IJBFC Chat - January 9, 2009
(Name of message originator in  brackets at the beginning of each line)
[KayLhota] Hi Laura
[Maxwell] Hey Laura
[Laura Leff] HI folks
[steve ^shimp^] Hi Laura!
[Brad from Georgia] BTW, the very first time I
drove a Prius, it was a rental in L.A.--and we were late to a dinner date with
Eddie and Carolyn Carroll because I couldn't figure out how to start it!
[Brad from Georgia] Hi, Laura!
[steve ^shimp^] I'd have no idea... use the
[KayLhota] how did you finally start it?
[Laura Leff] How do you start it?
[Maxwell] Jump start?
[Laura Leff] With a kiss?
[Laura Leff] BRB
[Brad from Georgia] You put a computer chip, not
a key, into a slot. You depress the brake pedal (I tell it "Brake pedals
will no longer exist in ten years"). You press the START button. And wait
until the READY light comes on.
To drive an electric car, you first need to charge for few hours. To drive a
Stanley Steamer, do you first need to boil a lot of water?
[steve ^shimp^] Yep, I'd still be parallel parked
with no hope for escape.
[Brad from Georgia] You get used to it. I called
Eddie and told him we were going to be late and told him why. He laughed and
said as Jack Benny, "Now, it's SUPPOSED to conserve gas, but NOT by sitting
in the PARKING lot!"
[Maxwell] Each Stanley Steamer comes with a tea kettle.
[KayLhota] a car like that ought to come with clear start
[Maxwell] Kay, you're forgetting one thing....
[Maxwell] Guys don't read instructions.
[Brad from Georgia] Well...Barbara said we cold
ask the people in the rental agency...but I'm a guy.
[steve ^shimp^] Maxwell.
[steve ^shimp^] True.
[Maxwell] Nor do they ask for them.
[KayLhota] oh, and they don't ask for directions, either
[Maxwell] "I'm a guy. I know how to do these things, even
if I don't."
[Brad from Georgia] Barbara actually read the
manual and we finally got it started. Thing is, it starts in electric mode--no
engine noise at all--so it seems like a poltergeist is pushing it or something.
[Laura Leff] Kind of reminds me of the bit that Carson excerpted
with Rochester driving and still being in the garage
I think we should switch to nuclear cars. Then everyone would
<b>really</b> try hard to avoid accidents.
[steve ^shimp^] I think they should bring back
the cranks, for the front.
[Laura Leff] Frank - The Pinto didn't stop them, though.
[Brad from Georgia] LL--I felt a deep kinship to
Roch while listening to the Carson thesis.
[KayLhota] Frank and I will get lost, and I will beg him to ask
at a gas station, and he sends me to talk to them. So, he's the one that needs
to know! I can't even see the signs in the back seat!
[Brad from Georgia] Barbara says my car has a
crank behind the wheel.
[steve ^shimp^] I also think a lot of cell-phone
accidents could be solved by requiring all cell phones be made as
[Maxwell] Kay, they haven't known how to give directions at gas
stations for 20 years at least.
[Laura Leff] candlestick models?
[steve ^shimp^] two hands required!
[KayLhota] Oh, well. Max.
[Laura Leff] I got lost getting back to the Burbank airport a
couple weeks ago...had to stop and ask at a Subway shop.
[Brad from Georgia] Last time I got lost in
Georgia, I stopped at a gas station and asked, "How do you get to
Winder?" The guy said, "This is Shake Rag, son. We don't know."
[Maxwell] I'm surprised he didn't say, "You can't get there
[Brad from Georgia] Nope, they's dumb in Shake
Rag an' mighty proud of it.
[Laura Leff] Nothing like maintainin'.
[Laura Leff] I saw a sign over the road that said something
about "No texting while driving 1/1/09"
[Maxwell] Good law!
[Laura Leff] So apparently an action requiring two hands doesn't
slow people down from doing while driving.
[Brad from Georgia] Once a Yankee lady in a
convenience store tapped me on the shoulder and said very distinctly, "At
home we have a CANDY BAR called THREE MUSKETEERS. Do you have them here?" I
said, "Yes'm, but we calls 'em the THREE GOOD OLE BOYS."
[steve ^shimp^] New California law...
[KayLhota] I can't think of anything sillier or more dangerous
than driving and texting
[Laura Leff] In LA, they call it "Manny, Moe and Jack"
[steve ^shimp^] Though you'd think you could
cover that with reckless or distracted driving statutes already
[Maxwell] LL, My son steers with his knees.
[Brad from Georgia] I got Barbara a Bluetooth
speaker phone for her car. Neither of us can text, so that doesn't matter to us.
Speaking of "Shake Rag", there's a town in Michigan named "Bad
Axe". Careful how you pronounce it.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - I've got a guy who works for me who does
[Laura Leff] There's also a town called "Hell", and
another called "Climax"
[Laura Leff] Both in Michigan
[Maxwell] I've been to Hell.
[KayLhota] and back
[steve ^shimp^] Yep, me too!
... and back.
ed has entered this room.
[steve ^shimp^] Hi Ed.
[Laura Leff] Hi Ed!
[Maxwell] We stopped there on the way home from Detroit.
[Brad from Georgia] So...I enjoyed the offbeat
listening selection for this week. LL--In our state there's Dime Box, Ballground,
[KayLhota] Hi Ed
[Laura Leff] Was it frozen over?
[Maxwell] Took a picture of the sign.
Mike Amo has entered this room.
[Brad from Georgia] Also Buford, which is not
spelled Beaufort, as it is in S.C.
[KayLhota] Hi Mike
hi guys from cold springfield illinois
[Laura Leff] Mike Amo! Welcome back!
[Brad from Georgia] Mike!
[Mike Amo] Jello folks!
[Brad from Georgia] Ed~
[steve ^shimp^] Hi Mike
[Brad from Georgia] Ed!
Yes, the newspapers used to joking report the first day that "Hell"
froze over for the year.
Hi ed from colder Joliet.
[Brad from Georgia] My fingers is too big fo'
thishyear lil' ole laptop keybaord.
[Mike Amo] ty, LL...and yet, Hello, I must be going...just got
my friend back from the airport and need to get her to her building next door,
back soon, whee!
[Brad from Georgia] Keyboard. I can't even spell
[Laura Leff] So to at least start on topic...
[Laura Leff] OK, c ya l8r Mike!
have you all seen the article about the classic TV stamps in august 2009
[Maxwell] We're already off topic.
Getting back to the disertation, has anyone heard Johnny Carson be so scholarly
[Laura Leff] Ed - Yeah, how bout that.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Well, I figured I could chalk it up to
not starting yet.
i will be the first in line
[Brad from Georgia] It's obvious that Johnny was
a huge Benny fan from the selections. Even young, he sounded like himself--you
know what I mean--and he did sound very scholarly.
[Laura Leff] I have to wonder if the Benny 39-cent stamp
campaign may have inspired it in part.
[KayLhota] when was this recorded?
[steve ^shimp^] The whole point of the thesis is
almost to prove that Jack's show is the best comedy out there - a hybrid of the
gag/sitcom formats he discusses.
[Laura Leff] Isn't there a date on the University of Nebraska
i hope it inspired it LL
[steve ^shimp^] I think 1949. Johnny would have
It's interesting to think of how much Carson said applies to TV writing. A lot
of it applies, but TV writing adds a few twists.
[Brad from Georgia] It's odd that he seems to be
"teaching" radio writing, yet the main interest isn't in his
enumeration of such things as running gag, change in vocal inflection, etc., but
in the "quoted" material.
[Laura Leff] A lot of the mechanics of it have been lost over
the years...how many lines to use to build a straight line, the maximum words,
[Laura Leff] Well, it makes you listen to the clips and think
about them in a different way.
[Maxwell] I was kind of surprised that in the last three
examples he didn't enumerate what was used after each of them.
[Brad from Georgia] Listening to Jack's shows
against the others, I was struck with the fact that Jack was a minimalist, way
ahead of the curve.
[Maxwell] Did anybody find the Berle clip completely unfunny?
[steve ^shimp^] I wonder if there were a few
damaged portions of the tape, there are some odd silences/splices toward the
end, and the whole second half very warbly.
[Laura Leff] There's a story in the next Times about them
writing a 20-minute script for an hour show, and Jack arguing with the director
that it wouldn't run short.
[Brad from Georgia] There's a terrific economy of
comedy (ecomedy, we call it) with Jack--he makes three or four words serve where
Berle or even Allen would use three or four sentences.
Yeah, that was Berle trying too hard.
[Laura Leff] Yes, I think the tape was crunched or lost in
[Laura Leff] But that was also Berle's style.
