IJBFC Chat - April 18, 2010

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

[ed] oops where did she go?

[Laura Leff] test

[Laura Leff] There we go

[steve "shimp"] Hi Laura

[Laura Leff] I was typing but it wouldn't accept my entry

[KayLhota] I think you are in.

[Laura Leff] Well...hello again, folks!

[ed] she is on my computer

[KayLhota] good to see you all. It has been over 6 months for me.

[Laura Leff] How's everyone doing this evening?

[steve "shimp"] Yes, been a long time Kay!

[ed] ok

[Laura Leff] Welcome back, Kay!

[steve "shimp"] Welcome back

[KayLhota] very well, thankyou

[Laura Leff] We've missed you.

[KayLhota] missed you all

[Laura Leff] I have a confession to make...

[KayLhota] yes?

[ed] what

[Laura Leff] I have been working on the Eddie Carroll memorial issue of the Jack Benny Times all weekend and didn't listen to the show for this month.

[Laura Leff] Sorry.

[steve "shimp"] Time better spent, Laura, certainly!

[KayLhota] not a problem, Laura.

[Laura Leff] I'm pretty happy with it, just need to do a full read-through proof after the chat.

[steve "shimp"] I figured Eddie would be a bigger topic of conversation than the show anyway

[ed] i think we can overlook it LL

[Laura Leff] Yup, same here.

[Laura Leff] I'm hoping Brad will be here. They started Eddie's funeral by reading a letter from him.

[Laura Leff] It was very good.

[Laura Leff] But that's no surprise to anyone here.

[steve "shimp"] I'm sure it was a great letter, Brad has a way with words obviously.

[Laura Leff] How many of you ever met/knew Eddie?

[KayLhota] I never have.

[steve "shimp"] Urgh, I think I wrote to you that I moved from Williamsburg about a week before his show there, I had been looking forward to it but it wasn't in the cards.

[Laura Leff] BTW, welcome jbennyfan39...is this your first time here?

[ed] no sorry never did i have met only one JB impersonator

[steve "shimp"] That is going to be a lifelong regret.

[jbennyfan39] Yes, I'm Judy Greenberg. This is my first time.

[ed] jack cant remember his name

[Laura Leff] Well, maybe we WON'T talk about Eddie then... :/

[Laura Leff] Hi Judy, welcome!

[KayLhota] Nice to meet you Judy

[jbennyfan39] Hi, thanks!

[jbennyfan39] I don't mind taking about Eddie.

[ed] hey judy welcome where you from judy if i can ask

[Laura Leff] Well, let's turn to the show then.

[KayLhota] I don't mind hearing about Eddie Carroll, because you always said such nice things about him, Laura

[jbennyfan39] about 30 minutes from Waukegan

[steve "shimp"] Well, I know how important Eddie was to many in the IJBFC. I'd love to hear what you're pulling together for the memorial issue of the Times.

[ed] almost home for JB

[ed] neat

[jbennyfan39] yep

[Laura Leff] Well, naturally I've got a lot of photos of Eddie. I looked through my files today and found I was swimming with them.

[ed] i am down here in springfield via greenview in menard co.

[Laura Leff] Hang on a sec...let me go get you a link.

[KayLhota] I live outside of Boston. Very East coast, although I was born in chicago, and lived in Park Ridge as a little girl.

[ed] but waukegan the best

User Mike Amo has entered this room.

[steve "shimp"] I love the story about the DVD companies that put pictures of Eddie on their cheapo Jack Benny discs.

[KayLhota] Hi Mike

[Mike Amo] Jello folks!

[ed] hi mike

[Laura Leff] If you want to see a great example of Eddie being Eddie, here's the spot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6UEp_ReDYk

[Laura Leff] Hi Mike!

[jbennyfan39] Home of Hilary Clnton

[steve "shimp"] Hi Mike

[ed] indeed jb fan

[KayLhota] hilary Clinton and I had the same pediatrician.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yeah! Tell that one for people who don't know.

[Mike Amo] Hi LL, ed, Kay, Shimp, jb fan

[jbennyfan39] wow

[ed] wow

[jbennyfan39] I used to live in Park Ridge myself for a couple years.

[steve "shimp"] Well, that's kind of IT ... some DVD company put out a Jack Benny DVD with Eddie on the cover. How did Eddie react to that?

[Laura Leff] He had his lawyer do a cease and desist.

[ed] i know of that area

[steve "shimp"] Oh, that's reallly funny.

[Laura Leff] But the company swore up and down that it was Jack Benny, not Eddie.

[Laura Leff] They were wrong!

[Laura Leff] And here's a similar story...

[Laura Leff] It's 2003, and we're in LA for the convention.

[Laura Leff] Variety gives us a mention, and they include a portrait of Jack.

[Laura Leff] We're all standing on the corner of Beverly Drive and little Santa Monica looking at it

[Laura Leff] (Right by the Paley Center for Media)

[Laura Leff] And we discover that it's a portrait of Eddie as Jack.

[KayLhota] geesh

[Mike Amo]  

[Laura Leff] So even Variety got them mixed up.

[jbennyfan39] that's incredible

[Laura Leff] I've got an amazing photo in the issue...

[steve "shimp"] A few months ago I was watching a lot of SANFORD AND SON and Eddie showed up there, along with lots of other Benny cast - Frank Nelson, Sheldon Leonard.

[Laura Leff] I've had it for years, it was from Eddie doing his show at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts in Waukegan.

