THE 1944-1945 SEASON
The season begins with the same returning cast: Jack, Mary, Eddie Anderson, Phil Harris, and Don Wilson. There is a new sponsor, however:the American Tobacco Company, makers of Lucky Strike Cigarettes, whose ads at the beginning and the end of each program feature F.E.Boone and Speed Riggs as the auctioneers, with Kenny Delmar, Del Sharbutt, and Basil Ruysdael as the commercial announcers. The slogan is "LS-MFT", which stands for "Lucky Strike means fine tobacco". They are also "So round, so firm, so fully packed, so free and easy on the draw". Cigarettes mark a significant difference from Jack's previous sponsors, Jello and Grape Nuts. Larry Stevens joins the program as a replacement for Dennis Day, who is in the Navy. The show finished 7th overall in the ratings for the year, the worst drop in years. Were people taking time adjusting to the slightly different direction the new staff of writers were bringing? Did they miss Dennis Day? The year-end Hooper rating was 24.2
Notable shows this year include the first appearance of Larry Stevens (November 05, 1944), the Christmas "tree trimming" episode with a special appearance by old friend Andy Devine (December 24, 1944), and the incredible triple debuts on January 07, 1945 of Jack's money vault, the train station "tout" and the train to Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga. Also please note that there was technically only thirty four episodes this year....there was no show number twenty-nine,as it was pre-empted by the President's death. However, the scripts for the show continue with the April 22, 1945 show numbered as program thirty so that is how we present the log here.
1. 10/01/44 JACK LOOKS FOR A REPLACEMENT SINGER
Show Introduction: (the same up to episode 8): "The Lucky Strike program...starring Jack Benny...with Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Rochester, and yours truly, Don Wilson."
Don's Introduction: "And now we take you to Jack Benny's home in Beverly Hills...it is early morning...Jack is still asleep and Rochester is in the kitchen preparing breakfast".
The Show: The episode opens with Rochester in the kitchen when the phone rings:
Rochester: "Hello, Mr. Benny's residence. (audience applause) Mr. Benny's residence, start of stage, screen, and radio...so whether you go out or stay home, he's got you trapped. Who? Oh, hello Sam, am I glad you called, hurry right over...and return that suit I rented you, the boss is back~! I know your week ain't up yet, but I'll give you the money pronto, pro-rata, and providin' I'm alive when you get here....that's right...and Sam, I wish you'd pass the word along to the rest of my clientele....goodbye. Well, I guess I'm safe now....uh-oh, I'll have to dig up some excuse about Mr. Benny's tuxedo...doggone, when I rented it out for Jerome, how did I know they was gonna cremate him~?! Oh well, I'd better prepare breakfast before the boss wakes up".
Joe Kearns shows up as the milkman, and discusses the new sponsor (Lucky Strikes) with Rochester. When Jack finally wakes up, he asks Rochester what they are having for breakfast:
Rochester: "If this was last season, I could mention it"
Jack: "If this was last season, you'd HAVE to mention it~!"
While Rochester takes a phone call, Mary arrives at Jack's house, and missed Jack so much during the off-season that she gives him kisses on the front porch~! Rochester tells Jack that the phone call was from their new sponsor, George Washington Hill, which of course makes Jack nervous, wondering what he could have wanted. Phil and Don (Harris and Wilson, not the Everly Brothers) stop by Jack's house to welcome him back. Jack decides that he and Mary should go visit the sponsor.
When they arrive they ask Hill's secretary (Bea Benaderet) to tell Mr. Hill that they are there. Jack tells the secretary to let him know that it's "Be-nny...Be-nny...with men who know comedians best, it's Benny, two to one~!" (a play on the current Lucky Strike slogan).
Hill (played by Russell Hicks) says he will see them in a few minutes, he's in a conference. It turns out the conference is with Fred Allen. When the audience applauds twice after Allen's first lines, he ad-libs "You see Mr. Hill, with Allen you get two receptions to one~!" Allen is trying to convince Hill that Jack's show will flop. After Allen leaves, Jack and Mary are shown into the office.
After Jack nervously talks with Hill, Fred Allen pops back in and sees Jack. The two men start off nicely enough but soon begin arguing. Jack starts getting all worked up, and when Hill suggests "Jack, why don't you and Fred shake hands and.." Jack responds:
Jack : "You shut up~! Now listen, Allen, I wanna tell you....oh oh my goodness~! I said that to my sponsor~! Mr. Hill, I didn't mean to say shut up to you, I just meant to say be quiet...I mean, please be quiet...I mean I didn't mean it at all...I'd never say a thing like that to you~! (the ending music begins to play softly) Mr. Hill....Mr. Hill...don't stand there with your back to me...Fred...Freddy boy, please tell Mr. Hill I didn't mean it~!"
Jack continues to plead with Mr. Hill as the episode fades out.
For the closing "tag" Jack and Mary discuss the need for a replacement singer for Dennis Day (still in the Navy). Jack says that next Sunday he would like to talk to Frank Sinatra.
Note: This episode is often confused with that of 10/29/1944. Note how similar this episodes introduction is to that one (episode 5), and also to episode 25.
Note: This first episode for a new sponsor, the American Tobacco Company, is the first to feature the show's new theme song, a mixture of "Love in Bloom" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy".
Note: Being the first show for the new sponsor, this episode features the first appearances of Kenny Delmar, LA "Speed" Riggs, FE Boone, Del Sharbutt and Basil Ruysdael, all heard in the opening commercial for Lucky Strikes. This very first commercial also introduces the "LS-MFT" slogan (Lucky Strike means fine tobacco), Riggs' and Boone's auctioneer chant. the claim that "independent tobacco experts" consistently select Lucky Strike tobacco, the "it's Luckies two to one" slogan, and the "so round, so firm, so fully packed" slogan. All in just over a minute. It's obvious right away that the American Tobacco/Lucky Strike commercials will be a whole lot different than the Jell-O/Grape Nuts Flakes ads of the last few years.
This is a nice, but not hysterically funny, start for their new sponsor. Jack's nervousness and eagerness to please whoever his current sponsor is (Mr. Mortimer with Jell-O, George Washington Hill with American Tobacco, etc)is usually good for some dependable laughs.
A recurring theme of the next few programs is the need to find a new singer to replace Dennis Day.
Note: There is no song sung in this episode.
2. 10/08/44 JACK OFFERS FRANK SINATRA DENNIS' JOB
Don's Introduction: "And now, we take you to Jack Benny's house in Beverly Hills...it is Saturday night, and Jack has invited Mary over to spend a pleasant evening".
