IJBFC Chat - Febuary 15, 2015

(Name of message originator in the left-hand column)

Laura Leff 2:02 PM
Hi Osa!
Osa Buchner 2:03 PM
Hi, Laura! I'm freezin' my hiney off here in Chicago!
Laura Leff 2:03 PM
Yow!  I won't make you mad by telling you the weather here!
Osa Buchner 2:04 PM
Oh, go ahead . . . I'll enjoy hearing
Laura Leff 2:04 PM
It looks like it's been pretty bad...I have a freiend in Boston who was updating me yesterday.
Laura Leff 2:04 PM
It's been unusually warm here...sunny too.  It was in the 70s yesterday, and that's high for this time of year in Northern California.
Osa Buchner 2:05 PM
Laura Leff 2:06 PM
Hey, you asked for it.  
Osa Buchner 2:06 PM
Yep! Well, this is my first time in the chatroom.
Osa Buchner 2:07 PM
How many folks usually take part?
Laura Leff 2:07 PM
Usually more than this...but I imagine people are just now starting to sign up for their login, etc.
Laura Leff 2:08 PM
I try to get people to test it beforehand, but few ever do.
Osa Buchner 2:08 PM
Oh, OK.
Laura Leff 2:08 PM
I figured I'd test a different time, but I'm wondering if some may have forgotten.
Laura Leff 2:09 PM
I just put a blurb on the Facebook page.
Osa Buchner 2:09 PM
I figured out to put this on my Google calendar, so I got a nice reminder. Maybe folks are still out celebrating Jack's birthday!
Laura Leff 2:09 PM
Laura Leff 2:09 PM
Did you get a chance to listen to the show for tonight?
Laura Leff 2:10 PM
I guess at this time, I can't say tonight any more.
Laura Leff 2:11 PM
So what's your background with Jack?  How did you get interested in him?
Osa Buchner 2:11 PM
I'm sorry, I didn't listen to the show, but I'll try to talk about anything you want. Maybe it was an episode I've heard before. Those podcasts of the Benny shows are terrific.
Laura Leff 2:12 PM
It's the episode of Jak's birthday with the Colmans and Isaac Stern.
Laura Leff 2:12 PM
Jack has a dinner at his house, and a pot and pan salesman shows up and offers them a free dinner.
Osa Buchner 2:13 PM
Been a fan for many years. His TV shows are great but nothing beats the radio shows. Absolutely brilliant. Wow, sorry I missed that episode!
Laura Leff 2:14 PM
Well, I'll still have it up on the Web site.  You can listen to it over the coming month!
Laura Leff 2:14 PM
Do you have a favorite episode?
Osa Buchner 2:15 PM
I esp. like the Christmas episode where he keeps shocking himself with the Christmas lights: "Pull it out! Pull it out!"
Laura Leff 2:15 PM
Ah yes...one of the military base shows!
Laura Leff 2:16 PM
Have you seen any of Jack's movies?
Osa Buchner 2:16 PM
BTW, someone should give you an award for all you do to keep Benny's legacy going.
HipChat 2:16 PM
Hi @MashaDjivuljski! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!
Laura Leff 2:16 PM
Thanks so much!  Hey, just seeing people enjoying Jack's humor is a fantastic reward!
Laura Leff 2:16 PM
Hello Masha?
Laura Leff 2:17 PM
That was supposed to be an "!"
Laura Leff 2:17 PM
Sorry that it's a small crowd at the moment...we'll see who else shows up!
Laura Leff 2:18 PM
Kind of funny as there's a gag in tonight's show about a bunch of telegrams from people telling Jack they can't attend his party.
Masha Djivuljski 2:18 PM
Hi! Wow, my first time here! I live in Europe, so it's usually too late for me to join you.
Osa Buchner 2:18 PM
I liked "GW Slept Here" Some years ago I met someone working on a book about Ann Sheridan. I wonder if she ever finished the book
Osa Buchner 2:19 PM
Hi, Masha!
Laura Leff 2:19 PM
Welcome Masha!  That's a good point...sometimes we've had night owls in Europe join us, or folks in Australia!
Osa Buchner 2:20 PM
Laura Leff 2:20 PM
That's definitely one of his better movies.  Have you seen To Be or Not To Be?
Laura Leff 2:21 PM
Tell us about yourself, Masha.  How did you get interested in Jack?
Masha Djivuljski 2:21 PM
Love that one. Saw it on the big screen at our local cinematheque last year... One of my favorite comedies for sure.
Laura Leff 2:21 PM
Oh wow...I've never seen it on the big screen (any bigger than my own television, which is still respectable).
Laura Leff 2:22 PM
Speaking of Europe, there's an ENORMOUS poster for the 1960s Belgian release of the movie over on my left at the moment.  Needs to be put on the wall.
Laura Leff 2:22 PM
Osa - Do you remember if that person had any comments about the connection between Ann Sheridan and Jack?  There are some stories there.
HipChat 2:23 PM
Hi @YhtapMys! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!
Osa Buchner 2:24 PM
Yes, TBONTB is a great film.  No, I didn't talk to that lady about Ann and Jack. We met years ago in the Warner Bros. library were we were researching our various projects. I always thought Sheridan was very beautiful, with a sultry voice
Laura Leff 2:24 PM
Yht!  You made it in!  Assuming you're the same Yhtapmys
Masha Djivuljski 2:24 PM
I think it started with Bob Hope... Somehow I came across one of his radio shows (probably one of my favorite classic stars was a guest) and then I kinda got sucked into old time radio programs. When I stumbled upon Jack, there was no going back!
Laura Leff 2:24 PM
A lot of people agree with you, Osa!
Masha Djivuljski 2:25 PM
IMO Sheridan was underrated as an actress. Loved her with Cagney... He wrote nice things about her, too.
Yhtap Mys 2:25 PM
Hi, Laura. I had to fake it a bit to keep the name.
Yhtap Mys 2:25 PM
They won't let me use one word.
Laura Leff 2:25 PM
There's a story that there were rumors that Jack and Ann were more than friends during the filming of that movie (and IIRC, Sheridan was known for enjoying the company of a number of men).
Laura Leff 2:26 PM
Yht - You know, I hadn't even thought about that since I always go by my own name!
Osa Buchner 2:26 PM
Benny also got me interested in the great Elliot Lewis. BTW, would anybody know where I could find photos of Lewis from the 1980s?
Laura Leff 2:26 PM
Hmmm...I'm wondering if SPERDVAC might have something for you.
Laura Leff 2:27 PM
Do you know about the Old Radio Digest?  It doesn't have nearly the traffic that it used to, but it still has a lot of knowledgeable people who get it.
Osa Buchner 2:27 PM
Wow, I never kknew  that Benny and Sheridan might have had a thing
Laura Leff 2:27 PM
Also you can post something on our Facebook IJBFC page...I bet someone there can help you.
Osa Buchner 2:27 PM
Great ideas. Thanks, Laura!
