IJBFC Chat - June 6, 2010

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

[Swanny] yes

[steve "shimp"] Welcome!

[Laura Leff] Hi folks

[steve "shimp"] Hi Laura

[ed] hey LL

User Brad from Georgia has entered this room.

[steve "shimp"] How are things?

[steve "shimp"] Hi Brad

[Laura Leff] I'll defer the obvious puns on Swanny's name...welcome in!

[Brad from Georgia] Hello, everyone!

[Laura Leff] Hi Brad!

[Laura Leff] Seems like I just saw you in LA...

User karlt has entered this room.

[ed] Hey LL did jack work with or have Himan Brown on his show? He died today

[Laura Leff] Hello Karlt!

[Brad from Georgia] Since then we've also been to San Antone.

[Laura Leff] Ed - I noticed that...let me check

[steve "shimp"] Holy crud, Himan Brown finally died?

User Mike Amo has entered this room.

[karlt] Greetings

[Mike Amo] Jello folks

[steve "shimp"] Wasn't he over 100?

[ed] yea at 99

[steve "shimp"] Ugh

[steve "shimp"] I'm going to make all my doors creak in honor of him.

User Judy Greenberg has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] Doesn't look like it...at least not since the fall of 1942. John Brown, yes. Himan, no.

[steve "shimp"] Hi Judy, karlt

[Laura Leff] Hello Judy!

[ed] mine already do-87 year old house

[Brad from Georgia] My late writing partner Tom Fuller took radio-writing classes with Himan Brown bak in the nineties.

[Judy Greenberg] Hi Laur, ed, shimp, brad!

[Brad from Georgia] Hi, Judy!

[ed] judy judy judy...

[steve "shimp"] Wow, what a long career though.

[Judy Greenberg] Cary Grant never really said that

[ed] i know

[Laura Leff] Norman Corwin just recently appeared at a performance of a couple of his comedy pieces in LA

[Judy Greenberg] hi mike, swanny, karit

[Laura Leff] And I think he just turned 100

[ed] corwin just turned 100

[Brad from Georgia] No, Cary said "You dirty rat." According to James Cagney, anyway.

[ed] in may

[Mike Amo] Corwin passed away?  

[ed] no

[Brad from Georgia] No, Himan Brown.

[ed] himan brown

[Laura Leff] It's like the argument as to whether Pat O'Brien was the one who came onstage when Jack was in the Navy and told him to tell a joke.

[Mike Amo] Whew! Just was listening to the shows on XM Radio Classics

[Laura Leff] Say, kudos to whomever recommended the show for discussion tonight...it was really good.

[Brad from Georgia] Not many people know that Don Wilson's birth name was Pat O'Butter.

[steve "shimp"] Oddly enough I'd just thrown on a DVD of the Inner Sanctum TV series, don't know if Himan was involved with that.

[ed] ha ha

[Brad from Georgia] Thankyew, Laura. 'Twas I.

[steve "shimp"] Yeah, credit Brad for that pick IIRC

[steve "shimp"] Really fun show.

[ed] yes he was

[Laura Leff] Well, good job, Brad.

[Mike Amo] yay Brad

[Mike Amo] It was good

[Laura Leff] So comments on the discussion show for tonight?

[Brad from Georgia] It harked back to Jack's early days in show-biz, when he was emcee and interlocutor. If that's the way you spell it.

[Laura Leff] I was just thinking I should specifically send it over to Jeanette and point it out to her. I've sent her all the radio shows, but I bet she doesn't remember

[Laura Leff] this...or hasn't thought of it in a long time.

[steve "shimp"] I really enjoyed it but almost wish it had went farther and let the cast be out of character a bit more.

[Brad from Georgia] Anyone need explanations for references? "The Aly Khan of Encino," for example?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yes, I was thinking it had some of the feel of a 30s show without the skit...kind of best of both worlds

[steve "shimp"] So fun to hear the writers' voices too.

[karlt] It's interesting that the show was done with a very similar script the following year but in the 1950 edition they didn't talk.

[Laura Leff] Rita Hayworth, IIRC

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, Ali and Rita were an item in 1949. For some reason, Khan was always "Aly" in the press, though he was "Ali" to the home folks.

[steve "shimp"] Nice tip of the hat to Eddie Anderson to have Rochester be the last cast member introduced.

[Laura Leff] Jack had a history of his writers performing on the show until George, Sam, Milt, and Tack started...then less so. But George appears here and there.

[Laura Leff] And Tack does a great imitation of the tobacco auctioneer a few times.

[Mike Amo] It was great to have the Sportsmen introduced too ... Hmmm!

[Brad from Georgia] I liked Sheldon Leonard's bit, and Frank Nelson's was a laugh-out-loud moment.

User karlt has logged out.

[ed] bye karlt

[Laura Leff] Oh...I just saw something that made me yell with laughter the other day, but I'm not sure I should tell because it's a gag spoiler on one of the new shows.

[Brad from Georgia] Really classic use of the gag-with-variations, too--"Thanks for mentioning it, Jack, now I won't have to pay."

[Mike Amo] lol, I was waiting for the kicker

[Laura Leff] Fun to have Jeanette be so flirtatious

[Brad from Georgia] Very nice--"I'm staying with my brother-in-law, but he'll still charge me." Jack: "I know, I own the house."

[Laura Leff] This is one of the very, very few radio shows that had such along cast list that it took up two pages in 39 Forever!

User karlt has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] WB, karlt

[ed] hi again

[karlt] Sorry-- I fell off

[Brad from Georgia] I don't think I've ever laughed harder at a Nelson bit than I did at "Ooooooh, DO I!"

[ed] OUCH!!

[Laura Leff] Hi Judy, Swanny...not 100% sure if I've seen a message from you and want to make sure you know how to talk here.

