IJBFC Chat - January 12, 2020

(Name of message originator appears above the line)


R. Hookie  4:56 PM

Good evening folks!


Rodrigo Araya  4:56 PM

Hiya, Jackson! Happy New Year!


Phil! It's January the 12th!


I know, but how would I know I'd sleep for 12 days!


Tom V.  4:57 PM

Happy New Year and Good evening everyone!


Rodrigo Araya  4:58 PM

It took Alice 10 buckets of ice to wake me up!


Gee, Phil! Sounds like some New Year's bash!


R. Hookie  4:59 PM

Sorry, half asleep... trying to adjust to possible new work hours... It ain't working.


brad_strickland  4:59 PM

Hi ho, Laura!


R. Hookie  5:00 PM

Hi Brad


brad_strickland  5:01 PM

Just got in from a day trip to NC to visit friends and relatives. I was afraid I'd miss the checkin.,


Laura Leibowitz  5:01 PM

Hi folks!


R. Hookie  5:01 PM

Hi Laura


Tom V.  5:01 PM

Hi Laura!


Laura Leibowitz  5:01 PM

Nope, you're just in time, Brad


brad_strickland  5:02 PM

I may be incoherent. We had thunder last night, and our noise-sensitve dog kept waking me up about every hour. Then six hours of driving.....


R. Hookie  5:02 PM

I know that feeling


brad_strickland  5:02 PM

Of course, Brad coherent isn't that different from Brad incoherent. Maybe if I don't tuck in my shirt no one will notice.


R. Hookie  5:03 PM

Are you tucked?


brad_strickland  5:03 PM

More tuckered, but that's another story. Yeah, I'm casual now.


I need to get me one of them there little old avatars.


Laura Leibowitz  5:04 PM

Hi Tom!


brad_strickland  5:05 PM

Hi, Tom!


Rodrigo Araya  5:05 PM

At least it wasn't "Hank, the All-Night Disc.Jockey" who woke you up!


brad_strickland  5:05 PM

Hi, Rodrigo!


Tom V.  5:05 PM

Hi Brad!


Laura Leibowitz  5:05 PM

Rodrigo - Well done!


brad_strickland  5:05 PM

My brother used to be an all-night DJ.


Rodrigo Araya  5:06 PM

Was he sponsored by a tailor by any chance?


Laura Leibowitz  5:06 PM

I used to be an all-night DJ. But it was for easy listening, so kinda different than Hank.


brad_strickland  5:06 PM

No, he was sponsored by a Baptist church. Of course, no self-respecting Baptist stays up past ten, so it was coals to Newcastle.


R. Hookie  5:06 PM

I may be done with the all-night as of now


Laura Leibowitz  5:07 PM

Hookie - You OK with that?


Tom V.  5:07 PM

I was a DJ when I was a young guy 30 years ago! Adult contemporary, country and then Oldies.


R. Hookie  5:07 PM

Well, I go in at Noon tomorrow until the studio goes dark for the last time... then go downtown


Rodrigo Araya  5:08 PM

Apparently, there was an actual "Hank, the All-Night DJ" in L.A. during the late 1940s and early 50s.


brad_strickland  5:08 PM

Tripper (dog) has sort of recovered from the fireworks of Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Robert E. Lee's birthday, anyway. No sleep for me on those nights.


Laura Leibowitz  5:08 PM

That makes sense. Like the inspiration for the "Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga" was an announcer who did the frost warnings when George Balzer was growing up.


R. Hookie  5:09 PM



Laura Leibowitz  5:09 PM

Brad - You know Ford has created a "sound cave" for dogs who are afraid of fireworks?


brad_strickland  5:09 PM

Gee, that sounds kind of sad, Hookie. Put "The Load-Out" on your music player for mood as the studio goes dark.


Laura Leibowitz  5:09 PM

Hookie - That has to be very bittersweet.


Last one out the door, please turn off the lights. Makes me think of NBC moving out of beautiful downtown Burbank.


brad_strickland  5:10 PM

Laura--No, haven't heard that. Tripper has a thunderjacket and a very quiet basement (where I am now--that's where my office is) to retreat to, but the trouble is I have to be there, too.


