The Jack Benny Program - Season 12

CBS (ended 1965)




Episode Guide

  • Jack Takes in a Boarder
    Jack advertises for a boarder and gets a non-stop parade off oddballs. Hillbilly entertainer Cousin Emmy and her kinfolk show up and play with Don on the State Farm commercial. Frank Nelson causes Jack headaches as a representative of the telephone company.
  • Modern Prison Sketch
    Mickey Rooney is the guest because Jack gave him tickets to the show and then tricks him into performing. In the sketch, Jack and Mickey portray a couple of spoiled inmates in a modern prison (of 1985). The facilities are so cushy and luxurious, it's more like a vacation resort. Not surprisingly, no one wants to be discharged.moreless
  • Jack is a Violin Teacher
    Dennis Day performs "On the First Warm Day." Following a magazine interview about his life, Jack dreams about what would have happened had he never left Waukegan and become a comedian. As a struggling violin teacher in his hometown, he fails to impress his students, all whom play better than he does. Even offering "bargain rates" on lessons fails to attract much business. With his furniture being repossessed, his shrill wife is threatening to leave him.moreless
  • Jack Goes Back Into Pictures
    Rochester unsuccessfully tries to calm down his exuberant boss. Jack is giddy because he thinks director Billy Wilder wants him to star in his next picture.
  • Crazy Airport
    Crazy Airport
    Episode 22
    Dennis takes over the show because Jack hasn't arrived at the studio. He's running late because of his penny-pinching; he flew in on a cut-rate airline that lands its planes in a pasture instead of at an airport. Jack has nothing but trouble with the nutty pilot, a baggage handler and a farmer. Don and Dennis sing the State Farm commercial to the tune of "Side By Side."moreless
  • Shari Lewis Show
    Shari Lewis Show
    Episode 21
    Jack is in his office getting a haircut from Rochester when his director informs him that there are too many acts booked on his annual variety show. There's simply no room for Shari Lewis on the program. Shari and Lambchop arrive and Jack finds her so charming that he can't bring himself to bump her. Jack is amazed when the choreographer comes in looking for a piano player and Shari volunteers. He's amazed by her versatility when she also sings, dances and does magic tricks. Seeing a way to save on his show, Jack hires Lewis and cancels all the other acts. Sheri and Jack perform "Alabamy Bound" on piano and violin.moreless
  • Alexander Hamilton Show
    The cast has gathered at Jack's house to read through the show's script. While their waiting for it to arrive, Dennis sings "April Showers". When it arrives, the memograph office has mistakenly sent an episode of The Lone Ranger. After sending the cast home, Jack reads from a history book about Alexander Hamilton and dreams he's the famous man. Hamilton has happy feet; everytime he hears a minuet from Dolly Madison's party across the street, he breaks into dance with whomever's around. Ben Franklin drops by because his kite's stuck on the roof, as does Aaron Burr, who challenges him to a duel. Burr's first shot sends Hamilton's powdered wig flying into the air.moreless
  • Julie London Show
    Julie London Show
    Episode 19
    Supposedly in response to many fan letters, Jack intends to play a complete song on his violin. He starts the tune, only to be interrupted by a 12-year-old girl, Toni Marcus, who wants his autograph. As Jack signs her book, she grabs the violin and beautifully plays the song he was massacring. Julie London performs "Daddy, You Ought to Get the Best For Me", then chats and flirts shamelessly with Jack. She serenades him with "You're Sweet That Way" as he melts like butter. The young girl returns and wants to perform "Getting to Know You" like Jack had famously done with Gisele MacKenzie. The two close the show with a violin duet of the number.moreless
  • Rock Hudson Show
    Rock Hudson Show
    Episode 18
    Benny's monologue is interrupted by the audience with their chants of "We want Rock!" Hudson and Benny compare the effects of their kisses on a blindfolded young lady. In the sketch, Jack does an impressive impression of Jack Paar in a take-off of his Tonight Show. Paar's actual announcer/sidekick Hugh Downs appears as himself. Benny/Paar brings out his first guest, young harmonica-playing, Twist-teaching dance instructor Irving Hudson. Jack suggests he change his name to Rock: Irving Rock. The sketch with everyone learning "The Twist" from Hudson.moreless
