1952-1953 Season

THE 1952-1953 SEASON



Ran 9/14/52 - 6/7/53 on Sundays at 7:00 p.m.  30-minute episodes (39 episodes total, 28 surviving)

1952-1953 SEASON (Season 23)

Jack Benny:                     Master of Ceremonies
Mary Livingstone:            Goodness only knows what her official role is
Rochester Van Jones:      MC's Valet
Bob Crosby:                     Orchestra Leader
Don Wilson:                     Announcer
Dennis Day:                     Vocalist
Writers:                           Sam Perrin, Milt Josefsberg, George Balzer, John Tackaberry, Al Gordon, Hal Goldman
The Sportsmen Quartet:  Singers of Musical Commercials


LOSS OF SPEEDY RIGGS: The "famous tobacco auctioneer" Speedy Riggs leaves the show this season, after 8 years of "B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-Sold to American!" His partner in rhyme, F.E. Boone had previously left in 1948, leaving the show without an auctioneer. Somehow, it manages to muddle through anyway. We would like to wish Speedy luck in his future ramblings.

ADDITION OF DOROTHY COLLINS:  Speedy is replaced by "The Sweetheart of Lucky Strike", Dorothy Collins. Dorothy does singing commercials this year, but since most of these episodes have been edited for re-broadcast (with tobacco references removed), you won't be hearing much of her until next season.

LOSS OF PHIL HARRIS:  The first two changes are minor, but this one hurts. In the season opener, it's stated that Phil is too busy with other commitments to appear on the show this season. Milt Josefsberg, in "The Jack Benny Show" gives a fuller explanation.

"As television began to make inroads into radio, budgets were cut and casts were trimmed. When we opened our radio series on September 14, 1952, economies had to be exercised. One of them resulted in the reluctant release of Phil Harris. This was all done on the friendliest of terms, and Phil appeared as a guest on many subsequent Jack Benny television shows. However, at this time he was replaced by Bob Crosby.

Bob shared Bing's charm and delivered comedy lines with the usual Crosby aplomb, and in addition he was an excellent musician. Many years previous, before Bing attained the top rungs of success, Bob had a musical group, "Bob Crosby and His Bob Cats," and today their early recordings are considered collector's items by jazz aficionados." -- page 116

The loss of Phil is a major blow to the show. Phil had all of Jack's ability to do self-deprecating humor, but, if anything, deprecated himself even more than Jack, with constant jokes about his illiteracy, tendency to pass out in gutters, et cetera. Like Jack, Phil was a bit of a schmuck, but unlike Jack, Phil never let it get him down, and succeeded despite all the odds, and brought an enormous amount of charm, panache and self-confidence to the role. I may never have made it clear, but while conventional wisdom says that Dennis is the #3 character, behind Jack and Rochester, for me it's always been Philsie. The show is still good without him, but it will never again be quite as good.

ADDITION OF BOB CROSBY:  Well known Bandleader Bob Crosby replaces Phil, and does about as good a job in the role as anyone could have done. What Dr. Who and M*A*S*H learned years later, Jack's writers learned in 1953. When trying to replace an enormously popular character, don't make his replacement into a clone of the lost character. That only leads to endless comparisons, in which the new guy always comes out second best.

Bob and Phil are a study in contrasts. While Phil is brash and outspoken, Bob is modest and unassuming. In fact, he's so modest and unassuming that by all rights, he ought to be as dull as dishwater (cough, cough, Larry Stevens, cough). But he isn't. The writers build a very strong character for Bob quite quickly. Where Phil was the ringleader of the band of misfits known as The Orchestra, Bob is to the orchestra as Dave Seville is to the Chipmunks. Bob is the normal guy in charge of the asylum. Bob is almost completely unflappable, in the face of the most outrageous happenings, and after a few episodes, he begins to calmly relate the band's exploits to Jack as though they were the most normal thing in the world. Bob also provides a rich source of humor in the form of jokes about his brother, Bing Crosby, mostly jokes about how obscenely rich and successful Bing is. As Josefsberg mentions, Bob has all Bing's charm, and sounds a heckuva lot like him to boot.

As we look back at the other bandleaders; Don Bestor, Johnny Green, Ted Weems, Frank Black, and George Olsen, it's clear that Bob Crosby is easily the second best bandleader Jack ever had. But there's still a big gap between #1 and #2.


For the last several years, every season has had some kind of overall theme or motif that is visited and revisited throughout the season.

1944-45: Sympathy Soothing Cream
1945-46: The "Why I Can't Stand Jack Benny" Contest
1946-47: Salary Disputes with The Sportsmen Quartet
1947-48: Ronald Colman's Oscar is Stolen
1948-49: Jack Hears a Swiss Echo
1949-50: Mel Blanc Wants a Job
1950-51: Be Happy, Go Lucky
1951-52: "When You Say I Beg Your Pardon, Then I'll Come Back To You"
1952-53: Introducing Bob Crosby

ADDITIONAL CHARACTERS:   The main characters and supporting cast largely unchanged from last season. See the "1950-51 Notes" for full descriptions, but here are a few more not mentioned there.

  The waitress at the lunch counter across the street. More hard-boiled than her eggs, Rosie maintains order with an iron spatula.

PAULINE:  Mary's personal maid. Like Rochester's friend Roy, she plays the role of an outsider looking in on the doings in the Wonderful World of Benny.


The 1950/51 notes have a large listing of ongoing routines. Here are a few more not mentioned then.

WELL, THAT'S THE MOST RIDICULOUS/SILLIEST THING I EVER HEARD:  Almost a catch phrase of Jack's, frequently uttered whenever he encounters an absurd situation. Somehow, almost every unusual occurrence is the silliest one Jack has ever seen.

MANISCHEVEVEVITZ:  In an early episode, Bob Crosby has a difficult time delivering a line about Manischewitz wine, and never hears the end of it. Poor dope.

DON IS A BIG FAT SLOB:  Don has a running joke of sorts, in which he takes umbrage at a fat joke. Whoever told the joke tries to apologize, saying they didn't know he was sensitive, and Don says something like "You shouldn't assume I'm not sensitive just because I'm a big fat slob!"

DO YOU THINK THAT WAS VERY NICE?:  Another running gag for Don, usually used in plays. Don asks a series of questions, along the lines of "Did you rob the First National Bank? Did you shoot up the town? Did you attack three officers when they tried to arrest you?" When he gets a Yes to all the questions, he asks "Do you think that was very nice?"

1.   09/14/52             PHIL HARRIS IS REPLACED BY BOB CROSBY             (19:26)

SITCOM: Joe (Mel) and 'Hoiman' are two delivery men, taking Jack's luggage home after his return from Europe. Hoiman has never heard of Jack, so Joe gives a quick rundown of Jack's recent triumphs, which he reads off of the press clippings on Jack's trunk.

Joe and Hoiman deliver the goods, and Rochester gives them a handsome tip from Jack. This almost makes them question whether Jack's fabled stinginess is a put-on until they take a closer look at the bills. As Dennis wasn't at his home, Joe and Hoiman leave his trunk at Jack's home as well.

Jack enters and asks for a hammer and chisel to open Dennis' trunk. Rochester balks at such invasion of private property, but Jack is unmoved.

Mary arrives. When she learns of Jack's plans to open Dennis' trunk, she too objects, but Jack is still unmoved.

Don arrives, and discusses "Niagara", the movie he made with Marilyn Monroe over the summer (although truth be told, Marilyn did most of the work). Jack is envious over Don's story. Imagine getting a free trip to Niagara Falls. (Considering that Jack is married to Mary in real life, perhaps it's just as well that that's the only thing he's envious about.)

Don learns that Jack plans to open Dennis' trunk, and adds own his objection to the mix. Jack is still unmoved.

Despite all objections, Jack cracks the trunk open, only to reveal that Dennis himself is inside. Mary is furious at Jack for making Dennis come home in a trunk, then apologetic when she learns that Dennis lost his steamship ticket, then furious again when she hears how he lost it.

A Mr. Leslie Smythe-Heatherington, from "The Sun Never Sets on the British Soil" Travel Agency arrives to give Jack a refund on Dennis' ticket. Smythe-Heatherington is curious as to whether Dennis remained in England. Jack tells him that Dennis returned to America on the Oshkosh.

Dennis asks where Phil is. Jack explains that Phil has too many other commitments to be able to appear on the show this year, so Jack is in negotiations with Bob Crosby to take over as orchestra leader. Realizing that Bob hasn't signed his contract yet, Jack goes over to Bob's house to discuss it.

At Bob's home, Bob is waiting for Jack to arrive. Bob's daughter Cathy wants to know if Bob is working on Jack's show this year. Bob says maybe. Jack is a pretty suave comedian, but the arrangements aren't finalized. Cathy wants to know if Bob will be uncomfortable working for a younger man. (Broadcast standards prevent Bob from giving the most appropriate answer.)

Jack arrives, and tells a really bad joke that sends Cathy scurrying to the dictionary to see what "suave" means.

Jack and Bob discuss Bob's contract. Bob hasn't read the entire contract yet, as it seems harder to get through than War & Peace. Jack answers some of Bob's questions, and tells him to finish reading the contract in the next few weeks. As Jack leaves, Bob begins singing "When You Say I Beg Your Pardon, Then I'll Come Back To You", as required by the contract.


NOTABLE GUEST STARS: Kathy Crosby, Bob Sweeney

RECURRING GUEST STARS: Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES: Eric Snowden

DON'S INTRO: "Let's go out to You-Know-Who's house in Beverly Hills, and... uh oh. There's an express truck turning the corner into Guess-Who's street."

NOTE: This is another edited for rebroadcast episode.