[Laura Leff] In 2002

[Laura Leff] But I cropped it down...it's Eddie playing the violin, and the spotlight is casting his shadow on the curtain behind him

[Laura Leff] It makes it look like Eddie is standing out front, and the shadow looks like Jack's "ghost" mirroring him.

[ed] must be a great picture

[steve "shimp"] When did Eddie first start doing his Benny show?

[Laura Leff] The whole picture is OK, but I suddenly realized that if I cropped it down, it would be breathtaking.

[Laura Leff] 1983, I think

[Laura Leff] Let me check that quickly

[Laura Leff] Yup, 83.

[steve "shimp"] Wow, he was Jack almost as long as Jack was Jack!

[Laura Leff] Well, Jack was Jack for 80 years.  

[Laura Leff] Oh, and the shoulder you can see in the picture of Eddie in the corner of the Web?

[steve "shimp"] Well, almost as long as the whole run of the Benny show, from the 30s to sixties...

[Laura Leff] That's Joanna, Jack's granddaughter.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Gotcha.

[Mike Amo]  

[Laura Leff] Mike - You saw/met Eddie at the convention, right?

[Mike Amo] Yes, also got to see his show in Vencie, Florida around 2005

[Mike Amo] Caught up with him and his wife afterwards briefly

[Laura Leff] Got some memories of Eddie you'd like to share?

[ed] Hey LL did any of the radio show regulars appear with eddie or was it a one man program?

[Mike Amo] You'll do much better than I will!

[Laura Leff] Laughter in Bloom was a one-man show. But several of the regulars saw it.

[Laura Leff] Mike - Oh I don't know about that!  

[Laura Leff] Dennis Day gave Eddie his proudest review:

[jbennyfan39] Did Joan ever see it?

[Laura Leff] "I closed my eyes and heard Jack. I opened my eyes and saw Jack!"

[KayLhota] that is really touching.

[Mike Amo] For me, it shook me when he died so suddenly, especially with Yizkor the next morning (Jewish memorial service)

[Laura Leff] Oh yes, Joan saw it. She and I also sat together at SPERDVAC at the Sportsmen's Lodge when they were doing some recreations.

[steve "shimp"] Was Eddie's show ever professionally recorded?

[Mike Amo] He died of cancer 3 days after Terri Clark's mom died of cancer

User Brad from Georgia has entered this room.

[KayLhota] hi Brad

[steve "shimp"] Hi Brad

[Laura Leff] Steve - You know, a bunch of people were asking about that, and no one seems to know of a full recording. I need to check my videos of the convention to see what I've got that they can use for the celebration.

[ed] hi brad

[Laura Leff] Brad! Just the man I wanted to see!

[Brad from Georgia] Hi, all. sorry to be late, just got back from the hospital.

[Laura Leff] Are you OK? Is everything OK?

[Laura Leff] Glad you could join us, tonight of all nights...

[Mike Amo] Country singer I sort of know, met her mom a couple times over the years. Eddie was just a great guy, and the one-man show was outstanding. I loved how it was a team effort by Eddie and his wife.

[Mike Amo] Hi Brad

[Brad from Georgia] My mom has chronic pancreatitis, but this bout is very mild. She is out tomorrow.

[ed] good

[steve "shimp"] Glad to hear it's not serious Brad

[Laura Leff] Mike - Yes, I'm still calling Carolyn regularly. I called her yesterday and read my President's Message to get her OK on it. It is now Carolyn-approved.

[Mike Amo] Eddie's show was never professionally recorded?

[Brad from Georgia] My mom has chronic pancreatitis, but this bout is very mild. She is out tomorrow.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Mind if I turn the mike over to you? We're talking about Eddie.

[Laura Leff] Mike - Not as far as anyone seems to know. But I hope something will turn up.

[Mike Amo] Sorry Brad, glad things are okay now

[Brad from Georgia] Sure. I don't know what to say!

[Laura Leff] Brad at a loss for words? That's a first.  

[steve "shimp"] That's a first  

[steve "shimp"]  

[Mike Amo]  

[Laura Leff] There's an echo in here

[Laura Leff] Brad - Tell the story you told in the letter about getting the call from Eddie

[Brad from Georgia] I talked to Carolyn about working with her to write a biography of Eddie.

[Laura Leff] Oh, that would be great!

[Mike Amo] yodel-eh-hi-hoo

[jbennyfan39] Well! I think that would be great too

[Brad from Georgia] Oh--I have a writer friend who knew Eddie and knew how much I liked Jack Benny. He gave Eddie my office phone number at school,

[Laura Leff] Jiminy Cricket, Jack Benny, repo man...what a story...

[Brad from Georgia] so one day the phone rings, and the voice says "Hello, Professor Strickland, this is Jack Benny talking."

User Frank Lhota has entered this room.

[Mike Amo] Hi Frank

[KayLhota] You finally made it!

User jbennyfan39 has logged out.

[KayLhota] geesh, I think he's frozen again!

User jbennyfan39 "Judy" has entered this room.

[steve "shimp"] Hmm. seem to be some e-gremlins in the chat software.

[Laura Leff] Hi Frank!

[Laura Leff] Brad...you still there?

User Brad from Georgia has logged out.

[steve "shimp"] The gremlins ate Brad's story.

[Laura Leff] Dang

[steve "shimp"] And Brad too apparently.

[ed] bye....brad

[Mike Amo] He'll be right back...on the phone with Jack

[Frank Lhota] I'm using a laptop known as the Maxwell

[Frank Lhota] Enter your message here ...

[ed] phone jack

[KayLhota] Yay, Frank!

