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  • 9 years later...

No, he's not the only one. The voice is kinda similar. Good call. I hadnt thought much about it til now but yeah the observation rings true. I've heard a lot of Benny shows so I wonder I didnt think of this myself.

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1 hour ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

No, he's not the only one. The voice [of Joseph Welch as the judge] is kinda similar [to Jack Benny's]. Good call. I hadnt thought much about it til now but yeah the observation rings true. I've heard a lot of Benny shows so I wonder I didnt think of this myself.

Question here, Sarge:

I can't remember. Does Joseph Welch ever say, "Now CUT that out!" instead of "Objection overruled!" in this thing???

(...'cause if he does, then that right THERE could confirm this whole thing, ya know) ;) 

LOL

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The one thing about Benny's show --the one thing which sounds really weird when everything else is mostly okay--is Benny's cruel and even vicious taunting of his announcer, who was a rather obese man named Don Wilson. Its grotesque, as is the way that Wilson not only tolerates it but is compelled (written into the script) to even join in with humiliating himself.

Otherwise Benny is great fun. People dont realize how much of today's comedy he pioneered. Even some stuff we automatically think of as being invented by Python, The Goon Squad, or SNL--really comes from him, or Burle.

Now PLAY, Phil! :lol:

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Yep! Jack Benny not only was what would be called "a comedian's comedian", meaning of course he was one of the greats of all time, but reportedly was also a complete and very generous gentleman, and contrary to his stage image of being the ultimate miser.

As you probably know, one of the longest sustained audience laughs in radio history would be the time an actor playing a robber walks up to him on the street says to him, "Okay, this is a stick-up! Your money or your life!", and Benny then waits the perfect amount of time for first the initial titters from the radio audience to build to outright uproarious laughter, and then when the robber says, "Hey, I said your money or your life!", Benny replied, "I'm THINKING it over!"

(...oh, and btw...as I recall, Don Wilson would occasionally get in a pretty good zinger back at Benny on both his radio and television program) 

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He does sort of..never thought of it before.  You know (probably) that he (Joseph Welch) is the fellow who asked Joseph McCarthy "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"  in the '54 senate hearings. ..of course, he didn't...

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Okay! You asked for it! Here is my favorite Jack Benny story.

Years after he had ceased performing, Benny devoted his retirement to serving as the chairman of many charities and philanthropies. The primary agency he gave his time to was some kind of children's health thing, (maybe March of Dimes or something like that).

One day there's a MAJOR executive board meeting scheduled and its really important. BIG decisions are going to be made. Its set for 9am Monday morning. As the hour arrives, all the rest of the board members show up in suits, ready to sit down and talk turkey.

Only, Jack Benny is late. The meeting can't hardly begin without him, he's the chairman.

So everyone fidgets and fusses and they try calling around to find out where he is, is he en route or what. Everyone's growing very restless. They know he usually walks to the building to attend these meetings, (he wants the exercise).

A full hour passes, and then another. Finally its almost noon, Jack Benny at last shows up, the meeting almost useless at this point.

Everyone gathers around him, peeved and perplexed. A little concerned, too. Where the heck was he? Did he have an accident on the way? Is there anything wrong?

Jack looks around at all of them, not realizing, not registering the consternation he caused. He is glowing and beaming. Grinning ear to ear. He is full of some good humor of his own. He looks like he is having just about the best day of his life.

"Jack, for pete'ssake, where were ye? For cryin out loud, we been waiting fer ya..where the dickens..."

Benny: "Boys, lissen--no, no, waitaminute willya just listen to me! Nevermind, nevermind! We'll get to the meeting, hold your horses lissen to me willya just listen to me for a minute?"

"Alright, alright..." (they all acquiesce). "What's up? What delayed ya?"

"Lissen you guys. You probably wont believe this but I swear, I just had the best ham sandwich I've ever had in my entire life. And I'm not even kidding. You' think I'm kidding but I'm not, this was really something! How many ham sandwiches do you think I've had in my life, probably a million or two million right? I'm telling you this was the #1 best, best ever ham sandwich I've EVER tasted! Bar none! You gotta come down there with me and try it yourself, I'm dead serious...!"