The Show: The program begins with Jack having Mary help him straighten out his household expenses; Mary would rather go to the Palladium and dance. After he finds out that Rochester had a wild party in the house while he was gone, Jack receives a telegram from George Washington Hill:
"Dear Jack, please forget about what happened in my office last week.... you have nothing to worry about. You have a three year contract and my lawyers told me I can't get out of it...unless you breach clause number 3-A regarding a singer. Sincerely yours, George W. Hill"
Jack tells Mary he isn't worried about Hill breaking the contract because he has a singer in mind, and wrote a letter asking him to come for an interview; Frank Sinatra.
While waiting for Sinatra, Phil Harris stops by, and then they're visited by Herman Peabody, the insurance salesman (Mel Blanc). He wants Jack to look over a new life insurance policy they're offering; it only costs $2.00 a month until you die; after you die, you only have to pay $0.25 a month. Then Don Wilson calls Jack and manages to get in a plug for Lucky Strikes.
Suddenly Mary realizes:
Mary: "Hey Jack, wait a minute, I just thought of something"
Mary: "Frank Sinatra isn't even in town, he's in New York~!"
Jack: "Allright, so he'll come a little.....WHAT?"
Phil: "Hey~! Mary's right, Jackson...Sinatra is in New York...this is Saturday Night and he's doing the Hit Parade program"
Jack: "But that's impossible"
Mary: "His program is on right now...tune in the radio and see"
When they turn on the radio, they hear Frank Nelson doing a commercial:
Frank Nelson: "Ladies and gentlemen..do you suffer from upper plate wobble, hmmm? Do your friends avoid meeting you because your uppers avoid meeting your lowers? If so, try a bottle of Sympathy Soothing Syrup...Remember folks, Sympathy spelled backwards is Yhtapmys...Y-H-T-A-P-M-Y-S"
Sportsmen: (singing) Yit Yit Yatapamiss/Yit Yit Yitapamiss/Yit Yit Yitapamiss/Drives your blues awayyyy.."
Frank: "So remember friends...years of research in our own private laboratories has established the fact that when you pass the age of thirty-five...you will be thirty six"
(This is the first appearance this season, and the third appearance overall, of the Sympathy Soothing Syrup gag, after 05/21/1944 and 05/28/1944).
They finally tune in to the correct broadcast:
Announcer: "And now, for his final selection on tonight's 'Lucky Strike Hit Parade', Frank Sinatra sings 'All The Things You Are'". (Frank then sings the song over the radio).
Jack tries to call New York to speak to Sinatra and gets the telephone operator girls, Mabel and Gertrude (Sara Berner and Bea Benaderet), who tell him the line is busy. After a few minutes Sinatra calls Jack:
Mary: .."gee, Frankie, your voice sounds just as nice over the phone as it does on the radio"
Sinatra: "Well, thanks Mary"
Mary: "You know the reason Jack put in this call for you is because he'd like to have you as the singer on his program"
Sinatra: "Gee, that'd be swell...I'd love to be on Jack's show...then I'd get to see YOU a little more often"
Mary: "Ohh Frankie it's a good thing I'm not the type of girl that gets excited...because if I was, I'd be SO SO excited (laughs)"
Jack takes the phone from Mary and asks Frank if he'd like to sing on the program. Frank says it sounds interesting, but that there's the question of money. Jack offers Sinatra what Dennis Day was making after five years on the program: $35 a week. Frank turns it down:
Sinatra: "I'm sorry, Jack, but I can't accept that salary. You see a man gets into the habit of eating three meals a day"
Jack: "What did you say, Frankie?"
Sinatra: "I said I'm in the habit of eating three meals a day"
Jack: "Well, brother, I've seen you and...NO, I'M NOT GOING TO SAY IT, I'M NOT GOING TO SAY IT~!"
Before Jack can finish talking to Frank, the time bomb that he has set on his phone to stop any calls over three minutes long goes off.
In the closing "tag" Jack tells Mary that next week they'll be broadcasting from the Army Air Base at Gardner Field.
Guest Star: The guest is Frank Sinatra.
3. 10/15/44 FROM GARDNER FIELD TAFT CALIFORNIA
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, from the Army Air Base Gardner Field, near Taft, California...we bring you our Master of Ceremonies...the one and only..."
The Show: Don's introduction of Jack is interrupted by two soldiers (Mel Blanc and Wally Baker) who are protesting what they've been supplied with so far for entertainment:
Mel Blanc (as sarge): "Okay...look Fatso, we can't do anything about what time they make us go to bed or what time they make us get up...but week after week they blow a bugle, line us up, march us into this hall to listen to what they cal "entertainment"...
Wally and Mel: "And we're sick of it~!"
The two soldiers then tell Don that the "fellas have appointed us as a committee to pass on the entertainment":
Mel: "So listen, Chubby...you tell us who you're gonna bring out here, and we'll tell you if it's okay"
Don: "Well, all right...if you must know it's none other than Jack Benny".
Wally: "Jack Benny, huh? Whaddaya think, Sarge?"
Mel: "I dunno...what do YOU think?"
Wally: "Well....it's either him or spending a half hour in Taft".
Jack Benny: "Hmmm.."
Mel: "Aww, let's give him a break...maybe he brought some dames with him."
Wally: "Okay, Blubber, you can bring on your star"
Don (finishing intro): "Thank you. And now, ladies and gentlemen, from the Army Air Base at Gardner Field, near Taft, California...we bring you the one and only...Jack Benny~!"
I love how many euphemisms for "fat" the two soldiers manage to work into talking with Don. Jack then finally comes out for his opening speech, and opens with a joke he "made up" on the way to the show: why are second lieutenants so young? because they're picked from an infant-tree~! The two soldiers don't find the joke very amusing.
After Mary arrives and chats briefly with Jack, the "Door Guy" (Harry Lang) shows up:
Door Guy: "Mr. Benny?"
Door Guy: "On behalf of the United States Army Air Force stationed at Gardner Field, I wish to present you with these wings."
Door Guy: "Yes...I'm sorry the rest of the chicken got away~! Goodbye".
Then Phil enters and introduces himself: "Okay, fellas, start beatin' them chow-tongs together, Harris is here~!" Mel Blanc knocks on the door and plays his second role of the program:
Mel: "Mr. Benny?"
Mel: "Did some silly guy come in here a while ago and present you with a pair of chicken wings?"
