History Radio / TheJackBennyProgram

9th Feb '18 7:02:51 PM TomServo
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** After Dennis Day got his own show called "A Day In The Life Of Dennis Day", he started constantly putting Jack down because he only has one show.
9th Feb '18 5:26:15 PM TomServo
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* BadBoss: A whole host of running gags revolved around how the cast, and Rochester, in particular, continually complained about how Jack was a stingy slave-driver who, besides being extraordinarily reluctant to pay his employees their salaries, would insert all sorts of weird and annoying obligations into their contracts, such as having Dennis mow his lawn, or having Mary help him out with his laundry business, or making his cast work odd jobs during February because it's the shortest month of the year.

to:

* BadBoss: A whole host of running gags revolved around how the cast, and Rochester, in particular, continually complained about how Jack was a stingy slave-driver who, besides being extraordinarily reluctant to pay his employees their salaries, would insert all sorts of weird and annoying obligations into their contracts, such as having Dennis mow his lawn, or having Mary help him out with his laundry business, or making his cast work odd jobs during February because it's the shortest month of the year. Most definitely not in real life, though.



** Don Wilson's role as the commercial pitchman diminished severely during the Lucky Strike years, with the company's insistence on using their own commercials before and after the program, and the addition of the Sportsman Quartet's song commercials in the show. This is in contrast to his comically overenthusiastic commercial plugs for Jell-O and Grape Nuts during their time as Jack's sponsors. AFRS versions of the show, which cuts out all the commercials, often only leave the introduction and a line or two from Don, if that.



* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first few seasons were quite similar to the typical radio show of the early 30s, with Jack acting as an emcee, his monologue and the odd sketch being secondary to the orchestra playing popular songs of the day. The comedy was also directly lifted from Jack's vaudeville act, such as him opening the show with some bogus news and Mary playing Jack's dim-witted girlfriend, speaking in a high-pitched voice. Don Wilson would become the announcer by 1934 and Rochester would join in around 1935.

to:

* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first few seasons were quite similar to the typical radio show of the early 30s, with Jack acting as an emcee, his monologue and the odd sketch being secondary to the orchestra playing popular songs of the day. The comedy was also directly lifted from Jack's vaudeville act, such as him opening the show with some bogus news and Mary playing Jack's dim-witted girlfriend, speaking in a high-pitched voice. Don Wilson would become the announcer by 1934 and Rochester would join in around 1935.1937.
4th Feb '18 9:16:34 PM Mdumas43073
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* WannaBuyAWatch: "[[RunningGag Psst. Hey. Buddy. C'mere.]]"

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* WannaBuyAWatch: "[[RunningGag Sheldon Leonard's racetrack-tout character. ("[[RunningGag Psst. Hey. Buddy. C'mere.]]"]]")


Added DiffLines:

4th Feb '18 9:15:14 PM Mdumas43073
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* WannaBuyAWatch: "[[RunningGag Psst. Hey. Buddy. Come here.]]"

to:

* WannaBuyAWatch: "[[RunningGag Psst. Hey. Buddy. Come here.C'mere.]]"
27th Jan '18 4:43:52 PM nombretomado
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** One Christmas episode has Jack shopping for presents. A [[MelBlanc clerk]] helps him with a wallet and a message for Don, but Jack keeps recalling the gift so he can change the message. The increasingly frazzled clerk (MelBlanc, at his hysterical over-the-top best) [[SuicideAsComedy ultimately leaves to shoot himself]] after Jack decides to return the gift and get a cheaper version.

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** One Christmas episode has Jack shopping for presents. A [[MelBlanc clerk]] [clerk helps him with a wallet and a message for Don, but Jack keeps recalling the gift so he can change the message. The increasingly frazzled clerk (MelBlanc, (Creator/MelBlanc, at his hysterical over-the-top best) [[SuicideAsComedy ultimately leaves to shoot himself]] after Jack decides to return the gift and get a cheaper version.
26th Jan '18 7:12:38 PM nombretomado
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** MarilynMonroe once deflected Jack's affections by claiming the difference in their ages is too great. Sure, it's not too bad now when she's 25 and he's 39, but what about in 25 years when she's 50 and he's 39? Jack concedes the point.

