IJBFC Chat - October 11, 2009

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

[steve *shimp*] Good

[Brad from Georgia] Hi, Laura.

[Laura Leff] Hi folks!

[steve *shimp*] Hi Laura

[Laura Leff] Sorry to be a few minutes late...

[ed] everything is fine in lincoln's land

[Laura Leff] Hi Frank...are you new here?

[Brad from Georgia] I've started doing my daily walks again, listening to old Jack Benny programs as I do my few miles.

[frank] yes

[Laura Leff] Also we've had a couple Fred Allens over the years...are you one of the old ones or one of the new ones?

[ed] where you from frank

[Laura Leff] Well, welcome in, Frank! Glad you could join us.

[steve *shimp*] Welcome Frank. I thought you might have been another Frank who's a semi-regular

[Fred Allen] Old one, just haven't been on in a while

[frank] Thanks, ILL.

[Laura Leff] Welcome back, Fred!

[Laura Leff] Everyone else I know.   

[ed] same here frank---springfield

[Fred Allen] Seems like the chat is on a holiday each month

[frank] Chi, area

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, it's really screwed up my Arbor Day plans from time to time.

[Fred Allen] Texas

[Laura Leff] Fred - Yes, I've noticed that. Sometimes the holiday is Super Bowl Sunday.

[ed] so do you listen to Chuck Schaden

[Brad from Georgia] Brad from Georgia is from Georgia. Southern US, that is.

[Laura Leff] Is Chuck still on? Thought he was retiring.

[Fred Allen] Or Acadamy Awards night, or Easter or Bastille Day

[frank] not in a long while

[steve *shimp*] We had some confusion here as to whether we get Columbus Day off or not -- we don't.

[Laura Leff] I'm covering California here.

[steve *shimp*] I'm even south of Brad now, in Florida

[Brad from Georgia] We never get Columbus Day off. We used to get Robert E. Lee's birthday off.

[Laura Leff] Steve - The West Indies gets Columbus Day off.

[steve *shimp*] It's also Canadian Thanksgiving.

[Laura Leff] Brad - So the South can sleep in again...

[Fred Allen] For discovering something that was already found

[ed] i don't my dentist in expecting at 8 am

[ed] they don't do holidays either

[Laura Leff] So what thoughts on the show for tonight's discussion?

[ed] me*

[steve *shimp*] Good show!

[Laura Leff] In the words of Mae West, every day's a holiday.

[Brad from Georgia] Laura--how much of the Gaslight parody was clipped?

[steve *shimp*] There's a weird gap though between Larry Adler and then the skit starts in progress

[steve *shimp*] What Brad said

[Brad from Georgia] I've noticed that before when listening to another version of the show.

[Laura Leff] Brad - You know, here's my confession...I was listening to the show right before I came on here and didn't get all the way through.

[Laura Leff] Let me see if I've got the script...

[Brad from Georgia] I did like Benny's purring Boyer.

[steve *shimp*] Well, regardless, it's a good skit. Jack actually sounds eerily like Boyer

[steve *shimp*] OK, Brad and I are on the psychic vibe now.

[Fred Allen] I just figured out the chat was tonight. Didn't listen, but I'm sure I've heard it before since I've heard most of the shows

[ed] same here

[steve *shimp*] Bergman sending herself up is funny too - "for this they gave me the academy award?"

[steve *shimp*] Which is funny to me since, as much as I like Bergman, I think she's a bit hammy in GASLIGHT

[Brad from Georgia] Best point of the skit for me--"Charles" opens the closet in Bergman's bedroom. "I weel open zee clos-et. Hello, Phil." "Hiya, Charlie."

[Laura Leff] Clipped where? At the end?

[steve *shimp*] Larry Adler finishes his number and then zippp- we join the skit already in progress.

[Brad from Georgia] Laura--no, the opening of the skit is clipped--the Larry Adler solo, then no intro, straight into "Gaslight"

[Laura Leff] I think it would be hard to play that overwrought of a part without being at least a little over the top.

[Laura Leff] OK...let me scan the recording with the script...BRB

[steve *shimp*] Well, I kinda like the earlier Gaslight (1940 version) better.

