Jack Benny 143 Eps

(4.8 stars; 38 reviews)

(143 Episodes) Update: ** Episode information added to all uploads prior to Jan 05, 2011 JACK BENNY (Feb 14, 1894 – Dec 26, 1974): Jack Benny, born Benjamin Kubelsky, was an American comedian, vaudevillian, radio, television, and film actor. Widely recognized as one of the leading American entertainers of the 20th century, Benny played the role of the comic penny-pinching miser, insisting on remaining 39 years old on stage despite his actual age, and often (although an accomplished violinist) playing the violin - poorly! Benny was known for his comic timing and ability to get laughs with either a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature wave of the hand with an exasperated "Well!" His radio & television programs, tremendously popular from the 1930s to the 1960s, were a foundational influence on the situation comedy genre. Dean Martin, on the celebrity roast for Johnny Carson in November 1973, introduced Benny as "the Satchel Paige of the world of comedy." * PROGRAM HISTORY: Benny had been only a minor vaudeville performer, but he became a national figure with The Jack Benny Program, a weekly radio show which ran from 1932 to 1948 on NBC and from 1949 to 1955 on CBS. It was consistently among the most highly rated programs during most of that run. * SPONSORS: With Canada Dry Ginger Ale as a sponsor, Benny came to radio on The Canada Dry Program, beginning May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing there for six months until October 26, moving the show to CBS on October 30. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933. Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934. He continued with sponsor General Tire through the end of the season. In October, 1934, General Foods, the makers of Jell-O and Grape-Nuts, became the sponsor most identified with Jack, for the next ten years. American Tobacco's Lucky Strike was his longest-lasting radio sponsor, from October 1944, through the end of his original radio series. The show returned to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's notorious "raid" of NBC talent in 1948–49. There it stayed for the remainder of its radio run, which ended on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeats of old radio episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny. The primary name of the show tied to the sponsor. Benny's first sponsor was Canada Dry Ginger Ale from 1932 to 1933. Benny's sponsors included Chevrolet from 1933 to 1934, General Tire in 1934, and Jell-O from 1934 to 1942. The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny was so successful in selling Jell-O, in fact, that General Foods could not manufacture it fast enough when sugar shortages arose in the early years of World War II, and the company had to stop advertising the popular dessert mix. General Foods switched the Benny program from Jell-O to Grape-Nuts from 1942 to 1944, and it became, naturally, The Grape Nuts Program Starring Jack Benny. Benny's longest-running sponsor, however, was the American Tobacco Company's Lucky Strike cigarettes, from 1944 to 1955, and it was during Lucky Strike's sponsorship that the show became, at last, The Jack Benny Program once and for all (although it was often announced by Don Wilson at the start of the show as The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny). * SITUATIONS: The Jack Benny Program evolved from a variety show blending sketch comedy and musical interludes into the situation comedy form we know even now, crafting particular situations and scenarios from the fictionalization of Benny the radio star. Any situation from hosting a party to income tax time to a night on the town was good for a Benny show, and somehow the writers and star would find the right ways and places to insert musical interludes from Phil Harris and Dennis Day. With Day, invariably, it would be a brief sketch that ended with Benny ordering Day to sing the song he planned to do on that week's show. One extremely popular scenario that became an annual tradition on The Jack Benny Program was the "Christmas Shopping" episode, in which Benny would head to a local department store. Each year, Benny would buy a ridiculously cheap Christmas gift for Don Wilson from a store clerk, played by Mel Blanc. Benny would then have 2nd, 3rd, even 4th thoughts about his gift choice. This drove Blanc (or, in two other cases, his wife and his psychiatrist, as well) to hilarious insanity when he exchanged the gift, pestered about the Christmas card or wrapping paper countless times throughout the episode. As a result, in many cases, the clerk would commit suicide, or attempt & fail to commit suicide ("Look what you done! You made me so nervous, I missed!"). In the 1946 Christmas episode, for example, Benny buys shoelaces for Don, and then is unable to make up his mind whether to give Wilson shoelaces with plastic tips or shoelaces with metal tips. After Benny exchanges the shoelaces repeatedly, Mel Blanc is heard screaming insanely, "Plastic tips! Metal tips! I can't stand it anymore!" A variation in 1948 concerned Benny buying an expensive wallet for Don, but repeatedly changing the greeting card inserted—prompting Blanc to shout: "I haven't run into anyone like you in 20 years! Oh, why did the governor have to give me that pardon!?" Benny realizes that he should have gotten Don a wallet for $1.98, whereupon the put-upon clerk immediately responds by committing suicide. Over the years, in these Christmas episodes, Benny bought and repeatedly exchanged cuff links, golf tees, a box of dates, a paint set, and even a gopher trap. * THEME MUSIC: During his early radio shows, Benny adopted a medley of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Love in Bloom" as his theme music, opening every show. The strange interpolation of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" seems to have been an inside joke at Benny's expense. Jack Warner of Warner Brothers had once promised to cast Jack Benny as George M. Cohan in the film Yankee Doodle Dandy (which of course didn't happen, although Warner did cast Benny in The Meanest Man in the World, based on a Cohan play). * SOURCE: Wikipedia OTR * def gp ddh

