IJBFC Chat - November 15, 2015

(Name of message originator next to or above the timestamp)

Kathy Fuller-Seeley·4:48 PM

well howdy, Linda!


Linda Cree·4:49 PM

Hi Kathy!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·4:50 PM

how are you all doing? Glad that its finally feeling like Fall here in Austin : )

I loved the vacation pix Graeme posted, looks like you all had fun!


Linda Cree·4:50 PM

Graeme is here too!  We're both doing fine   Thanks!

Thanks!  We had a great trip.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·4:51 PM

I'm still on pins and needles, waiting to hear from the Oxford editor about the book mss (and what I might have to do in revision). I should hear any day now : )


Linda Cree·4:52 PM


Graeme doesn't have a login to get here, but he's reading along.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·4:52 PM

what are you all going to do for Thanksgiving? Kenny and I are flying east to Richmond VA to see the inlaws and kids


Linda Cree·4:53 PM

Staying home and having a quiet Thanksgiving here.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·4:54 PM

sounds nice! Let's get together in December for sure. My classes end Dec 4, hooray!

Hello Tony!


Linda Cree·4:54 PM

Love to Kathy!

Graeme says hi.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·4:57 PM

Hello Graeme! Say, we'll talk about this more offline, but Oxford editor wants me to do some website things, and I have some research funds through school, maybe I can make G an official consultant to help me get stuff together in spring-summer 2016...


Linda Cree·4:58 PM

G:  Sure, let's talk about it when we get together.  I should also have .mp3's of all the Sportsmen songs done in a day or two.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·4:58 PM

so, do you all have any Jack Benny christmas ornaments? I just thought about this, I have made a number of Beatles ones for me, and Star Wars ones for the kids, maybe we can play with this idea on the facebook group, what would Benny ornaments look like...

Carmichael with a bottle of Coke, haha


Linda Cree·4:59 PM

A turkey nestled in a chandelier.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·4:59 PM


electric lights shocking Jack, "pull it out! pull it out!"


Linda Cree·5:00 PM

Good one!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:00 PM

Hello Phil, I was just wondering about Benny holiday ornaments


Phil Wala·5:00 PM

Hello.  Enjoying a 63° day here in Minnesota


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:00 PM

wow, that's almost warmer than here in Austin TX!


R. Hookie·5:02 PM

Hello, strangers!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:02 PM

Jell-O again....


Laura Leff·5:02 PM

Hey folks!


R. Hookie·5:02 PM

Hi Laura!


Linda Cree·5:03 PM

Hi Laura!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:03 PM

Howdy Laura, we were thinking of Benny holiday ornaments. A Jell-O menorah would be bad, but would also need a seventh flavor?


Linda Cree·5:03 PM

I'm a first timer here.


Laura Leff·5:03 PM

Welcome in, Linda!


R. Hookie·5:03 PM

Welcome Linda


Laura Leff·5:03 PM

Kathy - Don Wilson can be the shamash


Linda Cree·5:04 PM

Thank you!


Laura Leff·5:04 PM

Hey Steve!

Hi Phil, Hookie!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:04 PM

hahaha   and since there's always room for Jell-O, its six delicious flavors will never run out


Steve Archer·5:04 PM

Hi Laura and everyone!


R. Hookie·5:04 PM

A menorah made of JELL-O or one that holds it?


Laura Leff·5:06 PM

So how's everyone doing tonight?


R. Hookie·5:06 PM



Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:06 PM

that would be one wiggly menorah....  need to make it of really stiff Jell-O shots?


Linda Cree·5:06 PM

LSMFT chalk


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:07 PM

Everybody on facebook seems to be grateful for something..... I am grateful that there are 19 days of class left, and that tonight is a chat night


Steve Archer·5:07 PM

Doing well here


Linda Cree·5:08 PM

All is well here.


Phil Wala·5:08 PM

I’ve been listening to the radio shows in order.  Up to early 1952, and every show is about Jack’s song.  Can’t get “When You Say I Beg Your Pardon” out of my brain!


Steve Archer·5:09 PM

Gee what is with people, being grateful BEFORE Thanksgiving...! ;)


Laura Leff·5:09 PM

My apologies for having to cancel last month...needed to have someone come out to fix my internet connection


Steve Archer·5:09 PM

unless you're Canadian, of course.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:09 PM

so.... what do you like about the 2.4.40 show, Laura? It occurs to me that the Yosemite stretch is one of the longest narrative arcs the show had, outside of missing Oscar

Phil, have you ever found subsequent verses to that song? Something we should drum up.....


Laura Leff·5:10 PM

I think that this, to me, represents the official tip of the characters to their forties personas.


Linda Cree·5:10 PM

A bowl of wax fruit that lights up


Steve Archer·5:10 PM

I agree Laura, it's like the best of the Jell-O and Lucky Strike years together.

This will be fun to follow for the next few chats assuming we'll continue with Yosemite


Laura Leff·5:11 PM

This is where Mary's acid edge really starts.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:11 PM

I think its interesting how they skirt the issue of where is Rochester going to sleep? By NOT mentioning it, one group of listeners could think "oh, he can stay with them" and the Southern white group could say "of course he'll sleep somewhere else...."


R. Hookie·5:12 PM

<---- stepping away for a moment, be right back.....


Linda Cree·5:12 PM

Graeme has put Yosemite into his Top 50 Episodes list, but is counting it as 1 episode, rather than 4


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:12 PM

GREAT on the change in Mary, super idea!


Tony Morgan joined the room


Laura Leff·5:12 PM

Hi Tony!


Steve Archer·5:12 PM

Hi Tony


Laura Leff·5:13 PM

Kathy - That's a great observation.  I never thought of it, because I hadn't experienced Jim Crow myself.


Tony Morgan·5:13 PM



Laura Leff·5:13 PM

Dennis also just joined in the fall of '39, and this really starts cementing his character


Tony Morgan·5:13 PM

I think it would be understood Rochester would have slept in the car.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:14 PM

The show has racially progressive moments frequently, after the first year. I am glad Jack and the writers opened up their use of Rochester


Laura Leff·5:14 PM

Yes, cutting back on the shooting dice and Central Avenue and knife fights jokes


Linda Cree·5:14 PM

G:  Rochester


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:14 PM

and more talking reason to "the Boss"


Tony Morgan·5:14 PM

Kathy, the first year with Rochester, or the first year of the Program?


Linda Cree·5:15 PM

G:   Rochester's sleeping arrangements on Yosemite were the same as everyone else.  He was even wearing Jack's clothes the year before.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:15 PM

sorry for the confusion, Tony, I think I meant changes in the program after the first 6-9 months of having Roch on the program, so late 1938, into 1939


R. Hookie·5:16 PM

OK, I'm back.... what did I miss?


Laura Leff·5:16 PM

The first time he appears as Rochester (later in 1937), it's quite stunning that the banter between Jack and him is very similar to later years.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:16 PM

haha Graeme makes great jokes!


Tony Morgan·5:16 PM

What was the deal with "Where's Dennis? ... Oh." (audience laughter)


Laura Leff·5:16 PM

In the bathroom

i.e., Dennis is in the bathroom


Linda Cree·5:17 PM

I'm glad Jack refused to stay at any hotel that wouldn't allow Rochester.