  • Ghost Town Western
    Ghost Town Western
    Episode 17
    Jack and Gisele take a shortcut while driving from Phoenix to L.A., get lost, and stop in a diner in a ghost town for directions. The cafe owner tells them a story about bad guy Tombstone Harry and Cactus Kid (Benny) who have a gunfight over saloon singer Tess. Gisele sings "Buttons and Bows" for the cowboys. The Cactus Kid, unfortunately, can't shoot straight. Don Wilson, Gisele and the Sportsmen Quartet do the State Farm commercial to the tune of "I'm an Old Cowhand From the Rio Grande."moreless
  • Police Station Show
    Police Station Show
    Episode 16
    Jack is late so Don is rehearsing with his stand-in, Charlie. When Jack finally arrives, the stand-in criticizes Benny's entrance. A phone call from Rochester brings horrible news: Jack's Maxwell has been stolen. Don rehearses the Lipton commercial with Charlie. Jack hurries to the report the missing auto and finds the Beverly Hills Police station incredibly ritzy and plush. Even their hounds are French poodles. Rochester is questioned by the cops. Soon enough, the car turns up; it was returned to Jack's house by the thieves.moreless
  • How Jack Met Rochester
    Dennis Day performs "It's a Grand Night for Singing." Jack tells a reporter how he met Rochester. In a flashback, Jack is making his big move from New York to Hollywood and trying to do it as cheaply as possible. Rochester is the porter on the train Jack is taking westward. Jack attempts to smuggle Don and Dennis on without without paying their tickets, but his scheme only results in Rochester getting fired for not reporting Benny's scam. Grateful, Jack offers Rochester the job as his valet/butler/nursemaid.moreless
  • Jack Gets a Passport
    In the monologue, Jack claims the musicians' union has given him a one-way ticket to Australia to play violin concerts there. Dennis sings "Make Someone Happy." Don enters with the messenger delivering Jack's passport. Jack recalls the trouble he had years earlier trying to get a permit to work in London. He was caught in endless red tape and his attempts at humor with the British bureaucrats only garnered blank stares.moreless
  • Dennis Day's Surprise Birthday Party
    Hiding in one of Benny's closets, Dennis overhears Jack's plans to throw a surprise costume birthday party for him. It's obvious it's not a secret when Dennis arrives at the party dressed as a leprechaun. Dennis' protective mother gives Jack the usual earful.
  • Jack Does Opera
    Jack Does Opera
    Episode 12
    The monologue is about TV make-up. Jack's guest is Metropolitan Opera star Roberta Peters, who sings "Shadow Song" from "Dinorah". Don threatens to quit after Jack's cuts the Lipton Tea commercial from the show. He reconsiders when Jack confiscates his teabag. Rochester makes a fried egg sandwich for Jack without leaving the living room using an extendable hand. Jack listens to a record Peters gave him and dreams he's singing La Traviata with her.moreless
  • New Year's Eve
    New Year's Eve
    Episode 11
    Jack explains to a reporter how he spent last New Year's Eve.
    In the flashback, several musicians are celebrating in Jack's dressing room prior to heading to Don's house for the big party. Dennis comes in dressed as baby New Year, then sings the State Farm commercial with Don accompanying on tuba. Jack, dressed in black tie and tails, informs the boys he'll miss the party because he has a big date on the town with his new gal Gloria.
    Gloria calls and cancels, leaving Jack with no plans. Dejectedly, he wanders the streets, stopping into a diner for a bowl of soup. The waitress, Gloria, apologizes for canceling because of work.
    Back at home, he finds Rochester, also dressed up, heading out to celebrate. Feeling sad that Jack's all alone, Rochester stays home and the two ring in the New Year over a bottle of champagne.moreless
  • Christmas Party
    Christmas Party
    Episode 10
    To prove he's not a cheapskate, Jack throws a Christmas party for his cast and crew; he even hands out surprise gifts. Frank Nelson, there with his "wife," finds Benny's sudden looseness with money suspicious and uncovers the secret behind Jack's sudden generosity.
    Don Wilson conducts an applause test of three Santa Clauses for the Lipton Tea commercial.
