IJBFC Chat - February 13, 2011

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

[ed kienzler] hi boss

[Laura Leff] Hi folks

[Brad from Georgia] Hiya, boss!

[Laura Leff] How's everyone doing tonight?

[john] Hello! I'd though I'd give this a (first) try.

[Brad from Georgia] Doing well, thanks. You?

[Laura Leff] Welcome in, John. Glad you could join us.

[ed kienzler] okay sittin here w/ acold cut combo and pepsi

[john] I'm doing well also

[Brad from Georgia] Oh, Laura--I've got something I need to talk with you about--but I'll send an email sometime this week. It's nice news, I think.

[Laura Leff] I have been through 14" of snow in New York, an ice storm in Philadelphia, and -10F in Chicago. So my condolences to anyone in poor weather at the moment.

[john] Thank you, Laura. Glad to be "here"

[ed kienzler] warmed up to nearly 60* today

[Brad from Georgia] We had a couple of deep snows, unusual for GA, but now it's seasonal--fifty in the daytime, low thirties at night.

[Laura Leff] Brad - OK. I'm on the road again this week, so apologies if I'm slow on the uptake.

[Laura Leff] John - What region of the country are you in?

[Brad from Georgia] No problem. This is a long-range project, but I'd love your input and help.

[Laura Leff] Brad - OK, let's see what we can do.

[john] I'm in Manteca, sunny California -- snow? What's that?  

[ed kienzler] only in the mountains john...

[Laura Leff] Ah, another person to represent CA with me

[Brad from Georgia] Cool line on "Simpsons" just now from Moe: "I dabbled in Satanism, but I was asked to leave..."

[ed kienzler] ha ha

[Laura Leff] So what did folks think of the show for tonight?

[john] Very funny

[Brad from Georgia] LL--Barbara and I are planning to travel to CA probably the first week in May. Love to get together with you if we can.

[Brad from Georgia] I liked the show. The '47 shows really hit their stride.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Will you be in Northern or Southern California?

[Brad from Georgia] Encino. What's that considered?

[john] It had a little bit of everything, I think: Isaac Stern's music, good lines, and I like the ending.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Southern. About 400 miles away from me.

[Laura Leff] Plus the Colmans...

[ed kienzler] the latter JB shows were more sitcomish lack of a better word

[Brad from Georgia] I liked the repetition of the Dorothy Kirsten gag! It didn't get the same huge laugh, but it was funny in this context, too. That's Mary's "Aw, shut up!"

[Laura Leff] This show was redone on television, but I don't think it was a Jack birthday episode. Just Jack giving a dinner party.

[Brad from Georgia] I don't think Mary was quite as sharp this time around.

[Laura Leff] I thought the Kirsten gag was after this...*going to look it up*

[john] Brad, do you mean sharp as in acerbic or as in "witty"

[Brad from Georgia] Mel Blanc was sadly underused, this time. He had a bigger role on the next week's show (two, in fact).

[Brad from Georgia] Acerbic. With the Kirsten, she came in faster and it was more of a put-down.

[Laura Leff] Kirsten 4/25/48

[Brad from Georgia] Ah-hah! It worked better the SECOND time!

[john] That's what I thought - I hadn't heard the Kirsten episode yet.

[ed kienzler] same gere

[Brad from Georgia] It's a funny one

[ed kienzler] here*

[john] Thanks, Laura -- I'll try to find that one..

[Laura Leff] It's pretty available. It was one of the first two Benny programs I ever got (on 8-track no less)

[Brad from Georgia] LL--I was just saying that the 2/23/47 show's very funny, too. EVERYone was blowing lines (Mary put weird inflections on a reading; Eddie Anderson got all tangled up; and even Don flubbed. This was one of those "ONE rehearsal, that's ALL I ask" shows.

[john] Going back to Mel Blanc -- I agree. He is extremely funny -- what part did he play in this episode? I didn't catch it.

[ed kienzler] radio shows were hard to hear on those weren't they LL

[Brad from Georgia] Mel was the assistant to the pots and pans man--"Dat goes double for me."

[john] That was him! Should've known.

[Brad from Georgia] On tonight's show, I did laugh out loud at Rochester's sturgeon/caviar joke.

[Brad from Georgia] Dennis was okay, not as funny as he can be; the Colmans were great.

[john] The writing is so good. They always do a good set up in the beginning and play off of later in the show -- catches a person off guard.

[Laura Leff] I even quoted that one time when I was at dinner and the waiter cut into a prawn that was full of roe

[ed kienzler] ronald had a great voice for radio

[Brad from Georgia] I love the way they plant a gag early and then make it pay off unexpectedly much later.