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** MarilynMonroe Creator/MarilynMonroe once deflected Jack's affections by claiming the difference in their ages is too great. Sure, it's not too bad now when she's 25 and he's 39, but what about in 25 years when she's 50 and he's 39? Jack concedes the point.
20th Jan '18 12:21:26 AM mlsmithca
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20th Jan '18 12:20:59 AM mlsmithca
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** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=OOubPWGUhQo One of the supporting cast of characters]] on ''TheSimpsons'' is an animated (unnamed) version of Frank Nelson's "Yessssssssssss!" character. As in Jack's show, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpQVIlWPmac&feature=related Homer and company are usually waited on by him]] in various episodes.

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** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=OOubPWGUhQo com/watch?v=OOubPWGUhQo One of the supporting cast of characters]] on ''TheSimpsons'' ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' is an animated (unnamed) version of Frank Nelson's "Yessssssssssss!" character. As in Jack's show, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpQVIlWPmac&feature=related com/watch?v=ZpQVIlWPmac Homer and company are usually waited on by him]] in various episodes.



* CrossOver: With ''Radio/TheBurnsAndAllenShow''. Jack and Creator/GeorgeBurns were lifelong friends and appeared on each others shows often. In one episode of his show [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CoYC1QhjgI&list=UUoJDv_hP2zmTX8SIKPsuW7A&index=1&feature=plcp George gets Jack on his special television]] which Jack lampshades with "You're not watching me on your silly TV are you? I'm not on until Sunday Night!". After Jack then starts to quote his appearence fee George shuts off the tv! In another episode George threatens his announcer Harry Von Zell by pondering, "I wonder what Don Wilson is doing next year..."

to:

* CrossOver: With ''Radio/TheBurnsAndAllenShow''. Jack and Creator/GeorgeBurns were lifelong friends and appeared on each others shows often. In one episode of his show [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CoYC1QhjgI&list=UUoJDv_hP2zmTX8SIKPsuW7A&index=1&feature=plcp com/watch?v=-CoYC1QhjgI George gets Jack on his special television]] which Jack lampshades with "You're not watching me on your silly TV are you? I'm not on until Sunday Night!". After Jack then starts to quote his appearence fee George shuts off the tv! In another episode George threatens his announcer Harry Von Zell by pondering, "I wonder what Don Wilson is doing next year..."



* DemotedToExtra: Mary initially played a love interest for Jack, but by the 1940s she would become Jack's snarky gal pal and "last resort" date. This is explained in part because of her developing stage fright over the years.
** This is the reason of her rather scattered appearances on TV, being featured only on the filmed episodes without a studio audience.

to:

* DemotedToExtra: Mary initially played a love interest for Jack, but by the 1940s she would become Jack's snarky gal pal and "last resort" date. This is explained in part because of her developing stage fright over the years.
**
years. This is the reason of for her rather scattered appearances on TV, being featured only on the filmed episodes without a studio audience.



--> '''Mel''' Look't what you made me do! You made me so nervous, ''I missed!!!''
** Professor [=LeBlanc=], played by... [[MelBlanc guess who...]] was routinely driven to both suicide ''and'' homicide when he tried to teach Jack the rudiments of playing the violin and then had to beg & plead to get paid.

to:

--> '''Mel''' --->'''Mel''' Look't what you made me do! You made me so nervous, ''I missed!!!''
** Professor [=LeBlanc=], played by... [[MelBlanc [[Creator/MelBlanc guess who...]] was routinely driven to both suicide ''and'' homicide when he tried to teach Jack the rudiments of playing the violin and then had to beg & and plead to get paid.



* EnforcedPlug - Played with. The agreement was that the sponsor would get the first and last spot but that Jack would control the middle spot. They had everything like Don reading the commercial in a funny voice or they would lampshade how heavy handedly they'd work it into a sketch. Eventually, the Sportsman Quartet was used to irk Jack with their unconventional lyrics

to:

* EnforcedPlug - EnforcedPlug: Played with. The agreement was that the sponsor would get the first and last spot but that Jack would control the middle spot. They had everything like Don reading the commercial in a funny voice or they would lampshade how heavy handedly they'd work it into a sketch. Eventually, the Sportsman Quartet was used to irk Jack with their unconventional lyrics



