IJBFC Chat - April 3, 2016

(Name of message originator above the comment)

Linda Cree·4:53 PM

Hi Brad!


Brad from Georgia·4:54 PM

Hi, Linda!


Linda Cree·4:54 PM

We are a few minutes early.


Brad from Georgia·4:55 PM

Yep, I had to reload Windows 10 earlier this month, and so I came down to download the program and make sure the chat window would open and all before the actual chat was due!


Linda Cree·4:55 PM

Oh, okay.


Brad from Georgia·4:56 PM

I'm also printing out some tax documents--multitasking.

There we go. Had to resize the list so it would print on one page. Hope I can read letters that small! So how have you been, Linda?


Linda Cree·4:58 PM

It's that time of year.

Good.  And you?


Brad from Georgia·4:58 PM

We're usually faster than this, but for some reason my publisher was slow to get my 1099-C to my agent.

Doing well. Except for taxes.


Linda Cree·4:59 PM

Graeme and I have to do ours too.  Not fun!


Brad from Georgia·4:59 PM

No, definitely a grind. Our CPA is always impressed that we come in with everything printed out for him, though.


Linda Cree·4:59 PM

That helps!

Hi Laura!


Laura Leff·5:00 PM

Hi Brad, Linda!


Brad from Georgia·5:00 PM

After a while of reading through lists of stuff I bought, some for school, others for my writing (and therefore deductible), I start to feel like Jack Benny with a hotel bill of $128. Hiya, Boss.


Laura Leff·5:01 PM

Hi Judy!


Brad from Georgia·5:01 PM

Barbara and I are currently deep in the hurt of taxes.


Linda Cree·5:01 PM

Hi Judy!


Laura Leff·5:01 PM

Hi Steve!


Steve Archer·5:01 PM

Hi All


Linda Cree·5:01 PM

Hi Steve!


Brad from Georgia·5:01 PM

Judy! Steve! Brad--oops, went too far.


Judy R·5:01 PM

that's south of here brad



Linda Cree·5:01 PM

Hee hee


Judy R·5:02 PM

couldn't resist


Brad from Georgia·5:02 PM

"Ya know what, Bub? Ya can't get theah from heah."


Laura Leff·5:02 PM

So it sounds like other than taxes, everyone is in good spirits tonight.


Judy R·5:02 PM

that be righ'


Steve Archer·5:02 PM



Brad from Georgia·5:03 PM

Yeah. I was in a Sherlock Holmes audio production yesterday as Dr. Watson for 221-B Con here in the ATL.


Judy R·5:03 PM

cool :)


Steve Archer·5:03 PM

Fun Brad


Laura Leff·5:03 PM



Judy R·5:03 PM

i'd love to see that


Steve Archer·5:03 PM

Was it one of the Doyle stories or an original?


Judy R·5:04 PM

I got a dvd bbc set with peter cushing as Sherlock holmes


Laura Leff·5:04 PM

Hm...I bet he could do well with that.


Brad from Georgia·5:04 PM

After the show, the actor who was in SHERLOCK as the orderly who introduced Watson to Sherlock came up and asked if I were British. I said, "No, just TERRIBLY affected." He said he thought I was from the North of England. This was an adaptation of a fanfiction, I guess you'd call it.


Laura Leff·5:04 PM

However, I'm loyal to Jeremy Brett.


Brad from Georgia·5:04 PM

Peter Cushing wasn'

t bad at all.


Judy R·5:05 PM

me too laura


Steve Archer·5:05 PM

I like Cushing in the Hound of the Baskervilles movie but have never seen the BBC shows with him.


Brad from Georgia·5:05 PM

Too short, but he had the right look and manner.


Laura Leff·5:05 PM

So who listened to the show for tonight?

Hi Yht!


Steve Archer·5:05 PM

Hi Yhtap!

I did


Judy R·5:05 PM

he did. peter cushing did his style of holmes like he did in the movie of hound of the baskervilles.


Linda Cree·5:06 PM

I did!


Brad from Georgia·5:06 PM

My favorite Watson, though, was James Mason from "Murder by Decree." Yes, I listened to the show, and hello, Mr. Mys.


Laura Leff·5:06 PM

I think this may be the first appearance of the Sportsmen, if it is indeed them.


Judy R·5:06 PM

yea brad. he was good in that too


Laura Leff·5:07 PM

So thoughts on the show for this week?


Brad from Georgia·5:07 PM

Nigel Bruce is actually quite good on the radio series of Sherlock Holmes stories--much less of the bumbler than in the movies. Oh, right, down to business.


Laura Leff·5:07 PM

Frank Nelson well before he was in full "yessss" character


Judy R·5:07 PM

or even seven percent solution, with alan arkin as Sigmund freud


Steve Archer·5:07 PM

Nice wrap-up to Yosemite.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.


Brad from Georgia·5:07 PM

I like the whole Yosemite story arc. It sort of is a transition between the earlier and later show formats.


Laura Leff·5:08 PM

And even the earlier and later characters.


Brad from Georgia·5:08 PM

It IS that should be. Fingers lagging behind the brain, such as it is.


Graeme Cree joined the room


Laura Leff·5:08 PM

Hi Graeme!


Graeme Cree·5:08 PM



Laura Leff·5:09 PM

Interesting to hear Phil flirting with Mary Kelly


Brad from Georgia·5:09 PM

Graeme! We still have some touches of the early Rochester--the mineralized Martini, gambling with the doctor, and so on--but he's starting to become the insouciant fellow of the later shows.


Steve Archer·5:09 PM

Was Rochester's fluff of "gazelle" scripted?  I think not.


Linda Cree·5:09 PM

Yes, it is Laura.


Brad from Georgia·5:09 PM



Laura Leff·5:09 PM

I bet it was


Judy R·5:09 PM

i'm listening to the final part. right a dennis singing


Steve Archer·5:09 PM

There's no payoff to it though.


Laura Leff·5:10 PM

He would have said the line in rehearsal and read-through, and it would have gotten corrected then.


Graeme Cree·5:10 PM

Yosemite is when Mary starts to be annoying.


Linda Cree·5:10 PM

Yes, gazzel was funny!


