IJBFC Chat - October 5, 2008

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

[KayLhota] Hi Laura

[Laura Leff] Hi folks!

[steve +shimp+] Hi Laura

[Laura Leff] I guess everyone thought I'd still be on break tonight...  

[KayLhota] On break?

[Frank J. Lhota] Hi Laura, how are things?

[steve +shimp+] No, we had to downsize the chat because of the economy.

[KayLhota] Okay, Steve! Ouch!

[Laura Leff] Yeah, insert Jack Benny joke about the economy here

[steve +shimp+] I am avidly listening for tips to save money from Jack.

[KayLhota] My brother works for AIG, and he is going to be looking for work.

[steve +shimp+] I just came back from a "sorry you got fired" party for my boss.

[KayLhota] oh my

[Laura Leff] At least we got really GOOD people here in the room... we keep the best...

[steve +shimp+]  

[KayLhota] thank you, Laura!

[Laura Leff] Steve - Maybe time to try some of those yummy and economical Jell-O recipes

User ed has entered this room.

[steve +shimp+] I am already cooking the carrots and celery ...

[Laura Leff] Hi Ed

[KayLhota] Strawberry Jello snow?

[ed] hi again

[steve +shimp+] Hi ed

[KayLhota] Hi Ed

[Laura Leff] Kay - Just make sure it's not faux lemon Jell-O snow

[ed] hi folks

[Laura Leff] I am a few minutes late because I was preparing hand-made knishes for my Jewish group's break fast on Thursday night

[KayLhota] I prefer the real thing to any other gelatine dessert

User Brad has entered this room.

[Frank J. Lhota] And remember, Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes are much better for your health than Lucky Strikes!

[steve +shimp+] I had a friend in fourth grade who would always eat the yellow snow because someone told him, "people pour honey on it".

[KayLhota] Hi Brad

[Laura Leff] Hi Brad!

[Laura Leff] Steve - Ick!

[Brad] This is a very special chat...

[KayLhota] Good Frank

[steve +shimp+] Hi Brad

[ed] hi brad

[Laura Leff] Brad - Ain't it just?

[Brad] Yes - the last one while I'm still 39.

[Laura Leff] We're discussing money-saving tips from Jack to deal with the economy

[Laura Leff] Brad - Mazel tov!

[KayLhota] oh my. I was 39 so long ago Brad

[steve +shimp+] Tonight, on a "very special Jack Benny Show", Rochester learns about mesothelioma

[Brad] 'Course I'm not having any more birthdays...

[Laura Leff] So I've got another confession to make

[Laura Leff] I was hoping to finish the knishes sooner and then listen to the show

[Laura Leff] but I've certainly heard it, so I'm going to wing it

[KayLhota] I don't think of myself as being old, but I used to watch Jack Benny on CBS and NBC when he was on every week

[steve +shimp+] We don't think of you as being old either Kay.

[Laura Leff] Kay - That's not too old. He was on every week starting in, I think, 1960 or 61.

[KayLhota] bless you for that, Steve

[KayLhota] yes, I don't think of myself as too old. But I am the same age as my mother was when she got

[Laura Leff] Not to tell your age or anything, y'know

[Brad] I have the vaguest memory of Jack Benny, might have been an NBC special in the early '70s.

[KayLhota] our first video camera, so I look a lot like she did when she was this age

[steve +shimp+] I wasn't overly wild about tonight's show.

[Laura Leff] Kay - I'm glad that ended up being "our first video camera" and not, say,

[Laura Leff] "cancer" or "emphysema" or something...

[KayLhota] whew, no

[Laura Leff] Which show was it?

[Brad] I just finished the 1943 shows with Orson Wells - 4 shows in a row without Jack.

[Brad] ...and they're still funn.

[Brad] funny.

[ed] when he was sick

[KayLhota] Those are interesting programs, aren't they Brad?

[Brad] Actually they are stand outs. Jack didn't have to do anything but let his cast be themselves.

[Brad] One of them didn't even have Mary.

[KayLhota] Having a celebrity guest host gives the program a different feel

[Laura Leff] Oh, the Halloween show

[Laura Leff] So (not disagreeing with you) what was there not to like about it?

[KayLhota] and there is a lot of comedy at allowing Orson Welles to ham it up.

[steve +shimp+] Wait, are we talking about Welles, the '70s specials or tonights 1938 show? Confused!

[Brad] Didn't realize OW had such an ability to laugh at himself.

[KayLhota] Laura, Frank and I got sidetracked, so we only heard it up to Rochester explaining his brother September

[Laura Leff] Yeah, I always thought that was a weak joke.

[steve +shimp+] OK, as for tonight's episode, I think it started out kind of "shouty" and high-energy when it needed to build.

[steve +shimp+] Some borderline offensive stuff with Roch and "September" too.

[Laura Leff] I found it interesting that Ronald Colman is mentioned way before he becomes Jack's "neighbor"

[KayLhota] I was wondering if that was a coincidence

[KayLhota] because he didn't come on the show until what-- 8 years later?

[Laura Leff] Kay - It's got to be. The Colmans don't become semi-regulars until late 1945.

[Laura Leff] And under different writers

[KayLhota] 1945. I was close. I was thinking 1946.

[Laura Leff] There was just something about juxtaposing Jack and someone who comes off as very sophisticated

[Laura Leff] It's the same joke as Herbert Marshall, I think.

[steve +shimp+] Yes, that conceit almost always works.

[Laura Leff] What do you think of the Phil Harris-Barbara Whitney dynamic?

[KayLhota] I haven't heard the episodes where Herbert Marshall guest hosted in at least 4 years

[Laura Leff] Kay - Probably same here.

[KayLhota] We didn't hear it that far

[Laura Leff] Well, hey, you get a song where just about everyone sings on it...that's got to be fun...

[steve +shimp+] That was fun.

[Laura Leff] So let's go back to the "borderline offensive" stuff with Rochester

[Frank J. Lhota] At least they did not sing "September Song"

[Laura Leff] Because fans often talk about the show and say how progressive it was and Roch was never a "blackface" sidekick...

[KayLhota] Oh, I forgot about that song! I remember hearing the episode now a few years ago.

[KayLhota] The song was so cute!

[steve +shimp+] Yeah, shiftless/lazy gags, "I'm going to tie a porkchop to the door".

[Laura Leff] Let's see...Roch only started on the show in 3/37, and I think he became Rochester about 3-4 months later (would have to look it up to be sure)

[steve +shimp+] "September" is uncredited in 39 Forever, any guesses?

[Frank J. Lhota] Peter Lorre?

[steve +shimp+]  

[Laura Leff] This is also the time when Roch would do a lot of jokes about shooting dice and occasionally knife fighting and Central Avenue

[KayLhota] Noooo

[steve +shimp+] Not nasal enough...

[steve +shimp+] Yeah, various gin and razor jokes around this time too.

[Laura Leff] Handicapped not having heard the show recently...do you think the actor was black?

[KayLhota] yes, I noticed that in listening to the early shows that Rochester does a lot of stereotypical things

[steve +shimp+] I'm always hesitant to guess on the voice alone, that can be really dodgy, but maybe.

[Laura Leff] There's even a joke about watermelon in an early pre-Rochester appearance when he's playing a French waiter in a Buck Benny skit.

[KayLhota] Oh yes.

[Laura Leff] Just thinking that if it's a black actor, likely someone who also did work on Amos n Andy around the same time.

[KayLhota] He still laughs about Albequrue

[steve +shimp+] What is this "Albuquerque"?

[Laura Leff] There you go again...

[KayLhota] yes

[Laura Leff] So open question...how do you reconcile this semi-racist Rochester in your mind with the more popular evolution?

[Laura Leff] And how do you think it would play to the average audience today?

[KayLhota] I think of this as the beginnings of what developed later on

[Brad] It wouldn't.

[Laura Leff] Does this make the shows verboten in the same way as Mr. Moto, etc.?