Laura Leff 2:28 PM
Well, those were the rumors.  And supposedly Mary walked up to Ann at a party and said loudly to her, "I have more sex appeal in my little finger than you do in your whole body!"
Laura Leff 2:28 PM
And stormed off.
Laura Leff 2:29 PM
So any thoughts on the episode for today's discussion?
Laura Leff 2:29 PM
Jack's birthday party with the Colmans and Isaac Stern.
Yhtap Mys 2:30 PM
Have to fire it up to remember which one it is.
Laura Leff 2:30 PM
Well, more generally...what questions do you have about Jack?
Laura Leff 2:30 PM
Or Benny topics you'd like to explore.
Osa Buchner 2:31 PM
I'm sure you've been asked dozens or times, but did you ever meet him?
Laura Leff 2:31 PM
Nope.  I was only 5 when he died, and I wasn't quite into him yet!
Laura Leff 2:32 PM
But yet it doesn't seem to stop folks from thinking that he's my father.  They know I'm not Joan, though.
Masha Djivuljski 2:32 PM
How did you get into him? Sorry, if you've been asked that before...
HipChat 2:32 PM
Hi @JosefSilvia! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!
Laura Leff 2:32 PM
Hi Josef!
Josef Silvia 2:32 PM
Hello Laura!
Laura Leff 2:32 PM
Welcome in...glad you made it!
Josef Silvia 2:32 PM
Me too! Been a while
Yhtap Mys 2:33 PM
Laura, have you heard anything from/about Jeanette Eyeman lately?
HipChat 2:33 PM
Hi @MarcThorner! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!
Laura Leff 2:33 PM
Well, the full story is on our FAQ.  For chat purposes, it was The Mouse that Jack Built cartoon that first piqued my interest.
Laura Leff 2:33 PM
Hey Marc!
Laura Leff 2:33 PM
Now here comes everyone!
Marc Thorner 2:33 PM
Hey, it woiks!!!
Laura Leff 2:33 PM
Yht - No, although I did get a new address for her.
Laura Leff 2:33 PM
Yes, hopefully better than our prior chat providers!
Yhtap Mys 2:33 PM
This is like the daylight saving time episode. No one knows when it's on.
Laura Leff 2:34 PM
Should I have sent out a reminder?
Laura Leff 2:34 PM
Didn't want anyone to feel spammed.
Laura Leff 2:35 PM
So who's snowed in?  I know Osa is.
Laura Leff 2:35 PM
I am not.
Josef Silvia 2:35 PM
I am. Boston is pretty much shut down today.
Yhtap Mys 2:35 PM
To be honest, I can't keep track. I'm so used to 1st Sundays at 5 but either it's not then any more or I'm away (or sleeping) when it is.
Yhtap Mys 2:36 PM
No snow by Mary's old place.
Laura Leff 2:36 PM
Yeah, I was on the phone with Marty (my writing partner) is visiting Boston and gave me the lowdown yesterday.
Osa Buchner 2:36 PM
I'm so sorry about that, Josef. Hope you're safe and warm
Laura Leff 2:36 PM
So what thoughts on the show for discussion today?
Yhtap Mys 2:36 PM
Surprised to hear John Brown. Was he in L.A. doing a Riley movie?
Laura Leff 2:37 PM
Could be...but I thought John Brown showed up occasionally.
Yhtap Mys 2:38 PM
When Allen had his sabbatical in 1943-44, yes. I didn't realise he was as late at 1947.
Laura Leff 2:38 PM
It was ironic that Radio Spirits sent out an ad today with a picture of him with William Bendix, and then here he is on today's show.
Laura Leff 2:38 PM
Right...Jack was employing a few of Fred's regulars, including Minerva Pious.
Josef Silvia 2:38 PM
Was wondering about that
Yhtap Mys 2:39 PM
Did the Colmans ever do a bad show? I like all of them.
Laura Leff 2:39 PM
Jack hardly ever did a bad show.  I agree that all the ones with the Colmans are gems.
Laura Leff 2:39 PM
You're right...he's on frequently 1943-44, and then once in 1945 and this one show from 1947.  Then no more.
Yhtap Mys 2:40 PM
Well, some of the mid-30s are a little trying. Harry Conn wasn't above hokum.
Osa Buchner 2:40 PM
Did the Colmans have any kids?
Laura Leff 2:40 PM
I had forgotten that Jack and Mary did the "Oh shut up" gag more than once with Dorothy Kirsten.
Laura Leff 2:41 PM
Yes, they had a daughter.  She wrote a book about them, and I excerpted it in a recent newsletter.
Laura Leff 2:41 PM
Yht - Heck, Conn practically *was* hokum in hindsight.
Josef Silvia 2:41 PM
Oh wow. I really need to re-subscribe to the newsletter
Laura Leff 2:41 PM
In fact, I have a script on his letterhead on the desk next to me with his rewrites on it, and it's not that great.
HipChat 2:42 PM
Hi @KathyFullerSeeley! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!
Laura Leff 2:42 PM
I need to do another back issues edition, but between watching paint dry and indexing, I'll take the former.
Laura Leff 2:42 PM
Hi Kathy!
Laura Leff 2:42 PM
I'm trying to remember...have you ever been in the chat room previously?
Laura Leff 2:43 PM
So what else about today's program?
Yhtap Mys 2:43 PM
Still odd hearing Jack is 38.
Josef Silvia 2:43 PM
Yes. When did he start saying 39?
Laura Leff 2:43 PM
And hey Kathy...can you give everyone the lowdown on the book on which you've been working?  I'm sure folks will be interested.
Laura Leff 2:44 PM
Jack bounced around on his age in the early days.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:44 PM
Hey Laura, was quick catching up on the coversation. I always love your Jack cartoon story because I think its the same way I got hooked, haha
Josef Silvia 2:44 PM
He was 37 for a whie, if I remember correctly
Laura Leff 2:45 PM
That's correct
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:45 PM
oh and thank you for asking about the book -- I am only one introduction and one conclusion away from having the whole draft done!!! A really nice editor at Oxford Unviersity Press books is meeting with me at our professors-film-studies conference next month to talk about making it a book, hooray!
Laura Leff 2:45 PM
Kathy - Apparently that cartoon makes us fall pretty hard for Jack!
Josef Silvia 2:46 PM
And didn't Ronald Colman say the same joke about Mary before? About how she got mixed up with that bunch of shlamiels.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:46 PM
I don't think Jack ever played a teenage-wet-behind the ears fellow., hahaha  he was always adult headed toward getting older
HipChat 2:46 PM
Hi @KatiePerry! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!
Laura Leff 2:46 PM
Fantastic!  I apologize for not giving you feedback on the chapter you shared a long time ago, and then I figured you had probably edited it eventually.
Laura Leff 2:46 PM
Hi Katie!
Katie Perry 2:46 PM
Hi Laura!
Laura Leff 2:47 PM
Tell folks what the book is about, Kathy.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:47 PM
For me, it was that darn cartoon and a book on American culture in the 1930s, one of those Time-Life series books. They had a chapter on radio. I saw a photo of Jack and Fred going at it, and that sold me. Spent all my babysitting money to buy one or two cassette tapes at a time.