[Laura Leff] It must be running Vista. I've got a kicking laptop, but it runs Vista and is slower than my 1995 Power Mac.

[steve "shimp"] putt-putt-tap-tap-wheeze-cough-tap-tap-tap

[ed] sounds like mel blanc

[Laura Leff] Hmmm

[Frank Lhota] Next time, I'll try using my CompuServe acount with my 1200 baud modem.

[Laura Leff] I'm torn between going elsewhere with the topic and waiting for Brad

[steve "shimp"] heheheh

[KayLhota] who knows, but that might be faster, Frank.

[steve "shimp"] Well, we can pick back up again if Brad makes it through the wiring.

[ed] brad willbe right after this word for grape nuts

[Laura Leff] Now you've got the sound of a 2400 baud modem handshaking in my head

[ed] back*

[steve "shimp"] There's a Jack joke in there, if he were around today he'd be doing gags about having a 2400 baud modem.

[Laura Leff] So can we all agree to defer conversation on the show for tonight until next month? Or did a bunch of people listen to it?

[steve "shimp"] I listened to it, but don't mind talking about it next month

[KayLhota] Frank and I listened to it, but I really don't have a lot to say about the show.

[jbennyfan39 "Judy"] I listened to most of it, didn't finish.

[Laura Leff] If you did, then I don't want to spoil the party just because I've been preoccupied

[Mike Amo] Fine with me  

[jbennyfan39 "Judy"] That's fine, Laura.

[ed] it all right LL

[Laura Leff] Maybe I should just choose another one if there wasn't much discussion.  

[Laura Leff] So what Benny-related things are on folks' minds this evening?

User Brad from Georgia has entered this room.

[steve "shimp"] Yeah, we can do a double-feature next month, talk about April's and May's show.

[KayLhota] hi brad

[steve "shimp"] Welcome back Brad

[Laura Leff] Steve - Hey, there's a good idea.

[Brad from Georgia] Had to come down to the main computer. Laptop's misbehaving.

[Laura Leff] There is Brad!

[ed] hi again brad

[Brad from Georgia] Shall I finish the story?

[KayLhota] please!

[ed] please

[Laura Leff] Laptop's misbehavin, nowhere to go...

[steve "shimp"] Please

[jbennyfan39 "Judy"] Yes please

[Laura Leff] I'm home about eight, just me and my 2400 baud modem-oh

[KayLhota] just me and my radio

[Brad from Georgia] So Eddie calls me as Jack, I finally realize it's Eddie, and we talk about Jack for half an hour. And at the end of the hour, I thought of him as a friend.

[ed] ah radio:)

[Laura Leff] And this is the first time you ever spoke with him. No prior contact.

[KayLhota] wow

[Brad from Georgia] I looked up his show schedule, and he wasn't coming any closer to GA than Pomona, NJ. Right, LL--he cold-called me!

[Frank Lhota] Does AOL offer a set of AOL sounds rendered by Don Wilson?

[steve "shimp"] That's great

[Brad from Georgia] So I talked Barbara into going to Pomona JUST to see the show. Eddie was knocked out that we'd come that far. I promised him after the show, "We WILL bring your show to our college."

[Laura Leff] Brad - Say more about that. A lot of people--Dan included--talked about how Eddie had this way of making you feel like the most important person in the world.

[Brad from Georgia] I'm so pleased that we did.

[Frank Lhota] Or Eddie Anderson saying "Hey Boss, You've Got Mail"

[Laura Leff] Just how Eddie was able to make that kind of deep connection with you so quickly.

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie was so genuine and warm--my son said that after he had one meal with Eddie, he knew that Eddie was one of a kind. "He not only told great stories, he was a truly interested listener."

[steve "shimp"] Laura, I assume you mean Eddie made everyone feel like the most important person, not just Brad  

[Brad from Georgia] No, I'm special.

[steve "shimp"]  

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yeah...

[Mike Amo] It was Brad :D

[Laura Leff] Fine. Brad is the most important person in the world. Nyeh.

[Brad from Georgia] Jonathan actually called Barbara that Monday morning because he'd seen the news of Eddie's passing. Barbara said he was sobbing as if a relative had died. She drove all the way into school to tell me so I wouldn't find it out on the Internet.

[steve "shimp"] I'm so sorry I never got to meet Eddie.

[ed] same here

[KayLhota] I am sorry that I never met him, because he must have been a sweet man

[Brad from Georgia] She was sitting at my desk crying. I said, "What's wrong?" She stood up and hugged me and said, "Eddie died today." We just stood there holding each other and bawling.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Did he see my E-mail, or where did he see it? People have given me credit for "breaking" the story, but it spread fast.

[jbennyfan39 "Judy"] I was all set to see his show at the Genessee in May.

[Mike Amo] It hit me hard too, and I'd only met him a couple times

[Brad from Georgia] LL--I think he first saw it on Mark Evanier's site. Mark was a good friend of Eddie's, and Jonathan knows Mark from comics.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Cancelling that show was one of the hardest things he did.

[Laura Leff] Brad - OK. My E-mail went to a member named David, who told Mark.

[Laura Leff] So there's the daisy chain.

[Brad from Georgia] I called Eddie the weekend before Easter weekend and talked to him for about twenty minutes. I hoped he was beating it--even then he sounded so positive and upbeat, and the first thing he did was to ask how our children were. I'm crying now.

[Laura Leff] Carolyn called me about 40 minutes after Eddie passed. I woke up that morning and put out a question of whether Eddie was still with us, and got a very nebulous response.

