IJBFC Chat - March 19, 2017

(Name of message originator appears right after the timestamp)

[4:46 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: nothing like being early, its the midwestern upbringing....

[4:46 PM] Brad Strickland: Hi, Kathy!

[4:46 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Hello Brad, how are you? Has spring started in GA?

[4:46 PM] Brad Strickland: Just got back from acting in an Atlanta Radio Theatre recording.

[4:47 PM] Brad Strickland: Well...we got warm weather, trees blossoming out, and then three straight days of sub-twenty degree nights....

[4:47 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: envious!

[4:48 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: yikes, they say we are having some of the warmest spring temps ever, here in Austin, but then its been rainy and in the 50s. This is all marvelous for the wildflowers, so I am not complaining too much, haha

[4:48 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Texas has neither dogwoods nor azaleas, which I miss from Atlanta!

[4:48 PM] Brad Strickland: This was a studio recording for one of our long-running series, Rory Rammer: Space Marshall. I played an officious future EPA official enforcing environmental laws on a remote asteroid, where a crazed asteroid miner is trying to manifest Cthulhu.

[4:48 PM] Brad Strickland: It's a comedy.

[4:48 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: but we DO have bluebonnets...

[4:48 PM] Brad Strickland: Ah, the official flower of Texas, right?

[4:48 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: that sounds fantastic!

[4:49 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: yep, and they are pretty enough to live up to the title

[4:49 PM] Brad Strickland: We had fun, and it was fast. A thirty-minute episode, and we did it in less than an hour in the studio. Good cast.

[4:49 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: wow, you all are all professionals to get it done that efficiently!

[4:50 PM] Brad Strickland: I've been in our serious Lovecraft adaptations, too, including "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Dunwich Horror." As well as taking the lead role in Thomas E. Fuller's hommage to Lovecraft, "Dancer in the Dark."

[4:51 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: its been my spring break, and I have been doing media history research. Mostly on a group that came to San Antonio and filmed one reel westerns (70 of them) in 1910. But I am also plotting a Benny TV book. Did you get to see the Benny TV show reruns when you were growing up?

[4:52 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Wow, for your experience. I was entranced by the folks at SPERDVAC who recreated the X Minus One episode "Mars is Heaven" which was a Bradbury story

[4:52 PM] Brad Strickland: I get to be in them because I can do a New England accent. Well, I can imitate Parker Fennelly, the "Pepridge Fahm remembahs" guy. Hm--do the Westerns still exist? Yes, I used to watch the Benny show when I was a kid. I can remember seeing some of them first-run, too! I watched them Sunday nights, usually with my mom. My dad thought the humor was too sophisticated.

[4:53 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I am really interested in Jack's (and his writers/crew) attempts to adapt radio episodes to TV.

[4:53 PM] Brad Strickland: I've heard the X Minus One on the old-time radio station.

[4:53 PM] Brad Strickland: I think the one tonight is "Shower of Stars," though, not a Benny show.

[4:53 PM] Brad Strickland: I couldn't get it to play just now. Laura may have to clear it or something.

[4:54 PM] Brad Strickland: Oh, my King Kong book--which morphed into THREE books--is more or less finished now! Thank God! Somebody's gonna owe me money soon.

[4:54 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Only one of the Melies San Antonio films exlst, but nine other scenarios adapted to short stories. Francis Ford (John Ford's older brother) learned a great deal in his first acting and directing roles here. You can see John Ford-ish symptoms in these early Texas films, that is cool for those who obsess about John Ford

[4:55 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: GOSH I LOVE the Shower of Stars episode!!!! I have it on a DVD collection I purchased from ebay a couple years ago. THERE IS NO PLOT, but its just an amazing gathering of everybody Jack could find who was involved in teh radio show. Announcers from 1932!

[4:55 PM] Brad Strickland: I've just read a book on the making of THE SEARCHERS. It occurred to me that the shot the writer really gushes over--the Indians coming over a ridge--actually was anticipated by Kurosawa in SEVEN SAMURAI.

[4:56 PM] Brad Strickland: Georges Melies? His crew came to San Antonio? Sacre bleu bonnet!