Laura Leff 2:48 PM
I never did babysitting, but sounds like me for certain!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:48 PM
Ah ha, the book is about Jack's radio career. I am impressed with how multi-talented he was, as an editor/writer, as a performer, a genius marekter/advertiser.
Josef Silvia 2:48 PM
Oh wow!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:48 PM
He was also called the biggest celebrity in Hollywood by 1936, as tourists could go hear his show but could not see actual movie stars or movies being made
Laura Leff 2:49 PM
There's a gag about Jack being 39 as early as 4/19/36.
Laura Leff 2:49 PM
That would have been true for other shows as well...I guess Jack's was the most popular with out-of-towners.  
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:49 PM
So its eight chapters, one whole chapter is about Mary's character and her as a performer (we may think she's ill tempered and whatever, but the character is pretty unique even among the Katharine Hepburns/Ginger Rogers/Eve Arden types
Josef Silvia 2:49 PM
Really Laura? Guess he was trying to find which number was the funniest one to stick with
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:50 PM
two chapters on Eddie Anderson - can you believe there's never been a whole book about him?
Laura Leff 2:50 PM
Josef - There was no effort for consistency back then.  His age skipped around until 1949.
Josef Silvia 2:50 PM
Laura Leff 2:50 PM
Kathy - Yeah, I believe that because he's so darn enigmatic.
Laura Leff 2:50 PM
Don too.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:50 PM
one on the big slump Benny's show entered in 1944-1945 and the rise of sharp radio critics like John Crosby who helped goad Benny into making it back to the top by 1946
Osa Buchner 2:50 PM
Eddie Anderson was a real patriot, I understand. With that parachute company he started.
Laura Leff 2:50 PM
Eddie was a colorful character in private life, but it's hard to find hard facts on him.
Laura Leff 2:51 PM
Osa - Ah, that's correct!  I hadn't thought about that in a while.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:51 PM
you got it about Eddie being enigmatic, I read everything I could find in the black press about him, and he would NEVER spill the beans about what it was really like
Laura Leff 2:51 PM
Kathy - I'm glad you're devoting good space to him.
Laura Leff 2:51 PM
Kathy - Exactly.  You can get the press stories, but it doesn't show you the reality.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:52 PM
its really interesting about how young liberals in the black community tried to rag on Eddie the same way that they were piling on to Hattie McDaniel for playing mammies. Jack offered very useful protection.
Laura Leff 2:53 PM
Yes, and as we all know, Roch was different.  He may have called Jack "Boss" because they didn't want to lose their southern stations.  But they interacted on more of a peer level.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:53 PM
Laura, I can't wait to learn more about your Buck Benny find!!! Just the fact that Jack earned $125K and Eddie $8K is mind-blowing. Paramount through a whole separate premiere of the film in Harlem, spent boodles of money that they didn't give Eddie in salary...
Osa Buchner 2:53 PM
It must have been very hard for Anderson, just to practice his craft as an artist.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:54 PM
Poor Eddie got it from both sides. Racist whites in the south started banning his films in 1945, like Brewster's Millions, saying he was too "familiar" with whites
Laura Leff 2:54 PM
Well, remember that he had joined the Benny cast in 1937, and then was sporadic until (IIRC without looking it up) the fall when he took on the Rochester character.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:54 PM
you are right, Osa, it was incredibly hard, and Eddie deserves lots of respect for doing his best in a difficult situation that could not please everyone
Yhtap Mys 2:54 PM
And Rochester wasn't even on regularly for a while.
Laura Leff 2:54 PM
I would have to look it up, but Eddie was only a couple years into his tenure with Jack by the filming of Buck Benny.
Osa Buchner 2:55 PM
Have to log off now, but I REALLY enjoyed this chatroom!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:55 PM
If you ever get to look at Mark Sandrich's papers at the Herrick Library in LA, there is some great stuff about it was HIS idea to make Eddie's part in Man About Town grow. They rode it all the way to the bank, that film was a monster success, all due to Eddie
Laura Leff 2:55 PM
Oh and how about that...someone (a friend of mine, not even a member of the IJBFC) found the story that tells where the episode happened of Jack moving the cast because a hotel wouldn't host Rochester?
Laura Leff 2:55 PM
Laura Leff 2:56 PM
Yeah, as many of you know, I *LOVE* Man About Town.  I think it's a great movie.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:56 PM
I think that story must be true, Laura, Jim Crow laws were terrible and Jack was good about being progressive!
Laura Leff 2:56 PM
WB Katie
Yhtap Mys 2:56 PM
Laura, that wasn't at the Sherry Netherland, was it?
Josef Silvia 2:56 PM
I need to see that movie
Laura Leff 2:56 PM
According to the information my friend found, it was the Fairmont in San Francisco.
Yhtap Mys 2:57 PM
Ah, Sorry. I thought it was in NYC for some reason.
Laura Leff 2:57 PM
And what's ironic is that they suggested Eddie go to the Mark Twain hotel, and I dined there recently for the first time because another friend was a waiter there!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:57 PM
One thing that shocked me in watching Man about Town was Eddie's dance sequence when a big gorilla in a cage behind him starts moving in time w Eddie. Sandrich through it was a hoot and left it in the film.
Laura Leff 2:57 PM
Yht - I had always thought that too.
Laura Leff 2:57 PM
Kathy - You know, I'll have to look at that again!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:58 PM
On the other hand, there are great stories about Eddie's fame, have you all seen the stories where he was headed up to a Harvard smoker party and MIT students kidnapped him?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:58 PM
this was when he was in NYC for the Buck Benny premiere.
Laura Leff 2:58 PM
Oh man...I haven't heard about that in so long I can't remember the details.
Yhtap Mys 2:58 PM
A clipping was posted on the forum some time ago, Laura.
Katie Perry 2:58 PM
I was able to introduce my husband to Jack Benny and his favorite skit is jack explaining to Rochester a dessert that has to be flambé. I believe it was the english butler
Yhtap Mys 2:59 PM
Can't remember when I put it there.
Laura Leff 2:59 PM
Yht - Thanks...I need to be more diligent in following our own Forum!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 2:59 PM
I've been collecting up all that stuff, will drop it into the facebook group sometime
Yhtap Mys 2:59 PM
Well, it must have been six or seven years ago.
Laura Leff 2:59 PM
Ah...that's why the details are faint for me.
Yhtap Mys 3:00 PM
I haven't reposted it at Tralfaz as I keep posting new material.
Laura Leff 3:00 PM
Katie - Have you got him hooked on Jack, or is he more of a casual secondhand listener?  
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:00 PM
So, I greatly appreciate the help of this great group while I've been working on this project! You all are the best.
Josef Silvia 3:01 PM
Can't wait to read the book Kathy!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:01 PM
This week I get to talk about Jack in BOTH my undergrad courses, hooray! One class is on comedy, and I am working Jack into the roots of the sitcom
Laura Leff 3:01 PM
Yes, the Facebook group is a great group of folks.  Wonderful to be able to have people throw questions out there and have a lot of discussion on it.