--> '''Girl on Phone''': [=McGuire=]'s Gym. We make mountains out of molehills.
--> '''Jack Benny''': Hello, this is Jack Benny....
--> '''Girl on Phone''': Oh, Mr Benny! You'll want our male division...
* HappilyMarried: Jack with Mary Livingstone. Also a case of {{Aw Look They Really Do Love Each Other}}: according to Website/{{Snopes}}, their marriage was stormy, but they were still devoted to each other for 47 years. When he died, it was revealed in his will that he had provided for a long-stemmed red rose to be delivered to her, every day, until her own death.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Jack and Rochester in the later shows. In earlier shows, it is implied Rochester goes home to his own home. Later, Rochester lives at Jack's house. Jack scolds Rochester for being out too late, they squabble over what to fix for breakfast, whose turn it is to answer the doorbell or telephone, and Rochester hangs around the house even on his days off. Rochester stays home with Jack on New Year's Eve when Jack's date cancels and he has nowhere else to go.

to:

--> '''Girl --->'''Girl on Phone''': [=McGuire=]'s Gym. We make mountains out of molehills.
-->
molehills.\\
'''Jack Benny''': Hello, this is Jack Benny....
-->
Benny....\\
'''Girl on Phone''': Oh, Mr Benny! You'll want our male division...
* HappilyMarried: Jack with Mary Livingstone. Also a case of {{Aw Look They Really Do Love Each Other}}: AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: according to Website/{{Snopes}}, their marriage was stormy, but they were still devoted to each other for 47 years. When he died, it was revealed in his will that he had provided for a long-stemmed red rose to be delivered to her, every day, until her own death.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: HeterosexualLifePartners:
**
Jack and Rochester in the later shows. In earlier shows, it is implied Rochester goes home to his own home. Later, Rochester lives at Jack's house. Jack scolds Rochester for being out too late, they squabble over what to fix for breakfast, whose turn it is to answer the doorbell or telephone, and Rochester hangs around the house even on his days off. Rochester stays home with Jack on New Year's Eve when Jack's date cancels and he has nowhere else to go.



* {{Jingle}}: If you want better taste from your cigarette, Lucky Strikes is the brand to get!

to:

* {{Jingle}}: {{Jingle}}:
**
If you want better taste from your cigarette, Lucky Strikes is the brand to get!



* LampshadeHanging: There was so much hanging of lampshades everywhere, Jack's career could have doubled as a furniture store. One example, from the detective themed Bogart episode:
-->'''Jack:''' I was typing out a report on Slim-Finger Sarah, when the door opened. And there were detectives Simmons and Ross. They had brought in a vicious gunman, a killer named Baby-Faced Bogart.
-->''[Creator/HumphreyBogart enters to long applause from the audience]''
-->'''Jack:''' I didn't mind the applause he got on his entrance, but I resented the fact that Crosby and Wilson joined in.

to:

* LampshadeHanging: There was so much hanging of lampshades everywhere, Jack's career could have doubled as a furniture store. store.
**
One example, from the detective themed Bogart episode:
-->'''Jack:''' --->'''Jack:''' I was typing out a report on Slim-Finger Sarah, when the door opened. And there were detectives Simmons and Ross. They had brought in a vicious gunman, a killer named Baby-Faced Bogart.
-->''[Creator/HumphreyBogart
Bogart.\\
''[Creator/HumphreyBogart
enters to long applause from the audience]''
-->'''Jack:'''
audience]''\\
'''Jack:'''
I didn't mind the applause he got on his entrance, but I resented the fact that Crosby and Wilson joined in.



-->'''Jack:''' All I ask for is ONE LOUSY REHEARSAL!

to:

-->'''Jack:''' --->'''Jack:''' All I ask for is ONE LOUSY REHEARSAL!



* MelBlanc: Did a number of minor voice-over roles on radio and reprised many on-camera on television(the violin teacher, Polly the Parrot), as well as some sound effects (the Maxwell, Carmichael the polar bear).
** "Si."
*** "Sy."



