IJBFC Chat - January 3, 2010

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

[Maxwell] Hi boss!

[Laura Leff] Hi folks!

[steve -shimp-] Well, it's maybe 48 or 50 degrees here

[yhtapmys] Hello Laura

[steve -shimp-] Hi Laura!

[Brad from Georgia] We're about 25 degrees below normal temps for the months. Hi, Laura!

[Laura Leff] Sounds about the same temperature as here.

[ed] Hi LL

[Maxwell] You missed my temp. It's 10 here.

[Laura Leff] How's everyone doing tonight? Recovering from New Years?

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - I'm happy that I'm here!  

[Maxwell] We let the amateurs go out on New Years.

[steve -shimp-] I'm not complaining. Nice change of pace

[Brad from Georgia] It's about 32 here. Up from 19 this morning. I'm trying to rev up for school tomorrow.

[Maxwell] I'll be ready to go tomorrow. Two weeks is just the right abount of time off.

[Laura Leff] I'm doing a few days of work this week, and then getting a longer break that I've wanted to take since October.

[yhtapmys] brb

User yhtapmys has logged out.

[Brad from Georgia] I dread tomorrow. Registration, and we're so overcrowded it's crazy trying to find classes to put students in.

[Maxwell] Are you at a 4-year school or a CC?

[steve -shimp-] I had maybe 3 days off total for the holidays, no big deal.

[Brad from Georgia] Well, well, well...LL have you interviewed Charles Herbert yet?

[Laura Leff] Nope...but he may well find me one of these days!

[steve -shimp-] I've read Charles Herbert has some issues talking about his child acting days

[Laura Leff] Someone who played a young violinist on one of the shows just recently contacted me.

[steve -shimp-] Another one who things didn't go so well for, unfortunately.

[Laura Leff] So he's still around and acting?

[Brad from Georgia] He's still around. He had a pretty fair career as a child actor. His first role was in THE LONG, LONG TRAILER.

[steve -shimp-] Still around, but not acting.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--He hasn't acted for ages.

[Laura Leff] OIC

[Brad from Georgia] He's a year younger than I am.

[Laura Leff] Is he a producer now?

[steve -shimp-] I read one interview with him, the usual drugs and abuse kind of narrative.

[steve -shimp-] No, I think he's a civilian!

[steve -shimp-] Out of "the biz"

[Laura Leff] Understandable I guess, considering his experience!

[Laura Leff] So since we've already segued, what thoughts on tonight's show?

[steve -shimp-] All too common for kid actors.

[Brad from Georgia] I tried to find out who animated the Lucky Strike commercial. Consensus was that it was John Sutherland.

[Brad from Georgia] Sutherland was a former Disney animator.

[steve -shimp-] That's a nice copy on archive.org, totally complete.

[Laura Leff] I don't remember if I saw this in tonight's show, but it seems they named one of their animated characters "Scoop"

[steve -shimp-] So many of these things are chopped all to hell.

[Laura Leff] Yeah, thanks for finding it, Steve!

[Brad from Georgia] Yep, good show. 'Course I'm rare in LIKING the "New Tenant" sketches.

[Laura Leff] I like seeing Gene Twombley!

[Brad from Georgia] Benny Rubin had a nice small bit.

[Laura Leff] Wish we'd seen him more!

[steve -shimp-] OK, Twombley looks TOTALLY different from a pic I've seen of him and Bea.

[Laura Leff] Hey, the Benny Rubin bit was supposed to be played by Herb Vigran. Apparently he cancelled and they switched.

[ed] benny rubin was one of the greatest comics

[ed] ever!!!

[Maxwell] Giving my dad a chance to say, "Benny Rubin!" no doubt.

[Laura Leff] The "nothing" reminded me of the "Ida know" bit

[steve -shimp-] Oh, it's funnier with Rubin no doubt.

[Laura Leff] Ed - You ought to read his book!

[steve -shimp-] Herb Vigran's a better "straight man".

[ed] how's that LL?

[Laura Leff] Ed - Benny Rubin's book

[ed] does he say he isn't?

[Laura Leff] Ed - No, just if you're a Rubin fan, you'll enjoy his book.

[steve -shimp-] Herb Vigran's eyebrows should've had their own spinoff show.

[ed] oh ok i have some of the JB dvd's and he was sparkling

[ed] like in the train station

[Laura Leff] Oh yes, he was working on the Benny show since way back. It was with Rubin that Mary had her radio debut even before Jack's!

[steve -shimp-] I think Benny Rubin might have done more, on a percentage basis, of the TV shows than the radio shows. He's in them a LOT.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - I think I heard a radio show in the 30s and heard Rubin's voice when I was doing Volume 1 and exclaimed "Benny Rubin!"

[Maxwell] You and my dad would have gotten along really well, LL!  

[Laura Leff] Ned Miller also puts in a lot of appearances.

[Brad from Georgia] My mom also likes Benny Rubin. One of the actors she always recognized on TV.

[Maxwell] I find that unconsciously I do the same thing when I see him.