[Laura Leff] Sort of the universe's equivalent of the Magic 8-ball's "Ask Again Later"

[Brad from Georgia] Carolyn said the staff of the Motion Picture Hospital were so kind to her and Eddie.

[Laura Leff] Apparently he was going just about at that moment.

[Laura Leff] Yes, they definitely were.

[Laura Leff] Eddie's funeral was Standing Room Only.

[Brad from Georgia] When Carolyn told me of the flowers from Joan, I just completely lost it and couldn't talk to her for about a minute.

[Laura Leff] Wink Martindale commented that only Eddie could do his final performance to SRO!

[Brad from Georgia] How was Jamie Farr?

[steve "shimp"] Oh, man. Wink Martindale was at Eddie's Funeral?

[Laura Leff] Brad - And Joan had E-mailed me she was going to do it, so I knew about it before it happened.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Jamie was surprisingly good.

[Laura Leff] They made me speak (without warning!) and I had to follow Jamie!

[KayLhota] oh my

[Laura Leff] Wink was the first person to speak after the Pastor

[Brad from Georgia] Joan used the same florist that Jack used to send Mary her daily red rose.

[steve "shimp"] That's such a wonderful story - both the Mary story and now Eddie's piece of it.

[Brad from Georgia] You said the pastor read my note. I was very, very touched by that.

[ed] oh neat

[Laura Leff] I teased Carolyn about that as I went up to the podium.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yes, it was just about the first thing said after the opening prayer.

[Brad from Georgia] I would love to come out for the celebration of Eddie's life, if I had the dough.

[Laura Leff] I've got the full story of talking at the funeral in the Times. So stay tuned. Tom Kennedy followed me.

[ed] the game TK?

[Brad from Georgia] Now, there's a word you don't hear much any more--"dough." Unless you're Homer Simpson.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Contact me offline if you'd like to discuss...

[ed] show*

[Brad from Georgia] LL--I will, thanks.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Yes, that's it. I sat with him and his wife & daughter.

[Laura Leff] Also Ben Cooper was there...he was an actor on 60s television.

[steve "shimp"] Well, Wink Martindale knows his "dough"

[Laura Leff] Wink Martindale looks EXACTLY like he did when I watched him on TV when I was a kid!

[ed] WOW!!! i watch a lot of password on u-tube with him hosting neat LL

[Laura Leff] Pretty freaky. Wonder where he keeps his Dorian Gray.

[Brad from Georgia] One of my biggest regrets is that I proposed a mystery novel called THE CARROLL CHASE, and my publisher didn't bite. I wanted to dedicate it to Carolyn and Eddie.

[Laura Leff] I suppose you still can.

[Brad from Georgia] If I can find a publisher.

[Brad from Georgia] I certainly will

[Brad from Georgia] I'm too quick on the return. I'm still sniffling, sorry.

[ed] that's A-OK brad

[Laura Leff] NP...that's part of what these sorts of rememberances are for

[Laura Leff] I was going back and forth between crying and laughing at the funeral over and over again.

[Laura Leff] I walked into the church and saw the photos of Eddie on a table that said, "In Remembrance of Me" and I lost it.

[Brad from Georgia] April, what a month. April 1 my novel FLIGHT OF THE OUTCAST was published; April 5 my cousin died; April 6 Eddie passed away; April 15 I had to pay $1000 in taxes.

[ed] would jack have liked it, LL?

[steve "shimp"] Funerals for good people have a lot of that strange mixture of laughs and tears

[Laura Leff] Ed - Would Jack have liked the funeral?

[ed] yes

[Brad from Georgia] You know, back in December when Barbara and I were in NYC, we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral and lit a candle for Eddie. I told him we weren't Catholic, but I do a pretty fair brogue, so maybe St. Paddy understood....

[ed] i can see him laughing carrying on

[Laura Leff] It's hard to like a funeral. But suffice it to say that it was everything that it should be.

[Laura Leff] Eddie was Catholic, but they had a Pastor and a Rabbi officiate at the funeral.

[steve "shimp"] I'm sure St. Patrick smiled upon Eddie and drove a snake out of Waukegan for you Brad

[Brad from Georgia] You know, I never realized that Eddie had to overcome polio. What a fighter.

[Mike Amo] I did what I could at services that day...a couple deaths all so close together took a toll on me, and I was sick too

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yes, I had forgotten that as well.

[Mike Amo] He had polio? wow

User Frank Lhota has logged out.

[ed] could you tell he had it?

[Brad from Georgia] At the age of about 20, right, LL?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Didn't hear an age, but it was in his childhood.

[Laura Leff] Did you know he was born in a log cabin?

[steve "shimp"] Are you kidding?

[Laura Leff] Or young years, more like.

[Mike Amo] A railsplitter?

[Laura Leff] Nope. Carolyn reconfirmed it last night.

[ed] old honest Eddie

[Laura Leff] That he was born in a log cabin in Smoky Lake, Alberta.

[Brad from Georgia] ed--No, absolutely not. He overcame it, I understand, by taking ballet lessons, which ironically got him into the touring company of a musical and so to Hollywood.

[steve "shimp"] Wow, even JACK wasn't born in a log cabin.

[KayLhota] that is amazing.

User Frank Lhota has entered this room.

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie's dad made his first musical instrument--not a guitar, but a violin. Did you know he was a songwriter, too, with at least one hit?

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie, not his dad.

[Laura Leff] Maybe Chicago's Mercy Hospital was a log cabin back in 1894.