Laura Leff·5:10 PM

Steve - To the gazelle bit or the whole series?


Brad from Georgia·5:10 PM

I think Gazzel was the singer in "Zootopia."


Judy R·5:10 PM

haven't seen it yet


Steve Archer·5:10 PM

no payoff to "gazzel" - Jack just says, "that's gazelle"


Laura Leff·5:10 PM

Graeme - Exactly.


Judy R·5:11 PM

any good, brad?


Steve Archer·5:11 PM

Maybe it was fluffed in rehearsal and sounded funny so they kept it.


Laura Leff·5:11 PM

Steve - That is entirely possible.  I wonder how many of the scripted bloopers took their origins from that.


Brad from Georgia·5:11 PM

It's quite good. Barbara and I liked it a lot, but our grand daugher's too young for it still. Funny, funny movie, but twice I teared up--the writing and acting was good enough to make me care about the characters. And I'm not even a furry.


Steve Archer·5:12 PM

Yes, Zootopia's pretty good.  Saw it with nephews a couple of weeks ago.


Judy R·5:12 PM

I ought to go see it then


Brad from Georgia·5:12 PM

I recommend it.

It's nearly as good as Jell-O.


Laura Leff·5:12 PM

Orange Jell-O Whip!


Judy R·5:12 PM

mmm pudding


Steve Archer·5:12 PM

It breaks the formula of the current animated kids' movie a bit.


Graeme Cree·5:12 PM

We saw the trailer for Zootopia, and they didn't seem to know what anthropomorphic meant.


Brad from Georgia·5:13 PM

Great "sound/sight" gag of Mary Kelly wearing her skis into the room!


Laura Leff·5:13 PM

Yes, I can envision the sound man with the slapstick, and the audience "getting" it when Jack says "take off those skis!"


Brad from Georgia·5:13 PM

Steve--I think that's deliberate. In the movie there's also a deliberate misues of "naturalist."

Misuse. Can you tell I have a new keyboard?


Steve Archer·5:14 PM

I like Mary L's fur coat that looks for its shadow every spring.


Judy R·5:14 PM

teach it a lesson brad


Brad from Georgia·5:14 PM

You get so used to an ergonomic one, and then yours breaks and you go grab a cheap straight-line keyboard and your fingers don't know where to go.


Laura Leff·5:14 PM

I thought it might be the other way around...


Steve Archer·5:15 PM

Fingers!  The kids are all thumbs these days.


Laura Leff·5:15 PM

Excellent point.


Brad from Georgia·5:15 PM

Yeah, our son can TEXT faster than I can type.


Judy R·5:15 PM

true. I can't use the ones on laptops.


Brad from Georgia·5:16 PM

I have a replacement ergonomic keyboard on order. I'm tough on them--it's rare one lasts for more than a year. The one that broke I bought about this time last year. But enough about me.


Laura Leff·5:16 PM

Other thoughts on the show for this week, or the overall Yosemite series?


Brad from Georgia·5:17 PM

The Ahwahnee Hotel--whose actually been there? My wife and I went, but couldn't afford to stay in the hotel. it costs more than it did in Jack's day.


Laura Leff·5:17 PM

That's what I've heard.  And I think they also changed the name recently because someone had a trademark on the original names.


Steve Archer·5:18 PM

It's funny last chat we were discussing cliffhangers and they of course parodied them with Rochester reading Jack the serialized story in the beginning.


Judy R·5:18 PM

mr parents went to Yosemite for their honeymoon back in 1969.


Brad from Georgia·5:18 PM

It's a fantastic place. Somewhere I have a photo of me standing tall in the main fireplace, without having to stoop.


Laura Leff·5:18 PM



Linda Cree·5:18 PM

I like the story, but Jack is a bit too whiny in this episode.


Steve Archer·5:18 PM

Hope it wasn't lit Brad


Brad from Georgia·5:18 PM

Not at the time. I was.


Judy R·5:18 PM

hot cross buns!

sorry .


Laura Leff·5:19 PM



Judy R·5:19 PM

been a long week


Brad from Georgia·5:19 PM

When we were up on Glacier Point looking down over the valley, a little kid spotted the hotel off in the distance and excitedly yelled, "Mom! Dad! There's Hogwarts!"


Laura Leff·5:19 PM

I keep saying I need to get to Yosemite one of these days.  Been saying that since i moved here in 1991.


Judy R·5:19 PM

lol brad.

Hogwarts usa


Laura Leff·5:20 PM

Any theories on the backup group to Blanche Stewart in the "Happy Birthday" number at the end other than the Sportsmen?


Brad from Georgia·5:20 PM

It's a beautiful place. Go in the spring if you can, when the waterfalls are at their peak. We were there in August, and they were comparative trickles, except for one day when a thunderstorm came over the mountains and turned them into thundering cataracts.


Graeme Cree·5:20 PM

He's always whiny when he's hurt or sick.


Laura Leff·5:21 PM

A thunderstorm impaired their vision?


Steve Archer·5:21 PM

I don't know Laura but I wonder if the bronx cheer chorus would have been thought to be in poor taste in 1940.


Laura Leff·5:21 PM

Steve - You know, I thought about that too.  But Spike Jones was using it much later.

HipChat·5:21 PM

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


Bob Kravitz  joined the room


Brad from Georgia·5:21 PM

Very interesting effect. Not a a drop fell in the valley, but we could see the rainshadow way up in the mountains--and half an hour later, WHOOSH! all the waterfalls quintupled in size.


Laura Leff·5:22 PM

Heck, it was a fixture of "Der Fuehrer's Face" a few years later.


Steve Archer·5:22 PM

Hi Bob


Laura Leff·5:22 PM

Hi Bob!


Brad from Georgia·5:22 PM

Hi, Bob!


Judy R·5:22 PM

I'd love to see Yosemite. I have been to Glacier park though. really beautiful

HipChat·5:22 PM

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


Judith Greenberg joined the room


Laura Leff·5:22 PM

Hi Judith!


Brad from Georgia·5:22 PM

Hello, Judith!


Judy R·5:22 PM

hi judith


Judith Greenberg·5:22 PM

Hey Laura, u can call me judy!