Jack: "Yes, but I threw 'em away"
Mel: "Oh...well, would you mind telling me where you threw 'em?"
Jack: "Why are you hungry?"
Mel: "No, I'm the chicken"
Mel: (makes chicken sounds)
This is a good example of what colleague Graeme Cree calls a "radio joke": this scene would obviously never work in a visual medium such as TV or film. After an orchestra number, Jack says he thought Phil was supposed to sing during the song. Phil protests that he has enough to do without singing, and asks Jack when he's going to hire a singer for the program. Jack says he tried to hire one last week; he doesn't want to go into the specifics, but of course Mary does, and tries to get Jack to tell the gang what happened. When he refuses, Mary decides to tell them, and we "flash back" to last Thursday night, when Mary ate dinner at Jack's house. Mary asks Jack what he's going to do about finding a replacement singer for Dennis Day. Jack replies that he hasn't given up hope of hiring Frank Sinatra, but Mary tells him he should forget about Sinatra because he has too much radio work already. Jack then asks Mary if she wants to hear a new record he bought...one side is singer John Charles Thomas singing "When My Boy Comes Home"...and on the other side is Spike Jones' "I Kissed the Butcher's Daughter Til Her Old Man Put Up a Beef". Jack then "plays" the John Charles Thomas song.
After the song, Mary suggests that Jack try to get Thomas as the singer for the show. Jack thinks it's a great idea and wants to go see him right away, so Rochester drives Jack and Mary to Thomas' house. When Jack knocks on the door Frank Nelson answers as the butler (and gives a good example of his signature "ee-yessssss") and lets Jack and Mary in. John Charles Thomas greets them and Jack asks him to be the singer on the program. Jack says he pays Dennis $35 a week and offers Thomas a little more, but before Jack names the price Thomas' butler enters and Thomas pays him his weekly salary of $100. Jack rethinks his offer and tells Thomas that on second thought, he has a feeling that they can't get together after all. Thomas says he couldn't take the job anyway, but offers to appear on one program, and asks Jack what he'd like him to sing. Jacks asks for "Cherie Berie Bee", so they "rehearse" the song, with Jack turning his part into a LSMFT commercial.
Note: After the closing Lucky Strike commercial, the script indicates "switchover to Hollywood for Jack Benny sign off", as usual, but the script ends there and there doesn't seem to have been a sign off this week. Also, the apparently only circulating copy of the episode is the AFRS broadcast, which replaces "Cherie Berie Bee" with JCT singing "Darling Nellie Grey", and also lacks a Jack Benny sign-off.
Note: The song is spelled "Cherie Berie Bee" in the script, but it is most likely "Cheerie Beerie Bee"
On Location: From the Army Air Base at Gardner Field, near Taft, California (if you couldn't tell from Don's intro~!).
John Charles Thomas' Song: John Charles Thomas sings "Cherie Berie Bee" with Jack.
Note: This link to the National Archives OPA (Online Public Access) contains Navy film # NPC 5748, National Archives # 77647: "Jack Benny and Entertainers at PT Base; Views of PT Base, Camp Area and PTS Underway, 10/11/1944". This is a 7 minute, 35 second long black and white, silent film of Jack and his troupe performing at what I am assuming is the Army Air Base at Gardner Field. The film quality is extremely rough, looking like a 5th generation copy of a VHS bootleg. The Jack Benny segment is from approximately 00:32:16 to 00:34:56. Of course it's very fascinating to see Jack and the gang at work on location during the war; hopefully a lower-generation copy will show up one day:
4. 10/22/44 CAPTAIN O'BENNY
Don's Introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen..let's move the clock back ten minutes and see what happens before a radio program goes on the air..so now we take you back-stage to Jack Benny's dressing room, where Jack is relaxing".
The Show: As per Don's intro, the show begins as a look at what happens "backstage" a few minutes before the show goes on the air. The play is featuring "That fearless, crime-busting Master Detective, Captain O'Benny". The guest is Cliff Nazarro, as a singer auditioning for the show.; Jack still wants to get Sinatra as the new singer. Mel Blanc has a role as Herman Peabody, insurance agent. At the close of the episode, Jack makes a plea for the War Fund Drive.
5. 10/29/44 ALLEN'S ALLEY
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, let's go out to Jack Benny's house in Beverly Hills...Jack has invited the gang over for a late Sunday breakfast...and right now he's in the kitchen getting things started".
The Show: Fred Allen appears, along with his cast members from his radio show; Minerva Pious, John Brown (both also briefly Benny regulars), Charles Cantor and Alan Reed; Jack and Fred go down to Allen's Alley to find a new singer for the show.
Appearing in their roles as residents of Allen's Alley, Minerva Pious plays Mrs. Nussbaum, John Brown is John Doe, Alan Reed is Falstaff Openshaw, and Charles Cantor is Socrates Mulligan.
Martha Tilton also appears, and sings "The Trolley Song". Jack also pays tribute to the U.S. Navy.
Guest Stars: Fred Allen, Minerva Pious, John Brown, Charles Cantor, Alan Reed, and Martha Tilton
Note: Since we've noted that Jack Benny Show semi-regular Verna Felton played Wilma Flinstone's mother, semi-regular Mel Blanc played Barney Rubble, and semi-regular Bea Benaderet played Betty Rubble, we should note that Fred Allen show regular Alan Reed, who guests this episode, played Fred Flintstone.
Note: This episode if often confused with that of 10/1/1944, as noted above. This one begins with Don Wilson's intro as also noted above.
Note: There was a line break from 7:02-7:07pm EST; a line break of 5 minutes is a fairly significant amount of time.
6. 11/05/44 GUEST: AMOS AND ANDY
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen...if you have nothing else to do, let's go to Jack Benny's house in Beverly Hills..."
The Show: Amos and Andy (Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll) guest star, briefly. Joseph Dunninger, a mind-reader, also appears: Jack and Mary go to see his show. Dunninger informs Jack about a young man working at a gas station that could be the new singer....Larry Stevens. Mel Blanc again plays Herman Peabody, insurance agent; Minerva Pious plays Mrs. Nussbaum. Larry Stevens joins the cast as the singer. The circulating copy of this program has terrible audio quality, but this is a funny episode.
7. 11/12/44 JACK HIRES LARRY STEVENS AND ARGUES OVER HIS SALARY
Don's Introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen...after the thrills, action and excitement of the recent hectic election, there has been a terrific let-down...and here he is, Jack Benny~!"