[steve "shimp"] Also had the weird reminder that Jack pronounced "Hilliard" as "Hillard". That's how you know you're talking to a real Benny connoisseur - they know the silent "i".

[Swanny] sure do

[Judy Greenberg] you guys know so much more than I do, I'm a novice

[Laura Leff] Swanny - OK, good...good...  

[Brad from Georgia] Karlt--As one of my friends once told me, "Typing is like riding a bicycle. After a while, you don't fall off so much."

[Laura Leff] Judy - Ah, we just fake it well.  

[ed] not at all judy jump in when you can

[Laura Leff] Steve - Or "Hickey"

[Laura Leff] I usually just call him that

[steve "shimp"] Right, but saying that word to a stranger ...:|

[Brad from Georgia] Judy, don't let that stop you. I know next to nothing about pneumonoultramicroscopicvolcaniconiosis.

[Laura Leff] Anyone notice anything about the way the writers were introduced?

[Judy Greenberg]  

[Brad from Georgia] Order of their seniority?

[ed] brad what?

[karlt] It wasn;t alphabetically

[Laura Leff] Brad - Almost.

[Brad from Georgia] That is a lung disease of miners and used to be the longest word in Webster.

[ed] hmmm...

[Judy Greenberg] used to be?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Sounds like you do know something about it

[steve "shimp"] (cough)

[Laura Leff] Light up time

[Brad from Georgia] I just told you everything.....

[steve "shimp"] So, what's the writers thing?

[Mike Amo] If you can say the word, you don't have the disease

[Laura Leff] Well, I can't quite reveal my source on this yet, but...

[Laura Leff] Sam was the oldest writer, so he was first.

[Brad from Georgia] Judy--Yes, there's some new one but it's only been in there for about five years, so I haven't learned to spell it yet. Grampa Simpson uses "Pneumono...." in "Grampa Vs. Sexual Inadequacy" on "The Simpsons," btw.

[steve "shimp"] By the way, the "Baby It's Cold Outside" was really weird when the heat index is 106 down here today.

[Laura Leff] But I'm tolllllllld that Milt *INSISTED* on being next in the list. Jack wanted to list Sam and George together since they were a team, but Milt caused some ruckus about it.

User Swanny has logged out.

[Laura Leff] Maybe Swanny is a Josefsberg fan?

[steve "shimp"]  

[Brad from Georgia] There were three different versions of "Baby It's Cold Outside" out that spring from three different record labels. Two of them made it to number 4 on the Top Ten list.

[Judy Greenberg] Swanny fell off hope he's ok.

[karlt] I'll have to listen to the '50 show again and see if the order's the same.

[steve "shimp"] And our chat isn't even as runaway as it usually is

[steve "shimp"] we're shockingly on-topic.

[Laura Leff] Karlt- I think it stayed the same on most of the radio shows where the names are listed, but I got this information this year so I haven't "audited" it yet.

[Brad from Georgia] Floccinaucipaucinihipillification. That's a funny woid. Pickle. That's funny.

[karlt] Ah

[Judy Greenberg] it means pickle?

[Brad from Georgia] P's and k's are funny.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Hey, let's keep this famly friendly.

[steve "shimp"] pickles on the end, with ketchup aren't funny.

[steve "shimp"] but, put 'em in the middle with the mustard and that's comedy gold!

[Laura Leff] What about a pickle in the middle mit de mustard on top?

[Mike Amo] Where's Kitzel?

[Brad from Georgia] No, floccinaucipaucinihipillification (sometimes spelled without the pauci) describes a tedious involved process that produces negligible results, not unlike taking the time to write it.

[Laura Leff] Hey, there's an echo in here

[Judy Greenberg] Laura, why can't you reveal your source yet?

[steve "shimp"] Heh. Did Kitzel really say "mit" instead of "with"?

[steve "shimp"] Never noticed that.

[Judy Greenberg] yiddish

[Brad from Georgia] To my ear it sounds more like "Peekle in de meedle vit de mustard on top."

[Laura Leff] Steve - Sometimes it's a little hard to figure out what's the Yiddish accent and what's the script.

[Laura Leff] I just flip it over when I write it most of the time.

[karlt] I met MJ when I was very young (a year or two after his book came out) and naively asked him why he had the radio show ending in '54 when it was '55. I mentioned I had looked up articles about the show's end in Time and Newsweek and he just

[karlt] smiled and said "I think I know better than Time or Newsweek." Odd.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Kind of a long story...I interviewed someone, then when we went to lunch later, they backed off on some of their comments...so I'll sort it all out when I publish the interview.

[Brad from Georgia] Maybe he meant the 54-55 season....

[Judy Greenberg] cool

[steve "shimp"] Wow! Tell us more about meeting Milt karlt. How'd you meet him?

[Laura Leff] Karlt - Sam Perrin swore up and down that Jack's opening theme was "Hooray for Hollywood". I gently prompted that I thought it was his closing theme, but he was adamant and said that he'd heard it every week.

[steve "shimp"] Memory's a kooky thing.

[Brad from Georgia] Sam was listening for the closing theme, though--if you hear it and no disaster has happened, the show's good.

[Laura Leff] But it's that sort of thing that gives me a job and keeps me up nights sorting out The Truth...when you can find it.

[steve "shimp"] Trust but verify!

[Laura Leff] Yeah!

[karlt] I was just out of college and my then writing partner and I got to be interviewed by him and Mort Lachman when they ran "All in the Family". We ended up talking about Benny (and Hope) more than the business at hand. (I'm not sorry!)

[Brad from Georgia] That's one reason I was bemused but not really upset that Eddie Carroll perpetuated some Benny urban legends in his show.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yeah, as Eddie said to me the first time we had dinner, "You're an archivist. I'm an entertainer. It plays better."