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



JB #010 A Conversation w Harpo Bing Crosby Gary Cooper 7:03
JB 1932-05-12 Jack's 1st Paying MC Job 29:10
JB 1933-01-01 Outstanding Achievements of 1932 Review 16:45
JB 1933-01-22 Bertha the Sewing Machine Girl (Pr Snd) 14:25
JB 1933-03-31 Mae West Skit - She Done Him Right 29:26
JB 1933-04-21 Edward G Robinson 29:55
JB 1933-06-02 Who Killed Mr. X Pt 2 & Sherlock Holmes 29:08
JB 1933-06-09 Who Killed Mr. X Pt 3 & Sherlock Holmes 29:34
JB 1933-12-10 Uncle Tom's Cabin (Pr Snd Improves) 27:14
JB 1934-02-11 Miniature Women 20:38
JB 1934-02-18 Don't Live Right 17:56
JB 1934-02-25 My Life As A Floorwalk 14:48
JB 1934-03-04 Duel in the Graveyard 17:04
JB 1934-03-11 Haunted House 18:27
JB 1934-03-18 An Arizona Western 19:36
JB 1934-04-01 The Eternal Triangle 18:44
JB 1934-04-06 Frank Parker's Music Store (Pr Snd Improves) 25:58
JB 1934-04-13 Bridge Game (Pr Snd) 18:39
JB 1934-04-27 New Hampshire Through a Keyhole 3:58
JB 1934-05-04 The Hills of Kentucky 20:45
JB 1934-05-11 (INC) Home Cooking at Don's 11:52
JB 1934-05-18 A Visit to the Parkers 16:54
JB 1934-07-20 Who Killed Mr Stooge #5 27:46
JB 1934-08-03 The Stooge Murder Case 1 16:15
JB 1934-08-24 The House of Rothchild 20:25
JB 1934-08-31 House of Benny 30:39
JB 1934-09-14 School Days (Much Skipping) 11:21
JB 1934-09-21 School Days 18:35
JB 1936-11-15 Buck Benny 27:05
JB 1936-11-22 Buck Benny 30:37
JB 1936-11-29 Buck Benny 26:55
JB 1936-12-06 Money Ain't Everything 29:08
JB 1936-12-13 Buck Benny 28:36
JB 1936-12-20 #237 Old-Fashioned Xmas Party 28:56
JB 1936-12-27 Buck Benny 29:09
JB 1937-01-03 Buck Benny 29:03
JB 1937-01-10 Buckingham Benny (Complete) 29:15
JB 1937-01-17 Buck Benny's Mexican Adventure 30:18
JB 1937-01-24 Jack Practices the Bee 29:45
JB 1937-01-31 Nightmares of Fred Allen 29:06
JB 1937-02-07 Jack's Violin is Stolen 16:47
JB 1937-02-14 Jack's Birthday 28:40
JB 1937-02-21 Buck Benny 26:57
JB 1937-02-28 The Bee is Finally Played 30:34
JB 1937-03-07 Stuart Canin 30:45
JB 1937-03-14 End of Fued with Fred Allen 57:31
JB 1937-03-21 A Day In Our Lives 29:20
JB 1937-04-11 Guests are George Burns & Gracie Allen 29:49
JB 1937-12-19 Little Red Riding Hood 28:41
JB 1938-01-30 The Hurricane 28:15
JB 1938-03-20 Taking The Show To New York 29:32
JB 1938-03-27 Guests - Fred Allen, Kate Smith 29:21
JB 1938-04-10 A Yank at Oxford 29:45
JB 1938-04-17 At The Circus (Easter Show) 29:12
JB 1938-04-24 Snow White & the 7 Gangsters 29:28
JB 1938-06-19 Back Home In Indiana 30:23
JB 1938-10-24 Jack Buys his Maxwell (his car) 23:11
JB 1938-10-30 Jack Gives A Halloween Party 27:57
JB 1938-11-13 (INC) Jack Steals A Girl From Phil Harris 6:00
JB 1938-12-25 Jack's Christmas Open House 29:16
JB 1939-01-01 Goodbye 1938 29:05
JB 1939-04-02 April Fool's Day 29:21
JB 1939-05-21 (INC) More Gunga Din 2:41
JB 1939-05-28 Alexander Graham Bell 29:38
JB 1939-06-11 Hound Of The Baskervilles 28:48
JB 1939-11-19 Ostrich For Thanksgiving Dinner 29:39
JB 1939-12-17 East Coast Christmas Shopping 29:48
JB 1940-02-18 Skiing at Yosemite 29:54
JB 1940-02-25 Jack’s Birthday Party (after Ski Accident) 29:10
JB 1940-05-05 at the Ritz Theater - Clown Hall Tonight 28:23
JB 1940-05-12 Returning from New York By Air 28:06
JB 1940-06-02 Code Of The Hills 30:30
JB 1940-06-09 Vacation Plans 29:41
JB 1940-10-27 ''Hold That Line'' 23:35
JB 1940-11-10 Dog Catcher of Beverly Hills 27:49