On Location: From Muroc Army Air Base, Muroc Dry Lake, California.
The Show: Jack wants to throw away the script and ad-lib. Mary reads a letter from her mother. Larry Stevens makes his second appearance, singing "Let Me Love You Tonight". Jack offers him a salary of $22.50 a week. At the close Jack makes a plea for the Army Nurse Corp. The speed of the show on the circulating copy sounds too fast.
Larry's Song: Larry sings "Let Me Love You Tonight"
8. 11/19/44 FROM CORONA NAVAL HOSPITAL
Show Introduction: Larry is added to Don Wilson's cast introduction at the beginning of this episode:
"From the U.S. Naval Hospital at Corona...we bring you the Lucky Strike program...starring Jack Benny..with Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Rochester, yours truly Don Wilson, and our new singer, Larry Stevens"
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, as you all know, one of America's great naval heroes, Captain James Lawrence, once said "Don't give up the ship"...so now we bring you a man who wouldn't give up anything...Jack Benny~!"
On Location: The show is broadcast from the Corona US Naval Hospital, California.
Guest Star: The guest is harmonica player Larry Adler, who plays "Holiday for Strings" with the Orchestra.
The Show: Jack and Don start an argument over who said "Don't Give up the Ship"; this will be a running gag the next few weeks. Larry Stevens sings "What a Difference a Day Makes", and is introduced as a cast member at the beginning of the show for the first time. At one point during the discussion with Larry and Mary, Jack nearly misses his line and everyone cracks up. Mel Blanc appears as a sailor, and Sara Berner plays the telephone operator.
Jack: "That was 'Holiday for Strings' played by Larry Adler. And Larry, you certainly played a mouthful. You know Larry, that's a fascinating instrument.
Larry: "You're right, Jack, you know this is an instrument that really gets you"
Jack: "What do you mean?"
Larry: "Well, I know a fellow who loved the harmonica so much he married a girl with every other tooth missing"
Jack: "Oh, I see...well, now that I think of my Aunt, I guess my Uncle was in love with a bass fiddle...that gag's no good at all! (laughter) Anyway, Larry that number you just played....that number you...Larry, that number you just played was terrific.
Mary: "Yes it was, Larry...I enjoyed it very much"
Larry: "Why thanks...and say, Mary, I meant to tell you...that's a very pretty outfit you're wearing.
Mary: "Well, thank you, Larry"
Larry: "But isn't that material awfully thin?"
Mary: "Yes...in fact when I bought it, my dressmaker said those famous historical words.."
Jack: "What was that?"
Mary: "Don't give up the slip"
Jack: "Gee, I nearly missed my cue there, didn't I? I thought Larry was supposed to say 'what was that', pardon me, Larry.."
Larry: "I was all set to jump in"
Jack: "Listen, you didn't have to...anyway...(laughter) hey, you're all right, you can be on my show again, bud, you're all right. Anyway, Mary you didn't have to say 'don't give up the slip', you know you didn't have to start that all over again"
Don: "Well I'm glad you did, Mary"
Larry's Song: Larry sings "What a Difference a Day Makes".
Note: Presumably the show must have been running late, as there is no closing "tag" by Jack. The audio quality of the circulating recording is pretty atrocious, although it's hard to determine how much of that may be due to the original broadcast being done on location, away from the studio..
9. 11/26/44 HOW JACK AND THE GANG SPENT THANKSGIVING
Don's Introduction: "Well, ladies and gentlemen, last Thursday was Thanksgiving, so let's turn back the clock and show you how Jack Benny and his gang spent the day...our scene opens in Jack's home in Beverly Hills, and at the moment, Rochester is straightening up the house".
The Show: The program opens with Rochester singing his version of "Night and Day"
Rochester: "Night and Day/I am the one/Thanksgiving comes and goes/But I'm never done/I'm workin' all the time/I'm nothin' but a one-man assembly line/Night and Day/Day and Night!"
Jack is going to Mary's house for a Thanksgiving party and asks Rochester to help him get dressed. As Roch tells Jack about the tough moths living in his closet, the insurance salesman Herman Peabody (Mel Blanc) shows up at the door to wish Jack a Happy Thanksgiving.
Mary calls to ask what's taking Jack so long to get to her house, as the whole gang is already there except for him. Before he hangs up Mary asks Jack to bring her some flowers:
Jack: "Okay, Mary, I'll bring you half a dozen roses"
Mary: "Only a half a dozen? But Jack, they don't cost much"
Jack: "Well, no, the roses alone don't, Mary...but you're going to the expense of the entire dinner, why should you spend any more...after all. you're doing enough"
Mary: "Jack, I meant for YOU to buy the roses"
Jack: "oh...oh...oh oh oh OH! Well, Mary, you didn't have to beat around the bush, why didn't you just come out and say so? Of course I'll bring 'em...goodbye"
Over at Mary's house, it turns out that Phil has brought the band with him (naturally) so we get a band number, "(There'll Be a) Hot Time in the Town of Berlin". The song, written by John deVries and Joe Bushkin, copyrighted on October 26, 1943, was a hit record in 1944 for Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters, among others. Phil, Larry and Don are enjoying the music...Phil calls for another band number and Don asks if he can play the drums. Phil agrees and as they launch into "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby", Don attacks the drum kit and we hear a very loud cymbal. Mary's comment "Don, take that cymbal off your head, you look like Dragonseed",refers to a 1944 film about a Chinese village attacked by the Japanese Army.
As Mary is talking in the kitchen with her maid Pauline, Phil comes in to offer to help set the table. Mary thanks Phil but says she hired a butler for the day (what DOES Jack pay Mary?) Shortly after Jack finally arrives, and is greeted by the gang. Jack lets in a visitor at the door, assuming he's a guest, only to find out that he's actually Carl, the new butler (Frank Nelson). Then we get Larry Steven's song, "I'll Walk Along" (a current hit for Dinah Shore).
When Mary announces that dinner is ready in the dining room, the gang start a conga line:
Jack: "Don, if you can't control it, don't swing it~! For heavens sake..."
When the gang ask Jack to make a speech, Jack brings up forgetting their differences. When Mary says they've never had any real arguments, Jack reminds her of last week, when he and Don had an argument over what Naval hero said "Don't give up the ship".
Jack: ..."Now, Don found out he was wrong, and I'm not going to rub it in. It's all over. So, if we'll just..."
Don: "Wait a minute, Jack...I wasn't wrong"
Jack: "So if we'll just..."