[4:56 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I think you are right, Brad, all these filmmakers WATCHED each other's films and learned and stole from each other. Who wouldn't

[4:56 PM] Brad Strickland: Kurosawa certainly loved American Westerns. And of course he gets script credit for "The Magnificent Seven!"

[4:57 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: George Melies had an older brother Gaston, who came to America to create a film production company to use the melies name. As Edison would not let new producers in, but he grandfathered in a Melies family member

[4:57 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: CONGRATULATIONS on getting so much King Kong! I look forward to reading it!!!

[4:58 PM] Brad Strickland: Ah-hah! I did not know that, and I'm glad to learn it. When I was teaching our intro to film class, I always showed a couple of Melies films, including the sadly truncated "Voyage Dans la Lune", which seems to be missing its last reel.

[4:59 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: so, do you get to have illustrations in the Kong book? The way his fur flutters in the 1933 version, due to the stop motion animators repositioning him, delights me

[5:00 PM] Brad Strickland: Thanks, but it's been a grind! I'm cowriting with the guy who owns the KK copyright, Joe Devito, great guy, but an artist who loves Kong and who is richly illustrating the books. That's why they grew like Topsy--first it was going to be a prequel telling how the natives first colonized the island; then it branched into a second book about how Kong came to be dominant; and then there were so many illustrations left over that he wanted a third volume--a sketchbook and encyclopedia of the flora and fauna of the island!

[5:00 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I show Voyage to the Moon every semester, and you will laugh that I am so impatient that I fast forward to the segments I want to show. Lady Gaga used the Moon Men in her video of "Bad Romance."  I laughed out loud when  student showed it to me

[5:01 PM] Brad Strickland: I remember the Lady Gaga video. My students thought "The India-Rubber Head" was hilarious.

[5:01 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: well, with King Kong, you have a built in audience who will drool over every detail, so that is great

[5:01 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Hi folks!

[5:01 PM] Steve Archer: Hi Everybody

[5:01 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Hello Laura!

[5:02 PM] Brad Strickland: Joe has a Kickstarter campaign to finance a limited-edition run of the books that will precede the regular publication.

[5:02 PM] Brad Strickland: Hi, Steve, hi, Laura!

[5:02 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: and Brad, its the same impulse with Avatar, and much good luck with the project!

[5:02 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I bet you will do great with the publications, Brad!

[5:02 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Hello Steve!!!

[5:02 PM] Brad Strickland: Talking about the not one, not two, but THREE King Kong books I have just finished writing. God willing!

[5:03 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Mazel tov!

[5:03 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Hi David!

[5:03 PM] Brad Strickland: So, Kathy, coming to Atlanta any time this year?

[5:03 PM] Steve Archer: King Kong vs. Babe Livingstone.  Think it over.

[5:04 PM] Brad Strickland: Laura, those are the only two words I have ever sung on stage.

[5:04 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I like it.

[5:04 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad:  Hi David?

[5:04 PM] Perri: Hello everyone!

[5:04 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Hi Perri!

[5:04 PM] Steve Archer: Are you back from your vacation Laura or not left yet?

[5:04 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Well Brad, I will be there for my undergrad alum reunion on April 24-25, but it sounds like I should plan something deliberate with you and the Radio folks, to work on a Benny un-recorded shows program!!! Let's think what a good time frame this summer might be?

[5:04 PM] Brad Strickland: "A blessing on your head!" "Mazel tov! Mazel tov!" "To see a daughter wed..."

[5:04 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: Jell-O again!

[5:05 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Steve - Thanks for asking.  Just back on Thursday.

[5:05 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Hi Mitch!

[5:05 PM] Steve Archer: Was it as great as you expected???

[5:05 PM] Brad Strickland: Kathy--OK, I'll bring it up at our next Board meeting.

[5:05 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: that was quite a trip, Laura!

[5:05 PM] Brad Strickland: Hullo, Mitch!

[5:05 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: cool Brad, we can confab about the details

[5:05 PM] Brad Strickland: Agreed!

[5:05 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Yes!  I've been interested in going there for a lot of years.

[5:06 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: wow, your photos were amazing, thanks for sharing

[5:06 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Thanks for the interest.  It's not Jack-related, but shockingly, some parts of life aren't.  ;)

[5:06 PM] Brad Strickland: I'm out of the loop! I missed the photos! Have to catch up. I was furiously writing against an impossible deadline.