JB 1940-11-17 Jack & the Head of Paramount 25:21
JB 1940-11-24 Jack Visits Don's New Wife 23:06
JB 1941-01-05 Christmas Gift Exchange (at 1m 11s) 30:09
JB 1941-10-19 Train to L.A. 26:57
JB 1941-10-26 Dive Bomber 28:03
JB 1941-11-02 Jack's Halloween Story 29:21
JB 1941-12-28 Jack Talks About His Christmas Party 22:24
JB 1942-01-11 Broadcast From March Air Field 26:36
JB 1942-03-01 Jack Mad About Academy Awards 27:36
JB 1942-03-15 Talks about Lending $10.00 to Fred Allen 28:31
JB 1942-05-03 Cast Visits Jack At Warner Brothers 28:38
JB 1942-05-17 Jack Imitates Fred Allen House 27:52
JB 1942 Guests are Lum & Abner 28:51
JB 1943-01-03 #463 Bear Hunting (from Maine) 27:57
JB 1943-01-17 Information Please 27:42
JB 1943-03-14 Orson Wells Hosts (Phil Harris Returns) 24:28
JB 1943-04-18 Jack Opens Pool 7:48
JB 1943-04-25 #030 Rochester's Horse is in the Kentucky Derby (Low Volume) 24:30
JB 1943-05-02 Rental of Eddie Cantor's House 29:12
JB 1943-05-09 Jack Jams With Louis Armstrong 28:31
JB 1943-05-30 #035 Guest is Deanna Durbin 28:19
JB 1944-04-23 Dennis Leaves for the Navy 28:02
JB 1944-05-14 Infantry (AFRS Re-Broadcast) 31:09
JB 1944-05-21 Jack's Split Personality 28:20
JB 1944-10-26 Clark Gable (Winged Victory Edition) 30:43
JB 1944-11-19 From Corona Naval Hospital 28:25
JB 1944-12-17 Drugstore w Frank Sinatra & Frank Morgan 29:20
JB 1944-12-17 Drugstore w Frank Sinatra & Frank Morgan (Alternate - Comm. Perf.) 30:20
JB 1944-12-24 Trimming The Christmas Tree 26:08
JB 1945-01-04 How Jack Met Phil Harris 27:50
JB 1945-01-21 Ice Skating In Central Park 28:25
JB 1946-04-07 Acme Plaza (Guest Van Johnson) 26:45
JB 1946-10-06 Listening To The World Series 26:13
JB 1946-10-20 The Whistler Parody 24:02
JB 1946-11-10 #238 Comm. Perf (Bob Hope Superman Bela Lugosi) 29:12
JB 1947-01-04 Guests are Bogart & Bacall 27:21
JB 1947-01-11 I Stand Condemned (Boris Karloff) 28:51
JB 1947-03-16 Andy Russell Dick Haymes Bing Crosby New Quartet 29:56
JB 1947-05-06 Guest is Hoagy Carmichael 29:27
JB 1947-05-18 Guest is Al Jolson 13:33
JB 1947-10-19 Golf Match at Hillcrest Country Club 28:45
JB 1947-11-30 Turkey Trial Dream 29:31
JB 1947-12-07 (INC) Violin Lesson (w Mel Blanc) 9:07
JB 1947-12-21 Last Minute Xmas Shopping 29:10
JB 1948-03-07 Jack is the Walking Man 29:14
JB 1948-04-04 Borrows Bing Crosby's Oscar 29:54
JB 1948-05-30 I Was Framed 29:20
JB 1948-12-19 Christmas Wallet (For Don Wilson) 29:06
JB 1949-01-02 1st CBS Show (Amos & Andy) 29:54
JB 1949-02-06 Don Wilson's Contract 28:28
JB 1949-04-17 Easter Parade 28:37
JB 1950-01-15 (2 Eps) How Jack & Fred Allen Met 1:08:30
JB 1950-11-26 Jack Tries to Buy USC - UCLA Football Game Tickets3 29:39
JB 1951-12-09 Mel Blanc as Indian - Si Routine 24:27
JB 1952-03-02 Palms Springs Show 29:50
JB 1953-09-13 Back from Vacation in Hawaii 28:55
JB 1953-12-23 (INC) Comm Perf Host Jack Benny 10:39
JB 1954-03-21 Jack Listens To Mean Old Man On Radio 29:30
JB 1955-05-15 A Friend At Union Station 28:14
JB 1974-10-23 JB & Mel B on Johnny Carson NBC TV Show 41:49
JB Back From Far East USO Tour (PR SND) 26:02
JB Captain Horatio Hornblower (PR SND) 25:55
JB Mail Call - Jack Benny & Chico Marx 28:31
JB Rudy Vallee hosts NBC's 10th Anniversary Tribute to Jack 38:47
JB The 20th Anniversary Banquet 25:48
JB Who is the Best Comedian - Benny or Allen 29:23
LUX 1938-09-26 Seven Keys To Baldplate (Benny LIvingstone) 1:59:04