[Laura Leff] Nuff said.

[Laura Leff] But it's created some good fodder on the Forum for "spot the falsehoods in Eddie's show"!

[Mike Amo]  

[Laura Leff] Karlt - Are you still a writer?

[Judy Greenberg] there's a forum for that?

[steve "shimp"] Remember by the time Milt wrote his book he'd been working for Lucille Ball for what, 10 years? That'll do things to someone's brain.

[Brad from Georgia] Judy--yep, check out the site bulletin board.

[Laura Leff] Judy - I know there's a thread somewhere in the Forum about that. There's a lot of stuff in that Forum!  

[Judy Greenberg] I never got to see Eddie

[Judy Greenberg] sigh

[Brad from Georgia] Some of the older stuff is archived.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Unfortunate.

[Judy Greenberg] yeah

[karlt] Yes, still a writer, but that's a longish story, I fear. Speaking of themes, does anyone know why "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" was woven into the opening radio music?

[Brad from Georgia] Judy--He was a great guy and a wonderful entertainer. My wife and I saw the show three time.

[Laura Leff] Yeah, there are a couple forums, because I was on a different software once. You can always use the Google search on the home page to search everything.

[Brad from Georgia] karlt-Jack was supposed to play George M. Cohan?

[Brad from Georgia] Or that was the story...

[Laura Leff] It started on the Lucky Strike program (Yankee Doodle Dandy)

[karlt] I heard him tell the Cohen story years later but was that really related?

[Brad from Georgia] I dunno. WAG on my part!

[Laura Leff] Karlt - Are you asking it as a leading question, or looking for an answer?

[karlt] The latter, I think, but when you say leading question...?

[Laura Leff] In other words, do you already know the answer? If so...go for it!

[Brad from Georgia] It was Cohan, wasn't it? He wrote "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy." George Cohen wrote "I'm a Peekle in de Meedle vit de Mustard on Top."

[steve "shimp"]  

[karlt] I sure don't.

[Laura Leff] Brad - I think it was Tackaberry, actually...

[Laura Leff] Karlt - OK. Wasn't sure if it was "Hey, betcha don't know this one!"

[steve "shimp"] Funny, it just struck me that the Yankee Doodle Dandy ISN'T in the Jell-O shows now that you mention it. Funny the things you don't notice after listening to this stuff for ages.

[Laura Leff] I'm trying to remember if I've heard it...

[Laura Leff] heard the story of it, I mean.

[Brad from Georgia] I'd really guess that "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was just a snappy, upbeat tune suited for introducing a comedy, but I don't know either.

[Laura Leff] It certainly would have been a Mahlon Merrick decision to use it. He composed all that sort of stuff for the show.

[Laura Leff] Brad - That's what I'm thinking. They were looking for a very definite, consistent theme, and that was attention-grabbing enough to do it.

[Brad from Georgia] And I suppose that there's a bit of implied vanity in the tune that jibed with Jack's persona. Am I being over-analytical here?

[Laura Leff] Brad - I've heard the same said about the Doctor Who theme.

[steve "shimp"] Now, Dr. Who being a Yankee Doodle Dandy is just silly.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Maybe...feels stretching it a bit, but I suppose you could read that.

[Brad from Georgia] "I'm a Time-

[Laura Leff] I wonder if it's in one of the biographies and I'm just not remembering it.

[Brad from Georgia] Oops..."I'm a Time-Travelin' Dan-dy...."

[Laura Leff] But Irving hadn't come on then, and Milt and Mary would probably not have been involved with the musical decisions.

[steve "shimp"] Well, didn't the Cohan biopic with Cagney come out right around the time of the Lucky Strike sponsor switchover?

[karlt] Yes

[Laura Leff] I would have guessed the Kreutzcher (sp?) exercises would have been more directly Jack-related, but that was used later as opening TV theme music

[Laura Leff] Jack switched to Lucky in the fall of 1944

[Brad from Georgia] The movie was '42, so it should have been "I'm a Grape-Nut Lovin' Dandy."

[Laura Leff] Maybe...the AMERICAN Tobacco Company?

[Brad from Georgia] Eureka, LL!

[karlt] That's clever

[Laura Leff] Just trying to suss it...

[steve "shimp"] Nah, she smells fine! /gracie

[Laura Leff] Hmmmmm

[Laura Leff] I really feel like I should know this

[Laura Leff] Hmmmmm

[Laura Leff] OK, something to keep me awake at night.

[steve "shimp"] Laura's channeling the sportsmen, lookout

[Laura Leff] *snork*

[Brad from Georgia] In other news, when I get some moolah together, I have to order some of those newly-available shows.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yeah, you do!

[steve "shimp"] What's the "vertical alignment" thing? Like the projector was out of frame when they transferred them?

[Brad from Georgia] I always thought when I got to be sixty, we would no longer be stretching out our paychecks as we have to do.

[Laura Leff] High five to the room on all the new shows...and there are a couple others that I discovered in the discs as I was copying them into the offboard hard drive where I keep the library.

[Brad from Georgia] Back those suckers up on another drive, too, Laura!

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yeah, it looks like the projector was tilted at the wrong angle, because during the Gary Crosby show, it pans up and down and then settles in the right spot.

[steve "shimp"] Yes, very cool on all the shows!

[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh, I've got all my DVD copies as well. The hard drive is a 1TB drive!

[Judy Greenberg] any new high tech ways to get the shows without having to send you DVDs and wait 4-6 weeks, Laura?

[Brad from Georgia] LL--Sure that wasn't just Gary Crosby's personality?

[Laura Leff] Judy - Not at this point. I've had offers on hosting the shows, etc., but I promise to turn the orders as quickly as I can.

[Laura Leff] I usually take much less than 4-6 weeks to fill orders. I just set expectations low and then overdeliver.