Laura Leff·5:17 PM

Someone finally found the clipping about that


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:17 PM

yet ANOTHER reason why radio is better than early TV ! you can make so many hidden jokes that the audience gets to imagine the punch line


Laura Leff·5:17 PM

It happened right here in San Francisco


Tony Morgan·5:17 PM

... Okay.  How was "the bathroom" communicated to the studio audience?  (How would anyone know?)


Laura Leff·5:17 PM

It's kind of like the Archie Bunker toilet flushing.

I'll have to cede that one to someone who heard the show more recently than I did.  I know there was a telegraph on that.

That being Dennis going to the bathroom.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:18 PM

great question, Tony! It all comes from the situation......


Tony Morgan·5:19 PM

I've listened to the Yosemite episodes more times than I can count, and I *never* got that.   :-)


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:19 PM

it can be in vocal inflection...   oh, he's in THERE....


Steve Archer·5:19 PM

Well, Dennis is pretty much the only one who can't head to the bathroom during his song, so...


Laura Leff·5:19 PM


That's what my mother used to say...Dennis' song was when you went to the bathroom.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:20 PM

again, the genius of radio, layers of meaning that you need lots of knowledge to "get" -- I find something similar in Warner Bros Bugs Bunny cartoons. safe for the kids, but then WOW you catch a cultural reference


Steve Archer·5:20 PM



Graeme Cree joined the room


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:20 PM

WOW, Laura, so you come from a long line of Benny fans? :)


Laura Leff·5:20 PM

Hey Graeme


Graeme Cree·5:21 PM

I did have a login after all, it just wasn't activated.


R. Hookie·5:21 PM

So, with all of this recent talk, you folks must know where I stepped away to....


Laura Leff·5:21 PM

Kathy - Well, only so far back one can go for that!  My mother loved him.  My father did not.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:21 PM

that's frightening, haha Graeme...how much CAN hipchat do?


Laura Leff·5:21 PM

My mother loved to tell a story about trying to get me interested in Jack at a very young age, and not being successful.


Graeme Cree·5:21 PM

There are several bathroom jokes in the show.  Most aren't that great and are the kind of thing you can easily miss.  Everybody knows the bit where Jack couldn't tell Don to "sit down", don't they?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:22 PM

My father thinks I am writing a book about Fred Allen, so there is no real accounting for parents :  )


Graeme Cree·5:22 PM

Because Jack was in the tub and the censor figured the only place Don could possibly sit was on the terlet.


Linda Cree·5:22 PM

My grandmother was a huge Jack Benny fan.


Laura Leff·5:22 PM

Kathy - At least he doesn't think you're writing a book about Benny Hill.


Graeme Cree·5:22 PM

Jack argued that he could have meant "sit on the edge of the tub", but the censor wasn't buying it.


Laura Leff·5:23 PM

This is why they sometimes wrote in outrageous jokes that they knew the censor would excise, just to be able to get other stuff by.


Graeme Cree·5:23 PM

He should have used the argument that worked, about the dirty limerick.


Steve Archer·5:23 PM



Graeme Cree·5:23 PM

Remember, there was a nonsense limerick, where a girl asked Jack what it meant and he said "I can't tell you, it's naughty!"


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:23 PM

haha   have you all seen the recent facebook post that says scientists say that a sudden urge to watch Benny Hill indicates coming dementia?


Graeme Cree·5:23 PM

And the censor wanted to delete it even though the words were actually total gibberish.

Just the idea that it was SUPPOSED to be dirty was enough.  But they got that on the air.


Laura Leff·5:24 PM

Kathy - Hey, I disagree with that...

Remember the thing about Veola Vonn and the pins that the censor ended up making dirtier?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:25 PM

well sure, if its measured on pie throwing and pratfalls, I should have been committed to a dementia unit 40 years ago : )


Graeme Cree·5:25 PM

I hate that one.  How do you wear pins without a sweater?  Is the idea that she was supposed to have them stuck in her skin?  Ick.


Linda Cree·5:25 PM

Was there any dust up over Bing using the HE double hockey stick word?


Laura Leff·5:25 PM

Well, they certainly weren't going to ban Bing from radio like they did to Mae West after the Bergen McCarthy show


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:26 PM

Graeme, well the pins without a sweater makes a great visual imagination joke, where words and images collide?


Graeme Cree·5:26 PM

Yeah, but the first thing I imagined was that she'd acupunctured herself with a hundred pins.  I didn't laugh, I winced.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:26 PM

Bing was Golden, he could have said ANYTHING and have gotten away with it, haha


Linda Cree·5:26 PM



Laura Leff·5:26 PM

Yeah, this is one of the times we have to remember that people heard the joke back then and it was gone.  They didn't have time to think about it like we do!


Steve Archer·5:27 PM

Well, if Bing had mentioned Camel cigarettes....


Graeme Cree·5:27 PM

Sorry, 164 pins.  Let's get it right.


Laura Leff·5:27 PM

Trivia question (this is easy):  Who claimed to have played Jack's camel?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:27 PM

or to hear it again! This is something I tell my students repeatedly, to make them understand liveness vs reruns. .....


Laura Leff·5:27 PM

The camel he brought back from Egypt.


Graeme Cree·5:27 PM

Probably Mel.


Steve Archer·5:27 PM



Laura Leff·5:28 PM



Steve Archer·5:28 PM

Joe Camel


Laura Leff·5:28 PM

Maybe less easy than I thought!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:28 PM

the fellow who did the Maxwell before Mel Blanc? Johnny somebody


Steve Archer·5:28 PM

Meryl Streep


Laura Leff·5:28 PM

Steve - Ha.  A friend of mine was the head of that ad campaign.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:28 PM

Larry Adler, although harmonicas and camels don't mix


Laura Leff·5:28 PM

Nope...haven't seen the right answer yet.


Steve Archer·5:29 PM

Camella Parker-Bowles


Laura Leff·5:29 PM



Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:29 PM

Tom Harrington or Pat Weaver, sending them straight to hell...


Graeme Cree·5:29 PM

Harry Conn!!


Laura Leff·5:29 PM

Sounds like a hint is in order?


Steve Archer·5:29 PM

Orson Welles


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:29 PM

hint hint!


Steve Archer·5:29 PM

Orson Bean

Orson Buggy


Graeme Cree·5:30 PM

Orson Around


Laura Leff·5:30 PM

So it's no one that ever appeared on another Benny program


R. Hookie·5:30 PM

Pat Carroll?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:30 PM

Steve's on the right track, I hope!


Laura Leff·5:30 PM

So Mel or guest stars are out


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:30 PM

Humphrey Bogart, he's got a humpf


Laura Leff·5:30 PM

He was known later for recorded comedy and commercials


Tony Morgan·5:30 PM

Desi Arnaz


Graeme Cree·5:31 PM

Stan Freberg?  Peter Lind Hayes?


Laura Leff·5:31 PM

I haven't been able to authenticate it past the person's claim that he did it.


Phil Wala·5:31 PM

Stan Freberg?


Laura Leff·5:31 PM

Graeme - Stan Freberg!


Steve Archer·5:31 PM



Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:31 PM

woo hoo!


R. Hookie·5:31 PM

Oh, I see


Laura Leff·5:31 PM

And the only time you hear the camel is just kind of a "woof" as he's running away

I have a really, really hard time thinking they'd bring in someone to do just that momentary thing.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:32 PM

as opposed to Trudy the ostrich


Laura Leff·5:32 PM

I think even Trudy got more airtime.