[steve +shimp+] Oh, the core is still there, he's still giving Jack a hard time, it's easy to see that that was an appealing character trait that got amplified while the stereotype stuff is, rightly, a dead end.

[KayLhota] as the characters and the comedy developed, there was less need to resort to the stereotypical racial jokes

[KayLhota] I agree with Steve about the core

[steve +shimp+] I think people are more open to seeing this stuff in historical context now.

[steve +shimp+] Recent Mr. Moto DVD sets actually sold quite well, as has Charlie Chan.

[Laura Leff] So many people tell me about having Benny shows as bedtime stories for their kids. If you were playing this for your kids, how would you explain it?

[KayLhota] well, as I have certainly played Jack Benny shows for my kids, I think I tried to explain the history and the times

[steve +shimp+] See, this is kind of where I draw the line. If a kid isn't old enough to understand the context, I'd hold off a bit.

[KayLhota] yes, our boys were both over 10

[steve +shimp+] Yeah, 10 seems a perfectly reasonable age.

[Laura Leff] I'm also asking from a context of someone who might actually be trying to market the shows to that segment.

[steve +shimp+] That's about when I started getting into OTR as well.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yeah, me too.

[KayLhota] I can remember playing an audio tape in the car, and it was "The Fiddler"

[steve +shimp+] I think the later shows are absolutely fine for the most part. Maybe these less enlightened ones might get a disclaimer label or something to alert parents.

[KayLhota] our son had never paid attention before, and that night he asked us to turn up the sound

[Laura Leff] Kay - On The Fiddler?

[KayLhota] Yes, I remember that he found it funny

[Laura Leff] Out of curiosity, what was it that hooked him?

[KayLhota] He didn't know the show "The Whistler" but he laughed at the tape

[Laura Leff] If you remember. (Of course, I'm talking to someone with an awesome memory.)

[KayLhota] Frank, do you remember

User ed has logged out.

[Laura Leff] Brad/Ed - Hope you're still with us!

[KayLhota] I am trying to recall the specifics

[Laura Leff] Well, that explains it for Ed

[KayLhota] other than what was being said seemed to engage him in a way that had never happened before

[Laura Leff] I've so often talked in interviews about how Jack plays to all ages and the comedy ages well, but I always know about stuff like this in the back of my mind.

[Frank J. Lhota] When I was a kid, a lot of the racial stuff in films went over my head.

[KayLhota] he'd been on plenty of long car rides, and hadn't always paid any attention to what he heard

[Laura Leff] Maybe it was the bad violin playing.   

[KayLhota] hang on. Let me ask Daniel what he remembers!

[Laura Leff] Real time research...

[Frank J. Lhota] For example, when black kids made a fuss over watermelon, I thought it was because *all* kids loved watermelon.

[steve +shimp+] I think values are always going to be changing, even smoking now is going to get movies an automatic R. 20 years from now parents will be facing dilemmas about how to explain that to kids.

[Laura Leff] Steve - That's a really good point.

[steve +shimp+] It is just an argument for parents and adults to be involved with their kids, not an argument for censorship at all.

[Laura Leff] I'm sort of used to smoking in 1940s-50s movies. But Dan and I went to a midnight showing of Blade Runner last week

[Laura Leff] which is from 1982, and I was struck how much smoking was happening on screen.

[Laura Leff] I'd even heard comments about "Mad Men" and how much smoking is done on it today.

[KayLhota] I'm back. Our son Daniel doesn't remember specifically what struck him funny

[Laura Leff] Kay -  

[Laura Leff] I'm just always looking for what makes the show "play" today other than the timelessness of the humor.

[steve +shimp+] Yeah, in the Lucky years I'd be a little more concerned about the constant incitement to smoke rather than much of Rochester's antics.

[Laura Leff] Thanks for asking.

[KayLhota] but, over the years he's heard some episodes, and this summer he read Milt Josefbergs book

[Brad] Just listening to the American Tobacco auctioneer makes me want to reach for a nicotine patch.

[Laura Leff] Kay - Any reviews from him?

[Brad] And I've never smoked.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Har har

[KayLhota] he loved trhe book, and although he had trouble expressing why, it gave me insight

[Laura Leff] Brad - You've probably heard me tell about how I had the absolutely irresistable urge to eat Jell-O all the time while I was writing Volume 1 of 39 Forever.

[Laura Leff] Bordering on obsession

[KayLhota] this was the memoirs of a comedy writer, so every anecdote had great punchlines

[Laura Leff] Kay - It's such an upbeat book. It radiates warmth.

[Frank J. Lhota] Some day, kids will ask "Why would somebody WANT to suck on a tube of burning weeds?"

[KayLhota] Yes, and Daniel would burst out of his bedroom to repeat the stories to me.

[Laura Leff] Then again, portions of George Balzer's autobiography are written like a monologue

[Brad] Leonard Malton wrote that Mary smoked Parliaments...

[Laura Leff] Setup....BAM! Setup....BAM! Setup...BAM!

[Brad] ...never wondered what/if Jack smoked.

[steve +shimp+] So, you've read George Balzer's manuscript Laura?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Cigars

[KayLhota] Yes, jack smoked

[Laura Leff] It felt like I was being jabbed in the ribs really hard.

[Frank J. Lhota] Jack smoked whatever was left in the ashtray.

[Brad] Cigars, of course.

[KayLhota] Ouch Frank!

[Laura Leff] Brad - Cheap cigars. Green ones.

[steve +shimp+] Reading Balzer's book felt like a jab in the ribs? That is a terrible review!

[Frank J. Lhota] Cheaper than George Burns' cigars?

[Laura Leff] Steve - I haven't read the whole thing. I'm in the section where he's talking about his growing up, which is where the monologue feel starts.

[Laura Leff] Frank - I've got one of Burns' cigars, and one of his used ashes as well. They weren't green, but they were cheap too.

[Laura Leff] I moved over to Gore Vidal for a while, and a few other things...I'll get back to it.

[KayLhota] I read that he smoked El Producto

[Laura Leff] I don't have enough time for reading.

[steve +shimp+] Hold on to that cigar, we'll clone him from his saliva one day.

[KayLhota] Oh My God!

[KayLhota] I'm not sure that I would want him cloned!

[Laura Leff] Kay - That feels right, but I can't say for sure at the moment. I am pretty sure George Burns did.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Only the saliva was probably on the holder!

[steve +shimp+] Aw, shucks.

[Laura Leff] Only if we can clone Gracie too.

[steve +shimp+] There's a Gracie joke in there somewhere but I am stalling...

User ed has entered this room.

[KayLhota] Hi again Ed

[steve +shimp+] welcome back ed

[Laura Leff] Gracie would want her clone frozen in dairy, so it could be an ice creamed clone.

[steve +shimp+]  

[KayLhota] Oh groan, Laura!

[ed] these stupid stinken machines

[Laura Leff] Ed - We just figured you didn't like us.

[ed] not so LL

[Brad] Try the early 1904s Burns and Allens for the "Vote For Gracie" series. Very timely.

[Brad] 1940.

[KayLhota] Oh, yeah. I ought to pull those episodes out

[Laura Leff] I've got the book "How to Run for President" by Gracie Allen.

[steve +shimp+] Those are fun shows.

[Brad] Gracie makes more sense than Gov. Palin, gotta give her credit there.

[Brad] Sorry.

[Frank J. Lhota] She's got my vote.

[Laura Leff] Brad - I was just thinking the same thing.

[KayLhota] Oh, I'm sure that Gracie Does!

[Frank J. Lhota] Gracie sthat is

[steve +shimp+] There's an OK book that reprints the "How to Run for President", with lots of pictures of Gracie with Mary Kelly

[Laura Leff] Steve - Really?

[steve +shimp+] Picture, Mary Kelly being borne on a float carried by lots of guys dressed as Abe Lincoln.

