Jack Benny - the Satchel Paige of Comedy!


Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky in Chicago, Illinois on February 14, 1894 –born, Jack Benny was an American comedian, vaudevillian, and star of radio, television, and movies. Benny’s usual part was that of a 39 year-old, penny pinching miser, and bad violin player.



Benny started playing the violin when he was six. He hated practice. He was a dreamer and poor student and was expelled from high-school.

At age 17, he was playing the violin vaudeville theaters for $7.50 a week.



Jack Benny changed his name twice because two performers thought his name resembled theirs too closely.


Jack Benny, George Burns, Jimmy Steward
Jack Benny, George Burns, Jimmy Steward


Jack Benny and Cora Salisbury were a vaudeville musical duo and later Jack teamed with Lyman Woods.

After five years, Jack left vaudeville in 1917 to join the U.S. Navy and World War I. Jack often entertained the troops with his violin playing. When his violin performance was booed by the troops, he ad-libbed his way out of the jam and left them laughing. And so became one of my all-time favorite comedians.



Jack Benny became a national celebrity with his weekly radio show The Jack Benny Program which ran from 1932 to 1955. It was one of the most highly rated programs of that era.


Jack Benny RADIO SHOW Part 1

Venture into the world of radio with the video above.


Jack Benny - Mel Blanc Classic Routine

Mel Blanc was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Tweety Bird, etc., etc.

Mel Blanc is a national treasure!


Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Eddie Anderson
Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Eddie Anderson


The Jack Benny Program television show ran from October 28, 1950 to 1965. Jack Benny never cared who got the laugh on his show. Benny just wanted a funny show.

My favorite character on the Jack Benny television show was the valet-chauffeur Rochester van Jones who was just as popular as Jack Benny.

Eddie Anderson’s popularity was a radical proposition for that time. Rochester was a black man who was allowed to one-up his frugal employer.

Eddie Anderson’s Rochester broke a comedic racial barrier. Rochester was depicted and treated as a regular member of Benny's household. Benny treated Rochester more like an equal partner than as a hired domestic, although gags about Rochester's meager salary were a regular part of the show.

When Benny and his staff stayed at the restricted Robidioux Hotel in St. Joseph, Missouri the desk staff told Benny that "Rochester" could not stay at the hotel. Benny stated, "If he doesn't stay here, neither do I." The hotel relented.


What Kind Of Man Was Jack Benny?

If you have 47 seconds, please watch Rochester as he tries to buy Jack a gift.


Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Jack Benny
Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Jack Benny


In 1973, Dean Martin described Benny as "the Satchel Paige of the world of comedy."


Jack Benny, Bob Hope, George Burns
Jack Benny, Bob Hope, George Burns


Jack Benny died of an inoperable pancreatic cancer on December 26, 1974. He had chosen to spend his final days at home and was visited by close friends including George Burns, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Carson. Bob Hope delivered the eulogy at his funeral.


JACK BENNY BING CROSBY BOB HOPE

Two minutes will get you Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope.


Jack Benny and Humphrey Bogart
Jack Benny and Humphrey Bogart

Jack Benny had fun with tough guys like Humphrey Bogart.


Johnny Carson and Jack Benny
Johnny Carson and Jack Benny


Jack’s family donated his personal, professional, and business papers, and a collection of his television shows to UCLA.

Johnny Carson was the first recipient of the Jack Benny Award established by UCLA in his honor in 1977. The award recognizes outstanding people in the field of comedy.


Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Sammy Davis Jr.
Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Sammy Davis Jr.


Jack Benny, forever played the "miser".

Jack Benny donated a Stradivarius violin purchased in 1957 to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Benny commented, "If it isn't a $30,000 Strad, I'm out $120."


Explaining his successful life, Jack Benny said,

"Everything good that happened to me happened by accident. I was not filled with ambition nor fired by a drive toward a clear-cut goal. I never knew exactly where I was going."



In his will, Jack Benny arranged a single long-stemmed red rose, to be delivered to his widow, Mary Livingstone, every day for the rest of her life.


God bless Jack Benny!



Please enjoy some more videos of Jack!

Jack Benny and His Rocky Mountain Boys

Comedy is an art and a science.

I appreciate the joke that is set in advance and its preparation.

Please watch the brilliant skit above.

Keep your eye on the beautiful child - all the way - to the end!

If you've run out of time please come back or find them all on youtube.

But Jack Benny and His Mountain Boys will make your day!


Now mind you - I've seen boys like these "Mountain Boys" in the cities and everywhere. Folks in the mountains can survive in most worlds. This is not to stereotype. People from the mountains are a great people.


