Encyclopedia > Jack Benny

  Article Content

Jack Benny

Benjamin Kubelsky (February 14, 1894 - December 26, 1974), better known as Jack Benny was a comedian, radio performer, and early television star. Benny is best known for The Jack Benny Program, on radio 1932-1959, and also on television in the late 1950s through the early 1960s. Today he is thought of as the premier comedian of old-time radio.
- Jack Benny -

He was born in Waukegan, Illinois.

His programs featured a fictionalized version of Benny's life with many running gags, particularly jokes about Benny's cheapness. One of the most famous silences in radio came when Benny was accosted by a robber who demanded, "Your money or your life." After an extended pause, Benny replied, "I'm thinking it over."

When Benny moved to television, he revealed that his verbal talent was matched by his assortment of facial expressions.

Among other running gags was his famous feud with another radio comedian, Fred Allen, actually one of Benny's closest friends. Another of his close friends and frequent guest-stars was George Burns of Burns and Allen. Benny's show also starred his wife Mary Livingstone[?], Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Phil Harris, Dennis Day, announcer Don Wilson, and Mel Blanc, with Ronald Colman appearing frequently in the 1940s with his wife Benita as Benny's neighbors.

The program's plots centered around putting on a radio program and were set partly in the studio and partly in Benny's home. Rochester ran the house. Jack was unmarried on the show. His real-life wife, Mary Livingston, was presented as Jack's leading lady on the radio show. Mary had many running jokes of her own, including her romantic interest in many of the guests, and her former employment at the May Department Stores, where the real-life Jack had met the real-life Mary, in the lingerie department.

The show within a show setting was an example of breaking the fourth wall by bringing the audience in on the joke that it was "just a show".

Jack Benny was interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.

See also: Maxwell automobile

External Links

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Monty Woolley

... onstage before taking it to Hollywood. Academy Awards and Nominations 1945 - Nominated - Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Since You Went Away 1943 - Nominated - ...

This page was created in 24.1 ms