[Fred Allen] That's the first one I saw too

[Brad from Georgia] FWIW, in my checkered theatrical career, I appeared in the stage version of "Gaslight" ("Angel Street") but more in the Joseph Cotten role (quite different in the stage version, though).

[steve *shimp*] Vincent Price did Angel Street on Broadway forever, I think it's a shame he wasn't in the film versions.

[Laura Leff] OK, you lost exactly one page of script. Want me to transcribe?

[Laura Leff] (OK to say no)

[Brad from Georgia] LL--I'd like to see what we missed.

[Laura Leff] OK, let's see if my speed typing still works...

[Laura Leff] Jack - I tell you, Sergeant Ryan, when he finished that number the applause was deafening.

[Laura Leff] George - HYes, for a minute I thought I heard it.

[Laura Leff] Jack - Well, after that I once again stepped out on the stage, told some more jokes, and *again* the applause was deafening...

[Laura Leff] Take my word for it...

[Laura Leff] And then, after we had our music, songs and comedy...for a change of pace, Ingrid Bergman and I did a great dramatic scene taken from the M-G-M picture "Gaslight"...the picture for which Miss Bergman won the Academy Award.

[Laura Leff] (Music starts softly)

[Laura Leff] Jack - In this spine-tingling drama, I played the part of Charles Boye, and Ingrid Bergman was my wife...I was trying to drive her crazy...so one day I sneaked down to the living room and turned a picture around that was hanging on the wall...

[Laura Leff] I'll never forget the confused look on her face when I...as Charles Boyer...accused her of doing it...It was early evening, just after dinner.

[Laura Leff] (Transition music up and out)

[Laura Leff] Jack - (As Boyer) Oh Ingrid...Ingrid, my darling...

[Laura Leff] Ingrid - Yes, Charles?

[Laura Leff] (Applause)

[Laura Leff] Jack - Ingrid, now that we have finished supper, let us go for a walk.

[Laura Leff] Ingrid - If you wish, darling...where shall we go?

[Laura Leff] Jack - Into the living room. Come.

[Laura Leff] (Sound: Few footsteps)

[Laura Leff] Then it picks up where the audio does.

[Brad from Georgia] Odd that this bit is missing. Bad recording maybe?

[Laura Leff] Ingrid - Ah Charles, I am so fortunate having you as my husband...yada yada yada

[Laura Leff] Probably a bad switch between transcription discs.

[Laura Leff] Someone wanted to transition during the applause after Larry Adler and then didn't get the next disc going soon enough

User ed has logged out.

[Laura Leff] Or maybe a catch or crack at the end/beginning of the record.

[Brad from Georgia] I didn't think much was missing. Nice to see what we missed!

[Laura Leff] Sure...glad I had it handy!

[Laura Leff] Funny how certain jokes get different laughs on the camp shows...like the 3-2 Beer jokes...

[Brad from Georgia] The script was sort of all over the place, wasn't it? The airport, the "Gaslight" skit, the reminiscences.

[Laura Leff] Just a different target audience.

User ed has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yes, it sounds a bit stitched together, doesn't it?

[Brad from Georgia] It was a very pleasant episode.

[ed] i amback!!! darn cat walked on my on off switch

[Brad from Georgia] I'm sure that the recovering vets loved the beer jokes.

[Fred Allen] CATastrophy

[Laura Leff] Then again, you get a little bit of everything. You usually don't get an "away" sketch *plus* a movie parody *plus* some gang at the start.

User steve *shimp* has logged out.

[Laura Leff] WB Ed

[ed] thanx boss

[Laura Leff] Looks like Steve's cat did the same thing,.

[Brad from Georgia] Right--good sampler, probably because it was an on-the-road show.

[ed] maybe

[Brad from Georgia] Phil had some good moments.

[Laura Leff] Phil is always "big" with the soldiers.

[Laura Leff] The bit where Jack is being cuddly with Mary sounds...almost a bit odd, considering their usual chemistry.

[Brad from Georgia] Mary's timing seemed a little bit off now and then--not bad, but she was slow with a cue or two.

[Laura Leff] And the jokes about her getting her lipstick smeared by soldiers at the start.

User steve *shimp* has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] WB Steve...

[steve *shimp*] major computer meltdown, sorry!

[Laura Leff] Steve - We figured Ed's cat had walked on your "off" switch as well.