"Raw Genius?"

(4 stars)

"Some kind of Einstein?" Nope. Just good talent and timing. He didn't write this stuff you know. He paid other people to do that. Pay a visit to Google.com to meet the Einsteins: https://sites.google.com/site/jackbennyinthe1940s/Home/the-writers-1940-1949 Like Bob Hope, Jack could SELL a joke (tell it with perfect timing) and make people laugh. (Bob used writers too. So did Fred Allen and the rest of the great radio comics. They all knew how to pick out the BEST jokes from among those the writers came up with for each show. As did Johnny Carson later on. I love them all but I do not confuse telling jokes with writing those jokes. And neither should you.

The voices of "The Jack Benny Program"

(5 stars)

We take them for granted, but stop & think for a moment how perfectly selected & balanced the voices heard on this show really are. Part of Jack's genius lies here as well as elsewhere, imho. With his own silly, sly, urban delivery perfectly offset by Mary's deadpan mockery & lilting laugh, he consistently chose a wide range of vivid, unique personalities to provide the rest of his vocal cast. Consider Don's cheery, adaptable baritone & off-mic chuckles; Phil's brassy, egotistic, pretentious jive; Kenny's/Dennis' piping, childlike antagonism; Rochester's whimsical, musical gravel; Frank Nelson's nasal nemesis' roller-coaster delivery of insults; Andy Devine's crackling, wheedling hokum; Schlepperman's & Kitzel's accented zingers; Joe Kearns' haunting vault guard; Verna Felton's brutish, implacable "Mrs. Day"; & of course, the star voice of all time perhaps, the incomparable & always-hilarious Mel Blanc, whose career was boosted greatly by the outstanding versatility he displayed for Jack. There were also several canny vocal choices for star foils: Fred Allen*, Ronald Colman, James Stewart. Benny & his staff had a definite knack for knowing who - as much as what - would sound best on his program. * (Fred Allen strove for - and found - his own regular cast of perfectly-balanced voices.)