[Maxwell] Didn't somebody say last month that it was a wire
[Laura Leff] My favorite line of his was, "I really need
you tonight, my mother has laryngitis!"
[Laura Leff] It sounds like reel-to-reel to me.
Laura i got permission from AP to run the article in my next club newsletter
about the stamps
[steve ^shimp^] Not sure if it is a wire
recording or not, I might have said that as a bad assumption.
[KayLhota] wire makes more sense given the year. Perhaps it was
copied onto tape and then damaged.
[Laura Leff] You can hear some bleedthrough of something else
recorded at a slower speed in the start.
[Brad from Georgia] Berle starts out by
announcing the "death of a comedian" as the theme of the evening.
That's a self-deprecation a bit in the Benny style, but too brash ever to have
been used by Benny.
[Laura Leff] Ed - Great!
yep can't wait
[Laura Leff] Kay - Yes, you're right. i think AMPEX released
tape in 1947.
[Brad from Georgia] BTW, Jack and Mary got
hitched on January 14. Their anniversary is coming up.
[Laura Leff] So...how did Carson get the clips?
[Laura Leff] Brad - Good point...let's see...82 years!
[KayLhota] home wire recording, possibly
[Brad from Georgia] He snuck into CBS armed with
a pair of scissors.
[Maxwell] Maybe air checks?
[Brad from Georgia] Gee, that's, let's see...the
paper and tinsel anniversary.
[Laura Leff] Kay - I wondered about that, or possibly Recordio
discs, but the quality was too good.
[Brad from Georgia] This year they get the
wrapping. Next year, the box.
[steve ^shimp^] Anyone backtrack the dates of the
Benny clips he used?
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Doubtful with him being in Nebraska and
not near either coast.
[steve ^shimp^] Were they from around the same
[Brad from Georgia] I wonder if Carson recorded
directly off the air?
[Laura Leff] Steve - Not here. Thought about it though...was
hoping someone else would.
[Laura Leff] Brad - That's all I can figure.
the point is that these are clips so he must have had some way to edit the sound
Assembling the clips used back then was far more difficult back then, without
the benefit of the internet.
[steve ^shimp^] If he had a tape recording
capability, he could have been just taping things to use in anticipation of the
[steve ^shimp^] Off air seems reasonable.
[Laura Leff] I don't know how widely-available home tape
equipment would have been then.
[steve ^shimp^] But, he recorded the thesis
itself, so he had access to something!
[KayLhota] it did exist, but I don't know how much
[Maxwell] He might have checked out a tape recorder from the
[KayLhota] my Mom's first home recorder was wire
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Maybe, but I don't know that they were
very portable at that time.
[KayLhota] Max, that's also plausible
[Brad from Georgia] It would have been expensive.
Wollensak was selling reel-to-reel recorders in the fifties, don't know about
[Laura Leff] I wonder if the University might have had an
in-house studio for recording.
[KayLhota] But a school university could have had them
[Maxwell] LL I don't know either. The earliest tape recorders I
remember were old Wollensaks from the late '50s or so.
[Brad from Georgia] Well, there were also
Dictaphone recorders, but the ones I've heard had lousy fidelity.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Exactly...I was thinking that as well.
[Laura Leff] Brad - That's why I mentally ruled out Recordio
discs for the same reason.
max were they reel to reel?
[Brad from Georgia] Dictaphones recorded on
[Maxwell] ed Yup.
[Laura Leff] I don't think I've heard a single Recordio disc
that doesn't sound like whatever was being recorded was across the room.
[KayLhota] My Mom had a tape recorder by the early 1950's. My
Aunt Poppy had tapes of them joking around from their apartment.
[Brad from Georgia] Sort of flexible, wide
cylinders, like the old Edison phonographs, but plastic.
[Laura Leff] I had a shot at getting one of those on auction
maybe 25+ years ago, but passed on it for some reason.
[Brad from Georgia] I remember a friend of mine
getting a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder back in the sixties. We did our
own radio shows on it. I hope all those tapes have crumbled into dust by now.
In the early 80's, the music video for Devo's "Beautiful World" used
lots of archival footage. Putting it together involved flying out to a film
archive and spending several weeks looking at footage in a movieola.
[Laura Leff] My family had a hi-fi purchased in 1967 that had a
RTR recorder built into it. But that far postdates this.
[Maxwell] I just remembered our music teacher bringing in a
portable tape recorder when I was in second grade to record us singing...That
would have been 1957 or '58.
brad do you remeber what shows you did?
Nowadays, such a video would be done by looking at the Preminger collection at http://archive.org
did you write your own
[Laura Leff] He wouldn't have been able to edit it together so
cleanly with wire.
[KayLhota] My Mom's apartment period would have been between
1950 and 1952
[KayLhota] She audio taped the Noel Coward and Mary Martin TV
special in 1956
[Brad from Georgia] I remember one was "The
Farm Report. We wrote our own, and they were awful. Joke: "Slim, Mr. Hank
Buber wants to know about irrigated crops." "Wal, Bob, ef I wuz him,
I'd maybe play 'em some soft music, calm 'em down--" "IRRIGATED, not
[Brad from Georgia] "Ah shore am."
[Laura Leff] Heck, that kind of home off-air recording is what
saved a lot of the early Doctor Whos!
So basically when reel to reel and cassette tape was invented, home recording
[Laura Leff] Yeah, maybe those should go to dust.
[Laura Leff] (Brad's jokes, not Doctor Who)
[KayLhota] ouch, Frank
[Brad from Georgia] Yep, I hope so!
[Laura Leff] You could have written for Judy Canova.
[Maxwell] LL I was wondering for a second....
i remember my first tape recorder a built in microphone tape recorder in 1973
[Laura Leff] Ed - Cassette?
[Brad from Georgia] We also did a blow-by-blow
"Wrasslin' Show," making our own sound effects by thumping on a
cardbord box. Basically, our two wrestlers were both overwhelmed when the
audience burst into the ring and thrashed them.
[Maxwell] I got my first, a portable cassette, in '68.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - OK
[KayLhota] !My brother got a small portable reel to reel in
1968, and I got my first cassette recorder in 1970
i used it just like brad and recorded a little script with some classmates and
sound effects in 6th grade
[Brad from Georgia] The only bit I wish I still
had was our play-by-play and color commentary on a symphony orchestra performing
a symphony (one of my friend's mom's records). We anticipated Peter Schickele by
twenty years or so!
[Laura Leff] The first Doctor Whos were in 1963 and I know some
kids were recording those onto cassette supposedly, so it must go back that far.
cant remember the script but did well in the classs
[Laura Leff] Brad - Sort of like Mystery Science Music Hall
[KayLhota] I never saw a cassette recorder until 1968
[Maxwell] Kay Ditto
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - You said you were wondering about
something...did I lose the thread?
[steve ^shimp^] Just looked up some airdates and
two of the shows Johnny used were 4/24 and 5/1 1949 - Senior thesis due in the
[Laura Leff] Probably
[steve ^shimp^] That they're back to back, makes
me think they might have been taken off air somehow.
[Brad from Georgia] Ah-hah! He probably stayed up
all night the night before it was due!
[KayLhota] probably by home recording
[Maxwell] LL about what should go to dust.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Brad's jokes about crops.
[Laura Leff] Crop dusting
[Brad from Georgia] Yeah, they were croppy jokes.
[Maxwell] Right. I typed that after you explained.
[Laura Leff] Sow anyhow
[KayLhota] recorded the show first, and analysed the style of
comedy as he went along?
[Brad from Georgia] Farm jokes, LL?
[Laura Leff] Kay - Or looked for something to prove a point he
wanted to make
[Laura Leff] Brad - Just horsing around
[Brad from Georgia] Udderly ridiculous.
Speaking of early recording methods, I guess one great mystery will remain
unsolved: why are the holes in 45's bigger than the holes in LP's?
[Brad from Georgia] Oh, wait, that's a cow.
[steve ^shimp^] Right, his points are broad
enough you could find examples in any Benny show.
the pig said oink...
[Laura Leff] Frank - There's a reason for that, but I can't
[Brad from Georgia] Well, Frank, LP's are .33
caliber, and .45's are .45 cali er.
[Brad from Georgia] Where'd my b go?
[Laura Leff] In your bonnet
[Laura Leff] Oh, now you've got me started on puns...I'm so
[Maxwell] Did Berle simulcast his TV show on radio?
The pig doen't say "Oink" unless it's in the script!
now pony up to the bar
[Brad from Georgia] With all the flares upon it,
I'll be the hottest fella in the Easter parade.