[Laura Leff] How long ago?

[steve +shimp+] It is pretty wild.

[Laura Leff] Who did this?

[steve +shimp+] Couple of years ago, I'll check.

[Laura Leff] I'll be.

[KayLhota] I have been reading Eddie Cantor episodes from 1938-39 in TobaccoDocuments, and Eddie would have Mary Kelly on his show

[Laura Leff] Kay - Interesting! Nice to know she was getting work.

[KayLhota] Yes, I thought so too.

[Laura Leff] I've got to find and reread the stuff about Gracie not wanting her living with them any more.

[steve +shimp+] "Gracie Allen for President, 1940" by William Carroll, Coda Publications 2000

[Laura Leff] William Carroll. Name doesn't ring a bell, which is unusual.

[steve +shimp+] It's not that great text-wise, just reprints a lot of stuff you could find on the internet. The photos are cool but not well-reproduced.

[Laura Leff] I wonder who Coda Publications is. Strange.

[steve +shimp+] It looks like a homegrown job, frankly.

[Laura Leff] I know most of the people who are publishing in the OTR genre, or at least know of them.

[Laura Leff] It sounds like it.

[steve +shimp+] I think I ordered it from Amazon, so it had some decent distribution.

[Laura Leff] Gracie Allen vs. Sarah Palin, Dennis Day vs. Dan Quayle

[Laura Leff] Steve - Maybe, but my books are on Amazon and they're self-published.

[Laura Leff] I know Dennis Day, and you're no Dennis Day!

[KayLhota] Oh boy

[steve +shimp+] Biden to Palin: You're no Tina Fey!

[Brad] Dennis was a pretty strong family values guy.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Very Catholic.

[Laura Leff] So what else Benny-wise is on everyone's mind?

[ed] tina fey great last night

[Brad] Jack does get a mention in Nancy Reagan's book.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Interesting...any specifics?

[steve +shimp+] Really? What did she have to say?

[Laura Leff] Reagan (Ronald) was one of Jack's pallbearers.

[Brad] Have to look it up...had something to do with the Reagan kids watching a private performance (fundraiser?) through a fence.

[KayLhota] Yes, and Nancy Reagan visited Mary Livingstone the day before she died

[Brad] That's right. They had a manicure.

[Laura Leff] I know they stayed friends over the years...one of the few who stayed relatively close to Mary.

[Brad] Mary didn't get a lot of visitors.

[Laura Leff] IIRC, Mary was invited to the inauguration, but turned it down.

[Brad] Apparently Nancy did.

[KayLhota] Mary probably wasn't feeling up to the travel

[Laura Leff] Mary didn't like going out much period.

[KayLhota] I got the impression that she wasn't feeling well.

[Laura Leff] That dates back to even before Jack's death.

[Laura Leff] Kay - Hard to tell with Mary.

[steve +shimp+] She really had some deep-seated demons, it seems like.

[KayLhota] Joan Benny suspected clinical depression, and I would buy that

[Laura Leff] I think it's sort of deep-seated insecturities

[Laura Leff] Thus her stage fright

[KayLhota] it may have created some somatic symptoms, along with some genuine issues and old age

[Laura Leff] insecurities

[steve +shimp+] Deep seated insecturities are like, ants in your pants.

[Laura Leff] Someone recently told me, and I may have said it here already,

[KayLhota] yes, I don't think that she could deal with them

[Laura Leff] that Mary wanted to move out of Century City because she "didn't like riding in the elevator with the nobodies".

[Brad] I'm sure she had her share of good qualities.

[Laura Leff] There's just something there, something almost on the level of self-hatred and trying so hard to be "one of the beautiful people"

[KayLhota] yes, after the fun of Roxbury Drive and the comings and goings

[Laura Leff] Brad - Of course...she was an excellent performer on the show

[Brad] trying too hard = that's it Laura.

[steve +shimp+] Yeah, a lot of conflict between wanting to be "someone" but not really wanting to be a performer.

[Brad] Jack obviously loved her.

[KayLhota] I would agree about her abilities as a comedienne.

[KayLhota] She certainly could perform it all well.

[Laura Leff] Was there anyone who really did the sort of puncturing female sidekick before her?

[ed] her abilities equal that i think of portland hoffa

[Brad] Mary was in real life what Jack portrayed himself as.

[Laura Leff] There was the daffy dame

[KayLhota] I don't really know enough of the vaudeville comice

[Brad] Insecure, petty, controlling.

[Brad] ...but well-meaning.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Not as misely though, spending for her was a sport.

[Brad] That's true.

[Laura Leff] Ed - I'd say even beyond Portland...I'm not a big fan of Hoffa.

[Laura Leff] Portland was a little too one-note in her delivery...it grates on me quickly.

[KayLhota] Jessie Block and Eve Sully. They were a vaudeville team, but I don't know what their comedy was like

[KayLhota] I've seen them in "Kid Millions" and they did a Jack Benny show.

[Laura Leff] They were guests on the Benny show in the 30s

[KayLhota] Eve Sully was a dumb-dora, I guess.

[Laura Leff] There was also the "rich dame", which I think of as somewhere between Margaret Dumont and

[steve +shimp+] Mary is remarkably independent and assertive for a female character in that era.

[Laura Leff] another performer (whose name escapes me) who always performed in drag...so not really a woman, I guess.

[ed] on radio?

[Laura Leff] Steve - And that's why I wanted to point it out...I think her character was rather ground-breaking.

[Laura Leff] Ed - On stage and in movies. His death was the stuff of legend, walking on a beach in New York and getting struck dead by lightning.

[steve +shimp+] Oh, I agree. And I agree on her performance too. It's incredible. It is sad to think of the gap between that character and her real-life unhappiness.

[KayLhota] And Mary could do some solid imitations. She could do Portland Hoffa, and Mae West

[ed] ouch

[Laura Leff] Even on radio...was anyone as independent and outspoken as Mary in the 1930s?

[Laura Leff] Judy Canova did more of a hick routine in the 1940s, but that was after.

[KayLhota] and doing comedy? I don't know of any that have surfaced.

[steve +shimp+] I think Eve Arden would probably be the next brainy independent woman character, but she obviously followed Mary.

[ed] her daughter diane canova was on "soap"

[steve +shimp+] in comedy, at least

[Laura Leff] So Mary gets her due for really carving out that character.

[steve +shimp+] I think so.

[KayLhota] I think so

[Laura Leff] Some of the credit goes to the writers as well, but you need a performer to put it over.

[KayLhota] Mary ought to get her do for being a solid comedienne

[KayLhota] she even had a pleasant singing voice

[steve +shimp+] Yeah, like Rochester, the writers keyed in on her strengths. She started out pretty ditzy, and quickly turned smart and acidic.

[Laura Leff] Kay - Which changed a lot over the yeras.

[Laura Leff] years

User Maxwell has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] Which brings us back to Parliaments...

[KayLhota] smoking probably undid

[Laura Leff] Maxwell!

[steve +shimp+] Hi Maxwell

[KayLhota] yes Laura

[KayLhota] Hi Maxwell

[ed] she did not like tv

[Maxwell] Hi everybody!

[Laura Leff] Steve - Not quite so quickly...

[ed] hi max

[Laura Leff] She's pretty ditzy from 1932 to about 1940, with flashes of cutting before that.

[steve +shimp+] True.

[Laura Leff] Yosemite to me is the real turning point for her.

[steve +shimp+] Max you must be happy about the White Sox

[Laura Leff] When she's harping on Jack for having to sleep in the car.

[Maxwell] Just came back from my son's house where we were cheering them on.

[ed] yea they beat my tampa rats

[Laura Leff] Kay - What's the latest on the Red Sox?

[Laura Leff] I've been too busy to follow them.

[KayLhota] I haven't heard

[ed] tied 3-3

[KayLhota] they are playing the Angels

[KayLhota] tied 3 to 3?

[Maxwell] And they're up 2-0 in games.