[Mike Amo] Excellent...I have to do this someday

[Brad from Georgia] LL's a cottage industry--it's a one-woman job, producing those dvds.

[Laura Leff] And since I know a lot of orders will be coming in for these, I'll be checking the box regularly and burning as fast as I can go.

[Brad from Georgia] How long does a 90-minute burn take on your machine, Laura? It takes mine about a week.....

[Laura Leff] Yup. Also since we don't own copyrights, I need to make sure we're staying within copyright limitations on us sharing the shows for educational purposes. Somewhat limiting in being able to just put them out there like YouTube.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Mine goes faster than that.

[Laura Leff] But it's slower because of Vista

[Judy Greenberg] aren't some of them public domain?

[steve "shimp"] I've had this new computer for about 6 months and I just realized I've never even tried burning a DVD on it.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--you should ask contributors to the newsletter to reference the shows from time to time; that would demonstrate the educational nature. Of course, I study Jack to learn how to handle our budget.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Some are. But it would take some time for me to work out the details of what can be shared, and I'm focused on working on Volume 3 of 39 Forever right now.

[Brad from Georgia] You go, LL!

[steve "shimp"] Whoohoo, Volume 3 rah rah rah

[Mike Amo] I was glad to see you start the page on Facebook too

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User karlt has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] I keep a running tab of how far I am through the shows...you'll be happy to know that I'm about halfway done.

[Brad from Georgia] By, karl, hi, karl.

[Laura Leff] Mike - Yes, thanks for that. It was long overdue, but I wanted to make sure I had the bandwidth to keep an eye on that and run the IJBFC site. With my big project last year, I just didn't.

[karlt] This time it was "connection with server is lost" I haven't participated in chat much so it's all new to me....

[Laura Leff] Karlt - Thanks for your tenacity!

[steve "shimp"] sometimes java does strange things karl, just hang in there.

[Brad from Georgia] We're having thunderstorms rolling in, so if I drop off, I've either lost signal or been electrocuted.

[steve "shimp"] We'll hope for the former, Brad.

[Laura Leff] Brad - I saw the storm moving into New York...didn't know it was that far south.

[Laura Leff] Say, just to make sure...any other comments on the show for discussion tonight?

[Laura Leff] Just want to make sure we ran that through to conclusion...

[karlt] Well, reverting to Mr. Kitzle: I generally find him unamusing-- but I think it's so nice that there was ONE character who didn't annoy or insult Jack, and that he was always happy to see!

[Brad from Georgia] It was interesting to hear "Mr. Kitzel" introduced as himself.

[Laura Leff] Karlt - Well said!

[steve "shimp"] How long did Sara Berner stay on the show? This must've been toward the end of her run, no?

[Mike Amo] Did Kitzel & Schlep ever work together?

[Laura Leff] Mike - Nope. When Sam Hearn wanted to come back to the show

[steve "shimp"] Schlep became the rube

[Brad from Georgia] Wonder why Jack didn't introduce Dennis under his right name? Of course, it wasn't a secret--lots of McNulty refs on other shows.

[Laura Leff] Jack told him that he already had Kitzel as the Yiddishkeit character, so...what Steve said

[Laura Leff] Brad - I suppose he didn't introduce Mary as Sadye either.  

[Brad from Georgia] Where did Phil Harris get the first name "Wonga"? I know, from his parents, but where did it come from?

[Laura Leff] I'd like to know that myself

[steve "shimp"] I read somewhere that Wonga was a good friend of Phil's parents in their circus days.

[steve "shimp"] Named after him.

[Mike Amo] The Treasury guy at the end threw me...I was thinking of Jack's tax problems but I can't remember if that preceded this show or followed it

[Brad from Georgia] LL-I read a rather patronizing article about Jack's "racism" that claimed Rochester was the ONLY cast member who had a name that was not his own.....

[Laura Leff] Mike - Preceded it

[Mike Amo] So was this some kind of arranged thing?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh, well that's the SILLIEST thing I ever heard

[Brad from Georgia] No, the occasion was Jack's filiming "The Spirit of '49."

[Brad from Georgia] It was a one-reeler promoting savings bonds. Jack played a triple role in it.

[Mike Amo] That's right...hard to remember that stuff

[Laura Leff] Mike - Yes, it's a promo for that Opportunity Bond drive.

[steve "shimp"] Does that film still exist?

[Brad from Georgia] Sure it does.

[steve "shimp"] Don't think I've ever seen that.

[Laura Leff] *Waiting for the other shoe to drop*

[Laura Leff] And it can be found......?

[Brad from Georgia] No other shoe, Laura--it was a government film, and the government archives everything.

[Laura Leff] Have you seen it?

[Judy Greenberg] in the IJBFC library...

[steve "shimp"] In some liberry perhaps?

[Judy Greenberg] ?

[Brad from Georgia] Take it from a former librarian. The film exists somewhere.

[Brad from Georgia] I have seen a clip from the film, and I posted a link to a magazine article about it today on the bulletin board.

[Mike Amo] lol, Brad, my office destroyed 20 years of my files last year...th Historian and many of us were shocked...video of maybe 200 folks, maybe long passed, gone...records too

[Judy Greenberg] that's awful

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[karlt] Say, it appears that the film is in the BFI archives. What a shame! I was doing research there two weeks ago-- could have seen it....

[Brad from Georgia] The problem won't be that there are no copies of the film around--it will be finding the archive copy. Think of the last scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

[Mike Amo] It's normal, like Carson's stuff...who needs that

[Laura Leff] I was at a shredding facility one time, and saw a bunch of bags of film reels. I almost stopped and looked at them, but figured they wouldn't appreciate it.

[Brad from Georgia] Good going, karlt!