Besides, they had Blanche Stewart in those days.  She could play anything.


Graeme Cree·5:32 PM

This should be an easy one.  Who's the first Jewish guy to play a hot dog vendor at a sporting event?


Phil Wala·5:32 PM

Just Googled a 1944 article saying it was Pinto Colvig who voiced the Maxwell and Jack's camel.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:32 PM

hey, but so many people were hanging about the studio, Hollywood and Vine was a nexus of surplus entertainment, ESP if you were Benny?


Graeme Cree·5:32 PM

The way I asked it should make it easy.


Laura Leff·5:33 PM

Phil - Colvig was the Maxwell IIRC

Kathy - That's a good point!

Graeme - I'm laying out of the guessing.   :)


Linda Cree·5:33 PM

Did Jack really have a walk-on in Casablanca?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:34 PM

Phil Greenberg? Moe Berg?


Laura Leff·5:34 PM

Linda - Har har har...


Graeme Cree·5:34 PM

Okay, it's Shleperman.  People would assume Mr. Kitzle, but why would I have asked if it were that easy?  So, the next logical guy is...


Laura Leff·5:34 PM

Good question.

Graeme - I was thinking Sam Hearn, but OK.


Graeme Cree·5:34 PM

They even had the same kind of jokes.  "How can you afford to give all you can eat for 10 cents?"  "Vhen you taste 'em, you're tasting the answer."


Laura Leff·5:34 PM

Linda - Well, Marty and I went through the files on Casablanca at the Warner Brothers archive trying to authenticate that.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:34 PM

Harry Conn himself


Laura Leff·5:35 PM

Linda - It's in the press book that he's in the movie.

But there's no evidence on any of the production notes about it.


Linda Cree·5:35 PM



Laura Leff·5:36 PM

And I believe I found a letter someone wrote to the studio asking about it, and was told that Jack wasn't in the movie


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:36 PM

and very plausible, given that he was making Warner Bros movies then?


Laura Leff·5:36 PM

I'd have to pull the newsletter where I published all of that to brush up on the details.


Steve Archer·5:36 PM

Well, press books in those days were full of all kinds of phony made up stories, too.


Laura Leff·5:36 PM

Kathy - It's still possible that it happened.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:37 PM

you betcha about fabricated publicity, Steve!


Graeme Cree·5:37 PM

It just seems kind of odd that they'd put him in and not call attention to it.  The only reason they might is if Jack really wanted it, but nobody knew it would be a classic then.  Wasn't it kind of a surprise hit?


Laura Leff·5:37 PM

Steve - And there ya go.  I really have to wonder if it falls under that category!


Tony Morgan·5:37 PM

And wouldn't Jack have trumpeted his involvement at *some* point?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:37 PM

a good reason AGAINST it, Tony!


Steve Archer·5:37 PM

I heard Shirley Herman was in Casablanca


Laura Leff·5:38 PM

Well, also there's a thing of "run a contest at your theatre to award anyone who can find Jack in the movie"

But the press book doesn't tell you where he is.


Graeme Cree·5:38 PM

I can't imagine him not mentioning it when Bogie was on the show.


Tony Morgan·5:38 PM

That's why I think Jack CAN'T be in Casablanca.  We would have heard about it -- from him!


Steve Archer·5:38 PM

Very Jack apropos - you never have to pay for the prize!


Laura Leff·5:38 PM

So wouldn't they need to know the answer in order to know if someone's guess was right?


Linda Cree·5:38 PM

I thought it must be true because of the contest.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:39 PM

I agree, given that they did a parody of Casablanca on the radio show, and he did a USO tour with Ingrid Bergman


Laura Leff·5:39 PM

I wonder if anyone got a prize by saying he's *not* in the movie!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:39 PM

oh well, maybe he hung out on the set


Linda Cree·5:39 PM

Yhat seems dishonest.



Laura Leff·5:39 PM

And someone once pointed me toward Jack's line in the radio parody of, "Was I in...CASABLANCA?  Was I in...CASABLANCA?!?!"

Claiming that was Jack telegraphing that he was in Casablanca

But it could just as much be a reaction to him getting questions of whether he was in the movie.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:41 PM

haha I am wishing that this chat was like Facebook, so that I could LIKE so many of these clever comments : )


Graeme Cree·5:41 PM

Who played the Sportsmen's Wives Quartet?


Laura Leff·5:41 PM

What's the date on the show?


Graeme Cree·5:41 PM

Hmmm, I'll have to check...

02-18-51, but I think there are others.

9-13-53 is another


Laura Leff·5:42 PM

I'll pull 39 Forever and see if the script had that info...

No credit on 1951

Or on 1953.  Sorry, can't help.


Graeme Cree·5:44 PM

Dorothy Collins may have been one.


Laura Leff·5:44 PM

So what else about the Yosemite show?

Graeme - That's a good guess.  you're likely right.


Graeme Cree·5:44 PM

Not sure who else had the ability.  I don't remember Bea singing.


Laura Leff·5:45 PM

Might see who else American Tobacco had working on their other shows like Your Hit Parade


Linda Cree·5:45 PM

I found a photo of Jack dressed as Charley's Aunt with Betty Grable.  The caption read he was an extra in A Yank In The R.A.F.


Laura Leff·5:45 PM

Indeed!  That's a new one on me!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:45 PM

wow, that is a great find, Linda


Graeme Cree·5:45 PM

Kathy, do you happen to have a script for 11-14-37?


Laura Leff·5:46 PM

Anyone seen that movie?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:46 PM

I love that Jack felt so comfortable on the film side of Hollywood in those days. Academic books completely separate radio and film in those days!!


R. Hookie·5:46 PM

Charley's Aunt? Good movie.


Laura Leff·5:46 PM

I think it would have been very hard to do a weekly show and shoot films too


Graeme Cree·5:46 PM

Saw it once.  Didn't follow it as closely as I should have.  Need to watch it again.


Laura Leff·5:47 PM

It's good, but I don't think it's Jack's best (of course that's "To Be or Not to Be") or even number 2


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:47 PM

Graeme, I don't have it, but am DETERMINED to get them all in January! Will circulate....


Graeme Cree·5:47 PM

I think I was a bit put off that it was too much like... Oh, which was the Abbott & Costello movie where Lou plays on a girl's basketball team?


Steve Archer·5:47 PM

It's funny that radio and films seemed to have a happy coexistence, but when television came along the film industry had such a freakout.


Graeme Cree·5:47 PM

Darn it, I should remember this.


Laura Leff·5:47 PM

Kathy - Yay!


R. Hookie·5:47 PM

I'll be back... the dog is summoning me...


Laura Leff·5:48 PM

Hi Penny

(Penny is Hookie's dog0


Linda Cree·5:48 PM

I'll post the photo after the chat.


Graeme Cree·5:48 PM

Here Come the Co-Eds.  (What else would it be?)


Mike Januszewski  joined the room


Laura Leff·5:48 PM

Steve - Well, I think 1946 was the top grossing year for films IIRC

Hi Mike!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:48 PM

I agree that Charley's Aunt is not Benny's best.... he was being USED by Warners and Fox, putting him in adaptations of recent Broadway successes. Jose Ferrer got his first big New York start with Charley's Aunt, they should have used Ferrer!


Laura Leff·5:49 PM

I'd sooner buy that Jose Ferrer is from Brazil where the NUTS come from...