Steve Archer·5:22 PM

Well, there's the snow white raspberry as well.


Bob Kravitz ·5:22 PM

Hello from New Hampshire


Laura Leff·5:22 PM

We're just discussing the show for this week.

Judith - I would, but we already have a Judy in the room!


Judy R·5:23 PM

hmm 2 judys :)


Laura Leff·5:23 PM

Resisting a Cary Grant imitation.


Judith Greenberg·5:23 PM

hi other Judy!


Brad from Georgia·5:23 PM

Judy 1 and Judy 2. Except that looks like a couple of days in the summer.


Judy R·5:23 PM

hi other judy too



Laura Leff·5:23 PM

Steve - Exactly.


Judith Greenberg·5:24 PM

I'm named after Judy Holliday


Laura Leff·5:24 PM

Say Bob, is this your first time here?


Judy R·5:24 PM

oh what an actress


Judith Greenberg·5:24 PM

My parents were friends with her.


Brad from Georgia·5:24 PM



Judy R·5:24 PM

oh man. that's wonderful :)


Bob Kravitz ·5:24 PM

Yes this is my first time. I am just reading first


Laura Leff·5:24 PM

Bob - Understood.  Just want to make sure that you're able to join in the conversation!


Graeme Cree·5:25 PM

This is kind of a loose episode.  I rated the Yosemite Story as a whole, as 10/10, but If I rated this episode individually, it would probably have been a 6.


Laura Leff·5:25 PM

You know, the horn they used for the Maxwell sounds like the same one they were using for many years afterwards.


Judy R·5:25 PM



Graeme Cree·5:25 PM

When the Jell-O Commercial is the best part of the episode, it's not going to get a 10.


Brad from Georgia·5:25 PM

Probably was the same. Sound men never get rid of anything.

Orange Whip! For all you BDSM fans of dessert who want to be cruel to your fruit.


Laura Leff·5:26 PM

Agreed.  The others have very directional storylines

This one is more like a catch-all of gags


Judy R·5:27 PM

i thought you used it to whip an orange?


Steve Archer·5:27 PM

They could have wrapped up with something that mirrored the opener with the feud with Phil and the journey up, having Phil top them heading back somehow.


Laura Leff·5:27 PM

Yeah, it's like the old comedy expression for stand-ups of not knowing "how to get off," meaning looking for a big laugh to puncutate your exit.


Brad from Georgia·5:28 PM

Listening to Rochester reading the story to Jack, I was oddly reminded of "The Big Bang Theory." I can see a lot of Jack's character in Sheldon Cooper--prissy, prone to nurse grudges (and grudge nurses), waspish....I can see him reacting like that if he were sick and one of the other characters were reading to him.


Laura Leff·5:28 PM

They figured they'd go big on the song, and that would punctuate it sufficiently.


Steve Archer·5:28 PM

(boom)shoot them all out of a cannon to go find some Jell-O (boom)


Judy R·5:28 PM

lol steve


Linda Cree·5:28 PM

I like your idea for the ending, Brad.


Judy R·5:28 PM

or shoot Jell-O out of a cannon?


Laura Leff·5:28 PM



Judy R·5:29 PM



Laura Leff·5:29 PM

Has anyone tried that recipe?  I was thinking that I might.


Judy R·5:29 PM

unless you do it outside


Judith Greenberg·5:29 PM

I hate Big Bang Theory and I think Jack is nothing like sheldon,


Brad from Georgia·5:29 PM

Here's an idea for a grand dessert that's great for the Fourth of July. Mix some red Jell-O with a half cup of gunpowder....


Judy R·5:29 PM

my dad might like that recipe


Linda Cree·5:29 PM

Hee hee


Judy R·5:29 PM

lol brad


Brad from Georgia·5:29 PM

Other way around, Judith--I think Sheldon is a "take" on Jack's character.


Bob Kravitz ·5:29 PM

Tried to whip Jello recently but it did not whip I froze the bowl and the beaters


Laura Leff·5:30 PM

Thank goodness Jack was off during the summers.


Judith Greenberg·5:30 PM

how is Jack waspish?


Laura Leff·5:30 PM

Bob - Was it fully set?


Bob Kravitz ·5:30 PM

yes it was  set


Judy R·5:30 PM

stand about a mile away when lighting the fuse, brad


Laura Leff·5:31 PM

Bob - I think you're supposed to whip it when it's only semi-viscous.  Supposedly comes out like the old 1-2-3 dessert, which I love.  Want to try it some time.


Brad from Georgia·5:31 PM

Judith--For instance, when he snaps, "I can take a joke, Sister!" to Mary, or when he similarly says to Giselle McKenzie "Fool around with ME, would you?" That kind of irritable-but-funny jab.


Laura Leff·5:31 PM

Was it someone here who shared that knowledge about whipping Jell-O?


Bob Kravitz ·5:31 PM

Love the multiple program serial of the trip to Yosemite


Judy R·5:32 PM

a while back i think laura


Laura Leff·5:32 PM

Bob - Yes...this was definitely a (no pun intended) turning point for the series.


Steve Archer·5:32 PM

Well, it's made from horse parts so perhaps it still responds to the whip


Judith Greenberg·5:32 PM

Brad- to me that is more Jewish than anything.


Laura Leff·5:32 PM

Steve - Good thinking.


Bob Kravitz ·5:32 PM


Brad from Georgia mentioned orange whip


Brad from Georgia·5:32 PM

Bob--Agreed. It sort of segues toward the structure of the later Benny shows. Bridges the difference between early-Jack and mid-Jack.


Judy R·5:32 PM

oh steve


Graeme Cree·5:32 PM

Everybody in this story has a role.  Jack is the eager tourist, like Calvin's dad always was.  Phil is the rival, Rochester puts a brave face on everything, Dennis is happy no matter how bad things are.  And Mary gripes.  All through the story.


Brad from Georgia·5:32 PM

Ah, I see--waspish as in stinging remark, insect metaphor, not as WASP.


Laura Leff·5:33 PM

I was wondering how you were meaning Jack as WASPish!