[Maxwell] Or did he have a separate radio show sponsored by
[Laura Leff] There are some 78s that have holes of various
sizes. They were trying to get you to buy players from the given company so you
could play their records.
[steve ^shimp^] I dunno Max.
[Maxwell] Or did Carson record off the air from TV in Nebraska?
[Brad from Georgia] Berle went way, way back in
show biz. Didn't he start when he was like three years old?
[Brad from Georgia] I think he stole jokes from
Baby Snooks back then....
[KayLhota] I would assume that he did, MAx.
[Maxwell] He's Buster Brown in the shoes.
[Maxwell] He modeled for it.
[Laura Leff] Brad - Yes, I think you're right.
here's his dog tige he live's in there too
[Laura Leff] I think he stole jokes from Edmund Kean...
[Brad from Georgia] Buster Brown's dog Tige used
to scare the bejeebers out of me. He had the face of a fiend from Hell.
[Maxwell] And still does.
[Brad from Georgia] LL--I'm sure Eddie Carroll's
told you his "Berle as a joke thief" shory.
[Laura Leff] Brad - You should have seen San Francisco's
[Laura Leff] Brad - Remind me.
[Laura Leff] Sal
[Maxwell] Been drinking, Brad?
[steve ^shimp^] Laughing Sal's still there at the
[Laura Leff] Sall Mall
[Laura Leff] Steve - She sure is. Still laughing!
pell mell or pall mall
[steve ^shimp^] I have one of their CDs that
[Laura Leff] Ring the ball for Pall Mall
[steve ^shimp^] Good to terrify the neighbors
[Maxwell] A sign of age is when you know Pall Mall is pronounced
[Brad from Georgia] Eddie had been invited to the
Friar's Club and did a little Benny schtick. Berle liked it and asked Eddie to
have a drink with him. He said, "Ya know, kid, people always accused me of
stealing gags...and I did.
[Brad from Georgia] "But I never stole a
joke from Benny."
[Laura Leff] Or Stuart Canin used to be pronounced Cannon.
[Brad from Georgia] And Eddie said, as Jack,
"I don't know why. I mean 'Well' and 'Gee' aren't THAT hard to
[Laura Leff] Oh right, how can you steal "Well!"
[Maxwell] Jack did do a lot of reacting.
[Brad from Georgia] I think I heard a slightly
different version, LL! I love showbiz stories. Evolution in action.
[Laura Leff] Jack's character is the very essence of Carson's
point about getting sympathy by being the butt of the joke.
i've been listening to a 12/4/49 show with tyrone power in it how many shows
does Ty show up in
[Laura Leff] Ed - Benny shows?
[Brad from Georgia] LL--Yep, and as Berle
demonstrated, that kind of sympathy can't be manufactured, it has to be built up
[Laura Leff] I'd have to grab 39 Forever...anyone have it
handier than I do (across the room)?
[Maxwell] Berle got his sympathy by being a transvestite.
[KayLhota] mine is in the other room
[Maxwell] So is mine.
[Brad from Georgia] Mine are stacked up on the
shelf next to the bed. I'll have to put down my laptop.
[steve ^shimp^] Just the one episode in Vol. 2 ,
don't have vol 1. here.
[KayLhota] okay, so who is going to get theirs?
(waiting for Kay ...)
take your time guys and thanx for the info
[Maxwell] I've been going through Vol. 1 and I'm up to March or
April 1940, and no Tyrone Power yet.
[steve ^shimp^] check the index max!
[Brad from Georgia] Got it. Let's see.
(... and she's back with both volumes!)
[Maxwell] The book is still across the hall.
[Maxwell] I like re-reading it.
[Laura Leff] I don't think Power was on that early.
[Maxwell] So that would make one total appearance.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Go to the guest star index
[KayLhota] I couldn't find Tyrone Power in Volume 2
[Maxwell] The book is still across the hall.
[Brad from Georgia] 12/4/49 is all, according to
[Laura Leff] Love the fact that everyone seems to have it...what
a great bunch
[Laura Leff] I don't remember him being on more than once.
[Maxwell] We're loyal fans of Jack and the IJBFC.
[Laura Leff] Woo hoo!
thanx for the info...
[Brad from Georgia] Not in Vol 1 at all.
[KayLhota] The index didn't have Tyrone Power, but he did do the
show on 12-04-49
[Maxwell] Time to do a revised edition!
[Laura Leff] Yeah, Jack doesn't have nearly as many guest stars
before Grape Nuts
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Why?
[Brad from Georgia] Mine has Ty in the index,
Kay, and the 12-4-49 show is the only one.
[Laura Leff] I've still got Volumes 3 and 4 in store.
[KayLhota] oops, wrong index-- he did do the one show
[Maxwell] Never mind. Somebody must have missed Ty in the index.
[Maxwell] Make that somebody owe won't say who, Kay) missed it
in the index.
[Laura Leff] Thanks for the help, folks!
[Maxwell] o = (
[Maxwell] Make that owe = (we
[KayLhota] hey, it could have been my mistake. I looked in what
I thought was the right index, and found another
[Laura Leff] I find it interesting that with his devotion to
Jack, Carson doesn't talk about the use of silence and timing in comedy.
[Maxwell] Brad, did you just lend me your laptop orsomething?
[Laura Leff] Too many indeces.
[steve ^shimp^] Good point, LL.
[steve ^shimp^] On the silences, not the indices!
[Maxwell] LL it seems that he's more concerned with comedy
writing rather than performance.
[Laura Leff] That's a very important point, Max.
[Brad from Georgia] It's on page 537, Kay.
Mike Amo has logged out.
[KayLhota] yes, Brad. I found it.
[steve ^shimp^] true, isn't it called "how
to write comedy for radio"?
[Brad from Georgia] I really expected Carson to
tell us how if all else fails you could have a guest star throw a tomahawk....
[Laura Leff] Does anyone know if Carson originally aspired to be
a writer more than a performer?
[Laura Leff] Brad -
[Maxwell] Sadly, that was a topic that would be of little
benefit in just a few years.
[Brad from Georgia] LL--He started out as a
magician in high school. I'd guess he wanted to perform.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Well, yes, although a lot of people just
carried over to TV.
[Laura Leff] Like Burns and Allen.
[Laura Leff] Brad - That's right. Thanks!
[Maxwell] A lot of the writers did, too.
[Laura Leff] You know, he never talks once about comedy teams.
[steve ^shimp^] Carson wrote for Red Skelton
briefly, I believe.
[Brad from Georgia] In Ed McMahon's book, he
quotes Carson as saying that when he was ten or twelve years old, he would lie
on his face in front of the radio listening to Jack and saying to himself,
"That's what I want to do."
[Brad from Georgia] I presume he meant performing
on the radio
[Laura Leff] Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello, Cheech and
[Brad from Georgia] Not lying flat on his face.
That was Ed's aspiration.
[Laura Leff] Yes, that is kind of how I envisioned it...
[Maxwell] That's a dangerous thing when you're face is in a
[Brad from Georgia] Do they have pillows in bars?
[Laura Leff] No wonder...it's easier to breathe if you're not
lying on your face.
[Brad from Georgia] "I bring my own,
Jackson, I bring my own...."
[Maxwell] They have cushions on the pool tables.
[steve ^shimp^] You leave Remley out of this!
[Laura Leff] Depends on the bar, I guess...
[Brad from Georgia] What was that joke about
Jack's falling asleep on the pool table? It cracked me up the first time I heard
it, and now I can't remember it!
[Laura Leff] Speaking of Remley, I was watching a Benny special
the other day with Trini Lopez, and spotted Remley sitting in with his little
[KayLhota] which special was that?
[Laura Leff] Jack falling asleep on a pool table? Or Phil under
[Maxwell] Or Remley under the dinner table.
[Laura Leff] Kay - The actual title is "The Jack Benny
Hour" but it's sometimes called "Miss America" from 1966.
Frank has logged out.
[KayLhota] Oh, I saw that in 1966.
[Laura Leff] I hadn't seen it before. Only parts of it in
[KayLhota] The "Smothers Brothers" sang "Miss
North and South Hemesphere
[Brad from Georgia] LL--I THINK Jack accidentally
fell asleep on the pool table, but I can't remember the details--just that I was
walking on the nature trail and laughed my head off when I heard the gag,
startling some nearby joggers.
[Laura Leff] Kay - That's it. Impressive. Who was the other
guest star (pop quiz)?
[KayLhota] Phyllis Diller
[Laura Leff] Kay - DING DING DING DING DING!!!!!
[Brad from Georgia] Wow, Kay!
[Maxwell] Wow! What a memory!
[steve ^shimp^] Good memory Kay!