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:49 PM

Same with GW Slept Here


Laura Leff·5:49 PM

So what do folks consider Jack's #2 movie?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:49 PM

hahaha! Laura! AND he was still in his 20s


Laura Leff·5:50 PM

(Side note:  I can hear Vera in the room below me playing the euphonium.  It may not be midnight, but the horn is blowing.)


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:50 PM

For me, Buck Benny


Graeme Cree·5:50 PM

I liked that one, but was also a little underwhelmed.  It just seems that there are so many movies about people going to run down houses in the country and fixing them up.  At this point, Green Acres is the definitive telling of that story.


Steve Archer·5:50 PM

You know, there's a bunch of them I still haven't seen


Graeme Cree·5:50 PM

Buck Benny Rides Again is probably #2.


Linda Cree·5:50 PM



Laura Leff·5:50 PM

I tend to go with that too, although I really love "Man About Town."

And it has two fabulous Rochester dance numbers in it.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:51 PM

Buck Benny, for the joy of seeing them so consciously make a radio show into a movie


Graeme Cree·5:51 PM

Love Thy Neighbor is a bit rough in places, but basically good.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:51 PM

Laura, Man About Town is forgotten GEM!!! Eddie Anderson's role was a huge BREAKOUT


Laura Leff·5:51 PM

I can't stand the ending of Love Thy Neighbor...


Graeme Cree·5:51 PM

I don't like the ending of either movie.


Laura Leff·5:52 PM

Kathy - Amen and amen.  I really wish it got more exposure.


R. Hookie·5:52 PM

Meanest Man Alive... any thoughts?


Graeme Cree·5:52 PM

Having Jack be single is one thing, but having him marry a leading lady who isn't his wife is a bit creepy.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:52 PM

I like Broadway Melody, but only for the dancing, haha


Laura Leff·5:52 PM

Hookie - *snicker*

Who's seen "This Way Please"?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:52 PM

the blackface scene in Meanest is just scary...


R. Hookie·5:53 PM

I'll have to rewatch it


Graeme Cree·5:53 PM

It's just Hollywood, thinking that a love story is obligatory, even if it makes no sense.  Since when do Jack and Fred need a girl to fight over?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:53 PM

I should root for Jack in the MGM film of 1929 is it Broadway Revue of 1929 or whatever its called, his first is good!


Laura Leff·5:53 PM

Oh my...it's been so long since I saw it I don't remember that.

Hollywood Revue of 1929

I think Chasing Rainbows was earlier...


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:54 PM

YES, Jack hiding a tiny Bessie Love in his pocket is fun


Graeme Cree·5:54 PM

So, what's the deal with the Big Broadcast movies?  I know there are four, and Bing is in the first two only. Jack is only in #3.  But how much continuity do they have with each other?


Laura Leff·5:54 PM

Great question, and I can't answer it!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:55 PM

Graeme, it was all about Paramount making $$$, they didn't care a bit for plot, its more like a reality TV show or revue of today....


Mike Januszewski ·5:55 PM

Hello!  The Big Broadcast movies only, in my pinion, appeared to be showcases of celebrities, with no real continuum among them.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:55 PM

but they are better than a Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen movie I saw from Universal, where they did long-shots of some child playing Charlie in a top hat! awful!


R. Hookie·5:55 PM

Seems about right


Laura Leff·5:55 PM

They're pretty fun, though.  As long as you don't need a story.

Kathy - Makes me think of the Benny TV shows where Charlie and Mortimer are walking around.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:56 PM

yes, I think those films were for the great American radio audience, to SEE their favorites! As you might imagine, these films TANKED at the foreign box office


Steve Archer·5:56 PM

Those are terrifically creepy Laura.

Jack Benny vs. Chucky


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:57 PM

add some chimps and you have a horror movie deluxe


Laura Leff·5:57 PM

I can top them for creepy on the Benny TV series though...

and I bet someone can guess which show is coming to mind for me!


R. Hookie·5:57 PM

The Benny-bot?


Laura Leff·5:57 PM

Hookie - Well, kind of that too.  Which one?


Graeme Cree·5:58 PM

On radio, Jack gunning down all four Sportsmen was pretty creepy.


R. Hookie·5:58 PM

w/ Johnny


Laura Leff·5:58 PM

Hookie - Yep, that's the one!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:58 PM

what, is this the one when they keep falling on the ground, crying?


Laura Leff·5:58 PM

Just watching them leave Jack's head on the table and it starts talking...yow.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·5:59 PM

gosh I have never seen this one.... must find!


Laura Leff·5:59 PM

Kathy - It's the later one with Johnny Carson as guest.


R. Hookie·5:59 PM

And Johnny was creeped out too


Linda Cree·5:59 PM

I think the radio show where Jack is a turkey is creepy.


Laura Leff·5:59 PM

Which of us wouldn't have been?

Linda - A lot of people agree with you!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:00 PM

gobble gobble!


Graeme Cree·6:00 PM

I don't think that's the worst they ever did, but it's pretty poor.


Steve Archer·6:00 PM

It would also be fun to see if that "sleeping Jack" dummy from where he constantly falls asleep in the clothing store with Frank Nelson is still around.  Throw that on your porch for next Halloween


Graeme Cree·6:00 PM

Milt thought it was their worst.


Laura Leff·6:01 PM

I actually get that question with some regularity..."where's the Benny-bot?"


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:01 PM

Steve! if I think I remember the one you are talking about, where Jack falls asleep in the men's clothing store and they keep setting him up as a dummy, GREAT Halloween episode


Graeme Cree·6:01 PM

The worst episodes were the ones with a lot of running down and shouting that wasn't as funny as it was supposed to be.

Sometimes it works.  Like when Iris is screaming at the Sportsmen as they sing in the drugstore, that worked fine.


Laura Leff·6:01 PM

I know my vote for the worst radio show...


Graeme Cree·6:02 PM

But things like the Drive-in movie episode in the last year, when it's all moving the car around and parking right, and complaining that it's going wrong.  There's hardly a laugh in that.


Laura Leff·6:02 PM

the "lazy lazy" Brazil sketch.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:02 PM

this came up on the IJBFC website, you think its one from 1943


Laura Leff·6:02 PM

Kathy - Yeah.  I know I've said it before.


Graeme Cree·6:02 PM

That's not good.  And I found the Red Riding Hood episode really bad too.

And of course, all the New Years Fantasies.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:03 PM

but I get to amend my comment from 2005 when I knew NOTHING and said I did not much appreciate the pre-1938 shows : )


Laura Leff·6:03 PM

Graeme - They just didn't have a lot of time to focus on the radio series in the last year.  Hal and Al were doing most of the writing for it because the other four were focused on TV.


Tony Morgan·6:03 PM

I like the New Years Fantasies.


Graeme Cree·6:03 PM

I just listened to part of Brazil the other day.  I'm making mp3's of all the Sportsmen songs, and they had a number in the Brazil episode.


Laura Leff·6:03 PM

Kathy - You have seen the light!   :)

Tony - I do too.  Being a history buff, it's like a little time capsule.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:03 PM

I can't wait to show our club folks the "I am a fugitive from a lovely chain gang" episode


Steve Archer·6:03 PM

I'm with Graeme on the new years shows (ducks)

Oh, by the way, sad news that kid actor Charles Herbert just died.  He played the new tenant on TV.


