Awesome: The Jack Benny Program

  • People would sometimes think that Eddie "Rochester" Anderson was Benny's actual valet. One person drove Benny to the point of distraction, complaining about Rochester's treatment on the show and demanding that Benny put an end to it and treat his employee fairly. Finally, the listener, a lawyer, sent a letter to Rochester offering to represent him in a suit against Jack Benny for poor working conditions. At that point, Benny fired off a blistering response, stating that while the radio Rochester van Jones was indeed the radio Jack Benny's valet, the real Eddie Anderson had butlers of his own, a mansion of his own, expensive sports cars and a race horse! At that point, the letters ceased.
  • Jack was quite progressive on racial issues, treating Eddie Anderson as a real friend and valued co-star, despite their on-air interactions. Once, while on tour, the company came to a fancy hotel and was informed that Anderson would not be allowed to stay there. Benny responded with something along the lines of "If Rochester can't sleep here, neither will I!" and the entire road company (the cast, crew, musicians, at least fifty people altogether) left to stay at another hotel.
  • President John F. Kennedy was said to have always made time to watch the television show.