[Mike Amo] Weaker bulbs in guvmint than even NBC

[Laura Leff] I was laughing listening to the commentary on "Good Night, and Good Luck" and hearing George Clooney say how helpful Les Moonves had been.

[Mike Amo] I expect he can be, when it's in their interest

[Brad from Georgia] I once rescued two or three dozen books autographed by Alexander Stephens (VP of the Confederacy) that the University of Georgia was discarding because I bothered to open them up and look.

[Laura Leff] But hey...one of the new shows is 2/23/58 that I thought only existed in the CBS vaults. It's out now! Not sure how, but it's out!

[karlt] There's a story about a rock band recording stuff on the Warners Burbank lot and during down time using Vitaphone discs as frisbees. Horrifying but conveniently symbolic.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Dang!

[Brad from Georgia] They all came from Stephens's library. I didn't even get credit for saving the books, either--head of the library claimed credit, and he didn't have anything to do with it.

[Mike Amo] :S

[Laura Leff] Karlt - I remember someone telling me that Edison diamond discs make fabulous skeet targets. Ouch.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Funny. More impressive than when I donated all the Benny radio shows on CD to the Waukegan Public Library...and had a bit of a time getting them to take them!

[Laura Leff] But the Mayor's office was very, very helpful in that situation.

[Brad from Georgia] Jeez Louise. That's just sad.

[karlt] The past is another country-- and some people don't even want to visit.

[Mike Amo]  LL, I tried to give the agency Historian the material before I retired a year ago, but they had "no room"

[Mike Amo] Two months later, they did, but it turned out it was too late

[Judy Greenberg] Are the radio shows available at the Waukegan Public Library now? I can go there and see if I can get them.

[steve "shimp"] Yeah. Does the Waukegan Public Library burn their copies of Fahrenheit 451 too?

[Mike Amo] We didn't know until last month though

[Laura Leff] Mike - That's pretty much what I was running into. I didn't know 9 CDs took up so much space.

[Mike Amo] My stuff took up 3 drawers

[Laura Leff] Judy - They certainly should be. The Mayor's office did a nice announcement in the paper about the donation, so the library embraced it.

[Laura Leff] I don't want to trash the WPL. It's just funny to me now.

[Judy Greenberg] cool, I'm planning to go visit Waukegan anyway.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Have you found the online self-guided tour?

[Brad from Georgia] I want to visit Waukegan some day.

[Laura Leff] Judy - That's probably your best guide to seeing all the Benny-related Waukegan sites.

[steve "shimp"] But note that there's one error in it!

[Laura Leff] Steve - I haven't looked at it in a few years...what is it?

[steve "shimp"] Which we puzzled through on the forum last year - Jack's Clayton Street house still stands.

[Brad from Georgia] Marshall, Michigan used to have a "John Bellairs" day every January, but sadly the lady who coordinated it died a couple of years ago. I think the town no longer recognizes its famous writer.

[steve "shimp"] The guide says it's demolished.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Oh right that! Do they say it's gone?

[Mike Amo] That's a Joke Son

[Judy Greenberg] yes I have it, just have to do it

[steve "shimp"] Yes, the guide says it was razed.

[Mike Amo] That's an impressive mistake  

[Laura Leff] Steve - Aha. They're confusing it with 226 S. Genesee

[Laura Leff] Or 10231 Charing Cross Road in Beverly Hills...

[steve "shimp"] Well, I think it says the Genessee house is gone too, which is correct.

[Brad from Georgia] BTW, when we were in LA we took a cheesy "Homes of the Stars" tours and did get to see Jack's Roxbury house.

[Mike Amo] I saw Jack's house in 1979, LL, was it that BH one?

[Mike Amo] Ah, never mind...lol, thanks Brad

[karlt] The British have done their share of destroying their heritage, particularly recently, but when you think that Dr. Johnson's house is still there...!

[Judy Greenberg] I'll take photos when I go

[Laura Leff] Mike - Which one did you see? Roxbury or Charing Cross?

[Brad from Georgia] It's next door to Lucille Ball's and also next to Peter Falk's.

[Mike Amo] I was going to ask, but I expect it was the Roxbury one...it's been 31 years  

[Laura Leff] Mike - Most likely Roxbury. There really wasn't much to see with Charing Cross.

[Judy Greenberg] is there any of Jack's family still in Illinois?

[Laura Leff] I walked up the driveway, and there's no real good place to get a look at the house like there is on Roxbury.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Not that I know of. But I need to reach out to someone who thinks they've got a connection.

[Mike Amo] One that was memorable was Buddy Hackett's...had a miniature elephant statue out front

[Laura Leff] Unless you count all the folks at Am Echod cemetery. He's got lots of relatives there.

[Judy Greenberg] oh yeah, I've got to go there

[Judy Greenberg] and put rocks on the graves

[Brad from Georgia] LL--we had talked about taking a "Hollywood Ghost Tour," but on the "Homes of the Stars" tours, the guide's driving was scary enough for anyone.

[karlt] Pretty novel still of Jack in "Spirit of '49" at http://www.gettyimages.co.jp/detail/ ... Hulton-Archive

[Laura Leff] Judy - Yeah. The guide may not tell you, but all the Gordons that are right in front of the Kubelskys are cousins.

[Mike Amo] :D

[Judy Greenberg] thanks

[Laura Leff] Jack's parents are in the last row in the back.

[Brad from Georgia] karlt--That's Jack as his own grandpa. He played himself, his dad, and his grandfather in the film.

[steve "shimp"] Hey, that's a Phil Harris song.

[Judy Greenberg] I tried to start a genealogy tree on Ancestry for the Kubelsky's but didn't get very far yet. Do you know if anyone has traced Jack's ancestry at all?