[Laura Leff] So is there a "bit" that springs to mind when you think of Benny Rubin?

[ed] he also had a great voice for the characters he played...

[Maxwell] I dunno....

[steve -shimp-] As an East Lansing native, I got a kick out of the Sportsmen doing the MSU fight song.

[Laura Leff] He played a lot of characters, but he's like Blanche Stewart...isn't associated with a lot of "bits".

[Brad from Georgia] Maxwell took the one I'd mention.

[steve -shimp-] Yeah, "I dunno"

[Laura Leff] That's the only one I can think of myself.

[Laura Leff] BRB

[steve -shimp-] On TV he did a great "poker face"

[Maxwell] steve, I can picture that now.

[steve -shimp-] The kind of thing that usually breaks Jack up, like Mel or Percy Kilbride

[Maxwell] Si.

[steve -shimp-] I think Jack found people who DIDN'T react to him funny (George Burns, another case in point).

[Brad from Georgia] BTW, the bit with Gregory Peck on "Love Letter to Jack Benny" is GREAT. Jack completely cracks up Peck, who has to turn his back to the camera to collect himself.

[Laura Leff] I've seen points where it looks like both he and Mel are going to break up.

[steve -shimp-] "I'm the voice of Bugs Bunny!"

[Laura Leff] And of course, Jack breaking up the UCLA coach

[Maxwell] I was just about to mention that. Did the same to him as he did to Peck.

[Brad from Georgia] Steve--yep. I'm sure Jack thought of the "Bugs" line as sweet revenge.

[steve -shimp-] And then he muffed it!

[Laura Leff] I liked Jack's blooper of "hello 46"

[Maxwell] I liked the ad lib about his age.

[Laura Leff] They actually did a New Tenant (sort of) on 12/30/45.

[steve -shimp-] Good ad-lib recovery for someone who "wasn't an ad-libber"

[Brad from Georgia] I got the feeling that the stage set wasn't QUITE the same as the actual radio studio.

[Laura Leff] I think Jack could ad lib just fine, but he preferred to perfect the timing so he didn't end up like Fred Allen.

[Laura Leff] Brad - You're probably right, but what makes you say that?

[steve -shimp-] Me too Brad. I'd love to see a real film of a typical broadcast (though the Camp Haan is close)

[Brad from Georgia] BTW, I think--not sure but I heard it somewhere--that the short animated character in the LS commercial was named "Lucky."

[Laura Leff] Brad - Maybe, but I've seen him referred to sometimes as "Scoop" in the script

[Brad from Georgia] LL--the actors were miked separately--the ribbon microphones were just props.

[Laura Leff] Any guesses on the voices in the opening animation?

[Brad from Georgia] Scoop/Lucky sounded so familiar, but I couldn't place the voice.

[Laura Leff] Brad - That's a good point. They would have done the audio via boom.

[Laura Leff] I'm assuming the woman was still Dorothy Collins at this time.

[Brad from Georgia] I expect the real studio used more than two mikes--at least three or probably four.

[Brad from Georgia] Atlanta Radio Theater uses a minimum of four actor mikes, plus a couple of mikes for foley and sound fx.

[Laura Leff] Brad - There was a star mike for Jack/Mary/guest, and generally a supporting mike, plus a separate one for SFX

[Laura Leff] And a separate setup for the orchestra

[Brad from Georgia] And we're an amateur group!

[steve -shimp-] Was the orchestra on stage or in a pit?

[Laura Leff] Steve - I think they were on stage, IIRC

[steve -shimp-] (insert obvious phil harris joke)

[Laura Leff] Seen photos of this

[steve -shimp-] I seem to think so too

[steve -shimp-] but don't know why

[Brad from Georgia] The actors would have to stand pretty close to the mikes. Though those old ribbon mikes had good pickup for the time.

[Laura Leff] Also you can hear the orchestra laughing at some jokes, and Remley was sort of a "laugh leader", so I think you'd want to have him seen.

[Maxwell] From pictures of studio setups I've seen, the orchestra would have been on stage.

[Brad from Georgia] A lot of times I can pick out Phil's laugh in the shows from the forties.

[Laura Leff] Remember the show from the chat a couple of months ago where the orchestra keeps laughing at Don reading from the book?

[Laura Leff] About Bert Scott and his wife being romantic?

[steve -shimp-] Yep

[Laura Leff] So what else about tonight's show?

[Maxwell] Never ask a coach or athlete to read lines.

[Laura Leff] It is definitely different without most of the "usual gang"

[Brad from Georgia] Reminded me that Dwight Eisenhower had a serious heart attack in 1955!

[steve -shimp-] We always used to go to the Duffy Daugherty building on the Michigan State campus.

[steve -shimp-] Now I know what he looks like!

[Laura Leff] Who won that game?

[Laura Leff] And I didn't get a chance to look this up...I thought this show was done live, but Jack keeps talking about the game "tomorrow"

[Maxwell] I've had the video of that for 3-4 years, and I've never looked up who won the game.

[Laura Leff] Was the Rose Bowl played on 1/2?