[steve "shimp"] What was Eddie's hit?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yeah...the Lettermen!

[Brad from Georgia] Not a violin, but a guitar!

[Brad from Georgia] Gah!

[Brad from Georgia] I shouldn't type while being all emotional.

[Laura Leff] A guitar, he means. Not a violin.

[ed] david?

[Brad from Georgia] His first performance was when he was about six, right? He was so nervous he wouldn't go on stage, but played from the school cloakroom....

[Laura Leff] Brad - Do you know the full story of that song? Because it's all tangled up with Carolyn and Tony Butala's romance and all...I'm not sure it's logical in my mind.

[Laura Leff] Or not well-organized.

[steve "shimp"] What was the song?

[Laura Leff] Have a Kleenex, Brad...

[Brad from Georgia] Well, I understand that Eddie swapped the song for---now, that's silly. Eddie said he pitched the song to Tony, Tony liked it, and the Lettermen recorded it.

[Brad from Georgia] Wasn't the song "Don't Tell Julie"?

[Laura Leff] It was called "When You Say I Beg Your Pardon, Then I'll Come Back to You"

[KayLhota] NO!

[Laura Leff]  

[Mike Amo]  

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie was complaining on the phone one day that they had lost his disk of the song. I went and looked at our old vinyls, and there it was. I sent it to him.

[Laura Leff] Um...was hoping you knew the title. It's something like that.

[Laura Leff] BRB...I'll find it

[Laura Leff] How Is Julie

[Brad from Georgia] And then not two weeks later, Barbara and I were rummaging thru an antiques store. I saw a big ol' pile of 45's--and the top one was Eddie's song. Freaky!

[Brad from Georgia] Right, "How Is Julie." It was a pretty fair hit.

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie said "It was your typical teen angst song. Very big back then."

[steve "shimp"] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG6_ZF9W0xk

[Laura Leff] And Eddie was concerned that Butala wouldn't want to record it, because he and Carolyn were dating and she kind of dumped him for Eddie!

[KayLhota] seems like it would have been

[steve "shimp"] Playing it now for Eddie  

[Brad from Georgia] Musicians don't let romance get in the way of a song that could make money.

[Laura Leff] There you go

[Brad from Georgia] God bless you, steve!

[Laura Leff] And Butala called Carolyn recently when he heard about Eddie's condition.

[steve "shimp"] God bless youtube!

[Laura Leff] You should see photos of Carolyn back when, with big Farrah Fawcett hair!

[Laura Leff] No wonder she keeps it so short now. That would have been a lot of work.

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie and Butalia were still on fairly friendly terms. Eddie told me about running into him in, I think, Atlantic City.

[Laura Leff] Oh, Carolyn told me a great story last night...

[Brad from Georgia] Do tell.

[Laura Leff] Eddie was working on Hollywood Palace in late 1967

[Frank Lhota] You can find anything on YouTube. We should use YouTube to find Bin Laden.

[Laura Leff] And Burt Bacharach was on it as well.

[Laura Leff] They were talking between shots,

[Laura Leff] And Eddie said something like, "Do you remember Carol Springer?"

[Laura Leff] Burt had dated her.

[KayLhota] oh my

[Laura Leff] Burt said, "Oh yes, Carol Springer! How's she doing these days?"

[Laura Leff] Eddie said, "Oh, she's doing very well. And by the way, she married me."

[KayLhota] that's sweet

[Brad from Georgia]  Barbara and I love Burt Bacharach. Our song is "Beware of the Blob."

[steve "shimp"]  

[Laura Leff] He then phoned up Carolyn and had her give Tina (their daughter, 8 months old then) to her mother to watch, and she went over to the studio to have dinner with Eddie and Burt.

[Laura Leff] Brad - You know the Benny connection there, right?

[Brad from Georgia] Benny the Blob from Top Cat?

[KayLhota] I don't

[Brad from Georgia] No, I actually don't.

[Laura Leff] Brad - "The Blob" the movie

[KayLhota] the original "The Blob" movie

[Laura Leff] OK..."The Blob" was written by Kay Linaker

[Mike Amo]  

[Brad from Georgia] Oh, sure. The theater is playing "The Horn Blows at Midnight." People were jumping INTO the blob.

[Laura Leff] Kay Linaker played Phil Harris' girlfriend in "Buck Benny Rides Again"

[Laura Leff] And she was at our 2003 convention

[Brad from Georgia] Nice.

[Laura Leff] So it's all connected, y'know?

[KayLhota] yes it is

[steve "shimp"] Kay Linaker's in a million Charlie Chan movies. There's a sweet little featurette about her on one of the DVDs

[Laura Leff] Kay Linaker...aka Kate Phillips

[KayLhota] I was thrilled when I got to ask her about working with Peter Lorre in "Crack Up"

[Brad from Georgia] Some years back, Eddie had ulcerative colitis and had to have a bowel resection. Carolyn said he was miserable for the six weeks he had to stay on a liquid diet. We happened to be in California that summer, and I called to see if he was up to

[Laura Leff] She always travelled with a woman who I railroaded into playing Mabel in our convention recreation. I hadn't heard from Janine since Kay passed away, but she E-mailed me to say she was doing a tribute to Eddie on her show.

[Brad from Georgia] having a meal with us. He yelled, "YES!" Carolyn asked, "What kind of food do you and Barbara--" and Eddie yelled, "We're havin' HAMBURGERS!"

[Laura Leff] Brad - colitis or diverticulitis?

