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
[4:46 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: nothing like being early, its the midwestern
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[5:03 PM] Steve Archer: King Kong vs. Babe Livingstone. Think
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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"
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[5:43 PM] Laura Leibowitz: So additional thoughts on the show?
[5:43 PM] Brad Strickland: Was Doke a character in "Grapes of
[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.
[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
[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
[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
[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,
[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
[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
[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,
[5:52 PM] Laura Leibowitz: Brad - Phil Harris got there first.
[5:52 PM] M. Mitchell Marmel: (finishes painting railings for model
[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
[5:58 PM] Kathy Fuller Seeley: did you write on the Winky dink one,
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[6:19 PM] Steve Archer: Good luck with your resesarch Kathy, fascinating
[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.