[KayLhota] How's that for 42 years ago?
[Laura Leff] Scary
[Maxwell] Kay Not bad. I can't remember what I had for supper
less than two hours ago.
[KayLhota] How about the contestant who said, "I'm very
happy to be at Long Beach"
[steve ^shimp^] Jack couldn't even remember what
he and Prof. LeBlanc were doing during the last lesson: "you were playing
the blue danube, I was picking up the dead flies"
[Laura Leff] I write books so I don't have to carry the
information around in my head.
[Laura Leff] Kay - Yes, that's right!
[Laura Leff] And I can't even remember which country she was
from...somewhere Eastern Bloc.
[Brad from Georgia] Gee, it sounded so nice in
[KayLhota] Now, I have to write down stuff because I can't
remember it. I guess it's first in, last out.
[Laura Leff] Mel does Si-Sy with Jack in the Tijuana Strings
[KayLhota] Yes, I remember that so well.
[Maxwell] *ears perk up*
[Laura Leff] I think it was after his car accident, but I
haven't looked up the date.
[Brad from Georgia] Barbara got me one of those
little digital recorders so I could record important stuff............I
misplaced it and can't find it.
[KayLhota] yes, the accident was in 1961
[KayLhota] and the show was in 1966
[Laura Leff] I got it all together...and forgot where I put it.
[Brad from Georgia] Mel came back from Dead Man's
[Laura Leff] Right, thought it happened during the regular TV
series. I have a really funny letter to Remley about it.
Mike Amo has entered this room.
[Laura Leff] WB Mike
[Maxwell] wb Mike
[Mike Amo] Disconnected by time out? Pooh...I kids
[KayLhota] The latest Looney Tunes DVD set has a documentary on
Mel Blanc-- 70 minutes!
[Mike Amo] Well, I'll catch up on the transcript again,
[Laura Leff] When I was in LA a couple weeks ago, the Mapquest
directions took me right through Warner Brothers. It was pretty cool.
[Mike Amo] I kids=Hi kids
during mel blanc's stay in the hospital they bought in recording machine's so he
could do his barney rubble voice
[Brad from Georgia] That's still an intimidating
curve. I mentioned it to Barbara during one of our LA trips--we drove the same
road made famous in song and notorious by Mel.
[KayLhota] Hi Mike
[Laura Leff] I Robot
[steve ^shimp^] Mel was so prolific one could
easily double or triple that documentary length.
[Laura Leff] Brad - Where exactly is it? I've driven on Sunset
plenty, but not sure where that is.
[KayLhota] Yes, and there were some excellent clips, like Jack
breaking up at Mel's Christmas wrapping meltdown
[Mike Amo] I remember reading about that accident somewhere not
too long ago
[Laura Leff] Is it the windy area over by Bel Air?
[Brad from Georgia] LL--I have no idea, as I was
driving at the time. I remember immediate landmarks, not whole routes--but it's
pretty obvious, and someone (maybe Eddie) told us we'd made it past Dead Man's
[Maxwell] I heard an interview with Mel where he said that one
of the things he did while he was recuperating was to count the actual number of
voices he did.
[Brad from Georgia] LL--it is toward Bel Air.
[Mike Amo] Sunset out that way is nothing but curves
paul frees i believe did barney rubble for him
[Laura Leff] Yeah, I'd imagine it's probably in that stretch
between the 405 and Beverly Hills, next to UCLA.
[KayLhota] no, Daws Butler did Barney for about 5 episodes, I
Frank has entered this room.
[Laura Leff] Paul Frees could do anything.
[Maxwell] wb Frank
[KayLhota] That's when Barney sounds like Yogi
[Brad from Georgia] LL--That's pretty close, I
think--I do remember seeing a sign for UCLA somewhere along through there.
[Maxwell] Calling Fred Boo Boo kind of gives it away.
[Laura Leff] Smarter than your average caveman
[KayLhota] Then, there's some where Barney sounds like Mel's
natural speaking voice. I'm guessing that those were immediate post accident
Sorry folks, I'm having problems with Java; perhaps I should switch to Maxwell
[Laura Leff] Or Sanka
[KayLhota] FUNNY ONE Frank
a lot of radio folks worked for Hanna-Barbera
[Laura Leff] Oh, not quite a Benny question but I can make it
[Laura Leff] The Sci Fi channel had a Twilight Zone marathon on
[Brad from Georgia] LL--Barbara says it's in Bel
Air, north of the UCLA stadium. That help?
i had to download Java tonight too
[Maxwell] Yeah, the caffeine causes that.
[Laura Leff] And I saw one I'd never seen before starring Andy
[KayLhota] Hocus Pocus and Frisby
Well, TV cartoons needed voice people just after radio no longer needed them.
[Laura Leff] Brad - Somewhat...I know better where the Research
Library is, having spent so many hours there.
[Laura Leff] Kay - That's it.
[Brad from Georgia] Was that where Devine was a
[Laura Leff] Brad - Yup.
[Laura Leff] So there's one of the guys from the store who I
think is uncredited
[Maxwell] I probably haven't seen that one since it was new.
[Laura Leff] And I was pretty certain it was Chet Lauck
[steve ^shimp^] that rings a very vague bell.
Been a long time since I've seen twilight zone.
[Brad from Georgia] I remember that from
childhood! That's when I wanted to do what Andy Devine was doing--lie and get
paid for it.
[Laura Leff] Lum of Lum and Abner
[KayLhota] it's been a few years since we watched that episode
[Laura Leff] I figure with the knowledge of this gang, I
wondered if anyone knew for certain.
[Laura Leff] Heard his voice, and said, "That's Lum!"
But then he's not in the credits.
[Laura Leff] I need to drop Donnie Pitchford a line and ask.
[KayLhota] Frank is going to look that up
[Laura Leff] Cool! I looked on IMDB, but they only had the
[Laura Leff] I saw Sam Hearn show up on an "I Love
Lucy" show the other day.
[Brad from Georgia] That was Clem Bevans, I
[Laura Leff] Playing his rube character.
[Laura Leff] As the doctor who delivered Lucy.
[KayLhota] Lot's of radio people did I Love Lucy
[Maxwell] LL Not listed in imdb.
[KayLhota] Arthur Q. Bryan and Lou Merrill
[KayLhota] if you ever come up to MA Brad, I'll cook it for you
[Maxwell] LL I saw the money clip ad before Christmas.
My family had a vegematic for years. Once it broke, we stopped making Julien
[Brad from Georgia] I can only have very small
servings now....I'm insulin resistant (next door to diabetic)
[Maxwell] Makes the perfect gift!
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - OK...I guess I was just avoiding
[Laura Leff] OK...I need to grab a snack...BRB
[KayLhota] all this talk of food has made her hungry
just has to have a Shamwow.
So who's the better salesman: Don Wilson or Ron Popiel?
[Brad from Georgia] Our daughter gave Barbara a
"Bones" DVD for Christmas...she's beside me now, watching it.
i have my snack a TV dinner
[steve ^shimp^] Is that related to a Shmoo?
[Maxwell] Ron Popiel is more obnoxious. That's all I know.
[Brad from Georgia] That show has some really
sickening images. Good for dieters.
[Mike Amo] Jello is a much better product
set it and forget it
[Maxwell] You can't eat a Veg-o-matic, but you can eat Jell-o.
[Brad from Georgia] And it sets in mere hours!
[Laura Leff] Who is Don Popiel?
[Laura Leff] Or Ron even
... And you can use your vegematic to cut your Jello into cubes!
[Brad from Georgia] Popiel, the inventor of the
[steve ^shimp^] And spray-on hair!
a Uof I grad
[KayLhota] Frank's Mom told me that for years she couldn't get
her JELLO to gel. Not until her mother in law told her about the refrigerator
[steve ^shimp^] Jack could have done some great
spray-on hair gags.
[Brad from Georgia] I got one, but it didn't
work. The fish in my pocket always died before I could catch them.
[Maxwell] And the Buttoneer.
[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh yes...got it.
i have on e of those
[Laura Leff] Ohhhhh....REFRIGERATOR!
[steve ^shimp^] In theory, Jell-O will set
without a fridge.
[steve ^shimp^] Not a lot of people had them when
Jell-O first came out, actually!
[KayLhota] I know, Laura. I hear him too.
[Maxwell] And don't forget Popiel's roaster or whatever that
[Maxwell] They had ice boxes when Jell-o first came out.
Set it and forget it!
[steve ^shimp^] Ron Popeil's Inst-O-Matic JELLO
[Brad from Georgia] Jell-O used to have a stern
warning about not putting fresh pineapple into the goo. I always thought that
was because it would produce cyanide or something...but the enzymes prevent
[Laura Leff] When I was a kid and before I got into Jack, I used
this ancient box of Jell-O to try and make it, and it didn't set.