Laura Leff 3:02 PM
Yht - I just want to say publcly that your posts on Tralfaz are great!
Yhtap Mys 3:02 PM
Hmm. Jack fits in a Studebaker joke this week.
Yhtap Mys 3:02 PM
I don't know how long they'll continue, Laura. I've got them banked until the end of June.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:02 PM
My other class is a cultural history of advertising, and we are doing "branded entertainment." Ad industry folks think they've discovered something new in having advertisers sponsor and create whole programs. They have completely forgotten about radio, I;ll be doing Jell-O commercials, which always makes me hungry for it
Laura Leff 3:02 PM
Yeah, I didn't have time to look that up.  I presume it must have been a sales thing for their cars around then of "going both ways."
Katie Perry 3:02 PM
Kathy: I would love to be able to take that class!
Laura: he's hooked, he certainly thought I was quite strange when we first started dating. Apparently, having an iPod w/ nothing but Jack Benny on it is not the norm. Lol
Laura Leff 3:03 PM
Kathy - Oh man, I may have told you that I became OCD about Jell-O when I was writing Volume 1!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:03 PM
Oh yes the Tralfaz posts are wonderful!!!! Thank you for putting up the Benny summer radio show, it was such a gas to stumble upon that in Radio Mirror
Yhtap Mys 3:03 PM
Laura, I'm sure you've seen the old Studebakers with the wrap-around windows.
Laura Leff 3:03 PM
Katie - Tell me about it.  
Laura Leff 3:03 PM
Yht - Ah yes, I do remember those.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:04 PM
I can understand that completely, Laura. Don's intro and closing commercials are so darn "tasty" and the middles are so fun! Jell-O sure could use that kind of help now
Laura Leff 3:04 PM
Kathy - You probably know most of everything we said, but you may want to take a look at Marty's essay in Volume 2.  Jack's middle commercials is one of his big topics.
Yhtap Mys 3:04 PM
Kathy, what I liked discovering ... and most of the posts I put up are accidental discoveries .. was the dialogue from shows for which no recordings exist.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:04 PM
yep, that's a helpful piece.
Laura Leff 3:04 PM
Kathy - Would you believe that General Foods, last I was in touch with them, actually does remember their Benny roots!  They were a sponsor of our 2003 convention.
Laura Leff 3:05 PM
Hey Kathy, didn't you say you were going to post all the 1932 scripts?
Laura Leff 3:05 PM
Incidentally, State Farm also remembers its Benny roots.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:05 PM
well its my goal to get those unrecorded scripts up online. I think UCLA might let me take photos now, and if so, I will be getting them available for you all! There are such great bits!!! I am a fugitive from a happy chain gang!
Katie Perry 3:05 PM
One thing that I love is the batman/robin Jack Benny comic. I stumbled across that last year and was impressed to see how Jack Benny truly was influential in so many mediums
Yhtap Mys 3:06 PM
I don't think the switch to American Tobacco in '44 helped. Listeners were used to hearing Don opening the show with a friendly spot. When Luckies came on, listeners got 90 seconds of repetitious hard sell.
Laura Leff 3:06 PM
I was negotiating with UCLA to get them to scan all the Canada Dry scripts for me and publish them in a book, but then we could never get to a reasonable price.
Laura Leff 3:06 PM
Katie - Oh yeah, aren't those great?  The guy who "rediscovered" that strip sent me the whole thing.  It was a joy to read.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:06 PM
well Laura, I have a bunch of the NBC 1932 scripts and then 1933s and 1934s, I got these from the Library of Congress. I need to start a website where I can get the jpegs up. Do you have room on the IJBFC website to host some?
Laura Leff 3:07 PM
Sure.  I'd love to make those available!
Laura Leff 3:07 PM
And one of Jack's grandkids has offered me all the disk space I want.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:07 PM
Yeah, Laura, UCLA wants TONS of money to scan things. More and more archives now are letting you take cell phone shots now. We will prevail, yet!
Yhtap Mys 3:07 PM
I'd love to read the '32s.
Laura Leff 3:07 PM
Yeah...I think they were talking about a thousand dollars or something.
Josef Silvia 3:07 PM
Yhtap Mys 3:07 PM
A thousand ooops!?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:08 PM
Well it would be great fun, there is so much great stuff in the early 30s shows
Laura Leff 3:08 PM
Jack's relationship with Mary in 1932 is particularly interesting to read.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:08 PM
haha 1000oops.   They were talking six dollars for every PAGE I wanted to photocopy in 2012. Robberbarons...
Laura Leff 3:08 PM
It's really cute and flirtatious, and she's such an ardent fan.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:08 PM
Yes, and when they profess their love for each other its so cute!!!!
Yhtap Mys 3:08 PM
Ardent fan? Like Logan Jerkfinkle?
Laura Leff 3:09 PM
Dang!  I don't think the prices were ever that high for me.
HipChat 3:09 PM
Hi @RogerKentCooper! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!
Laura Leff 3:09 PM
Kathy - OMG yes!  That's just one of the sweetest scenes in the whole series!
Laura Leff 3:09 PM
Hi Roger!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:09 PM
That show Jack had to do in early April 1936 when Harry left, where Jack and Mary say let's get married! is also cute
Laura Leff 3:09 PM
Yht - Something like that.
Roger Kent Cooper 3:09 PM
Hello everyone.  First time for me for the chat.
Laura Leff 3:09 PM
Kathy - That's true.  Or where Mary is looking at rings in a window, and Jack says, "I'll never wear it."
Laura Leff 3:10 PM
This is great!  We have a number of first-timers to the chat today.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:10 PM
oh yes! I love him as Mr Twink and she's mussing up his apron
Yhtap Mys 3:10 PM
April '36. And he takes out an ad in Variety a month earlier pushing himself through his connection to the Benny show.
Laura Leff 3:10 PM
OK, I'll say it.  Harry Conn was an egotistical fool.
Roger Kent Cooper 3:10 PM
I live in East Peoria, IL  Somewhere around 2 hrs and 30 minute drive from Waukegan.
Josef Silvia 3:11 PM
I think that's an understandment
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:11 PM
well I have found some great stuff in Variety and the other trade papers, Conn was really doing the nasty to Jack. He had another ad agency all ready to set him up with his own show!
Laura Leff 3:11 PM
Hey Kathy - I can't remember, did they scan all of the pages of the Harry Conn script that was on Ebay?  It's on the desk next to me.
Yhtap Mys 3:11 PM
Karma got him.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:11 PM
no, I only saw a couple. what is the rest of the Conn script like? looked like spec for somebody?
Laura Leff 3:11 PM
I almost wonder if Conn's departure had some of the same earmarks as Kenny's departure.
Laura Leff 3:12 PM
Kathy - It's got a lot of handwritten reworking on it.  I haven't had the patience to read the whole thing, and it's only a few pages long.  That tells you something.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:12 PM
well, Laura, I am going to reprint some of the correspondence between Jack and Harry in my chapter on their relationship.