Laura Leff·6:04 PM

It seems like the majority of people don't groove on the New Year's Fantasies, and I get that


Steve Archer·6:04 PM

and is also in the episode where Jack takes one of the beavers to the dentist.


Graeme Cree·6:04 PM

Are they even supposed to be funny?  Or just cute?


Laura Leff·6:04 PM

I think they're supposed to be poignant.


Graeme Cree·6:04 PM

They're not that either.


Laura Leff·6:05 PM

I think they might be if you had been living in that time.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:05 PM

the New Years fantasies fascinate me for what they DO and DO NOT say about the world political situation of the day


Tony Morgan·6:05 PM

I must say the pre '38 or pre '39 episodes I've never gotten into.  It might be because the quality (of audio) is generally bad, but I find myself gravitating to the WW II and postwar episodes generally.


Graeme Cree·6:05 PM

To be poignant, they would have had to have been pointed in a way the censors probably wouldn't allow.


Laura Leff·6:05 PM

Kathy - Well said.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:05 PM

Hi Tony! My goal of this next year or two is to change your mind! fun project


Graeme Cree·6:05 PM

You remember Rod Serling talking about doing a scene in Congress in the 50's, and the whole thing was people shouting about nonsense because the network wouldn't let him say anything that meant anything.


Tony Morgan·6:05 PM

There was one New Years where Jack and Rochester share a drink, if I remember correctly.  It might have been after a fantasy, or they didn't do it that year.


Laura Leff·6:05 PM

Tony - Definitely the golden age of the show is from about the end of 1945 through 1950.


R. Hookie·6:06 PM

I'm more obsessed with the vault... I wish there were more TV shows taking us down!


Laura Leff·6:06 PM

Hookie - Those shows where they did that just weren't received well.


Graeme Cree·6:06 PM

If you supported the Tariff, you'd be seen as supporting the Republicans.  Other issues would have been seen as supporting Democrats.  They didn't want anything to be said that might be perceived as siding with either party, so the whole scene was doubletalk.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:06 PM

R Hookie, it would be so much fun to collect our ideas from our Imaginations of what happened in the vault episodes!


Laura Leff·6:06 PM

I think it was Dennis Day who told me he was getting stopped on the street the day after and people said that they did the vault "all wrong" and it wasn't what they'd been seeing in their heads all these years.


R. Hookie·6:07 PM

I can see that, but I like the vault


Graeme Cree·6:07 PM

I think the real Golden Age started with the day Dennis returned, and ended with the day Phil left.


Tony Morgan·6:07 PM

Laura - I'm open to having my mind changed!  Any pre '38 episodes you suggest?


Graeme Cree·6:07 PM

But there was another near-Golden Age when both Phil and Kenny were on the show.


Laura Leff·6:07 PM

Tony - Many of them!  What are shows you particularly like?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:07 PM

Graeme, you are so right! We don't know all of the censorship that happened with the sponsor, the network and beforehand, when Jack and the writers assumed all these topics they could not address...


R. Hookie·6:08 PM

Lucy's vault for Jack was ridiculous, but I still enjoy it!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:08 PM

R Hookie, Jack was totally with you, and that was a reason he was fearful of moving to TV, to let all of us down who imagined the vault in so many ways


Graeme Cree·6:08 PM

The NYF might have been poignant if they could have said anything, but instead they were reduced to doing jokes about shooting stars falling into the Big Dipper, and Boy's Life style jokes like that.


Laura Leff·6:08 PM

Graeme - I tend to think of that as the silver age of the show, because the shows aren't tuned and honed like a race car as they were in the late 40s.  They're more of an acquired taste because they're a little looser, but that's why I like them more.


Tony Morgan·6:09 PM

Speaking of when Dennis returned, was the order that Don introduced the cast changed for any particular reason?  My memory is that Dennis was introduced before Rochester before Dennis left, and after he returned Rochester was introduced before Dennis.


Linda Cree·6:09 PM

I loved the Lucy episode with the vault.


R. Hookie·6:09 PM

Yeah, the cost of living to the imagination.... $$$$


Steve Archer·6:09 PM

"Hi Irving!"


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:10 PM

so folks, my goal is to photograph all the unrecorded scripts this January, and get them available as soon as possible, there are wonderful things from 1932-1937 we need to learn about


Graeme Cree·6:10 PM

I thought the late 30's episodes were (in some ways) better than the later stuff, because they were more imaginative.


Tony Morgan·6:10 PM

Laura -- I'm open.  I'm not particularly fond of the "film adaptations" and I liked the "arcs" (IRS or Yosemite come to mind).  Now that I think about it, I do like the train episodes.  Any good early train episodes?


Linda Cree·6:10 PM

Great, Kathy!


Graeme Cree·6:11 PM

They came up with wild scenario after wild scenario, while the later ones tended to rely a bit too much on stock routines.

They were GOOD stock routines.  I never met a Tout Sketch I didn't like.  But still, there was a bit more variety earlier.


Laura Leff·6:11 PM

Kathy - Hallelujah!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:11 PM

the train episode of Christmas spent on the train going west, 1938?  And Jack and Mary playing cards on the train, that is 1950


Laura Leff·6:11 PM

Tony - Well, you should hear Rochester's first appearance.


Linda Cree·6:12 PM

I'm squeamish, so I can't listen to the part of the episode where Jack's jaw goes out of place.


Laura Leff·6:12 PM

March of 1937...would have to look up the exact date.


Graeme Cree·6:12 PM

1942-3 was definitely an off year, with Jack out for a month, and Phil out for 3 months.


Laura Leff·6:12 PM

You might enjoy the "Buck Benny Rides Again" skits, especially the first one in 1937 when he answers Fred Allen and starts the feud.

The Yosemite series, definitely.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:13 PM

I agree, Graeme, and TODAY, the show would have been cancelled!!!! Thank goodness for sponsors wanting to back a proven commodity


Graeme Cree·6:13 PM

Hang on, I've been starting a list of what might be  Top 50 episodes of all time.


R. Hookie·6:13 PM

A think someone should go one The Voice and sing "When You Say I Beg Your Pardon"


Graeme Cree·6:13 PM

I'm not very far along, but let me see what I've got for those early years.

when I'm done, I'll have more than 50 and have to cut the list down.  So these might not make the final cut...


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:14 PM

I am so looking forward to seeing your list!


Graeme Cree·6:14 PM

And I tried to be ruthless and not include everything I wanted to.


Laura Leff·6:14 PM

I've got my vote for #1.  But it's your list and needs to be your choices!


Graeme Cree·6:14 PM

Well, the Train Porter episode is one.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:14 PM

Bum gets 25 cents?


Laura Leff·6:14 PM

What, Rochester's first appearance?


Graeme Cree·6:14 PM

Not just because it's the first Eddie episode, but because the Albuquerque joke works so well.


Laura Leff·6:14 PM

Kathy - Yep.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:15 PM

Turkey murder trial?


Laura Leff·6:15 PM

Kathy - 50 cents


Tony Morgan·6:15 PM

i have a few on from 1938 -- it looks as if the first Rochester was 3-28-37.


Laura Leff·6:15 PM

Tony - Yes, that sounds right.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:15 PM

a 50% raise! Jack would be proud


Graeme Cree·6:15 PM

4-25-37, where Jack manages to accidentally offend everyone on the show, then goes to visit Andy and offends him too.  If you want to talk poignant, there's one.