[Laura Leff] My father was angry at me, and actually made me
write lines as punishment.
[Brad from Georgia] If you want your Jell-O to
set quickly, instead of adding cold water, add a cup of ice cubes and water!
[Maxwell] That's because he was saving the box.
[Laura Leff] Brad - That's exactly what I did. But apparently
Jell-O doesn't age too well.
[Brad from Georgia] To prevent waxed paper and
aluminum foil rolls from popping out of the box, press in the little tabs on the
end of the box!
[Laura Leff] Yeah, Eddie sent me that E-mail.
Why not save Jello boxes? Cerial boxes are now popular collectables.
[Laura Leff] Oh and folks, putting celery in tin foil really
does keep it from developing a thyroid condition.
[Brad from Georgia] LL--Must've sent it
everywhere. Ellen showed it on her TV show!
[Laura Leff] I just had a piece of celery that's been in the
fridge for weeks in tin foil.
is trying to figure out what his future daughter in law with the Jell-o salad
she made on Chirstmas.
[steve ^shimp^] Remember folks, it's not a
dethert, it's ethereal.
[Laura Leff] I've got a couple of equally ancient Jell-O boxes
that just sat on the shelf after my failed attempt.
[Maxwell] It just kind of...wilted.
[Laura Leff] Jell-O wilted?
[Brad from Georgia] When we went to St. Paul to
see "A Prairie Home Companion," Garrison Keillor had the Lutheran
Church ladies make the audience a typical meal...of Jell-O molds, tuna hot-dish,
[Maxwell] Or whatever you call what Jelll-o does when it gets
[Laura Leff] Or the butter lettuce she molded in it wilted?
[KayLhota] wilted JELLO Salad comes in 6 delicious flavors
is the jell-o boxes like the kellogg's eat in the box
Take the brute force approach: mix your Jello with liquid nitrogen!
[steve ^shimp^] Friends, you need to try Jell-O
in new VIAGRA flavor
[Brad from Georgia] ed--when I was a kid, that
never worked. The boxes always got soggy 'cause the waxed paper insert leaked.
[Laura Leff] Don't forget the green bean casserole with
Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and ancient french fried onions on top.
[Maxwell] It's a great salad, too. Lime Jell-o, ginger ale
(Canada Dry, of course), apple sauce, celery, and nuts. Maraschino cherries can
also be added for color.
same here brad
[Brad from Georgia] LL--That's good eatin'.
[KayLhota] oh my. I've got tears in my eyes from laughing!
[Laura Leff] Steve - That's like Eddie's joke about putting
saltpeter in asphalt...
[steve ^shimp^] Laura, you need to clear out your
pantry more often!
[Brad from Georgia] Lime Jell-O with jalapenos,
celery, and Mandarin orange slices, but you make it with tequila instead of
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - It's not Kosher, because if you eat it,
you turn into a Presbyterian.
[KayLhota] oh no
[steve ^shimp^] See, tequila is a funny word,
because it is specific.
[KayLhota] LAUGHING Laura!
[Brad from Georgia] It also has a K sound in it.
[Maxwell] Steve gets us back on topic.
[steve ^shimp^] If Brad had just said liquor, I'd
have said, liquor? I just met her!
[Brad from Georgia] "Pickle," that's
funny. "Potato chip," that's not funny.]
[Laura Leff] Steve - No, they're sitting down in the laundry
room now next to vintage boxes of Oxydol, Silver Dust, Super Suds, etc.
Everybody go through your cupboards, and throw out any porduct whose expiration
date is written in roman numerals.
[Maxwell] But Vlasic and Lay's is funny.
[Brad from Georgia] We cleaned out our freezer
today and found some things from the Nixon Administration. John Dean, for
[Laura Leff] Yeah, what did you all make of the "specific
[KayLhota] Funny, Brad
^shimp^] When did they stop making Orange Quangaroos?
I think a lot of the specific words thing was more like product placement.
Laura, I have wondered about that since I saw, "The Sunshine Boys
from Georgia] I think that Carson was right; a specific product or item is
funnier than a general term.
But I'm a cynic.
Leff] Vlasic is funny because Groucho Marx is their spokesman.
speaking of tapes with gaps in them
[Maxwell] Speaking of Vlasic, I noticed recently that Pat
Harrington, Jr. is no longer the voice of the stork.
How about that cerial called "Kaboom!"? Or that snack food,
"Screaming Yellow Zonkers"?
[Brad from Georgia] Like, "I'll go turn on
your General Electric blanket." "Rochester, what are you talking
about? I don't have a General Electric blanket." "You will now!"
[Laura Leff] Didn't find Jimmy Hoffa, did you?
[Laura Leff] Frank - I remember that.
hey brad he says that in tyrone power show
[Brad from Georgia] No, but hoffa find is better
[Laura Leff] No newts is good newts.
Which one: "Kaboom!" or "Screaming Yellow Zonkers"?
[Brad from Georgia] Coming from Gingrich's state,
I agree, LL.
[Laura Leff] Frank - Both I think, but definitely the latter.
[Brad from Georgia] When did Sugar Pops
[Laura Leff] I think they were kind of like Bugles, if I
[KayLhota] It's called "Corn Pops" now
[Laura Leff] Brad - When someone ate them, I presume.
[Maxwell] Screaming Yellow Zonkers were popcorn.
[Laura Leff] OK, then I obviously didn't eat enough of them.
[Maxwell] They were particularly good when you had the munchies.
[Brad from Georgia] And Sugar Crisp. Remember
Sugar Bear? I always thought he was a takeoff on Bing Crosby, but hearing old
commercials now, I think it's Perry Como.
[Laura Leff] Such 70s names.
[Laura Leff] Gee Your Hair Looks Terrific
[Laura Leff] Or Smells. Or Something.
[Maxwell] Brad It was supposed to be Crosby. It just wasn't very
[Brad from Georgia] Gee Your Hair Smells?
[Laura Leff] I miss the foam things for the shower.
the ant in the ant and the aardvark sounded like bing also
[Maxwell] Foam things for the shower?
[Brad from Georgia] LL--Mad dogs?'
"Kaboom!" was cerial in the shape of clown faces, with marshmellow
stars. One serving will give your kid 1000% of their Mimimum Daily Requirement
[Maxwell] ed That was supposed to be Dean Martin.
[Laura Leff] I thought the Aardvark was supposed to be Jackie
[Laura Leff] In the 70s, they made these little
[Maxwell] LL Right on the aardvark.
well sounded the same to me
[Brad from Georgia] LL--Yep, Ant was Dean Martin,
Aardvark Jackie Mason.
[Laura Leff] Frank - No wonder Ritalin was so popular.
[KayLhota] Didn't John Byner do both voices for the Ant and the
yhtapmys has entered this room.
[steve ^shimp^] Oh, yeah, Crazy Foam! Shaving
cream for kids who had no utilitarian use for it!
[Maxwell] Kay I know he was the aardvark.
[KayLhota] Hi Yip
[yhtapmys] Hi, Kay.
[Laura Leff] You could draw on the wall of the shower with Crazy
[Maxwell] Hy yht
[Brad from Georgia] Ythapmys!
[yhtapmys] Forgot today was the first Sun.
[Maxwell] LL I must have missed that.
[steve ^shimp^] Hi yht.
As I looked down on a cerial bowl of clown faces and started to eat, I thought
that this must be like when Godzilla has breakfast.
[KayLhota] well, it's nice to have you, even a little late.
[Laura Leff] Steve - Knew you'd help me out on that.
[steve ^shimp^] I missed the one where Godzilla
eats clowns, but I'd definitely pay to see that.
[Laura Leff] Hi Yht!
[Brad from Georgia] I'm pretty well convinced
that Sugar Bear's voice was an impression of Perry Como. He's closer to Como
than to Crosby.
[yhtapmys] Are you talking about John Byner?
[Maxwell] When I was a kid, I used to pretend kernels of corn
were yellowed teeth. Too many Pepsodent ads.
[KayLhota] Laura, so how did that song go? "Here she is,
Miss North and South Hemesphere?"
ah the Bandstand days...
[yhtapmys] Max, you should have been listening to the Hope
[Laura Leff] Northern and Southern Hemisphere
[Maxwell] Brad The speech patterns were Crosby.
LL the Jetson's
[Laura Leff] I can't remember the lyrics beyond that.
[yhtapmys] Oh, when Jane wins the beauty contest.
[Laura Leff] Ed - ??