R. Hookie  5:10 PM

It's like I'll be sitting there killing off an old friend, before heading to the new digs


Laura Leibowitz  5:10 PM

Brad - I'll look it up and send you the link. No idea of the price, but at least you can know.


OK...shall we get the show going?


brad_strickland  5:11 PM

Thanks, Laura! I appreciate that. Ready to go here.


Rodrigo Araya  5:12 PM

Well, I was reading some JB-related books that were recently uploaded on the FB page.


Laura Leibowitz  5:12 PM

OK, comparing radio and TV again this month...grab the popcorn!


R. Hookie  5:12 PM

Double feature?!!!


Laura Leibowitz  5:12 PM

Yepper! By request!


If you join the chat while we're enjoying the shows, please join at the link above!


kathy_fuller_seeley  5:21 PM

hey folks, sorry I am late


michael_amowitz  5:56 PM

Coming! Coming! Sorry, I'm a little late, folks!


Laura Leibowitz  6:08 PM

Hi Michael!


Hi Kathy!


R. Hookie  6:08 PM

That was fun!


michael_amowitz  6:08 PM

Hi, recovering from the bathing suit sale


Laura Leibowitz  6:08 PM



brad_strickland  6:08 PM

I owe you for renewing my subscription to the JB Times. I'll make a note to pay up.


Laura Leibowitz  6:08 PM

So thoughts on those?


R. Hookie  6:08 PM

I like the double features!


brad_strickland  6:08 PM

Hi, Kathy!


Rodrigo Araya  6:08 PM

The "three-legged elephant" joke reminds me of those raffles where the first prize is a pig without a leg.


No points for guessing second prize.


Laura Leibowitz  6:08 PM

Brad - Sounds good. My next order of business after the chat is to get the paper copies ready to go in the mail.


Tom V.  6:08 PM

Love the double features as well.


michael_amowitz  6:08 PM

Hi LL! Hookie, your radio station is closing down?


Laura Leibowitz  6:09 PM

Rodrigo - Had you seen the television version previously?


R. Hookie  6:09 PM

My TV station has new owners and we're moving in with our new sister station



michael_amowitz  6:09 PM

I missed the first; I was running a little late


brad_strickland  6:10 PM

"That thar pig once saved my son. He fell in the well, and the pig was so smart, he run to the house and fetched a rope and pulled him out. Mighty smart pig." "But why has he only got three legs?" "Mister, you don't eat a pig like that all at once!"


Rodrigo Araya  6:10 PM

Yes. It was the radio version I didn't listen,


Laura Leibowitz  6:10 PM

Oh gotcha! I was thinking you were focusing on the radio series first.


R. Hookie  6:10 PM

Our old control room goes off tomorrow afternoon.


The leg in the radio version was funnier... the sight gag didn't work for me.


Rodrigo Araya  6:11 PM

Actually, I watch one TV episode (at random) on Saturday evenings, while on Sundays, I listen to the radio episodes (will be listening to the 43-44 season beginning in April).


Laura Leibowitz  6:11 PM

Sounds like a good weekend...


Rodrigo Araya  6:12 PM

In fact, I was listening to the Dec. 6, 42 episode.


The one where Phil left for the Marines.


Laura Leibowitz  6:12 PM

Ah yes...Phil and the band!


Better to have them in the merchant marines than get drafted to go overseas one by one.


brad_strickland  6:13 PM

In 1925, if memory serves, at Cornell University people were startled to find the clear prints of a large animal in the snow, leading out onto Bebe Lake, where the ice had a huge hole in it. A biologist identified the tracks as those of a rhino. The people were alarmed because the lake was a source of drinking water. A dead rhino in their water? Turned out a couple of students had made the track with two ropes and a rhinoceros-leg umbrella stand.


Rodrigo Araya  6:13 PM

Out of all of the guest bands that filled in, I think Abe Lyman was the best one.


Laura Leibowitz  6:13 PM

Kathy - You still here?


Rodrigo - Better than Benny Goodman?


brad_strickland  6:14 PM

I just listened to a NY show with Lyman from 1937. He was funny.