[ed] yep

[Laura Leff] Ed - 3-3 in the series, or a game right now?

[Maxwell] 3-3 in the game.

[KayLhota] yes, I was wondering that too

[ed] right now

[Laura Leff] I take it they're playing right now.

[KayLhota] right

[KayLhota] I ought to put it on the tv

[Maxwell] Yup. Their game followed the real Sox' game.

[Laura Leff] Same here

[ed] 4th inning

[Laura Leff] I'll catch it afterwards.

[KayLhota] hey, I have plenty of respect for the White Sox, but really!

[Maxwell] (White Sox were Sox when the Red Sox were the Pilgrims.)

[ed] yea but i was hoping for a tampa win-nuts!!!

[steve +shimp+] Back to Mary, LL, I thought she was pretty much the fully evolved Mary in tonights show, for example.

[KayLhota] why Tampa?

[Maxwell] ed You from the Tampa area?

[Laura Leff] Jack tries to get the Red Sox game on the radio

[KayLhota] well,they lost in 1946

[ed] my twin brother billy is a big rays and bucs fan

[Laura Leff] Kay - We got 'em back in 2004.

[Maxwell] Ah...I was wondering because a friend of mine does the Rays radio play-by-play.

[ed] really neat

[Laura Leff] Unfortunately, Jack would probably be rooting for the Angels.

[ed] iam in springfield illinois

[Laura Leff] The land of Lincoln

[Maxwell] Yeah, Dave Wills...he's from Oak Lawn, IL and a lifelong White Sox fan. He took the Rays job after the Sox won in '-5.

[KayLhota] yes, I was hoping for the Angel too.

[Maxwell] I'm in Joliet.

[Maxwell] '05

[KayLhota] And me in Red Sox country. But then, I love the Red Sox.

[Frank J. Lhota] BostA

[ed] wow close to the sox' home

[KayLhota] I just love to see good baseball!

[Maxwell] ed Yup.

[Frank J. Lhota] Boston would never have a team called "The Angels"

[ed] been there in 1993

[Laura Leff] Yes. Yankees vs. Red Sox 2004 playoffs was amazing ball.

[KayLhota] why is that Frank?

[Frank J. Lhota] We just aren't that innocent

[Maxwell] Boston has had teams called the Doves, Pilgrims/Puritans, Bees, Red Stockings, Red Caps, and Beaneaters.

[Laura Leff] That's true.

[ed] that's right

[Laura Leff] The Boston Doves?

[Maxwell] Yeah, after their owner.

[Laura Leff] Baseball?

[Maxwell] Yup.

[ed] cubs were the white stockings and colts orphans

[Laura Leff] Go figure

[KayLhota] I remember my Dad telling me about the Boston Braves

[Maxwell] First decade of the 20th Centuries.

[Maxwell] ed Also the Remnants.

[Laura Leff] The Remnants...that doesn't sound very inspiring.

[Laura Leff] We're what's left over.

[Maxwell] Kay All but the Pilgrims/Puritans were the Braves.

[ed] ah the 1958 world series champs in milwaukee who lost today to the phils as the brewers

[Frank J. Lhota] D.C. should have a team called "The Special Prosecutors"

[KayLhota] Oh Frank!

[Laura Leff] The Bailouts

[KayLhota] good one, Laura

[ed] the stock exchangers

[Maxwell] The Brewers are the Seattle Pilots.

[ed] right max

[Laura Leff] Actually, search on Jack in the Chicago Tribune online. Someone wrote an article comparing the bailout to "Your Money or Your Life"

[Brad] So Jack says "whoops" any time anyone says "one million"

[Maxwell] Atlanta is the Boston Red Stockings.

[Brad] What would he say to 700 BILLION?

[ed] thats right

[Laura Leff] Jack...Jack!

[steve +shimp+] I wish they would have THOUGHT IT OVER!

[Laura Leff] Oh my, he's out cold!

[Brad] His head would have exploded.


[Laura Leff] Jack takes gun from Mel Blanc...

[steve +shimp+] That would have been a great final episode for the Jack Benny Show.

[ed] i have that show on dvd LL

[ed] christmas

[Laura Leff] Let's see....700 billion could buy you a billion new Maxwells in 1925.

[Maxwell] At least.

[Brad] I'm putting my annual "Jack Benny Holiday" playlist on my mp3 player.

[Maxwell] You might even get a volume discount for that many.

[KayLhota] yes, but they didn't build a billion of those cars

[Brad] Every Halloween - Thanksgiving - Christmas - New Year show.

[Laura Leff] No seriously...I was just looking at an ad I've got on my wall for them. $695 for a 1925 Maxwell.

[steve +shimp+] And, you'd still have five billion left over!

[Frank J. Lhota] I saw one analysis that pointed out that the bailout money could buy one copy of "The Office: Season 4" for every person on the planet.

[Laura Leff] Whattadeal

[Maxwell] But I'd still need Seasons 1-3!

[Laura Leff] The Daily Show aired a clip of someone saying that it would buy 2,000 McDonald's apple pies for everyone on the planet.

[KayLhota] Great, Maxwell!

[Frank J. Lhota] Buy Seasons 1-3 yourself, you mooch!

[steve +shimp+] Just what folks in Darfur want for Xmas! Steve Carrell and Fried Pie!

[Maxwell] Mmmm...McDonald's apple pie....

[Laura Leff] Then Bill Clinton came on and said that he thought that was a pretty good idea...

[ed] the team could be called the washington "brokers" cause no one can afford a ticket

[Maxwell] Change the name of the Yankees or Mets to the Wall St. Brokers.

[Frank J. Lhota] LA could add the team "The Papparatsi"

[Laura Leff] I'm sure there could be a show where Jack is thinking of loaning the government the money.

[Frank J. Lhota] Yikes!

[Maxwell] This just in: Greenberg is on third.

[ed] jack would be have blast with that show

[Laura Leff] And he can stay there

[KayLhota] Yes, Maxwell

[Laura Leff] Hello, Mr. Benny's residence...yes, Mr. Paulson, he's in, just a minute...

[ed] greenbacks is on third

[Laura Leff] Green Acres is the place to be

[KayLhota] that reminds me-- I saw the script to the Ingrid Bergman "Gaslight" parody. I was interested in what isn't on the recording

[Maxwell] Greenberg is on third but Moe Berg grounded out.

[ed] money is no problem for me...

[Laura Leff] Kay - Is this on Tobacco Documents?

[KayLhota] yes it is

[steve +shimp+] Can you imagine Jack buying out all those bad mortgages and becoming a million people's landlord? Comedy gold!

[ed] land everywhere

[Maxwell] steve: A whole new series.

[Maxwell] Probably would have been better that the pilot for Mr. Kitzel.

[steve +shimp+] He could visit a "flip this house" impoverished family every week.

[Frank J. Lhota] Maybe the D.C. Brokers could play the Las Vegas Faders?

[Laura Leff] Steve - Do you remember Jack listening to "The Mean Old Man"?

[steve +shimp+] Yes!

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - That wouldn't take much.

[Maxwell] True.

[ed] the mr kitzel episode i have dvd at the train station is played in 1958 after artie aurbach died

[Maxwell] My dental X-rays are probably better than that pilot.

[Laura Leff] I actually haven't been able to sit all the way through it. I did my pennance with Jet Benny.

[steve +shimp+] I haven't gotten to the Kitzel show yet either.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Really? I didn't realize he was on a show that didn't air until after his death.

[steve +shimp+] I'm a little a-scared.

[Maxwell] I sat through every excruciating minute.

[Maxwell] excrutiating?

[Maxwell] However it's spelled.

[Laura Leff] I just can't even conceive of a whole series about him. There just isn't the breadth of character.

[ed] it says it aired in march 1958 he died in late summer 57

[Laura Leff] It's like the Goldbergs, but more shallow.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Go figure...hadn't put that together yet. Good job!