[Brad from Georgia] Diverticulitis. I bowel to your expertise.

[KayLhota] oh my

[steve "shimp"] Inquiring minds don't need to know  

[Laura Leff] Ooooooooo

[Laura Leff] TMI

[Brad from Georgia] Sure enough we met at a restaurant near the Getty Center and had a WONDERFUL meal. And Eddie talked to us for FOUR HOURS.

[Brad from Georgia] He was really stir-crazy from being confined to bed for so long.

[Brad from Georgia] In the end, he insisted on paying for the meal. I said, "Please, Mr. Benny, leave me some illusions!"

[Laura Leff] He told me that they made the incision just about all the way up to his sternum!

[Laura Leff] We were comparing surgery scars, since I'd had my brush with death that year as well, and had a scar in a similar area.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--He started to SHOW it to us at the table. I thought Carolyn was going to wrestle him to the floor!

[Laura Leff] Brad - Ha ha...good one

[steve "shimp"]  

[Mike Amo]  

[Laura Leff] Brad - They described it to me as "railroad tracks going all the way up his midline"

[Laura Leff] Suffice it to say that Eddie and I had very different things removed when they had us open.

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie actually did start to pull up his turtleneck. Carolyn said, "Don't . . . you . . . DARE!" in a voice reminiscent of Frank Nelson.

[steve "shimp"] Oh my, too funny.

[Laura Leff] Here's my impersonation of Lyndon Banes Johnson...

[Laura Leff] Yeah, I think this room will get that joke.

[KayLhota] yes indeed

[Brad from Georgia] I swear, it was impossible to talk to Eddie for more than five minutes (for me at least) without falling into Jack-Benny cadences in my own speech.

[Laura Leff] Oh yeah...it happened to me, I saw it happen to a lot of others.

[Laura Leff] Oh, here's a story

[Laura Leff] Tina told this at the funeral

[Laura Leff] So when she was mid-teens, she got a lot of lectures from Eddie (go figure)

[Laura Leff] And Eddie would just slip from being Eddie into being Jack and not realize it

[Laura Leff] So one day she decided she was going to fix his water

[Laura Leff] and he was in a particularly intense lecture of her, and had fallen into Jack

[Laura Leff] And she came back at him in Rochester voice, saying, "OK, Mr. Benny! Anything you say!"

[KayLhota] oh that's classic

[Laura Leff] It caught him so totally off-guard that he completely forgot what he was mad about and started laughing

[steve "shimp"] brilliant

[Laura Leff] You know, Dan played Rochester to Eddie's Jack in our recreations

[KayLhota] that I can believe!

[Brad from Georgia] Speaking of which...this month's episode has one of my favorite bits in it (Rochester on the steam cabinet).

[Laura Leff] And once in a while Eddie would call the house, and if he got Dan, he'd just start doing Jack and Dan would do Rochster with him.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Shh! Shhh! We're not talking about that!

[Brad from Georgia] Jeez, I WISH Eddie had re-created a few of the lost Benny shows on recording for us.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--Unerstood.

[Laura Leff] Brad - We agreed to defer talking about the show until next month.

[Brad from Georgia] Okely-dokely.

[Laura Leff]  

[Laura Leff] But, y'know, Dan's not...I repeat NOT...a Benny fan. Not that he dislikes him (maybe a little jealous of the time I spend on him), but just not his "thing".

[Laura Leff] So I can't imagine anyone other than Eddie being able to take him "into that space" and have him really enjoy it. That's pretty powerful in my book.

[KayLhota] yes, I think so.

[Brad from Georgia] My daughter, who worked for Disney for five years, really was upset that "Jiminy" had passed away, too. Listening to Eddie's narration of the fireworks at Disney always made me a little misty-eyed.

[KayLhota] aww.

User jbennyfan39 "Judy" has logged out.

[Brad from Georgia] Last year I sat in on a "History of Animation" class, and when they got around to voice acting, I asked Eddie if he'd do an interview. He gave us a free forty-minute discussion of voice acting.

User jbennyfan39 "Judy" has entered this room.

[KayLhota] welcome back Judy

[Brad from Georgia] Hi again, Judy.

[jbennyfan39 "Judy"] my pc qlitched

[Brad from Georgia] Yeah, my little laptop starting acting up, too. Weird stuff.

[Laura Leff] Even I had some problems tonight. It may be the chat room.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Any memories from the Sportsmen's Lodge SPERDVAC event?

[Brad from Georgia] I was getting double messages and apparently sending them, too.

[Frank Lhota] Hi Judy, back from the online Bermuda Triangle?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Everything looks good from here.

[Brad from Georgia] Oh, golly--We were way in the back of the room. I saw, but didn't get to speak to, Joan Benny. I thought the chemistry between "Don" and "Jack" was very cool.

[Brad from Georgia] They very neatly combined two scripts, too.

[Laura Leff] Oh yeah...who was playing Don?

[jbennyfan39 "Judy"] Yeah, I'm enjoying this so much. I have to leave for a bit to go get my 12 year old daughter. I'll be back though.

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie reacted with great aplomb when there was a momentary technical glitch (and there were LOTS of those).

[Laura Leff] Somewhere there are photos of me dressed as Hedda Hopper and Eddie as Jack at REPS in 2007, but I've never seen them.

[Laura Leff] Judy - OK, glad you're enjoying it!

[Brad from Georgia] That was Chuck McCann, LL--also he did Phil.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh, the sound effects were all messed up IIRC

[Laura Leff] And the mikes kept turning off

[KayLhota] oh Chuck McCann is a great guy

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yeah, that's it. Knew it was "someone".