Laura Leibowitz  6:14 PM

Abe Lyman pretty much takes over Don Bestor's character, but tougher and not as educated


Rodrigo Araya  6:15 PM

Just a matter of taste. I do like B.G.


Laura Leibowitz  6:15 PM

Fair nuff


What other thoughts on the shows, or anything Benny-related?


Rodrigo Araya  6:15 PM



michael_amowitz  6:16 PM

Just glad to get here


Laura Leibowitz  6:16 PM

Always glad to have you here, Michael!


R. Hookie  6:16 PM

I had fun tonight


Laura Leibowitz  6:16 PM

Excellent, as it should be!


Thoughts for next month's show?


brad_strickland  6:17 PM

Well, February is Jack's birthday month.


R. Hookie  6:17 PM

Any birthday shows?


Laura Leibowitz  6:17 PM

I knew someone had to say it


Rodrigo Araya  6:17 PM

Just to close the Lyman angle, even in his 43 stint there were mentions of him being a cabbie. That's some good continuity.


Laura Leibowitz  6:17 PM

Actually, what about the show for Dennis' birthday, just to mix it up a bit? Where Jack is throwing him a surprise party?


michael_amowitz  6:18 PM

That sounds fine


R. Hookie  6:18 PM

Sounds good


brad_strickland  6:18 PM

That would be great. It's been a while.


Tom V.  6:18 PM

Valentine's Day related shows?


Laura Leibowitz  6:18 PM

Rodrigo - In--I think it's a birthday episode--in 1954, Jack says something about Kenny Baker!


Rodrigo Araya  6:18 PM

Jack made a show on Feb. 13, 1944, just before his 50th birthday.


Laura Leibowitz  6:19 PM

Shhh...don't blow Jack's cover!


He's 39!


Rodrigo Araya  6:19 PM

There was an episode where Jack attempted to get a replacement sponsor in case Luckies didn't pick up his option.


He called up Canada Dry, General Tire and Jell-O.


Laura Leibowitz  6:20 PM

Not Chevrolet?


Would be a heckuva product placement...


brad_strickland  6:21 PM

I just recently learned that the Frankie Remley character on the Phil Harris/Alice Faye radio show became Elliott Lewis (the hard-working radio writer, actor, director, etc), the name of the actor who played Frankie on the radio, becauxe the show changed networks. On the transition show, "Frankie" tells a confused Phil, "My real name's Elliott Lewis. I just use Frankie Remley as a stage name." The real reason was that NBC had the rights to the character name, and now they were on CBS....


Rodrigo Araya  6:21 PM

Apparently, Jack and Chevy didn't part too gently. Graeme Cree's site notes that one interview had Jack saying in an interview he jumped from Canada Dry to General Tire.


Laura Leibowitz  6:22 PM

Actually, Jack had the rights to the character name!


Gee, wish Kathy was here now to add more detail to that.


brad_strickland  6:22 PM

Ah, so the announcer on XM-Sirius misled me. I feel like I've been following a fake rhino.


michael_amowitz  6:22 PM

I never thought about that, Brad!


Laura Leibowitz  6:22 PM

And Phil stayed on NBC.


NBC was kind of buttering him up that they were going to make him the "next Jack Benny" with all their loss of talent from Paley's raid.


Rodrigo Araya  6:23 PM

Phil wasn't the first one to have to cross the street to get from CBS to NBC.


brad_strickland  6:23 PM

So Jack, at CBS, had the rights to Frankie, and Phil, who stayed at NBC, had to settle for Elliott . . . but the character didn't change at all.


Laura Leibowitz  6:23 PM

Brad - Welcome to my life. I'm the one running behind that fake rhino with a shovel.


Brad - Yep.


michael_amowitz  6:24 PM



Laura Leibowitz  6:24 PM

Rodrigo - Who else did that?


brad_strickland  6:24 PM

There's so much misinformation and so many tall tales about TV/movie/radio folks.


Laura Leibowitz  6:24 PM

Oh man...I could tell stories for days...is Mary related to the Marx Brothers? facepalm


Rodrigo Araya  6:25 PM

Mel Blanc commented on his memories he ran back and forth from one show to another.


Laura Leibowitz  6:25 PM

Rodrigo - Ah, that makes sense! I was wondering if it was a character actor.