[john] That's why I meant to say but you said it much better

[Brad from Georgia] Doesn't Dennis do a great Colman in this one!

[Brad from Georgia] "If I were king..."

[john] I was even wondering if it was Colman speaking

[ed kienzler] true

[Laura Leff] Dennis was a great mimic all around

[Laura Leff] Trying to remember if he or Frankie Fontaine did Winston Churchill in the 50 cents episode

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, we've talked about his "Crazy Guggenheim" before. Dead-on. And the TV spot where he and Don do Laurel and Hardy--he's very good as Laurel.

[john] I've never heard any of his own shows -- are they comparable to JB shows?

[Laura Leff] Ah, Fontaine does that. Oh well.

[Brad from Georgia] Dennis's shows are...what should I say? Milder. Pleasant, sometimes very funny, but mellower generally. He's the same goofy character.

[ed kienzler] colman's was made for radio not TV...

[Laura Leff] I have to admit that I haven't spent a lot of time listening to them, because people don't speak very highly of them...

[Brad from Georgia] LL--I was talking about the TV show, where Jack played Gleason's "Joe the Bartender" to Dennis's Fontaine.

[john] Sounds interesting -- of course, nobody can beat JB, but then I'm prejudiced.

[Laura Leff] Brad - Yes...I was talking about that Fontaine does the Churchill imitation. Sorry for the confusion.

[Brad from Georgia] The pacing on Dennis's show is not as precise as on Jack's, and frequently the plots are perfunctorily wrapped up without any real pay-off.

[john] I'd say it's probably reflective on the quality of writers one has

[Brad from Georgia] Did anyone catch the short off-mike sentence at the very end, as Ronnie and Benita are talking?

[john] No, only a blurb. I couldn't make it out.

[Brad from Georgia] Jack had the best writers, and he was a good comedy writer himself. And a superb comedy editor, the best.

[ed kienzler] and he let the others have the best lines

[Laura Leff] I'll look it up

[john] It was why he was so loved and it contributed to his wide fan base, I think, as well as his timelessness.

[Brad from Georgia] Jack: "I don't care who gets the laughs. The next day, people still say, 'The Jack Benny show was hilarious last night,' so I get the credit."

[john] He was very smart and down to earth that way. No big ego.

[Laura Leff] I can't remember the last line in the recording, but here's the scripted exchange.

[Brad from Georgia] John--Right. I don't like listening to Bob Hope shows from the forties because they're so topical that I don't get the majority of the jokes. Jack's aren't like that.

[Laura Leff] Ronnie: You know, Benita, I was never so embarrassed in my life.

[Laura Leff] Benita: It certainly was humiliating.

[Laura Leff] Ronnie: Yes.

[Laura Leff] Stern: And I had to play my violin yet...or tried to, anyway.

[Laura Leff] Ronnie: What an evening! Mr. Stern, why don't you come in and have coffee with us.

[Laura Leff] Stern: Thank you, I will.

[Laura Leff] The end

[Laura Leff] Not a huge payoff...so much good stuff in the middle I guess you don't need it.

[Brad from Georgia] I don't recall the last three lines at all. Ronnie says, "Benita...that party we're planning..." and Benita says, "Ronnie, don't you DARE!" (referring to the demo meal cooked by the pot and pan guys).

[Laura Leff] Here, I'll pull the audio

[john] That was great

[Brad from Georgia] I didn't hear Stern at all, unless he might have been the off-mike voice.

[Laura Leff] Yes, he was the off-mike voice. Obviously punched up the gag last-minute--much better than the script I had.

[Brad from Georgia] Stern, by the way, must have been a good sport. Of course he got great publicity.

[john] and talent!!

[ed kienzler] did he play w/jack in real life?

[Laura Leff] He had met Jack, introduced by Danny Kaye, just a year or so before this. It's what inspired Jack to get serious about his playing.

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, he and Jack played together several times.

[john] Yes, I saw it on Youtube -- very good (Isaac that was)

User Phil Curry has entered this room.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Yes, on a number of occasions. There's a video of them doing the Bach double concerto.

[Laura Leff] Hi Phil

[ed kienzler] hi phil curry

[john] Hello, Phil

[Phil Curry] Jell-o

[Brad from Georgia] Hi, Phil.

[ed kienzler] hello jackson

[Brad from Georgia] Once or twice Don called Jack "Jascha" Benny on the air. Wonder if he ever called him "Isaac" Benny.

[Laura Leff] Phil - We're just discussing the show for tonight.