Don: "It was Captain James Lawrence who said 'Don't give up the ship'"
Jack: "No, no, Don, it was John Paul Jones. So if we'll just..."
The argument revs up again between Jack and Don, and as Jack tries to finish his speech the while asserting it was John Paul Jones, the closing music eventually drowns him out.
In the closing tag, Jack tells Mary that he has to go appear on Joe E. Brown's radio program, which this week is celebrating Brown's forty-forth anniversary in show business. And the flower delivery boy (Mel Blanc) finally shows up.
Larry's Song: Larry sings "I'll Walk Alone".
10. 12/03/44 JACK GETS MAD AND GOES HOME
Don: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, we bring you a man whose name for years has been the epitome of show business...a man who went from Waukegan to vaudeville"
Mary: "From vaudeville to radio".
Phil: "From Broadway to pictures."
Mary: "From pictures to Broadway".
Don: "And now, since he has no place else to go, would you please let him come into your home for just half an hour? Thank you and here he is, Jack Benny~!"
Guest Star: Walter Winchell is the guest star.
The Show: Mel Blanc has a part as a reporter for Esquire magazine, trying to find out Jack's true age. Mary reads a letter from Dennis Day, who requests that Larry sing "I'm Making Believe". Jack is still insisting that John Paul Jones said "Don't Give up the Ship".
Larry's Song: Larry sings "I'm Making Believe"
11. 12/10/44 FROM SAN BERNADINO, CALIFORNIA
Don: "And now, ladies and gentlemen...in all modesty, I think you'll agree with me when I say that our radio program boasts an unusual array of talent"
Jack: "We have nothing but the best"
Don: "For instance...our orchestral ensemble is conducted by that learned symphonist...that gifted Maestro...Phil Harris"
Jack: "That's right, folks, Phil is a great musician. Why Spike Jones doesn't grab him is beyond me....continue, Don."
Don: "And for our singer of songs, we have Larry Stevens. A newcomer who in addition to being a great singer is sincere, unassuming and ingratiating"
Jack: "Well he better be. After all, I'm paying him twenty-two fifty a week. And that ain't cactus, brother~! Go ahead, Don"
Don: "Next, and with a feeling of pride, I'd like to point to the feminine side of our roster...the lovely, beautiful, charming and irresistible Mary Livingstone"
Jack: "That's right, fellas, she was just voted Miss Hubba Hubba Hubba of 1944....sounds like the auctioneer there for a minute, eh?...continue, Don"
Don: "And now, last but not least, I'd like to pay tribute to the man...the one man who is responsible for bringing this program into your home Sunday after Sunday"
Jack: "Yes, sir, Sunday after Sunday. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor storm shall stay this courier from his appointed rounds. I copied that off a Post Office. The Cucamomga branch...go ahead, Don, don't keep them waiting"
Don: "This man, whose talent is summed up in one word...genius...has the rare faculty of knowing what the people want and seeing that they get it"
Jack: "Oh Don, please"
Don: "So now we present the one man chosen by the sponsor for this all-important job....and here he is, our producer, Bob Ballin~!"
Jack: "Bob Ballin? Now wait a minute....hey, what's this all about? Wait a minute...wait a minute~!!"
On Location: The show is broadcast from the Air Technical Service Command in San Bernadino, California.
Guest Star: Dorothy Lamour.
The Show: The crowd roars when Jack gives Dorothy Lamour a kiss for her birthday. As noted in the introduction, Bob "Air Technical Command"Ballin, the actual producer of the Jack Benny program, also appears after being introduced by Don Wilson. Don introduces the entire cast and Bob Ballin...except for Jack, whose introduction keeps being interrupted. Mel Blanc appears as the reporter from Esquire magazine returns, still trying to find out Jack's true age (when he makes his entrance, you can hear an audience member say "that's from last week!")
Note: The recording that circulates of this program was sourced from an Armed Forces Radio Service broadcast. Therefore, as usual in an AFRS recording, there are no Lucky Strike ads, and in place of Jack's closing "tag" is a song by Larry Stevens, "Let Me Love You Tonight". However, the tag that is missing from the circulating recording is revealed by the script to have been Jack apologizing for not appearing for his scheduled part in a Sixth War Loan Drive radio program that aired on December 6, 1944:
Jack's closing "tag": "Ladies and gentlemen, last Wednesday night there was a big Sixth War Loan program on the air, and I was supposed to talk to you from the Torney General Hospital in Palm Springs...but due to technical difficulties they couldn't tune me in. However, what I had planned to say then, I'd like you to hear now. At the Torney General Hospital I talked to a lot of our boys...boys I met in the South Pacific this summer. In fact, three of them---Private Bidwell M. Clayton, Sergeant William R. Parsons, Jr, and Corporal Edward J. Bedwell---were supposed to be on this particular bond program with me. I wanted them to tell you what they told me that afternoon. They told me that they and all their buddies bought bonds during every one of the bond drives...whether they were in Guadalcanal, Buna, Tarawa, New Guinea or any other battlefield. So you see, ladies and gentlemen...these soldiers were not only fighting but also backing themselves up. So let us back them up more than ever. Buy bonds---you're not spending, you're saving...not only money, but lives. Thank you".
Guest Star: Dorothy Lamour
12. 12/17/44 JACK MEETS FRANK SINATRA IN A DRUG STORE
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, we take you to Jack Benny's home in Beverly Hills, where we find Rochester very busy addressing Christmas cards".
Guest Star: The guest is Frank Sinatra, who has a brief cameo.
The Show: The show begins with Rochester addressing Christmas cards. While listening to the radio, they hear a commercial for Sympathy Soothing Syrup ("remember folks, Sympathy spelled backwards is Yhtapmys").
Larry's Song: Larry sings "Sleigh Ride in July".
13. 12/24/44 TRIMMING A TREE
"Tis the night before Christmas
And at Jack Benny's house
There are presents for all,
Even cheese for the mouse.
Jack is up on a chair
Then he's down on his knee
But you have to do that
When you're trimming a tree".