[steve *shimp*] So, can you type up that script again for me Laura  

[Brad from Georgia] I just listened to a '47 show with (I think) Jolson as a guest and there was a similar lovey-dovey "how 'bout a kiss" moment between Jack and Mary.

[steve *shimp*] Just kidding

[Laura Leff] Fortunately, I can just cut-and-paste it out of the transcript now...

[steve *shimp*] that's OK, I'll catch up with it later  

[Laura Leff] There's one show I often point to where Mary seems to be trying to get Jack to buy her a ring, as they're looking through the window of a jewelry store.

[steve *shimp*] Did we discuss the near-beer references in the show?

[Brad from Georgia] "If you like the way Jolson sings, wait'll you see how Larry Parks!" "Jolie--Jolie--that's what we call a Phil Harris joke...and even on HIM it isn't good."

[Laura Leff] It always makes me hearken back to something that I know probably no one else here has seen...a Canada Dry show where Jack and Mary actually kind of crescendo into a rather passionate (for 1932) scene with demonstrative expressions of affections.

[Laura Leff] Steve - I brought them up, but I'm sure there's more to be said about them.

[Brad from Georgia] Just a script, eh?

[Brad from Georgia] It's probably true that the Pacific contains about the same alcohol content as 3.2 beer.....

[Laura Leff] Brad - That's all I know about...would kill to find a lost audio of it...  

[steve *shimp*] So does anyone know why the former POWs could only have the 3.2 beer?

[steve *shimp*] I'd be pouring shots for those guys!

[Brad from Georgia] Probably a health issue, but possibly just a hangover (so to speak) from Prohibition.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Really? Prohibition was repealed something like 1933 or 1934...would it have hung around that long?

[Brad from Georgia] I remember Don Marquis's archy and mehitabel: we are a beerless country for near beer is far from the real thing

[steve *shimp*] Was that a general thing/rule for military installations?

[Brad from Georgia] Well, you know what Will Rogers said: We gave women the vote, and the minute they got it, they voted alcohol out....

[Laura Leff] But they also voted Warren Harding in, so go figure...

[ed] prohibition was repealed in 1933

[Laura Leff] Ed - Thanks. There's also a show that Jack did right after the repeal that talks about it...

[Brad from Georgia] steve--don't know the answer to that. I always used to wonder what "needle beer" was in the Philip Marlowe books. Figured it was probably an alcohol-spiked beer.

[Laura Leff] Maybe beer delivered intravenously?

[steve *shimp*] Needle beer is made from that ocean water that washes up with syringes in it.

[Laura Leff] Ick

[Brad from Georgia] (Barney Gumbel): Don't pour it into a glass! Just plug it into a ve-e-i-n!

[steve *shimp*]  

[Laura Leff] I wonder if some of the POWs were on drugs that didn't mix well with alcohol.

[Brad from Georgia] Very possible.

[steve *shimp*] I've got no idea what the general policy was on alcohol and the military during that time.

[steve *shimp*] You sure see GIs smoking a lot in old movies though. Drinking, I don't recall.

[Laura Leff] And I'm sure whatever the policy was, most people were breaking it.

[steve *shimp*] Definitely.

[Laura Leff] (Not unlike Prohibition)

[Fred Allen] Well, you got a pack of cigs in a K Ration

[steve *shimp*] When I was working in the Japanese-American internment camp, there were sake jugs everywhere, though it was banned technically.

[Laura Leff] If the bullets don't get 'em, the cancer will.

User frank has logged out.

[Laura Leff] Now Ed's cat has moved over to Frank's computer

[steve *shimp*] That Darn Cat!

[Brad from Georgia] Huh. Just looked up 3.2 beer on Wikipedia and read that it was legal to sell during Prohibition; most popular brand was Bevo, by Anheuser-Busch.

[Brad from Georgia] "Needle beer" was 3.2 beer spiked with alcohol, as I thought.

[Laura Leff] Funny...there's a chain of liquor stores out here called BevMo

[steve *shimp*] Yes! There used to be a place called Bevo Mills named after it, in St. Louis.

[Laura Leff] Aha...good guess, Brad!

[ed] LL there was OTR host who said the same thing about cigs on his show i was not happy with that comment not from you but him

[Brad from Georgia] In Utah, only 3.2 beer can be sold in supermarkets or other stores.