User josef has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] Hello Josef!

[KayLhota] hi Josef

[steve +shimp+] Hi josef

[Maxwell] Hi josef.

[josef] hello everyone!

[steve +shimp+] Back to Ed's Kitzel observation, did the show really film that far in advance?

[Laura Leff] Josef - We're into a bit of free-association at this point, so it's not all Benny at the moment.

[steve +shimp+] That really surprises me.

[josef] okay, thanks for letting me know

[Maxwell] LL: Is it ever?

[Laura Leff] Steve - Good question...I'm working that out in Volume 3.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Well, I try to be reasonably good for the first half hour or so.

[steve +shimp+] Excellent.

[Maxwell] Okay, I missed the first hour so I guess I missed that part.

[Laura Leff] I've already worked out the live vs. filmed shows, so that was interesting.

[Maxwell] Are you starting work on Vol. 3?

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - That's OK...we're glad you're here now.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Well.............yes.

[KayLhota] are all of the TV episodes available for viewing?

[Laura Leff] Started.

[Maxwell] Well, that's a start at least.

[Laura Leff] Kay - All but one, but for some you've got to go to where they are to see them.

[KayLhota] where are some of them held?

[Laura Leff] I can't say how long it will take me, because I've never written a book while working.

[KayLhota] and what is the missing program?

[Laura Leff] Kay - UCLA or the American Heritage Center.

[Laura Leff] The missing program *sigh* is with guest Sammy Davis Jr.

[KayLhota] oh no.

[KayLhota] That is sad.

[Laura Leff] Yeah. Serious bummer.

[steve +shimp+] Isn't there a 1949 pilot that's gone too?

[Laura Leff] But everything else seems to be spoken for.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yes, that's true.

[Laura Leff] Isaac Stern, Andrews Sisters, and Lum and Abner.

[KayLhota] well, that is good considering how many radio programs are lost

[Laura Leff] Kay - Yeah, that's my thought too.

[Laura Leff] Hey Steve, should I tell them?

[ed] angels just went up 4-3

[steve +shimp+] Sure, close enough to happening!

[Maxwell] Stupid Angels.

[Laura Leff] Well, I've got something special in the works.

[josef] whats that?

[Maxwell] TELL!!!!!!!!!!!11

[Laura Leff] Or more accurately, several specials.

[Frank J. Lhota] Hell's Angels?

[Laura Leff] 10 of them, to be exact.

[Maxwell] Spill!

[josef] yeah

[Laura Leff] The Benny family has approved the IJBFC funding digital transfers from the masters of Jack's specials from 1965-1974.

[Laura Leff] Plus "A Love Letter to Jack Benny".

[KayLhota] YAY!!!!!

[Maxwell] Excellent!!!!!!!

[josef] Great!!!

[KayLhota] wonderful!

[Laura Leff] Yeah, isn't that just the nuts!?

[Maxwell] Grape Nuts?

[KayLhota] I have my old video tape of "Love Letter" but a copy from the master would be awesome

[Laura Leff] I'm still working out the logistics, but at least I've started.

[steve +shimp+] I will personally vouch for the fact that Laura has gone through some crazy hoops over the past couple of years to get this to happen, so a big round of applause is in order.

[Maxwell] Keep us posted.

[Laura Leff] And we've got people who are really enthusiastic to help.

[KayLhota] and I would love to see the Anniversary special

[Laura Leff] Steve - Thanks much.   

[KayLhota] I missed the 2nd Farewell show

[Laura Leff] Kay - I've got copies of both of those in the library now if you're interested.

[Maxwell] I missed a lot of those specials because I was in college or just getting started at my first job.

[Laura Leff] But I'm hoping the masters will be in reasonable shape. We'll see.

[KayLhota] the penguin on roller skates on the birthday show was so memorable that I've never forgotten it 40 years later

[KayLhota] I'm interested, but Frank is the one with the money!

[Laura Leff] Gotcha.

[Laura Leff] So think really good thoughts that I can find a way to make this happen with relative speed.

[josef] I definitely will, Laura.

[Laura Leff] When the copies show up, I've already put Dan on notice that I'm going to sit down and watch them all marathon-style.

[KayLhota] well, this is going to be a wonderful thing, Laura.

[KayLhota] Good things come to those that wait.

[Laura Leff] I just hope that they're in good condition. We'll see.

[Laura Leff] And I've been waiting a long time for these. Like 20 years.

[Maxwell] Yeah, thirty to forty year old tape might be pretty deteriorated.

[Laura Leff] But many, many kudos to the family for giving this the green light.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - It's been professionally stored, so we'll see.

[Maxwell] That's a plus.

[KayLhota] my video tape of "A Love letter to Jack Benny" looked pretty good for a home job, and that was from 1981

[Laura Leff] I was talking to the guys at the archive on Friday afternoon about arranging a pickup.

[Laura Leff] So back to basics...what else Benny-wise for discussion?

[KayLhota] Daniel really loved reading "The Jack Benny Show"

User yhtapmys has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] Hi Yht!

[KayLhota] Hi Yip

[yhtapmys] Hi al

[steve +shimp+] Oh, yht, you just missed the news!

[josef] hello yht

[Maxwell] We watched Comedy in Bloom last night on WTTW in Chicago. It happened to be on during the rain delay before the Sox game, so my son got to watch about the last half. It's on later, so he's recording it. He loved what he saw.

[KayLhota] HUGS to you Yip, for the Hans Conried radio interview link!

[yhtapmys] Sorry, Steve, I was at a benefit.

[Maxwell] Hey yht!

[Maxwell] That's the inevitable Hans Conried to you.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - That's great! You missed the discussion early on about getting kids into JB.

[KayLhota] Yes, Maxwell.

[yhtapmys] Kay, I found it by accident looking for something else so I thought I'd post it.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Feel free to fill him in.

[Maxwell] One thing that I think Carol Burnett said: his comedy really is timeless.

[josef] Laura, now I wish I came here early for that discussion

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Hans Conreid?

[Maxwell] Jack.

[Laura Leff] Josef - Sorry we missed you. It will be on the transcript, though.

[Maxwell] Hans is just inevitable.

[KayLhota] Yip, we were discussing my son Daniel, who has heard some Jack Benny shows

[steve +shimp+] Laura rocked the house -- the IJBFC will be funding digital transfers of 10 Jack Benny specials that haven't been seen in a really long time.

[josef] will look forward to reading it.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Better than being out of evitable.

[yhtapmys] Steve, you mean TV?

[KayLhota] and read "The Jack Benny Show" as a non-fiction book for his summer reading

[steve +shimp+] Yes.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Well, to be fair, some are in the library now. But now we should get good, first-gen transfers.

[KayLhota] he laughed all the way through the book

[Maxwell] Kay, how old is your son?

[Laura Leff] Kay - That's a fine review!   

[steve +shimp+] Right, and, as we were discussing, the fact that there will be good, modern elements of these is a real preservation milestone for these shows.

[KayLhota] 17 years old

[Laura Leff] Steve - Amen and amen...

[KayLhota] he was just over 10 when he first paid attention to a Jack Benny episode. It was "The Fiddler" from 1950

[Maxwell] Good for him. I got mine started when they were showing reruns of Jack's TV shows on what is now the family channel (back when Pat Robertson owned it).

[Laura Leff] This is what the profits from selling books and video library donations do...

[Laura Leff] I think Yht passed out.

[Laura Leff] Or he's doing a happy dance.

[steve +shimp+] Maybe both!

[Maxwell] We need a happy dance emoticon.

[KayLhota] We found the episode with the Bob Hope parody as discussed in the book

[yhtapmys] Well, I don't have a TV to watch them on.

[Frank J. Lhota] There's a lot of Jack Benny on YouTube

[Laura Leff] Hey, this might be an excuse to buy one.

[steve +shimp+] Toss them in your computer...

