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 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!
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.
In 1973, Dean Martin described Benny as "the Satchel Paige of the world of comedy."
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 had fun with tough guys like Humphrey Bogart.
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, 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!