[5:06 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: I prefer writing on a desk.

[5:06 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - No problem.  I've been in Bhutan.  You can catch up on my personal page.

[5:07 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Mitch - Har har

[5:07 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Just giving folks a few extra minutes before we try this newfangled thing

[5:07 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: CARL STALLING SEZ:  IT'LL NEVER WORK!

[5:07 PM] Brad Strickland: Ah, where they make the bhutan lighters! I have one for the grill.

[5:07 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Mitch - He's probably right.

[5:08 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I even got snowbound in the Himalayas.  But I never did find Ronald Colman.

[5:08 PM] Brad Strickland: Mitch, today I asked our Echo to "Play Carl Stalling music," and it played the soundtracks for about fifty WB cartoons--no dialogue, no effects, but even the incidental "tiptoe" music.

[5:08 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: hey folks, I LOVE the episode Laura picked for tonight, the Shower of Stars Benny reunion (god help me, I hope I am thinking of the correct one). My QUESTION is, how many of the TV audience members, do you think, recognized and understood the nostalgia and show history that Jack is referring to by bringing these folks together?

[5:08 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: Brad:  Nice!

[5:09 PM] Brad Strickland: The scary thing is I recognized about half the cartoons from music alone!

[5:09 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Actually, that was last month.  But it's fair game too!

[5:09 PM] Brad Strickland: Aw. I thought it was for tonight.

[5:09 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Wow I have to try that with Warner Bros cartoon music, thanks

[5:09 PM] Steve Archer: Yeah, we had a good chat on that one....check the transcript if you missed it.

[5:09 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: drat! oh well, but still I would like to know folks' opinons

[5:09 PM] Steve Archer: That Shower of Stars was incredible.

[5:09 PM] Brad Strickland: Kathy, if you have an Echo, just ask it to "Play music by Carl Stalling."

[5:10 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I know how that is.  My neighbors put in a video for their kids, and I heard maybe 30 seconds of it and said, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

[5:10 PM] Perri: We still don't know what's on "tv" tonight. The anticipation has been kind of fun!

[5:10 PM] Brad Strickland: Ah, it's a souprise.

[5:10 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Hee hee...well, let's see if I can get it to work.  Stand by.

[5:10 PM] Steve Archer: If I ever got an Echo I'd think up one of those Captain Kirk like questions, "Alexa, disable the Echo permanently"

[5:11 PM] Laura Leibowitz: OK, everyone try this link:  https://www.watch2gether.com/rooms/ijbfc-mbrm7osc3l5p85x3t9

[5:11 PM] Brad Strickland: No, Steve, it's "On my command: Initiate self-destruct of the Echo."

[5:11 PM] Steve Archer: LOL

[5:11 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: wow, I sure will. I have an album of the themes played to the "Silent Years" movies played on PBS in like 1971 and 1972, the series hosted by Orson Welles, and when I hear the themes I can clearly picture what was happening in the silent films. So the cartoons will be just as fun!

[5:11 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Separating saucer section...

[5:12 PM] Brad Strickland: Got it up in another window. Do we have to switch back and forth?

[5:12 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Can everyone get to the show?  I just paused it.

[5:12 PM] Steve Archer: I'm there!  See you on the flip tab!

[5:12 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Not necessarily...let's see what happens organically.

[5:12 PM] Perri: coming through great!

[5:12 PM] Brad Strickland: I have it. Oh, there's a flip tab?

[5:15 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: of its the Ginger Rogers one, that is fantastic! I just saw it for the first time last week

[5:16 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Jack is so adorable in the dancing sequence (spoiler alert)

[5:20 PM] R.Hookie: Finally I'm in!

[5:21 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Hello Hookie! folks are watching the Ginger Rogers episode on Laura's link, so join that if you can!

[5:21 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Thanks, Kathy!

[5:21 PM] Linda Cree: Hi everyone!

[5:22 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Hey Linda! Click on Laura's link for the Ginger Rogers show, we are over there watching and commenting

[5:22 PM] Linda Cree: Okay!

[5:24 PM] Linda Cree: Graeme is having trouble getting in.

[5:24 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Sorry...let me know there's anything I can do.

[5:38 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I'm so pleased it worked technically!

