IJBFC Chat - March 4, 2018
(Name of message originator appears at the start
of the line)
Theodore Michael Konek 4:59 PM - Hello Everyone!
Tom Vorce 5:00 PM - Good evening, Jack Benny fans!
Laura Leibowitz 5:01 PM - Hi folks!
R.Hookie 5:01 PM - !Hello folks
Michael Golek 5:01 PM - First timer here, interested to be part of this forum.
R.Hookie 5:01 PM - Hi Laura!
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:01 PM - Jell-o. All! (not from Rexall, I was listening to a Phil Harris thing earlier)
Laura Leibowitz 5:01 PM - Welcome Michael! Glad you were able to join us!
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:01 PM - welcome , Michael!
R.Hookie 5:01 PM - Hi Kathy!
Tom Vorce 5:02 PM - Welcome, Michael!
Laura Leibowitz 5:02 PM - Hey Kathy, how's the book selling?
R.Hookie 5:02 PM - Interesting find... Dollar General sells Rexall
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:03 PM - RExall probably made in Mexico now, like Lydia Pinkham's stuff
Laura Leibowitz 5:04 PM - So how's everyone tonight?
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:04 PM - THANKS Laura for the question, selling great!!!
R.Hookie 5:04 PM - Fine, until tomorrow
Laura Leibowitz 5:04 PM - Hookie - Ah yes, end of the vacation right?
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:04 PM - its OSCAR night, wondering if anyone will go home with an Oscarine, like Jack
Laura Leibowitz 5:04 PM - Excellent, Kathy! Glad to hear it.
R.Hookie 5:05 PM - Yeah, and after 4 days of thawing, we're getting dumped on again
Laura Leibowitz 5:05 PM - Hookie - You're probably getting the rain that moved on from here this morning...
Tom Vorce 5:05 PM - There's nothing quite so sad as the last day of a vacation!
Michael Golek 5:05 PM - Forget the Oscars, bunch of movies no one cares about, except maybe the Churchill one.
R.Hookie 5:05 PM - It will be freezing rain by tomorrow
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:05 PM - here is sadder for my college students -- midterm exam week bwaaahhaahhaaa
Laura Leibowitz 5:06 PM - Hey, I have a quick logistics question for people who have been here before while we've been using Watch2Gether.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:06 PM - The Post was not bad, and I will root for Allison Janney, just because, but I agree, not a year for heartwarming comedies
Laura Leibowitz 5:07 PM - I notice that when we go and watch the show, we (theoretically) come back to this room to discuss the show.
But it looks like a number of people watch the show and then don't make it back to the room.
Michael Golek 5:07 PM - I only like watching the songs from movies performed. "Remember me" should win from Coco.
Laura Leibowitz 5:07 PM - Has anyone had a problem, or do you just feel done after seeing the show?
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:08 PM - I seem to remember a problem, and no one back in the room when I looked. Should we stay in Watch2?
R.Hookie 5:08 PM - I like discussing what we saw and what everyone thought about it... and the failed Jello flavors
Tom Vorce 5:08 PM - No problem here. I'll come back here for more talk.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:09 PM - happy to go anywhere the crowd goes
Michael Golek 5:09 PM - What is Watch2? Do I need to click somewhere?
R.Hookie 5:09 PM - I leave this room open while watching in W2T
/0(Was that hip
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:09 PM - very hip!
R.Hookie 5:09 PM - ?)
Laura Leibowitz 5:09 PM - Michael - I'll give you a link in a bit to get there.
R.Hookie 5:10 PM - Sorry, my new computer has some keys in the way of where the others should be
Laura Leibowitz 5:10 PM - Hookie - Yes, I do that too.
OK. I have no problem if people want to leave after the show...just wanted to make sure that people didn't think that was all the chat was!
Thanks for the input.
I'm trying to help one more person get access here...
Anything Benny-wise on your minds tonight before we start the show?
R.Hookie 5:12 PM - So, what's the agenda for tonight?
Laura Leibowitz 5:13 PM - I've picked a show that you may have seen, but I've had a lot of people comment to me on it.
It's the TV show about how Jack found Dennis.
Kids freaked out by Jack's makeup in the first half (including me)
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:13 PM - how fun!! I don't know that one very well
Laura Leibowitz 5:13 PM - Some potentially un-PC comedy in the second half.