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9 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

The one thing about Benny's show --the one thing which sounds really weird when everything else is mostly okay--is Benny's cruel and even vicious taunting of his announcer, who was a rather obese man named Don Wilson. Its grotesque, as is the way that Wilson not only tolerates it but is compelled (written into the script) to even join in with humiliating himself.

I'm not familiar with this, so can you give an example?

I am of 2 minds on this:

First, it's not nice to "make fun" of someone, whether it's their appearance, intelligence, accent, whatever if it's humiliating & insulting.

OTOH:people need to be honest and realistic about themselves and stop trying to make others feel badly about stating the obvious. Walking around a subject from fear is no fun for anyone.

No one holds back pointing out my gender/ethnicity/intelligence, but I'm OK with myself & will be the first to admit I look like an old gypsy lady and am often scatterbrained.

I once went out to lunch with my niece, who is a knockout beautiful girl and very heavy. As we were reading the menu she asked "Anyone want to share the (big, fried) appetizer sampler?" We made disgusted expressions, since we're health food nuts and she said, "That's what fat girls eat!" - cracked us up.

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10 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

The one thing about Benny's show --the one thing which sounds really weird when everything else is mostly okay--is Benny's cruel and even vicious taunting of his announcer, who was a rather obese man named Don Wilson. Its grotesque, as is the way that Wilson not only tolerates it but is compelled (written into the script) to even join in with humiliating himself.

Are you getting politically correct on us Sarge?

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I'm not against the use of 'shame' in society; see for example an article like this which explains why the concept of 'stigma' makes us better overall, as a people. https://tinyurl.com/y4docmnf

I don't know how to explain the impression I get about this one lone, rotten part of Benny's show. There's just something ugly about it; and I say that even though I am someone who believes in having a 'thick skin'. Its just an unnecessary gag; the show would still work fine without it; or the gag could be done in a kinder or gentler manner. It sounds really small and petty when the show's writers resort to --well, not just fat jokes, but its Benny practically digging his heel in his (supposed) friend's face; and Wilson is forced to suck up to him at the same time while he's doing it. So blatant and cutting that even I noticed. In real life, the two men were good friends so its just a case of poor writing. Benny's show is really all about friendliness and camraderie, its simply odd that this groaner somehow slips through.

Try to imagine Johnny Carson suddenly turning on Ed McMahon and telling him to his face that he's basically a fat useless sack of lard and you get an inkling of how this 'gag' sometimes sounds.

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Strange that you would mention Johnny Carson.

He adored Jack Benny, as a performer, and a personal friend.

What he said he admired most was that Benny would never criticize anyone, even some of the true bums in show business that he worked with. Johnny Carson thought he was a SAINT.

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Too true. Jack's show was all about allowing other to take potshots at him. His hair, his age, his shrimpy body, his clunker of a car (a Chandler, I think?), his cheapness, weaseling out of checks and underpaying his staff, all of this directed at him. A hoot!

I miss the America which turned Carson on every night.

 

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9 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Too true. Jack's show was all about allowing other to take potshots at him. His hair, his age, his shrimpy body, his clunker of a car (a Chandler, I think?), his cheapness, weaseling out of checks and underpaying his staff, all of this directed at him. A hoot!

I miss the America which turned Carson on every night.

 

A Maxwell actually, Sarge.

As the Maxwell car company would go out of business in 1925, this would add comic fodder to Jack's image of being miserly.

(...in other words, Jack was so cheap, he hadn't purchased a new car since 1925)

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I remember reading a letter in Reader's digest( in "These United States") in which the writer, a former WWII fighter pilot, recalled his squad leader, in trying to get all his pilots to communicate with each other on a frequency that was a "secret" to enemy pilots, and suggested..."tune to Jack Benny's age."   :D

The squad then tuned into frequency 39!  ;)  :D 

Cheap?  Yeah, a "running" Jack Benny gag.  Like the crook holding him up demanding, "Your money or your LIFE!"  and when the thief gets impatient with Benny's hesitation, exclaims, "WELL?"  and Benny replies, " I'm THINKING!"  :D 

Legend has it that George Burns was the only comedian that could make Benny crack a smile or even laugh.  And vice-versa, Benny was the only comic that cracked Burns up.  Their friendship was so close that when Burns attempted to deliver a eulogy at Benny's funeral, Burns got so choked up he couldn't speak and had to be helped back to his seat.  