[Laura Leff] Judy - Actually, take a look at Events - Waukegan and you'll see a lot of Waukegan photos. Also use the Google search on the home page with "Florence" and you'll find "A Day in Waukegan" when we unveiled her gravestone.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Yup. I've got a family tree that's got about 100 names in it.

[Judy Greenberg] wow, is that something I could see?

[Laura Leff] I've shared it with the family, but they asked me not to publish it. I can answer one-off questions though.

[Brad from Georgia] I heard recently that a fan had a lock of Jack's hair and donated it to a lab to see if they could create a clone. They did, but it turned out to be a toupee.

[Laura Leff] Ba-dum bum

[Judy Greenberg] haaa

[Mike Amo]  

[steve "shimp"] Jurassic Jack

[Judy Greenberg] who did the research on the family tree?

[Laura Leff] Judy - Me

[Judy Greenberg] neat

[Laura Leff] It's a collection of lots of shreds of information I've accumulated over the years.

[Judy Greenberg] Jack looks a lot like my father, so I wonder if I might be distantly related to him

[Laura Leff] Just needed to gather it all into one place and organize it. Which I finally did in the last year or two.

[Brad from Georgia] So...if they were making a movie out of Dickens's "Martin Chuzzlewit," what part would Jack play?

[Laura Leff] Judy - What was your father's name?

[steve "shimp"] The wit?

[Judy Greenberg] Bernard Greenberg

[Laura Leff] Steve - Good answer

[Brad from Georgia] Sorry, steve, but that's Dickens's most witless novel.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Where was the family from? What part of Eastern Europe?

[Mike Amo] Second violin

[Laura Leff] Brad - Dickens' half-wit, as it were

[steve "shimp"] Dennis would be the half-wit

[steve "shimp"] (obviously hasn't read Martin Chuzzlewit)

[Laura Leff] If you get enough yarn, he could be a knit-wit

[Brad from Georgia] I try to read a Dickens novel I haven't read every summer. I'm down to "Martin Chuzzlewit" now. It's on my Kindle, and I'm just now finishing it after two weeks of reading.

[Judy Greenberg] Podolia, which was part of Russia, but now in the Ukraine, I know it's a long shot.

[Judy Greenberg] in the Letichev District I think

[Laura Leff] Judy - Yeah, unlikely. Jack's family was from Poland-Lithuania, so that's a little far.

[steve "shimp"] Is it good for reading, or just for kindling?

[Judy Greenberg] I can dream can't I?

[Brad from Georgia] steve--It's one of Dickens's "picaresque" novels, which means he didn't plot it out, so it's very random and is wrapping up with one whopping coincidence after another. Very weak construction.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Again, good one

[Laura Leff] Judy - Oh sure. I had someone tell me that his grandfather served with Jack on a ship in the Atlantic during WWI.

[Brad from Georgia] On the other hand, it has some of his memorable villain characters: Mr. Pecksniff and Sairey Gamp.

[Laura Leff] Welcome back to The Truth.

[Laura Leff] It can make me more than a bit of a killjoy sometimes, but I try to let everyone down as easily as is needed!

[steve "shimp"] Let's see if Judy's related to Charles Dickens now.

[Laura Leff] And with some...I just keep my mouth shut.

[Brad from Georgia] A high-school friend of mine asked me recently if my memory was getting weaker. I told him no, stronger. I'm remembering things these days that never actually happened.

[Laura Leff] Maybe Judy is related to Kevin Bacon.

[Brad from Georgia] Mmmm.....bacon.

[Judy Greenberg] not kosher

[Laura Leff] Turkey bacon

[Brad from Georgia] Kosher, that's my baby....

[Laura Leff] No sir, don't mean maybe

[Laura Leff] Kosher, that's my baby nowwwww

[steve "shimp"] speaking of bacon, how sick and wrong is this: http://store.baconsalt.com/Bacon-Bab ... ONLY_p_84.html

[Judy Greenberg] do you know where in Lituania they were from, Laura?

[Judy Greenberg] Lithuania

[Laura Leff] Warning to newbies: OK, we're free-wheeling now. Feel free to throw out Benny-related discussion and questions to keep us on track!

[karlt] It struck me recently that I've heard Jack order ham sandwiches a few times on the show. I wonder if he was trying to make some assimilative point, but I'm probably overanalyzing

[Laura Leff] Judy - His mother was from Lithuania. I think I've got the village, but I'd have to look it up.

[Brad from Georgia] LL--I presume the new print of "Chasing Rainbows" is still missing all the color segments?

[Laura Leff] Karlt - You'll also hear him and Rochester inventory pork and beans, celebrate Christmas and Easter...etc.

[Brad from Georgia] Yep, and occasionally Jackhas bacon and eggs for breakfast.

[Laura Leff] There's even a great George Burns story about that.

[Laura Leff] So I think Jack was not necessarily making an overt attempt to say, "Hey, I'm assimilated"

[steve "shimp"] Joan describes their home life as pretty unreligious.

[Laura Leff] but just do stuff that would be considered "normal" by most of the listening audience.

[Judy Greenberg] did Jack have a Bar Mitzvah?

[Brad from Georgia] "Friends, here's a grand breakfast. Fry up some nice crisp bacon and whip up some cherry Jell-O. Crumble the bacon and fold it in. When you unmold the Jell-O, do it over a big pile of scrambled eggs...."

[Laura Leff] But one time Jack did a show on Yom Kippur, and was concerned that non-Jews would think him a "bad Jew" for working on YK.

[Laura Leff] Judy - His parents were Orthodox, so I'm sure he did.

[steve "shimp"] I love it when Brad channels Don.

[Brad from Georgia] Yeh, but none of my pants fit now.\

[karlt] A contrast to Mr. Kitzel, whose pet pig loved him because he was sure he's never be eaten.