Tony Morgan·6:15 PM

Is the 1-10-37 Buck Benny the one with Fred Allen (I also love the Allen/Benny episodes).


Laura Leff·6:16 PM

Oh if you want poignant, get the show where Ed comes up from the vault.


Graeme Cree·6:16 PM

Submarine D-1, Part 1.  That's one of my favorite plays, just because with Mary and Rochester on the sub, it comes off like a bunch of kids playing submarine.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:16 PM

or the Rochester knocks Jack's bridge out, in 1938 I think, a good episode and one of the most notorious with Southern audiences


Laura Leff·6:16 PM

Tony - Yes, anything from January to March 1937 up through the "fight of the century" episode.  That was the initial peak of the feud.

Graeme - Interesting...of course I've heard it, but it didn't make that much of an impression on me.


Graeme Cree·6:16 PM

3-28-37, where Harry Von Zell subs.  Robert Ripley's sketch isn't that great, but everything else in that episode clicks.


Laura Leff·6:17 PM

Kathy - Yeah, good call.


Linda Cree·6:17 PM

I like Jack's spoofs of Fred's show and Bob Hope's show.


Graeme Cree·6:17 PM

And hearing Von Zell stumble over the Jell-O Commercial is fantastic.


Tony Morgan·6:17 PM

I have several, but I haven't listened to most.  I'll give a few a try.


Graeme Cree·6:17 PM

And the next episode where Georgie Jessel subs for Jack and Jack is listening on the train, burning up at everything being said about him.


Laura Leff·6:17 PM

How about Snow White and the Seven Gangsters?


Graeme Cree·6:18 PM

And the one after that, A Yank at Oxford.  I marked that as a Top 50.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:18 PM

one that I don't think is totally recorded, but the Jack Benny story in 4/19/36 is the most sentimental and lovely thing he and Mary ever did


Graeme Cree·6:18 PM

I was a bit disappointed at Snow White.  I think I scored it 8 out of 10, which is still very good.


Laura Leff·6:18 PM

Kathy - That we still have.  Would love to have a recording of the show of them spooning in a taxi in 1932.


Graeme Cree·6:19 PM

The two Gunga-Din episodes were great.  With Mary reading the poem and building a story around it.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:19 PM

oh yes!!!! But we have the script : )

HipChat·6:19 PM

Hi @EricBrolund! Welcome to Hipchat. You can @-mention me by typing @HipChat and I'll tell you what HipChat can do!


Eric Brolund joined the room


Graeme Cree·6:19 PM

And the Alexander Graham Bell play where they ended up riffing on Cohen on the Telephone.


Eric Brolund·6:19 PM

Hello All


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:19 PM

Hi Eric


Graeme Cree·6:19 PM

"Am I coming over?  Am I coming over??"  "Don't come over this veek, ve've got relatives!"


Laura Leff·6:19 PM

It's Eric!  Welcome in, fella!


Graeme Cree·6:20 PM

The Killer Hogan episode.  The Yosemite story.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:20 PM

haha Graeme you have such a great memory for good lines


Graeme Cree·6:20 PM

Well, some episodes I've heard several times.


Linda Cree·6:21 PM

I like the bird on a stick bit.


Graeme Cree·6:21 PM

The Herbert Marshall episode is great.  That might be the best episode that Jack isn't in.


Laura Leff·6:21 PM

I actually like the Snow White episodes.  They're very different and I think use various characters to good effect.

Brrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (bird on a stick)

Graeme - Better that Welles?


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:21 PM

Walt Disney was thrilled to get the radio exposure, from what I can tell!


Graeme Cree·6:22 PM

I liked Snow White.  Who was better?  Prince Andy or Prince Schlep?


Laura Leff·6:22 PM

I was contemplating that...they're just different.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:22 PM

and Herbert Marshall is a great actor, GREAT use of Benny melding film and radio


Laura Leff·6:23 PM

There's something about putting the "classy" British accent on Jack' show, very much like the Colmans.


Graeme Cree·6:23 PM

The whole joke in that was the culture shoke of Hubert having to deal with Phil and the others.

And then Jack not getting it next week!


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:23 PM

exactly right, Graeme, and that's the key to the Colmans too

worked with Orson Welles as well


Graeme Cree·6:23 PM

Like when Rochester says something like "I laughed so much when he looked at Mr. Harris and said 'Weird fellow, ain't he'?"  And Jack asks "WHY IS THAT FUNNY??"


Eric Brolund·6:24 PM

I loved that the Colmans always called Rochester "Manchester"


Graeme Cree·6:24 PM

It WAS funny, but you had to be there.

But that's the joke.  If you heard last week, you know it was funny, and think it's also funny that Jack doesn't get it.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:25 PM

and to remember that all of this was LIVE, no way to hear it in reruns, it amazes me what radio fans of the day were able to process and remember


Linda Cree·6:25 PM

I think the episode where Bob drops in, ad-libs like crazy and then leaves in his spaceship is a great episode.

"It's funny when you stick to the script too!"


Graeme Cree·6:29 PM

My only problem with Yosemite is that it seems like the beginning of the time where she started to become annoying.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley·6:29 PM

hey folks, I have to sign off. GREAT chat! Thanks for the insights and jokes and collegiality!


Eric Brolund·6:29 PM

Some of my favorite episodes are the various Christmas Shopping ones. Mel Blanc always goes crazy as Jack changes his mind after the gift he bought was wrapped up.


Kathy Fuller-Seeley left the room (user disconnected)


Graeme Cree·6:29 PM

She was really funny in the late 30's, but at Yosemite all she did was whine and complain about all they were going through.

But listen to a show like New Year's 1955, where Mary is playing hooky, and Bea takes her place.

The one where the Maxwell gets hooked to the bumper of one of the Rose Bowl floats.


Laura Leff·6:30 PM

Graeme - And that's why I say it's a tipping point for her character.


Graeme Cree·6:31 PM

Mary would have been kvetching non-stop, but Bea seems to get into the absurdity of the situation and starts blowing kisses to the crowd.  It was great.


Laura Leff·6:31 PM

She does some man-chasing during the military days, but a lot of the silliness is left in the 30s.

A line like, "Why don't you kill yourself?" fits in her mouth more post-Yosemite.


Eric Brolund·6:31 PM

As well as the Chiss Sweeze!


Laura Leff·6:32 PM

(Speaking of which...those lines always make me wince.)


Graeme Cree·6:32 PM

The best thing abut that New Years 55 episode is that in the end even Jack gives in to the absurdity and starts playing it up.  They couldn't have done that with Mary around.


Laura Leff·6:33 PM

So I tried to track which shows had her lines dubbed on them in those late years and could only find a very small handful of them.


Graeme Cree·6:33 PM

By 1940, Mary knew what a trip in the Maxwell was like.  Why go along at all if you're just going to gripe?


Eric Brolund·6:34 PM

Mary's character went from devoted fan, to silly girl, to smart alec


Laura Leff·6:34 PM

Every other show you can hear laughs going over her line and an acoustic consistency.

Eric - Exactly.


Graeme Cree·6:35 PM

I never got to hear her as fangirl.  But in the middle she was a little silly and a little sarcastic.  She had the right mix then.


Laura Leff·6:35 PM

I've mentioned this before, but ads for Jack's theatre appearances in the mid-30s describe her as his "pest girl."