Laura Leff 3:12 PM
Oh fascinating...you've probably seen stuff that I haven't yet.
Laura Leff 3:12 PM
I know about the angry telegram from Jack to Harry (IIRC).
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:13 PM
there's not much, but the four page long telegram is pretty amazing. Unless they tell me no, that whole thing goes in
Laura Leff 3:13 PM
Yht - Oh man, you ain't kidding.
Laura Leff 3:13 PM
Who would tell you no, UCLA?
Yhtap Mys 3:13 PM
If it's from the Library of Congress, isn't it public domain?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:14 PM
I think because I am discussing it a lot, it will still be OK as "fair use"
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:15 PM
Oh, the telegram is in the Jack Benny papers, hidden back in a file with a bunch of contracts. Jack really did have a clause in Eddie's that fined him $50 for every 15 minutes he was late to rehearsals.
Laura Leff 3:15 PM
It's a wonder Eddie made any money.  I bet Jack didn't enforce it haard.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:15 PM
I think I also spotted it in Don's contract, hahaha
Laura Leff 3:15 PM
If UCLA gives you crap about using the telegram, get with me.  I think I can get you Estate permission to use it.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:16 PM
Eddie was the highest-paid African American performer (on radio, tv or film, I can't vouch for music) up to the mid-1950s. He did OK, a sad commentary though on how little everyone else earned
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:17 PM
COOL, Laura, love to have you as my enforcer : )
Laura Leff 3:17 PM
Poitier hadn't appeared on the scene yet
Laura Leff 3:17 PM
Kathy - I'm with ya, sistah!  
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:17 PM
So, Laura, what is the neatest Benny document in your own personal collection?
Laura Leff 3:17 PM
Hmmm...depends on your point of view.
Laura Leff 3:18 PM
I have a similar flame letter that Jack wrote to George Balzer effectively firing him.
Laura Leff 3:18 PM
Jack's high school yearbooks are pretty cool
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:18 PM
oh boy! when old Jack gets mad....batten down the hatches...
Roger Kent Cooper 3:18 PM
Hard to see Jack mad unless in character.
Laura Leff 3:19 PM
And they're sitting on top of a table that only two exist...someone made two prototypes of a card table with an extremely elaborate Buck Benny drawing on it.
Laura Leff 3:19 PM
Oh yeah, Jack could really let someone have it when he went off.
Laura Leff 3:19 PM
Joan owns the other table.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:20 PM
I think I've seen a photo of one of them, connected with Jell-0 sponsorship, that is amazing!
Josef Silvia 3:20 PM
Why did Jack fire George Balzer?
Laura Leff 3:20 PM
And I have a photo of Jack and Cora Salisbury from their touring days that has his inscription on the back saying "Compliments of Salisbury and Benny"
Laura Leff 3:20 PM
Kathy - I put some photos of it up on the Facebook page back over Thanksgiving weekend of 2012.
Yhtap Mys 3:21 PM
Isaac Stern only got 2 1/2 mins. for his solo.
Laura Leff 3:21 PM
Josef - The basic thing was that he was behaving badly for various reasons.  Seems like Hickey Marks was one of the main triggers.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:21 PM
hooray that facebook never erases anything, I will go look, haha
Laura Leff 3:21 PM
Yht - Yeah...hard balance when you put long-haired music in a comedy show.  (BTW, I'm a huge classical buff, so not talking it down.)
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:22 PM
Laura that sounds like a straightline about Hickey
Josef Silvia 3:22 PM
Wasn't he with Jack for a while too, right?
Laura Leff 3:22 PM
Kathy - Oh man, Hickey was the butt of every joke.
Laura Leff 3:22 PM
Josef - Who?
Yhtap Mys 3:22 PM
It seems the Marks family could get pretty prickly.
Laura Leff 3:22 PM
They were an odd bunch.
Yhtap Mys 3:23 PM
The Variety stuff about Sid Silvers and Mary was something.
Laura Leff 3:23 PM
You get Babe doing her own "wrong door raid," you get all the stories about Hickey, and Mary goes without saying.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:23 PM
I give Jack creds for being loyal to all the Marks-es. Was it true that they used to go to the mother and father's house for buffet between the two shows?
Josef Silvia 3:23 PM
George Balzer, wasn't he with Jack for a while?
Laura Leff 3:23 PM
Kathy - Yes, in the 30s.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:23 PM
Oh I LOVE the way Variety claims that the Silvers flap was all Mary's doing!
Laura Leff 3:23 PM
Josef - Yep.  Started in 1943, and then up through about 1968.
Laura Leff 3:24 PM
Kathy - Have you seen the billings for her as "Jack's pest-girl"?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:24 PM
It must have been a tough situation, Silvers had sold Benny vaudeville comedy material, and they worked together in like 1934 on Friars stuff and in Bway Melody of 1936?
Laura Leff 3:25 PM
Well, remember how things unfolded with Conn.  Jack still paid him when he used his gags, even when Conn was a backstage doorman.
Yhtap Mys 3:25 PM
I presumed Jack had no hard feelings toward him, otherwise he wouldn't have been in the film with him.
Laura Leff 3:25 PM
And sometimes he paid him even when he didn't use his gags.
Laura Leff 3:25 PM
I don't know if Jack stayed permanently mad with anyone.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:25 PM
no I don't think "pest girl" but that is great! Mary was getting lots of press in 1934-1936, if you remember all the great newspaper spreads from Pittsburgh adn Detroit that are in Jack's scrapbooks., Contests to write back poems in Mary style and such
Laura Leff 3:26 PM
Yeah, it's a phrase primarily used in the stage appearance clippings that I've found in Jack's scrapbooks.  "Live on stage...Jack Benny with the Chicken Sisters and his pest-girl, Mary"
Laura Leff 3:27 PM
Hey Katie, WB.  Say, I remember you started as a young Benny fan.  How did you first get into Jack?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:27 PM
I found some great stuff about Conn's down fall. First they paid him much more than I think it was Joe Penner to do the first show, that bombed, then he was with Jack Haley for like a week. Funny and sad self-publicity Conn did with his own "Earaches of 1938"
Yhtap Mys 3:27 PM
Kathy, are there any airchecks of Earaches that you know of?
Laura Leff 3:27 PM
Hey, did you see the 1932 show where Conn effectively does Jack's role?
HipChat 3:28 PM
Hi @MichaelAmowitz! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!
Michael Amowitz 3:28 PM
Jello folks!
Laura Leff 3:28 PM
I'd have to look it up, but I remember him giving himself some big, overblown speech in it.  It was pretty eye-rolling.
Laura Leff 3:28 PM
Hey Mike!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:28 PM
well I haven't looked. I do have the reviews from Variety and Billboard, I think, saying that its an exact replica of Jack's show, down to comic, girl pest and bandleader. The thing was a suicide mission, however, as it was scheduled opposite Charlie McCarthy
Laura Leff 3:29 PM
Maybe they knew that, and figured it would be a throwaway.