R.Hookie 5:13 PM - Last night I saw Hong Kong Suit again... Antenna TV
Laura Leibowitz 5:14 PM - Ah, Gisele
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:14 PM - and I am going to show Jack Plays Gracie in my comedy class this week!
Laura Leibowitz 5:14 PM - Glad that Jack's back on there regularly
R.Hookie 5:14 PM - That was her 2nd appearance?
Laura Leibowitz 5:14 PM - Kathy - The rebroadcast, I presume?
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:14 PM - oh that I could get to see a kinoscope of the live version
Laura Leibowitz 5:15 PM - You need to go somewhere like Paley to see it, but it's SO worth it
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:15 PM - on my list for this summer, then!
R.Hookie 5:15 PM - 1:30am CT - Jack goes to the gym.
Laura Leibowitz 5:15 PM - Jack goes to take off his high heel, and you can see right up his skirt and the audience goes NUTS.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:15 PM - I can't wait to find it!
Laura Leibowitz 5:16 PM - OK, let me go boot up Watch2Gether...
Hopefully Steve will make it in here...
OK, for anyone joining the room after we start, please go to this URL: https://www.watch2gether.com/rooms/ijbfc-mbrm7osc3l5p85x3t9
Laura Leibowitz 5:49 PM - Welcome back, folks!
R.Hookie 5:50 PM - I have never looked forward to the end of a Jack Benny show than I was now.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:50 PM - I had not seen this episode before, so thanks!! I hope we can figure out how to defeat the gremlins
Tom Vorce 5:50 PM - I enjoyed it......kinda!
Michael Golek 5:50 PM - So why did Kenny Baker leave the show?
Laura Leibowitz 5:50 PM - Yes, I'll see if there's a way of turning off the capability for others to affect the playback
Oh good question, Michael. I'll let others in the room answer it first and I'll chime in with anything else I've heard.
Kathy, I'm curious what your research says on the subject.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:51 PM - $$$$ and the hopes of becoming the next Bing Crosby or Allan Jones
R.Hookie 5:51 PM - He was pregnant
Laura Leibowitz 5:51 PM - Har har
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:52 PM - Seems to me that he had stars in his eyes, and who can blame him, others were making huge leaps
Laura Leibowitz 5:52 PM - Yep, seems that people were whispering in his ear that he was destined for much greater things.
R.Hookie 5:52 PM - I had to say something
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:52 PM - haha Hookie
too bad that by, what, 1940, he is third banana to Fred Allen, and annoying to boot
Laura Leibowitz 5:52 PM - I don't know that anyone would consider "The Big Store" to be "greater things."
Michael Golek 5:52 PM - Baker should've stayed. He's only remembered in movies with the Marx Brothers, that I know.
Laura Leibowitz 5:53 PM - Yes. And people predicted the demise of the Benny program without him. Of course, they did the same with Frank Parker.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:53 PM - we can blame Mervyn LeRoy, who was loudly announced as his producer on those couple of Benny episodes
Laura Leibowitz 5:53 PM - Exactly.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:53 PM - oh yes, gosh, "Benny show will flop without Parker"
Laura Leibowitz 5:54 PM - I don't think anyone did that about Ethel Shutta or Paul Small...
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:54 PM - in part its just radio columnists stirring the rumor pot
Laura Leibowitz 5:54 PM - Kathy - Well said.
Michael - Does that answer your question?
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:54 PM - Still Michael, I LOVE Kenny's singing on the Benny show and miss that!
Michael Golek 5:54 PM - Thanks for the insight. I guess Jack's miserly trait kept the payroll down. :)
Laura Leibowitz 5:54 PM - (Aside: Not many rooms where I can reference Ethel Shutta and Paul Small...)
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:55 PM - bing bash, Laura!!! They were under contract to NBC and did more NY based shows in the early 30s
Laura Leibowitz 5:55 PM - Michael - I think money was only part of it...maybe the promise of being a STAR...
Kathy - Except for those based in New Orleans... (who knew?)
Michael Golek 5:56 PM - 4 years was probably enough for Baker and time to move on.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:56 PM - Jack Benny sought CONTROL of the people's contracts on his shows, he'd been through 10 announcers before he signed Don Wilson to a personal contract. Dennis was the first singer who got a personal contract
Laura Leibowitz 5:56 PM - Indeed...interesting! Did not know that.
