ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Jack Benny - the Satchel Paige of Comedy!

Updated on November 7, 2010

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.


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!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Leighsue profile image


      6 years ago

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

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

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

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      You know I love the TonyMac!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      7 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


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

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

    • Hokey profile image


      7 years ago from In the energy.

      I love Jack Benny!!!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

    • BkCreative profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

    • Jane Bovary profile image

      Jane Bovary 

      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      God bless DREAM ON!

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

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      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!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 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!

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      8 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.

    • pmccray profile image


      8 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

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

    • daydreamer13 profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

      God bless you Katie! Peace!

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Through thick and thin,

      be my friend,

      and we will remember when...

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 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."

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 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

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

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

      Great hub!!!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      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!

    • Sa`ge profile image


      8 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

    • profile image


      8 years ago

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

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      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!

    • Sa`ge profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      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!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois


      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

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      8 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.


    • TinaQynn profile image


      8 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.

    • profile image


      8 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.

    • CYBERSUPE profile image


      8 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!!


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

    • BobbiRant profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Going to tweet this one also!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 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!!!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      ghost whisper 77 

      8 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!

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      8 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.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 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

    • justom profile image


      8 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!

    • Mercredi profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the great look back!

    • vietnamvet68 profile image


      8 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

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 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.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)