Rodrigo Araya  6:25 PM

At 6 he played the Happy Postman on "Burns and Allen", and at 6.30 he was on "Fibber and Molly".


brad_strickland  6:26 PM

And at times he was on the Judy Canova show. . . .


Laura Leibowitz  6:26 PM

It was always funny seeing club members around Eddie Carroll after his show, complaining about the factual inaccuracies of his script. As he said to me in Waukegan, "You're a historian. I'm an entertainer. The story plays better this way." I never argued with him about it again.


Rodrigo Araya  6:26 PM

Mel also worked on "The Great Gildersleeve", "Blondie", "Abbott and Costello", etc.


brad_strickland  6:27 PM

Man of a thousand roles.


Laura Leibowitz  6:27 PM

A man for all seasons


Rodrigo Araya  6:27 PM

On the latter he worked with Kent Rogers, who was a promising impressionist.


Laura Leibowitz  6:27 PM

Joe Besser and Artie Auerbach also worked a number of shows.


Rodrigo Araya  6:28 PM

Arthur Q. Bryan (Elmer Fudd) was Doc Gamble, Bill Thompson (Droopy) was Mr. Wimple.


Laura Leibowitz  6:28 PM

And Arthur Q. Bryan appeared on Jack's show a couple times.


brad_strickland  6:28 PM

Eddie and I talked about that. He told me, "if it gets a laugh and isn't too far out of character, it's better for the show." I think we were specifically talking about the bit int he show where Eddie-as-Jack said he turned down the role played by Bob Hope and so missed getting "Thanks for the Memory" as his theme song....


Laura Leibowitz  6:28 PM

Once selling "Wucky Stwikes"


Brad - That's the exact gag I was just thinking of.


brad_strickland  6:29 PM

In a similar vein, in the radio adaptation of "It's a Wonderful Life," Victor Moore played Clarence the Angel.


Laura Leibowitz  6:30 PM

Jack's radio adaptation?


brad_strickland  6:30 PM

No, it was Lux Radio Theatre, with Jimmy Stewart. Moore's voice is so distinctive that it was a little jarring to hear him as Clarence.


Laura Leibowitz  6:31 PM

Actually, just looked it up. Victor Moore played it for Jack as well.


Thought so, but wanted to make sure.


brad_strickland  6:31 PM



Rodrigo Araya  6:31 PM

Pinto Colvig (Goofy) did a pair of roles on Jack's show, the Maxwell and Leona, a horse Andy gave Jack to replace Maxie during the war.


Laura Leibowitz  6:31 PM



Rodrigo - Correct!


And then there's Cliff Nazarro...


brad_strickland  6:32 PM

Was Pinto pre- or apres- Mel Blanc as the Maxwell?


Laura Leibowitz  6:32 PM



Rodrigo Araya  6:32 PM

Jack's parody of the film had Peter Lind Hayes as... I don't think the boss would like it!


brad_strickland  6:32 PM

"Chugga-chugga-chugga a-hyuck!"


Laura Leibowitz  6:33 PM

Hays in a dual role...one of the Warner Brothers too.


brad_strickland  6:33 PM

Bill Farmer, who vices Goofy now, is a very nice guy.


Laura Leibowitz  6:33 PM

Goofy's vices. Wow...uh...


Mental image of Goofy drinking whisky out of a flash




brad_strickland  6:34 PM

Yeah, yeah, but Bill tells hilarious stories!


Laura Leibowitz  6:34 PM

Shooting up


R. Hookie  6:34 PM

Sorry I can't stay... good night folks!


Laura Leibowitz  6:34 PM

Have a good day, Hookie. Tell the station adios from us!


michael_amowitz  6:34 PM

Take care, Hookie


brad_strickland  6:35 PM

When I interviewed him for the Carroll bio, Bill said, "I think we become our roles. Eddie became the nicest guy in town by playing Jack, and I got goofy."


michael_amowitz  6:35 PM

I'm enjoying the commentary


brad_strickland  6:35 PM

Goodnight, Hookie!


Laura Leibowitz  6:35 PM

It's similar to something Phil Harris said to me


Rodrigo Araya  6:35 PM

Did you meet Phil? When?