[Brad from Georgia] Max--Listen to some clips
from Como's show...very close!
[KayLhota] okay. I couldn't remember it well after last seeing
it 42 years ago
[Laura Leff] Kay - Hey, you're close.
[Maxwell] Remember, Como started as a Crosby imitator.
[KayLhota] but I remember the Smothers Brothers singing it, and
Phyllis Diller in a striped long bathing suit
[Laura Leff] I only saw it on Wednesday and can't remember which
country was happy to be in Long Beats.
[Brad from Georgia] Max--No, he started as a
barber....no, you're right, I'm just nattering.
[Laura Leff] Kay - Right. That's it!
[Maxwell] A nattering nabob of negativism?
from Georgia] Nope. Not no negatives.
[Maxwell] Let's see...four negatives...You're right! That's a
[KayLhota] My guess as to why I remember it so well I think was
because we had just moved in September 1966 and I was excited to see jack
[Brad from Georgia] I may be trying out for our
college's production of "Romeo and Juliet" btw, IF I can get the role
of the Apothecary. Four lines or so--perfect for me!
[KayLhota] I was 9 years old
[Laura Leff] I thought Como was a Russ Columbo impersonator.
[KayLhota] I loved the Smothers Brothers.
[Maxwell] LL Listen to Como's stuff wtih Ted Weems. Pure Crosby.
[Brad from Georgia] "We can't stand
[steve ^shimp^] The Smothers Brothers were OK,
but the Smithers Sisters, now you're talkin'!
[KayLhota] Good luck, Brad
[Brad from Georgia] That was Palsen's motto as a
[Laura Leff] I still want one of the old Jack Kemp buttons that
says "I Back Jack!"
[Maxwell] steve, I prefer the Chicken Sisters.
[yhtapmys] Better than the Cherry Sisters.
max what are their names?
[KayLhota] Laura, would Dave Greim have anything like that?
[Maxwell] Ummm...let's see, not Patty, Maxene, and Lavern....
[yhtapmys] Wasn't one Dot Chicken? Short for Wyandotte?
[Laura Leff] Kay - He might...does he do political stuff? I just
think of him with Jolson.
[Laura Leff] Yht - No, you're thinking of Dot Com.
[KayLhota] I think he campaigned for Jack Kemp. That name rings
[Laura Leff] Oh...I had no idea!
[Maxwell] Dot Com campaigned for Jack Kemp?
[yhtapmys] There was the bodybuilding chicken .. Buff Orpington.
[KayLhota] no, a guy we know named Dave Greim.
[Laura Leff] He's one of the key folks in the Jolson Society.
[Maxwell] Dave Greim...is he from Greece?
[Laura Leff] If I really want it, I can probably find it.
[KayLhota] hey, I was with Dave when he went to his first Jolson
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - No, he's from Boston.
[Laura Leff] Kay - No kidding!
Greim sounds like something you'd eliminate with Lux flakes.
[yhtapmys] If he was in Sing Sing, he'd have a life of greim.
[Laura Leff] That must have been........intense.
[Maxwell] That's why I asked if he was from Greece.
[Brad from Georgia] No "I back Jack"
buttons on eBay.
[KayLhota] I loved seeing his face when he first heard Clive
Baldwin sing. Dave sort of went all white.
[Maxwell] Of course if it's pronounced Greem....
[yhtapmys] Greece and Greim?
[Laura Leff] Dave has to stay away from Mr. Clean. Mr. Clean
wipes out greim.
[yhtapmys] Oh, Mr. Peabody!
[Brad from Georgia] Mr. Clean died not long ago.
[Maxwell] Thanks yht...now I don't have to 'splain it.
[Brad from Georgia] Mr. Whipple died last year.
as did mr clean
[Brad from Georgia] Mr. Peanut has root blight.
[Laura Leff] Mr. Hooper died a number of years ago.
[steve ^shimp^] Imagine all those dirty floors
and squished up toilet rolls.
Mr. Clean ruined his career by using Rogaine.
[Maxwell] I'm still looking for Mr. Goodbar.
and miss kitty
[yhtapmys] Max, better than looking for Mr. T.
[Mike Amo] I was reading back...I referenced Perry Como just an
hour ago on the way back from the airport,
[Laura Leff] Max - You should look up the name of my business
[Brad from Georgia] Ya know...getting back to
Carson...I think one reason I don't find "Family Guy" funny is they
have no idea, not at all, of pacing a gag.
[yhtapmys] I dont have a TV, Brad, so I've never seen it.
[Brad from Georgia] "Peter falls to the
ground clutching his hurt leg. He lies there for ninety seconds wincing and
[steve ^shimp^] Good point Brad.
Well, sometimes they do, but the show's pacing is inconsistant.
[KayLhota] I agree with you Frank
[Brad from Georgia] Yeah, they go on far too long
with those inconsequential conversations that evidently someone thinks are
[KayLhota] sometimes they land a joke, and sometimes it's too
fast or too slow
[Laura Leff] Brad - You know, I've been tuning in the occasional
comedian on the Comedy Channel, and none of them know the first thing about
[Maxwell] Kay I think that's what they think are hilarious.
[Maxwell] is hilarious.
[Brad from Georgia] Timing is very hard.
[Maxwell] Pie are round.
[yhtapmys] Thanks, Dennis.
[KayLhota] I give The Family Guy credit for doing comedy
[Brad from Georgia] You have to sense it. I've
been in plays and have had some comic lines--takes about three performances to
get a sense of the necessary pacing.
[Mike Amo] Sorry I didn't have time to go to the Carson link
[yhtapmys] Brad, the audience helps dictate that, too.
[KayLhota] timing is very hard. I think this is why some of the
best comics were also musicians
[Maxwell] Brad which is good unless you are only doing 1-2
I have the same problem with cartoon director John Kricfalusi; sometimes his
comic timing is quite good, other times it is way off.
[Laura Leff] Comics stomp all over their laughs these days, at
least the ones I've seen.
It's harder to get the training for comedy these days.
[Brad from Georgia] Oh, yes, yht. One of the
biggest laughs I ever got was on the line, "I never saw you naked."
First performance, nothing. Second performance, with a delay, a reaction. Third,
with a take and a delay, and that was it.
[KayLhota] I like my comedy above the waist
[Laura Leff] And they deliver a punch line, and then stomp all
over the laugh with meaningless comments like, "What's up with
We need to bring back vaudeville.
jack gave his guest stars some of the best laughs did he not LL ?
[Maxwell] The Jerry Seinfeldization of comedy.
[Laura Leff] Ed - Absolutely. Gave the laughs to everyone else,
including the guest stars.
[Brad from Georgia] I think Jack gave his guests
almost all the best lines.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Is that it? I thought it might be Jay
[Maxwell] Could be Leno. I don't watch him.
[Brad from Georgia] He reasoned that the next day
people would be saying, "The Jack Benny show was hilarious last
night!" and he'd still get credit.
[steve ^shimp^] Comedians all have the SAME bad
pacing too -- the last one I can think of who broke the mold was Steven Wright.
[Maxwell] Never thought he was all that funny.
[Laura Leff] I stopped watching late night TV after Carson
[Maxwell] I watch Letterman on occasion.
[Laura Leff] Steve - Oh, I love Steven Wright. Is he still
[Brad from Georgia] Jeff Dunham--puppeteer--has a
nice sense of how to sting a gag.
[Mike Amo] I watch them only to keep up with the entertainers on
all the TV I don't watch
[KayLhota] Steve, did I ever tell you? I knew Steven Wright from
when we went to College together, and later at a store we both worked at.
leno repeats "jokes" some times 3 days in a row
[steve ^shimp^] I don't know LL, I thought he was
pretty clever. Saw him once or twice live, but it was many years ago.
[Laura Leff] That's right...Wright is from Boston...
[KayLhota] And Joe Alasky.
[Maxwell] ed Mabye that's what passes nowadays for a running
[steve ^shimp^] That's cool Kay, are you in
[Laura Leff] Steve - Yes, I saw him live back in the early 80s.
[KayLhota] No, I didn't stay in touch with either steve or Joe
[Brad from Georgia] I can just hear Wright:
"I worked with Laura for a while....but she leff."
[Maxwell] Stupid fongers.
"running " and "running" loke pink rabbits
[Mike Amo] Carson was the only comedian after Jack who never let
me down...even when the show was awful, he was always able to come up with
[KayLhota] I wished I had. I dated Joe once in 1980, but he
turned me down for a second date.
[Laura Leff] Brad - Ah, that's the 2,370th time I've heard
[Brad from Georgia] Kermit the Frog: "Good
grief, it's a running gag."
