Posted ByGerry O. on December 13, 2001 at 10:47:42:
In Reply to: Re: Info On "Strange" Benny Show From 1938 posted bykurt on December 13, 2001 at 03:04:03:
: The general answer as to why the broadcast of April 3, 1938 has a different format is because on this occasion, the Benny program was used to promote three other NBC stars, including Allen. So there was no room on the show for the Benny cast. That date also marked a year since the end of the "hot" phase of the Benny-Allen "feud." Rochester was part of the show because at the time, he was the hottest cast member. Kate Smith and Robert Ripley both had their own NBC programs (way down the Hooper ratings, and with Smith, there was no need for another singer. Besides, Kenny Baker was filming the "Goldwyn Follies" in Hollywood.
Thanks for the info, Kurt! I'm not sure who Robert Ripley's sponsor was during this period, but I know that Kate Smith was sponsored by Calumet Baking Powder and Swansdown Cake Flour...both General Foods products, who also made Jell-O, so General Foods may have had a hand in the cross-plugging as well as the network. Whenever I listen to this particular show, it reminds me of the hour-long NBC-TV specials that Jack did in the late 60's and early 70's....Basically Jack standing on stage trying to do a show, with various "surprise" guest stars coming and going. I DO enjoy the 4/3/38 show, it's just very different!