[Laura Leff] Ed - I apologize if I was at all off-base with it...not intending to be crude.

[steve *shimp*] Yes, I've heard many a horror story from people raised or stranded in Utah.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Not to mention the challenges with the Olympics there a few years back....

[Brad from Georgia] My daughter worked in Utah for a summer. Every weekend she and her friends drove to Las Vegas just for a change of mood.

[Laura Leff] Say, at the risk of taking us off-Benny...how many people here watch Mad Men?

[Brad from Georgia] Not I.

[steve *shimp*] Well, Utah is certainly culturally unique.

[ed] not a problem with you LL him 'cause he said this even though he knew the show he played A&C was sponsored by mokes

[Fred Allen] Nope

[steve *shimp*] I've seen a few episodes of Mad Men, liked it a lot, but don't follow it.

[ed] smokes*

[Laura Leff] I'm asking because a good part of the first season is spent on the main character being the lead creative for Lucky Strike.

[steve *shimp*] Oh, funny.

[steve *shimp*] Do the Sportsmen show up?

User Fred Allen has logged out.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Ah, got it. Yeah, it's just the irony of it.

[steve *shimp*] We're dropping like flies!

[Brad from Georgia] Pour some Grape-Nuts on your Jell-O, light up a Lucky, and insure yourself with State Farm....

[steve *shimp*] It's funny seeing Jack back on for Jell-O at the end of his TV run.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Nope...but they make it look like he invented the "It's Toasted" line, which LS used back in the 30s even before they had Jack.

[Laura Leff] And on top of it, Canada Dry is one of the sponsors of Mad Men.

[steve *shimp*] (twilight zone theme music)

[ed] canada dry made in Texas

[Laura Leff] Brad - And if you're tired, take a General.

[Brad from Georgia] About the first time I listened to a Benny program after getting (mostly) over the flu, it was one in which the Sportsmen all had terrible colds and Jack made them sing anyway. Man, did I empathize.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yes, and...well, let's make this a trivia question...

[Laura Leff] What sponsor worked with both Jack and Burns and Allen?

[steve *shimp*] General Foods?

[ed] jack had Orson Welles cover for him when he the flu right Laura?

[Laura Leff] Steve - Hmmm...I'm not sure if GF owned this company. I guess they might have.

[ed] had* darn keys

[Laura Leff] Ed - Pneumonia.

[Brad from Georgia] Carnation Milk is the only one I remember from B&A--I'm a child of the TV years.

[ed] thanx

 

(Some loss)

 

[ed] the "I"s have it

[Laura Leff] Josef - Television sponsors at the moment...

[Josef] okay cool, thanks

[steve *shimp*] I need to pick up the season DVDs and watch them straight through. What I've seen of that show is excellent.

[Brad from Georgia] Recently someone told me she would never, ever forget the "Twilight Zone" in which a woman killed her husband with a leg of lamb, then cooked it and served it to the police. What's wrong with that picture?

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yes, definitely. You've got to watch them in order, because the story builds on itself.

[steve *shimp*] It's not a twilight zone but a hitchcock presents.

[Brad from Georgia] Bingo, steve~

[Brad from Georgia] !

[ed] right

[steve *shimp*] With Barbara Bel Geddes! "Lamb to the Slaughter".

[Laura Leff] Sounds like the E-mail I got about someone's father who swore that, as a boy, he saw Jack working with the penguins on roller skates. But he wasn't a boy in 1969 when they did that bit.

[steve *shimp*] No way, Jack was in his seventies!  

[Laura Leff] I told her that he probably remembered the penguins, but saw the Marquis Chimps. Monkeys, penguins...all animals.

[Laura Leff] I've probably said this before, but you'd be astounded to know how often I get asked about those penguins.

[steve *shimp*] I just ordered the DOGVILLE shorts DVD. Slightly embarrased to admit that

[Brad from Georgia] I recently saw a Benny TV show I remembered from childhood...the one in which he calls for a closeup and the camera reveals him in an incredibly wizened, wrinkled mask.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Wow...I've heard about those. You're brave. I don't have the guts to tackle that movie yet.

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, I understand Jack had a serious tiff with one of his writers because of the penguin show.