Eric Brolund·6:35 PM

I've always loved her letters from Mom, and commentary on her sister Babe


Graeme Cree·6:35 PM

I like the poems.


Laura Leff·6:35 PM

Graeme - Fan girl was pretty early, like 1932-34.

Hey Eric..."Oh Waukegan, oh Waukegan..."


Eric Brolund·6:35 PM

I just read that poem again yesterday!


Graeme Cree·6:36 PM

By the end, it's very rare that you can tell she likes Jack at all.


Laura Leff·6:36 PM

(Eric played Phil Harris in our radio show recreation at the Waukegan statue unveiling.)


Graeme Cree·6:36 PM

They turned her into Bud Abbott, always on Lou's case about something, and putting him down just for the fun of it.


Eric Brolund·6:36 PM

I rehearsed and rehearsed, Dad I did it all day!


Graeme Cree·6:36 PM

But she's not Abbott.  It didn't work for her.


Laura Leff·6:36 PM

Graeme - Yeah, and I don't really enjoy that.  At times you just want to slap her.

On the flip side, I'm sure we've all heard Jack claim her "Oh shut up" as being one of the longest laughs, which it is.

But I think that's more about timing and buildup.


Graeme Cree·6:37 PM

Yeah, but it's a copy of an earlier joke, which was funnier.


Linda Cree·6:38 PM

He got laughs when he threatened to send her back to the May Co. too.


Laura Leff·6:38 PM

Linda - Very good point!


Graeme Cree·6:39 PM

In the original joke, Jack and Mary are walking along the sidewalk.  They meet the Beavers.  Jack tells them a whole string of tall tales about his imaginary accomplishments.  The Beavers are impressed and believe everything he says.  Mary doesn't say a word.  THEN, after they leave the Beavers behind, Jack finally talks to her.  "You know, Mary..." and she says "Oh, SHUT up!"  It was much funnier than the Kirsten version of the joke.


Laura Leff·6:39 PM

Do any of the other characters ever get annoying?


Graeme Cree·6:39 PM

Mr. Kitzle is sometimes annoying.


Eric Brolund·6:39 PM

Don't forget that by the 40s, the culture had changed. Women had worked in the factories during the war and they were now much more assertive than in the 30s.


Graeme Cree·6:39 PM

The Rube is sometimes annoying.


Laura Leff·6:39 PM

Graeme - Agreed.  But I don't think it gets as much of a laugh.

Two words:  Steve Bradley.


Graeme Cree·6:40 PM

Mary isn't annoying because she's assertive.  She's annoying because she gripes too much and it's supposed to be funny, but isn't.  She was a strong presence in the 30's episode, but she had the right balance of quirkiness and sarcasm then.


R. Hookie·6:40 PM

Is that where Jack pulls his toupee over his face and cuts eyeholes into it?


Tony Morgan·6:40 PM

Is the Rube that goofy-sounding guy from the late 40s and/or early 50s?  I never got him, and Jack and the audience seemed to think he was so funny.


Graeme Cree·6:40 PM

In fact, in the late 30's, I'd call her the second most important character.


Eric Brolund·6:40 PM

John L.C. Silvoney


Tony Morgan·6:41 PM

Silvoney -- that's him.  Good Lord, what did anybody see in him?

(I hope nobody here is offended :-)


Laura Leff·6:41 PM

Tony - Yes, it's Sam Hearn, who played Schlepperman in the 1930s.  But since they already had Kitzel by that time, they didn't need two Yiddishkeit characters.


Eric Brolund·6:41 PM

Silvoney was the bum who got 50 cents from Jack


Graeme Cree·6:42 PM

But she slides down.  Rochester eventually becomes the clear #2, and Phil and Dennis become more important than Mary too.


Laura Leff·6:42 PM

Tony - I confess I like Silvoney, but it's also because he reminds me of a dear friend who had cerebral palsy.  They had a very similar sound.


Graeme Cree·6:42 PM

Silvoney sounds a LOT like Jack Warner.

And Warner was using his real voice!


Linda Cree·6:42 PM

I wasn't doin' anyting.


Phil Wala·6:43 PM

He said, "Hey you!"


Tony Morgan·6:43 PM

Laura -- okay. I know that somebody out there must like him.


Laura Leff·6:43 PM

I think the good thing about Silvoney needs to be seen in the television shows, that it is probably harder for Jack to not crack up at him than anyone else (including Mel).


Graeme Cree·6:43 PM

Who, Silvoney?  I like him in moderation.


Eric Brolund·6:43 PM

Oh - The Taxi driver Crowley whose brother was a Corporal in Africa. He got on my nerves.


Graeme Cree·6:43 PM

Considering he only has one speech, you can't use him too much.


Linda Cree·6:43 PM

The Rube is my least favorite.


Graeme Cree·6:44 PM

But even Silvoney has more substance than the IDunno Guy.


Tony Morgan·6:44 PM

On the other hand, I can't get enough of the Tout.


Linda Cree·6:44 PM

Love the tout.


Laura Leff·6:44 PM

Yeah, I like Schlepperman better than Kitzel, but the Rube was just a ruse to get Hearn back on the show.


Graeme Cree·6:44 PM

Loved Steve Bradley too.


Laura Leff·6:44 PM

Oh indeed!  Say more about that.


Graeme Cree·6:44 PM

He was like a Speedy Riggs that you could understand


Laura Leff·6:45 PM

Most people I know have said they don't like Steve Bradley.

Just too aggressive, in your face.


Graeme Cree·6:45 PM

Steve was such a smooth talker, and could put together these huge strings of words without having to pause or think what he was saying.


Tony Morgan·6:45 PM

I like Bradley's fast-talkin', angle-findin' ways.


Eric Brolund·6:45 PM

BTW: If we are still talking favorites, I still think some of the Feud episodes have to rank up there as well


Linda Cree·6:45 PM

Loved the switchboard ladies.  I wish they were featured more.


Graeme Cree·6:46 PM

Everything sounded like he'd planned it out in advance.  Steve could talk for long periods, but it wasn't just nonsense blather to fill the time, it was all part of something he had cooked up.

Actually, Steve is a bit like Claghorn.


Laura Leff·6:46 PM

Yes, in the true spirit of a Hollywood agent.


Graeme Cree·6:47 PM

And all the insane schemes.  Benny, next week I'm having you go over Niagara Fals in a barrel of cement.

"When we arrive in town, I want you to walk from Dallas to Fort Worth, playing your violin, and lead a thousand cows into the slaughterhouse!"

And he could say things like that all in the same tone of voice, without ever cracking a smile.


Laura Leff·6:48 PM

I don't think one can smile and get all those words out!


Graeme Cree·6:49 PM

Some of the regular actors could deadpan too.


Laura Leff·6:49 PM

Mel certainly could.


Graeme Cree·6:49 PM

Jack and Don and Mary cracked up a lot, but I don't think I ever heard Dennis or Rochester break character and laugh at the wrong time.


Laura Leff·6:49 PM

Would you all consider Frank Nelson's flat lines to be deadpan?


Graeme Cree·6:49 PM

No, they're oily.


Laura Leff·6:49 PM

Actually, I've seen Dennis break character once.


Eric Brolund·6:49 PM



Graeme Cree·6:49 PM

Smarmy and oily, but in a good way.


Laura Leff·6:50 PM

And Rochester tried to help Jack get back on script without breaking character once.