[5:38 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: That worked out quite well!

[5:38 PM] Steve Archer: Three cheers for the watch2gether!

[5:38 PM] Brad Strickland: Hm. Jack Gargan was in the show. He was on a bunch of Perry Mason shows.

[5:38 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: that was fantastic!!!

[5:39 PM] Linda Cree: Yes, it was fun.

[5:39 PM] Perri: That was pretty neat!

[5:39 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I wonder if I could upload a radio show there.

[5:39 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Linda Cree and Graeme, what a great option to help with your radio free Jello programs

[5:39 PM] Brad Strickland: Very well done show.

[5:39 PM] Laura Leibowitz: By the way, I honestly can't remember who asked for this and suggested Watch2Gether.

[5:39 PM] Perri: It showed a Soundcloud link on the page

[5:39 PM] Steve Archer: People have a lot of radio up on youtube too

[5:39 PM] Perri: heh, it wuz me

[5:39 PM] Laura Leibowitz: But I do want to acknowledge the Linda and Graeme did it first!

[5:39 PM] Steve Archer: I think that was Perri's call!

[5:40 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Perri!  A round of applause for Perri for the suggestion!

[5:40 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I want to use it with my students, the website, thank you!

[5:40 PM] Brad Strickland: Yay, Linda and Graeme!

[5:40 PM] R.Hookie: Fun... but why did it take me 15 minutes to get into this room? I had to prove I'm not a robot... I mean, I don't have much of a life, but really....

[5:40 PM] Perri: Told hubby, "this had better work out...."

[5:40 PM] Brad Strickland: You go, Perri!

[5:40 PM] Perri: :-)  Thanks!  So glad we could do that

[5:41 PM] Brad Strickland: I must be a robot. I keep getting robo-calls.

[5:41 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: well anyway, is this an UNUSUAL episode for Jack being so successful in interacting with a Hollywood star?

[5:41 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I think it also makes it a bit more convenient and dymanic so that you don't have to watch/listen to a show beforehand.

[5:41 PM] R.Hookie: So, will this be a regular thing?

[5:41 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - It depends on what you mean by "successful."  Is his turn with Frances Bergen successful?

[5:41 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I guess the Jack as Gracie Benny shows him interacting well with George

[5:41 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Hookie - If you all like it, sure!

[5:41 PM] Brad Strickland: Well, although this was a top-level Jack Benny TV show, I have the sense that the radio shows were rounder, firmer, more fully-packed. I think the radio pacing was faster, I guess.

[5:42 PM] R.Hookie: I'm good with it

[5:42 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: BRB, doing Things to a Lionel locomotive.

[5:42 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: as opposed to the Claudette Colbert or Irene Dunne failures at playreading

[5:42 PM] Brad Strickland: I like this approach.

[5:42 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I've got a thought for the next one if you all don't mind another television ep.

[5:42 PM] Brad Strickland: I don't mind at all.

[5:42 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: bring on the TV episodes!

[5:43 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Okie doke!

[5:43 PM] Steve Archer: I also have a suggestion, maybe for a future chat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aurCCRzgL7I

[5:43 PM] Laura Leibowitz: So additional thoughts on the show?

[5:43 PM] Brad Strickland: Was Doke a character in "Grapes of Wrath?"

[5:43 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: so, is it due to TV visuality that Jack can be a success with a star in a TV production vs a radio production?

[5:43 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Steve - Good thought.

[5:44 PM] Steve Archer: We can all play along!

[5:44 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Perhaps if Carole Lombard had been around to interact with Jack. we might have seen this side of him in radio

[5:44 PM] Brad Strickland: I think it also has to do with Jack's writers, Kathy. They seemed to understand that having Ginger Rogers zing Jack with insults and put-downs wouldn't be as funny as letting her be so nice--and the dance payoff worked great because of that.

[5:44 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I'm thinking of a number of stars that show up in skits, like Murder at Romanoff's.

[5:45 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - Excellent observation.

[5:45 PM] Linda Cree: I'd like to know how they accomplished that dance number.  Is the film pieced together?  It looks like they used two cameras.

[5:45 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Linda - It's all really good editing.

[5:45 PM] Brad Strickland: I'm sure it was filmed and cut together. Editing--right, Laura!