[steve *shimp*] They are insanely wrong, but funny in a sick way.

[Laura Leff] Brad - How Jack Met Dennis

[Brad from Georgia] When I was a kid, the mask scared me!

[steve *shimp*] What year was that show?

[Laura Leff] That's the one show I remember seeing when I was watching the reruns of the show on the Detroit station circa 1980!

[Laura Leff] 2-11-64

[steve *shimp*] Thanks!

[Brad from Georgia] I would have been 15.

[Laura Leff] It's a pretty horrible mask, as I recall. And that's why the show stuck with me!

[Brad from Georgia] Scared me anyway.

[Laura Leff] It's also a show you couldn't really do now, because of the "Chinamen" storyline.

[Brad from Georgia] And that reminds me of the TZ "Eye of the Beholder." And Elly Mae Clampett.

[steve *shimp*] Isn't there a TV show where Jack plays Charlie Chan?

[Laura Leff] Oh...CBS recently asked me about the show Jack did with Rod Serling. Hoping they'll do something with it...I've offered them a copy.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yes, but it's not in circulation. With Jack Web..

[Laura Leff] Webb.

[steve *shimp*] Wonder how that would play today.

[Brad from Georgia] There's certainly a lot of radio shows where Jack starts a joke with "Confucius say..."

[steve *shimp*] I thought CBS included the Rod Serling episode on their Twilight Zone DVDs as an extra.

[ed] i think the real fred allen did a skit like that with the charlie chan face

[Laura Leff] Steve - I'd heard that they were going to do that, but I never looked it up to see if it happened.

[Laura Leff] Fred Allen didn't have to change his face much to do that...

[steve *shimp*] I'm pretty sure it did.

[Laura Leff] Supposedly it inspired someone at NBC or CBS to say, "These are great, we should release more of them!" And then it never happened.

[Laura Leff] Called around to see if the project was in the works, but could never turn up anything.

[Brad from Georgia] I caught the Benny show with Jayne Mansfield as a guest--it was a '63 show, but pretty much a retread of a '53 show with Marilyn Monroe.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yes, there are a number of shows with "recycled" scripts.

[steve *shimp*] Supposed to be on Twilight Zone Season 2 "The Definitive Edition" - there are a number of different DVD releases.

[Laura Leff] Ed Sullivan did the courtroom sketch twice.

[ed] and recycled blonds

[Laura Leff] Two different French actresses.

[steve *shimp*] The one with Gary Cooper (?) was redone with Clint Walker

[Laura Leff] Even the skit with Connie Francis in the final season of the TV show is a rework of "Ah Wilderness" that was originally done with Kenny Baker!

[Laura Leff] The Lem-Shem Hillbilly sketch.

[ed] ran out of storylines by then...

[Josef] wow. I've only started realizing the recycling storlines, especially from radio to TV

[Laura Leff] And let us count the times Jack tried to get a part in a movie with a beautiful actress when someone else has been cast as her leading man...leading to a showdown with the director in her house...

[steve *shimp*] I guess fair enough to recycle a live show into a film show, since the live ones wouldn't be re-run

[steve *shimp*] Basil Rathbone, Vincent Price, etc.

[Josef] Laura--Yes, I just saw a version of that today with Vincent Price & Irene Dunn

[Laura Leff] I've realized that my copy of "Gaslight" in the video library is misdated. They actually did the whole thing again later.

[ed] there was one from Nightbeat that was recycled to a untouchables episode

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, and sometimes it's interesting to see how the different renditions change jokes...and how the retained jokes don't always get the same laughs at the same places.

[Laura Leff] I want to see the show with Mike Wallace.

[Laura Leff] I've seen clips and it looks just fascinating.

[ed] sky kings announcer

[Laura Leff] Jack hitting the jackpot in Las Vegas was recycled into television in the Mills Brothers episode...on and on...

[Brad from Georgia] "From the clear blue of the Western sky...."

[Josef] then there were the countless time on TV and radio that Jack was "alone" on New Year's Eve

[Laura Leff] Jack also brought Ed up from the vault on the last season of both his radio and TV shows.

[ed] or jack was alone on his b-day

[Laura Leff] Ed - Which reminds me of a similar, more poignant story from Jack's real life.