Sepiatone

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H'mmm, I don't know whether I understand what that legend is stating. I've seen Benny bust out laughing at Mel Blanc several times; and you can even hear Benny laughing often during his broadcasts (such as when one of his cast members flubs a line). Burns & Allen, I've listened to but (in my opinion) its not exactly a laugh-riot; also I'd say that Burns's side of Burns & Allen was not the highlight of the show. Gracie has all the punchlines. Burns often took a Benny-like position of letting jokes be made about him. But I agree Burns and Benny were close.

I like what you mention about Burns crumbling at Benny's eulogy. Similar thing happened with Parley Baer at the services for Howard McNear ('Gunsmoke' co-stars). Will human beings ever do such things as this anymore, once everyone is fully brain-dead from texts and emails and status updates and tweets? Will anyone ever be 'overcome by emotion' anymore?

p.s. thanks Dargo for the correction on Benny's car. There's several episodes of the show where Benny is coaxed by his friends to finally trade it in, and a Chandler is one of the choices he ruminates over. This always throws me...

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On 4/29/2009 at 8:43 PM, sixhalfdozen said:

I guess I better clean out my ears lol!

Don't feel badly, sixhalfdozen!

I can relate and I agree with you, but I have an even more off the wall Jack Benny comparison. I've always thought Dwayne Hickman, in his Dobie Gillis persona, is doing an impression of Jack Benny, particularly in his movements and expressions. I'm sure now someone will say I am the "only one" who thinks that also.

But I don't think any actors have done a Roy Cohn or Joseph McCarthy imitation on screen that is up to par with the reality of their HUAC personas.

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On 3/26/2019 at 9:35 PM, Dargo said:

Question here, Sarge:

I can't remember. Does Joseph Welch ever say, "Now CUT that out!" instead of "Objection overruled!" in this thing???

(...'cause if he does, then that right THERE could confirm this whole thing, ya know) ;) 

LOL

Where's Rochester in all this? I think he would have added to the cast of "Anatomy of a Murder" if they'd only given him a part.

Darg, do you agree with my above contention that Dwayne Hickman [as Dobie Gillis] also does a mean Jack Benny as teenager imitation?

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On 3/26/2019 at 10:14 PM, Dargo said:

Yep! Jack Benny not only was what would be called "a comedian's comedian", meaning of course he was one of the greats of all time, but reportedly was also a complete and very generous gentleman, and contrary to his stage image of being the ultimate miser.

As you probably know, one of the longest sustained audience laughs in radio history would be the time an actor playing a robber walks up to him on the street says to him, "Okay, this is a stick-up! Your money or your life!", and Benny then waits the perfect amount of time for first the initial titters from the radio audience to build to outright uproarious laughter, and then when the robber says, "Hey, I said your money or your life!", Benny replied, "I'm THINKING it over!"

(...oh, and btw...as I recall, Don Wilson would occasionally get in a pretty good zinger back at Benny on both his radio and television program) 

I like stories about Benny's friendship with George Burns, who seemed to delight in tormenting him. One I kind of remember was told by Burns, saying he and Jack were on their way to a funeral of someone, and George said to Jack, "You know, it would be very bad if you laughed during the eulogy." Of course, one can imagine the result without me saying anything more.

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37 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

Where's Rochester in all this? I think he would have added to the cast of "Anatomy of a Murder" if they'd only given him a part.

Darg, do you agree with my above contention that Dwayne Hickman [as Dobie Gillis] also does a mean Jack Benny as teenager imitation?

Sure CG. I'll answer this question for ya, IF you'll answer the question I posed to ya the other day when I started the thread that was directed your way and which is now on Page-2 of this General Discussions forum. ;)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

Sure CG. I'll answer this question for ya, IF you'll answer the question I posed to ya the other day when I started the thread that was directed your way and which is now on Page-2 of this General Discussions forum. ;)

 

 

Oh, okay I must have missed your question so will go look for it now.

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I love listening to the old Benny radio shows, as well as watching his television series.

But, whenever Dennis Day, dropping his naive dopey act for the comedy, gets his three minutes to sing a song, well, for me that means just one thing: BATHROOM BREAK TIME!

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