[KayLhota] I'd love to hear the Bob Hope parody of the Jack Benny show

[Laura Leff] Kay - Bob Hope parody or Jack's parody of Bob's show?

[Laura Leff] The one where Dennis fooled Jerry Colonna's family?

[KayLhota] We have Jack's parody of Bob, but Milt J. said that Bob Hope followed it with a Jack Benny parody

[yhtapmys] What I'd really like is a set of Benny shows from radio at the right speed from the transcription airchecks.

[steve +shimp+] I didn't know Hope did a parody of Jack's show.

[KayLhota] amen, Yip!

[Laura Leff] Kay - Aha, I'd forgotten that.

[Laura Leff] Yht - I know someone who took transfers from the discs. But that's a long story...they're sort of toxic now.

[yhtapmys] Yeah, Laura. That basement.  

[Laura Leff] Hopefully they'll be untoxic some time.

[KayLhota] toxic? How so?

[Laura Leff] Yht - Yup, that's it.

[Laura Leff] Yht - You tell about it.

[KayLhota] please?

[yhtapmys] I found out about it a few months ago when Laura brought it up here.

[Laura Leff] The discs are not toxic, the transfers are.

[josef] how'd that happen?

[KayLhota] yes, I'd like to hear this.

[Laura Leff] Trying to remember...there was some kind of underground explosion.

[Laura Leff] Basically...

[KayLhota] oh no

[josef] wow

[Laura Leff] someone with the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters took transfers from UCLA.

[steve +shimp+] No story that starts with an underground explosion has a good ending. Think RODAN

[yhtapmys] I gather the original discs are not accessible.  

[Laura Leff] Then they were in the PPB basement, and there was a nearby explosion.

[Laura Leff] Yht - They are, at UCLA. Just takes time to transfer.

[yhtapmys] OK

[yhtapmys] Probably a half hour for each show  

[Laura Leff] And Hazmat hasn't let anyone into the basement since then, because they're afraid that it may still be toxic.

[KayLhota] right, that is a lot of time

[Laura Leff] Yht - Yes, but you'd also have to jump through UCLA hoops, etc.

[yhtapmys] brb

User yhtapmys has logged out.

[Laura Leff] But I also recently heard that PPB is doing something with the 1000 Oaks library, so maybe there's updated news about getting to their collection.

[josef] that would be great

User yhtapmys has entered this room.

[KayLhota] this is all fascinating to me

[KayLhota] hi Yip

[Frank J. Lhota] Welcome back

[Laura Leff] I asked the guy who did the transfers about the possibility of getting copies, and that's how I found out this story.

[Laura Leff] I should probably read the OTR Digest more closely for details. If I only had time.

[yhtapmys] Sorry, had to log off to call up the show of the month.

[Laura Leff] Yht - The consensus says it's not worth it.

[steve +shimp+] You know, it is almost OK that these things might not get touched for a few years, audio restoration technology is growing by leaps and bounds so quickly.

[KayLhota] I don't think it wasn't worth it. it's just that I was poking around the website and found the link to Hans Conried.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Agreed.

[steve +shimp+] I just heard a sample of some Mercury Theater stuff that always sounded awful, it sounded practically live.

[KayLhota] His interview sort of beat out tonight's Jack Benny show

[yhtapmys] Yipe!

[Laura Leff] Maybe we can finally clean up the Deanna Durbin episode

[yhtapmys] I'm upstaging our chat!

[Laura Leff] Yht - You are?

[Laura Leff] How so?

[yhtapmys] Well, Kay thinks so  

[Laura Leff] OIC

[KayLhota] oh, it would be wonderful to hear some of those episodes with better speed and clarity

[Laura Leff] The Deanna Durbin is just particularly egregious and semi-unlistenable...

[KayLhota] the Deanna Durbin episode does sound pretty crunchy

[Laura Leff] Sounds like someone was having a bad day and keeps dragging their finger on the transcript

[KayLhota] the Basil Rathbone Halloween episode could be a lot better

[yhtapmys] Damned take-up reels.

[Laura Leff] Yht - I always envisioned it as someone jamming the turntable, but it could be a take up reel, now that you mention it.

[Maxwell] Not to mention the two partial Canada Dry shows.

User Brad has logged out.

[yhtapmys] No, Laura, that;s what it sounds like to me.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Yeah, maybe we can finally hear the lyrics to the theme song.

[ed] bye brad

[Maxwell] No kidding!

[KayLhota] I found the "Red Riding Hood" Orson Welles episode hiding in Archive.org

[Laura Leff] Kay - Do we have that one in MP3?

[yhtapmys] Too much tape on the take-up reel.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Yeah, I know what you mean.

[KayLhota] I don't know. You might, but I did not.

[yhtapmys] I've had that problem with old airchecks of mine.

[steve +shimp+] Ah, I remember the great "cow upon a tree" discussion...

[Laura Leff] So I'm hear tonigghggggggghtttt tooooooooo saaaaayyyyyyy thaaaaaa...

[Laura Leff] Steve -  

[Laura Leff] ROFLMAO

[KayLhota] one set of MP3's that I collected had it mis-filed

[steve +shimp+] I think most of us were convinced those were actually the words!

[KayLhota] it was a second copy of the deli episode with the songs cut

[Laura Leff] Steve - You know, I had no better input to offer on that one...

[Laura Leff] Now if we can find the Christmas episode with Kenny, Dennis, and Larry all singing together and no songs cut...

[KayLhota] another was the Red Riding Hood episode with Jack Benny and Georgie Jessel mis-filed

[Maxwell] One wonders why someone would cut out the songs...somebody must have hated tenors.

[yhtapmys] I'd like that, Laura/

[Laura Leff] Nah, didn't have the rights to broadcast the songs.

[Maxwell] (Thoughts passing through my mind of Billy Gilbert and pianos in the Music Box.)

[yhtapmys] I don't know if it was that, Laura.

[Maxwell] I hate simple explanations like that.

[KayLhota] Yes, Maxwell!

[yhtapmys] It's only recently they got picky about that kind of thing.

[Laura Leff] OK, I'm open to other explanations. I may be wrong.

[Laura Leff] It could be to save transcription space as well

[Maxwell] Billy Gilbert edited it?

[Laura Leff] But then they'd all be cut, like in the mid-30s.

[Laura Leff] Billy Connelly edited it?

[KayLhota] some of the musical commercials I hate to have missing because there is such solid stuff

[Laura Leff] Yht - So what's your thought?

[KayLhota] like Mel blanc doing his Jolson impression with the Quartet

[yhtapmys] Well, Laura, my guess is...

[Laura Leff] Kay - That's not cut, is it? I remember hearing it.

[KayLhota] it was cut on my copy, but mine are not yours

[Maxwell] I think of all the eidting that has been done, the most irritating to me is the editing of the Sportsmen's commercials. I always loved the Sportsmen, even when I was a kid watching the shows live.

[Laura Leff] Kay - I may have just imagined what it would be. But I think you've got 39 Forever, so you can see if I noted it.

[yhtapmys] A radio show here has been running OTR stuff for years.. they've cut shows to 25 minutes to fit them in.

[KayLhota] on the other hand, your MP3 with Jimmy stewart only runs 22 minutes and is missing a lot

[KayLhota] I have the entire show on audio tape

[Laura Leff] Kay - Cool!

[yhtapmys] So the cut the non-essential stuff like songs. And they can't run cigarette commercials so they cut those.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Charles Michaelson cut down the shows years ago for just that purpose. They may be using the same copies.

[yhtapmys] The few times I ran OTR on the air I had the actual transcriptions and just decided to run long.

[yhtapmys] Management wasn't happy the 4 am news got on late.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Like, the actual discs? You plugged a transcription player into a board?

[Maxwell] Like anybody listens to the 4 a.m. news.

[yhtapmys] We had a transcription turntable.

[yhtapmys] Max, *no one* listened to my show.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Wow. Impressive.

