Jack Benny


THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM The Jack Benny Program aired from May 2, 1932 until June 22, 1958. The show was identified by different names based on the particular sponsor at the time. The Canada Dry Program was on the air from May 2, 1932 until October 26, 1932. It starred Jack Benny. The announcer was George Hicks with George Olsen and his wife Ethel Shutta providing music and vocals, and Jack's wife, Sadye Marks, as Mary Livingstone. The show moved over to CBS on October 30, 1932 to January 26, 1933. On CBS the music was provided by Ted Weems and his orchestra. The next sponsor was General Motors and the program was called The Chevrolet Program . It aired on NBC from March 17, 1933 until April 1, 1934. The cast included Jack and Mary with singers James Melton in 1933 and Frank Parker from 1933 to 1934. The announcers were Howard Claney in 1933 and Alois Havrilla from 1933 to 1934. Music was supplied by Frank Black. The program became The General Tire Show from April 6 to September 28, 1934. Joining Jack and Mary was Frank Parker, and Jackâs long-time announcer Don Wilson was added. Music was performed by Don Bestor on the east coast and Jimmy Grier on the west coast. The Jello Program was on the air from October 14, 1934 to May 31, 1942. The show started on the Blue Network until October 4, 1936, then moved to the Red Network thereafter. The cast included Jack and Mary with Don Wilson. Music was provided by Johnny Green in 1934 and 35 and then Phil Harris started in 1936. The program singers were first Michael Bartlett, then Kenny Baker from November 3, 1935, and finally Dennis Day joined the show on October 8, 1939. Eddie Anderson became a regular on June 20, 1937. The show was produced in Hollywood permanently starting in April of 1935. Post became the next sponsor and the show was called The Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes Program . It aired on NBC and ran from October 4, 1942 until June 2, 1944. It starred the regular cast of Jack, Mary, Eddie, Dennis, Phil and Don. Next came The Lucky Strike Program which aired on NBC from October 1, 1944 to December 26, 1948.The only change to the cast was Larry Stevens who flew in while Dennis Day was in the service. Then on January 2, 1949, the program moved to CBS and it ran there until May 22, 1955. Bob Crosby replaced Phil Harris on September 14, 1952. The Best of Benny , which were repeat broadcasts, aired on CBS from October 28, 1956 to June 22, 1958. Jack's first appearance on the radio occurred while he was interviewed by Ed Sullivan. His first words over the microphone were "This is Jack Benny talking. There will be a slight pause while you say 'Who cares?'" This interview lead to the first radio contract with Canada Dry. This first program was mainly musical with George Olsen performing seven musical numbers and Jack was the master of ceremonies. According to John Dunning, The Jack Benny Program evolved over time from its vaudeville roots to become the quintessential American radio comedy show. It was a jigsaw puzzle where pieces were added over the years. For four decades Jack played the part of a vain, miserly, argumentative skinflint. Others tried this approach, but were unable to sustain it. Jack worked with Harry Conn to develop his character as well as the character of Mary Livingstone, which he had played by his wife. Mary Livingstone was a very sarcastic but well meaning friend to Jack. Sometimes she was presented as a date, sometimes as a love interest, but often she was just there. Her role changed from plot to plot and she never really was a steady girlfriend to Jack. In 1933 Jack began arguing with his cast, adding another characteristic which led to less musical numbers and more comedy. In April of 1934 Don Wilson was added to the program and Don was Jack's announcer all the way up to the end of the TV show in 1965. He was a target of Jack's jokes mostly about his weight even though he was never really overweight. The next piece added was when Phil Harris joined the show in 1936. Phil's character was a skirt chasing, arrogant, hip-talking band leader who constantly put Jack down. He is remembered for referring to Jack as Jackson. Then came Eddie Anderson who started playing the part of a train porter and then joined the cast as a regular as Rochester in June of 1937, as Benny's personal valet. Early in the show's run he often talked about gambling or going out with women, but later he just generally complained about his lack of salary. The last piece of the puzzle was supplied by the arrival of Owen Patrick Eugene McNulty. McNulty is better known as Dennis Day. Dennis was always in his early twenties no matter how old he actually was. His character was sweet but not very bright. One of the few memorable aspects of the program was the fifteen year feud with fellow radio actor Fred Allen. In one occasion when ratings were falling "The I Canât Stand Jack Benny Because -" contest was run, which boosted ratings right back up. Benjamin Kubelsky, who we know and love as Jack Benny, truly is a national treasure. So take the time to listen to some great, wholesome comedy that all the family can enjoy. This synopsis was adapted from John Dunning's The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio . This collection is large, containing 41 CD-size zip-files. The following indicates the general content of each file: CD01 1932-34 CD02 1935-36 CD03 1937 CD04 1937-38 CD05 1938 CD06 1939 CD07 1939-40 CD08 1940-41 CD09 1941 CD10 1942 CD11 1942-43 CD12 1943-44 CD13 1944-45 CD14 1945 CD15 1945-46 CD16 1946-47 CD17 1947-48 CD18 1948 CD19 1949 CD20 1949-50 CD21 1950-51 CD22 1951-52 CD23 1952-53 CD24 1953 CD25 1953-54 CD26 1954-55 CD27 Jack Benny Master Recordings CD28 JB Guest shots #1 CD29 JB Guest shots #2 CD30 JB Guest shots #3 CD31 JB Guest shots #4 CD32 JB Guest shots #5 CD33 JB Guest shots #6 - Extras #1 CD34 Jack Benny Extras #2 CD35 Jack Benny Tributes CD36 JB Interviews #1 CD37 JB Interviews #2 CD38 JB Interviews #3 CD39 JB Interviews #4 CD40 JB Interviews #5 CD41 JB Interviews #6 OTRR Certification Information: Series Name: The Jack Benny Program Certification Status: OTRR Certified Accurate Certification Date: December 26, 2017 Certification Version: Version 1 Number of CDs: 41 From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.


This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.

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