kathy_fuller_seeley4:58 PM so, for Darrel Lantz’s buckbenntotr podcast coming up, we commented on Jack Benny’s TV birthday special from Feb 1969. Its a mixed bag, but the singer is a young fellow Jack hoped to promote. a dude named “Rouvaun” who turned out to be a white bread kid from Utah who sang in the Mormon Tabernacle choir. So there’s the thing, in the Feb 69 show they joke about him being able to break a glass with his voice. But just 6 years later, in 1975, the 43-year old died of his esophagus bursting, while he was singing, you know….. that is some bad luck… (edited) 4:59we could all throw pennies for the Benny-palooza!
garth_johnson5:00 PM Rouvaun also played Taho with Jack in 19685:01The Birthday Special1969-02-17_-_jb6_-_source_catalog_-_jack_bennys_birthday_special_-_jack_with_rouvaun.jpg
kathy_fuller_seeley5:01 PM Jack was always so good about promoting young talent, I don’t know who else died from singing themselves to death, however…. that was in 1975 after Jack’s passing
kathy_fuller_seeley5:11 PM Howdy Roger!!!! On the volumes update, Ben Ohmart has put both volumes 2 and 3 into production, yay! And he is so anxious to try to re-publish Sunday Nights at Seven. Really, he is such a great supporter of our work!
Laura Leibowitz5:12 PM That’s fantastic! Depending on his timeline, maybe he should offer pre-orders at the convention.
kathy_fuller_seeley5:13 PM Rodrigo, yes that was the first Chevy show….after Canada Dry had dumped them in late Jan 1933. At NBC there was a fear that a fired-host could not get a new show. But Al Jolson quit the Chevy show suddenly, and they were willing to give Benny a try5:13great idea on pre-orders Laura!!!!15:14Rodrigo, I will have to check on your question, will tell you when I find out!
kathy_fuller_seeley5:18 PM GOSH, well there you go…….as I tell other folks, most entertainers are a&&holes and I am ever so grateful that Jack was so kind, to be able to spend so much time with him! I referenced having to talk about Bob Hope, who was a major a&&hole to so many folks, but there you go
kathy_fuller_seeley5:20 PM yes Laura, its fascinating to see how public reaction to drag or cross-dressing changed over the decades…. from this is OK. to this is crazy funny because it should not be done. to HORRIBLE, to gay rights, to today more acceptance to be whatever you want to be….
kathy_fuller_seeley5:23 PM my undergraduate students want to think that history is a straight line from awfulness up to wonderful enlightenment, and I try to show them that sometimes things get worse before they get “better”
Neil Ottenstein5:23 PM Well, there were the Pepperpots in Monty Python and of course many characters on the radio in The Goon Show.
kathy_fuller_seeley5:25 PM if you look at the movie advertising for “Charley’s Aunt” in 1941 its fascinating about how fearful they were of men in women’s clothing’5:25versus the great fun everyone thought the Benny radio version of “The Women” was in 1939!
kathy_fuller_seeley5:27 PM yes Garth, thank you!!! When Benny did Gracie Allen in the 1950s it made the cover of “Confidential” scandal magazine!!!!
Laura Leibowitz5:29 PM And interesting to note that England was OK with drag while still having homosexuality illegal, and the unspeakable things that happened to great minds like Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing.5:29The pictures that made Benny BURN!
Rodrigo Araya5:29 PM The strange thing is that drag was quite common in cartoons of the era…5:29Namely, Warner cartoons.
garth_johnson5:30 PM Page One of the article1949-00-00_-_mag_-_radio_best_-_jack_benny_gets_into_the_act_with_george_burns-1.jpg
kathy_fuller_seeley5:30 PM when Jack did his Gracie Allen routine on live TV in 1953, there are great documents in the Wyoming collection about CBS network execs terrified of what the critical response would be.
garth_johnson5:31 PM And two.1949-00-00_-_mag_-_radio_best_-_jack_benny_gets_into_the_act_with_george_burns-2.jpg
kathy_fuller_seeley5:31 PM Reaction to the TV show in 1953 were split, but it generated HUGE ratings, and spurred Jack to record the show on an upcoming show in like 1954? I don’t remember the date of the episode that we can see on tape
Laura Leibowitz5:31 PM Didn’t Milt say something about Jack enjoying shaving his legs?5:32Kathy – You’re right, it’s the later one.5:32Just a kine of the first one.
kathy_fuller_seeley5:32 PM well, this TV episode shows me that Jack had quite a lot of body hair, which was shocking and fun, haha
garth_johnson5:40 PM That’s easy — there are actually two in this set but one is a newspaper clipping1914-12-20_-_art_-_jptm_bp995_jc_-_benny_and_woods_piano-cropped.jpg
Joe Michael5:40 PM in the set I had, there was just one Benny episode (IRS). It was in a big clamshell case with other cassettes: Burns & Allen, Lum & Abner, Fibber McGee & Molly….a Lone Ranger I think.5:40but the cassette label was identical to that one Garth posted.
Joe Michael5:45 PM i was thinking more like candid photos. i see stuff like that all the time, shatner or nimoy in costume but hanging around on a studio set somewhere and happened to take a photo with some other celeb
Laura Leibowitz5:45 PM The trouble is that by the time Star Trek was on, Jack was no longer shooting at Desilu. He was doing his TV specials at NBC.
Laura Leibowitz5:49 PM Maybe we can get a closeup on that script like they did for the My Pillow guy.5:50True…not sure when shoulder pads like that were in other than the 1980s.
garth_johnson5:50 PM 1920 – Los Angeles Herald – Ben K. Benny and Phil Baker with Pearl Dunbar In An Elevator1920-07-28_-_nws_-_los_angeles_herald_-_pg_00_-_benny_with_baker_and_pearl_dunbar_in_elevator.jpg
Laura Leibowitz5:57 PM Could make Jack break up faster than Mel Blanc!5:57Rodrigo – Yes, I need to get back to the stage fright thread. Anything interesting?
Rodrigo Araya5:58 PM Some members suggested Mary retired in ’58 out of jealousy regarding Gracie. (edited) 5:58And that George apparently only stood her because of Jack.
Laura Leibowitz5:58 PM Hmmm…because Gracie retired?5:59Mary’s last tv eps were filmed in the summer of 55 if I remember correctly.5:59Hey Kathy, did we lose you6:00A lot of people only stood Mary because of Jack.
garth_johnson6:00 PM LL – What about the other Frankie — Frankie Fanelli who worked the Congo Room at the Sahara with Jack in 1967.295330.jpg
Rodrigo Araya6:00 PM I recall reading an old Spanish “Reader’s Digest” story about the misadventurous life of vaudevillian Jimmy Savo.
garth_johnson6:01 PM 1930 – Earl Carroll Vanities – Jack Benny, Herb Williams, Patsy Kelly and Jimmie Savo1930-07-01_-_jb3_-_jg_autographs_catalog_-_earl_carroll_vanities_-_benny_williams_patsy_kelly_jimmie_savo-a.jpg