Any comedian can be funny in the studio, but domestic comedy is usually considered the province of actors who happen to do comedy. Jack Benny straddled the two roles for most of his career - the suave, witty master of ceremonies standing on stage in front of a curtain one moment; the put-upon householder tormented by a bumptious servant, eccentric friends, and troublesome neighbors the next.
Jack Benny - he's your friend, my friend, and everyone's friend besides! He's always got his tried and true gang to pal around with, too, but that's not all! Throughout the 1940s and '50s, buddies from Burns & Allen to Bogie & Bacall came to play on his program. There were hilarious guest appearances by kings of comedy (Groucho Marx, Danny Kaye, and Red Skelton) and queens of the screen (Rita Hayworth, Barbara Stanwyck, and Dorothy Lamour).
"Only listen if you want to laugh"
Our Miss Brooks was a hit on radio from the outset; within eight months of its launch as a regular series, the show landed several honors, including four for Eve Arden, who won polls in four individual publications of the time. Arden had actually been the third choice to play the title role. Harry Ackerman, at the time CBS's West Coast director of programming, wanted Shirley Booth for the part.
He's stepping out and living large - and hoping someone else will grab the check! That's Jack Benny, living the high life with a galaxy of guest stars in this hilarious collection of 20 digitally restored and remastered episodes.
When you're the country's favorite radio comedian, you tend to have a lot of friends. And those friends can't wait to have you stop by for a visit, crack a joke or two, play a fiddle solo, or even step out of character for a rare dramatic turn. Such was the case with Jack Benny. Consistently near the top of the rating charts with his own program, Jack was a popular guest artist on dozens of different series.
Among radio comedy's most enduring features were its running gags - and few gags ran longer, or more hilariously, than the legendary feud between two of its great masters: Jack Benny and Fred Allen. For nearly 20 years the mere mention of Benny on an Allen program was guaranteed to produce an escalating laugh - just as bringing Allen up with Benny had listener in stitches at the mere anticipation of a response. This collection brings together the classic episodes that started it all, to the showdown that was supposed to end it once and for all.
"Benny and Allen? How Can you Go Wrong"
Jack takes a break from practicing "The Bee" on his violin so that he and the gang can go meet Phil's mother and sister who are visiting from Mobile.
©2014 Jack Benny (P)2014 RSPT, LLC
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