More Thoughts On "Christmas Shopping" Shows

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Posted ByGerry O. on November 27, 2001 at 21:59:15:

In Reply to: Re: Christmas shopping shows posted byGerry O. on November 27, 2001 at 11:11:29:

: : This is for all of you who are new to Jack, or those of
: : you who don't know what shows to listen to. There
: : are a treasure of Christmas shopping shows Jack did
: : from 1946-1954. The whole "buying a gift for Don" started
: : in 1946 when Jack couldn't decided whether to buy Don
: : metal tipped or plastic tipped shoe laces. The other
: : shopping gags over the next few years included buying
: : Don cuff links (couldn't make up his mind on what to
: : inscribe), a wallet (spend $40 or $1.98?), stuffed dates,
: : paints (oils or acryllics?), and a gopher trap (should
: : it kill the poor critters or trap them alive?). If any
: : of the rest of you can think of what else Jack had trouble
: : deciding what to buy Don, please share it. These are
: : wonderful shows, and they really emphasize Mel Blanc's
: : talent and comic genius.
: : Merry Christmas and Happy Listening!

: I LOVE the "Christmas Shopping" shows!!! One of the biggest laughs that those shows get is when store clerk Mel Blanc FIRST sees Jack for that year's shopping trip: "Yes sir, what can I....OHHHH, it's YOU again!" Even Jack had a tough time from breaking up after Mel's "greeting"!

Here's something else about those episodes...To the novice listener, it may seem like the Benny series simply rehashed the same old "shopping" routine every Christmas season, but the beauty of the whole thing is the FAMILIARITY of it! When Jack buys Don a gopher trap that kills the gophers (instead of the kind that traps them alive), and then runs into Don at the department store, who tells Jack that he needs to rush home because his wife has fainted at the sight of a dead gopher on their lawn, it's HILARIOUS! The listener (as well as the studio audience) KNOWS what's coming next...Jack is going to go back to Mel Blanc's counter to exchange the "killer" trap for one that traps gophers alive...and we also KNOW that Mel is going to have a major emotional meltdown about it! It's great to hear the on-air silence as Jack's changing his mind about the gift, and how the studio audience's laughter gradually builds and builds when they realize what's coming next! The Christmas Shopping programs are really fine examples of "The Comedy Of Anticipation".

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