Steve Archer·5:33 PM

I got it Brad ;)


Laura Leff·5:33 PM

Graeme - Yes, I find that I really don't like Mary much in these.  Especially the second one.


Brad from Georgia·5:33 PM

I didn't capitalize, did I? Sheesh!


Bob Kravitz ·5:33 PM

I think that was one of the early "out of studio" adventures.


Brad from Georgia·5:33 PM

Mary is irritating in these. Too negative.


Laura Leff·5:34 PM

Brad - Hear hear.


Judy R·5:34 PM

she seemed like she didn't like the script idea


Brad from Georgia·5:34 PM

I don't think she'd yet hit the balance between teasing and sarcasm.


Laura Leff·5:34 PM

Bob - It was, and it wasn't.  There are some early shows where Jack is being bailed out of jail.  And it's hard to characterize some where the skit is something like "Ah Wilderness."


Steve Archer·5:34 PM

she was worse in the first couple


Laura Leff·5:34 PM

Yeah...rhymes with rich, rich, rich.


Judy R·5:35 PM



Judith Greenberg·5:35 PM



Linda Cree·5:35 PM

Oooh, what you said!


Graeme Cree·5:35 PM

At one point in the story she even snaps at Dennis.  "Oh, he's ALWAYS happy!"  They decided making her grouchy was easy than making her funny (and closer to real life).


Judy R·5:35 PM



Judith Greenberg·5:35 PM

Her name was Sadye for a reason!


Laura Leff·5:35 PM

You know, there's a question.  When Jack and the gang are doing skits in the early shows, do you lose yourself in the skit setting, or are you always in touch with it being "in stucio."

studio rather


Brad from Georgia·5:35 PM

Do you think she'd offended the writers just before this series of scripts was done? ;-)


Judy R·5:36 PM

or during rehersals


Laura Leff·5:36 PM

Judith - You saying she was a Sadyst?


Steve Archer·5:36 PM

That's a good question Laura.  I don't know that I have a clear answer for that - I don't necessarily imagine it one way or another.


Brad from Georgia·5:36 PM

No, I always am conscious of the studio setting.


Judy R·5:36 PM

right when they can do changes


Brad from Georgia·5:36 PM

Of course, it helps that Jack occasionally says, "You ought to read that again," or some such.


Laura Leff·5:37 PM

Brad - That's an interesting question.  She plays it awfully well if she did.


Bob Kravitz ·5:37 PM

To me they were "out of the studio" Good sound effects and scripts.


Brad from Georgia·5:37 PM

I was mostly joking, but her character is unusually vinegary in these shows.


Linda Cree·5:37 PM

I'm always unconscious...I mean, I'm out of the studio.


Laura Leff·5:38 PM

Funny as I'm thinking about it...things like schoolroom scenes and "Who Killed Mr. X?" that are closer to vaudeville, I always have the sense of them doing a play.


Steve Archer·5:38 PM

In these shows I was definitely picturing the Yosemite setting, but sometimes in the skits like Murder at Romanoff's or something, I picture them in studio.


Laura Leff·5:38 PM

But things like "Ah Wilderness" or "Snow White" I can get lost in the plat.


Brad from Georgia·5:39 PM

Here's a thought--was Mary acting? I mean, after all, she'd had to camp out in the car when they got to Yosemite after the gates closed, and it was all Jack's fault. Was she unusually irritating because her character had been irratated?


Bob Kravitz  left the room (user disconnected)


Laura Leff·5:39 PM

And things like this, or shows that start with "Let's go out to Jack Benny's house in Beverly Hills" I envision there, or on his television set.


Brad from Georgia·5:39 PM



Laura Leff·5:39 PM

plot = plat


Bob Kravitz  joined the room


Laura Leff·5:40 PM

Brad - I'm sure it's probably a combination.  Jack's going to be guiding her every step of the way, so I'm sure he coached some of the tone into her.


Brad from Georgia·5:40 PM

Good point.


Judy R·5:40 PM

"i look out my window and see jack benny luxing his undies" Ronald coleman


Laura Leff·5:40 PM

But considering what we know of her now, I imagine there was a potential for some method acting here!


Judy R·5:40 PM



Judith Greenberg·5:40 PM

He's training her to be waspish.


Bob Kravitz ·5:41 PM

Didn't Jack help write each script?


Brad from Georgia·5:41 PM

Funny--just this afternoon I asked my wife "Do they still make Lux soap?"


Laura Leff·5:41 PM

Judith - I would say "Or a JAP" but that's pretty un-politically correct any more for many reasons.


Brad from Georgia·5:41 PM

Jack edited the scripts. Brilliantly.


Judy R·5:41 PM

brb let me chck


Graeme Cree·5:41 PM

Abbrevs are rac.


Steve Archer·5:42 PM

Rarely will you hear background type sound effects trying to create a scene - for example, unless there's a specific gag like "Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga", I don't recall a lot of scene-setting nature sounds, racetrack sounds, train station sounds, etc.


Judy R·5:42 PM

brad, they still make it


Brad from Georgia·5:42 PM

I think all of Jack's writers agreed he had an unerring sense of pacing and character. Timing, too.


Graeme Cree·5:42 PM

I don't know if Harry Conn agreed.


Brad from Georgia·5:42 PM

Good to know, Judy. I'd never in a million years BUY it, but it's good to know.


Laura Leff·5:42 PM

Graeme - Yeah, snap!


Judith Greenberg·5:42 PM

Laura - I hate to say you're right, but Jack never complained did he?


Judy R·5:42 PM

brb my cat needs her "mupper"


Bob Kravitz ·5:42 PM

Jack inserted as much humor as he could in each script. He was obviously brilliant since we are still listening to the shows and discussing them.


Brad from Georgia·5:43 PM

Well, yeah, there's always an outlier, Graeme!


Steve Archer·5:43 PM

Is that like a rubber muppet?


Laura Leff·5:43 PM

Judith - Well, this is where we get into that blurry area of the on-mike characters and the off-mike people.


Judith Greenberg·5:44 PM

I still love the shows with Mary.  One of my favorites is how Jack met Mary.  The top hat on the TV show just kills it.