[Brad from Georgia] LL--Tell Steve to freshen up
[Maxwell] Mike Even if it was just a little tap dance to Tea for
[Mike Amo] Brad!
[Laura Leff] Mike - I heard that you always knew when Carson had
a weak monologue about nine months later.
[Mike Amo] more
[KayLhota] how is that, Mike>
[Brad from Georgia] Carson learned a lot from
Jack. He was so likeable that he could coast over bad material if he absolutely
had to, but he also knew how to salvage a gag by a reaction.
[yhtapmys] Laura, since I missed the earlier chat, what was the
consensus on the Carson thesis?
[Mike Amo] Just overtaking posts, Kay
[Laura Leff] Hey, Jack did the Chicken Sisters for 40+ years,
never had to freshen it up.
[yhtapmys] Brad, a lot of radio comics did that in different
[Laura Leff] Yht - Hard to summarize...all interesting. More
about comedy writing than performing.
carson's jena catchatori (sic) jokes were funny as well as was carnac
[Laura Leff] We talked a lot about how he could have
recorded/edited the clips.
[KayLhota] It was interesting, Yip. We did a lot of guessing on
what he used to record his audio clips.
The consensus on the thesis? I would have given it an M.A.
[Laura Leff] Bombastic Bushkin
[yhtapmys] Thanks, Frank.
[Maxwell] I think one thing that distinguishes Jack and other
good comedians (or comedy writers since that was Carson's topic) is that they
knew how often to repeat a gag without running it into the ground. Nowadays they
don't get it.
[Brad from Georgia] Couple of the shows were very
close together in broadcast dates. We're thinking he recorded off the air.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - I liked that Carson pointed out that a
running gag can get hackneyed if repeated too often.
[Mike Amo] And the guy who gave all the editorial opposing views
[Brad from Georgia] Jack was a supremely skilled
editor of his own show. He had a keen sense of whether a gag could be repeated
or whether it was too soon.
[Maxwell] LL Yes, he did.
[Laura Leff] "Kiss ma grits" and "Whatchoo talkin'
bout Willis" showed up in ever flipping show.
[yhtapmys] Laura, ask Joe Penner.
[Mike Amo] Steven Wright does fine, and I miss Pat Paulsen
wanna buy a duck
[Maxwell] Wanna buy a duck?
[Laura Leff] Brad - And I think it's THAT which puts him above
all the others.
[KayLhota] oh you nasty man. Don't ever do that!
[Maxwell] You naaazty maaaan.
[Laura Leff] Yht - Yeah, let's eat that duck.
[steve ^shimp^] Jack's gags were rarely
"catchphrases" ... they always had what Carson describes as a
"topper" somewhere in the show.
[Maxwell] Did Jack shoot them hunting with Andy Devine?
[Laura Leff] Vass you dere Sharlie?
[KayLhota] Mel Blanc played the duck on Joe Penner's show.
[Laura Leff] Dick Cheney shot Andy Devine
[Maxwell] Sock it to me.
[yhtapmys] That's the problem. When catchphrases or running gags
finally die, there's nothing left. Jack overcame that by having so much going on
on his show.
[Brad from Georgia] LL-agreed. Jack knew, by his
experience or from sheer instinct, what was funny. He might not have been a
great comedy writer, but he sure knew how to get the best out of the writers.
[Laura Leff] Nixon: Sock it to ME?
[Maxwell] Would you believe....
[Laura Leff] C.f. Frost/Nixon
[Brad from Georgia] Max--We just got "Get
Smart" on DVD from Netflix. Barbara and I both liked it!
[Laura Leff] Brad - But more than that, it goes back to an
earlier comment that Jack was able to do with three or four words
[Laura Leff] what other comedians did with three or four
[Maxwell] You bet your sweet bippy.
A prime example of a Benny running gag: "Anaheim, Asuza and Cuc
[Maxwell] Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls.
dick martin died in 2008
[steve ^shimp^] You know, reading all of these
catchphrase lines, I wonder how they were EVER funny!
[Laura Leff] I think I've heard it attributed to Michaelangelo,
but sounds too modern...that when asked how he created a statue, he said,
"I start with a block of marble, and chip away everything that doesn't
[Maxwell] Laugh-In lasted about 5 years. Benny 33.
[Mike Amo] Delivery..."My name Jose Jimenez"
[Brad from Georgia] LL-Again, I agree (mostly
because I said it). Jack's show is exquisitely clean--not in the non-bawdy
sense, but in the efficiency sense--in its presentation of humor, and that's
[Laura Leff] Jack chipped every single word that didn't belong.
[yhtapmys] Max, the other problem with Laugh In was the cast
[Maxwell] The humor also went more and more towards the gutter.
[Laura Leff] Brad - There you go. That's also why I've commented
that by the late 40s, the show runs like a finely-tuned race car.
[Laura Leff] I prefer Henry Gibson to Big Al.
[Brad from Georgia] I think Jack's one weakness
as comedy editor was that he really loved weird mental images created by words;
most of the time they worked, but sometimes they were like a moose using a
[Laura Leff] Brad - And George and Sam were particularly devoted
to that specific kind of crazy mental visual humor.
[steve ^shimp^] See, I like those gags.
[Laura Leff] Steve - I do too, because I like surreal humor.
Which also brings us back to Steven Wright.
[Brad from Georgia] Steve--I really do too when
they click--the pool-table gag that I still can't quite remember is that type,
and it cracked me up!
[KayLhota] yeah, I have to think about the moose and the hatrack,
so I am picturing it, not laughing
[yhtapmys] Norman Krasna liked it. L)
[steve ^shimp^] I think "general
audiences" today dislike surrealism in their comedy, for whatever reason.
[Maxwell] steve Does anybody even attempt it?
[Brad from Georgia] Bing Crosby's "Shot the
mouse in Minnesota, trapped the moose behind the Frigidaire" is another
line that cracks me up--it's goofy, but it really works in cotext on Jack's
[steve ^shimp^] THE SIMPSONS does it, but I'm
hard pressed to think of much else.
[Brad from Georgia] When SIMPSONS isn't making
Homer into the Jerk of the World, it's got heart and warmth and the comedy
[Maxwell] Since everything now is on TV, maybe that's the
problem. Animation is the one place where surreal humor still works.
[steve ^shimp^] That's why I like being
"inside" Gracie Allen's head and GREEN ACRES so much - the surreal
[yhtapmys] Anything can happen in one of them there cartoony
[Laura Leff] Steve Martin used to do it in his standup.
"The Simpsons" also has a Frank Nelson inspired character.
[Maxwell] I think Green Acres was probably the last
non-animation show that used surreal humor to any extent.
[steve ^shimp^] OH, geez, what's that show with
Danny DeVito - Always Sunny in Philadelphia? I haven't seen much of that but it
has some really surreal aspects.
saw him in nov
[Laura Leff] Taxi?
has never seen it.
[steve ^shimp^] No, this is a current show.
[steve ^shimp^] It's pretty out there, I need to
catch up with it on DVD.
[Brad from Georgia] GREEN ACRES had a kind of
white magic going on. If Lisa was cooking "jackflaps" and Oliver
corrected her, everyone else in town--EVERYONE--was calling them "jackflaps."
[Maxwell] It's on FX or something...or is it one of the
[yhtapmys] Yeah, Brad, the 5 toaster
[steve ^shimp^] Five!
[yhtapmys] But a lot of people I know don't like that.
[yhtapmys] They can stretch believability only so far.
[steve ^shimp^] I can never understand people who
dislike a movie because "that would never happen". Why go to the darn
[Brad from Georgia] Well, I'm that way with
fantasy shows and movies (odd because I write fantasy): I get really, really
bummed out if the show or movie violates its own "rules" of fantasy.
[Maxwell] One thing Green Acres had going for it was that Dick
Chevilat (sp) was involved as a story consultant (and writer on occasion I
think) and Edward L. Bare was the most frequent director.
I always wanted to hear a recording of the song "Mr. Sandman" using
Frank Nelson. I can hear it now: (female vocalists) "Mister Sandman",
[yhtapmys] Max, isn't it Richard Bare?
[Brad from Georgia] And Barbara says I
embarrassed her in the theater during the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie
by complaining about the sloppy historical research. But that ship should NOT
have had a wheel!
[KayLhota] yes, it was Richard Bare
[steve ^shimp^] Brad - there's a difference
between internal logic/consistency and "that would never happen in real
life" people - I am talking about the latter!
[Maxwell] Yes it is. I have no idea where Edward came from?
[Maxwell] Brain cramp.
[KayLhota] he also did the Joe McDoaks shorts
[steve ^shimp^] Edward Albert?