[5:45 PM] Perri: Really well done!

[5:45 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: that is a good point, Brad!  It can be a complex number of factors, in the way that making Hollywood stars look good on TV makes the plot and Jack do x and y and z

[5:45 PM] Steve Archer: This is one shot single-camera (like a movie) rather than a 3-camera "I Love Lucy" type setup.

[5:46 PM] Laura Leibowitz: This was done at Revue, so they didn't need to shoot in sequence.

[5:46 PM] Linda Cree: Oh, okay.

[5:47 PM] R.Hookie: Would that be in Burbank?

[5:47 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: in a similar way that Jack with Marilyn Monroe, makes him look OK instead of a complete failure, while she is on screen with him

[5:47 PM] Brad Strickland: My impression is that guest stars on Jack's shows, TV and radio, in general were relaxed and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. Some guests on the Bob Hope show and others seemed stiffer and a little ill at ease. Maybe because of Bob's ad-libbing?

[5:47 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Hm...I should know where Revue Studios were, but I'm not positive right off.

[5:48 PM] Perri: I hadn't seen that one in a very long time.  It was like seeing it for the first time, with deja vu

[5:48 PM] Steve Archer: Revue was Universal City, the TV arm of Universal, right?

[5:48 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - I'd guess that it was because they were more pawns to Bob Hope's comedy, rather than being treated with dignity like Ginger on this show.

[5:48 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Brad, you make an excellent point. Hollywood stars were concerned about image, and Hope and others made them look silly, while Benny made himself look silly and them GREAT. So Bogart, Colbert and Monroe did their first TV shows with Benny

[5:48 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Steve - Ultimately, yes.  But it wasn't until later that Universal bought them.

[5:49 PM] Brad Strickland: Don't remember in what series or show it appeared, but when Jack did "A Christmas Carol," he showed up as Bob Cratchit--and his first line was "You all thought I'd be Scrooge. See how we fool you?" His genius was that he could pursue gags and recycle them endlessly--but he knew when and how to freshen things up by surprising the audience.

[5:49 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Not to mention Truman.

[5:49 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: yes ma'am!

[5:49 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - I think that was with Rich Little, right?

[5:50 PM] Brad Strickland: Laura-No, that was an HBO special, and Jack was the kid who answers Scrooge's "Boy! What day is to-day?"

[5:50 PM] Steve Archer: What year was the Ginger Rogers show?

[5:50 PM] Laura Leibowitz: 11/3/57

[5:51 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: so, does anybody know if the "Shower of Stars" budget was separate from Jack's own show, if he could spend more money on these shows than his own>

[5:51 PM] Brad Strickland: This was the real Jack. I don't know if it was a special--it probably was a guest shot in the 1960s. I remember that bit vividly, though. (It turns out that Cratchit is actually richer than Scrooge, because though he's paid a pittance, he SAVES it.)

[5:51 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I think Shower of Stars was completely its own thing

[5:52 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Different sponsor, et al.  These shows were being done by J&M, so Jack had pretty much total control for the TV eps

[5:52 PM] Brad Strickland: You know, today we could make a reality show called "Shower with the Stars" and make a killing.

[5:52 PM] Linda Cree: It's really funny when he's wearing her earring.

[5:52 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: ah HA, more efforts to make J&M a go, good point

[5:52 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - Phil Harris got there first.

[5:52 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: (finishes painting railings for model locomotive)

[5:52 PM] Brad Strickland: That was a hilarious sight gag, Linda! I laughed out loud. Or LOL'd.

[5:53 PM] Brad Strickland: IDK, these abbreviations are TMI IMHOP.

[5:53 PM] Laura Leibowitz: The first time I ever saw that sight gag was in the montage of clips at the end of "Love Letter to Jack Benny."

[5:53 PM] Steve Archer: It's funny how the humor is very JB even though it is so visual.  Would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall with the writers for this one.

[5:54 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: and to think how small the size of the TV screens in 1957 to catch it

[5:54 PM] Brad Strickland: "Ah, Harris, you may be funny, but your jokes are clean!
Not me, Steve. I get swatted enough.

[5:54 PM] Steve Archer: It was smaller on my laptop Kathy!

[5:54 PM] Brad Strickland: Yeah, my family had a Philco Stratocaster with a circular screen about seven inches in diameter.