[steve -shimp-] Michigan State won

[Laura Leff] Steve - *High five*

[steve -shimp-] Heheheh

[Maxwell] Yeah...They never played bowl games on Sunday.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Why not?

[Maxwell] I'm not sure. The NFL wouldn't have been a factor then. My guess is that it's probably because 1/2 would have been the legal holiday.

[Brad from Georgia] LL-Probably the same reason we can't buy beer on Sundays in GA.

[Laura Leff] I'd think a lot of people would have to go back to work on Monday and miss the game.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Got it. Thanks!

[Maxwell] Nope. When 1/1 is on Sunday, 1/2 is the legal holiday.

[steve -shimp-] The Sabbath - some people's sabbath, was a big deal then

[Brad from Georgia] Maxwell's right.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Wow...dry state. Go figure.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Good point.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--No, we're a wet state. Just blue laws about Sundays.

[steve -shimp-] I just saw a clip of Warner Oland as Charlie Chan pitching against a proposed Pennsylvania law that would've made MOVIES illegal on Sundays.

[steve -shimp-] Sometime in the mid-thirties

[Laura Leff] OK, thanks much. I thought that I was going to have to do some deeper research to figure that out.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Only Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Harlow, and Mae West pre-code movies.

[Brad from Georgia] We still have folks in GA who would like to make it illegal to open any business on Sunday.

[Maxwell] In Illinois they made it a law about 10-15 years ago that car dealerships can't be open on Sundays.

[Brad from Georgia] Did you know that in Colonial Massachusetts it was against the law to cross a river on Sunday unless you were going to or coming home from church?

[Laura Leff] I remember seeing a yellow page ad in Indiana that said something like "Closed on Sundays just like any good family business!"

[Maxwell] Only business that has that restriction.

[steve -shimp-] That's an odd one Max

[Laura Leff] My memory wants to edit it to "Closed on Sundays just like any good God-fearing family business!"

[steve -shimp-] I'm hearing "Highway to Hell" in my head

[ed] Hobbie lobbie's are not open so their employees can worship

[Brad from Georgia] BTW, I liked the way that Jack held the script and pointed out Charles Herbert's lines for the lad to read.

[Laura Leff] Oh thanks...now I'm hearing it too...

[Maxwell] When I was a kid, they past out stickers to put on cars that said, "Keep Sunday holy. Don't shop." This was because exactly one grocery store opened its doors on Sunday.

[Laura Leff] It looked like he had memorized most of his lines...not that they were very complicated.

[steve -shimp-] I wonder if he was old enough to even read

[steve -shimp-] He looks about 4 or 5, if that

[Brad from Georgia] There was a Boston family that was fined and imprisoned in the late 1600s for committing the sin of celebrating Christmas.

[Laura Leff] I'm Jewish...I'm not supposed to shop from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. And then people go and close on Sunday...ah well...

[Brad from Georgia] Steve--He was born in 1948, so he would have been eight.

[steve -shimp-] Wow! He is TINY

[Laura Leff] Yeah, can't even climb up on the box by himself! Mel has to lift him up.

[Maxwell] Brad, the Puritans were very much against celebrating Christmas. During the time they ran the country (Cromwell), they imprisoned people who celebrated Christmas, I think.

[Laura Leff] Oh, and you can see "the box" that Belly Laugh Barton talked about in the Times a while back.

[Brad from Georgia] Yeah, he played young for a lot of his career. Remember the original "The Fly"? Herbert and Vincent Price in that spiderweb scene....

[Maxwell] That makes him my wife's age.

[steve -shimp-] Help meeeeeee!

[steve -shimp-] Charles Herbert's in a ton of things

[steve -shimp-] 13 GHOSTS he has pretty much the lead part

[Laura Leff] I don't think he ever was a Beverly Hills Beaver, though.

[Laura Leff] I'd have to double-check that though.

[steve -shimp-] He's in the show where Jack takes his brother to the dentist

[Laura Leff] My tooth don't hurt?

[steve -shimp-] were they supposed to be the Beavers in that one?

[Laura Leff] Yup, they were. OK, I stand corrected!

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, he did play a Beaver once.

[Maxwell] So where exactly was Jack looking to find his name when he was fumbling around for it?

[steve -shimp-] Jerry Mathers fought him in the parking lot afterward

[Laura Leff] So let's see...he was in this show, 1/12/58, and that's it.

[Brad from Georgia] Herbert's career spanned fourteen years, according to the imdb. He last made an appearance on "My Three Sons," 1966.

[Laura Leff] Everyone sing the "My Three Sons" theme song to yourselves now...

[steve -shimp-] I'm holding an accordion precariously close to my feet

[Maxwell] I'll play the chopsticks part on the piano.

[Laura Leff]  

[Laura Leff] I'll just tap my toe

[steve -shimp-]  

[Maxwell] Amazing how Mike just disappeared after he got married....

[Laura Leff] That happens to a lot of married people

[Maxwell] Absolutely no contact after the family moved to California.

[Laura Leff] So what else about tonight's show?

