The Jack Benny Program

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CBS (ended 1965)

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The Jack Benny Program

Show Summary

Jack Benny made his television debut after a long career in vaudeville, radio and film. During his radio series he cultivated the traits that his television character would have as well. Jack's on-air persona was of a vain, stingy character who always claimed to be age 39. Jack's radio show aired on NBC & CBS from 1932-1955, overlapping the TV show.

Joining him from his radio cast were Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, as Jack's wise-cracking valet; Dennis Day, the naive, somewhat dense tenor who sang on the show; and Don Wilson the announcer.

Seen on a more irregular basis was Mary Livingstone, Jack's real-life wife. On the show Mary did not play Benny's spouse (Jack's character always remained single) but her role was never defined. In Mary's first appearances she played a fan of Jack's; later she portrayed Jack's secretary. Mary, who suffered from stage fright, made few television appearances before retiring from show business in 1959.

Also appearing were: - Frank Nelson (the man who always harassed Jack, greeting him with an obnoxious "YEEESSSS"), - Artie Auerbach (who played Mr. Kitzel), - Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny, who often played Professor LeBlanc, Jack's violin teacher as well as many other roles).

Jack Benny moved into television slowly: - In his first season (1950-1951), he only performed 4 shows. - By the 1951-1952 season, Jack was ready to do 1 show approximately every 6 weeks. - In the third season (1952-1953), the show was broadcast every 4 weeks. - During the 1953-1954 season, The Jack Benny Program aired every 3 weeks. - From 1954-1960, the Benny programs aired every other week, rotating with such shows as Private Secretary and Bachelor Father. - Beginning in the 1960-1961 season, The Jack Benny Program began airing every week.

It is also worth noting that the show moved from CBS to NBC prior to the 1964-65 season.moreless
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of the greatest TV shows ever produced.

    10
    One of the greatest fans of Jack Benny is my father. He has several DVDs of his show in his collection. He was a fan ever since his radio show in the 1930s. Whenever Jack visted his valut, my father laughed so hard that he was afraid that he was going to get apoplexy. I saw some of his shows as well, and me and my whole family were unable to stop laughing at them. There is no doubt at all that Jack Benny is by far one of the greatest comic geniuses in the entire history of the genre of comedy.moreless
  • Attention Seinfeld. Jack Benny did it first!

    10
    One of the earliest and best sitcoms. It is amazing how little the humour has dated.



    Benny's television show was a continuation of what had worked for him for years on radio. Episodes revolved around Jack's life at home and at the studio making his television show - which were all somehow connected. On one episode of his television show, Jack even apologized for being late; "But I was backstage listening to my radio show and, gee, I was so good."

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  • I love this show.

    9.4
    I watch this show evry saterday at 10:00pm.It may be old but its grate! I'll watch this show any day Its grate and very funny and its one of my favorites. its perfect . very funny yup . humm well very funny well humm funny funny funny yup well funny
  • IF YOU THINK YOUR LIFE IS STRANGE, THE 4400 SEASON FOUR HITS THE SHELVES THIS WEEK SO YOU CAN COMPARE NOTES. ALSO OUT, THE NEXT SERIES OF EVENTS IN THE SAGA OF AANG THE AIRBENDER AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER BOOK THREE: FIRE, VOLUME THREE.

    May 6, 2008 DVD Releases

    • The Jack Benny Program
      It's good to see there are several reviews of this TV legend, but why is this the first forum post? There should be hundreds. It i...
      08/18/07
      1
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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Comedy