Laura Leff 3:30 PM
"What should we put in this timeslot?"  "I don't know, put any old crap in there.  It's opposite Bergen and no one will listen anyway.  Put organ music for all I care."
Yhtap Mys 3:30 PM
Was it sustaining?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:30 PM
Yes Laura, the 1932 show in New Orleans, when Jack is on the road, traveling down to get to them? Are we talking about the same one? They could have gotten run out of town on a rail for doing a version of Uncle Tom's Cabin...
Laura Leff 3:30 PM
Yep, that's the one.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:30 PM
yes, Earaches was sustaining, CBS pulled it , I believe after 13 weeks when no sponsor showed up
Laura Leff 3:31 PM
Can't imagine why...
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:31 PM
from what I can piece together, Harry Conn was not good at actually delivering comic lines. He could write them, and he was a tap dancer.....although he sure thought he knew everything there was about timing
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:32 PM
the timing stuff I got from a couple snarky letters Conn wrote to Benny after leaving him in March 1936.....Conn is right, but I am sure Jack was not in the mood to hear it, at that point!
Laura Leff 3:32 PM
So hard without the recordings.
Laura Leff 3:33 PM
You wonder what his point was.  Was he just trying to rub Jack's nose in it, or did he have so much hubris that he thought he could pull all the stunts he did and then somehow get Jack to realize his so-called "grandeur?"
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:33 PM
does anybody have any General Foods/Jell-) related Benny material? I once saw some photos taken of grocery store displays with pictures of Jack
Laura Leff 3:33 PM
How about the cookbook?
Michael Amowitz 3:34 PM
Hi, LL, all, I've been catching up. Don't know the rest of the dirt about Conn, but looks like a mess!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:34 PM
Laura, I think it was some major nose-rubbing, haha  Conn had been obsessing about how HE was the brains of the outfit and Benny merely the mouthpiece...
Yhtap Mys 3:34 PM
Michael, Conn was a jerk. And a BSer.
Michael Amowitz 3:35 PM
I've only known of him, don't think I'd ever heard him
Laura Leff 3:35 PM
"My husband's brains paid for that coat."
Roger Kent Cooper 3:35 PM
Is there any area of  Jack Benny's career/life that could use some more research?
Laura Leff 3:35 PM
"Oh really, sounds like I got the long end of the trade then!"
Laura Leff 3:35 PM
Roger - I learn new stuff all the time.  I call  it the 80-year breadcrumb trail.
Roger Kent Cooper :)
3:36 PM
Laura Leff 3:36 PM
After doing this for 35 years, I think there's nowhere that we know "everything."
Roger Kent Cooper 3:36 PM
I wonder being close to were JB grew up puts me in a good position to do some research?
Laura Leff 3:36 PM
It just depends on what interests you.
Laura Leff 3:36 PM
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:37 PM
Roger, I so agree with Laura, there are so many things left to discover, little bits of stuff in archives and private hands all over the country!
Michael Amowitz 3:37 PM
I saw the audio link someone posted for a lost 1928 Jack & Mary movie. I haven't had time to run it; is it any good?
Roger Kent Cooper 3:37 PM
I live by Peoria, IL so it would be cool to find out were JB performed and if any of those buisldings still stand.
Laura Leff 3:37 PM
You know, if you're up for it, I'd love to have someone combing the vaudeville listings in the Midwestern papers in 1912-1917.  I have a few of Jack and Cora's appearances, but they were playing such small time that most of them don't show up in Variety.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:37 PM
Oh Mike, its really interesting! He sounds like the Jack of 1932, and Mary sounds nervous, haha.  Remember that this was the soundtrack to a very early talkie, so they do things that we can't see
Roger Kent Cooper 3:37 PM
There are a few old theaters in town.\
Laura Leff 3:38 PM
Michael - You should definitely listen to it.  So glad someone found the second disc.
Michael Amowitz 3:38 PM
thanks, Kathy
Yhtap Mys 3:38 PM
When he was with Western Vaudeville/Orpheum, his schedule was printed in Variety each week.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:38 PM
Laura I have some vaudeville reviews from Billboard, they weren't quite so nice hahaha
Laura Leff 3:39 PM
Right.  But in those early days, Variety only printed schedules for <=3 performances a day.
Laura Leff 3:39 PM
Kathy - Love it!  Would love to see those.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:39 PM
these digitized newspapers are the most amazing resource. They have transformed the way I can do research adn find out about stuff
Laura Leff 3:39 PM
We all gotta start somewhere...
Laura Leff 3:39 PM
Tell me about it.  I want to do that too, and just haven't had the time and intestinal fortitude.
Yhtap Mys 3:39 PM
Lord, Kathy, I spent hours upon hours at libraries going through microfilm and handwriting notes.
Laura Leff 3:40 PM
Today the Voice of Israel asked me for information on Jack supporting Israel, and I remembered specific items, and was able to bring up news stories on line.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:40 PM
I know, that is how I did my dissertation research!!! endless haha
Roger Kent Cooper 3:40 PM
Thats were I am thinking to start at the library going through microflim
Laura Leff 3:40 PM
Welcome to the 80-year breadcrumb trail.  It could take the rest of your life, and you still won't find it all!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:41 PM
Laura, I have a couple little stories, one about Jack being in Israel and dumbfounded that they didn't know who he was! I can hook you up with a fantastic scholar writing a book about Eddie Cantor's connections to jewish faith, my friend David has shown me a lot and knows tons more
Laura Leff 3:41 PM
That's why when people ask me about writing the "ultimate" Benny biography, I say that I don't know enough yet.  It's impossible for me to draw a line in the sand and say, "OK, this shows the full picture, although maybe not every detail."
Laura Leff 3:42 PM
Yep, I interviewed Zubin Mehta and he told me about Jack being "anonymous" in Tel Aviv as well!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:42 PM
Roger, the good news is that more and more things are available free online, and digital searching beats endless trolling through microfilm, hooray!
Laura Leff 3:42 PM
And I remember the story about Jack giving Cantor a blank check, which the latter made out for $25,000.
Laura Leff 3:42 PM
*The sound of a microfilm machine fast-forwarding runs in my head*
Yhtap Mys 3:43 PM
Kathy, I sure wish the L.A. Times archive were free on-line.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:43 PM
there is a GREAT article about Jack and religion called "Goyish as Jello" that I can send you, Laura. It makes good points about Jack's midwestern upbringing in a smaller town making him so different from Cantor, Jolson. Burns etc
Michael Amowitz 3:43 PM
I wish my hometown had anything archived online!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:43 PM
Yht.....things can be arranged,......email me at khfuller@aol.com  : )
Yhtap Mys 3:44 PM
Same problem here, Michael. There are bits and pieces on-line, not a full run.
Laura Leff 3:44 PM
Roger - That would be really wonderful.  I'm happy to give you what listings I have from that time, as you can usually triangulate where someone was playing by their last town.  For example, the Orpheum Circuit on the West Coast went something like Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco...and so on down the West Coast.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:44 PM
Michael, and your hometown is....? I am pulling together lists of where to find things
Michael Amowitz 3:44 PM
Lynchburg, Virginia
Yhtap Mys 3:45 PM
The Chicago Tribune archive isn't completely searchable.
