The Jack Benny Program

Premiere Show

Season 1, Ep 1, Aired 10/28/50
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  • Episode Description
  • The Sportsmen Quartet introduce the premiere show with "There's No Business Like Show Business". The monologue and the sketch are about how Jack decided on doing television and putting the first show together. After an interruption from TV technician Mel Blanc to wave to his Aunt Sophie, the show flashes back to how Jack got Dinah Shore to be his guest. At his house, Rochester sings "My Blue Heaven", and Mr. Kitzel comes by to wish Jack good luck. Jack calls Dinah Shore on his pay phone to get her to do his show and she pitches him a song she wants to do on the program. Back onstage, Ken Murray visits to wish Jack well, and Dinah comes out to sing "Tess' Torch Song", "I Oughta Know More About You" and the Lucky commercial with the Sportsmen. Jack closes the program by pulling out his violin and playing, which immediately causes the live audience to stand up and exit the studio.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Artie Auerbach

    Mr. Kitzel

  • Eddie Anderson

    Rochester Van Jones

  • Martin Sperzel

    Sportsmen Quartet (1950-1957)

  • Don Wilson

    Himself

  • Bob Stevens (III)

    Sportsmen Quartet (1950-1951)

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • (Mel Blanc has interrupted Jack's monologue to adjust lighting and say hi to his aunt) Jack: What are you doing? Mel: I'm saying "hello" to my aunt in California. Jack: But this is a live show. It only goes as far as St. Louis or Kansas City. This probably won't reach California for two weeks. Mel: Well, I was talking to a critic during rehearsal and he said if the wind is right, they may get it tonight.

    Notes (2)

    • Benny relates in a 3/24/1951 article he wrote for Collier's magazine that the closing gag didn't go as planned. He was supposed to play the straight music piece "Hora Staccato", then follow it with "Love in Bloom" as a joke. The audience was supposed to leave during the second gag number, but there was a fouled-up cue and everyone stood up and left the studio as he began "Hora Staccato".

    • This was a 45 minute special, airing from 8-8:45pm(et), pre-empting "The Ken Murray Show". To fill the remaining 15 minutes, CBS presented comedian Sam Levenson in an extended monologue, which later earned him his own variety series on the network in January 1951.

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