-Michael-Ritchie/dp/0879516151/sr=8-1/qid=1163387265/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-1267630-2348911?ie=UTF8&s=books>

[yhtapmys] Did a tombstone get knocked over?

[abbyl] eh?

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[abbyl] wb

[abbyl] i mean

[abbyl] ack opposit

[abbyl] gb

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[abbyl] ok now wv

[yhtapmys] Hiya Ben

[abbyl] wb*

[Ben Bucky] Whew, did that link make it?

[Laura Leff] Did you know that one of Jack's female costars in the Buck Benny movie co-wrote The Blob?

[Laura Leff] Ben - Yup.

[Brad from Georgia] LL-The man was accused of having killed someone in NY on a specific date, but a TV broadcast from Tokyo (these are not the locations of the story) shows him there at the time of the murder.

[Laura Leff] Brad - I suppose that could have been inspired by film as well. Go figure!

[Laura Leff] So what else? Lively discussion late in the chat room...

[Laura Leff] Amazed that I've been able to stay vertical this long with my back. Good inspiration, I suppose.

[abbyl] still figuring out my paper.

[abbyl] late? ...hmm 10:00 okay

[Laura Leff] Late as in 2+ hours into it

[abbyl] wow

[abbyl] right this started at 8

[abbyl] *headdesk*

[Brad from Georgia] Don't forget Laura's on the other coast. It's 14:00 or 7:00 or something there.

[Maxwell] 7:00 central.

[Ben Bucky] Well, I need to go...Charlie the Dog is imploring me to remember his evening walk

[abbyl] have fun

[steve shimp] Well, my peepers are pooped, I've been looking through a microscope all day, anyone want to take over chat copying for me?

[Ben Bucky] Night, you all, and happy Thanksgiving!

[Laura Leff] Take care Ben!

[steve shimp] Night Ben!

[Brad from Georgia] I actually have to go, too. I have to get up at six and grade some papers!

[Maxwell] One item of note; Check out the message board for Jack Benny Programs on Chuck Schaden's shows for the next month or so.

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[yhtapmys] Laura, you having any luck logging yet?

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[steve shimp] Thanks for posting those Max!

[Laura Leff] Tell you what...let's call it good for this month.

[Maxwell] You're welcome.

[Brad from Georgia] Good night!

[abbyl] logged me out.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Nope. Couldn't get in on IE

[abbyl] bck night whoever's leaving ^_^

[yhtapmys] Too bad. I hope you've got a version -- transcribed!

[steve shimp] OK, good night all. Looking forward to seeing you all next month!

[abbyl] how often do these chats meet?

[Laura Leff] Yht - Steve's got it...thank you Steve!

[yhtapmys] See you in a month.

[Laura Leff] abbyl - Every month

[Maxwell] See you in December.

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[Brad from Georgia] Oh, abbyl--if you want to get in touch with me re your paper, my website and email address are at http://www.gsc.edu/humanities/bstrickland <http://www.gsc.edu/humanities/bstrickland>

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[Brad from Georgia] Oh, abbyl--if you want to get in touch with me re your paper, my website and email address are at http://www.gsc.edu/humanities/bstrickland <http://www.gsc.edu/humanities/bstrickland>

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[abbyl] I once a month? cool. see ya then!

[abbyl] thanks for the hlp guys! oh great! thanks!

[Laura Leff] Good night all!