R.Hookie 5:57 PM - I'm sure that established stability
Laura Leibowitz 5:57 PM - Wanted to hear people's thoughts on the show as well...how do we show this today without having it look tremendously un-PC? Or can we?
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:57 PM - The New Orleans shows in Nov 1932 are wacko! The sponsor sent Jack, Mary and Harry Conn down there to meet up with new bandleader Ted Weems, before Weems could get out of his local contract to come back to NYC. AT the same time, sponsor stuck them with Sid Silvers, enough to give anyone grey hair (I said HAIR, Jack, hahaha)
Laura Leibowitz 5:58 PM - Hair hair...
Tom Vorce 5:58 PM - I like it as is. Too bad if some folks find it not PC.
Laura Leibowitz 5:58 PM - I've had people note to me that Si-Sy isn't PC.
Michael Golek 5:58 PM - It was the times. I heard a radio show where Jack said to have Rochester's relatives grow cotton in the backyard to keep them busy. Yikes.
Laura Leibowitz 5:58 PM - Ah-yep. Once in a while I'd hear a line like that in the shows pre-War and wince.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:59 PM - Laura, I am really struck by the TV show's turn to such VISIBLE and visual humor based on ethnicity - they do it with See SI SO, and this and others. Maybe its the ham-handedness, versus the more subtle "manana, manana," that Jack used in radio in the 40s.
Laura Leibowitz 5:59 PM - Or Rochester's second or third appearance where he's a waiter named Pierre who says of Jell-O, "Make mine watermelon!"
Kathy Fuller Seeley 5:59 PM - And YET, while the TV show is going full stereotype on other races, Rochester and AFrican Americans are treated with the utmost of civility, YAY!
Laura Leibowitz 5:59 PM - Kathy - You remember the Jack Webb show right?
I have to scratch my head at the amount of "yellow face" humor they were using.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:00 PM - yeah, that is the one I was thinking of Laura, YIKES! not very subtle at all
Laura Leibowitz 6:01 PM - Fortunately, one I got on the lost episodes set has this great comeback to that, where they're forcing an Asian announcer to talk with an accent, and the punch line is something like him saying in very American English, "Can I help it if your writers write with a stupid accent?"
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:01 PM - all I can suggest is that, during the Cold War, and before more Asian-American folks moved into more US cities, Asians were stereotyped as a remnant of World War II, and the Cold War fear of commie Chinese, and then the growing Vietnam war tensions. sad ....
Laura Leibowitz 6:01 PM - That's a good point.
Michael Golek 6:02 PM - Still laugh at Rochester saying (about Jack wanting him to do Amos n Andy, "You know I can't do that blackface stuff."
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:02 PM - Yay for that comeback, Laura, in the way that the writers also had Rochester say "I don't do that minstrel stuff"
Laura Leibowitz 6:02 PM - Ha! There's an echo in here.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:02 PM - yay you are right, Michael
great minds think alike
Michael Golek 6:02 PM - It's a great line.
Laura Leibowitz 6:03 PM - So what else Benny-wise is on your minds this evening? And any requests for next month?
R.Hookie 6:03 PM - April?
Laura Leibowitz 6:03 PM - Yah
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:03 PM - so, still, the TV show's use of ethnic accents and stereotypes just for fun is a small step backwards from what they had achieved by the early 50s. But TV had different masters to please, if you will
Laura Leibowitz 6:04 PM - That being CBS you mean?
Michael Golek 6:04 PM - Jack did the Mary Poppins Italian-style. Acceptable then.
Laura Leibowitz 6:04 PM - Yes, on the first color special. Elke Sommer
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:04 PM - Oh, I will ask on the facebook pages if anyone has more skits that were done on radio and then REDONE on TV, I showed the Claudette Colbert + Vincent Price radio vs Irene Dunne + Price TV episodes at my most recent talk, and audiences LOVED IT!!!!!
R.Hookie 6:05 PM - I liked the Mary Poppins take off
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:05 PM - I vote for any part of Jack Benny's Bag, I think it is., the delicious parody of The Graduate!!!
Laura Leibowitz 6:05 PM - Kathy - They did that script so many times...
Ah1 OK, that can be done.
R.Hookie 6:05 PM - I liked Bag too
Laura Leibowitz 6:06 PM - Nothing like Lou Rawls and Eddie Fisher singing backup
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:06 PM - and it always worked..... great fun to compare the two, the audience really noticed things
R.Hookie 6:06 PM - and The New Look
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:06 PM - bizarre, bizarre
Laura Leibowitz 6:06 PM - I have to confess I have a weakness for New Look.