Laura Leibowitz  6:35 PM

That their characters (other than Jack) were taken from their actual personas and blown up to comedy proportions


Yes, I interviewed him back in...I think 1987.


Rodrigo Araya  6:36 PM

Did you get to know any other of the cast members?


Laura Leibowitz  6:36 PM

At one of his Palm Desert homes, which used to belong to writer Bill Morrow!


Rodrigo - I got to interview Dennis, but I wouldn't say I really knew him.


brad_strickland  6:37 PM

Did you get to interview Quentin?


Laura Leibowitz  6:37 PM

Yes I did.


A hush falls over the crowd


brad_strickland  6:37 PM

Nuff said?


Laura Leibowitz  6:37 PM

Nuff said.


Rodrigo Araya  6:37 PM



Laura Leibowitz  6:37 PM

I even asked him if he knew who Quentin was.


I didn't know it at the time.


brad_strickland  6:38 PM

(Lou Costello voice) I'm a baaad boy. (/Lou Costello voice)


Laura Leibowitz  6:38 PM

But I'll never forget how his face darkened at the question, and he gave me a curt, "No."


And the hush stays over the crowd


Rodrigo Araya  6:39 PM



michael_amowitz  6:39 PM

Lol, hushed here ... I don't know this story


brad_strickland  6:39 PM

Well, I have my suspicions, but one is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.


Laura Leibowitz  6:39 PM

Michael - See Milt Josefsberg's book


michael_amowitz  6:40 PM



Laura Leibowitz  6:40 PM

Brad - And that's why, although I'm pretty confident, I don't say who I think it was.


brad_strickland  6:40 PM

I understand. I respect that.


Laura Leibowitz  6:40 PM

Because if I'm wrong, no sense smearing someone's memory.


And Milt was not innocent in things either.


brad_strickland  6:41 PM

Plus, who knows? Milt's version may be one of those exaggerated Hollywood stories. You pre-empted me.


Laura Leibowitz  6:41 PM

My eyebrows raised when Al Gordon was telling me that Milt was "not a nice man!"


But we usually remember things in a way that is most complimentary to ourselves. At least a lot of people do.


brad_strickland  6:42 PM

Hal Roach notoriously claimed that Stan Laurel was a conniving, backstabbing, glory-hogging fraud. Stan Laurel! I don't think anybody who knew him would agree with Roach.


Laura Leibowitz  6:43 PM

I've always heard quite the opposite.


michael_amowitz  6:43 PM

Same here


Laura Leibowitz  6:43 PM

Maybe he was thinking of Oliver Hardy's daughter? I've heard bad stuff, but don't have any details.


brad_strickland  6:43 PM

Me, too. And I've known a couple of people who actually knew Laurel.


Rodrigo Araya  6:43 PM

Remember, folks. Hollywood rhymes with bad blood.


Laura Leibowitz  6:44 PM

And that's one of the things that makes Jack stand out. He never participated in that sort of thing.


brad_strickland  6:44 PM

No, Roach resented Stan because Roach claimed to be the screenwriter for all the Laurel and Hardy films made at his studio, and he wasn't. Stan wrote or cowrote all of them. Roach wanted the credit (and paid himself as screenwriter, keeping Laurel and Hardy to a relatively low, non-profit-sharing salary).


Laura Leibowitz  6:45 PM

Harkening back to the same chapter in Milt's book, remember that even though pretty much everyone hated Frank Fay, Jack went to see him in "Harvey" because "I'm going to see Frank Fay the comedian, not Frank Fay the man."


Tom V.  6:46 PM

Yes, that's what I heard too, is that Hal Roach was not a nice man!


Rodrigo Araya  6:46 PM

I think Hardy said Stan pretty much co-directed the shorts, especially because Jimmy Parrott was pretty much a drunken mess.


Laura Leibowitz  6:46 PM

Brad - And interestingly, some of that sort of thing plays into the Quentin story too...if I'm correct.


brad_strickland  6:46 PM

Didn't Jack's walk imitate Fay's?


Laura Leibowitz  6:46 PM

Brad - Sure did. As did Bob Hope.


michael_amowitz  6:46 PM

I finally saw Renee Zellweger as "Judy" last night. There are plenty of lower lows out there, and Louis B. Meyer was such a guy.