[yhtapmys] The guy who did the O'Hanlon shorts.
[yhtapmys] Kay, you beat me to it.
[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh, i do that kind of thing constantly.
[Maxwell] Yeah, Joe McDoakes.
[Maxwell] He wrote and directed them.
[Brad from Georgia] But my wife and son both say,
"There's a ship full of dead pirates, and you can't swallow a silly little
[yhtapmys] They're great.
[yhtapmys] Talk about surrealism.
[Laura Leff] I was complaining about a dress Gemma Jones was
wearing in "The Duchess of Duke Street" because it was supposed to be
1925 and the dress looked like 70s polyester.
[KayLhota] that's a great line, Brad
[yhtapmys] Laura, you sure you werent watching Happy Days?
[Maxwell] LL I always look at hair dos in period films.
[yhtapmys] Chachi's 1975 hair in 1960.
[Laura Leff] Yht - Not unless Fonzie developed a strong British
[KayLhota] I do too, Max.
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - I've heard someone say that you can
always tell when a movie was made by looking at the women's hair.
[Brad from Georgia] I have to say, I think Ron
Howard's ad for Obama really led to Obama's Presidential election.
[KayLhota] Hair and make-up. there are times when I can identify
a film by the hair and dress fashions
[Laura Leff] Not sure I saw it, Brad.
[steve ^shimp^] You can often identify the year
by looking at Ron Howard's hair.
[KayLhota] identify what year it was made
[Maxwell] Like all those early John Wayne Lone Star westerns set
in the old west where women had curled hair.
[Laura Leff] Kay - You must have enjoyed "Barry
[KayLhota] Laura, I have never seen it.
[Maxwell] steve or lack of it.
[KayLhota] Any movie of that length is strenuous to sit through
[Laura Leff] Kay - If you like good hair and costuming, I highly
recommend it. Just keep in mind that it's Kubrick's tribute to 18th century
[Brad from Georgia] Howard donned wig, T-shirt,
and jeans to play Opie; he and Andy Griffith as Andy Taylor then talked about
why it was important to elect Barack. And then he dressed as Richie and he and
Fonzie had the same conversation!
[steve ^shimp^] Half past Opie, a quarter to
Richie, and Cocoon-fifteen.
[Laura Leff] Kay - Get the DVD and break it up.
I've seen it. They went to great lengths to be true to the period. Other than
that, a rather dull adaptation.
[KayLhota] I would like to get to it sometime, Laura. It's been
on my to-do list for decades
[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh cool, sorry I missed that.
[yhtapmys] Frank, it wouldn't have meant a thing to voters under
[Brad from Georgia] LL--Probably it's on YouTube!
[steve ^shimp^] Is that real Brad? I never heard
of those ads.
[KayLhota] oh, THAT'S WHY I've never seen it. Frank already has!
[yhtapmys] Yeah, Steve, I saw it.
[Laura Leff] Brad - I was wondering that.
[yhtapmys] Pretty clever.
[Brad from Georgia] steve--Yes, it is. They
showed it here several times, and it cracked us up.
[steve ^shimp^] Will have to look it up!
[yhtapmys] It's on the web somewhere.
from Georgia] And it's ten p.m. here...gonna go. Great chat, all! Buh-bye.
yht Kids under 30 have seen Happy Days forever in re-runs.
[Maxwell] They all know Jeannie, too.
[KayLhota] goodnight Brad
Brad from Georgia has logged out.
[Maxwell] So long Brad!
[Laura Leff] I thought you were leaving like an hour ago..
[Mike Amo] He really poofed that time!
[yhtapmys] Jeannie must have blinked.
[KayLhota] Frank and I are going to say goodnight too.
If Ron Howard directed "Barry Lyndon", would we soon be inaugurating
president RYan O'Neil?
[Laura Leff] I guess we all said goodbye to him then.
[Maxwell] Good night Frank and Kay.
[KayLhota] It's been a busy holiday, and he has to work tomorrow
[steve ^shimp^] Bye Frank and Kay!
[Laura Leff] Take care Frank and Kay!
KayLhota has logged out.
[Laura Leff] Maybe we'll elect Russell Crowe eventually
[Mike Amo] Goodnight whoever's heading out
Frank has logged out.
[yhtapmys] Damned that Kay. Every time I see Hans Conried, I
think of her!
[Mike Amo] Maybe we'll elect Steven Wright
is happy to say the tickets for Eddie Carroll came before Christmas so I could
give them to my son and his fiancee.
[Mike Amo] I would have voted for Pat Paulsen
[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Is this the San Francisco performance?
[Maxwell] No, Chicago.
[Laura Leff] Got it.
[Maxwell] May 3.
[steve ^shimp^] Maybe Otis the Town Drunk and
Potsie will run someday.
[Laura Leff] Eddie's here at the end of the month.
[Maxwell] Isn't Otis dead?
[Maxwell] Yeah, I saw the announcement.
[Laura Leff] I thought Otis was an elevator.
[Mike Amo] I just saw him on TV Land...he looked okay
[steve ^shimp^] Being dead never stopped some
[Maxwell] Where I come from it never stopped voters.
[steve ^shimp^] About time those dead Chicago
voters elected one of their own!
[Laura Leff] So what else Benny-wise is on folks minds?
[Laura Leff] Steve - Rather than Blagojavich...or however it's
[yhtapmys] Otis has been dead 14 years.
[steve ^shimp^] So did all the specials come
through the wringer all right?
[Mike Amo] I'll be in Africa next month...will try to catch up
[Maxwell] Jack Benny Month starts in two weeks on Chuck
[Laura Leff] Steve - Still waiting for the last ones. That's
what's holding up the Times.
[Laura Leff] Mike - Africa?
[Laura Leff] What's taking you to Africa? Besides a plane.
[Mike Amo] Yes, I'm on a big trip! East Africa; hopefully, the
Somali pirates, lions, and dengue fever won't get me and I'll have an amazing
[Laura Leff] Work or vacation?
[steve ^shimp^] I have a friend who just got over
Dengue fever. It is not fun!
[Mike Amo] Dennis Prager listener cruise and safaris on both
ends (Kenya and South Africa)
[Mike Amo] Wow, Steve, that';s awful
[Laura Leff] Impressive.
[steve ^shimp^] Use mosquito repellent!
[Laura Leff] So any requests for what to listen to next month?
[yhtapmys] Stop Yellow Jack!
[Mike Amo] Plenty! That';s what worries me
[Laura Leff] Come on Mr. Benny, be brave!
[Maxwell] Well, let's see, it's Jack's birthday month....
[yhtapmys] Gee, I don't know, Laura.
[Mike Amo] lol, do we have a first Buck Benny show
[Maxwell] Ooo...Buck Benny would be fun.
[yhtapmys] How about the Waukeegan show?
[Laura Leff] You don't have to come up with anything...I can
always select. But I didn't know about Carson, so it's good to ask.
[Laura Leff] Yht - We can do that, but I try to keep the show
about the same time of year.
[steve ^shimp^] Carson was my pick so I will
pass, but Buck Benny would be fun.
[Laura Leff] OK, I'll find the first Buck Benny routine.
[yhtapmys] Fine for me.
[Laura Leff] Sold American.
[Laura Leff] Should we call it good for this month, or is there
anything anyone wanted to discuss?
[Maxwell] I'll only leave you with two words....
[yhtapmys] You getting a Burns & Allen stamp, Laura?
[Laura Leff] Gunhild Carling
[Maxwell] Because it's a tradition now....
[Maxwell] Gunhild Carling!
[Maxwell] Darn you!
[steve ^shimp^] I haven't seen the B&A stamp
design, is it online somewhere?
[Maxwell] Now cut that out!
[Laura Leff] Yht - Actually, probably not since I use Stamps.com
and print my own!
[Mike Amo] Not for now...need to catch up on a lot of Benny
stuff when I get back...life has been too hectic lately
[Laura Leff] Mike - I hear that!
[yhtapmys] Steve, there were a bunch of designs.
[Mike Amo] But mom loved all the Benny videos I'd found
[Laura Leff] Max - Sorry, stepped on your line
[yhtapmys] I think an AP story had them all.
[Maxwell] No problem.
[Laura Leff] I think someone on the Forum linked to it.
[yhtapmys] We don't get the wire photos at work, though.
[Maxwell] There's some good new stuff of her up on YouTube with
the family band.
[yhtapmys] In fact, I don't even know if they have such a thing
[steve ^shimp^] OK, I'll google around for it
[Laura Leff] OK, thanks for stopping by folks! I'll see you next
[yhtapmys] OK, Laura.
[Maxwell] So long everybody!