[5:54 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: confess, mature viewers, how close to the TV screen did you get, despite your mother's warning?

[5:55 PM] Perri: Oh!  yes!  I guess the smaller youtube screen was a good equivalent!

[5:55 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - I thought that was a mattress...

[5:55 PM] Brad Strickland: I was nearsighted, so I stood behind the TV.

[5:55 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: this is what I try to get across to my freshmen, imagine the TV screen is the size of your phone, and they tell you not to get close

[5:56 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I liked seeing the pixels.

[5:56 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Maybe that's why I needed glasses by age 5.

[5:56 PM] Steve Archer: The Pixels backed up Gisele MacKenzie on Your Hit Parade, right?

[5:56 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Something like that.

[5:56 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: my husband's uncle says his father bought a plastic screen with 3 colors on it, blue at the top, pink in the middle and green on bottom, to make black and white westerns look like they were in color

[5:57 PM] Brad Strickland: Laura, I was wrong. Zenith Stratosphere: second image down- http://userpages.bright.net/~geary/zenith/zstts.html

[5:57 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I've heard of that.

[5:57 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: and that round TV picture tube screen

[5:57 PM] Brad Strickland: Kathy--we had one of those plastic screens.

[5:57 PM] Brad Strickland: Also a clear one for Winky-Dink and You.

[5:57 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: awesome, Brad, and I hope it worked!

[5:57 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - Oh right...I think a Stratocaster is a guitar.

[5:58 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: did you write on the Winky dink one, Brad?

[5:58 PM] Brad Strickland: That was a kid's show with crayons; the cartoon character Winky-Dink would need something, a car, a bridge, or a Martini, and the kid had to draw it on the plastic overlay.

[5:58 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - Ah, you beat me to it!  Was going to mention Winky Dink.

[5:58 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I made an idiot of myself to Wink Martindale.

[5:59 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: They ran into problems because kids without the overlays would draw on the TV sets as well...

[5:59 PM] R.Hookie: You know Wink?

[5:59 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Mitch - I've heard about that!

[5:59 PM] Brad Strickland: Jack Barry was the host of Winky Dink. I used to draw on him, too.

[5:59 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Hookie - I met him on a few occasions associated with Eddie Carroll.

[5:59 PM] Brad Strickland: And Winky Dink reminds me of Tom Terrific, the cartoon hero on Captain Kangaroo.

[5:59 PM] Linda Cree: I heard that too, Mich.

[5:59 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: so, in a Benny aside, has anybody figured out exactly how the radio episodes and TV episodes of the early 50s work out together? I have found ONE review where somebody says he listened to one and watched the other and understood the story to continue between them

[6:00 PM] Linda Cree: Mitch

[6:00 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: Daffy Duck: Science is some folks' calling; others pilot a ship. My mission in life, stated simply, is: a mustache on every lip!

[6:00 PM] R.Hookie: Cool...  I like his game show posts on Facebook and Youtube

[6:00 PM] Brad Strickland: I can remember some Benny radio shows in which they were planning to TV show.

[6:00 PM] Laura Leibowitz: I mixed him up with Jack Barry the first time.  Then I came back the next time I saw him to say that I realized my error, and didn't want to be a total idiot.  He said a lot of people make the mistake.

[6:00 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I loved Tom Terrific on Captain Kangaroo!

[6:01 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Hmmm...I may be wrong, but I doubt that.

[6:01 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: wouldn't that have been AMAZING if the Benny crew had totally integrated radio and TV shows in the early 50s? Would be very au courant with the ways shows are going between online and Netlix, say

[6:01 PM] Brad Strickland: I remember the first time I saw a Captain Kangaroo show. I was home from school sick, with a fever, the TV was on, I was lying on the sofa and dozed, and when I woke up the Banana Man was on TV doing his act, and he scared the crap out of me. I thought I was hallucinating.

[6:02 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: imagine, see us tonight and we will continue this craziness of Don locked in a room because he won;t agree to a new contract

[6:02 PM] Laura Leibowitz: It would, but you also wouldn't want to lose your audience who hasn't yet gotten a TV because they're only getting part of the story.

[6:02 PM] Brad Strickland: I was thinking that a cruder version of tonight's show might have had Jack sending Don out to dance with Ginger.