[jbennyfan39 "Judy"] Yes, I don't want to leave, sorry.

[Brad from Georgia] Yep. I expected Eddie to say, "ONE little rehearsal, that's ALL I ask."

[Laura Leff] I remember having to stand on the stage pretty much screaming my announcements because the mikes were off again

[Brad from Georgia] Chuck was VERY kind and gracious. He was a puppeteer, like my daughter, and he did a very DETAILED inscription when he signed a photo for me to take back to her.

[Laura Leff] I heard about another event they did at the Sportsmen's Lodge where there was a very loud Mexican wedding going on next door

[Brad from Georgia] We had a great time; eating lunch with Eddie and Carolyn at the Sportsmen's was always such a grand experience.

[Laura Leff] You practically couldn't hear anything in the room.

[Brad from Georgia] You know, I was there for that one, too! And it was loud.

[Mike Amo] If anything like this happens again, I'm retired, at least for now, so hopefully I can get there

[Laura Leff] Then they went to do the recreation, and there was some segue into a Mexican scene (maybe they were doing Treasure of the Sierra Madre) that had Mexican music at the start

[Laura Leff] And Eddie said something like, "Sounds like the party next door!"

[Brad from Georgia] Yep, I think it was "Treasure."

[steve "shimp"]  

[KayLhota] classic moment made surrreal

[Brad from Georgia] LL--tell about Eddie's falling off the stage and never breaking character (or a leg).

[Laura Leff] I've got another story of Eddie covering a blooper in the Times. But I think just about everyone here is a subscriber, so I'll leave it for there.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh my, yes!

[Laura Leff] So he's performing in Pleasanton, CA

[Laura Leff] And it's a black box theatre, for those of you who know what that is

[KayLhota] nope

[Laura Leff] Basically everything's black. Black walls, black floor.

[KayLhota] okay

[Laura Leff] Focuses all the attention on the stage

[Laura Leff] And Eddie's doing his show, and Carolyn is in the booth noticing that there are no footlights.

[Laura Leff] I was in about the second row, and there was sort of a makeshift orchestra pit that was at the same level as the floor, but with some wooden uprights.

[Laura Leff] And Carolyn and the booth techs start talking about when Bing Crosby fell off a stage.

[Laura Leff] Within minutes, Eddie comes downstage and his toes go a little too far over the front of the stage.

[Laura Leff] (I haven't recalled it in this much detail since it happened)

User ed has logged out.

[Laura Leff] He pinwheeled his arms a little when he realized he was in danger

[Laura Leff] Then knew he was going over and said, "Oh dear" and down he went into the "pit"

[Laura Leff] Big bang because he landed on one of the wooden uprights which was tilted, and that brought down some more of the uprights.

[Laura Leff] But he landed on his feet, and it was only about 3.5 feet down

[Laura Leff] Just made a huge bang and we all gasped and freaked

[steve "shimp"] wow

[Laura Leff] A bunch of us ran down to the front, and other people were helping him up.

[Mike Amo]  

[Laura Leff] Carolyn tore off her headset in the booth and came running down, but we were there first

[Laura Leff] Folks helped him up, and I took his hand and guided him back to the steps up to the stage.

[Laura Leff] I put my hand on his back as sort of an "energetic steadying", and guided him up a couple stairs. He walked up onto the stage himself.

[Laura Leff] I turned around and Carolyn was at my right shoulder, and we threw ourselves into each other's arms.

[Laura Leff] I don't remember exactly how he started...probably with something like, "Well, as I was saying..."

[Laura Leff] But through all of it...ALL of it...he never broke character.

[KayLhota] special human being.

[Brad from Georgia] Eddie told us he seriously toyed with recovering with "I'd like to see Fred Allen try THAT." But he didn't.

[steve "shimp"] Amazing!

[Laura Leff] Brad - Do you remember what he said as a recovery line?

[Laura Leff] I was too busy hugging Carolyn and trying to breathe again.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--I think it was pretty much what you said--"Well, before I was interrupted, I was ABOUT to say--"

[Laura Leff] There were these three steeplejacks, and they were jammed into this submarine...

[Laura Leff] That actually would have been funny to do the "interrupted joke" gag and have it interrupted by that!

[Brad from Georgia] We saw his show in New Jersey, here in Georgia, and in Florida. He always got enormous laughs, but he told me after the Jacksonville show, "I can tell you're in the audience. You laugh three seconds before anyone else."

[Laura Leff] Apologies to anyone who hasn't seen the Laugh-In show

[Laura Leff] Stop killing my punch lines...  

[Laura Leff] I was watching a Benny show recently where the audience is laughing ahead of the joke, and Jack says something like, "Y'see, you don't even need to wait for me to finish the joke!"

[Brad from Georgia] Best moment EVAH on "Laugh-In": Arte Johnson's German soldier to Bob Hope, in a sad, wistful little voice: "I vaited for you effrey Christmas...."

[Laura Leff] Yes! That's a great one!

[Laura Leff] Maybe even better than Richard Nixon saying "Sock it to me?"

[Laura Leff] Arte Johnson had fond memories of working with Jack.

[KayLhota] time for me to tell about the "Radio Classics" show here in MA that isn't going on this year.

[Laura Leff] Kay - By all means.

[KayLhota] Bob Bowers asked me to pitch in for script transcriptions and had an idea of

[Brad from Georgia] While sitting with Mom in the hospital, I watched a special on Bob Hope's life. He was in a skit with Jack, who played "Jelly Roll." Hope was "Fingers," a mobster. He catches "Jelly Roll" kissing his girl.