Guest Star: Andy Devine
The Show: The show opens with Jack and Mary trimming the Christmas tree in preparation for Jack's Christmas party. Wally Maher appears as a policeman investigating a complaint about Jack disturbing the peace last week at Moore's Department Store. Jack tells the cop his story as we "flash back" to last week. Once again Joe Kearns is the man asking Jack what he should buy his wife for Christmas, and Frank Nelson is the exasperated floorwalker ("Stop breathing on my carnation~!"). It fades back in:
Jack: "And that's exactly what happened officer, believe me"
Cop: "By golly, it's amazing. It sounds like something you'd hear on the radio"
Cop: "Well, I'm convinced it wasn't your fault, and I'm going to forget all about this complaint and be wishin' you folks a Merry Christmas"
In the "second routine" the gang arrives at jack's for the Christmas party: Phil, followed by Larry and Don. The doorbell rings and it's their old pal Andy Devine.
Andy Devine's toast: "Here's to you, Buck...Mary, Phil and the whole gang. We've been friends for a long time and I hope it always stays that way...Merry Christmas"
Jack's toast: "This is a toast to a lot of fellows I met in Africa, Europe, and the South Pacific...and to all you other boys out there I wasn't lucky enough to meet. Fellows, this is Christmas Eve, a time for happiness and good fellowship...a time when our hearts should be humble and forgiving. But this is war, and I've seen what you boys are up against on both sides of the world. I know the Christmas spirit must seem a very distant thing when you're crouched in a muddy foxhole...or wading through the half-frozen slush of Western Europe...I know too that there's very little to remind you of Christmas inside a stifling tank, or in the icy cockpit of a B-29 six miles above Tokyo. Maybe you feel it is something you lost long, long ago, because the only Christmas lights you see are the bursts of shells or the flashing path cut by tracer bullets. But Christmas is a spirit...a spirit that springs from within, and is so strong it transcends even the ugly scenes of a battlefield and fills the soul with a passion to defend the things that are right and just. You are the ones who have gone to the ends of the Earth to preserve the freedom you know belongs to every man...to hasten the day when all mankind can once again live in dignity and in peace. So here's to you, fellows. Merry Christmas, and God bless you all"
(segue to Larry's Christmas medley)
As written in the NBC Program cards, "Benny paid tribute to our fighting men on every battlefront---and delivered a message on behalf of all American prisoners-of-war in Germany, which came to the American Red Cross, of Geneva Switzerland---a personal message from more than 6000 Americans at Stalag Luft 5 in Germany, addressed to friends and next of kin---signed for them by General Arthur W. Vanaman of Butler Penna, senior American officer at the camp: "Please pass on our Yuletide greetings and say to our families and loved ones that our faith in them...and prayers...and the ultimate peace...is unshakable".
There is no closing Lucky Strikes commercial, as noted in the script: "there will be no closing commercial on the program this week due to a special Christmas eve program which Jack has prepared. No mention is to be made that Lucky Strike is relinquishing commercial time for this program. Christmas greetings will be extended to our fighting men and women overseas and in this country on behalf of Jack Benny and Lucky Strike". This will be the last Christmas of World War II.
This is a very funny, and also very touching, Christmas episode. The toasts given by Andy, Mary, and especially Jack are quite moving.
Larry's Song: Larry sings a Christmas medley of O Come All ye Faithful/O Little Town of Bethlehem/Silent Night
Guest Star: Andy Devine
14. 12/31/44 JACK RESOLVES TO BE FRIENDS WITH FRED ALLEN
Don: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, this is New Year's Eve...yes, New Year's Eve~! The one time in the year when everybody should let their hair down"
Jack: "Yes, sir!"
Mary: "Jack, he said let it down, not take it off!"
Jack: "Oh....oh pardon me. Continue, Don"
Don: "So in keeping with the spirit of the New Year, I bring you a man who will get up at midnight, hang up his calendar, re-fill his hot water bottle, (and) get back in bed again. Here he is, Jack Benny~!"
The Show: The cast presents the annual New Years Eve show, "The New Tenant" , or "Goodbye '44, Hello '45".
15. 01/07/45 LEAVING FOR NEW YORK CITY
Don's Introduction: "Well, ladies and gentlemen...next Sunday night we will be broadcasting from New York City...where Jack Benny is going to open the March of Dimes Infantile Paralysis Drive....so let's go to Jack's house in Beverly Hills where he is busy preparing for the trip..."
The Show: An historic episode. The episode features the debut of no less than three of Jack Benny's most famous recurring "bits": Jack's money vault and the vault's guard Ed (portrayed by Joseph Kerns), the first episode with the racetrack tout (portrayed by Benny Rubin), and the first episode with the train station announcement of "Anaheim, Azusa and Cuc-amonga" (done by Mel Blanc). The gang are packing and getting ready to go to the east in connection with the March of Dimes. This is an AFRS version of the broadcast, so there are no Lucky Strike commercials. Also the episode has no Mary Livingstone, who "has a cold". The different copies of this episode that I own have absolutely terrible audio quality, but better ones do circulate, apparently.
Our first meeting with Vault Guard Ed, with sound effects descriptions courtesy of the script:
(six footsteps...heavy iron handle turns with creaking of chains...heavy iron door creaks open. On cue: six more footsteps, hollow effect...HEAVIER iron handle turns with creaking chains...HEAVIER door creaks open)
Jack: "Hmm, I wonder if that door is heavy enough?"
(on cue: four footsteps)
Ed: "Halt...who goes there?"
Jack: "It's only me, Ed...it's okay"
Ed: "Oh, hello, Mr. Benny"
Jack: "How've you been, Ed?"
Ed: "Oh, fine, fine...oh, by the way, Mr. Benny..."
Ed: "Who won the election?"
Jack: "Roosevelt...it was pretty close"
Ed: "So Hoover's out, eh?"
Jack: "Yes, a long time ago..."
At the train station Jack introduces the tout (Benny Rubin) to Phil as "a race track tout that used to hang around Hollywood Park you know".
Tout: "(confidential) Hey Jack...Jack, come here a minute"
Jack: "Huh? Oh it's you again. What is it?"
Tout: "I didn't want to say anything while you were with your friends, but...where you goin'?"
Jack: "New York"
Tout: "What train ya takin'?"
Jack: "The Chief"
Tout: "uh uh"
Jack: "Why, what's the matter?"
Tout: "Take the El Captain"
Jack: "But I like the Chief"
Tout: "Come here a minute"
Tout: "Take my tip...the El Captain will beat the Chief into Kansas City by three lengths"
Tout: "According to yesterday's performance it can't miss"
Jack: "Well, look, I'm sorry, but I'm taking the Chief"
Tout: "Look...come here a minute"
Tout: "I was talkin' to the engineer who's ridin' El Captain, and he tells me that today, she's ready"
Jack: "Well, I don't know..."
