Re: Kenny Baker

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Posted ByLL on February 16, 2004 at 00:29:25:

In Reply to: Re: Kenny Baker posted byGerry O. on February 15, 2004 at 22:35:10:

: It's a very interesting question when you ask if Jack was upset when Kenny left the Benny program. Jack's reaction to Kenny's departure has never really been discussed...not even in in-depth biographies of Jack.
I think that's mainly because the people who wrote the biographies (excepting Mary, but her book was written mostly by Marcia Borie) didn't come into Jack's life until after Kenny Baker had left the show. The potentially telling thing, to me, is that in the 6/18/39 show (Kenny's last), Kenny is preparing to go to Waukegan with the rest of the gang. On the 6/25/1939 show, Kenny's absence is dismissed with the single line of, "Kenny Baker was called back to Hollywood."

It's my turn to posit a theory, but I wonder if Kenny's impending departure was announced during the intervening week and took Jack by surprise. If Jack had known in advance of Kenny's departure, then I think more would have been said about it...and certainly not that he was going to Waukegan with the gang if he wasn't going to do that.

Speaking as a Project Manager, I don't like it when my team members surprise me with bad news. And surprises occur usually because either a) someone didn't think about the ramifications, or b) someone was hiding something. People can hide things for a variety of reasons, from sparing people's feelings to outright subterfuge.

I think it's unlikely that Kenny wouldn't realize the ramifications of his leaving the show. And I can't begin to postulate on what would motivate Kenny to hide his departure from Jack...there are just too many possibilities. But putting myself in Jack's shoes, I'd be pretty unhappy to have that news sprung on me, knowing that you're losing a popular cast member and having to spend a good part of the summer looking for a suitable replacement. But that also doesn't mean you're going to be "on the outs" with the spring-ee forever, thus the later reunions.

It's all just theory. I'd be curious to hear other opinions on it.


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