[KayLhota] doing about 8 minutes of "Laugh In" material

[Laura Leff] So if it isn't going on this year, I suppose you have plenty of time to write it...?

[KayLhota] I also typed up two jack Benny scripts, and a Bergan Mccarthy thing

[Brad from Georgia] Fingers says, "Jelly Roll!" Jack says, "Fingers!" Hope says, "Jelly Roll!" Jack ad-libs "Jell-O!" Then as Hope breaks up, he says, "This is the lousiest thing I've ever been in."

[steve "shimp"] That's great Brad, was that a Hope special?

[KayLhota] yes, I didn't have to transcribe the Duffy's Tavern

[Brad from Georgia] Must have been. Looked like about 1955-ish.

[Laura Leff] I'm not familiar with it...but we may have it in the library...

[KayLhota] but, Bob tells me that he will put on the Jack Benny stuff later this year

[Laura Leff] So it's almost certainly not a Benny show

[Laura Leff] Kay - Who's your Jack?

[KayLhota] he had me transcribe the double date with Van Johnson

[Brad from Georgia] At a retirement party for two of our faculty members, we discussed Eddie's show here. They loved it so much. The husband of one of our retirees got every Jack Benny CD he could order on Amazon the next day.

[KayLhota] Jordan Young, I think

[Laura Leff] Huh...I thought he was a writer!

[KayLhota] oops, I have the wrong Jordan

[Laura Leff] Will Jordan?

[Brad from Georgia] Well, I'm a writer, and I spent six hours in the studio yesterday acting my little heart out for the Atlanta Radio Theatre.

[KayLhota] I forget jordan's last name, but he is a fixture here in MA on radio

[Laura Leff] Fair enough...

[Laura Leff] Well, we're at the 1:30 mark...I'm happy to keep going, but it feels like we've gotten to a break point.

[Laura Leff] How do you all feel?

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, God rest Eddie Carroll. I loved the man.

[steve "shimp"] Yes, I'm afraid I have to head out either way. Early morning tomorrow.

[Laura Leff] Amen and amen

[Mike Amo] I'm perky and fuzzy

[Mike Amo] And amen

[Laura Leff] Mike - You and kiwi fruit

[Mike Amo]  

[Laura Leff] Shall we call it good for this month?

[Brad from Georgia] On a less somber occasion, remind me to tell you about me . . . Nichelle Nichols. . . and kiwi fruit.

[steve "shimp"] I really enjoyed hearing the Eddie stories, just wonderful. Certainly he isn't going to be forgotten any time soon.

[KayLhota] Brad, tell that one!

[Laura Leff] Brad - Can that be told in polite company?

[Brad from Georgia] Oh, sure.

[KayLhota] please!

[Laura Leff] Darn

[Brad from Georgia] You know me--Mr. Nice from Dullsville.

[Laura Leff] Come on...cap us with that story.

[Laura Leff] Let's go out on an up note.

[Brad from Georgia] Well, we were at a science fiction convention....

[Brad from Georgia] I was on the Masquerade judging panel with Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from Star Trek)....

[Brad from Georgia] And they brought a fruit plate to the judges' table. It included sliced kiwi.

[Brad from Georgia] Nichelle asked, "What in the world are these things?"

[Brad from Georgia] I told her, and she said, "Can you EAT them?"

[Brad from Georgia] I said, sure. She asked, "What do they taste like?"

[KayLhota] marvelous

[Laura Leff] What other parts of the matzo can you eat...

[steve "shimp"]  LL

[Brad from Georgia] I said, "Sort of like a mix of bananas and strawberries."

[Brad from Georgia] She said, "They aren't even ripe! They're GREEN!"

[Brad from Georgia] I assured her she could eat them.

[KayLhota] love it

[Brad from Georgia] She said, "Open your mouth, white boy!"

[steve "shimp"] Like they never ate weird green food on Star Trek?

[Brad from Georgia] I was so startled, I did--and she force-fed me a kiwi!"

[Laura Leff] Apparently the replicators weren't programmed for kiwi

[Mike Amo]  

[Brad from Georgia] And THEN she tried one herself.

[Laura Leff] How many men would pay to be force-fed a kiwi by Uhura...

[Brad from Georgia] Man, it was a dream come true. That was a lu-LUUUUU.

[KayLhota] yeah!

[Laura Leff] And did she like them?

[Brad from Georgia] She did. She really did. And she made me WRITE DOWN the name of the fruit for her! Kiwi is so long, I guess....

[Laura Leff] New Zealand

[Brad from Georgia] Lew Zealand.

[Laura Leff] Lew Ayers

[KayLhota] oh my god that is so funny!

[steve "shimp"] They used to be called Chinese gooseberries before they started exporting them from NZ

[Laura Leff] Now they're called goji berries

[Brad from Georgia] I'm getting silly. Good night, all, God bless you all, and LL--I'll be in touch. Love you guys.

[Laura Leff] OK, thanks everyone for stopping! See you in May!

[KayLhota] love you too. see you next month!

User Brad from Georgia has logged out.

[steve "shimp"] OK! Night Brad! Thanks for sharing all the great stories.

[steve "shimp"] Bye all.

[KayLhota] bye bye

User steve "shimp" has logged out.

[Mike Amo] Goodnight y'all...I'

User KayLhota has logged out.

[Mike Amo] m off to find a steam cabinet

User Mike Amo has logged out.