JOKE: [2:30] (Jack tips the delivery boys)
Rochester: "Thanks, gentlemen. Now, Don't leave, Mr. Benny may want to give you something to show his appreciation. I'll be right back."
Mel: "Hoiman, did you hear that? And I always thought that this guy Benny was a cheapskate."
Hoiman: "Yeah. I heard once that Benny squeezed a nickel so hard, when he opened his hand, he was holding a needle."
Mel: "Well, he must have a grip like…"
Rochester: "Here you are, gentlemen. I told Mr. Benny that you delivered his trunk and here's a $5 bill for each of you."
Mel: "WOW! I never expected a $5 bill! I'm going to show this to all my friends."
Rochester: "That's what Mr. Benny wants you to do. His picture is on it."

JOKE: [3:45] (Jack's keychain)
Rochester: "If you'll give me the key to your trunk, I'll put your clothes away."
Jack: "Okay, I've got it right here on my keychain. Let's see, that's my wardrobe trunk. The key that opens it is marked WT. here's a key marked DD."
Jack: "Desk Drawer. LC: Linen Closet. BA."
Rochester: "BA? What does that open?"
Jack: "Bank of America. Now, let's see. SM."

Rochester: "What's that?"
Jack: "Santa Monica Branch."

Joke: "I've got to send these clothes out to be cleaned and pressed. Mary, look through those grey slacks and see if I left anything in the pockets."
Mary: "Okay."
Jack: "I guess that after such a long trip my clothes need cleaning and pressing. Pressing, anyway. Mary, did you find anything in the pockets?"
Mary: "Yeah."
Jack: "What?"
Mary: "A quarter, three dimes and two needles."

JOKE: [6:10] (Jack wants to open Dennis' trunk)

Mary: "Why Jack Benny, of all the nerve. Just because you took Dennis to London with you, that doesn't give you the right to open his trunk!"
Jack: "Mary."
Mary: "How would you like it if somebody forced the lock and went down into your vault?"
Jack: "It wouldn't bother me. Those alligators would tear 'em to shreds!"

JOKE: [6:45] (Don arrives)

Jack: "Well, Don! Well, well, Don, it's good to see you."
Don: "Thank you, Jack, it's good to see you too. It's been a long time now."
Jack: "I haven't seen you either, Don. What did you do all summer?"
Don: "Well, I made a picture for 20th Century Fox, called Niagara."
Jack: "Really?"
Don: "Yeah, the studio sent me to Niagara Falls on location, and I spent 8 weeks with the star of the picture, Marilyn Monroe."
Jack: "Oh, boy! Are you lucky! Imagine getting a free trip to Niagara Falls!"
Mary: "Now you know why I didn't kiss you this morning."

"Niagara" (1953) is the movie Marilyn Monroe made right before "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". Don doesn't play an announcer, as you'd expect, but rather a character named Mr. Kettering. Lurene Tuttle plays his wife, the aptly named "Mrs. Kettering", but Wikipedia's description of the plot gives no indication of anything their characters did. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_(1953_film)

MST3K TRIVIA: Also starring in "Niagara" is Max Showalter/Casey Adams. In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "The Indestructible Man", Dr. Forrester mistakenly bills him as "Casey Adams, of Catalina Caper fame", mistaking him for the similar looking Del Moore, who was best known for his supporting roles in Jerry Lewis films.

JOKE: [7:45] (Jack breaks open Dennis' trunk)

Mary: Jack, how can you be so stubborn??"
Jack: "There. I broke the lock. Rochester, help me open the trunk."
Rochester: "Yes, sir."
Jack: "There, it's open."
Dennis: "Close it, close it, the light is killing me!! Hello Mary, hello Don, hello Mr. Benny."
Jack: "You see, Dennis? I told you you'd live! It wasn't so bad, was it?"
Mary: "Jack Benny, you ought to be ashamed of yourself!"
Jack: "Huh?
Mary: "How could you make Dennis ride all the way from England to California in a trunk? That's the cheapest thing I…"
Jack: "Now, wait a minute, Mary, wait a minute. Don't jump at conclusions. This wasn't my fault. The day we were supposed to sail from England, Dennis lost his steamship ticket."
Dennis: "That's right, Mary."
Mary: "Oh. Well, I'm sorry Jack."
Jack: "That's all right."
Mary: "Uh, how did you lose your ticket, Dennis?"
Dennis: "Playing gin rummy with Mr. Benny."

FORGOTTEN HUMOR: The Travel Agent refunds Jack $250 for Dennis' steamship ticket, minus $7 for extra soup. I don't get why this is funny. Apparently this is what Jack was feeding Dennis when he was in the trunk, but why soup?

DENNIS' SONG: Jack asks Dennis to sing the song he's going to do on the program just before Leslie Smythe-Harrington arrives, but Dennis never actually sings it in the edited for rebroadcast version.

WHERE'S PHIL?: [10:45]
Dennis: "Say Mr. Benny, where's Phil Harris?"
Jack: "Phil? Phil Harris? Oh, I thought I told everybody. You see, Dennis, Phil has so many commitments with radio, television and records, that he… he won't be able to be with us this season. So, I'm dickering with Bob Crosby.
Dennis: "Bob Crosby?"
Jack: "Yes, do you like his music?
Dennis: "Yeah, and his soup, too! Da, da, da, da, mmm, mmm, Good!"

Apparently Bob Crosby did Campbell's Soup commercials in those days.

PHIL'S DEPARTURE: (As told by Milt Josefsberg, page 478):
"Phil Harris, who had been Jack's orchestra leader for sixteen years, left because of budgetary reasons and was replaced by Bob Crosby. However, Phil and Jack retained their affection and respect for each other, and Phil appeared as a guest star on many of Jack's TV shows."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS: Jack and Phil did do several more appearances together after this time (for example, this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiWEa3eOUmk), but not for many years, as Phil had a 10 year contract to appear exclusively on NBC programming. See http://tralfaz.blogspot.com/2013/06/mr-harris-your-contract-is-up.html

JOKE: [11:45] (Jack does one of his walking monologues)

Jack: "Gee, the Colman's lawn looks nice… I haven't seen Ronnie and Benita in a long time… I think they left town the day before I came home… Last year they went away the day before I came home too… Come to think of it, it happened in 1950 also… And in 1949… It's a shame it had to happen four years in a row, we're such good friends… When you say I beg your pardon, then I'll come back to you… gee, I'm glad I wrote that song… when you ask me to forgive you, I'll return, oh I'll return!... gee, Beverly Hills is beautiful… so many movie stars live here… Esther Williams has been living across the street for about 5 years… she built the most beautiful swimming pool I've ever seen… I wonder when she's going to build a house?... Like the swallows in Sorano, come back to Capistrano… I'm going to make a hit out of that song if it's the last thing I ever do!... for you, my heart will always, always yearn, oh always yearn!... gee, look at all these beautiful homes. Yes sir, Beverly Hills is the swankiest neighborhood in the world. Sometimes I think they overdo it, though. Look at that white line in the middle of the street. Ermine!"

JOKE: [14:00] (At Bob's House)
Cathy: "Daddy, are you busy?"
Bob: "Well, I'm not busy now, Cathy, but I am expecting Mr. Benny soon."
Cathy: "Say Daddy, you've got a contract to work on Mr. Benny's program this year, haven't you?"
Bob: "Well, I haven't signed the contract yet. Mr. Benny and I still have a few details to work out."
Cathy: "Oh. Say, Daddy?"
Bob: "Yes?"
Cathy: "Won't you feel funny working for a man younger than you are?"
Bob: "Cathy, he's not younger than I am!"
Cathy: "He says he's 39."
Bob: "Well, he's not 39! I happen to know his real age."
Cathy: "What is Mr. Benny's real age?"
Bob: "Well, that's one of the details we still have to work out."
Cathy: "Well, I thought he was 39. You know, he's always talking about it himself on the radio."
Bob: "Yes, that's right, honey. He does talk about himself."
Cathy: "Daddy, are his eyes naturally blue?"
Bob: "Mmm hmm."
Cathy: "Is his hair naturally curly?"
Bob: "And even naturally there! But you know, Cathy, I'm going to be mighty proud to be associated with Mr. Benny. He's been in radio so long, and he's such a suave comedian."
Cathy: "What does suave mean?"
Bob: "Well, suave means that a person is…"
[doorbell buzzes]
Bob: "Well, I'll explain it later. Come in!"

[Door opens]
Bob: "Hello, Jack!"
Jack: "Hiya, Bob."
Bob: "Come in, come in."
[door closes]
Bob: "Jack, this is my daughter, Cathy."
Jack: "Well, well. Hello, Cathy."
Cathy: "Hello, Mr. Benny."
Jack: "Say Bob, you have four children, haven't you?"
Bob: "Five. Three boys and two girls."
Jack: "Well! Three Kings and two Queens. A Full House! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Say, say that's pretty good!"
[sound of footsteps]
Bob: "Cathy! Cathy honey, where are you going?"
Cathy: "To get a dictionary. I want to look up the word suave!"
Bob: "Don't you do it, you'll make a liar out of me!"
Jack: "What's that?"
Bob: "Oh nothing, nothing."
Jack: "Oh. Now Bob, getting down to business, did you get the contract I sent over?"
Bob: "Yes, I got the contract, but I haven't signed it yet. I sort of wanted my lawyer to look at it first."
Jack: "Lawyer? For heaven's sake, Bob. This is a simple little agreement between friends! What do you need a lawyer for?"
Bob: "Well, there's something I Don't quite understand on page 906."
Jack: "Well, maybe I can explain it to you."