Jack Benny and Frank Nelson the Travel Agent

Frank Nelson is certainly a funny man.

I do love that bold voice of his!


There are many Jack Benny videos on youtube.

Unfortunately many have commercials at the beginning.

I didn't want to include them here but please go to youtube by clicking twice on any video to enjoy a wonderful evening of Jack Benny.

I have his DVD collection. I highly recommend it!


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Comments 51 comments

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

I must admit I don't even remember the name Jack Benny but that didn't stop me from enjoying this tribute to him. I obviously remember Frank Sinatra , Humphrey Bogart and a few others.

He seems to have been a sincere character with morals eg, he wouldn't stay at the hotel unless his coloured friend 'Rochester'was also allowed there to stay there.!!An up and an awesome here I think.

I have to come back in a little while to do the hub full justice by listening properly to the video clips.

Thank you for sharing Micky.


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 6 years ago from New York State

Micky - A great tribute to a great comedian, too bad all the great ones are gone now. I really enjoyed your videos........ God Bless you brother man


Mercredi profile image

Mercredi 6 years ago

Thanks for the great look back!


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042

Killer hub man, Jack was a straight up guy and funny as hell, they don't make em' like that anymore. Rochester was also a stitch and just the mention of Satch..well! Love this hub brother!! Peace!! Tom ***Justin says hey!


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Mic, outstanding, brought back some funny days I ain't seen in years. Don't know if I lost my laugh or shit just ain't funny no more. It ain't nothing but a thing, ready to catch a bullet home. Much love and peace,50


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

I know for a fact that every time I read one of your hub I will get an eductation; whether politics, religion, history, music, or bikes, you always find a way to tell us something new, interesting and useful. Thank you, Sir.


ghost whisper 77 6 years ago

I barely remember Jack Benny as a child. Interesting video. I did enjoy seeing a picture of Dean Martin...I love him! he he he. Oh, did I mention I love you also Micky? I do and I miss you and pray for you often! I see you have been doing some serious writing..wowzie!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

I do appreciate every comment. Thank you all very much. I always read and re-read every comment. God bless you all. I'll be by to see you all soon. God bless!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Oh how I loved this! Watched every video and it brought me back to my childhood days of early TV. I also remember my parents listening to the radio which was in our kitchen. My grandparents had a colored TV years before my parents did and for special shows, we kids would be bundled up and we would all go over there to watch the shows with my parents and them.

They just don't make good stuff like this anymore on TV. It's a shame! Hitting every button possible. Did I mention, I loved this? I LOVED THIS!!!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Going to tweet this one also!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

My goodness! You just make me love you more and more! God bless you Peggy! You make it all worthwhile!


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

Jack Benny and I also loved Groucho Marx and all the Marx Brothers movies were so funny. Jack Benny, when I was a kid, was the king of comedy. Great memories from long ago. Thank you so much.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

You bet Bobbi! I'll come see you soon! I loved those folks! God bless!


CYBERSUPE profile image

CYBERSUPE 6 years ago from MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

Yo Micky,

You made my day, Jack Benny was the best. Great and Awesome Hub. GOD BLESS!!

Joe


Cheryl 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing the life of this great American comedian. I loved the fact that he supported Rochester when the era was very stereotypical of race. I love your presentation of Jack Benny and his many characters.


TinaQynn profile image

TinaQynn 6 years ago from Northern California

What a great article, I learned something because he was tad bit before my time. I never knew that any shows in that day and time tried to diverse.


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 6 years ago from Vermont, USA

Thanks Mickey,

This was really enjoyable. Jack was the master of comedic timing and the slow side-long look.

I remember watching him on TV with my folks when I was a kid. His humor spanned the generations, and we sure could use him now.

CP


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

Micky,

I loved this. I remember Jack Benny and Rochester. The'Rocky Mountain Boys' were hilarious. The little girl was so cute. I had never heard about him having a rose sent to his wife every day, what a true love he must have felt. Thank you Micky for good memories.

Love and peace


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I love his everything good that happened to him happened by accident but somehow, with him, I have to believe it. He was such a treasure. Great hub choice, Micky!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you all for loving Jack Benny! God bless you beautiful people!