I could watch the opening with Jack as a hippie and in leather over and over.
So there's a question. What's the most bizarre bit Jack ever did on radio or TV?
Several come to mind for me
Michael Golek 6:07 PM - The Kentucky Derby on radio where each is a horse.
R.Hookie 6:07 PM - Johnny Carson... the Bennybot
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:07 PM - Jack on the Lucy show, or Jack on Burns and Allen, the episode in the 1950s where Jack and George argue from opposite ends of the stage, that would also be fun!
Laura Leibowitz 6:08 PM - Hookie - That's definitely one of them.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:08 PM - Michael I love the horses!!!! whinnie and neigh
Laura Leibowitz 6:08 PM - A lot of people point at "Jack dreams he's a turkey" for bizarreness
Michael Golek 6:08 PM - Haha!
R.Hookie 6:08 PM - Lucy builds a vault is good
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:08 PM - I also love Jack and Co. in The Women
Tom Vorce 6:08 PM - The Johnny Carson TV episode, where Jack's head is kept/ stored separately from his body. That blew me away!
Laura Leibowitz 6:09 PM - Oh yes...pre-Charley's Aunt
Actually, Jack did something similar with Senor Wences in an early Jack Benny Hour.
Jack was the head in the box that said "S'awright!"
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:09 PM - oh gosh and the Marquis Chimps in their first encounter
pure Chaplin or Keaton in that skit
Laura Leibowitz 6:10 PM - There's an episode that's almost at the end of the series that's not in circulation called "Jack has dog trouble" It's just strange with this enormous dog jumping all over Jack
Michael Golek 6:10 PM - I see there's lots more Benny shows I need to discover. Great comments.
Laura Leibowitz 6:11 PM - Now I'm starting to think of more painfully bad shows (thank God not in circulation), like Jack as The Cat Burglar.
Michael Golek 6:11 PM - Burglars entering while Jack is sleeping is okay though.
Tom Vorce 6:11 PM - I'd love to see any out of circulation gems you might have.
Laura Leibowitz 6:11 PM - Michael - Oh yes, that's a very cute episode.
Hey Kathy - That was done on radio and TV
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:11 PM - oooh, good idea!
Laura Leibowitz 6:12 PM - Tom - And I'd love to share them. Just that my source asked me to keep them out of circulation for a period of time, and I try to honor that. But I should do one for a chat again one of these days.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:12 PM - yay, that would be so wonderful! shhhh, we promise not to tell hahaha
Tom Vorce 6:13 PM - OK,
R.Hookie 6:13 PM - Yes, shhhhh....
Laura Leibowitz 6:13 PM - Kathy - And pretty much any episode with Jimmy and Gloria Stewart can be traced back to radio with the Colmans...
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:13 PM - yes, very good point!
Tom Vorce 6:14 PM - I love the IRS/Jimmy Stewart episode.
Laura Leibowitz 6:14 PM - And...um...I think that he did the show on the lost episodes with Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood on radio with Jimmy and Gloria Stewart, if memory serves.
What other thoughts, questions, and Benny-related items for discussion?
Michael Golek 6:15 PM - Did he do a radio and TV show in the same week?
R.Hookie 6:15 PM - Well, I'm tapped.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:15 PM - Michael, yes in 1950 and 1951 he even talked about the upcoming TV show on the radio show. He never simulcast, however
Laura Leibowitz 6:16 PM - Michael - Yes and no. When they were doing both, the would air in the same week, but he'd record one or the other ahead of time. Before the transcontinental coax, he had to do shows live from New York.
R.Hookie 6:16 PM - Wasn't the radio show transcribed when the TV show was live?
Laura Leibowitz 6:16 PM - Exactly, Hookie.
TV shows live from New York.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:16 PM - it was still an enormous amount of work!!!!!
R.Hookie 6:16 PM - I see, if I waited for you to finish typing
Michael Golek 6:17 PM - I remember his radio show would be a discussion of the upcoming TV show sometimes.
Laura Leibowitz 6:17 PM - Kathy - Amen. That's why they brought on Hal and Al to supplement the writing staff.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:17 PM - how frustrating for those folks in 1951 who still did not have access to TV hahaha
Laura Leibowitz 6:17 PM - Michael - Right. Remember he was on somewhat infrequently in the first couple of years until they got the coax.