[Phil Curry] Finally remembered a Chat. Figured it would be today since tomorrow's Jack's birthday

[Laura Leff] Brad - I don't think so. But I do remember Jack in "The Mouse That Jack Built" saying, "Who is this Isaac Stern?"

[Brad from Georgia] Thirty-nine again, Phil.

[ed kienzler] and th f-ball game was last week

[Brad from Georgia] Yes, I remember that now.

[Laura Leff] The jump from Jack to Jascha makes sense. I think from Jack to Isaac would probably be too loose.

[Laura Leff] La Trek

[john] How many times was Isaac Stern on the JB radio show, Laura?

[Brad from Georgia] End title music for "The Simpsons": "Love Is Blue," followed by the Witch's theme from "Wizard of Oz."

[Laura Leff] Twice I think...let me double-check that. I sent Isaac copies of all his work with Jack, because he didn't have any of it.

[Laura Leff] Yep, two. 2/3/46 and 2/16/47.

[Brad from Georgia] Agh, I have to go. I was at a writers' meeting all afternoon, and Barbara started dinner late. It's ready now. Oddly, the same menu as on the show tonight.

[john] Thanks... You ever meet Isaac?

[Laura Leff] Brad - Don't let them lock the door on you.

[Brad from Georgia] (No, she just corrected me: No sturgeon. Goodnight, all! Wish I could stay longer.)

[Laura Leff] John - Yes, I had breakfast with him when he was in San Francisco. Even drove him to his next meeting in my little Miata.

[john] Nice chatting, Brad. I'll have to do it again

User Brad from Georgia has logged out.

[ed kienzler] bye brad

[Laura Leff] So what else on the show for discussion?

[Laura Leff] Or anything Benny-wise?

[john] I'm sorry -- I have to go too. Church in just a little while.. So long

[Laura Leff] Good night, John...thanks for stopping!

[ed kienzler] are they doing anything in waukegan tomorrow?

[john] You're welcome.. been fun

[Phil Curry] Man, I log in a 2 folks leave.

[Laura Leff] Ed - Someone told me they intended to do something, but I haven't heard anything since then. It was pretty informal.

User john has logged out.

[Laura Leff] Geez Phil...you're riding people out of here on a rail (kidding0.

[Laura Leff] Well, any Benny-related topics?

[Phil Curry] Maybr ZI should have used a fake name like I've always done before

[ed kienzler] what was that?

[Laura Leff] Phil - I'm sure it's nothing personal.

[Phil Curry] Saw a DVD set of 39 episodes at Half-Price books this week, but didn';t get it

[Laura Leff] Actually I've been feeling less than 100% today, so a short chat wouldn't be a bad thing for me.

[ed kienzler] na it might too good a night to be inside for a change

[Phil Curry] I think it was by Millwork or something like that

[Laura Leff] Phil - Wonder if that's the "Best of" Radio Spirits set.

[Laura Leff] Phil - Radio or television?

[Phil Curry] TV

[ed kienzler] there some good ones at mysteryshows.com

[Phil Curry] 4 DVD set

[Laura Leff] OIC...yes, not sure who has that out.

[Phil Curry] Was brand new. Also Ozzie and Harriet TV, 50 episodes for 8.88

[Laura Leff] Any requests for a show in March?

[ed kienzler] a saint patriks day show if there is one

[Laura Leff] Ed - I don't think they did a whole show on St. Pat's, but just references to it with Dennis.

[Phil Curry] I always liked the one where the kids do the show, there are 2 of them

[ed kienzler] that still would be fine

[Laura Leff] I think we did one of the kids' shows on a chat a while back...

[Laura Leff] I should try and get one of the actors to drop in on the chat and we could do it again.

[Laura Leff] Sorry to be a killjoy. Other thoughts?

[ed kienzler] sounds like a great idea LL

[ed kienzler] not tonight slow news and chat day

[Laura Leff] OK, let me get a little more settled with all my travelling and I'll see about that for a future month.

[ed kienzler] ok LL safe travels

[Laura Leff] Gosh Phil...sorry that there's not much more going on here by the time you arrived.

[Phil Curry] OK. Glad the shoelaces were I hit that I sent.

[ed kienzler] haha

[Phil Curry] Plastic tips

[Laura Leff] Yes! I held them up in front of everyone when I opened the package, and sent all the letters around for people to read. They were definitely very fun.

[Laura Leff] And the receipt so Jack can return them too. Very good.

[ed kienzler] were they 39 cents?

[Laura Leff] OK...well, I guess we'll call it good for this month.

[ed kienzler] bye boss

[Phil Curry] Good, I'm glad. I felt like a kid in the hall.

[Laura Leff] Thanks for stopping! Hope to see you in March.