Brad from Georgia·5:44 PM

On one occasion, didn't Jack ask for a change in a line--"We need something better"--and the writers conferred and told him, "Well, we'll change it--because there's always the chance that all of us are wrong and you're right"? And Jack broke up completely and then said, "NOW I wouldn't change that line for a million dollars!"


Judy R·5:44 PM



Laura Leff·5:44 PM

With Mary, we know now that she, at some point, turned into the insecure, mike-fright, imperious individual that many knew but few loved.


Linda Cree·5:45 PM

Yes, Brad.


Laura Leff·5:45 PM

Brad - Yep, I think that was George Balzer who said that to him.


Judy R·5:45 PM

read "sunday nights at seven" it mentions how mary actually was


Steve Archer·5:45 PM

I wonder if Mary was a little softer edged in her youth.  Most of the really famous stories about her are from later on.


Laura Leff·5:45 PM

So in shows like this where she's being an annoying shrew, it gets so hard to separate fact from fiction.


Brad from Georgia·5:46 PM

Pointless to analyze the dead, but I can't help wondering if Mary's stage fright was partly a reaction to Jack's constant direction of her when she was before the microphones.


Linda Cree·5:46 PM

Was it really mike-fright or she just didn't want to do it anymore?


Laura Leff·5:46 PM

And that's it.  Listen to the shows from the early and mid-30s, and she's just seeming to be silly and have fun.


Judy R·5:46 PM

could be


Brad from Georgia·5:46 PM

That's what I wonder, too.


Judy R·5:46 PM

or she was tireing of doing the shows by then


Steve Archer·5:46 PM

Well, George Burns thought she was faking some maladies to get attention.


Laura Leff·5:47 PM

So one has to wonder in hearing her dramatically different tone in these shows, if she was in the period of personal transition.

Steve - I'm with George on that one.

Claims of her low blood sugar


Yhtap Mys left the room (user disconnected)


Steve Archer·5:47 PM

There's the story about her having the ambulance drive past the department stores after a "fainting spell" that I recall


Brad from Georgia·5:47 PM

I still get a big grin on my face when in one of the shows Jack cracks up and then tells the audience, "Isn't this the craziest way to make a living?" He obviously delighted in performing in a way that Mary didn't.


Laura Leff·5:47 PM

Steve - Yep, you got it.


Graeme Cree·5:47 PM

Later on, they also try to have her to the Abbott & Costello bit, only it doesn't work for her.

The bit where Abbott blames Costello for everything, whether it's his fault or not.


Judy R·5:48 PM



Laura Leff·5:48 PM

One of our members who saw some of the radio shows done live told me that Jack would sometimes hold his cigar under Mary's nose.  I wonder if it helped her to get a sort of "contact high."


Judy R·5:48 PM

just to keep her going


Graeme Cree·5:49 PM

That's really funny for them.  Like in the Susquehana Hat sketch, where Costello just mentions the Hats, the woman goes nuts, and runs off screaming, and Abbott tells him "And stop offending women!"  Hilarous.  But when Mary does it it doesn't work.


Laura Leff·5:49 PM

Jack's desire for performing goes all the way back to his young boyhood, getting family members over and performing for them.


Judith Greenberg·5:49 PM

I give Mary a lot of credit for performing at all.  Didn't she start only when someone else couldn't do it?  She only did it all because of loyalty to Jack.


Brad from Georgia·5:49 PM

Jack's more of a sympathetic character than Costello was, I think.


Graeme Cree·5:49 PM

Like when he catches cold after Dinner at Don's, and she just instinctively tells him it's his own fault.


Steve Archer·5:49 PM

And George Burns, and Gracie, and..and...and lots of their social circle, but not Mary, Laura.


Laura Leff·5:50 PM

Judith - That's right.  Jack's "dumb dora" actress was ill, and Mary stepped into the role to fill in.


Graeme Cree·5:50 PM

Even though Jack is the only one who said Call your wife!  Call her up!  Let's not barge in on the little woman!


Brad from Georgia·5:50 PM

She certainly has some golden moments and got some great laughs. When she was on, she was as good as anyone else in the cast. Except Jack.


Judith Greenberg·5:50 PM

So maybe we shouldn't be so hard on her.


Laura Leff·5:50 PM

Steve - Zackly.  And I think that fed her insecurity.


Steve Archer·5:51 PM

also that she just didn't have the "showbiz bug"


Laura Leff·5:51 PM

I've heard some debates over the years about who in the main cast is the most expendable.  Some point to Mary.


Judith Greenberg·5:51 PM

How old would Mary have been when she joined the cast?


Linda Cree·5:51 PM

Let's not forget the coaching she needed to sing on the show.


Laura Leff·5:51 PM

But I disagree.

Judith - Radio cast or Jack's vaudeville number?


Judith Greenberg·5:52 PM

She was in vaudeville?


Steve Archer·5:52 PM

Oh, when Mary's out the show suffers.  No doubt.  Both she and Phil were irreplaceable.


Laura Leff·5:52 PM

Judith - Yep.  That's where the actress was sick and she filled in.


Judy R·5:52 PM



Laura Leff·5:53 PM

Then you have to start dipping into the controversy over the year when Mary was born..


Judith Greenberg·5:53 PM



Laura Leff·5:53 PM

Believe me, even family members have wanted to work that one over with me.


Judith Greenberg·5:53 PM



Brad from Georgia·5:53 PM

And then you hit the mistaken claim that she was a cousin of the Marx Brothers.


Laura Leff·5:53 PM

Brad - Oh man...don't get me started.   :)


Graeme Cree·5:54 PM

Speaking of Costello, Horn Blows at Midnight was a better film for him than it was for Jack.


Laura Leff·5:54 PM

BRB...let me double-check the year on Mary's grave.


Judy R·5:54 PM

according to "find a grave" she was born in 1905


Judith Greenberg·5:55 PM

so what year did she fill in for the dumb dora?


Brad from Georgia·5:55 PM

And according to Wikipedia, in 1906.


Judy R·5:55 PM

june 23, 1905


Judith Greenberg·5:55 PM

was she 39?


