Sunday, May 27, 2012

A few words about the post-1944 Jack Benny Program

I listen to a lot of OTR.  Probably too much.  I say "too much" because  I listen to so much that I miss out listening to some stuff I want to hear because I am listening to other stuff...

My point being that I have tried to listen to the Jack Benny Program in order.  I started in 1937 and got to 1940.  1937 were the first years of Phil Harris and then Dennis Day came along in the 1940's.  Interesting radio.  But not funny radio.

There was a system the show used during that time that changed by the time the mid 1940's came.  I've gone back to listening to the show (after a few month absence) and while Dennis is in the Navy and sorely missed, the show seems to have taken on a new life.  No longer hinged to the - what I've always thought - was a stupid, not-so-funny "play" put on by the cast of the show near the end of the broadcast.  I'm not sure when this stopped, but certainly, sometimes between 1940 and 1944.

Mel Blanc
At least by 1945, the show has new life and no longer slows down to a snail's pace when the 2nd half of the show comes up.  I look forward to listening to the show again, despite the absence of Day, who is currently in the Navy as I listen.  My current schedule has 3-4 Jack Benny episodes scheduled everyday, so I play on writing about these important episodes (yes, I do believe these episodes are important as far as the history of OTR.)

In Day's void is Mel Blanc, who was horrible on everything he ever did (in my opinion) except the Jack Benny radio and TV show and of course, the years of cartoon voicing, which will live forever.  And no once can convince me that the Jack Benny shows (at least post 1944) won't live forever either.

©Jimbo 2012


  1. I liked the show the best after Dennis Day came back and Phil Harris as the band leader. When Cosby became the band leader, the show weakened, at least to me.

  2. I seriously wouldn't advise anyone to listen to the show where they do a play in the show's 2nd half. I can't tell you how many hours I have wasted listening to those.

  3. The best I'll say about The Mel Blanc show is that it is listenable.

    And as for Boston Blackie's comment, the more Phil Harris on Benny the better. And I never get tired of That's What I Like About The South, all 5,700 verses.

  4. Can't really argue about the plays, but their version of Casablanca is worth it just to hear Rochester sing As Time Goes By.


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