Roger Kent Cooper 3:45 PM
Laura  that sounds great!
Laura Leff 3:45 PM
Kathy - Sure, would enjoy seeing it.  I've heard and been involved in LOTS of discussions over the years about Jack being Jewish vs. Goyishe.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:45 PM
oh, great town! My husband is from Danville and Richmond. The Library of Virginia is doing amazing things with digitizing newspapers, and Virginia Hysterical Society.
Yhtap Mys 3:45 PM
Laura, they stopped in Victoria as well. Not always.
Laura Leff 3:46 PM
Roger - OK...send me an E-mail, and I'll reply to it with what I've got.  Thanks so much for the offer!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:46 PM
I'll send it, Laura, its good stuff
Michael Amowitz :)
3:46 PM
Laura Leff 3:46 PM
Yht - Yep, thank you!  I knew there was another Washington town I wasn't thinking of.
Yhtap Mys 3:46 PM
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:46 PM
the most amazing thing I've encountered about Jack
Roger Kent Cooper 3:46 PM
ok Laura.
Laura Leff 3:46 PM
Yht - That's it!
Josef Silvia 3:47 PM
Been great reading all the new posts about Jack tonight, but need to get going. See you all next month!
Laura Leff 3:47 PM
Kathy - That article is?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:47 PM
jack's jewishness is a one page photo of him in the Southern Jewish journal (a local Atlanta publication) calling him America's Jewish Jester! whoda thunk it?
Yhtap Mys 3:47 PM
OK, Josef.
Laura Leff 3:47 PM
Thanks for stopping Josef!  See you next time!
Michael Amowitz 3:47 PM
They loved Jack in Spokane!
Michael Amowitz 3:47 PM
Take care, Josef
Yhtap Mys 3:47 PM
Well, they loved Bing there.
Laura Leff 3:48 PM
I have a Southend-on-Sea poster right behind me that I had framed, which has big Jewish stars around the date.
Yhtap Mys 3:48 PM
You mean Schlepperman isn't America's Jewish Jester?
Laura Leff 3:48 PM
Or Artie Auerbach?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:48 PM
or Miltie? or Georgie Jessel? it was an interesting choice
Yhtap Mys 3:48 PM
Or Jessel?
Laura Leff 3:48 PM
Jack is Jewish in Atlanta.
Laura Leff 3:49 PM
Maybe they didn't listen to the others there.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:49 PM
a place where its tough to be anything but Baptist or pentacostalist, haha
Laura Leff 3:49 PM
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:49 PM
well, they had big articles written by Cantor, but then out of the blue, this thing....
Michael Amowitz 3:49 PM
I wonder what, if anything, my congregation did for Jack on any visit to/through Lynchburg
Michael Amowitz 3:50 PM
He would have performed 2 blocks from the synagogue
Laura Leff 3:50 PM
Hm.  I don't think of Jack having a lot of Temple activity on his travels.  But it could have happened.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:50 PM
that would be really cool to find out, Michael, maybe you could ask some of your eldest members
Laura Leff 3:50 PM
Like Zubin Mehta said to me, "Jack was Jewish, but he wasn't Jewish in THAT WAY."
Michael Amowitz 3:51 PM
No, they're all gone...I expect I would have heard about this from someone
Laura Leff 3:51 PM
I'd love to know how many Maxwells claim to be Jack's Maxwell because he rode in them once in a publicity stunt.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:51 PM
yeah, I am getting pestered by a friend who teaches at Brandeis U to talk more about Benny's jewishness in my book. Got a spot for it, but it won't be terribly long
Michael Amowitz 3:51 PM
But the Academy was a big vaudeville house from about 1903 through the mid-1930s
Laura Leff 3:51 PM
What does he/she want you to say?
Yhtap Mys 3:52 PM
Michael, it depends on which circuit it was on.
Laura Leff 3:52 PM
Yht - Good point.
Michael Amowitz 3:52 PM
All I know is everyone came through at some point
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:52 PM
Michael, I should share with you some research my best PhD student did on the fellow who ran all the theaters in Virginia 1900-1927 his name was Jake Wells, Jake and Otto Wells who had their HQs in Richmond and Norfolk
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:53 PM
Jake Wells brought vaudeville to Virginia and the South starting in 1900
Laura Leff 3:53 PM
I remember finding a blurb about Jack saying that he went into the Navy and had bacon and eggs on his first day.  So although his parents were Orthodox, you can see his connection was loose at best.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:53 PM
I don't know if Benny played any of those southern circuits though
Roger Kent Cooper 3:53 PM
Great stuff...got to go. Can't wait for the next chat.
Laura Leff 3:54 PM
Thanks Roger!  We'll be in touch!
Laura Leff 3:54 PM
Hi Katie - Are you having technical issues?  I've seen you in and out a bit.
Michael Amowitz 3:54 PM
Michael Amowitz 3:54 PM
yay, links work too
Laura Leff 3:54 PM
My stageography of Jack is far, far from complete.  But I don't have any entries of him playing in Lynchburg.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:54 PM
I have enjoyed this talkfest every much! Laura I need to make it out west to meet you in person, some day soon. Maybe this summer?
Laura Leff 3:55 PM
It's a date!
Yhtap Mys 3:55 PM
Something sticks in my mind, Kathy, about one swing through the South but I may be misremembering.
Laura Leff 3:55 PM
Would love to meet a fellow Benny scholar.  There aren't many.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:55 PM
that is a beautiful theater, isn't there also an Academy in Blacksburg? I know there was one in Richmond
Laura Leff 3:55 PM
We could sell tickets.
Yhtap Mys 3:55 PM
Then the Beavers could re-enact it.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:56 PM
I need to send you $$ and a CD, I am desperate to see the 1950 first TV show
Michael Amowitz 3:56 PM
I've heard everybody did at some point, LL, but I never looked into it
Laura Leff 3:56 PM
There ya go.  But whoever's playing me will need to be in drag.  They've already got Bev Washburn for Kathy.
Laura Leff 3:56 PM
Kathy - Isn't it available on YouTube?
Yhtap Mys 3:56 PM
Call Harry Shearer.
Laura Leff 3:56 PM
And you'll enjoy Roch's dance number in it.
Laura Leff 3:57 PM
With Don, to boot.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:57 PM
oh is it? GOSH if in two days I get the 1928 soundtrack and the 1950 first show, its a great weekend!
Laura Leff 3:57 PM
OK, Harry Shearer can play me.
Laura Leff 3:57 PM
LOL...know how it is!
Michael Amowitz 3:57 PM
Laura Leff 3:57 PM
I thought someone had posted a link to it.  But if it's not, I'll hook you up.
Laura Leff 3:58 PM
Wow...two solid hours of Benny!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 3:58 PM
Michael, I wrote a whole book on teh history of Richmond's theaters, you can find it on my academia.edu webpage, just look for Kathy Fuller Seeley and "Celebrate Richmond Theater" -- it has tons of original photos
Laura Leff 3:58 PM
This has been great.
