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The Jack Benny Program 

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The comic misadventures of the "skinflint" comedian and his friends.
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15   14   13   12   11   10   9   8   7   … See all »
1965   1964   1963   1962   1961   1960   … See all »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

Jack Benny was a regular on his own radio program since 1932. He brought the program, with his underplayed humor, to television along with his radio regulars. Jack, who remained thirty-nine-years-old, kept his money in his basement and drove his old Maxwell car just as he had done on the radio. Written by J.E. McKillop <jmckillo@notes.cc.bellcore.com>

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Release Date:

28 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Jack Benny Show  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several episodes were adaptations of plots used on his radio show. Examples of this are season eight, episode seven, "Christmas Shopping Show", and season eight, episode eleven, "Jack At The Races". See more »

Quotes

[Jack picks up a jar from the dresser]
Jack: Hey, wait a minute. What kind of make up is this?
Rochester: Well, you said you wanted something to make you look nice and tanned.
Jack: I know, but peanut butter?
[Audience laugh]
Jack: I want to look tanned, not lumpy.
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Connections

Featured in Inside the Marx Brothers (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Love In Bloom
(theme song)
by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger
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User Reviews

 
Character Comedy
3 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

Jack Benny was unique among the great comedians this country has produced. Only his comedy was not the product of gags or situations, though he used them. His comedy arose out of an indelible character he created, the lovable tightwad who came into our homes via radio and television for over 30 years.

In real life Jack Benny was not a tightwad, in fact he was a generous man whose charitable giving was known if not publicized. That of course would have ruined the image and the image was the linchpin of his comedy.

Because we knew his character so well, the cheap gags followed. They would mean nothing to anyone else, but because it was Benny we laughed at a burglar saying your money or your life and Benny stalling with a reply of I'm thinking. The sounds of his Maxwell car were second nature, they brought laughs because Benny was too cheap to buy a new car. And his Social Security number, 000-00-0001 in deference to his age.

The Jack Benny Show took us inside the pretend world of tightwad Jack Benny. His announcer Don Wilson, real life wife Mary Livingston, butler Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, and the perpetual adolescent with the piping tenor Dennis Day all were part of that world. On radio Phil Harris as the brash band-leader was there, but he didn't make it to television, deciding to strike out on his own. All of these people bounced gags off Benny's tightwad character and all got generous laughs at his expense. But the laughs were coming for Benny's character, not necessarily out of anything he said necessarily.

Some his shows were classics and allowed people to really enjoy themselves. One of my favorites had Raymond Burr as a guest star who did courtroom sketch and broke into a song and dance before the jury. Burr looked like he was having a great time. Another show I remember had long time show business friends Bing Crosby and George Burns as guests, reminiscing about back in the days when the three of them were a vaudeville trio act.

His shows were welcome in millions of American homes including mine. Would that another Jack Benny would come on the scene today.


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