Laura Leff·5:55 PM

That was in about 1927

I think her grave says 1908


Brad from Georgia·5:55 PM

So she would have been early twenties when she first filled in.


Steve Archer·5:56 PM

Gracie Allen was something like 5 or 10 years older than she claimed as well.  For a long time she was supposed to be born in 1906.


Laura Leff·5:56 PM

She claims she was 12 when Jack attended their seder in 1920


Steve Archer·5:56 PM

And I'm an ovum.


Judith Greenberg·5:56 PM

She's turning over in her grave right now.


Linda Cree·5:56 PM

When she first filled in, did she sing?

Or did that come later?


Brad from Georgia·5:56 PM

No, it was sort of heckling Jack at first.


Laura Leff·5:57 PM

But the number 1906 keeps repeating in my head, so I'll put that down as my best guess.

Brad - Not exactly.

Linda - That came a bit later as far as I know.  I'm not remembering if we have an actual script of their first stage appearance.


Brad from Georgia·5:57 PM

Well, she and Jack married in 1927, right?


Judy R·5:57 PM



Laura Leff·5:57 PM

I think their interaction was much what it was in "Bright Moments"

Brad - Yep


Graeme Cree·5:58 PM

I guess there are no pictures out there of Mary Kelley when she was skinny.


Judith Greenberg·5:58 PM

Someone could check the 1920 census.


Laura Leff·5:58 PM

Graeme - Not that I've found.  It's always possible she's in a photo and unidentified.


Brad from Georgia·5:58 PM

She was sort of a Gracie Allen character--Jack was something of a wise guy in those skits.


Linda Cree·5:58 PM

I've tried to find one, Graeme.


Laura Leff·5:58 PM

Better yet, check the Vancouver 1910 census.  No reason to lie about her age then.

Brad - Yes and no.  Gracie was in her own league with her "illogical logic."

Let's see if I can find the link...


Steve Archer·5:59 PM

Does Canada do a census like the US?


Graeme Cree·6:00 PM

Whoever coined that term Illogical Logic didn't quite hit it.  Gracie is all about ambiguity.


Steve Archer·6:00 PM

BTW, did Mary ever have Canadian citizenship?  She was born here in Seattle, correct?


Brad from Georgia·6:00 PM

I'm not sure Canadian censuses are in even decade years, but yes, they do take a census.


Laura Leff·6:00 PM

Hide card


Thumbnail image



Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone in Bright Moments (1928) [AUDIO ONLY but COMPLETE] | Teacherspost.com teacherposts.com

This is a historic rarity which unfortunately survives only in audio form, Jack Benny's first movie appearance in an early Vitaphone short, "Bright Moments" ...


Brad from Georgia·6:01 PM

Canadian censuses are done once every FIVE years, and have been so done, it says here, since 1851....


Laura Leff·6:01 PM

Steve - Hmmm.  You know, I'm not sure.  Would have to do some research on that.


Steve Archer·6:01 PM

Well, if you find her birthplace I can take a picture "as it appears now" :)


Laura Leff·6:01 PM

Everyone off listening to Bright Moments?

Steve - Ah, that's right!  You're up there!

I'll make a note and get back to you.


Judy R·6:02 PM

pulling it up now


Steve Archer·6:02 PM

Or maybe find her birth certificate ....


Linda Cree·6:02 PM

The link doesn't work.


Judith Greenberg·6:02 PM

Maybe we can solve a few mysteries about Mary!


Judy R·6:03 PM

it says it has been removed dur to copyright infringment


Brad from Georgia·6:03 PM

Speaking of where everybody is, I promised Barbara I'd finish some print-outs for our visit to the CPA later this week. It's been fun--wish me luck on our taxes! Goodnight, all.


Linda Cree·6:03 PM



Judy R·6:03 PM



Laura Leff·6:03 PM

You sure the link doesn't work?


Steve Archer·6:03 PM

Bye Brad


Judy R·6:03 PM

night brad.


Laura Leff·6:03 PM

Oh dang


Bob Kravitz ·6:03 PM

Good night Brad


Laura Leff·6:03 PM

Night, Brad!


Judy R·6:03 PM

i clicked on it. youtube had it removed


Judith Greenberg·6:03 PM

G'nite Brad!


Laura Leff·6:03 PM



Judy R·6:03 PM



Judith Greenberg·6:04 PM



Laura Leff·6:04 PM

I should have copied it down when I had the chance.  They'd found the second sound disc.


Linda Cree·6:04 PM

Double drat!


Brad from Georgia left the room (user disconnected)


Judy R·6:04 PM

triple drat


Judith Greenberg·6:04 PM

quadruple drat


Steve Archer·6:04 PM

Hey, the Seattle historic birth records 1890-1907 are online.  What's Mary's Father and Mother's name?


Laura Leff·6:05 PM

Well, she's more of a "dumb dora" character than Gracie.


Judy R·6:05 PM

hold on


Linda Cree·6:05 PM

The other day, I grabbed the Bradlees spots with Jack before those disappear.


Judith Greenberg·6:05 PM

How many Sadye Marks could there be.


Laura Leff·6:05 PM

You'd think I'd know that right off...have in the past...looking it up


Steve Archer·6:05 PM

No records for a Sadye Marks


Judy R·6:05 PM

david marks and esther wagner marks


Laura Leff·6:05 PM


There ya go

Judy's got it


Judy R·6:06 PM

check find a grave. i do a lot of genealogy :)


Steve Archer·6:06 PM

No results 1903-1907


Laura Leff·6:06 PM

I should look at what I have for Mary's birthdate in the family tree


Judy R·6:06 PM

one sibling hilliard marks


Laura Leff·6:06 PM



Judy R·6:07 PM

they only list hilliard



Laura Leff·6:07 PM

I have Mary down as June 23rd 1906


Steve Archer·6:07 PM

Ah, she might have been born in the City and not in the county records.


Laura Leff·6:07 PM

in Seattle.


Bob Kravitz ·6:07 PM

Babe probably came along later


Laura Leff·6:07 PM

No, Babe was her older sister.