Bob: "Let's see, where's page 906?"
Jack: "It's in the middle."
Bob: "Oh, yeah. Here it is. Here's the clause that I Don't quite understand. It's Clause 18."
Jack: "Clause 18, huh?"
Bob: "The party of the second part, Bob Crosby, shall retain all the musicians which have been on the program previously. Well, that's fine. This is the part I didn't quite get. It will be his responsibility to see that the music on their stands is always in such a position that they can read it."
Jack: "Well, that's right."
Bob: "But that's silly, all you have to do is put the music right side up."
Jack: "Well, not necessarily. You never can tell what position the boys will be in."
Bob: "Oh, I see. Well, what about Clause 21? Bob Crosby will have the responsibility of providing Frank Remley with his Three B's. Now, what in the world are Remley's Three B's?"
Jack: "Banjo, Beer and Bail. Though not necessarily in the order named! Now, look Bob, why make a big thing out of this contract? If those are the only things that are worrying you, we'll work it out."
Bob: "Well, okay Jack."
Jack: "Now, finish reading the contract in the next two or three weeks, and call me when you're ready to sign it."
Bob: "Okay. See you later."
Jack: "So long, Bob. Goodbye, Cathy."
Cathy: "Goodbye, Mr. Benny."
[door close]
Bob: "Cathy honey, will you put this contract back on my desk?"
Cathy: "Yes, daddy."
Bob, singing: "When you say I beg your pardon, then I'll come back to you. La, la, la. When you ask me to forgive you, I'll return."
Cathy: "Daddy, what's that?"
Bob: "Clause 26."
Cathy: "Daddy. You mean…"
Bob: "Yes darling, I'll do anything to send you kids through college! Like the swallows in Sorano, return to Capistrano…"

The one line in that bit, that really captures Bob's whole character in a nutshell is "Don't do it, you'll make a liar out of me!" To provide a contrast with Phil's completely over the top personality, his replacement is always as low-key as possible. Where Phil got laughs with over-statement, Bob gets them with understatement.

Cathy asks Bob if he'll be uncomfortable working for a younger man like Jack. In fact, Bob himself had just turned 39 less than a month before this broadcast. So, even if we believe Jack's kayfabe age, that makes them both 39, and Bob is probably younger (since Jack has been 39 for a lot longer).

Bob calls Jack a "suave comedian". This is precisely the way Jack was described by announcer Ed Thorgerson on his first show (5/2/1932), but the phrase has rarely if ever been used since then. This was the way Jack was often described early in his career, but the phrase doesn't really fit the vain, miserly character he's built up since then.

NOTE: Bob's Full House consisted of Christopher, George, Stephen, Cathleen and Junie Crosby.

BOTTOM LINE: A very strong opening to the season. Both the bit in Jack's home, and the introduction of Bob are big winners. On the downside, if ya ain't gettin' Harris, yer bein' robbed.

2.   09/21/52            IN SCOTLAND, JACK GOES SHOPPING WITH MARY             (20:13)

SITCOM: Jack, Dennis and Don are at the corner drugstore. Rosie the Roisterer is delivering lunch and her usual abuse. Don is eating light for his latest diet, while Dennis orders Chicken Pot Pie a la Mode. In talking to Rosie, Jack manages to plug his next TV show on October 5, working it naturally into conversation (it says here). Dennis sings his song (cut and unidentified).

Jack leaves and walks down the street to CBS, singing his song (still not a hit) and doing one of his walking monologues. Jack is greeted at CBS by Harry (Mel), who very subtly helps Jack plug his next TV show on October 5, with Bob Crosby, working it naturally into conversation (it says here).

Jack runs into Bob in the halls, who complains that Jack's writers are still writing jokes for Phil Harris, but which don't fit Bob's character. Bob asks for tickets to the broadcast for his son Stevie's 6th birthday.

Mary enters and reads a letter from Momma.

Jack, Mary and Bob go on stage for rehearsal. A reporter (Joseph Kearns) arrives to do a story about their trip to Europe over the summer. Jack talks about the countries they visited, while Dennis does appropriate accents for each one. Mr. Kearns is interested in Jack's trip to Scotland, so Jack tells him about it in flashback…

Jack and Rochester are walking the streets of Glasgow. The Sportsmen go by singing a smokeless version of "Be Happy Go Lucky" (with tobacco verses cut for rebroadcast).

They arrive at their hotel room at the imaginatively named "Central Hotel". Jack gets a call from Mary to meet him at the more imaginatively named "Bonnie Heather Department Store". Jack asks directions from The Idunno Guy, who knows exactly where it is (Just kidding. He doesn't).

Jack makes it to the store on his own, and he and Mary go to the perfume counter to get something for Jack's sister Florence. Jack tries to haggle over an $8 bottle of perfume, but since Jack is Jack and the clerk is Scottish, negotiations go pretty slowly. They initially overshoot each other's bids, but eventually settle on a price. The End. And what a hot scoop this is going to make for Mr. Kearns's magazine, brother!

: None


RECURRING GUEST STARS: Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Joe Kearns, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES: Iris Adrian, Will Wright

DON'S INTRO: "And now ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to take you back to yesterday about a half hour before rehearsal time. Jack and I had gone in to the corner drugstore to get a bite to eat."

NOTE: Edited for re-broadcast.

JOKE: [0:40] (Jack and Don go to the lunch counter)
Jack: "Hmm, there are a lot of people in here, Don. I hope we can find seats."
Don: "Yeah, every table's taken."
Jack: "Yeah."
Don: "Oh Jack, there are two empty stools at the end of the counter."
Jack: "You take those, Don, I'll wait."

JOKE: [1:40]
Jack: "By the way, kid, what did your parents think of our opening program last Sunday?"
Dennis: "Oh, I don't know, they're still out of town."
Jack: "Out of town?"
Dennis: "Yeah, when I got back here from England, there was no one home. Just a note from my mother."
Jack: "A note?"
Dennis: "Yeah, it said 'Dear Dennis, received your letter telling us that you are coming home, so your father and I decided to take a short vacation. Don't forget to vote in November. Signed, Mother'."

CONTINUITY ALERT: Though Rosie has appeared as a waitress previously, she's described as "the new waitress" in this episode. She's also described as being blonde and tattooed, the little scamp.

JOKE: [4:15] (In the drugstore)
Dennis: "Oh Mr. Benny, would you like to hear the song I'm going to sing on the program Sunday?"
Jack: "In here?"
Dennis: "Sure, why not?"
Jack: "Dennis, this isn't a studio, it's a place of business!
Dennis: "So what, last night you played your violin at a gas station on Ventura Boulevard."
Jack: "That's different, it was their opening. Fine agent, I've got. I thought he was booking me into Texas, and it was Texaco!"


Jack: "Gee, I'm glad I got out of that drugstore… oh darnit, I left before the check came… That always happens to me… I haven't had dessert in years…

PHILSIE: Phil gets a mention, as Jack tells Mel that Bob is replacing him.

JOKE: [6:45] (Bob gets settled in to his new job)

Bob: "Jack, I'm kind of new on the show, and I don't like to complain, but I just read the script, and… well, do your writers know that I'm your new orchestra leader? I mean, do they know about the change?"
Jack: "What do you mean?"
Bob: "Well, they've got a gag in here where you say to me 'Hey, when you lead the orchestra, why don't you hold a baton in your hands?'"
Jack: "Uh huh."
Bob: "And I'm supposed to say 'What, and put down my martini?'"
Jack: "Well Bob… Bob, that's a funny joke."
Bob: "Well maybe so, but that's not my character. That doesn't fit me. I don't drink."
Jack: "You don't?!"
Bob: "No."
Jack: "Well… couldn't you start? My writers have thousands of drunk jokes!"

MY BROTHER THE STAR: [7:40] (These Bing jokes, on the other hand, are going to be a big part of Bob's character)

Bob: "Today is my kid Stevie's 6th birthday. I promised him he could come to the broadcast."
Jack: "Oh, Stevie's 6th birthday, eh? I bet he's excited."
Bob: "Oh, is he? You're not kidding. You should have seen the presents he got. His mother gave him a bicycle, brother Larry gave him some roller skates, Everett gave him a football, and my brother Bing gave him a bank to save his money in."
Jack: "Oh, a piggy bank?"
Bob: "No, the Security First National."
Jack: "Gosh! Giving away a bank! I knew Bing was loaded, but I… gee, I didn't think he had that much."
Bob: "He's comfortable."
Jack: "I know! I know!"
Bob: "As a matter of fact, this summer, he heard that you have an underground vault where you keep your money. So he decided to dig one in his own back yard. Boy, what a mess."
Jack: "What happened?"
Bob: "He struck oil."
Jack: "Oil? No kidding."
Bob: "Yep. Last night he opened a gas station on Ventura Boulevard. Had a violinist and everything."

When Jerry Van Dyke did the disastrous series "My Mother the Car", some joked that he SHOULD have Done a series called "My Brother the Star", about what it's like to have Dick Van Dyke as a more famous brother. That never happened, but Jack's show did very nearly the same thing with Bob and Bing 14 years earlier.

Three of Bob's six siblings get callouts in this joke. Just to get Bob's family tree straight, he was the youngest of seven children, the others being Larry (1895-1976), Everett (1896-1966), Ted (1900-1973), Harry/Bing (1903-1977), Catherine (1905-1988), and Mary Rose (1907-1990).

After Bob's last line, the applause fades out, and then back in again after a moment's silence. No, they didn't hold a moment of silence for that joke. It's just that on these edited for re-broadcast shows, some cuts are less subtle than others.

The line "He's comfortable", is another great Bob Crosby understatement joke.

NAMES FOR MOMMA: Jack doesn't bother assigning a topical nickname for Mary's mother this time, just lets her launch into the letter.

JOKE: [10:15] (From Mary's letter from Momma)

Mary: "Speaking of politics, we had our local primary here last week to elect a new mayor, and your Uncle Julius lost again."
Jack: "Hmm, this is the 8th time he's lost."
Mary: "We thought he had a better chance this time because nobody was running against him.."
Jack: "How can that be?"
Mary: "Rather than elect him, they abolished the office."