* NiceHat: One running joke they tried in the late 30s was describing Mary as wearing an outlandish hat. It didn't get a lot of laughs, and was abandoned after that season was over.
** In an episode of the television show showing how Jack met Mary at the May Company shows Jack wearing a snappy straw dress hat in 1932. He gets a lot of mileage out of tipping his hat with his cane, and pushing it down over his eyes to punctuate his flirting with Mary. He attempts to throw it like a boomerang to impress her, once successfully, and the second time with a derby hat returning. He puts on the derby hat and leaves, confused. At the end of the interview, it's discovered that the derby hat belonged to the interviewer, who happened to be shopping in the store the same day as Jack all those years ago!
* NoFourthWall: escalating to RecursiveReality levels as time went on, becoming a SelfParody of a sitcom about the cast of a variety show putting on a variety show.

to:

* NiceHat: NiceHat:
**
One running joke they tried in the late 30s was describing Mary as wearing an outlandish hat. It didn't get a lot of laughs, and was abandoned after that season was over.
** In an episode of the television show showing how Jack met Mary at the May Company shows Company, Jack is wearing a snappy straw dress hat in 1932. He gets a lot of mileage out of tipping his hat with his cane, and pushing it down over his eyes to punctuate his flirting with Mary. He attempts to throw it like a boomerang to impress her, once successfully, and the second time with a derby hat returning. He puts on the derby hat and leaves, confused. At the end of the interview, it's discovered that the derby hat belonged to the interviewer, who happened to be shopping in the store the same day as Jack all those years ago!
* NoFourthWall: escalating Escalating to RecursiveReality levels as time went on, becoming a SelfParody of a sitcom about the cast of a variety show putting on a variety show.



--> '''Mrs. Day''' You know, Dennis, lots of people think you act strange, and I may be to blame. You see, when you were a baby, I dropped you on your head.
--> '''Dennis''' That's okay, lots of mothers drop their babies on their heads.
--> '''Mrs. Day''' Out of a 2 story window? Oh, I knew there was something wrong when you bounced right back up.

to:

--> '''Mrs. Day''' -->'''Mrs. Day:''' You know, Dennis, lots of people think you act strange, and I may be to blame. You see, when you were a baby, I dropped you on your head.
--> '''Dennis'''
head.\\
'''Dennis:'''
That's okay, lots of mothers drop their babies on their heads.
-->
heads.\\
'''Mrs. Day''' Day:''' Out of a 2 story window? Oh, I knew there was something wrong when you bounced right back up.



* Creator/OrsonWelles: Guest-hosted for several 1943 episodes while Benny was ill with pneumonia.
** Jack also hired him for acting lessons once. Welles arrived with a large retinue of employees who interrupted constantly, Jack was saddled with the role of Quasimodo which mostly required groaning while Orson took all the good parts, and the one time Jack gets to speak he's drowned out by cathedral bells.



* RuleOfFunny: This was the show's unspoken and spoken MadnessMantra '''EVERYTHING''' on the show was done to get laughs. Obviously, this fact was also repeatedly lampshaded both on and off the show.

to:

* RuleOfFunny: This was the show's unspoken and spoken MadnessMantra '''EVERYTHING''' MadnessMantra. '''Everything''' on the show was done to get laughs. Obviously, this fact was also repeatedly lampshaded both on and off the show.



* RunningGag: So many... but above all, there is the truly '''epic''' feud with Fred Allen.
** Also Benny's permanent age of 39, done best in an ImagineSpot sketch when Jack wonders what his show would be like after another 20-30 years. Of course, all of the regular players are old and feeble while Jack himself is still 39 and kicking.

to:

* RunningGag: So many... but above many...
** Above
all, there is the truly '''epic''' feud with Fred Allen.
** Also Benny's permanent age of 39, done best in an ImagineSpot sketch when Jack wonders what his show would be like after another 20-30 years. Of course, all of the regular players are old and feeble while Jack himself is still 39 and kicking.



--> '''Rochester:''' ''Whatever happened to the gasman???''

to:

--> ---> '''Rochester:''' ''Whatever happened to the gasman???''



** The incredibly decrepit Maxwell, which apparently is lacking a speedometer, it's shocks, headlights or just about any other item that every other car has.

to:

** The incredibly decrepit Maxwell, which apparently is lacking a speedometer, it's shocks, headlights or just about any other item that every other car has.



* ServileSnarker: Rochester

to:

* ServileSnarker: RochesterRochester.