[steve -shimp-] Apparently on My Three Sons they'd just shoot all of Fred Mac Murray's stuff for a whole season at the beginning, then the rest of the year it was the other actors playing to no Fred whatsoever

[steve -shimp-] Weird

[Laura Leff] Interesting...I never knew that.

[steve -shimp-] Some contractual thing MacMurray had.

[Laura Leff] Because he had other acting commitments?

[steve -shimp-] Or didn't want to go in every day or something!

[Maxwell] Kind of like James Arness in Gunsmoke.

[Brad from Georgia] Hah...I remember Michael Landon on "Merv Griffin": Merv says "We've got a really big surprise for you." Landon ad-libbed, "You found Adam!"

[steve -shimp-] So they'd have to have a whole season of scripts ready to go before they even shot.

[Maxwell] Well, Adam went "back east."

[Laura Leff] That's funny...I always thought of Adam West.

[Brad from Georgia] The actual surprise was footage from "I Was a Teenage Werewolf".

[Brad from Georgia] Adam Cartwright went to Harvard, if I recall correctly, and never came back to the Ponderosa....

[Laura Leff] How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm, after they've seen Cambridge...

[Maxwell] Even after Hoss died.

[Brad from Georgia] I don't think the recreation worked as well as it would have with some of the radio gang...too bad.

[Laura Leff] Hoss is on the Benny Birthday Special...

[Laura Leff] Yeah. It was a live show, so no chance of Mary playing Columbia.

[Laura Leff] And Rochester was never in the New Tenant.

[Laura Leff] Does anyone really "get" the Mars joke?

[Brad from Georgia] Mrs. Wilson was a bitof an amateur.

[Laura Leff] She was actually a professional actress though...she's in a LOT of Benny shows.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--Flying saucers. There was a big flying saucer "flap" in 1955, and Mars was unusually close to the Earth in the fall of that year.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Aha...got it. Thanks!

[Maxwell] And John Foster Dulles back then did seem to be flying everywhere.

[steve -shimp-] Why is a rush of saucer sightings called a "flap"?

[Laura Leff] Awkward live editing cutting around to Twombley and the actors...

[Brad from Georgia] Now every year in early fall the Internet legend "Mars will appear larger than the full moon!" breaks out. If it ever does, we're in deep, uh, trouble.

[steve -shimp-] Never understood that one

[Laura Leff] I made a fool of myself over John Foster Dulles.

[Brad from Georgia] I keep thinking of Hans Conreid when I hear Twombley's name, and I finally figured out why: He was in a movie called "The Twonky."

[steve -shimp-] Better than Florence Foster Jenkins

[Laura Leff] Sounds like a joke about Eleanor Roosevelt

[Maxwell] Great Carol Burnett bit.

[ed] FFJ was presented in a way on wait wait don't tell me in October

[Laura Leff] FFJ?

[steve -shimp-] Conried was also "Terwilliger" in 5,000 fingers of Dr. T.

[Maxwell] Brad, it's easy: Paul Henreid, Hans Conried.

[steve -shimp-] a bit like "Twombley"

[Laura Leff] They're both well-reid.

[Maxwell] And of course bringing Hans up was inevitable.

[Maxwell] But neither was Britt Reid.

[Brad from Georgia] Steve--One of my favorite films. It's got Tommy Rettig in it.

[Brad from Georgia] I was a huge "Lassie" fan as a little kid.

[steve -shimp-] I've always wanted to like Dr. T a bit more than I really do

[Maxwell] And Jeff was so much better than Timmy.

[Laura Leff] I discovered that Lassie was on a Benny show.

[steve -shimp-] Cool to see live action Dr. Seuss but it seems overlong and the songs kind of stink

[steve -shimp-] Who did Lassie play? Babe?

[steve -shimp-] (ouch, sorry)

[Laura Leff] Har har...cameo appearance.

[Brad from Georgia] "...and George Cleveland as Gramps."

[Laura Leff] How did the video thing work for people? Prefer it over audio, or...?

[Maxwell] Gramps died during production.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Wow...like Redd Foxx dying on set?

[Maxwell] It's easier to multi-task with audio.

[steve -shimp-] I liked doing a TV ep, but hope we aren't alienating anyone on dial-up

[Brad from Georgia] I nearly got to meet Lassie when I was autographing "Wishbone" books at the ABA one year--but they wouldn't let dogs in, so I never got to meet Wishbone, either.

[Brad from Georgia] Yeh, I really prefer the audio.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Very true. I was going to "listen" to the show while doing some other research, and then realized it was video.

[Maxwell] I don't know if he was on set when he died, but it was the last season before the change in family, and Cleveland had a heart attack, I think.

[steve -shimp-] I can't multitask with audio, I need to be "listening" to it, so it's all the same to me.

[Laura Leff] OK. I appreciate the input.

[Laura Leff] So what else Benny-wise is on folks minds tonight?

[Brad from Georgia] Max--He died of a heart attack, but not while on the set. They wrote Gramps's death into the final show with Jeff.

[Maxwell] Trivia: June Lockhart wasn't Timmy's first adopted mom. Anybody here remember who it was?