re Merlin1961

(5 stars)

Hello, Merlin; I believe I've found the episode that you're looking for. The name of the episode, from October 28, 1945, is 'JB 1945-10-28 Jack gets held up - the $85,000 bet'. Go to this page, and play #398 in the player (you may have to copy and paste this link into your address bar): https://archive.org/details/JackBenny_HQ_601 The hold-up was turned into a running gag, as were many of his bits that went over well, with Jack going as far as hiring Joe Louis as a bodyguard. The hold-up story was used in this episode and several that followed, up to and including the November 25th episode, with guest Cass Daley. All of these episodes are on the page at the link above. If you're a Jack Benny fan, you'll be in hog heaven when you see that page: 810 episodes, all very good quality mp3s. One warning, if you want to download and save all of the episodes on the HQ page, it's 17.9 Gigabytes! ----------------------------------- If I can recommend a couple more 'must-hear' episodes, they would be two from January 1947. Both are available on this page (#112 and #113 in the player) as well as at the page linked above (#443 and #445 in the player there). The first has guests Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, with Jack trying to portray a lady's man. (Bogart's "run your fingers through his hair" gag is a gem.) This one also features Bogie and Bacall engaging in what must be, judging from the audience's reaction, the hottest kiss in radio history. The second has Boris Karloff as guest, and is a special treat for fans of Inner Sanctum. Karloff was a Sanctum regular, and here he gets to do a light-hearted send-up of his radio persona. All of the earmarks of Inner Sanctum are there, carried to ridiculous extremes: the famous organ spikes, the protagonist being motivated by greed, and his ironic comeuppance at the conclusion, in that his greed causes him to end up penniless. Warning: this radio show contains full frontal nudity! P.S. Thanks for all your great uploads, DEF GP (if that really is your name).

Date in one of the episodes is incorrect

(5 stars)

The episode labeled: JB 1945-03-11 How Jack Found Rochester is incorrect. This episode originally aired on 12-3-1950. Several big clues: (1) Don Wilson mentions Jack's first appearance on TV, which took place in 1950; they also mention Milton Berle; (2) Phil Harris refers to the upcoming Christmas holiday; (3) Mary Livingston mentions that this is Benny's 19th year in radio; (4) Benny mentions that Rochester will have been with him 14 years in March; Eddie Anderson first appearance on The Jack Benny Program was on March 28, 1937 (5) The Sportsmen's Quartet appear. They were not on the show until 1950.

He knew what made you laugh - Update Ep 122

(5 stars)

He was a talented comedian in his own right, but Benny's greatness rested on the fact that he was not afraid to surround himself with a top notch cast that got plenty of laughs at his expense. Episode 122(broadcast of 04/04/1948)erroneously identifies the borrowed Oscar as belonging to Bing Crosby. It was Ronald Colman's Oscar. In real life the Colmans apparently were Benny's neighbors who lived just a few blocks away, and they were guests on close to two dozen of Benny's shows, all of which were very funny.

Still Funny Today!

(5 stars)

I love Jack Benny's radio programs. I have been listening to them every day since 2005, either at work or before I go to bed to wind down. He has really funny gags that appeal to my sense of humor. One of them was something like "the restaurant was out of hot chocolate, so they gave me a Hershey bar and a match!" I love short somewhat silly jokes like that, and Jack has a lot of them. His writers were the best!

redundant (excellent) review

(5 stars)

Gotta be one of the best comedians of the 20th century. One reason was, he always let his co-stars get the best laughs at his expense. Simple Dennis Day, always got the better of him, even though his character appeared to be totally clueless. The running gag of Jack's cheapness is really funny. He'd do things like have friends over and offer food, then charge them for it. Then they'd complain he'd raised the price from the last time they were there.


(5 stars)

The Jack Benny Program has to be one of my favorite things to listen to. It puts you back in those days and what it would've been like. It will always put you in a great mood. I listen to this every night while I go to bed. And to top it off, I eynjoy some Jello with it :). "With our 6 delicious flavors" Thank you so much for this