    In the warm finale, the regulars gather around a Christmas tree and welcome Mel Blanc, making his first appearance since his near-fatal car accident. He exchanges a few quips with Jack and does some of the voices he's performed on the show including Sy and Professor LeBlanc.moreless
  • Jack Writes a Song
    Jack Writes a Song
    Episode 9
    Jack wrote a song titled "When You Say I Beg Your Pardon, Then I'll Come Back To You." It's so putrid, whenever he sings it, windows automatically fly open. He asks film composer Dimitri Tiomkin to come over, hoping to convince the famous writer to arrange the tune for him. Don drops by to do his State Farm commercial and insult Jack's musical masterpiece. Locksmiths also show up to try to open his vault, the entrance to which is hidden behind a revolving bookcase. Jack sings the song for Tiomkin, who thinks it's lousy. As Jack picks up the violin to play the lilting melody for him, the locksmiths begin blasting, the windows fly open, plaster begins falling and Dimitri makes a dash for the door.moreless
  • Jack Goes To The Cafeteria
    Taking the bus to the studio, Jack asks the man beside him to help him rehearse a scene from the show. The two attract unwanted attention playing an arguing husband and wife. While waiting for Jack to arrive, Jane Morgan sings "The Second Time Around." When he finally gets to work, Jack flirts with Jane, and invites her to lunch at a cafeteria. After arguing with every employee working the food line, he and Jane rehearse the "arguing couple" sketch. The others in the cafeteria think they're actually fighting and begin to take sides. Soon, a full-fledged brawl breaks out.moreless
  • Jack Is Followed Home
    Guest star Bobby Rydell sings "Sitting On Top Of The World," and "Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye." After the show, Jack is followed home, and a rock is thrown through his window. The rock thrower turns out to be Dennis, who is mad at Jack because Bobby sang instead of Dennis Day. Jack decides to take the law into his own hands, when he punishes Dennis.moreless
  • Jack Plays Golf
    Jack Plays Golf
    Episode 6
    No one at Hillcrest wants to play golf with Jack because he's such a cheat. Members, including Don, now golf at sunrise to avoid him. He manages to make up a foursome with golf pro Eric Monti and two unsuspecting out-of-towners. Jack talks them into a high-stakes wager: ten cents for the game. Don does the Lipton Tea commercial in the locker-room. On the course, Jack cheats repeatedly, irritating the visitors to the point that they quit. Monti arranges to get an "important call" to get out of playing. When it's just Jack and the caddy, he hits a hole in one. He's delighted until he remembers that it's tradition to buy free drinks for everyone in the clubhouse.moreless
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford Show
    No one bothered to tell Jack that his guest, Tennessee Ernie Ford, would be appearing via live remote from his farm in Lakeport, CA. The two chat about farming and Ernie sings "John Henry" at his barn before the picture goes black. When the picture comes back, it's an attractive woman; Ernie says it's one of his "pea pickers." Ford also displays the square egg he's developed. The technology goes haywire when they attempt a split-screen fiddle duet of "Sweet Georgia Brown." Finally, things go berserk and Jack ending up in Ernie's barn and Ernie on Jack's studio stage. Don does the State Farm commercial with a man on a pogo stick.moreless
  • Jack Takes The Stewarts To a Play
    Don and his wife cancel plans to join Jack and his girlfriend for a play. Not about to waste tickets, Jack calls his old friends Jimmy and Gloria Stewart to ask if they'd like to go. Mistaking Jack Benny for Jack Lemmon, they're delighted to attend. Outside the theater, a bum asks Jack for a dime; Jack gives him a Lipton tea bag. When Benny's free passes turn out to be invalid on weekends, the Stewarts plan to ditch Jack by claiming they need to buy a lamp. Jack takes them to a sleazy auction which features a striptease, an elephant leg stool, an obnoxious auctioneer, and free donuts.moreless
  • Jack on Trial For Murder
    Jack receives a court summons because his rooster is bothering the neighbors. He consults a loopy lawyer, Frank Nelson, who says he learned law by watching Perry Mason. His advice to Jack is to plead insanity. Jack returns home and finds Don and a Hawaiian woman doing the hula for the State Farm commercial. Jack dozes off and dreams he's on trial for the cold-blooded murder of the rooster. His lawyer is Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. Mason blames his lousy job of defending Jack on the Benny's writers, saying his are much better. Jack has the usual courtroom breakdown scene and confesses to being the bird murderer.moreless
  • Waukegan Show
    Waukegan Show
    Episode 2
    This episode was recorded in Jack's hometown of Waukegan, Illinois during a recent celebration of its famous former citizen. Don Wilson shows the construction of the brand new Jack Benny Junior High School. Dennis Day, who's not impressed (there are "day schools" everywhere), sings "If Ever I Would Leave You." Jack, Don and the glee club from Benny High sing a State Farm commercial. The mayor of Waukegan presents Benny items to be sealed into the school's cornerstone including his first toy (a cash register), and a (broken) baton from his first violin lesson. A captain from the Great Lakes Naval Training Station reads highlights of Jack's Navy career, discovers Benny was never discharged, and has him hauled away to complete his duty.moreless
  • Season Premiere
    Season Premiere
    Episode 1
    Benny begins his 12th season on television with this episode taped in New York City. Jack introduces Phil Silvers in the audience, who promptly comes on stage and the two trade insults. Phil wants to know if Jack has signed his new contract; Benny tells him that's very the reason he's in town. Don's attempt to do the commercial is fouled up by Jack who tries different wigs on the bald announcer. Guest Betty Johnson sings "My Kind of Guy."
    In the sketch, Jack goes to his sponsor's office to sign his latest contract. While he waits in the lobby, Silvers is inside trying to talk the sponsor into replacing Jack with himself. Unable to escape without being seen, Phil hides in the closet while Jack comes in and makes his pitch. After finishing, Jack opens the wrong door and finds Silvers...and Garry Moore, Alan King, and Jack Paar. They're also after Benny's job.moreless