[yhtapmys] The studios were built in 1948.

[Laura Leff] I've got a transcription turntable, but most people don't.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Aha...that explains it.

[Laura Leff] (Not that I use it hardly ever...)

[steve +shimp+] How big are those transcription discs, I've never personally seen one.

[Laura Leff] Steve - 16" diameter.

[yhtapmys] We had two discs of the Dennis Day Show.

[KayLhota] we have an LP turntable, but that's as far as it goes.

[yhtapmys] I recorded them on reel.

[ed] do you have glass or oil discs LL?

[steve +shimp+] Wow.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Wax. And some AFRS vinyl.

[yhtapmys] But the tape up reel slowed down the last few minutes,

[yhtapmys] Hence my comment earlier.

[Maxwell] yht Are those the ones that ran from the center out? Or am I thinking of something else?

[yhtapmys] No, Max, they played like 33s.

[yhtapmys] Except they were at 16.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Really? My transcripts play inside out

[Maxwell] Okay...I think I'm thinking of something from the 30s.

Maxwell remembers phonographs that played 16 2/3.

[KayLhota] that may be why they sound scratchy at the beginning of the disc

[yhtapmys] No, Laura, they played like LPs.

[Laura Leff] My transcripts are mostly movie soundtracks.

[yhtapmys] Kay, it's because you have to cue them at the beginning.

[KayLhota] sure.

[yhtapmys] Cuing scratches the vinyl.

[ed] right

[yhtapmys] Nobody in radio knows this now; it's all on computer.

[Laura Leff] They played inside out because when the lathe was cutting, it wanted to push the chip (wax cut material) to the outside rather than building up in the middle.

[Laura Leff] But I know there were transcripts that went the other way too.

[steve +shimp+] I seem to have seen some film somewhere of someone with a little brush, brushing that chip off the disc.

[Maxwell] Laura, I ran across some transcriptions for syndication on the Dismuke site a long time ago, some stuff put out by Philco, I think. I think it said those were cut inside out.

[Laura Leff] Chip is really, really flammable.

[yhtapmys] I just wish I had taken the damned transcriptions. They had been sitting in storage for 25 years doing nothing.

[Laura Leff] Max - Yes, I'm not up to speed on who decided in or out, or when it switched.

[Maxwell] Those transcriptions were from the early '30sm, iirc.

[Laura Leff] My movie stuff is all 1928-1932.

[Maxwell] The main inside out discs I'm aware of though are the Vitaphones.

[KayLhota] what were they transcriptions of?

[Laura Leff] Of course, by that time they were switching over to sound on the side of the film.

[yhtapmys] Kay, we had piles of stuff. Amongst them were some radio shows of the early-mid 50s the station ran.

[Maxwell] The sad part about the movie discs is that there are some discs with no film and some film with no discs.

[steve +shimp+] Wow, '32 is late for sound on disc, isn't it?

[Laura Leff] Too "Singin' in the Rain" to try and sync a disc and film.

[yhtapmys] I never went through the whole library.

[KayLhota] it breaks my heart to think of those discs getting junked.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Jack's first film is like that. One disc (but there were more) and no film.

[yhtapmys] Steve, I think that's about the time it was phased out.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yeah, I haven't looked at them in years, but I know that's approximately right.

[yhtapmys] Kay, no.. the *owner* took them .. and all the 78s.

[yhtapmys] Before he sold the station.

[Laura Leff] Understandable.

[KayLhota] well, some day they need to be organized and who knows? There may be some missing show fill ins

[yhtapmys] I was 18. I wish I had known the music then.  

[Laura Leff] I ripped off some easy listening reels when a radio station was moving over to "adult contemporary"

[Laura Leff] Frank Chacksfield, anyone?

[Maxwell] No thanks.

[Laura Leff] Living Strings?

[Laura Leff] 101 Strings?

[Laura Leff] Mantovani?

[ed] straus?

[Laura Leff] Feelings...wo wo wo wo...Feelings...

[steve +shimp+] I'll take that stuff over "smooth jazz" or "lite rock" actually!

[KayLhota] when I was about 18 or 19, my parents transferred their 78's to reel to reel, then made a cassette of the reel to reel tape

[Maxwell] Percy Faith?

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Yeah!

[Maxwell] I'd take a root canal over Smooth Jazz.

[ed] david rose

[KayLhota] the cassette got ground up in their car tape player

[yhtapmys] Laura, I'm lucky I never had to work at that kind of format.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Him too. But no "Stripper"

[steve +shimp+] Sometimes they play smooth jazz while I'm getting root canals. Double whammy.

[Maxwell] OUCH!

[Laura Leff] Yht - I did right at the end of easy listening.

[Laura Leff] Circa 1989.

[Maxwell] Kenny G and a root canal...the worst of both worlds.

[yhtapmys] Steve .. smooth jazz is neither smooth nor jazz  

[steve +shimp+] Pretty much!

[Laura Leff] Smooth jazz is boring.

[KayLhota] I'd love to hear the reel to reel tape, because I did some DJing, and I want to hear my voice

[josef] I think so

[steve +shimp+] It's worse than boring, it's actually grating to my ears. I have alto sax angst.

[KayLhota] saying things like "Lassus Trombone, Spike Jones and his Other Orchestra

[Laura Leff] Bring on Dizzy Gillespie or Count Basie or John Coltrane.

[yhtapmys] or Phil Harris  


[Laura Leff] That's smooth jazz.

[ed] most of if not all my shows are on cassette

[Laura Leff] April in Paris

[Maxwell] Daaaa da da da. Da da da da daaaaaaa da da da....

[Maxwell] (Into to April in Paris)

[ed] 2500+ shows i 8-track

[Laura Leff] Whoa

[Laura Leff] Dang

[Laura Leff] Crunching sound = death

[Laura Leff] Why 8-track?

[Maxwell] It seemed like a good idea at the time?

[Laura Leff] Of course, I got my first Benny radio shows on 8-track

[ed] one episode of have gun will travel

[yhtapmys] Laura, I have a question about tonight's show.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - I was really, really, really drunk and converted 2500 shows to 8-track one night...

[Maxwell] With John Dehner?

[ed] said 1950 but was aired in 1960

[Laura Leff] Yht - Go for it

[ed] yes

[Maxwell] Yeah HGWT was pretty late in network radio.

[yhtapmys] In the singing portion, when Andy Devine is about to sing with Mary,

[yhtapmys] Jack says "Hit it, Kenny."

[yhtapmys] He can't be referring to Kenny Baker,

[yhtapmys] Because a piano fires up.

[yhtapmys] Who is he talking about>

[yhtapmys] ?

[Maxwell] I was wondering about that myself.

[Laura Leff] Let me call it up...

[josef] I really didn't notice that.

[yhtapmys] 23:15

[yhtapmys] Wasn't Sammy Weiss the piano player?

[Laura Leff] Drummer

[Laura Leff] Charlie Bagby was piano

[yhtapmys] OK.

[yhtapmys] I get them mixed up.

[Laura Leff] Jack asks who plays the piano, and Kenny says he does.

[Laura Leff] That's why "Hit it Kenny"

[Maxwell] Ah...

[KayLhota] oh

[josef] gotcha

[yhtapmys] OK.

[yhtapmys] Makes sense now.

[KayLhota] yes

[ed] i have on dvd where jack has fred mcmurray and others for a night of music

[Laura Leff] Thanks for the easy question.   

[KayLhota] oh that jam session is wonderful

[yhtapmys] Now, if Mary would stop singing through her nose.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Jam session

[ed] right

[Maxwell] ed I have that, too...Kirk Douglas playing Bye Bye Blues on banjo.

[ed] funny stuff

[josef] I have that one as well, enjoyed it very much

[Laura Leff] Someone pointed out that it seems funny that Jack answers the door and says every time, "Why it's SO-N-SO!"

[KayLhota] well, she paid for that nose, she may have been getting her money's worth!