[Laura Leff] I remember when Mr. Hooper died on Sesame Street.

[Maxwell] Thanks...That's kind of what I remembered.

[steve -shimp-] Bea Benaderet? (Petticoat Junction ref....)

[Laura Leff] And Will Geer on The Waltons.

[Maxwell] But I was just a kid then, and Smilin' Ed was a big enough trauma.

[Maxwell] steve: nope.

[steve -shimp-] I don't even know if I've ever seen a full episode of Lassie. So I'm just snarkin'.

[Maxwell] Everyone is now going to either imdb or tv.com....

[Laura Leff] Nope...I'm right here.  

[Brad from Georgia] Chloris Leachman?

[Maxwell] Brad...which web site?

[Laura Leff] I figure everyone else can look it up...

[Brad from Georgia] I just have a vague memory.

[Brad from Georgia] Was it her?

[Maxwell] It was.

[steve -shimp-] Frau Blucher (whinny!!!)

[Laura Leff] *applause*

[Maxwell] Five bonus points if you can name her husband in the show.

[Brad from Georgia] Funny, I can't really remember the Timmy years that well. Timmy's mom was Ruth Martin? That right?

[Maxwell] (Real name)

[Maxwell] Right.

[Brad from Georgia] Hugh Riley?

[Maxwell] Nope. He came with Lockhart.

[ed] grampa was george cleveland who died during the show's run

[Brad from Georgia] I can't remember the character's name, let alone the actor!

[Laura Leff] So was this just like Doctor Who and the characters regenerated into new actors, or did they take Lassie to the pound and someone else adopted her?

[steve -shimp-] Anyone hear Cloris Leachman name drop Jack Benny on one of those comedy central roasts?

[steve -shimp-] It's not a family-friendly line...

[Brad from Georgia] Was it Hugh Martin?

[Maxwell] Paul Martin played by Hugh Riley.

[Brad from Georgia] Darn, I can remember the original show a lot better!

[Maxwell] Riley replaced that famous star Jon Shepodd.

[Brad from Georgia] Paul Martin. Okay...John Shepard or something like that? I can barely remember Cloris (and can't spell her name).

[Brad from Georgia] I was close.

[Laura Leff] That's odd.

[Maxwell] They were only on during the 1957-58 season.

[Brad from Georgia] I do remember "Uncle Petrie." Remember him and Cully?

[Maxwell] Playing the same characters as Lockhart and Riley.

[Maxwell] Cully was played by Andy Clyde.

[Maxwell] Uncle Petrie by George Chandler.

[Brad from Georgia] Yep. And Unk was George Chandler.

[Maxwell] Andy Clyed was also playing George McMichael on "The Real McCoys."

[Maxwell] Clyde

[Laura Leff] Lassie was on 11/17/57.

[Brad from Georgia] Andy Clyde had a long career. Yep, I remember George: "Dag-nab it, I--I--I--I've said my say!"

[ed] richard crenna walter on our miss brooks

[Maxwell] Yup, and his last roll was in Judging Amy.

[Brad from Georgia] I DID get to meet Richard Crenna once--in an Atlanta restaurant. Just said hi to him--he was very gracious.

[Maxwell] He was going to marry the character played by Tyne Daly.

[steve -shimp-] Walter Denton was the proto-Urkel.

[ed] he "married" tyne daly

[Maxwell] Did he? I couldn't remember if he did or not.

[Brad from Georgia] Much later in his career he was doing some radio interview and did the Walter Denton voice--perfectly.

[steve -shimp-] That would've brought down Rambo.

[Maxwell] Well, he did the voice for close to ten years I think.

[Brad from Georgia] I think "Rambo" would have been a better movie had Crenna done the whole thing as Denton.

[ed] he did before he died of pancreatic cancer i thought he marri8ed her maybe not

[Maxwell] I remember a Kellogg's cereal ad where he did the that voice.

[Maxwell] ed I really don't remember either.

[Brad from Georgia] Maxwell--Maybe that was it!

[steve -shimp-] I agree Brad

[ed] he was in 4 or 5 episodes before he died

[Laura Leff] Of course, with their connection with Thurl Ravenscroft and Paul Frees, Kellogg's had a healthy regard for good period voices.

[steve -shimp-] Crenna also did basically the same character on MY FAVORITE HUSBAND and I LOVE LUCY

[Brad from Georgia] I watched both "George Washington Slept Here" and "The Horn Blows at Midnight" on TCM...my wife's TiVo recordedit for me.

[Brad from Georgia] Dang it, my laptop space bar's sticky.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Had you seen them previously?

[Maxwell] I watched George Washington Slept Here again when it was on.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--Oh, yes. Been a while, though. I really wish GWSH had gone out with a better climax and ending gag.

[Brad from Georgia] It's got great bits, but it's less than the sum of its parts, somehow.

[Laura Leff] I haven't seen it in so long...I remember the climax as finding the Washington letter in the boot.

[Maxwell] They end up in their underwear.

[Brad from Georgia] I still laugh out loud at Jack's throwaway line about the horrible-sounding Ben Franklin music box: "Sounds like Phil Harris's orchestra...."