[Judy Greenberg] So he could probably read Hebrew.

[Laura Leff] Well, but see...Kitzel was an overtly Jewish character.

[Brad from Georgia] OTOH, Jack sometimes referenced ethnic foods, too--gefilte fish and herring, for example, and I recall at least one refrence to matzohs.

[Laura Leff] Judy - He probably had to study it, but he was never much of a student, so I don't know how much he retained.

[Laura Leff] And on one show, Dennis says to him "Gut Yom Tov"...I think it was a show that coincided with Rosh Hashanah

[karlt] Wonderful moment on a Dennis Day Show: D: Oy vey! Other: What does that mean? D: It's an old Irish saying-- it means, have I got tsuris!

[Laura Leff] Or Gut Yontiff...can't remember right off.

[Brad from Georgia] Can u tell I'm on my li'l netbook? I cant alwys spell so good on it.

[Mike Amo]  

[Laura Leff] Karlt - Ha!

[Brad from Georgia] LL--Do you know the story behind the use of "gunsel" in the film "Maltese Falcon?"

[Laura Leff] I once looked for a ketubah for Jack and Mary, but can't find any evidence that one still exists

[karlt] Remember the multi-lingual joketelling with Dennis and Raymond Burr. Very funny. And Dennis was immaculate in his lines.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Remind me

[Brad from Georgia] "Gunsel" is a derogatory term--the kid used as a homosexual lover by an older male. (Sam Spade was a Jewish private eye). But it zipped past the censors because they assumed it meant "gunman."

[Laura Leff] *A hush falls over the crowd*

[Laura Leff] Brad - You know...I don't think I ever knew that. What was the context?

[Mike Amo] I never heard it

[Brad from Georgia] Wilmer was the gunsel in the book and movie--and lots of people were shocked at the word in the forties. Spade says to Casper Gutman, "Keep you gunsel away from me."

[karlt] Never knew SS was Jewish

[Brad from Georgia] "Keep your gunsel away," that should be.

[Brad from Georgia] Yep, Spade was overtly Jewish in the novel, not so in the movie.

[Laura Leff] It comes off sounding like some combination of Hansel and Gretel...like some kind of diminutive German name

[steve "shimp"] Or some part of a ship. Like a fo'c'sle

[Laura Leff] Which, I guess...maybe it is...just with a more specific derogatory overtone

[Laura Leff] So what other Benny questions?

[Judy Greenberg] Weren't you looking for something regarding the King for a Day Fred Allen show? Did u ever find it?

[Brad from Georgia] I don't recall--did you answer my query regarding the color segments of "Chasing Rainbows?"

[Laura Leff] Judy - Not yet. Looking for a film of the broadcast.

[Laura Leff] Brad - What was your question? Are they lost?

[Laura Leff] I haven't seen them, but I know they existed once.

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, I asked if the new version you list has any of them.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh, not a new version of Chasing Rainbows. That's the same transfer as before. It's got some still inserts with subtitles discussing what's missing.

[Brad from Georgia] Shame. That early color film was so frangible that a lot of early color movies are lost.

[Laura Leff] It's the George Burns Show that's in color.

[steve "shimp"] Oh, yeah, what is that?

[steve "shimp"] Is that a GB special or the actual series?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Not to mention early TV. Some of the "Shower of Stars" eps are announced as being "in full color", but our copies are all B&W.

[steve "shimp"] I had no idea there were color episodes.

[Brad from Georgia] You know, I put "Angels with Angles" on our Netflix list more than a year ago, but apparently it's still not out on DVD.

[Laura Leff] Steve - It looks like a color hour special to me.

[Brad from Georgia] Maybe it's deteriorated, too....

[steve "shimp"] Neat!

[Laura Leff] Brad - Don't get me started.  

[steve "shimp"] The Shower of Stars were live, so no color is going to exist of them anywhere.

[Laura Leff] Ah, only kines

[steve "shimp"] Yep.

[karlt] Digression: Has anyone ever read any of John Dunning's mysteries/novels? (I haven't yet.)

[Brad from Georgia] I asked Eddie, "How did the makers of that movie NOT cast you as Jack Benny?" He said the fellow they did cast asked him if he could have Eddie's "Laughter in Bloom" script and do a couple of performances to capture the character!

[Laura Leff] The thing that's been gnawing at me recently...well, one of the things...is that Jack Takes the Beavers to the Fair was originally broadcast in color.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Trust me, he didn't.

[steve "shimp"] Do you think CBS still has the color version?

[Laura Leff] Steve - No, I know they don't.

[steve "shimp"] I know they have the one color Burns and Allen episode.

[steve "shimp"] Or at least access to it.

[Laura Leff] I've checked the listings of the copies that everone has, because it's one of the shows that exists in many archives, and they all list it as B&W.

[Brad from Georgia] Dunning? I read that "Eastern Wartime" book of his some years back, but I can't remember ANY of it!

[karlt] Ah.

[steve "shimp"] I wonder if it had a special opening title, my copy cuts into the show abruptly.

[Brad from Georgia] That's not to say that the book was bad--I do lots of leisure reading, and a lot of it doesn't stick.

[Laura Leff] Steve - I will have to take a look at my copy and see what title card is on it. I know what should have been the title card at that time, but I may end up screening UCLA's copy next time I'm down there.

[Mike Amo] LL, I've been meaning to ask if you know the Radio Classics host, Greg Bell. Glad I'll have those random shows running 24/7 on XM when I drive a LOT this summer. Starting a 12-hour drive to Nashville for a week in a few hours.

[Brad from Georgia] Mike--I understand swathes of Nashville are still drying out from the floods.

[Laura Leff] Mike - I don't think I do, but I have lots of people cross my path saying, "I E-mailed back and forth with you a while ago on such-n-such a topic."