JOKE: [11:20] (Jack meets a reporter)

Joseph Kearns: "I'm here to do a story about your personal appearance trip in Europe this summer."
Jack: "Oh, it was nothing.
Kearns: "That's what I told my editor, but he sent me anyway."

JOKE: [12:30] (In Scotland)
Rochester: "Are you going to change your act now that you're in Scotland?"
Jack: "A little, I'll make it more topical, you know, localize it. You know, the people in Scotland are noted for their thriftiness, so I'll probably do a lot of jokes about being stingy. That's always funny, Don't you think?... Don't you?"
Rochester: "Don't rush me, Boss, I have to phrase this very carefully."

JOKE: [13:00] (Jack plans his wardrobe)

Rochester: "Do you want to wear your brown suit or your blue?"
Jack: "Neither one, I'm going to wear kilts."
Rochester: "Kilts!?"
Jack: "Yes, kilts."
Rochester: "But Boss, they'll drive you crazy!"
Jack: "Why?"
Rochester: "The pocketbooks are on the outside!"

SPORTSMEN QUARTET: The Sportsmen sing a NON-Tobacco related version of "Be Lucky, Go Happy" (thanks to the miracle of editing for re-broadcast).

Rochester: "Mr. Benny's room, star of stage, screen, radio and television, and would do the Highland Fling if he hadn't already flung it."

JOKE: [15:00]
Jack: "Now, where's that store Miss Livingstone said she would meet me?"
Rochester: "It's on the corner of 5th and Fairfield, near the Firth of Forth."
Jack: "Hmm. I'd better write that down. 4th and Fairfield, near the Firth of 5th."
Rochester: "No, no, no. Not 4th and Fairfield, its 5th."
Jack: "Oh. Well, what's on 4th?"
Rochester: "I Don't even know who's on first!"
Jack: "Well, I'll find it. Goodbye, Abbott."
Rochester: "So long, Costello."

IDUNNO GUY: [16:00]
Jack: "I wish I could find a cop or someone who knows his way around. Uh oh. There's a man standing on the corner in plaid kilts, and Tam o' Shanter. He ought to know. Excuse me, sir, but is the Bonnie Heather department store around here?"
Idunno Guy: "I dunno."
Jack: "Well, we are near the Firth of Forth, aren't we?"
Idunno Guy: "I dunno."
Jack: "Well this is 5th street, isn't it?"
Idunno Guy: "I dunno!!"
Jack: "You're not even a Scotsman, why are you wearing those kilts??"
Idunno Guy: It's Ladies Day at the ballgame!"

JOKE: [17:10] (At the Department Store)

Mary: "You ought to be able to get something very nice in here for your sister. How much do you want to spend?"
Jack: "Oh, I ought to get her something better than that."


Jack: "Oh, pardon me. Are you the clerk?"
Clerk: "Aye. May I be of sairrrrrrrvice to ye?"
Jack: "Yes, yes, this is quite a nice… braw bricht moonlicht store, you've got here."
Mary: "Jack! For heaven's sake!"
Jack: "What's the matter?"
Mary: "In England you were dropping your h's, and here you're spraying people!"

NOTE ON PREVIOUS: Jack's phrase is a veiled reference to the Sir Harry Lauder song, "A Wee Deoch an' Doris", which contains the line "If ye can say 'It's a braw bricht moonlicht nicht', then ye're a'richt, ye ken." (The phrase is not original with Lauder, but it's through him that an American would be most likely to know about it, and Lauder was a frequent source of humor for Jack in the 1930's). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMKKWhnDcnk


Jack: "Now clerk, I'd like to buy some perfume for my sister."
Clerk: "Well, uh would ye like something sophisticated or allurrrrring?"
Jack: "Gee. I dunno."
Clerk: "Well, how old is your sister?"
Jack: "Well, she's two years younger than I am."
Clerk: "Aye. And how old are you?"
Jack: "39."
Clerk: "Thirrrrrrrrrrty nine?"
Jack: "Yes."
Mary: "That one almost started his motor."
Jack: "Mary, please. Say, this looks like a nice bottle of perfume. It's in such an unusual box, too. Oh, Clerk. How much is this one in American money?"
Clerk: "Eh, $8."
Jack: "Hmm. $8?"
Clerk: "Aye."
Jack: "That's not so bad. Tell you what, Clerk. I'll give you 4."
Clerk: "I'll take $7.90."
Jack: "Hmm mm. I'll give you $4.10."
Clerk: "$7.75."
Jack: "Four dollars and 80 cents."

Clerk: "$7.10."
Jack: "I'll give you five."
Clerk: "Have a chair."
Jack: "Well, thank you. Now, where were we?"
Clerk: "$7.10."
Jack: "Oh, yes, yes. I'll give you five."
Clerk: "I'll take 7."
Jack: "$5.70."
Clerk: "$6.20."
Jack: "$5.90."
Clerk: "$6."
Jack: "$6.10."
Clerk: "$5.80."
Mary: "Back up, you passed each other!"
Jack: "Oh, yes, yes. I'll tell you what, clerk. Let's make it 6 dollars even."
Clerk: "Aye, you're a gentleman and a scholar. It's a deal, sir."
Jack: "Thank you."
Clerk: "I'll unlock the store and let you out."
Jack: "Good! Good!"

About an Average episode. The drugstore scene doesn't really go anywhere, compared to other drugstore scenes. At this point, the Letter from Momma always feels like filler unless it's great. It's good here, but not great. The scene with Bob is very good, though. The joke about writing to his character and the Brother Bing joke both score. The highlight of the episode is watching Jack try to out-thrifty a real Scotsman. This is something we've been waiting for a long time. It has a certain Match-of-the-Century, Frazier-Ali-esque quality about it, and ending as it does, in a Mutual Respect Draw feels about right.

3.   09/28/52            HIGH NOON            (22:13)

SITCOM: A man (Mel) calls Mabel and Gertrude to find out what program comes on at 4:00, after the recent time change. Afterwards, the girls gossip about their dates with Jack. Jack himself calls in to check the time, but he, Mabel and Gertrude each have different times.

In Jack's dressing room, Jack asks Rochester the time, but he's got yet another time on his watch. Jack goes down the hall to ask Mary.

In her dressing room, Mary is talking to her maid, Pauline, and getting ready for the show. Jack asks to come in, but Mary isn't ready yet. While Jack waits out in the hallway, he meets Bob, who has some complaints about having to work with Phil's old band.

Dennis runs up, saying that Don is looking for them, because the program began 15 minutes ago. Dennis and Bob also have different times on their watches.

THE SHOW: Jack runs onstage late, and says that they still have time to do their play, "High Noon". Jack begins immediately.

THE PLAY: "High Noon", a parody of "High Noon" (1952), starring Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges and Grace Kelly.

It's 1875, in the Hadleyville Justice of the Peace's office. Amy (Mary) is getting married to Gary (Jack), who has trouble with the vow to endow his bride with all of his worldly goods. Jack is planning to retire as town Marshall after the wedding. However, Don rushes in to say that the outlaw Frank Miller is coming to town at High Noon (What, you were expecting maybe Cactus Face Elmer?). Jack goes out a-lookin' for him.

Jack meets up with Desperate Dennis. Jack tries to recruit Mel to help him, but only succeeds in getting into the Si/Cy routine once more. Jack decides to wait at the train station. He meets Tex Crosby, who is waiting for Frank to arrive so that the two of them can kill the Town Marshall. As Jack is the Marshall, he kills Tex before he can join up with Frank.

Frank Miller arrives in town and joins up with his two remaining henchmen. Jack guns down all three of them in the showdown, and doesn't speak to the two henchmen at all, in order to save money on actors.



Bea Benaderet, Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


DON'S INTRO: [None, the show is already in progress when Jack comes onstage]

JOKE: [0:00]
Gertrude: "May I help you?"
Mel: "Yes, operator. With the change in time from Daylight back to Standard, could you tell me what program is on at 4 o'clock?'
Gertrude: "Just a minute. Hey Mabel, what program is on today at 4 o'clock?"
Mabel: "I Don't know, Gertrude, I'll look it up in this Radio Guide."
Gertrude: "Hold it, Mabel, hold it."
Mabel: "Huh?"
Gertrude: "Look who's picture is on page 8."
Mabel: "Well, take off my glove and dial with my naked finger, if it isn't Jack Benny. He's not only handsome, but look at that strong chin. Such character!"
Gertrude: "Some character. One night last week he drove me up to Mulholland Drive, pulled over to a lonely spot, turned off the ignition, and said 'Well, what do you know, I'm out of gas'."
Mabel: "No!"
Gertrude: "Yes. So I said I'll be very happy to buy some."
Mabel: "I'll bet that embarrassed him."
Gertrude: "Embarrassed him nothing, he siphoned a gallon out of his tank and sold it to me. But you know, Mabel, you can't stay mad at a man like Jack Benny. Just look at that picture. The way he's standing there so casual, and nonchalant, with his coat thrown over his arm."
Mabel: "Yeah. And just look at those muscles."
Gertrude: "Muscles? Where?"
Mabel: "On the floor, they fell out of his sleeve."

JOKE: [4:15] (Mary has a talk with her maid)

Pauline: "Miss Livingstone, how long has he been on your program?"
Mary: "Well Pauline, this isn't my program, it's Mr. Benny's. Mr. Benny is the star, I just work for him and he pays me a very nice salary. Not as much as I pay you, but a very nice salary."