[Laura Leff] I think it's in Milt Josefsberg's book...or maybe Irving Fein's.

[Josef] One of my favorite radio shows is the one with Edward G. Robinson as a killer, Dennis as Slugger, and that was re-worked into TV with Dan Duryea

[Laura Leff] Yup. And I think it may have been done another time on television...

[Laura Leff] Um...just can't remember who was the "tough".

[ed] josef i heard one like w/richard widmark

[Laura Leff] Yes, maybe that's the one I'm thinking of...radio not television...

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

[Brad from Georgia] What was the real-life story, Laura?

[ed] he was in adream after reading a crime book

[Josef] ed, I've heard that one too. Wonder if they did it with Bogart

[ed] it is a classic

[Laura Leff] Brad - Basically, IIRC (haven't read it in a while), Jack was working with some of his writers and staff...and they all went out for Chinese food.

[Josef] yes

[ed] widmarks laugh is great in that show

[Laura Leff] So they're all sitting around eating, and Jack says something like, "You know, fellas...today is my birthday."

[Laura Leff] And they all kind of uncomfortably look at each other, kind of ashamed that none of them had realized it, and then being sort of sad that no one was making a bigger deal of it.

[Josef] yeah, and I always love Dennis' slugger character.

[Laura Leff] And they said a rather subdued, "Well...happy birthday, Jack." And dinner continued.

[ed] right

[Josef] wow

[Laura Leff] But I think this was into Mary's reclusive years--they had probably moved out of 1002 by that time.

[Laura Leff] So fewer parties, etc.

[Laura Leff] So that's the story.

[Brad from Georgia] Well, another radio personality...Garrison Keillor had a stroke on Labor Day, but he's back at work. Barbara and I went down to Atlanta a week ago Monday to hear him give a talk and get a book signed by him.

[Brad from Georgia] He seems to be fine.

[Laura Leff] Good for him. Glad they jumped on it quickly.

[Brad from Georgia] He drove himself to the emergency room!

[Laura Leff] Oh that's a little scary...

[steve *shimp*] mmm. Not maybe the wisest option.

[Laura Leff] Couldn't be that much scarier than when Larry Adler drove us to dinner in London...

[Brad from Georgia] He said he was in a bookstore, felt as if a baloon were inflating in his head, and realized his speech was slurred--so he drove 15 miles to the hospital....

[ed] he postpone a show here in springfield until feb 2010

[steve *shimp*] So, Laura, tell us some of your memories of Larry Adler since he was on the show

[Laura Leff] Brad - That's so midwestern. I should know. I'm midwestern.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Oh sorry...I didn't mean to drop a name. Wasn't trying to get "drawn out."

[steve *shimp*] No, I'd like to hear!

[Laura Leff] What would you like to know?

[Brad from Georgia] He said he snuck a peek at his chart in the ER: "67 year old man, communicative, alert, responsive, and appropriate." "How sweet," he said. "I always wanted to be appropriate."

[steve *shimp*] Well, the thing that pops into my head is the George Burns story about him and Jack.

[Laura Leff] The one about Mary asking Larry about Jack being overseas?

[steve *shimp*] But I don't know a lot about Larry.

[steve *shimp*] No, the one where Jack told George that Larry was the world's greatest comedian.

[Laura Leff] Oh yeah...don't slam the door.

[steve *shimp*] And George gave him hell for years about that...

[Laura Leff] And when you've heard Larry talk, that's a line that you can absolutely hear him saying.

[steve *shimp*] The Begin the Beguine was wonderful on the show.

[Laura Leff] When I met him (1998...we'd corresponded for a few years prior), he had picked up a slight bit of the British accent and definite clipped tones since he had lived there so many years.

[Brad from Georgia] He was from Maryland originally, I think.

[Laura Leff] He also was just starting to have a problem with his hands and was having a little difficulty playing the harmonica...had given me passes to his performance while I was there, but it ended up getting delayed.

[ed] right brad baltimore

[Laura Leff] His book "It Ain't Necessarily So" is definitely worth a read to learn more about his ascendency in show business.

[steve *shimp*] (trying to imagine a baltimore accent x a british one)

[Laura Leff] While he was on tour with Jack, he and Ingrid had a rather torrid affair.