Laura Leff 3:59 PM
Any requests for the show for next month?
Yhtap Mys 3:59 PM
And no sidetracks!
Yhtap Mys 3:59 PM
Where's Brad?
Yhtap Mys 3:59 PM
No, Laura, pick a show.
Laura Leff 3:59 PM
He's with his daughter at a Mummenschanz performance.  He send his regrets.
Michael Amowitz 3:59 PM
LL, is this chat being archived? I can look into all this later
Laura Leff 3:59 PM
Yes...I haven't copied the transcript from here previously, but it will save it.
Michael Amowitz 4:00 PM
Just back from Baltimore Symphony, off to dialysis fun next...glad to finally catch up again
Yhtap Mys 4:00 PM
Laura, can you answer a question?
Laura Leff 4:00 PM
Laura Leff 4:00 PM
Great to have you here, Mike!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:01 PM
nice to meet you Michael, there are great books on history of theaters in Washington DC and Baltimore written by a friend of mine, let me know if I can help
Yhtap Mys 4:01 PM
This has been bugging me for some time. Did Cahill really play a role in Jack leaving NBC? If so, why would he let an old personal pique get in the way of a huge, almost precedent-setting business deal?
Laura Leff 4:01 PM
Yht - As far as I can tell, yes.
Michael Amowitz 4:01 PM
Thanks, Kathy, nice to meet you too
Laura Leff 4:01 PM
So it's not so much that Jack *left* NBC because of Cahill
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:02 PM
that whole saga is incredible, how could they let all the talent go?
Yhtap Mys 4:02 PM
In all the newspaper clippings I've read of the trial, Cahill wasn't even in court most of the time.
Laura Leff 4:02 PM
Paley was a determined, powerful man!
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:02 PM
From General Sarnoff on down, from what I have learned, NBC didn't care about its artists that much
Yhtap Mys 4:02 PM
Well, Paley was a charmer, too.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:02 PM
and Paley turned it all on Benny and Gosden and Correll
Laura Leff 4:03 PM
I don't know how much he was in court, but I think that he was there long enough to be sufficiently verbally abusive to Jack at a very vulnerable and confusing time.
Michael Amowitz 4:03 PM
How could CBS destroy all its family shows in one year?
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:03 PM
you know Jack didn't save ONE newspaper article from the whole smuggling thing, it must have been the worst thing that ever happened to him
Yhtap Mys 4:03 PM
The judge was the one that struck me as being unnecessarily abusive.
Laura Leff 4:03 PM
So when Cahill shows up for negotiations with Jack to buy Amusement Enterprises, I can understand how Jack didn't want to deal with him or do anything to put money in his pocket.
Laura Leff 4:04 PM
Well, and I think he was pretty duped.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:04 PM
Michael, oh you mean in the 1960s? Another jerk who saw a different market to aim for
Yhtap Mys 4:04 PM
Why would Jack be in negotiations? Didn't he have people for that?
Laura Leff 4:04 PM
Yht - The judge gets quoted, but I'd love to get the court transcript.  I think that would tell the whole story.
Ah, the smiling cobra...
Yhtap Mys 4:04 PM
Yeah, Laura, that would be tremendous.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:04 PM
ooooh now there is a good project, you have to go to the courthouse, but I have some friends who have dug up old cases
Yhtap Mys 4:05 PM
Ah, the Cobra and his buddy Mr. Brasselle.
Michael Amowitz 4:05 PM
https://www.flickr.com/photos/charmainezoe/12410908223/ Cool picture from 1920
Laura Leff 4:05 PM
Yht - Oh he did have people for that, but when you're getting down to the top deals, Jack owned most of the company and from a business and comedy standpoint, liked to be in control of his life.
Keith Brasselle.  
Kathy - Sounds like a good quest for someone, huh?  
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:06 PM
its a beautiful theater, Michael
you bet, I will start asking my friends who have done the digging, ask how to go about it
Laura Leff 4:06 PM
Ah...I can't see the photo.  It's asking me to sign up.
Michael Amowitz 4:07 PM
LL, I just marveled that everything changed so drastically in the mid- and late 60s with Paley still seemingly in control
Laura Leff 4:07 PM
Boobs, broads, and fun I believe was Aubrey's line.
Yhtap Mys 4:07 PM
And shareholders.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:07 PM
all those shows got canceled, not only Benny but Beverly Hillbillies, which was #1 rated show!
Laura Leff 4:08 PM
And very much in the hayseed humor that Aubrey had been cultivating!
Heck...I'm trying to remember the name of Brasselle's production company...
Michael Amowitz 4:08 PM
oh, ok, just a nice wide shot of endless placard in front of the theatre promoting the "Wonder Man"'s 3-day engagement
Yhtap Mys 4:08 PM
Laura Leff 4:08 PM
That's it.
Maybe he was trying to make room for more Richelieu productions.
God, I love this group.
Yhtap Mys 4:09 PM
I gather, Laura, Jack was piqued with his lead-in before the parting with CBS.
Laura Leff 4:09 PM
Ask a question like the name of Keefe Brasselle's production company and someone knows it right off.
Michael Amowitz 4:09 PM
I remember that operation, but I think it faded away by the end of the 60s
Laura Leff 4:10 PM
Yes, IIRC, he had been following Skelton, which was a great setup for him.
Mike - I don't know if Braselle sold anything after he and Aubrey were booted.
Yhtap Mys 4:10 PM
I don't think he did. The three failed shows finished him.
Laura Leff 4:10 PM
And then even though Jack didn't fall down in the ratings, he didn't like an Aubrey country humor show as his lead-in, no matter how successful it was.
Yhtap Mys 4:11 PM
Starring one of his supporting staff.
Laura Leff 4:11 PM
Which makes it ironic that he eventually lost out to Gomer Pyle.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:11 PM
well, hey folks I got to get going (Saturday Night Live special starting and I assigned it as homework for my comedy class). This was terrific! and I will be sending stuff,
Wonderful!  Thanks so much for being here!!!
Keep the laughter going.
Yhtap Mys 4:11 PM
Was it Gomer? I thought it was Petticoat Junction.
Kathy Fuller-Seeley 4:11 PM
: )
Laura Leff 4:12 PM
Petticoat Junction was the lead-in, I believe.  But Gomer was opposite him in his last season.
Yhtap Mys 4:12 PM
Michael Amowitz 4:12 PM
http://www.imdb.com/company/co0055395/ Richelieu Productions
Laura Leff 4:12 PM
This has been a phenomenal chat.  So many thanks to you and all the folks who made it so!
Yhtap Mys 4:13 PM
I'm going to run, Laura. See you online.
Laura Leff 4:13 PM
OK, sounds good.  Take care folks and see you next month!
Michael Amowitz 4:14 PM
Dirt is here if the link works: https://books.google.com/books?id=k1IEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=%22richelieu+produc...
Take care folks!
Laura Leff 4:15 PM
Cool...have a great night!