[Maxwell] I do too.

[Laura Leff] I remember early on in my Benny career that people used to say GWSH was one of Jack's best, but it seems like over the years I hear most people evolve to it not being that good.

[Maxwell] I still enjoy it, but it's no Mr. Blandings.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--the bad guy agrees to buy the letter from Washington, solving everything; and then the 17 year locusts eat Benny's and Kilbride's clothing off them.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Ah yes! Must have had Beloin and Morrow doing a little punching...

[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh right...the reason I don't remember that is when I was copying it off TV onto Beta (which shows you how long ago it was)

[Laura Leff] the tape ran out at that point.

[Laura Leff] I flipped to another tape, but there was so little left of the movie that in re-watching, I usually just stopped there.

[Brad from Georgia] It does have good moments, though. Charles Coburn doesn't have a heck of a lot to do.

[Laura Leff] And one of these days the kids will turn up...I get asked about them from time to time.

[Maxwell] And it's ironic that Benny's character thought Ann Sheridan's character was doing what Mary thought Jack was doing.

User ed k has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] With Ann Sheridan...

[Maxwell] Yup.

[ed k] it's the same ed pay no attention to the ed k

[Laura Leff] For the Times subscribers, hope you enjoy the Benny/Sheridan photo I tucked at the end.

[Laura Leff] Someone sent it to me and I hadn't seen it previously.

[steve -shimp-] Mine hasn't hit the mailbox yet, can't wait!

[Brad from Georgia] The subplot with the daughter and the actor really didn't go anywhere.

[Maxwell] It went on stage.

[Laura Leff] I've got a lobby card with Jack holding a gun on them.

[Brad from Georgia] Hattie McDaniel had a nice little role, though it wasn't much different from all her maid's roles.

[Maxwell] It took me half the movie to figure out who the sister's boyfriend was.

[Brad from Georgia] And the bratty kid is NOT funny. Just annoying.

[Laura Leff] So aside from To Be or Not To Be...what's Jack's second best movie?

[Laura Leff] Bratty kid characters are never funny in my book.

[Maxwell] I liked Buck Benny but it's been years since I've seen it.

[steve -shimp-] I have seen so few of Jack's movies it is pathetic

[Brad from Georgia] I liked "Charlie's Aunt," but it's definitely B-movie. "Buck Benny" is good, especially as a showcase for Eddie Anderson.

[Laura Leff] Someone recently asked me about which Benny movies they should see since they're a newbie, and I probably gave them a much longer answer than they wanted.

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[Maxwell] I think anybody who is familiar with Jack from radio or TV is going to be disappointed by most of his movies.

[Brad from Georgia] "Horn Blows at Midnight" isn't the bomb Jack claimed it was. It's weakened by a lot of obvious stunt-double work and some over-elaborate sight gags.

[Laura Leff] I had enough material for the current Times and laid aside a fun article someone sent me with Jack promoting "Horn" and talking about how "Meanest Man" was the worst movie ever...

[Brad from Georgia] But it, too has very funny moments.

[steve -shimp-] Horn Blows is weird and surreal, I like it, but not especially because of Jack.

[Laura Leff] Yes, Jack in "Horn" is kind of like Jack in various guest appearances where he's not really playing his "standard character".

[Brad from Georgia] The radio version of "Horn" is actually better than the film, in my opinion--but I'm sappy and sentimental, and so is the radio play.

[Maxwell] You're a sentimental sap, that's all.

[Laura Leff] Brad - I don't go for a lot of sentimentality, but I like the radio play better too.

[Laura Leff] So no votes for "Love Thy Neighbor", eh?  

[Brad from Georgia] See, that's why I like the "New Tenant" sketches. And whenever I read "A Christmas Carol," I ALWAYS tear up at the end.

[Laura Leff] No, I'm not voting for it either.

[Brad from Georgia] Never seen it, LL.

[steve -shimp-] Jack's "persona" is too overpowering for most movies to handle - that is, he has too much audience expectation to take on other characters easily.

[Maxwell] steve, exactly.

[steve -shimp-] I wonder how "Horn Blows" would be with someone say, like Jack Haley in the lead.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Except for Josef Tura.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Ooh...that could work well...

[steve -shimp-] I'd argue even there, a bit.

[Maxwell] There was a lot of Jack in Josef Tura.

[Brad from Georgia] The "romance" in "Charlie's Aunt" is incredibly tacked-on.

[Laura Leff] Tura was written for Jack.

[Maxwell] Or shall I say, Jack's personna.

[Laura Leff] I think Charlie's Aunt isn't a great movie, but it's just fun to see Jack running around in drag.

[Brad from Georgia] How about "Horn" with Hans Conried?

[Laura Leff] Well, that would be inevitable.

[Maxwell] That was inevitable.

[Laura Leff] That was repetetive.  

[Brad from Georgia] LL--"Charlie's Aunt" is about on par with Laurel and Hardy's "A Chump at Oxford": pleasant, with some laughs, but not outstanding.

