Monday, February 21, 2011

The Jack Benny 1938 season: my review

I've spent the last 39 days (appropriate, no?) listening to Jack Benny's 1938 season.

The whole gang from the 1937 season is still here - there were no changes. Jell-o is still the sponsor as well.

What did change - and for the better - was Phil Harris. In just one year, he blossomed into the character we are familiar with; the Southern hambone. Perhaps he's not quite there, but you know he's right at the tip of his characteristic self.
Andy Devine was the Mayor of Van Nuys, California

One other change is that Andy Devine was elected as mayor of the city of Van Nuys, California and there are plenty of jokes about it. Not funny jokes - but jokes, nonetheless.

Shlepperman and the bald-headed man who has no name are back as well. The bald-headed man makes a pest of himself but only bothers Jack by calling on the phone or knocking at the door and saying something silly. I'm really not sure why this unnamed man was on these last two seasons, but he certainly got paid a lot of money for nothing, in my opinion.

The feud with Fred Allen is still going but it's not what it was in the prior season.

Mary, Don and Kenny are the same old, same old. They really seem to never change. Kudos to Kenny for always reading his lines correctly and playing his part to the hilt.

The whole season is uneventful. While the prior season was all about Buck Benny, Buck Benny, BUCK BENNY and a lot of feuding with Fred Allen - there's hardly even a mention of Buck in this season - and the feud with Allen is only mentioned here and there. There's not really a theme to the season.

Still, lots of fun to be had if you avoid the music.


  1. I normally do not listen to Jack Benny during the 30s. I pick him up, if possible, from the mid 40s thru the 50s. Prefer Dennis Day over Baker.

  2. I prefer Dennis over Kenny as well - but as I have stated, Kenny is more than adequate and is easily the best actor/singer on any show I have heard, except Dennis.

    Would you listen to 1937+ Jack Benny if there were no singing or commercials? (Coming soon)

  3. Probably not.


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