Mary: "Pauline, how does my dress look?"
Pauline: "It's all right, Miss Livingstone. But if I were you, I'd wear it a little shorter. You have such cute legs."
Mary: "Oh, well thanks, Pauline."
Pauline: "It's too bad you only have two of them."
Mary: "Er, what?"
Pauline: "Well, what I mean is, when you've got something so nice, it's too bad you can't have more of it."
Mary: "Well, believe me, Pauline, every girl who has nice legs is perfectly satisfied with just two of them. After all, who'd look at a girl with three legs"
Pauline: "Everybody!"

JOKE: [5:40]
Bob: "Oh Jack, Jack!"
Jack: "Oh, Bob! I thought you were on stage, rehearsing the band."
Bob: "Well, I stood it just as long as I could."
Jack: "What do you mean?"
Bob: "Jack, when I agreed to take over the same orchestra that you always had, Jack: "I didn't know what I was getting into. These guys are driving me nuts.
Jack: "Why? Why, what's wrong?"
Bob: "Well, look. In the first place, I'm stuck with an electric guitar player whose nose lights up."
Jack: "I know."
Bob: "Yeah, but there's a trombone player who's chained to the guy sitting next to him!"
Jack: "Look, Bob…"
Bob: "And a drummer with a candle on his head because it's his birthday!"
Jack: "Bob…"
Bob: "And I'm not even going to mention the accordion player who cracks peanuts in the crease."

JOKE: [7:00]
Jack: "We're going to a satire on that wonderful picture "High Noon", which stars Gary Cooper. I am going to play the leading role."
Dennis: "You don't even know what time it is."

JOKE: [10:50] (On his wedding day, Jack has to go after an outlaw)
Mary: "But Gary, you may be killed. I don't want to become a widow on my wedding day. I want to go on a honeymoon."
Jack: "Look Amy, I can't run away. You wouldn't want to be married to a coward, would you?"
Mary: "I'd do anything to get out of the May Company."
Jack: (Voiceover) It was then I realized that Amy spelled sideways is 'May'."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS: A good example of how in later years, the show would sometimes go to the well with a recognizable reference, which would get a laugh just because it's recognizable. This joke isn't at all funny if you don't know Mary's history with the May Company, and only slightly funny even if you do. But it's the kind of thing that gets a laugh anyway, because the audience feels it's an In joke that they're in on.

PHILSIE: [11:45]
Jack (Voiceover): "I went everywhere looking for deputies. I went to their homes and the general store. I went to the town saloon. In fact, we had a scene in the saloon. But we cut it because Phil Harris is on another network."

THE BIGGEST LAUGHS: [13:00] (Unless there's something visual going on here, Jack gets a big laugh just from calling Dennis "Frank")

Jack: I'm in trouble, Frank. I'm in trouble. Frank Miller's coming back in town to kill me."
(Big laugh)
Jack: "I need help."
(Big laugh)
Jack: "Also a rehearsal!"
Dennis: "You sure do."
(Big laugh)

JOKE: [15:30] (You can't go within a hundred miles of the Mexican border without this one)

Jack: (Voiceover) Needing a deputy badly, I approached one of the men and said…"
Jack: "Pardon me senor, but do you know who I am?"
Mel: "Si."
Jack: "Do you know there's a man out to kill me?"
Mel: "Si."
Jack: "Would you be willing to help me?"
Mel: "Si."
Jack: "What's your name?"
Mel: "Sy."
Jack: "Sy?"
Mel: "Si."
Jack: "Now, you. You, senorita, are you his sister?"
Senorita: "Si."
Jack: "Is it all right for your brother to help me?"
Senorita: "Si."
Jack: "What's your name?"
Senorita: "Conchita Guadalupe Lolita Hernandez Gonzalez Carita Delpedro Romano Rosita Ramirez?
Jack: " Conchita Guadalupe Lolita Hernandez Gonzalez Carita Delpedro Romano Rosita Ramirez?
Senorita: "Si."
Jack: "But that name is too long. What can I call you?"
Senorita: "Sue."
Jack: "Sue?"
Mel: "Si."
Jack: "But I was talking to her, wasn't I?"

Senorita: "Si."
Jack: "What do you do for a living?"
Senorita: "Sew."
Jack: "Sew?"
Senorita: "Si."
Jack: "Now cut that out!"
Jack: "(Voiceover) I appreciated her offer to help. But I couldn't take a chance on Conchita Guadalupe Lolita Hernandez Gonzalez Carita Delpedro Romano Rosita Ramirez getting killed. It would drive the tombstone maker nuts."

JOKE: [18:20] (And you can't get near a train station without this.)

Jack (Voiceover): "I wasn't going to wait for Miller to come looking for me. I decided to go down to the railroad station and wait for him."
I reached the railroad station. Frank miller's train was due to arrive at High noon. There was only a few minutes to wait. I went inside."
Mel (Voice): "Train now loading on Track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc… amonga."

JOKE: [18:10]
Jack (Voiceover): "There was no one in the station except one cowboy. Thinking I could make him a deputy, I went over to talk to him."
Jack: "What's your name, Pardner?"
Bob: "Tex Crosby."
Jack: "Tex, eh? Then you was born in Texas."
Bob: "No, I was born in Louisiana, but there ain't nobody gonna call me Louise."
Jack: "That's an old joke."
Bob: "Well, it was new in 1875."
Jack: "What are you doing here anyway, Tex?"
Bob: "I'm a waiting for Frank Miller to arrive. We're gonna kill the Town Marshall."
Jack: "Oh, you are, eh? Well, I'm the Town Marshall! And I'm a gonna kill you!"
Mel: "Train now leaving on Track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc…"
Jack: "Well, I'll give you a fighting chance. When I count three, draw and shoot."
Bob: "Okay!"
Jack: "1, 2, 3."
Bob: "Ooooh!"
[body falls to the floor]
Mel: "…amonga."
Bob: "oooh! Ooh! Oooooh!"
Jack (Voiceover): "As he lay there, he reminded me of his brother. He was a groaner too."

That Louise joke is one that got retold endless times in kid magazines. It sounds funny hearing the pros do it. What's next, Knock-Knock jokes?

THE BIGGEST LAUGHS: [20:45] (This gets about a 12 second laugh)

[sound of footsteps]
Jack (Voiceover): "I walked toward the three men who wanted to kill me. Alone in the blazing noonday sun with my hands on my guns. Slowly I kept a going towards them."
[sound of footsteps]
[sound of body falling]
Jack (Voiceover): "Hmm. My clumsy sound man got up and I continued walking."

BOTTOM LINE: A weak episode. The bit with everyone having a different time is cute, but not enough to carry the first seven minutes. The play just goes to the well with all the regular jokes (Si/Cy, Anaheim, et cetera) without adding enough new to make a good episode. On the plus side, the bit of Jack being late to the show is a buildup for next week, so the story arc isn't over yet.

4.   10/05/52            SCOOP BENNY             (25:38)

THE SHOW: Don starts to introduce Jack, but Jack isn't there. Mary warns Don not to start the show until they're sure they still have a show to start. Jack is in trouble with the sponsor after missing the first half of last week's show. (Oddly enough, he never got in trouble for all those times he left the show early to go shopping or something. Apparently, it's only the first half of the show that maters). Bob, Don and Mary all discuss what they'll do with themselves if Jack gets cancelled.

In his dressing room, Jack is talking to Mr. Lewis the sponsor, and trying to explain that he missed half the show because of Daylight Savings Time. The sponsor doesn't accept the excuse, and he and Jack get cut off.

Jack calls Mabel and Gertrude to re-connect him. Mabel and Gertrude eavesdrop on the call, and listen to Jack begging, pleading and bragging until he is finally given another chance. Jack calls Mabel and Gertrude afterwards to tally the charge on his call to New York.

Jack returns to the show just in time to hear Dennis sing "I Went To Your Wedding".

Jack explains to everyone that the sponsor talked him out of quitting. Everyone is relieved except Dennis, who was going to quit anyway. Jack asks why, which provides Dennis an opportunity to do his routine.

Jack exhorts the others to step up their game in the future. Bob talks about improvements he's made to the orchestra, which with this band fall into the Lipstick-on-a-Pig category.

Jack announces the play, but the scripts haven't arrived. Jack goes to ask his writers for them, but they don't know where they are either. Jack calls Rochester to see if they're at home, but Rochester says they're in the glove compartment of the Maxwell. Jack reminds Rochester to be at the studio after the radio show, to drive him to do his TV show.

Jack sends Don out to get the scripts, while he does the commercial himself, to get on the sponsor's good side.

Although he's outside, Don somehow announces another song by Dennis. Dennis sings "When Hearts are Young", with backup by a group of complete strangers (not the Sportsmen, in fact, it almost sounds like this song was pasted into the episode from somewhere else).

Don returns with the scripts, and the play begins.

"A Day in the Life of a Newspaperman". Jack is "Scoop Benny", of the Los Angeles Daily Bugle. Scoop and his star reporter, Flash Crosby, are sitting around when they get a call from Mary saying that her husband has been murdered. It seems more like a case for Captain O'Benny than Scoop Benny, but Scoop scoops his way out to scoop up a story.

At the mansion, they meet Dennis, the butler. Scoop and Flash accuse Mary of the murder. Flash finds a Dictagraph which has a recording of Mary and Dennis plotting the crime. In the background of the recording can be heard a ballgame featuring Ty Cobb, which shows just how long ago they started planning it.



RECURRING GUEST STARS: Bea Benaderet, Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Frank Nelson


Don: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to introduce the star of our show. A man who..."
Mary: "Uh, wait a minute, Don, wait a minute."
Don: "What?"
Mary: "You'd better not start the program until we're sure we're working."
Don: "Working?"
Bob: "Mary, what's all this about?"

Mary: "Bob, remember what happened last week? Jack got all mixed up, missed half his program, and is now in trouble with his sponsor.