Bob Kravitz ·6:08 PM



Laura Leff·6:08 PM

Babe's real name was Ethel


Steve Archer·6:08 PM

Well, maybe I can do a little more sleuthing over at the public library and the city hall, just a block away from my office.


Laura Leff·6:08 PM

Hickey was born in 1913

Steve - That would be great!


Judith Greenberg·6:08 PM

when was Babe born?


Judy R·6:08 PM

yea :)


Laura Leff·6:09 PM

I don't have a year on Babe's birth or death

But I do have birth/death years and locations for David and Esther.

If that's of any help.


Judith Greenberg·6:10 PM

When was Esther born?


Laura Leff·6:10 PM

1886 in Colorado

So Babe was probably no more than 2 years older than Mary, which would have made Esther 18 when Babe was born.


Judith Greenberg·6:10 PM

She would have been pretty young if Babe was born before 1906.


Steve Archer·6:11 PM

Mary's her own grandpa


Linda Cree·6:11 PM

Hee hee


Laura Leff·6:11 PM

Remember that Jewish girls were married off young by shadchans in those days.


Steve Archer·6:11 PM

Marks was for sure "Marks" not "Marx" right?


Judy R·6:12 PM

hey, i;m my own cousin lol


Judith Greenberg·6:12 PM

Mary was old when she married by that standard.


Laura Leff·6:12 PM

Yes, and possibly Markovitz in the old country, which was Roumania.  David Marks was born there in 1881.

And Babe was already married to Al Bernovici by 1926.


Judy R·6:13 PM

oh the genealogy loop. such a pain


Bob Kravitz ·6:14 PM

Fascinating. I spent the last few days researching my wife's family


Laura Leff·6:14 PM

Once in a while I find someone who can add some leaves and branches to Jack's family tree.


Judith Greenberg·6:14 PM

You keep that mostly private Laura?


Bob Kravitz ·6:15 PM

I have a separate question. When do folks listen to Jack? I listen at bed time. Sometimes I miss the endings of the shows.


Laura Leff·6:15 PM

Judith - Yes.  Joan said that she wanted it to have limited distribution within the family.  So I use it mostly for my own research and things like this.


Judy R·6:16 PM

i listen at bedtime too. helps me relax. that and listening to big band music as well


Steve Archer·6:16 PM

I'm kind of all over the place Bob.  I used to listen later at bed time and now it's more random.  Often while walking/hiking.


Laura Leff·6:16 PM

Bob - I know of members who use the shows as bedtime stories for their kids (and themselves).


Linda Cree·6:16 PM

I listen at bedtime and Graeme has made lots of MP3s of just the songs.


Laura Leff·6:16 PM

In fact, I think we have some members who were introduced to Jack by having him as their bedtime stories during childhood.

I have listened to him in the car during my commute at times.

I listen to him at about 4:00 PM on the day of a chat.   ;)


Linda Cree·6:17 PM

I listen during my commute too.


Judy R·6:17 PM

or i'll take along a portable cd player with headphones when i wait for family members when they go to doctors appts.

and the chat day as well


Bob Kravitz ·6:17 PM

Fortunately I am am retired and have all day.


Laura Leff·6:18 PM

Anytime's a good time for Jack.  Brings you up when you're low, calms you down when you're tense.


Judy R·6:18 PM

ooh yea.

especially when you fins you have pets that enjoy it as well


Judith Greenberg·6:18 PM

Whenever i need a smile.


Judy R·6:18 PM



Linda Cree·6:18 PM

At night , we often play a play a slew of Kenny Baker songs from Jack's and Fred's shows.


Bob Kravitz ·6:19 PM

I have been listening at bedtime for years. It is either Jack or worry about this and that. He certainly helps me unwind


Judy R·6:19 PM

hey we should have jack and fred's feus on here



Laura Leff·6:19 PM

Maybe there's a request for next month


Bob Kravitz ·6:19 PM

Good point


Laura Leff·6:20 PM

That can be done.


Judy R·6:20 PM

please? *looking with big soulful eyes*


Laura Leff·6:20 PM

Wish granted.


Linda Cree·6:20 PM

I really can't get to bed with the Sportsmen singing their LSMFT songs.  Tried that one night and it was a disaster.


Laura Leff·6:20 PM

Especially "Ritual Fire Dance."


Steve Archer·6:21 PM

Or you just wake up craving a cigarette


Judy R·6:21 PM

lol linda. it does kind of ruin the mood

better to fall asleep to spike jones


Laura Leff·6:21 PM

Mussorgsky doesn't work as lullaby


Bob Kravitz ·6:21 PM

I love those Lucky commercials.  Fortunately I never smoked .


Judith Greenberg·6:21 PM

I wish there were a way to edit out those commercials myself.


Laura Leff·6:22 PM

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today


Judy R·6:22 PM

i usually hit the fast forward button


Laura Leff·6:22 PM

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today

Be happy go lucky, be happy go Lucky Strike, be happy go lucky, go Lucky Strike today


Judy R·6:22 PM



Bob Kravitz ·6:22 PM

Yes loved the Sportsman commercials every week. Every week it was well written and performed.


Laura Leff·6:22 PM



Judy R·6:22 PM



Linda Cree·6:23 PM

I'm disappointed when the songs are missing from the episode.


Laura Leff·6:23 PM

The music that goes with the lyrics above


Bob Kravitz ·6:23 PM

They should you those songs for another more current product.


Judith Greenberg·6:23 PM

So true Laura


Laura Leff·6:23 PM

It gets in your head and you can't get it out...that's an earworm.


Judy R·6:24 PM



Judith Greenberg·6:24 PM

It paid for the shows right?


Laura Leff·6:24 PM

Bob - Music rights are the pits, unfortunately.  Easier to write something else than license one that's existing.


Judy R·6:24 PM

meanwhile, on of my sister's is listening to red skelton, and she tried to tell me a joke, but blew it



Laura Leff·6:24 PM

Too much Guzzler's Gin.


Bob Kravitz ·6:25 PM

Why were the songs or music cut? Was it because they had limited time on the disc?


Laura Leff·6:25 PM

So what else Benny-wise is on folks' minds tonight?

Bob - Sometimes in the early days, yes.