[Laura Leff] Like he doesn't know them.

[Maxwell] LL Left over from radio?

[Laura Leff] Kay - She hadn't paid for it yet in 1938

[KayLhota] not yet?

[ed] i like that all the food is in coin machinews

[yhtapmys] Laura, Dean Martin did it on the Golddiggers.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - I think it's because TV was small screen or grainy, and you couldn't necessarily tell who it was.

[ed] machines*

[yhtapmys] Carroll Carroll wrote for him.

[Laura Leff] Same basic reason J-E-LL-OOOOOO is sung really, really slowly in the mid-1930s.

[Laura Leff] Kay - I think she did it about 1940.

[yhtapmys] Yeah, Laura, the crappy reception then.

[Maxwell] I don't remember the live shows being all that grainy.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Sort of precursor of Jack's party at the Automat.

[Maxwell] Kinescopes were.

[ed] yes

[steve +shimp+] That "why it's so-and-so" is also an audience applause cue.

[Maxwell] But then again, I was used to it.

[KayLhota] I thought it was earlier. She looked good in the 1930's

[Laura Leff] Kay - I don't think so. But I'd have to look it up to be sure.

[Laura Leff] She's got the old nose in 1937 in "This Way Please".

[Laura Leff] BRB

[KayLhota] I've never seen that.

[Maxwell] We lived 60 miles from Chicago. My dad had an antenna on top of a utility pole he had put in the back of the house, but the picture was usually pretty good.

[KayLhota] We lived in Park Ridge IL until 1966. We had a huge antenna. A Whalebone.

[yhtapmys] What? Mary had a nose job>

[yhtapmys] ?

[Maxwell] We were down around Kankakee.

[KayLhota] When we moved east to Waltham, MA, even the whalebone brought a ghostie picture

[Maxwell] Only station we had trouble getting was WTTW.

[Maxwell] They had too weak a transmitter.

[ed] those great chicago stations in the 60's wgn-wmaq etc

[josef] yht, yeah, back in the late 30s, early 40s.

[ed] their tv counter parts

[yhtapmys] I didn't realise it happened back then.

[KayLhota] I remember watching them in the 60's

[Laura Leff] Yht - Yup.

[Maxwell] WBBM, WNBQ (now WMAQ), WBKB (now WLS), WGN, WTTW.

[josef] probably nolt as much as it happens today

[ed] right

[yhtapmys] She's on radio. Who'd notice?

[Laura Leff] Yht - Back to wanting to be "one of the beautiful people"

[josef] yep

[Laura Leff] So no more rabbit ears when TV goes digital next year.

[Laura Leff] Not that we have to on our current set...

[Maxwell] You can have the rabbit ears as long as you have the box.

[ed] cable and a cheap vcr for me

[Laura Leff] It's just really cool to turn on an old radio and hear a broadcast through it.

[steve +shimp+] Joan had a cute anecdote about Mary's nose job, saying she'd hold the handkerchief too low when she'd sneeze, "I have to keep reminding myself it's up here now".

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Will that work? Can you still get the signal through an antenna?

[Maxwell] I have no idea.

[Maxwell] But you can keep the rabbit ears.

[ed] i have reproduction radios and the tap0es sound great through them

User Frank J. Lhota has logged out.

[Laura Leff] We have three rabbits, so we'll keep them ears and all.

[Maxwell] You need something to pick up the signal.

[josef] Laura, I agree. My father had my great-grandfather's old 1937 radio refurbished to its original looks, etc. It's great listening to it.

[ed] tapes*

[KayLhota] Frank got frozen

[Laura Leff] Josef - There's something really warm about the tone

[yhtapmys] Tubes

[Laura Leff] Kay - Is he an ice cream clone?

User Frank J. Lhota has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] Wood case.

[yhtapmys] No, Laura, it's the tubes.

[josef] I think so. I also love the fact my dad can pick up German radio, BBC, etc.

[KayLhota] Frank, are you an icre cream clone?

[Frank J. Lhota] Good night folks.

[Maxwell] Wood resonates.

[yhtapmys] We had an election broadcast one night.

[Maxwell] Good night Frank.

[Laura Leff] Yht - Did Harding win?

[yhtapmys] And we had two remote boards.

[KayLhota] I'll join you shortly, Frank.

User Frank J. Lhota has logged out.

[yhtapmys] One was an old tube board and the other was transistor,

[yhtapmys] The tube board sounded great. The other sounded flat.

[Laura Leff] There you go.

[Maxwell] The cabinet helps, though, too.

[Laura Leff] Tubes rule.

[Maxwell] Wood resonates better than plastic.

[yhtapmys] Geez, Laura, I'd done so many election nights, I can't remember which one.

[josef] I think so.

[yhtapmys] It wasn't Harding  

[Laura Leff] Yeah, my father soldered a lead on a 1932 Philco for me

[yhtapmys] I'm working election night up here in October.

[Laura Leff] and I'd use it when giving talks. Play the cassette player through it.

[Laura Leff] So no tubes but wood, and it sounded nice.

[ed] i bought a '46 philco for $20 bucks

[KayLhota] I've seen a lot of people do that with old radios.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Good deal

[ed] works like a charm

[Maxwell] It's Philco Radio Time.

[josef] nice

[ed] and looks like one too

[Laura Leff] Well, it's been a good time tonight...thanks for making it a really solid chat!

[Laura Leff] Any requests for the November show?

[KayLhota] I've also seen old TV's with a new TV inside of it.

[Maxwell] Thanksgiving...

[ed] ball game 4-4 in the 7th

[KayLhota] Yes, 1953 with Mel wanting to be a man

[steve +shimp+] Should we do that surreal turkey trial episode?

[Laura Leff] Woo hoo

[josef] Kay, great episode

[KayLhota] the turkey trial is good

[Laura Leff] Turkey trial or Jack dreams he's a turkey?

[Laura Leff] Or 1953 with Mel?

[KayLhota] Frank hasn't ever heard the turkey trial

[yhtapmys] Bea Benedaret as Tallulah Turkey!

[Laura Leff] OK, turkey trial.

[steve +shimp+] Turkey trial!

[Maxwell] Cool!

[josef] I can go with the Turkey trial

[ed] what a great actress

[KayLhota] I love the 1953 show. Maybe next year.

[Laura Leff] Or maybe for December

[steve +shimp+] What's the airdate on that Kay?

[Maxwell] December should always be Mel committing suicide.

[Laura Leff] Anyone know the year on the trial right off?

[Laura Leff] 1947?

[KayLhota] 1953? I have to look it up

[Laura Leff] Poor Mel

[Laura Leff] Yeah, same here.

[Laura Leff] OK, I'll look it up.

[steve +shimp+] Yeah, not sure on the trial. '47 sounds about right.

[Laura Leff] Thanks again, and I'll talk with you in November!

[Maxwell] I just saw it, so my guess is around '47.

[KayLhota] what would we do without vols 1 and 2?

[Laura Leff]  

[Maxwell] (Going through Vol. 2 again)

[steve +shimp+] OK, good night Laura and all, I am out of here too. Talk to you next month.

[Laura Leff] Maybe I'll hang a minute and let you find it for me

[yhtapmys] Nov. 30.

[Maxwell] LL Do you still have some copies of Vol. 2?

[Laura Leff] Yht - 11/30/47?

User steve +shimp+ has logged out.

[josef] Okay, good night everyone.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Sure, plenty

[ed] bye josef

[Maxwell] Cool. I think I'll order one with a cover for my wife to give me for Christmas.

[josef] bye

[KayLhota] 113047!

[yhtapmys] Yes.

[Laura Leff] Woo hoo!

[yhtapmys] One of my favourites.

[KayLhota] yes

[Laura Leff] OK, thanks again and have a great month!

[KayLhota] thanks so much

[yhtapmys] Frank Nelson's great.

[Maxwell] So long!