Tout: "And look at the breeding...El Captain is by Twentieth Century out of Golden State Limited"
Jack: "Well, thanks for the tip, but I'm going to stick to the Chief"
Jack: (confidential) Come here a minute. Don't noise this around, see..."
Jack: "But I found out the Chief is a sleeper...now so long, fella"
Tout: "Okay, okay. So long"
For all of those historic firsts, however, unfortunately the show isn't actually that funny. It almost sounds under-rehearsed....Jack and the man who wants to rent his house keep tripping over each others' lines. But it was a hugely significant episode in the history of the Jack Benny program, in terms of launching three classic bits that would each last a very long time, and luckily get much funnier over time.
Larry's song: Larry sings "Don't Fence Me In".
Note: In his 1972 book "Come Backstage With Me", Benny Rubin indicates that he was too upset over the death of Carole Lombard to make his appearance as the racetrack tout on the Benny program, and that this was when Sheldon Leonard took over the role. This account is incorrect in several different ways.
16. 01/14/45 MRS. NUSSBAUM INVITES JACK AND THE CAST TO HER RESTAURANT
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you a man who got on a train in Los Angeles and came to New York by way of Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga~!"
On Location: From the Grand Ballroom in the Hotel Astor, New York. The guest is Fred Allen, who was paid by the sponsor to read the mid-show commercial, and gets in some funny ad libs.
Larry's song: Larry sings "The Night is Young and You're So Beautiful".
Guest Star: Fred Allen
17. 01/21/45 ICE SKATING IN CENTRAL PARK
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, we take you to Jack Benny's room at the Sherry Netherland Hotel...Jack is waiting for the gang to show up as they're all going ice skating in Central Park".
On Location: New York City, NY
The Show: Mary returns. The gang meet up in Jack's hotel room before going ice skating in Central Park, NY. The cab driver on the way to Central Park imitates Jack and Fred Allen. The great Jim Backus (the voice of Mr. Magoo, and Thurston Howell on Gilligan's Island) has a quick cameo as a different cab driver.
Larry's song: Larry sings "Strange Music".
18. 01/28/45 FROM MITCHELL FIELD
Don:"Ladies and Gentlemen...in every group, in every crowd, in every show, in every barracks...there's always one outstanding personality"
Jack: "Yes, indeedy".
Don: "So it is no surprise that our little group of thespians has one of it's own...and here he is, Mr Eager Beaver of 1945, Jack Benny~!"
On Location: From Mitchell Field, Long Island, New York (which would have been a local show, for me!)
The Show: Ann Sheridan is the guest star, as Alice Faye has asked Phil to take her out on the town. Minerva Pious also appears as the date Ann has set up for Jack---Mrs. Nussbaum. Jack closes the program with "Good Night, Joanie" (his and Mary's daughter).
Larry's song: Larry sings "Evalina".
Guest Star: Ann Sheridan
19. 02/04/45 FROM ST. ALBANS NAVAL HOSPITAL IN NEW YORK
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, since we are broadcasting from St. Albans Hospital...which is on Long Island...which is near New York...which is near Brooklyn...I bring you one of dem bums, Jack Benny~!"
On Location: From St. Albans Naval Hospital in St. Albans , Long Island, New York.
The Show: Featuring a "flashback" to the night before, when Jack took Mary to see his new movie, "Hollywood Canteen". Guest starts Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa also are there to see the movie. Jack ad libs after his "they didn't call me get-the-lead-out-Benny for nothing" line "I love that, I wouldn't take that gag out for anything".
Larry's song: Larry sings "An Irish Lullabye".
Guest Stars: Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa.
20. 02/11/45 FROM GLEN VIEW AFB, ILLINOIS
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, on next Wednesday, February fourteenth, Jack Benny celebrates his birthday. (Jack sings "Happy Birthday to me"). As you all know, sometimes a baby is born with a silver spoon in it's mouth...sometimes a baby is born with a birth mark on it's knee. But tonight, we bring you the only baby that was born with a toupay on it's head...and here he is, Jack Benny~!"
On Location: From Glenview Naval Air Station, Glenview Illinois.
The Show: The cast do a sketch, "Boy, Was I Seasick, or--You Can't Take it With You". . Everyone prevents Jack from finishing the sketch.
Larry's song: Larry sings "You Belong to My Heart".
Guest Stars: Dick Powell and Andy Devine guest star (they star in the show following Benny's, The Fitch Bandwagon)
21. 02/18/45 FROM ST JOSEPH MISSOURI
Don's Introduction: "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, today Jack Benny is in Saint Joe...perhaps some of you may have forgotten the story behind the great event...so I'd like to take you back about three years to Jack Benny's home in Beverly Hills. Jack was comfortably sitting in his big easy chair, reading his scrapbook, while Rochester was straightening up the house and singing a popular song of the day...(Rochester sings "My mama done told me..") Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's how it all started...and now three years later, here he is in person...Saint Joe's favorite adopted son...Jack Benny~!"
Broadcast from St. Joseph, Missouri, before an audience of 4,000 donors of blood to the red cross. Jane Wyman guest stars. Also with Phil Walsh, Mayor of St Joseph.
Larry's song: Larry sings "Sweetheart of All My Dreams".
22. 02/25/45 FROM FITZSIMONS HOSPITAL IN DENVER COLORADO
Jack's Cast Introduction: "Broadcasting for the military personnel at Fitzsimons Hospital in Denver, Colorado, The Lucky Strike Program. Starring Don Wilson...with Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Rochester, Larry Stevens, and yours truly, Jack Benny"
Jack's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce a man whose voice is familiar to millions...a man whose personality and charm has captivated the listening audience of America...a man whose good humor and contagious laughter has brought sunshine and happiness into homes from Coast to Coast...the star of the Lucky Strike program...Don Wilson~!"
Jack introduces the show as "starring Don Wilson", because he lost a gin rummy game to Don. Don reveals that Denver is his hometown, and Mary reads a poem in his honor. Frank Nelson plays a sculptor planning to create a statue of Jack. Then we flashback to earlier in the day, when Mary went to Jack's hotel room prior to rehearsal. Jack wants to perform a violin solo for the show, "Accentuate the Positive". After a brief attempt by Mary, Rochester sings the entire song! Jack makes a plea for the WACS (the Women's Army Corp).
Larry's song: Larry Stevens sings "Let Me Love You Tonight"
23. 03/04/45 FROM HOLLYWOOD--THE TRAIN STATION
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, after a tour of military camps in Colorado, Missouri, Illinois and New York...Jack Benny is back again in his little old home in little old Beverly Hills".