NOTE: [2:00] (Jack is trying to explain missing his show)
Lewis: "Excuses, excuses. Nothing but excuses."
Jack: "But Mr. Lewis, didn't you ever make a mistake?"
Lewis: "I never make mistakes."
Jack: "Oh. Well anyway, Mr. Lewis, when you hired me..."
Lewis: "All right, I made one!"

JOKE: [2:15] (Jack gets cut off from his sponsor)
Jack: "Operator! Operator!"
Gertrude: "Oh, Mabel?"
Mabel: "What is it, Gertrude?"
Gertrude: "Mr. Benny's line is flashing."
Mabel: "Yeah, I wonder what Kiss of Fire wants now?"
Gertrude: "Maybe he… uh oh. He was talking to New York and I must have cut him off. I'm sorry Mr. Benny, I'll connect you again."
(switch flips)
Mabel: "Say Gertrude?"
Gertrude: "Hmm?"
Mabel: "Let's listen in and hear what he's saying."
Gertrude: "Listen in?? Mabel, how can you suggest a thing like that?"
Mabel: "Aw, now Gertrude, Don't put on airs for me. You didn't get that cauliflower ear from boxing. Go ahead, listen in and hear what Mr. Benny is saying."
Gertrude: "I Don't have to listen in. I'm going out with him tonight, and you know him. One glass of Manischewitz wine, and he tells you everything."
Mabel: "Oh, what a man. Come on, Gertrude, be a sport. Put on the earphones, and hear what he's saying."
Gertrude: "Okay. Gee. The sponsor's really giving it to him. And Mr. Benny's sure pleading for his job."
Mabel: "No kidding."

Gertrude: "Yeah. And now he's bragging about his talents. What a great comedian he is. What a wonderful violinist. Now he's imitating Johnny Ray."
Mabel: "You mean he's singing?"
Gertrude: "No, he's crying. Gee, he sure is lucky, the sponsor said he'd give him another chance."
[Line buzzes]

Jack: "Operator? Operator?"
Gertrude: "Yes?"
Jack: "Oh, Gertrude. Gertrude, I'm through with my New York call. Will you please figure up the charges? How long did I talk?"
Gertrude: "Well. You talked 27 minutes and 30 seconds. Making a total…"
Jack: "Eighteen dollars and 45 cents. Thank you, Gertrude."
Gertrude: "You're welcome, Mr. Einstein."
Jack: "Hmm. Imagine $18.45 to call New York. It's only 6 cents for an airmail stamp. But then, you can't cry in a letter."

THE OLD DAYS: [7:30] (Jack is nervous after talking to the sponsor)
Don: "Say, Jack?"
Jack: "What is it, Mary? I mean Don. Don, what is it?"
Don: "How did you make out with your phone call to the sponsor?"
Bob: "Oh, fine. Fine. We had a little argument, but he talked me into not quitting. And now…"
Mary: "But Jack, something's wrong. Look how nervous you are."
Don: "Mary's right, Jack. What are you worried about?"
Bob: "Look, all of you! Everything went fine, I'm not worried, and I'm not nervous! Now, let's get on with the show! Where's Kenny Baker?"
Mary: Kenny Baker? He hasn't been with us for 12 years."
Jack: "Oh, yes."


Don: "I wouldn't want to have to look for a new job."
Dennis: "Doesn't make any difference to me, I was going to quit anyway."
Jack: "Quit?"
Dennis: "Uh huh."
Jack: "But Dennis, what's the reason?"
Dennis: "Confidential."
Jack: "Well, if it's confidential, come out in the hall and tell me."
Dennis: "Okay."
Jack: "Excuse us, Mary."
Dennis: "She can come too."
Jack: "But Dennis, you said it was confidential. If it's confidential, it should be between two people."
Dennis: "Oh. Then you and Mary go, I'll stay here."

Jack: "Look Dennis, haven't I had enough trouble today? Now, tell me why you want to quit."
Dennis: "My mother doesn't like your program."
Jack: "Oh, she doesn't, eh? What doesn't she like about it?"
Dennis: "You."
Jack: "Me?"
Dennis: "Every time you say 'Hello again', you ought to see the veins in her neck stick out."
Jack: "Look Dennis, you can tell your mother whether she likes me or not, you have a contract with me, and it has two years to run."
Dennis: "Gee, 2 years. I don't think her neck will make it."
Jack: "I don't care about that!"
Mary: "Dennis, behave yourself. Jack missed half of his program last week, and he's having enough trouble with his sponsor. So, stop bothering with your family's problems."
Jack: "Yes. I don't care what your mother thinks."
Dennis: "My father likes you."
Jack: "He does?"

Dennis: "May he rest in peace."
Jack: "Stop being silly! This morning, when I called your house, your father answered the phone."
Dennis: "That was a recording."
Jack: "Now, cut that out!!"

NOTE ON PREVIOUS: That 'my father supported you, may he rest in peace' line has been used numerous times.

CONTINUITY ALERT: Dennis' contract has 2 years to run. On 2/6/1949, Dennis said his contract ran 'till Death do us part'. On 10/21/51 Dennis was signing contracts on a weekly basis, just in case his voice changed.

JOKE: [10:30]
Bob: "Say, by the way, did you notice the way I improved the orchestra?"
Jack: "I certainly did, Bob. The band sounds wonderful lately."
Bob: "Thank you."
Jack: "Especially the saxophone. What did you do to that section?"
Bob: "I eliminated it."

JOKE: [12:30] (Jack, on his writers)

Jack: "What a mistake I made hiring those guys. They were standing on the corner selling pencils, I just thought they were writers."

STAR OF STAGE SCREEN AND RADIO: [14:00] (Jack calls home)
Rochester: "Mr. Benny's residence, star of stage, screen and…"
Jack: "Oh, stop that!!"

Jack sings a little of "Be Happy Go Lucky" for the commercial.

JOKE: [18:15] (Scoop Benny at his desk)

[phone rings]
Jack: "Los Angeles Bugle, Scoop Benny speaking. What? Gimme all the details. Seven of them, huh? You say they're taking off at midnight? Thanks for the tip, I'll be there."
[hangs up]
Bob: "What is it, Scoop?"
Jack: "Late show at the Burbank Theater."

JOKE: [19:00] (Scoop Benny at his desk)

Jack: "Daily Bugle, Scoop Benny speaking."
Mary: "Hello, Big Boy. This is Mrs. Archibald J. Stuffington of 204 Stuffington Road, California."
Jack: "Stuffington, eh? How are you, Stuffy?"
Mary: "I've got a big story for you. Come up to my apartment. My husband has just been…
Mary: "…murdered."
Jack: "What was that?"
Mary: "My husband has just been…"
Mary: "…murdered."
Jack: "What was that?"
Mary: "You don't like him, do you?"
Jack: "I don't even know him. Are you sure he's dead?"
Mary: "Any more questions?"
Jack: "Well, I'll be right over there, Mrs. Stuffington. And to try to solve the murder before the police come, see that the body stays where it is."
Jack: "What's that?"
Mary: "If it moves now, you've got a real story."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS: It seems that they do some variation of this Report and Commit the Murder Simultaneously joke every time they do a murder mystery.

JOKE: [21:00] (This must set some kind of record for most awkward bashing of a running joke into a routine)

Jack: "Were you here when the murder was committed?"
Dennis: "Uh huh."
Jack: "Did you hear any gunshots?"
Dennis: "Yes, while I was making coffee."
Jack: "How many gunshots did you hear?"
Dennis: "I heard the first one in the kitchen, the second one at the front door, and three more as I was going through Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga."
Jack: "Cucamonga? How'd you get back here so fast?"
Dennis: "My suspenders were caught on the doorknob."
Jack: "Your suspenders were caught on the doorknob?"

Dennis: "Pretty snappy comeback, huh?"

JOKE: [21:30]
Jack: "I'm here to solve this murder. And I'm going to question you right now."
Mary: "Just a minute, I'll call my butler. Oh Goodrich, bring me a martini."
Dennis: "Yes, Madame."
Jack: "Wait a minute, Miss Stuffington. How can you sit here drinking martinis when your husband has just been murdered?"
Mary: "You're right. Goodrich?"
Dennis: "Yes, Madame?"
Mary: "Put a black olive in it."

JOKE: [23:00] (The recording reveals damaging information)

Bob: "She hasn't heard the rest of it."
Jack: "You mean there's more? Turn on that dictograph again."
Bob: "Okay."
[crowd noises]
Jack: "What's that?"
Mary: "Oh, my goodness! I guess the radio must have been on while we were planning the murder!"
Dennis: "Yeah."
Jack: "Oh, then you did plan it!"
Mel, on radio: "It's a hit! It's a hit! It's going, going! It's a home run for Ty Cobb!!"
Jack: "Ty Cobb??"
Dennis: "We've been planning this murder for a long time."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS: Cobb retired in 1928.

NOTE: There's a line at about 22:30 about "patting him on the Po-Po", that gets a laugh. A few weeks from now, there's another. This is a riff on the song "Feet Up (Pat Him on the Po-Po)", that reached #18 on the charts in 1952. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jHAQfe5hfA

BOTTOM LINE: A weak episode, but not a bad one. The play is straight formula. Continuing the story from last week was a good idea, but not much is done with it. Nothing special here, even Rochester hasn't got much to do. He just tells Jack where the scripts are without going into a routine or anything. The bit about Bob's improvements to the orchestra goes over pretty well, though. It does feel like something is missing, though. Dennis never sings two songs, and as mentioned, his second song feels pasted in to replace something else, probably a long tobacco routine.