[Laura Leff] Brad - I've never been much of an L&H fan, so I'll take your word on it.

[Maxwell] Nice twist with Stan being smart, though.

[Maxwell] Time for a rousing chorus of Honolulu Baby!

[Laura Leff] I think you're right about Buck Benny though...I'd go between that and "Man About Town" for my #2.

[Brad from Georgia] When I see "Chump" now, Stan always reminds me of Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster.

[Laura Leff] Would that make Stephen Fry Oliver Hardy?

[Brad from Georgia] Stephen looks a bit more like Ollie nowadays.....

[Laura Leff] And where does the rare parrot fit into all of it....

[Maxwell] James Finlayson.

[Brad from Georgia] Rare parrot is a bad idea. If it isn't well-done, you can get a bad disease.

[Maxwell] Charles Parrott.

[Laura Leff] I'm not sure what disease poor Stephen Fry's compatriot might have gotten from his rare parrot...

[Brad from Georgia] Psittacosis.

[Maxwell] Pardon me while I clean my glasses.

[Laura Leff] (Apologies to anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about...I only recently saw the clip, but had heard plenty about it.)

[steve -shimp-] Gropfff

[Laura Leff] Mel Blanc can play Polly

[Brad from Georgia] I have no idea what we're talking about, but that's pretty frequent with me.

[Laura Leff] Just search Youtube for "shagged by a rare parrot"

[Laura Leff] Not this second necessarily

[Maxwell] It's well worth your time.

[Brad from Georgia] Make sure you don't say "dead parrot," or you'll get Monty Python.

[Laura Leff] Aha...someone does know what I'm talking about...

[Laura Leff] Shagged by a dead rare parrot. Not pretty.

[Maxwell] Rachel Maddow showed it the other night.

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - And that's where I finally saw it!

[Brad from Georgia] "This parrot wot I just shagged is bleedin' deceased...."

[Laura Leff] Somehow, I wouldn't have expected anyone else on the chat to watch Rachel Maddow...but we're an edgy group.  

[Maxwell] I loved her response. Going to the commercial was somewhat akin to the Jell-Y show blooper.

[Laura Leff] I was running on the treadmill at the gym and trying not to laugh.

[Brad from Georgia] I am having a remembery failure....what was the name of the special on Jack hosted by Kelsey Grammer?

[Laura Leff] Ummm

[Laura Leff] Kelsey Grammer salutes Jack Benny?

[steve -shimp-] I was just looking at the parrot video

[steve -shimp-] Disturbing

[Laura Leff] Brad - Just checked the video library...that's the right title.

[Brad from Georgia] Right, right. Why couldn't I remember that? If it had been "George Cleveland Salutes Jack Benny...."

[Laura Leff] I was laughing at the parrot video because I love Stephen Fry. Not so much for the same reason that everyone else was laughing at it.

[Maxwell] with Timmy in the Well with Chloris Leachman and Jon Shepodd.

[Laura Leff] Brad - I wasn't sure of my memory. And fortunately, there have been a number of Benny tributes!

[Maxwell] Cloris.

[Laura Leff] Comedy in Bloom

[Laura Leff] Laughter in Bloom

[Laura Leff] A Love Letter to Jack Benny

[Laura Leff] A&E Biography - Jack Benny

[steve -shimp-] Skunk Cabbage in Bloom

[Laura Leff] etc.

[Laura Leff] BRB

[Laura Leff] Lavoris Leachman

[Maxwell] A fine product of the Vick Chemical Co....

[Maxwell] Hey, not bad. I said Crenna did Walter Denton for about 10 years, and the show ran from 1948-57.

[steve -shimp-] I think Cloris is quite funny actually. She's had such a long career, I see her on old fifties stuff frequently.

[Brad from Georgia] I think Cloris is funnier than Phyllis Diller. But then most things are.

[Maxwell] Ever notice how much Phyllis Diller looks like Bob Hope? It's scary.

[Laura Leff] One of these days I'll transcribe my short Phyllis Diller interview.

[steve -shimp-] Cloris started out as a dramatic actress.

[Laura Leff] I never think of Hope having that much hair

[Laura Leff] Or mascara

[Maxwell] Just the face.

[Brad from Georgia] She was great in "The Last Picture Show."

[Maxwell] Phyllis Diller was in "The Last Picture Show"?

[Brad from Georgia] No, Cloris.

[steve -shimp-] Well, for the Mel Brooks movies and Mary Tyler Moore alone I'm a fan.

[Laura Leff] So no one likes her with Jack doing "The Graduate"?

[steve -shimp-] Mary Tyler Moore did the Graduate with Jack?

[Maxwell] I guess Cloris must have been really bored by having to say, "What is it girl?" 20 times a week....

[Laura Leff] Steve - Phyllis Diller...  

[steve -shimp-] Well, since we're all speaking Gracie Allen, I thought I'd join in.

[Maxwell] Cloris Leachman played Phyllis Diller with Jack?

[Laura Leff] Cloris Leachman did The Graduate with Phyllis Diller?

[Laura Leff] I think I'll pass on that one...