Steve Archer·6:25 PM

Well, it appears the 1881-1907 Seattle birth records are very sensibly not in Seattle, but across the lake in Bellevue.  I don't get over there very often but will see what I can do.


Judy R·6:25 PM

cool steve


Laura Leff·6:25 PM

But in general, Charles Michaelson hacked out commercials and music in the 80s when he was syndicating the radio shows

Which seem to still be the source of the copies in circulation today.

For selected shows.


Judith Greenberg·6:26 PM

Laure - one thing I've always wished for was a good recording of Jack's violin playing, if he ever recorded anything serious.


Laura Leff·6:26 PM

Steve - Much appreciated, Steve.

Judith - Have you seen the TV episode with Stuart Canin as a guest?

They play the Bee together at the end pretty straight.

And honestly, he got pretty good with his standbys of "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Ma Honey's Lovin' Arms" and "Fascinatin' Rhythm."


Judith Greenberg·6:27 PM

I'm not sure.


Judy R·6:27 PM

didn't they tape a Carnegie hall concert with jack as well?


Steve Archer·6:28 PM

The Minstrel Men album is a lot of fun too.  Some of that is Jack playing straight.


Bob Kravitz ·6:28 PM

Young Stuart Canin started the feud


Judy R·6:28 PM

when they did a benefit concert


Laura Leff·6:28 PM

And on the Carnegie Hall Salutes Jack Benny program, he does Bach Double Violin concerto with Isaac Stern and does an admirable, although still funny, job.

Bob - Yep!  He sure did!


Judith Greenberg·6:28 PM

I may have.  Did Jack have a pretty limited repertoire?


Linda Cree·6:29 PM

Love the performance with Sterm.


Laura Leff·6:29 PM

Well, he had a few numbers that were his mainstays for benefit concerts


Linda Cree·6:29 PM



Laura Leff·6:29 PM

Like Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto



Judy R·6:29 PM



Laura Leff·6:29 PM

Such ilke that


Judith Greenberg·6:29 PM



Bob Kravitz ·6:29 PM

His playing raised a lot of money for many orchestras.


Laura Leff·6:29 PM

I think he practiced many more pieces than that, but there was a limited rep that he performed in public.


Judy R·6:29 PM

and with Mackenzie, oh what was her last nema?



Bob Kravitz ·6:30 PM



Laura Leff·6:30 PM

Yep, $6M in dollars of the 60s-70s


Judith Greenberg·6:30 PM



Linda Cree·6:30 PM



Judy R·6:30 PM

oh yea. lol. so tired i couldn't remember


Steve Archer·6:30 PM

And now Jack's pistachios continue the tradition.


Laura Leff·6:30 PM

Was one of the key people to save Carnegie Hall and many local symphonies.


Judith Greenberg·6:30 PM

what brand is that?


Laura Leff·6:30 PM

Steve - They sure do!


Steve Archer·6:31 PM

Although I think they were hit by a contamination scare not that long ago - I saw in the news some Wonderful pistachios were recalled!


Laura Leff·6:31 PM

Oh no!

I've been eating mostly almonds myself for a while.


Bob Kravitz ·6:31 PM

I missed that story of Jack pistachios


Steve Archer·6:32 PM

Hide card


Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts - Wonderful Pistachios Voluntarily Recalls Pistachios Due to Possible Health Risk www.fda.gov

Wonderful Pistachios announced that it is voluntarily recalling a limited number of flavors and sizes of in-shell and shelled pistachios due to a risk of Salmonella contamination. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly…


Laura Leff·6:32 PM

Jack's Estate still has an interest in a pistachio farm, which is processed through the company that supplies pistachios to Wonderful Pistachios.


Judy R·6:32 PM

pecans and walnuts for m e. especially mixed with crasins , m&m's and reeses pieces



Laura Leff·6:32 PM

And a couple years ago it paid off big, so they put the money into a foundation for the arts.


Steve Archer·6:32 PM

Makes you sicker than Jack's violin playing, those salmonella pistachios.


Laura Leff·6:32 PM

Hide card


Thumbnail image


The Jack Benny Family Foundation for Music jackbennyfamilyfoundation.org

Visit the post for more.

Steve - Hardy har har


Judith Greenberg·6:33 PM

So cool!


Steve Archer·6:33 PM

Hopefully all tidied up and once again a healthy snack.


Bob Kravitz ·6:33 PM

Interesting. Now I know . Thank you!


Laura Leff·6:33 PM

It must have been introduced somewhere in the processing.  Don't blame Jack! :)


Judy R·6:33 PM




Laura Leff·6:33 PM

So what else for tonight, or should we call it good?


Judith Greenberg·6:34 PM

Laura, are you coming to Waukegan for the dedication?


Steve Archer·6:34 PM

Oh, yeah, what's the latest with the plaque?


Laura Leff·6:34 PM

Judith - Yes, but I just started a new contract and I have to figure out when to go.  They're going to install the plaque soon.

We'll do the official dedication then.


Judith Greenberg·6:34 PM

I don't want to miss that!


Judy R·6:35 PM

i'm  for calling it a night. have some Sherlock Holmes, or maybe even M*A*S*H to watch tonight.


Laura Leff·6:35 PM

I will be sure to let everyone know when it is!


Bob Kravitz ·6:35 PM

I need to leave and finish some other tasks. Thank you! See you next month.


Laura Leff·6:35 PM

OK, thanks for stopping Judy!


Judy R·6:35 PM

oh please do. we  can't wait


Judith Greenberg·6:35 PM

My pleasure


Judy R·6:35 PM

8HUGS* all night night


Steve Archer·6:35 PM

Yes, if there's some lead time I may be able to swing it, I am heading east for a bit this spring.


Judy R left the room (user disconnected)


Steve Archer·6:35 PM

OK, good night all!


Graeme Cree·6:35 PM



Linda Cree·6:35 PM

Night all!


Laura Leff·6:36 PM

Sounds like we're a little late folks, so good night!


Steve Archer left the room (user disconnected)


Linda Cree left the room (user disconnected)


Bob Kravitz  left the room (user disconnected)


Judith Greenberg·6:36 PM

So long!  Night all