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

I had started watching then had to do something. finally after three times, and watching more then the clips you put on hehehe. i got to these comments. I loved this hub so much, watched more of them then you got, I got stuck LOL

This is wonderful. Thank you so much.:D love you :D hugs :D


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

I love you Sa'ge! I am so delighted you were delighted. That little girl was maybe 8? She sang. She kept "her act" so together! They must have rehearsed that a dozen times. I wonder where she is today! God bless Sa'ge!


ralwus 6 years ago

Gee thanks for this Micky, one of my all time favorites from my youth. Great tribute, now to watch more vids.


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

She was better at keeping a straight face then the guys were. you could see them working at keeping a straight face, she was so serious, even past the end of he act. She was so good. :D


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

God please bless a ralwus today!

God please let Sa'ge have her way.

They both have hearts of gold.

Both give us blessings untold!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Benny wasn't just a funny guy, he was a gentleman.

Great hub!!!


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Lovely, my dear friend I adore this hub and rate it way up. I haven't thought about him in years. My parents watched his show all the time when I was a kid, along with Bob Hope and all the others. Rate up up up and I miss you and love you darski


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I've sent this to others on my email list that have also loved this. You are making many of us "remember when."


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Through thick and thin,

be my friend,

and we will remember when...


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Great videos, WOW comedy sure has changed. I like the old civil comedy, it's very funny and now I too will be going back to watch more videos. Peace :)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

God bless you Darski! I've missed you too Girl!

God bless you Katie! Peace!


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 6 years ago

This is great! I didn't know the guy but now I do I know I would've been a fan. Thanks for sharing.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you daydreamer. God bless you Dear. Thank you for loving Jack!


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Well . . . I never. Excellent tribute to one of the greatest funniest men on the big and little screen.

Micky Dee you lovable lug thanks for the plug! Who'd a thunk it I rhymed. You are the sweetest hubber on this site and I really appreciate the thought.

I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either. - Jack Benny

Smooches and hugs friend Micky Dee


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 6 years ago

A wonderful way to spread cheer over the years.I think we can all learn from the masters.What a world when we can laugh at everything.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Micky, it is so sad to know that those super stars are no longer with us. Life is too short, we've got to grab all opportunities to enjoy it. Take care!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

pmccray!!! You know I love you! I like seeing pmccray shine! I love the attention you've given the "oldies but goodies". You are so deserving of so much attention and so much LOVE! God bless you Dear pmccray!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

God bless DREAM ON!

God bless you too Martie! Thanks for loving "Jack"!


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Jack Benny was great and I loved him in those old movies with Rochester. He was always getting the better of his boss.

I didn't realise he was such an old romantic...a rose a day eh? Aw


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hi Jane! He was/is super. I love his comedy. He was sweet to his wife too.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Wow! What a great tribute - you have done this so well. How well I remember the Jack Benny show as a child - he even appealed to children. It was my mother who told us that he was actually quite generous and could play the violin (we kind of figured he wasn't 39 years old).

He was amazingly limber too because I remember one skit where he decided to run out where two people were turning the rope and he jumped in got tangled and promptly flew up into the air and landed on his back. He was fine - but yikes!

I remember too a whole episode was dedicated to Rochester going out for the evening - and it was totally all Rochester. We were awed - Rochester was human.

What I didn't know is that he had the rose sent to his wife everyday - what a kind act.

Well, another great Micky Dee hub here. Yay! And rated up of course!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Great comment BkCreative! Thank you for loving Rochester (Eddie Anderson) too! God bless!


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

You can't replace the best, the Hope, Bing, Jack Parr, Jackie Gleason and of course Jack Benny. I watched all these guys growing up and laughed my socks off. Jack was such a deadpan looking comedian, however he possessed timing and that is critical in comedy. Him and Rochester were brilliant and his violin a close second:9) Peace


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

You know it saddlerider! I miss Jackie Gleason a lot too. The great one! God bless BrotherMan!


Hokey profile image

Hokey 6 years ago from In the energy.

I love Jack Benny!!!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Yo Hokey Dude!!! I love that Jack Benny too! Good to see you Brother Hokey!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I do love comedy and I do love Micky Dee! And now I also love Jack Benny! Thanks brotherman.

Love and peace

Tony


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

You know I love the TonyMac!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Cool Hub, wow so many cool videos of Jack Benny. He was well before my time, Micky, but my granny remembers his shows well. he was a legend in his time, and such stars he had on his shows. I loved the Mel Blanc "Si" sketch. That was so funny! I could hear Speedy Gonzalez breaking through his voice! LOL! Great hub. HubPages are lucky to have you!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you so much Cheeky Girl! You are so kind. Thank you for loving Mel Blanc too!


Leighsue profile image

Leighsue 4 years ago

Thanks for a very good hub. Those were the days.

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