--> '''Don Wilson''' Well, Jack, at least you don't have to listen to that announcer they had here.
--> '''Jack''' You're right! Remember him? Thank goodness he's no longer here.
--> '''Announcer on Speaker (M. Blanc)''' Attention, attention ... flights now arriving from Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc...
--> '''Jack''' Oh, No!!!!
--> '''Announcer on Speaker''' Oh, Yes! ...camunga.
* TenorBoy: Dennis (& Kenny before him, and before him Frank Parker as well as Larry Stevens, who subbed for Dennis when Dennis was in the service). He once said he didn't have an opinion on an issue because "tenors are a dime a dozen."

to:

--> '''Don Wilson''' -->'''Don Wilson:''' Well, Jack, at least you don't have to listen to that announcer they had here.
--> '''Jack'''
here.\\
'''Jack:'''
You're right! Remember him? Thank goodness he's no longer here.
-->
here.\\
'''Announcer on Speaker (M. Blanc)''' Blanc):''' Attention, attention ... flights now arriving from Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc...
--> '''Jack'''
Cuc...\\
'''Jack:'''
Oh, No!!!!
-->
no!\\
'''Announcer on Speaker''' Speaker:''' Oh, Yes! ...camunga.
yes! ...camonga.
* TenorBoy: Dennis (& (and Kenny before him, and before him Frank Parker as well as Larry Stevens, who subbed for Dennis when Dennis was in the service). He once said he didn't have an opinion on an issue because "tenors are a dime a dozen."
18th Jan '18 3:44:32 PM mlsmithca
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--->'''Benny:''' ''[when the laughter finally subsides, after more than 20 seconds]'' A natural mistake for a girl who's going back to the maid company tomorrow!

to:

--->'''Benny:''' ''[when the laughter finally subsides, after more than 20 seconds]'' A natural mistake for a girl who's going back to the maid company May Company tomorrow!
18th Jan '18 3:44:09 PM mlsmithca
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* StealingFromTheHotel: On an episode, Rochester and a friend are cleaning in Jack's house when the friend asks Rochester what Benny's name was before he changed it. Rochester says he's forgotten. The friend looks down at the towel he's holding and says, [[DeadpanSnarker "It wasn't Conrad Hilton, was it?"]]

to:

* StealingFromTheHotel: {{Spoonerism}}: Accidental spoonerisms provided some of the biggest (and longest) audience laughter of the series' run.
** An October 1946 episode opened with the characters in a restaurant; Mary asks the waiter (Frank Nelson) for a Swiss cheese sandwich, but flubs the line and asks instead for a "Chiss sweese sandwich". It takes over 20 seconds to get the episode back on track.
** Perhaps the most famous example came in the first episode of 1950, which featured a RunningGag about Benny's purchase of a new suit making national (perhaps even international) headlines. Don Wilson gets the first appearance of the gag, telling Benny he heard about the suit from political columnist and broadcaster Drew Pearson... except he pronounces the name "Drear Pooson". Benny milks the slip-up for a few laughs, but the writers quickly turn it into a BrickJoke with a re-write ''mid-broadcast'' when the episode segues to a murder mystery spoof with Frank Nelson as a doorman at Romanoff's:
--->'''Benny:''' Okay, men, this is Romanoff's restaurant, that man in that red uniform with the gold braid must be the doorman. I'll ask him. ''[footsteps]'' Pardon me, are you the doorman?\\
'''Nelson:''' Well, who do you think I am, '''Drear Pooson??''' ''[HUGE audience laughter lasting nearly 25 seconds; Benny himself reportedly falls off the stage in hysterics]''
** A December 1950 episode features a supposed flashback to how Rochester came to be employed by Benny: while driving around New York in 1937, Benny crashed his Maxwell into the back of Rochester's taxi - even though it was up on a grease rack at the time - and threatened to sue; his employers (Radio/AmosAndAndy in a {{Crossover}} appearance) "gave" Rochester to Benny as a valet as a settlement. After the flashback, Mary asks how Benny managed to crash into Rochester while he was on the "grass reek".
--->'''Benny:''' ''[when the laughter finally subsides, after more than 20 seconds]'' A natural mistake for a girl who's going back to the maid company tomorrow!
* StealingFromTheHotel:
**
On an episode, Rochester and a friend are cleaning in Jack's house when the friend asks Rochester what Benny's name was before he changed it. Rochester says he's forgotten. The friend looks down at the towel he's holding and says, [[DeadpanSnarker "It wasn't Conrad Hilton, was it?"]]



* StraightMan: Jack
** To elaborate, the underlying theme to pretty much the totality of Jack's schtick was that he was literally almost everybody's straightman.

to:

* StraightMan: Jack
** To elaborate, the
The underlying theme to pretty much the totality of Jack's schtick was that he was literally almost everybody's straightman.
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