The Jack Benny Program (1950–1965)
6.8/10
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3 user

Liberace Show 

Jack visits the home of Liberace, but even he isn't ready for the outrageous extravagance he sees there.

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(written for television by), (written for television by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Don Wilson
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Gertrude, switchboard operator
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Mabel, switchboard operator
Rex Evans ...
Geoffrey, the butler
Lois Corbett ...
Lois Wilson
Rolfe Sedan ...
Pierre, the Chef
Ray MacDonnell
Roland Peat
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Storyline

Jack goes to Liberace's house to negotiate a concert appearance. He's amazed by the number of candelabras that fill the house and how everyone (including the butler, the gardener and a visiting child) wear tuxedos. At the concert, Liberace plays a piano piece composed by Chopin and Jack, with violin, joins him to play "September Song". Written by David Bassler

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Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

17 January 1954 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Rochester Van Jones: [speaking on phone] Hello, Mr. Benny's dressing room - star of stage, screen and radio, and right now he's in front of the cameras trying to convince television.
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Connections

References Time for Beany (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

September Song
Written by Kurt Weill & Maxwell Anderson (uncredited)
Performed by Liberace (piano) and Jack Benny (violin)
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User Reviews

A Dreadful Commercial
27 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

Liberace is at the peak of his popularity during this early TV period. However, his comedic possibilities are pretty limited. So the skit understandably concentrates on two of his trademarks—candelabras and dress-up. As ccthemovieman observes, Liberace is a good sport about the jibes, but the sketch goes on too long and is not that funny. Better, when the two perform musically, demonstrating the piano player's abilities as a master showman.

Catch Gertrude and Mabel, the two phone operators whose fractured conversations were a standard feature of Benny's radio show. On TV, however, the schtick doesn't work as well, at least in my opinion.

Actually, the most memorable part for me is that truly dreadful intermission commercial where Don Wilson makes sure everyone in the crowd is puffing on a Lucky Strike. He's absolutely gleeful as everyone absorbs their carcinogens from the tobacco sticks. This is not just the power of hindsight. The connection between tobacco and cancer was well known to medical science at the time; however, the power of the tobacco industry prevented government from taking appropriate action. So instead we get grimly ironical commercials like this one.


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