Jack and Mary return to Hollywood. Mary reads a letter from her mother. Some (most?) of the circulating copies have terrible audio quality.
Larry's song: Larry sings "Goodnight, Sweet Dreams Sweetheart".
24. 03/11/45 HOW JACK FOUND ROCHESTER
Don's Introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen, last week we intimated that it was raining here in sunny California...now that was purely for your entertainment...and to prove to you that the weather here is absolutely wonderful, we bring you a testimonial from one of our satisfied residents... (Mel Blanc imitating a bird) Ah..listen to that little birdie singing (Mel starts to cough and sneeze) Well, he's trying even though he isn't over his cold yet...at any rate, since this IS a beautiful day, let's go out to Beverly Hills to Jack Benny's house, where we find Jack and the gang in the backyard practicing archery".
Larry's song: Larry sings "Hot Time in the Town of Berlin"
25. 03/18/45 HOW JACK FOUND MARY
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, let's go out to Jack Benny's home in Beverly Hills...at the moment, Rochester is alone in the kitchen preparing breakfast".
The Show: After Rochester makes breakfast, he, Jack and Phil listen to the radio. After a commercial for Sympathy Soothing Syrup, Larry sings "Don't You Care to Know Me". The reporter from last week, Mr. Kearns, now wants to know how Jack "found" Mary Livingstone. We flashback to 1932, when Jack meets Mary while she's working behind the counter at the May Company. (It was a well-established Benny running gag by now that Jack "found" Mary at the May Company, which was a chain of department stores found exclusively (at the time) in Southern California and Nevada.
The curious mixing of the real-life Sadye/Sadie Marks and the Mary Livingstone character that she portrays continues, as Jack, in "real life", and after several previous inauspicious meetings with Marks, met her once again while she was working at the lingerie counter at the May Company; this time when Jack asked Sadye out on a date she accepted.
Larry's song: Larry sings "Don't You Care to Know Me'.
26. 03/25/45 MURDER MYSTERY
Don's Introduction: Ladies and Gentlemen, you may not be in an airplane, on a ship, or having target practice...but fasten your safety belt, batten down your hatch and keep out of range...because he he comes, Jack Benny~!"
On Location: The show is broadcast from the Army Ground and Service Forces at the Santa Barbara Redistribution Station.
Larry's song: Larry sings "With a Song In My Heart".
27. 04/01/45 HOW JACK FOUND PHIL
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, since this is Easter, let's go out to Beverly Hills...to the home of that old Easter rabbit....Jack Benny~!"
The Show: From the NBC program notes: A salute to WOWO, NBC station in Omaha, on it's 22nd birthday. Governor Dwight Griswold appointed Benny an admiral in the Nebraska Navy
in honor of the occasion.
Larry's song: Larry Stevens does not appear in this episode.
28. 04/08/45 FROM TORNEY HOSPITAL IN PALM SPRINGS
Don's Introduction: "And now, you fortunate people, we bring you that star of stage, screen, radio, and operator of peanut vending machines throughout the Palm Springs area (Jack: "It's just a little side line, folks") So while we're working for peanuts, he's got peanuts working for him...and here he is, Jack Benny~!"
Guest Star: Actor William Powell guest stars.
Larry's song: Larry sings "This Heart of Mine".
29. 04/15/45 NO SHOW DUE TO PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S DEATH
The Show: As noted in the one-page "script" for this episode: "No broadcast for the April 15, 1945 show. Time was preempted by the National Broadcasting Company because of memorial tribute to the late President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, thirty-first president of the United States".
As noted in the introduction to this season, technically there was no "Jack Benny Program" episode number twenty-nine, but the Benny staff and writers continued the numbering next week with episode number thirty.
30. 04/22/45 FROM TWENTY NINE PALMS NAVAL AIR STATION
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, from this spot on the desert that has twenty nine palms, we bring you a man with a spot on his head that has twenty nine hairs....and here he is, Jack Benny~!"
On Location: The show is broadcast from the U.S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station at Twenty Nine Palms.
Larry's song: Larry sings "You Belong to My Heart".
31. 04/29/45 FIRST PERFORMANCE OF PROFESSOR LEBLANC
Don's Introduction: "And now, let's go out to Beverly Hills to Jack Benny's house, where we find our star of stage, screen, and radio, relaxing in the library".
Note: Mel Blanc's first performance as Jack's eternally suffering violin teacher, Professor Andre LeBlanc.
Larry's song: Larry does not appear in this episode.
32. 05/06/45 HOW JACK FOUND DON
Don's Introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen, the warm weather will soon be here, so let's go out to Jack Benny's house, where we find Jack and Rochester cleaning out the swimming pool".
Larry's song: Larry sings "More and More".
33. 05/13/45 JACK IS GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, as you all know, last Tuesday was V-E Day...but as President Truman said, we still have a problem...and here he is, Jack Benny~!"
Larry's song: Larry sings "Just a Prayer Away".
34. 05/20/45 FROM SAN FRANCISCO
Don's Introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen, on this momentous occasion we are broadcasting from the magnificent Civic Auditorium in historic city of San Francisco...San Francisco, known the world over for it's luxurious buildings...it's beautiful Golden Gate...it's expensive harbor...it's gigantic and impressive bridges (Jack: "By the time he gets to me I won't mean a thing. Now I know how Berkeley feels") So from this colorful city, in honor of "I Am An American" day, we bring you that Yankee Doodle Dandy, Jack Benny~!"
On Location: From San Francisco Civil Auditorium, for a special "I Am An American Day" program.
Guest Stars: Guests are Rita Hayworth, Larry Adler, and Governor of California Earl Warren.
Larry's song: Larry sings "Stars in Your Eyes".
35. 05/27/45 HOW JACK MET MARY
Don's Introduction: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, today we're coming down the home stretch of our radio season. So before starting our final show...let's go out to Jack Benny's house, where Jack is taking another violin lesson from his famous French music teacher, Professor LeBlanc. But before we go, let me ask you a question...can it be the trees that fill the breeze with rare and magic perfume? Oh no, it isn't the trees...it's....(cut to Jack playing exercises on his violin)
Guest Star: Larry Adler guest stars.
Note: The question Don asks in the introduction ("Can it be the breeze..") are the opening lyrics to Jack's theme song, "Love in Bloom". This is the last Jack Benny program before the summer vacation.
Larry's Song: Larry Stevens sings "All of My Life".