[Brad from Georgia] Anybody see Mel Brooks at the Kennedy Center, receiving an award? They did a series of Brooks songs celebrating him.

[Maxwell] I hope it concluded with Springtime for Hitler.

[Laura Leff] The Inquisition...whatta show...

[Brad from Georgia] Springtime was one of the big production numbers, and so was Inquisition, and the theme from "Blazing Saddles."

[Laura Leff] I finally saw a little bit of the end of "Blazing Saddles" a couple months ago...looks like a movie I should see some time.

[steve -shimp-] I heard recently that he and Carl Reiner are going to do another 2000 year old man record.

[steve -shimp-] Talk about a long-running bit!

[Laura Leff] Dang

[Maxwell] No kidding on this...years ago my in-laws took us to see Frankie Laine. He did a bit where he supposedly took requests from the audience. He ignored our yelling "Blazing Saddles."

[Laura Leff]  

[steve -shimp-] I read they pulled a bait-and-switch on him - he thought it was for a serious movie!

[Maxwell] I wonder what they told Count Basie.

[steve -shimp-] so maybe he's a little sensitive

[Laura Leff] Maybe the orchestra didn't have the sheet music...

[Laura Leff] So before we start losing people...thoughts on a show for discussion next time?

[Brad from Georgia] You know, Brooks says that he was shopping around for a "Frankie Laine" type voice to record the theme...and Laine called him and said, "What's wrong with me doing my voice for you?"

[Brad from Georgia] Hmm...February...how about a Jack's birthday show?

[Maxwell] Yeah, that would be perfect.

[steve -shimp-] Sounds good to me.

[Maxwell] And don't forget, February is Jack Benny Month on Those Were the Days.

[Laura Leff] OK, sold. I'm not going to do 1949 or 1954...we've probably done those previously.

[Maxwell] www.wdcb.org or www.nostalgiadigest.com

[Laura Leff] Maxwell - Is that still on? I thought Chuck retired.

[Laura Leff] Not that I'm unhappy about it.

[Maxwell] It's still on. Steve Darnall, who took over publication of Nostalgia Digest several years ago, is doing the show now.

[Laura Leff] Ah, that's right. OK, thanks.

[Maxwell] They made the switch in June.

[Laura Leff] Right after the dirty stage show.  

[Maxwell] Right.

[steve -shimp-] Heheheh

[steve -shimp-] And Cloris Leachman wasn't even involved!

[Maxwell] And to think she was younger than I am.

[Laura Leff] I think we're all insiders here, so we can all have an "in laugh".

[steve -shimp-] Did that woman ever come back on the forum?

[Maxwell] I don't think so.

[Brad from Georgia] I guess I ought to fade away. Gotta get up at six tomorrow morning, and I'm making a career out of reading Dickens's "Little Dorrit." It's the kind of book you appreciate better after you don't have to read any more of it.

[Laura Leff] Steve - You know, I'm ashamed to admit this, but I've been too busy to check the Forum in a long time. So I've got to catch up.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Kind of like Wagner's music that's much better than it sounds.

[steve -shimp-] Well, I've been chiming in less frequently too, thus I'm asking the question

[Maxwell] I still check every day.

[Laura Leff] Aw, no more photo quizzes?

[Laura Leff] I was enjoying those, for whenever I was able to check.

[Brad from Georgia] Find a photo of Jack...with George Cleveland as Gramps.

[steve -shimp-] I actually have a few fun Jack images in the bank, so maybe I'll do another pass at it soon.

[Maxwell] I used to think they were saying "cramps."

[Laura Leff] Cool. I appreciate you folks who do monitor the Forum more frequently than I do keeping it "friendly"!

[Maxwell] "Why are they calling that old man cramps?"

[Brad from Georgia] Whenever I emcee and announce guests, I ALWAYS wind up with "....and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver."

[steve -shimp-] Charley Horse's Aunt

[Maxwell] You mean other than the 15 people I drove away by insulting them?

[Laura Leff] I remember someone...but I can't remember who at the moment...got bent out of shape over something, but that was a couple years ago. And I think I helped them get it sorted out.

Maxwell hasn't driven anybody away.

[steve -shimp-] On the IJBFC forum?

[Laura Leff] Felt someone was being overly critical of them. Whatever. It blew over.

[Brad from Georgia] Well, gonna go. Max drove me away.

[Maxwell] Damn!

[steve -shimp-]  

[Laura Leff] Have a good one Brad!

[Brad from Georgia] Just kidding. I kid because I love.

[steve -shimp-] Night Brad

[Maxwell] So long Brad.

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[Brad from Georgia] G'night all!

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[Laura Leff] So shall we call it good?

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[Maxwell] Good night ed.

[steve -shimp-] Yeah, I have a long tomorrow ahead meself...

[Laura Leff] Same here.

[steve -shimp-] Happy New Year all!

[Laura Leff] OK, take care folks! Happy new year!

[Maxwell] Yeah, me too...first wake up at 4:30 in two weeks.

[steve -shimp-] Bye!

[Maxwell] So long everybody!