Michael Golek 6:17 PM - Maybe it was Jack and not Lucy that caused a lot of TV's to be purchased.
Laura Leibowitz 6:18 PM - Kathy - Not necessarily. They went to bars!
R.Hookie 6:18 PM - All they had to do was go to their RCA dealer
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:18 PM - yep, only 4 times in the 1950-51 season and then like 6-8 in 51-52, each one was like a special
Michael Golek 6:18 PM - Laura - I think that was smart, not to get overexposed. If he's on once in a while, that's appointment viewing.
Laura Leibowitz 6:18 PM - A special is when ground beef goes from 69 cents a pound to 48 cents a pound...
R.Hookie 6:18 PM - No a special is when coffee goes to 49c
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:18 PM - great idea, Michael, the only down side was that each show then needed to be extra good
Laura Leibowitz 6:19 PM - Oh right...thanks!
R.Hookie 6:19 PM - You beat me to the joke...
Laura Leibowitz 6:19 PM - Michael - And you're very right. He had said that he wanted to "ease into" the medium, because he'd seen it eat Fred Allen alive.
Hookie - Great minds think alike.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:19 PM - and Jack was only on air once a month until like 1956, which wrecks havoc with trying to give him high ratings kudos
R.Hookie 6:20 PM - You are obviouly the faster typist
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:20 PM - Laura, and Fred said that TV was a medium, because it was too often not well done haha
Laura Leibowitz 6:20 PM - Kathy - Yes indeedy. I was trying to remember when he went to every other week.
Yes, the reason they call TV a medium is because nothing on it is either rare or well-done.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:20 PM - badda bing!
Tom Vorce 6:20 PM - LOL
R.Hookie 6:21 PM - Good one
Michael Golek 6:21 PM - I like how it's the Jack Benny Program on TV and not "Show."
R.Hookie 6:21 PM - Still the same today
Laura Leibowitz 6:21 PM - I wonder if there's something we could do to help better memorialize stuff of Fred Allen that ages well like that.
Michael Golek 6:22 PM - Was "That ain't the way I heeerd it" on the Allen show?
Laura Leibowitz 6:22 PM - Michael - You know, you're right...although I wrote a section of Volume 3 of "39 Forever" on the fact that I was able to find a few that had a title card that said, "The Jack Benny Show." So even they flipped back and forth.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:22 PM - some have suggested Twitter feeds that are real quotes, from Fred and from John Crosby the critic, I have meant to do that but have not had time
Laura Leibowitz 6:22 PM - Kathy - That's a good thought.
Kathy Fuller Seeley 6:22 PM - say, dinner may be burning, gotta go, great time tonight! Thanks so much folks!
Laura Leibowitz 6:23 PM - OK, take care, Kathy!
R.Hookie 6:23 PM - Good night Kathy!
Michael Golek 6:23 PM - Thanks Kathy. Good info.
Laura Leibowitz 6:23 PM - Michael - You're probably thinking of Senator Claghorn
But I'm thinking that was Fibber McGee and Molly....Hookie, Tom, can you confirm?
R.Hookie 6:23 PM - Hmmm...
Laura Leibowitz 6:24 PM - Maybe I'm confusing the line with "T'aint funny, McGee."
Tom Vorce 6:24 PM - Afraid I don't know.
Michael Golek 6:24 PM - "Hey Bud" - Benny confidence man "Howdy Bub" -Allen's Alley
R.Hookie 6:24 PM - I wonder how the McGee sound effects looked like
Laura Leibowitz 6:24 PM - Well done. Sheldon Leonard vs. Parker Fennelly
Michael Golek 6:25 PM - Those guys were pros.
Laura Leibowitz 6:25 PM - Trying to quickly find the origin...stand by
Yup...Old Timer on Fibber McGee
Michael Golek 6:26 PM - Thanks Laura - I need to include some Fibber just for that line. Cracks me up.
Laura Leibowitz 6:26 PM - You should also look up the Harris-Faye program if you haven't aReady.
aka Fitch Bandwagon
OK...thanks for stopping, folks! Great chat tonight!
I'll see you all next month!
R.Hookie 6:27 PM - Good night folks!
Michael Golek 6:27 PM - That was fun. See you then.
Tom Vorce 6:27 PM - I learn so much from you knowledgeable folks! Good night.