[6:03 PM] Laura Leibowitz: *Mental image of Don doing ballet in a tutu*

[6:03 PM] Brad Strickland: Completing the circuit: Jack's first show was for Canada Dry Ginger Ale. This show featured Canadian Ginger Rogers.

[6:03 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: you are so right, Laura, and that was Jack's dilemma. But the TV folks found that TV households not only quit listening to radio, but bought MORE of the advertised products than anyone could imagine, so the cart led the horse...

[6:03 PM] Brad Strickland: Uh--it works if she was Canadian.

[6:04 PM] Brad Strickland: I listened to some of Jack's shows on radio as a kid, but it probably was the "Best of Benny" series of reruns.

[6:04 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Good point.  Did that hold true for cigarettes too?

[6:04 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: poor Canada Dry, kept abandoning shows that could sell its product

[6:05 PM] Brad Strickland: Yeah, they were irked that Jack had fun with the commercials, if I recall correctly.

[6:05 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - That's kind of apocryphal.

[6:05 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: oh yeah, from what I have read in the trades, ANYTHING advertised on TV sold mega %%% more, it was like the early days of radio, what a bonanza for a medium that was incredibly expensive to produce

[6:05 PM] Steve Archer: I oughta know, but did Jack continue with Luckies as sponsor on TV after the radio show ended in 55 or is that when their TV sponsorship ended too?

[6:05 PM] Brad Strickland: Oh, BTW, I can't play Don Wilson in a re-creation any longer. I've lost 32 pounds in the last six months (yes, I was trying to).

[6:06 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: congrats Brad and tell me your secret!

[6:06 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Indeed!  I wonder what made the difference so dramatic.

[6:06 PM] Steve Archer: Congrats Brad!

[6:06 PM] Linda Cree: Good job, Brad!

[6:06 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Steve - Jack was with Luckies until he went to Lux for 59-60

[6:06 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Mazel tov, Brad!

[6:06 PM] Brad Strickland: Eh, no secret. Cut out sugar, watch your portions, measure everything. Our front doorknob is 3 1/4 inches in diameter.

[6:07 PM] Steve Archer: Thanks Laura, that makes intuitive sense when I think about it!

[6:07 PM] Brad Strickland: Oh, and I ride 15 miles on a bike every day. A paper route at MY age.

[6:07 PM] Brad Strickland: It's a stationary bike, but there's not much news around here.

[6:07 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: and Canada Dry was so grouchy about Jack's show! My hope is to go see the archives of Ayers at Duke, to see if I can find anything more than CD execs yelling at NBC execs in 1932. Ahh the joys of archival research

[6:08 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Amen, Sistah...

[6:09 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - You've been closer to this more recently than I have.  I believe that the main motivation behind cancelling Jack is that a CD executive felt that music would sell the product better than comedy.  Is that your recollection?

[6:09 PM] Brad Strickland: If it were, wouldn't they have sponsored Lawrence Welk?

[6:09 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I have stories to tell about why Luckies eventually broke with Jack. American Tobacco Co knew that the market for unfiltered cigs was collapsing in the 1950s, and they held on to Jack to attract the old folks who still smoked Luckies. Young kids smoked Marlboros, doh!

[6:10 PM] Brad Strickland: My dad smoked Prince Albert. The tobacco, not the nobleman.

[6:10 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Yep...Marty wrote some good stuff about that in the intro to Volume 3 (or the liner notes to the lost episodes set...can't remember which).

[6:10 PM] R.Hookie: Lawrence Welk with Canada Dry instead of champagne?

[6:11 PM] Brad Strickland: Still got the bubbles, Hookie! Still got the bubbles.

[6:11 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: It's interesting to note that pretty much all Jack's sponsors are still around in one form or another...

[6:11 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Actually...I think they did the same bit about Jack conducting the orchestra on one of the lost Canada Dry shows that he did with Welk on TV 30 years later.

[6:11 PM] Brad Strickland: Not to mention his pistachios.

[6:11 PM] R.Hookie: Yeah, but Canada Dry Lady just don't work the same...

[6:11 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Jack Benny's nuts.

[6:12 PM] Brad Strickland: Sure he is, but what's your point?