[Mike Amo] Yes, I'll be there for CMA Fest/Fan Fair for a week

[Laura Leff] So I may have corresponded with him and just not realized it.

[Laura Leff] Maybe Art Bell would be cooler...  

[Judy Greenberg] How is Mrs. Carroll doing?

[Mike Amo] They seem to do good research on those shows

[Laura Leff] Judy - She just got back from Hawaii a few days ago. I got a short E-mail from her and have been meaning to call, but figured she could use a weekend to decompress.

[Brad from Georgia] She and her daughter Tina were going to Hawaii, where Carolyn and Eddie loved to... well, LL just said it.

[Laura Leff] I got a call from Radio Spirits today about possibly doing some liner notes for them.

[steve "shimp"] Nice! I assume they are releasing more shows?

[Laura Leff] Steve - Yes, they're looking at doing some additional collections. I won't share details since it's still in the works, but they're working on it!

[Laura Leff] They've done a nice job with their recent sets.

[Laura Leff] And if you're REAL NICE to me, maybe I'll give you an extra copy...  

[steve "shimp"] Hmmmm!

[Mike Amo]  

[Judy Greenberg] me too

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, Barbara got me a nice one for Christmas--some of Jack's shows, and lots of guest appearances by Jack and other cast members on different shows.

[steve "shimp"] Do they do a big overhaul on the audio and clean it up?

[Brad from Georgia] I'm looking at their complimentary catalog right now...Wonga Harris is grinning right back at me.

[Laura Leff] Steve - I know they do some audio cleaning, but I haven't done a side-by-side of my copies and theirs.

[steve "shimp"] I have some of their stuff but it's been ages since I've bought from them, I assume the restoration technology is a lot better these days.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Funny that with all I've discussed with them, we haven't talked about audio restoration. But suffice it to say that I like the general philosophy of the management now, so I give them a thumbs-up.

[steve "shimp"] Those Harris-Faye sets with the previously unreleased stuff are on my million-miles-long wishlist of someday purchases.

[Brad from Georgia] The sound levels seem very consistent on the RS disks at least. That's an annoyance when I'm listening to mp3's as I do my daily walk--it's clear on some shows that the recording levels on the acetates weren't constant.

[Judy Greenberg] there are a couple free podcasts of Jack Benny on iTunes, I subscribed to them.

[Laura Leff] Judy - Those should come from Radio Spirits. They've got exclusive distribution to iTunes, and several other outlets.

[Judy Greenberg] I didn't know that, thanks.

[steve "shimp"] Well, this brings to mind an actual Jack Benny question...

[Brad from Georgia] ....so I think that Jack would play Martin Chuzzlewit, Senior, in a movie. He's grumpy and gruff and feels put upon.

[Laura Leff] So what else for tonight? Any requests for the show next month?

[Laura Leff] Go for it, Steve.

[Brad from Georgia] July, July....Jack didn't do any Fourth of July shows, did he?

[steve "shimp"] Are any of those long-rumored audience warmups going to surface for Jack's show?

[Brad from Georgia] And it will be the Fourth, won't it?

[Judy Greenberg] when was Mary's birthday?

[steve "shimp"] Tonight's episode made me think of them.

[Laura Leff] No, although it was fun sorting out the rerun in the new adds to the library.

[Laura Leff] Steve - Other than the ones already out there?

[steve "shimp"] Are there some?

[Laura Leff] Oh, audience warmups...sorry...thought you meant rehearsal shows.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Oh, if it's the fourth, I'll probably push it off a week.

[Mike Amo] I'd love to see that Gleason episode you've added  

[steve "shimp"] The Phil Harris-Alice Faye ones are interesting but the audio is so crummy on them.

[Laura Leff] Judy - I should know that right off, but I think it was in June.

[Brad from Georgia] We need a patriotic show for next month. Maybe one of the Army base ones?

[steve "shimp"] Obviously there's only one mike working.

[Judy Greenberg] I think there was a show about celebrating her birthday?

[Mike Amo] Makes sense

[Laura Leff] Mike - Yeah, too big of a download!

[Mike Amo] lol, I figure

[Laura Leff] I'll use one of the non-series shows.

[Laura Leff] How about a Command Performance?

[Brad from Georgia] Sounds good, LL.

[Judy Greenberg] that would be great

[steve "shimp"] Sounds good to me.

[Mike Amo] I heard one with Jack a week ago

[Laura Leff] OK, I'll try to find one where Jack is hosting so that it's not just Jack and a bunch of other stuff.

[Laura Leff] Mike - Was he hosting?

[Mike Amo] He was out on a date with an actress whose name is escaping me right now

[Mike Amo] Can't remember other sketches offhand

[Laura Leff] OK, I'll sort out what I've got on hand.

[Brad from Georgia] Well, tomorrow I start teaching summer school. Wish me luck. G'night, everyone!

[Laura Leff] So...shall we call it good for this month?

[steve "shimp"] Good luck Brad!

[Laura Leff] Break a leg, Brad!

[Mike Amo] Good luck Brad...take care folks!

User Brad from Georgia has logged out.

[steve "shimp"] Sure.

[steve "shimp"] Talk to you all next month!

[Laura Leff] OK, thanks for stopping...particular welcome again to Karlt and Judy, and I hope we see you again!

[steve "shimp"] Yes, please come back!

[Mike Amo] I'll be away if it's the 11th, but I'll be keeping up

[Judy Greenberg] It was fun, I'll report on my trip to Waukegan next time!

[Laura Leff] Please do!

[karlt] I'll certainly try to make it back.

[Laura Leff] Great...have a wonderful June, folks!

[Judy Greenberg] I'll check out the Gordons for sure

[Mike Amo] You too, LL

[Judy Greenberg]  

[Mike Amo] Have fun, Judy