The Jack Benny Program

Season 10 Episode 2

Harry Truman Show

Aired Sunday 7:30 PM Oct 18, 1959 on CBS



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • (pausing at a portrait of Lincoln, the president asks if Jack's a fan)
      Jack: Abraham Lincoln, my favorite president? Why do you say that?
      President Truman: Well, I thought that any man who would walk twelve miles to save three cents would be the kind of man you'd fall for.

  • Notes

    • Benny was so thrilled that Truman had agreed to do his show that he sent the First Family a big new television set to watch the episode on.

    • President Truman told reporter Margaret McManus, "I wouldn't do this for anybody in the world but Jack Benny. I've had hundred of requests to be on television...Jack Benny's an old friend. He came out here and played with the Kansas City Symphony for me: raised $52,000 in one night."

    • The sordid "Quiz Show Scandals" were front page news at this time, with the House Committee on Legislative Oversight beginning hearings in October 1959. The networks were scurrying to cover themselves, making new rules and public declarations guaranteeing transparency. CBS' president Frank Stanton went as far as to declare that laugh tracks would no longer be used. Jack Benny was quite public in objecting to this, telling columnist Earl Wilson in November 1959, that no CBS brass ever told him to stop using them. Discussing this show, Benny said, "When you film a show, you almost have to have it...We filmed the Truman interview in the library in Independence. He was saying some very funny things. For him to have said these things without any laugh response would have been deadly." Jack personally oversaw the "sweetening" himself.

  • Allusions