5.   10/12/52            JACK CATCHES HIS NOSE IN A GOPHER TRAP         (26:01)

SITCOM:  Jack gets a call from someone claiming to be Napoleon, looking for Christopher Columbus.  Angrily he hangs up and goes out to the garage to find Rochester.   Jack finds Rochester with a net, trying to catch a gopher that stole his ring and ducked into its hole.  The gopher (who sounds suspiciously like Mel) pops up behind Rochester, then disappears again.  Jack looks into the hole trying to find it, and catches his nose in the trap, which Rochester put in backwards.

Jack comes back into the house, and gets another phone call from Napoleon, looking for Columbus.  Angrily, he hangs up again.

Dennis and Mary arrive, and make cracks about Jack's nose.  The phone rings again, so Jack lets Dennis take the call.  Dennis answers and has a very pleasant conversation with Napoleon.  Dennis sings "Somewhere Along the Way".

Dennis proposes to Mary, but when she turns him down, he decides to go ask someone else.  Dennis leaves.

Jack is going out to buy a TV set, so he goes down to the vault for some cash, and has a talk with Ed.

Jack and Mary head out to the Department Store, but Jack realizes that he forgot to tell Rochester to press his tuxedo, and leaves Mary alone on the street.  Bob passes by, and stops to chat with Mary and complain about the state of the orchestra (mainly that it's in California with him).

Jack returns, and he and Mary continue to the generically named "Department Store".  They price TV's of various sizes.  Mary turns on a set and finds Maria Callous singing.  They try other channels, but Maria is on every one.  Jack decides on a 20" set, and sets off to find the Credit Manager.  Jack asks The Idunno Guy what the down payment will be, but he doesn't know.

Jack finally finds the Credit Manager (Frank Nelson), who offers him a 5 year payment plan.  For once, Jack cuts his routine with Frank short, and decides to just pay cash for the set.  Frank comments that it's too bad Jack didn't get called by that new show "Historical Personalities".  They have a man call random households pretending to be Napoleon, and anyone who doesn't hang up wins a free set.  Today's winner was a young man named Dennis Day.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Joe Kearns, Frank Nelson, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Stuffy Singer

  "And now, ladies and gentlemen, let's go out to Jack Benny's house in Beverly Hills.  At the moment, Jack is relaxing in the den."

JOKE:  [2:15] (Rochester is trying to catch a gopher)

Rochester:  "This morning I stuck, my hand all the way down that hole, and there's a gopher there, all right."
Jack:  "Well, you'll never kill him with that butterfly net."
Rochester:  "I don't want to kill him, I just want to get my ring back."
[laughter, even though nothing funny has been said yet]
Jack:  "My goodness, that beautiful gold ring I gave you for Christmas.  Rochester, Why would a gopher take your ring?"
Rochester:  "It was so green he thought it was a blade of grass."

JOKE:  [5:45] (Mary surveys the damage)

Mary:  "Jack, what happened to your nose?"
Jack:  "I got it caught in a gopher trap."
Dennis:  "Was it crowded?"
Jack:  "The gopher wasn't in it at the time!!"

JOKE:  [6:15] (the phone rings)
Jack:  "Must be that crazy guy again.  I'm going to bawl him out, and… wait a minute.  Hey, Dennis!  Dennis?"
Dennis:  "Yes, Mr. Benny?"
Jack:  "Answer the phone, will you, Dennis?"
Dennis:  "Okay."
Jack:  "Watch this, Mary."
Dennis:  "Hello?  Yeah, this is him speaking.  Well, it was kind of a rough voyage, but we made it all right.  What's that?  The Nina and the Pinta rolled a little but, but the Santa Maria came through fine."
Jack:  "What?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, it was an expensive trip, but Queen Isabella hocked her jewels to put up the money."
Jack:  "Dennis!"
Dennis:  "Nah, Ferdinand was all wrong.  Isabella and I were just good friends."

  Comedifact.com has checked out Dennis' statement that Queen Isabella hocked her jewels to fund Columbus' voyage.  In fact, she offered to do this if it were necessary, but in the end it wasn't.  Comedifact rates this joke Mostly False.

JOKE:  [9:45] (This guy knows all the lines)

Dennis:  "Oh, say Mary?"
Mary:  "Yes, Dennis."
Dennis:  "Are you doing anything this afternoon?"
Mary:  "No, why?"
Dennis:  "Let's fly to Las Vegas and get married."
Mary:  "No thanks."
Dennis:  "Okay, I'll ask somebody else."

JOKE:  [10:30] (Jack goes to the Vault)
Jack:  "Just wait here for a minute, will you, Mary?  I haven't got enough money.  I'll go down to my vault and get some."
Mary:  "Okay. Well, don't be too long."
Jack:  "I won't."
[door close]
[swimming sound]
Jack:  "Hmm, here come my alligators.  One of them still has that bandage on him.  I thought sure he'd be healed by now.  I only took off enough to make a belt.  Well, I'd better go in my vault and get my money."
[chains rattling]
[door creaks open]
[chains rattling]
[another door creaks open]
Ed:  "Halt!  Who goes there, friend or foe?"
Jack:  "Friend."
Ed:  "What's the password?"
Jack:  "No loose ends."
Ed:  "Oh, it's you, Mr. Benny."
Jack:  "Yes, yes, I just came down to get some money.  How have you been, Ed?"
Ed:  "Oh, fine.  Fine.  By the way, Mr. Benny, how are things on the outside?"
Jack:  "Oh, very exciting, Ed.  In fact, the country hasn't settled down yet.  You know, the Yankees won."
Ed:  "What?"
Jack:  "I said the Yankees won."
Ed:  "Well, so the Confederates finally gave up."
Jack:  "Excuse me, I want to open this safe.  Let's see, the combination is right to 45.  left to 60.  Back to 15.  Then left to 110.  There."
[loud, blaring alarms, with a foghorn at the end]

Ed:  "Mr. Benny.  Who installed that alarm for you?"
Jack:  "Spike Jones.  Let me see now.  There, that ought to be enough money.  Well, so long, Ed."
Ed:  "Goodbye, Mr. Benny."
[door close]
Jack:  "Gee, Ed is a nice fellow.  It's amazing.  All the years he's stayed down in that vault.  And he's never come out.  Sometimes I feel guilty paying him by check.

VAULT PASSWORD:  As mentioned, this week's password to the vault is 'No Loose Ends'.  Odd that Jack constantly changes the password, but never the combination.

JOKE:  [14:30]
Jack:  "You know, Mary, I… oh, for heaven's sake."
Mary:  "Now what?"
Jack:  "I forgot to tell Rochester to send my tuxedo to the cleaners.  I'm going to a cocktail party next Saturday."
Mary:  "A cocktail party?  Who's giving it?"
Jack:  "I don't know."
Mary:  "You don't know?"
Jack:  "Look Mary, I play my violin, I get my money and go!"

JOKE:  [15:15] (Mary is alone on the street)

Bob:  "Oh, Mary.  Mary."
Mary:  "Oh, hello Bob."
Bob:  "Hello, Mary.  What are you doing?"
Mary:  "I'm waiting for Jack.  He's inside making a phone call."
Bob:  "Oh, well I'll wait till he comes out.  I want to talk to him.  He's got to do something about that orchestra."
Mary:  "Hmm.  What's wrong now?"
Bob:  "Well, for one thing, have you ever noticed how the bass drum keeps changing tone all the time?  Sometimes it's low, then it's high, then it's low, then it's high again."
Mary:  "Yeah, what makes the drum change tone like that?"
Bob:  "I guess it all depends on how much draft beer is in it."
Mary:  "Bob, you mean the musicians keep beer in the bass drum?"
Bob:  "Are you kidding?  They won't even start a number when I give them a downbeat.  I have to yell out 'What'll you have?'"

JOKE:  [18:20] (Jack goes shopping for TV's)
Mary:  "There's one with a 16" screen. And here's a 20"."
Jack:  "Hey Mary, look at the size of the screen over there!  It's tremendous!"
Mary:  "Which one?"
Jack:  "Way over there!  What a clear picture!"
Mary:  "Put on your glasses, you're looking out the window."

JOKE:  [19:15] (Jack sees Maria Callous on TV)
Mary:  "Hey, it's all out of focus!"
Jack:  "Yeah."
[Maria keeps screeching]
Mary:  "I'm going to turn the sound off and see if I can get a better picture."
Jack:  "Look, look Mary."
Mary:  "It's still out of focus!  From the hips down, she's short and fat, and the top of her head is so flat."
Jack:  "Mary."
Mary:  "Maybe her head won't be so flat if I turn this knob."
Jack:  "Mary, you're wasting your time.  I've been out with that girl, she's really built that way!"

NOTE:  For you Maria Callous fans out there, the World Wrestling Federation had a character called Jillian Hall a few years back, who had the same Awful Singing gimmick.  She's not as good as Sara Berner, but Jillian actually released a Christmas album.  I can only find 4 of the 5 songs on YouTube, so you may have to actually buy the other, but well worth it.





JOKE:  [20:15] (Jack tries to buy a TV)
Jack:  "I'd like to buy a television set."
Salesman (Mel):  We have all the latest models here.  How about this one?"
Jack:  "Well, I was thinking of something bigger.  In fact, I was thinking of this one with the 30" screen.  Now, how much does it cost?"
Mel:  "$795."
Jack:  "What!??"
Mary:  "Jack!  Stop choking him, he's just a salesman!"

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  Variations on this gag occur almost often enough to be considered one of the running jokes.

ANOTHER NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  I recently saw a similar gag on an old Lou Grant episode on Hulu.  Lou's come into some cash, goes out looking at sports cars.  While he's sitting behind the wheel of one, he asks how much it is, hears $45,000, and the horn goes off right there in the building.

IDUNNO GUY:  (Jack goes to see the credit manager.)