[Laura Leff] Baltimore x Jewish x British...interesting combination

[steve *shimp*] Ingrid Bergman only had an affair if it was torrid.

[Brad from Georgia] I used to have a record of Adler playing a Vaughan Williams composition. "Romance in D," I think.

[Laura Leff] Larry had a serious ego...even into his later years. He and Ingrid talked about getting married, but in Larry's words, "I didn't want to be Mr. Ingrid Bergman."

[steve *shimp*] Interesting.

[Laura Leff] Larry had the rights to play "Bolero" royalty-free any time he wanted...from the composer.

[Laura Leff] Uh let's see...I'm into Factoid Land at the moment...

[Laura Leff] I can tell you a story about him getting hassled by a burly lorrie driver just shortly before I met him...

[steve *shimp*] Has anyone read Sheldon Leonard's book?

[steve *shimp*] (oh, and please do on the lorry driver story)

[Laura Leff] And you probably know that Larry got caught in the Red Scare (I think his was among the first names in Red Channels) which is why he moved to London and stayed there.

[Laura Leff] Sheldon Leonard has a book?

[Laura Leff] He probably has had for a while, since he has passed on...

[steve *shimp*] Yeah. I was wondering how much Jack was covered in it.

[steve *shimp*] I think it's called "And the Show Goes On", or something like that.

[ed] LL you are right about Adler and the romance in D

[Laura Leff] Huh!

[steve *shimp*] The topic occasionally comes up of which Benny cast had written books -

[ed] from 1952

[Laura Leff] Yes, now that you mention it, I think we had discussed it. I had just forgotten and didn't follow through on it.

[Laura Leff] I'm still trying to finish Gore Vidal's "Creation" and promised myself I wouldn't buy any new books until I finished it.

[Laura Leff] So here's a story of Larry's chutzpah that really does encapsulate him...Larry told me this while I was there.

[Laura Leff] Larry is driving along (which, at his age, was maybe a bit on the risky side), and he does something that ticks off a lorry driver (a lorry is what's known as a semi here, or an 18-wheeler...big truck).

[Brad from Georgia] (Jeez, talk about recycling strips..."Family Guy" hasChevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd as guest voices...so they're recapping the script of "Spies Like Us." Feh.)

[Laura Leff] And they're stopped somewhere, and he sees this big burly driver get out of his cab and come storming towards his car ready to let him have it.

[Laura Leff] Remember, Larry is like in his 80s at this point, little wiry Jewish guy.

[Laura Leff] And Larry rolls down his window, and before the driver can say anything, Larry says, "I bet you can't say what you're going to say to me without using the word f**king."

[steve *shimp*]  

[Josef] that's great

[Laura Leff] And the driver is caught off-guard, pulls back, thinks about it a bit, and says, "You know what...I can't!"

[steve *shimp*] ROFLMAO

[Josef] awesome

[Laura Leff] So they both laughed, shook hands, the driver got back in his truck and off they went.

[steve *shimp*] Wow.

[Laura Leff] And that's Larry.

[Brad from Georgia] Good story!

[steve *shimp*] I'm going to have to remember that one. I'm sure it wouldn't work as well in Florida as the UK.

[Laura Leff] Yes, the Baltimore cum Yiddishkeit cum British accent tends to help it.

[steve *shimp*] I imagine!

[Laura Leff] Think of that the next time you hear the radio show where Larry is a guest and he ad libs and Jack gets really mad at him!

[steve *shimp*] Just looked at the Sheldon Leonard book index on Amazon, seems like Jack has a fair few pages devoted to him.

[steve *shimp*] Maybe I'll hunt down a copy.

[Laura Leff] I'll have to check it out.

[Laura Leff] One of these days...

[Laura Leff] So what else Benny-wise?

[steve *shimp*] That's about it for me, I need to head on out.

[Laura Leff] Any requests for the show next month?

[steve *shimp*] It's been great chatting with you all as usual.

[Laura Leff] Not Jack dreams he is a turkey...we've done that one.

[Brad from Georgia] I think I'll fold into tenths like an Arab and silently steal away. I'm still a little blah from the flu.

[steve *shimp*] Surprise us, Laura!

[Brad from Georgia] Maybe a football-game show?

[Laura Leff] OK...I'll find something fun.

[steve *shimp*] Great. Night all!