Steve Archer·6:50 PM

Frank has a definite glee in tormenting Jack that I wouldn't consider deadpan.


Graeme Cree·6:50 PM

Phil usually doesn't laugh in the middle of a line, but you can hear him laughing during Jack's lines often.

But not during his own lines.


Laura Leff·6:50 PM

And Remley


R. Hookie·6:50 PM

one of the lunch counter episodes?


Graeme Cree·6:51 PM

I don't remember Dennis losing it, but it could have happened.


Laura Leff·6:51 PM

Graeme - It's on a TV episode where Jack forgets his place


Graeme Cree·6:51 PM

Oh, then I probably haven't seen it.


Laura Leff·6:51 PM

I think it's in the May 1959 episode on the lost episodes DVD set.


Graeme Cree·6:52 PM

Bob doesn't mis-laugh often, but he did once or twice.

Like that joke about using Sammy's head to keep score on.  He almost broke a laugh during that, but managed to hold it back.


Laura Leff·6:53 PM



Linda Cree·6:54 PM

Jack really loses it in the jungle sketch with Bob Hope and whacks Hope in the arm.


Eric Brolund·6:55 PM

Laura - I'll raise you: Cimarron Rolls


Graeme Cree·6:55 PM

Nobody on Jack's show lost it as badly as they routinely did on Carol Burnet.


Laura Leff·6:55 PM

5/1/60 - Sorry, thought it was 1959


R. Hookie·6:55 PM

Red Sketon cracks Jack up good in a special, I mean hour show.


Eric Brolund·6:56 PM

None of the cast could keep it together when Mel talks about the Cimarron Rolls


Tony Morgan·6:56 PM

So long, folks!


Laura Leff·6:56 PM

How about Jack and Gisele breaking up when she accidentally spits on him?


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Phil Wala·6:56 PM

Yes!  Was just about to mention Jack and Gisele!


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R. Hookie·6:57 PM

Ji again Tony



Linda Cree·6:57 PM

The Jelly episode was a good laugh.


Graeme Cree·6:57 PM

That was the best laugh they ever had.

They had other long laughs, but that was the only time they brought the house down.


Laura Leff·6:57 PM

Oh my yes...with one possible exception that must have had something visual going on to prolong the laugh.

Not quite...talk amongst yourselves and I'll get the date for you of the other one.


Graeme Cree·6:58 PM

If it hadn't been the end of the show, I don't know if they could have continued.


Laura Leff·6:58 PM



Graeme Cree·6:58 PM

The one with the suspenders?


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Laura Leff·6:58 PM


I timed it as 35 seconds, but I bet the Jelly series would have been longer if they hadn't been at the end of the show.


Graeme Cree·6:59 PM

That was long, but it was mainly just tittering.  Jell-Y series sounded like everyone in the studio was falling out of their seats.


Laura Leff·7:00 PM

True...I basically time it from the start of the laugh to the start of the next line.  That's partially why I think that Jack was breaking up or something that was keeping the laughter going.


Graeme Cree·7:01 PM

It's just as well they pretended the Dorothy Kirsten laugh was the longest.  At least you can understand it without being there.


Laura Leff·7:01 PM

So we're at the two-hour mark, and I don't need to ask for recommendations on the show for December.  I'm happy to keep going, but wanted to check in on how people are feeling.

Graeme - Or Frank Nelson's story about the Dreer Pooson laugh.


Graeme Cree·7:01 PM

Live shows are weird.  How long people laugh depends on how warmed up they are from other jokes.  There is absolutely no logical reason that the Bird Raspberry should have gotten as big a laugh as it did.

If you tried to tell someone that was one of the biggest laughs, they wouldn't understand it.


Laura Leff·7:02 PM

Yes, unless it was something visual that the soundman did to make the sound, or it was just so unexpected.

It comes off sounding like an early fart joke.


Eric Brolund·7:02 PM

Did the radio show ever have an audience warm up act before air time?


Graeme Cree·7:02 PM

The Jell-Y series laugh wouldn't have been as big as it was if it had been a bad show up to that point.


Laura Leff·7:02 PM

Which, I guess one could consider it.


Graeme Cree·7:02 PM

But it was a really good show, so the audience was hot.


Laura Leff·7:02 PM

Eric - Yes.  Phil used to warm up the audience for a while.


Eric Brolund·7:03 PM

Until he was doing two shows I suppose


Linda Cree·7:03 PM

We were wondering who warmed up the audience.


Laura Leff·7:03 PM

Someone recently E-mailed me about a big laugh on TV that I hadn't captured.  So I explained that the show had been shot in studio, so the laughs weren't a live audience.  Hard to tell what's a real laugh vs. sweetened sometimes.

Eric - Potentially, but it was Barbara who told me that.


Graeme Cree·7:04 PM

I assume that in King For a Day, Jack REALLY lost his pants.  There's no way the audience would have reacted that way if he hadn't.


Eric Brolund·7:04 PM

Seems to me that Phil had barely 10 minutes to make it over the Benny studio following the PHAF broadcast


Laura Leff·7:04 PM

Phil was also doing the warmup for his own show, so I think he may have been doing both.

Graeme - There's a photo somewhere of him with "LS/MFT" embroidered on his shorts

Eric - It was the other way around.  They wrote Phil out of the second half so he could get over to his show.


Eric Brolund·7:05 PM



Laura Leff·7:05 PM

Graeme - I just can't remember if I have actually seen it, or just heard about it so much that I've created a solid mental image of what I think the photo is!


Linda Cree·7:06 PM

I posted a photo this week of Phil and Rochester on the drums pre-show.  I was wondering if the audience was present.


Graeme Cree·7:06 PM

I can see Don doing warmup.  He hosted the Summer Show one year.


Laura Leff·7:06 PM

Linda - Saw that...it looks to me like it was them playing around during rehearsal or something.


Linda Cree·7:07 PM

Oh, okay!


Laura Leff·7:07 PM

Or it might have even been a staged publicity photo.


Eric Brolund·7:07 PM

Laura - I'm glad I was able to make it today for the last half of the chat. It's been a while


Laura Leff·7:07 PM

Me too!  Miss you, Eric!

Anything else, or shall we call it good for November?


Graeme Cree·7:08 PM

Whose idea was it to put Phil's show on Sundays?


Linda Cree·7:08 PM

I'm glad Graeme and I finally made it here.


Laura Leff·7:08 PM

Linda/Graeme - Same here.  Good to have both of you!

Graeme - Probably NBC's.  I'd have to look up what timeslots they occupied.

It makes sense to think that people would tune from Jack's show to Phil's.


Linda Cree·7:09 PM

Thanks, Laura!


Laura Leff·7:09 PM

Take advantage of some carryover audience.

OK, sounds like it's a wrap!  Many thanks to all of you for attending!  Hope to see you next month!


Eric Brolund·7:10 PM

Take care all!


R. Hookie·7:10 PM

Good night folks!


Laura Leff·7:10 PM

I'm going to have to push the chat a little later into December as I'm going to be in Cuba the first couple Sundays.  Vaya con dios!


Linda Cree·7:10 PM

Night all!


Phil Wala·7:10 PM

So long, folks.  We're a little late.


Laura Leff·7:10 PM



Linda Cree·7:10 PM

Hee hee


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Graeme Cree·7:10 PM

Good night, Joanie.