[6:12 PM] Laura Leibowitz: *Rimshot*

[6:12 PM] Brad Strickland: (obscure cartoon reference

[6:12 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: well, with Canada Dry, it was them getting fed up with the DRAMA. On the advice of their advertising agency, they had tried to add a new writer and change networks. Jack, Mary and Harry made such a fuss that DC decided   erf++ it, we will quit radio shows, and left radio in Jan 1933.   Great side story that Canada Dry was pulled back to radio advertising in 1938 with Information Please.

[6:13 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Right...I was trying to remember if the Sid Silvers drama went all the way to the end of the CD run.

[6:13 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: I LOVE the Alvin and the Chipmunks Jello TV ad, as the chipmunks end their song with the old familiar j e ll o.... and I wonder if they paid off Don Bestor

[6:14 PM] Brad Strickland: I've complained before about the horrible ads on satellite radio. Zyppah! The anti-snoring device touted by a guy who sounds like a gofer working for the Mob. Also there's one for a pill that flattens your stomach in which a lady "caller" calls to complain that now her stomach is TOO flat, so what should she do?

[6:14 PM] Brad Strickland: I miss the old good ads. Like Jell-O.

[6:14 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Laura, it turns out that Jack, Mary and Harry ran off Sid within 3 weeks, and you can see it in the scripts, Sid was taking the show in a whole different direction

[6:14 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Silvers goes out in 12/4/32.  So I can see them making the call to not renew the contract.

[6:15 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: but Brad, what do you mean, those products don't work? I am shocked!!!

[6:16 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - Right, I remember that.  He does first appear in August of 32, but I see what you mean about the short run from 11/30 to 12/4.

[6:16 PM] Brad Strickland: I happened to read the reviews for the Zyppah because they popped up on, I think, the Quackwatch site. The major complaint: They break within a month and cost an arm and a leg. Or as the pitchman would say on radio, "a nominal egg."

[6:17 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: that is the complication of it, Laura, I don't think Jack Harry or Mary hated Sid, they worked with him all the time. It was the ad agency making decisions that mucked up Jack and Harry's control that upset them

[6:18 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: Sid unfortunately got in the middle of the power struggle, that is why I would like to see if there might be bits of information in the Ayers Co papers at Duke that might tell us more than what I found in the NBC papers at Wisconsin

[6:18 PM] Laura Leibowitz: OK, right.  I knew I'd seen some of the drama written up in Variety, but needed to reread it to remember the details.

[6:19 PM] Steve Archer: Good luck with your resesarch Kathy, fascinating stuff!

[6:20 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: yeah, its a great example of trying to understand WHO is creating and directing radio programming in a pivotal early moment, says mzzz nerd professor

[6:21 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Yeah, like me trying to figure out what Jack knew and when he knew it in the Amusement Enterprises sale to CBS.

[6:21 PM] Brad Strickland: BTW, if there are any aspiring radio writers out there, the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company is going to be looking for ideas for audio serials. I just pitched "Sam Shush, Radio Mime" to them, but they think it's too cerebral.

[6:21 PM] Steve Archer: OK great chatting with you all, I have an early train tomorrow so good night!  Will catch up on the transcript.... :)

[6:22 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: say, its getting late, and Brad I will be in touch with you soon, and Steve and Laura and anybody, who has good ideas about how to form groups to recreate some of these early Benny 1932-1936 broadcasts, glad to hear from you!

[6:22 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: good night all!

[6:22 PM] Linda Cree: Might all!

[6:22 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Kathy - I think there's a group in Chicago that does it.

[6:22 PM] Linda Cree: Night

[6:22 PM] Brad Strickland: Good night, Steve. And I'm just about to take a call from my King Kong cowriter--he phoned and then immediately put me on hold when he finds something--so I'll bid you adieu as well.

[6:22 PM] Perri: Thanks for a fun evening!  As ever, I'm in awe of everyone's knowledge here.

[6:23 PM] Laura Leibowitz: OK, sounds like we're good for this month.  Thanks for participating in the successful experiment!

[6:23 PM] Perri: Good night!

[6:23 PM] Laura Leibowitz: See you in April!

[6:23 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: Me for snooze as well.  I have the arthropod genocidist coming in the morning, and I still have to get the kitchen shelves cleared.