Laura Leibowitz  6:46 PM

And they both took their smooth-talking emcee schtick from Fay as well.


And then there's James Aubrey...


Rodrigo Araya  6:47 PM

"The last time I saw Fay, he was strolling down Lovers' Lane holding his own hand"

Fred Allen.


michael_amowitz  6:47 PM



Laura Leibowitz  6:47 PM

Yes! Well done!


brad_strickland  6:47 PM

"But Hope cups his hand s . . . he looks like a headwaiter expecting a tip!" (Jack, complaining that Hope makes fun of the way he walks)


Laura Leibowitz  6:47 PM



Rodrigo Araya  6:47 PM

I just realized... I mentioned Allen!


Laura Leibowitz  6:47 PM

Fay was once punched out by Milton Berle, supposedly over a woman.


Fred Allen is fully acceptable here. They were friends!


Rodrigo Araya  6:48 PM

I know.


brad_strickland  6:48 PM

Jimmy Stewart took the role in "Harvey" that Fay played for years on stage. Elwood P. Dowd....


Rodrigo Araya  6:48 PM

I just say those things for fun.


Laura Leibowitz  6:48 PM

Or maybe it was because Fay supposedly beat up Barbara Stanwyck when they were married. But I think the reverse is more likely.


Rodrigo - OK, figured but wanted to be sure!


Rodrigo Araya  6:50 PM

Maybe we could reserve more Hollywood hijinks for next month, being Oscar campaign season.


Laura Leibowitz  6:50 PM

Lawyer: What is your occupation, Mr. Fay?


Fay: I'm the world's greatest comedian.


Later, someone else: Frank, why did you say that?


brad_strickland  6:50 PM

My wall of fame in my office has autographed photos of Groucho Marx (got it from him, so I know it's authentic), Jimmy Stewart (bought it at a memorabilia store), Billy West (he signed for me at a DragonCon), and


Laura Leibowitz  6:50 PM

Fay: I couldn't lie...I was under oath!


Rodrigo Araya  6:51 PM

Anyway, it takes balls to make such a claim.


brad_strickland  6:51 PM

Chuck McCann . . . he sighed it at a SPERDVAC meeting for me. Missing: My photo of Jack with an autograph. I think it was lost when our house flooded.


Laura Leibowitz  6:51 PM

Rodrigo - Or gall


I lost an Arthur Godfrey autograph in a flood.


brad_strickland  6:52 PM

Louis Nizer, a famous attorney, wrote a book called MY LIFE IN COURT--good read--and he says when he asked Morey


Amsterdam if he was primarily a comedian, Amsterdam said, "Only if people laugh."


Laura Leibowitz  6:52 PM

Perfect answer.


brad_strickland  6:53 PM

It was a copyright-infringement suit, and Amsterdam was found guilty.


Laura Leibowitz  6:53 PM

Like a lawyer who was questioning George Burns during the Erin Flemming trial


He said, "I've never cross-examined God before."


Burns responded, "I'm only God when I get paid."


Rodrigo Araya  6:54 PM

Jack only mentioned that case to his writers a couple of times.


brad_strickland  6:54 PM

I think I will go to bed. I had to read Laura's last sentence twice. First time I misread it as "I'm only God when I get laid." Oy!


Rodrigo Araya  6:54 PM

Back in the day, a scandal could have pretty much wrecked his career.


Laura Leibowitz  6:55 PM

Very true.


OK, shall we call it good for this month?


Good times, folks. Thank you!


michael_amowitz  6:55 PM



brad_strickland  6:55 PM

Laura--do you recall Godfrey's song "The Ballad of Teeterboro Tower?" Oh, well--goodnight!


Laura Leibowitz  6:55 PM

Brad - Not off the top of my head.


Rodrigo Araya  6:55 PM

As long as no one of us gets involved in a smuggling case... See ya!


michael_amowitz  6:56 PM

See y'all next month!


Tom V.  6:56 PM

Good night, folks! Enjoyable conversations. Thank You!


Laura Leibowitz  6:56 PM

Stay warm!