Jack:  "Oh, excuse me, sir.  I'm buying a television set that costs $360.  How much will the down payment be?"
Idunno Guy:  "I dunno."
Jack:  "Well, how much of an installment will I have to pay each month?"
Idunno Guy:  "I dunno."
Jack:  "Well, how many months will I have to pay before I own it?"

Idunno Guy:  "I dunno!"
Jack:  "You don't know anything.  What are you doing in the Credit Department?"
Idunno Guy:  "I missed a payment and they nailed my shoes to the floor!"
Jack:  "Oh, for heaven's sake, that's the silliest thing I ever heard!"

  The 30" screen is $799.  The 20" set is $360.

JOKE:  [21:00]
Jack:  "I want to buy a TV set on credit."
Frank Nelson:  "Well, you've come to the right place.  We'll put a television set in your home and give you five years to pay for it."
Jack:  "Well…"
Frank:  "Take it!  At your age, it's a good deal."
Jack:  "Look, mister…"
Frank:  "Now, before I give you a charge account, I'll need some information.  Your name?"
Jack:  "Jack Benny."
Frank:  "Address?"
Jack:  "366 North Camden Drive."
Frank:  "Occupation?"
Jack:  "Comedian."
Frank:  "Age?"
Jack:  "39."
Frank:  "Say, you are, aren't you?"
Jack:  "39?"
Frank:  "No, a comedian."

JOKE:  [23:00]
Frank:  "I'm sure you'll be happy that you bought this television set.  There are so many interesting programs to watch.  For instance, today they have a very  unusual program on called "Historical Characters."
Jack:  "Historical Characters?"
Frank:  "Yes.  You see, this fellow calls people up on the phone, and says that he's Napoleon, and asks if you're Christopher Columbus."
Jack:  "Huh?"
Frank:  "And if you don't hang up on him, you win a television set!"
Jack:  "What!?"
Frank:  "Today's winner was a young man called Dennis Day."

BOTTOM LINE:  About an average episode.  The Gopher Trap sketch is poor, not very funny, and doesn't really go anywhere.  Dennis and Mary make a comment about Jack's nose injury, but not much is made of it.  The Department Store sketch is somewhat better.  Not great or classic, and the Frank Nelson bit is too abbreviated, but it's not a bad listen.  The "Historical Personalities" routine is the best part of the episode.

6.   10/19/52            JACK BUYS 20th CENTURY FOX              (25:57)

SITCOM: Jack and Rochester are doing inventory before shopping day (Shopping Day? Sounds like Dennis' brother) Rochester wants to buy things like mayo and corned beef hash, but Jack insists they can be made at home. Jack finds Polly in the refrigerator mourning the chicken he bought for dinner.

Dennis arrives and does his routine. Dennis sings "Auf Wiedersehen".

Don arrives, but Jack is heading out to 20th Century Fox. Jack has written the story of his life, and wants to submit it to Daryl Zanuck as a movie script. Jack doesn't plan to play himself in the movie, and thinks the part should go to an actor like him, such as Errol Flynn. Bob and Don leave. Rochester says Ronald Colman wants his garbage disposal back for a party he's throwing.

Zanuck calls to say that Jack's script is the worst thing he's read in all his 39 years, and that he doesn't want anything more to do with Jack after "The Horn Blows at Midnight".

Jack bemoans his poor luck to Rochester, and decides to lie down and take a nap. Jack falls asleep imagining what he'd do if he were the head of a studio (forgetting that he already did this in the Bennymount Films sketch of 1936).

JACK'S DREAM: A newsreader (Mel) announces that Howard Hughes has just sold RKO to Jack. Bob is briefing Jack on all the people he has to deal with, referring to them by their initials. (Jack fails to recognize Jack Warner until Bob calls him J.W.)

D.W. (guess who that is) comes in, saying that he's cast the part of Jack's mother for the movie.  When J.B. hears how sexy his mom sounds, Jack decides to play the role of his father in the movie.

J.B. has a pencil that needs sharpening, and discovers to his delight that D.Z. is his office boy.  Jack briefs D.Z. on the movies they have in production, and calls in famous director Dennis Von Shmearcase to discuss Jack's bio.

Dennis vants to shoot ze scene vhere Jack's father kisses his mother.  Before he can do it, D.Z. reveals that this is just a dream, and that he's still the studio head in the waking world.  Jack objects that the studio is his and he paid 8 million dollars for it, but wakes up anyway.

Awake again, Jack bemoans never getting to kiss his mother.  Mercifully it ends before we can go any farther with that idea.


  Veola Vonn, Darryl Zanuck

RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins

MINOR ROLES:  George Fisher

DON'S INTRO:  "Ladies and gentlemen, once every two weeks, Jack Benny and Rochester make out a shopping list of household needs.  As we look in on them today, they're preparing this week's list."

JOKE:  [0:30]
Rochester:  "[We need] some mayonnaise."
Jack:  "Oh Rochester, why buy mayonnaise?  All it is is eggs, salad oil and vinegar all mixed up."
Rochester:  "Oh yeah, I can make that.  Well, we need some corned beef hash."
Jack:  "You don't have to buy that either.  All it is is potatoes, corned beef, and onions."
Rochester:  "Yeah, I can make that too."
Jack:  "Now, let's see, we need some eggs."
Rochester:  "Eggs?"  Well Rochester…"
Jack:  "Naaaaw, Boss, I'm not even going to try it!"

JOKE:  [1:45] (Polly is missing)

Jack:  "Well, I hope you've got all the doors and windows locked.  She's been trying to run away from home ever since I bawled her out last week."
Rochester:  "Well Boss, I think you yelled at her a little too much."
Jack:  "Well, she deserved it.  If I told her once, I told her a hundred times:  I get the morning paper first!"

JOKE:  [3:40] (Polly's Age)
Jack:  "She's getting kind of old, you know, even for a parrot."
Rochester:  "How old is she?"
Jack:  "Well, when I bought her, the pet shop gave me her pedigree. The papers say she was born in Algiers in 1894."
Rochester:  "1894?"
Jack:  "Yeah, that makes her 58 years old."
Polly:  "Brawk!  I'm 39!  39!"
Jack:  "No, no, Polly.  It says right here on your pedigree papers.  You're 58."
Polly:  "39!  39!  Brawk!  (Whistle)"
Jack:  "Polly!  Polly, you're all mixed up.  I'm 39!"
Polly:  "58!  58!  Brawk!  (Whistle)"

JOKE:  [4:20]
Jack:  "Ouch!  That's the second time I hit my head against that chandelier… I better take some money out of my shoes.


Dennis:  "Mr. Benny, can I miss the rehearsal tomorrow?"
Jack:  "Well, sure."
Dennis:  "Can I miss Saturday's rehearsal too?"
Jack:  "Saturday's?  Well, I guess so."
Dennis:  "Can I miss the show on Sunday?"
Jack:  "Miss the show?  Why?"
Dennis:  "I'm going to kill myself."
Jack:  "Oh, stop being silly."
Dennis:  "I'm not being silly, I already made out my will."
Jack:  "Look, Dennis…"
Dennis:  "I'm leaving my brain to Hollywood High School.  I was going to leave it to Harvard, but they turned it down."
Jack:  "You're not going to commit suicide."
Dennis:  "If I don't, the gamblers are going to take me for a ride."
Jack:  "A ride?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, I lost 50 cents on the world series and I didn't pay off."
Jack:  "Look Dennis, nobody's going to kill you for only 50 cents."
Dennis:  "A lot of people say they'll do it for nothing."

JOKE:  [10:00] (Jack on the Golf Course)
Jack:  "Bob, you play a lot of golf, don't you?"
Bob:  "Yeah, and last week I got the greatest thrill in the whole world.  I made a hole in one."
Jack:  "No!"
Bob:  "Yep.  On the third hole at Bellaire.  Gosh, I couldn't wait to get back to the clubhouse and buy drinks for everybody there."
Jack:  "Oh yes, yes, that's the tradition.  When you make a hole in one you're supposed to buy drinks for everybody."
Bob:  "Have you ever made a hole in one?"
Jack:  "Yes, yes, about two years ago at Hillcrest."
Bob:  "Yes, it's wonderful.  Did anybody see you do it?"
Jack:  "Rochester, but I gave him a dollar and he kept his mouth shut.  It was worth it."
Bob:  "You know, Jack, I'm sure glad I came on your show."
Jack:  "You are, Bob?  Why?"
Bob:  "Well, I won't make much money, but man, what an education!"

JOKES:  [11:00]

Rochester:  "Oh Boss!  Boss!"
Jack:  "Yes, Rochester."
Rochester:  "Mr. Ronald Colman just called and they're having a big dinner party tonight."
Jack:  "Ronald Colman?  Did they invite me?"
Rochester:  "No, he asked us to return their garbage disposal."
Jack:  "Oh, my goodness, do we still have their garbage disposal?"
Rochester:  "Uh huh."
Jack:  "You know, it was kind of tough borrowing that, wasn't it?"
Rochester:  "Yeah, I had to go to plumbing school for two months!"

KE:  [12:15] (Jack's script is the worst thing Zanuck has read in all his 39 years)

Jack:  "Mr. Zanuck!  Are you 39?"
Zanuck:  "When you're the head of a big studio, who's going to argue with you?"

:  Zanuck says that biographical pictures are usually made after the subject is dead.  However, "The Jolson Story" was made in 1946, while Al was still alive, with Larry Parks playing his role.


Zanuck:  "Jack, let's face it.  I vowed never to have any more business dealings with you since you made "The Horn Blows at Midnight".
Jack:  "Well, what's that got to do with you?  I made that picture for Warner Brothers."
Zanuck:  "That picture hurt EVERY studio."
Jack:  "What?"
Zanuck:  "I can't wait till it gets on television."

JACK'S MOVIE:  [13:30]
Jack:  "I just think my biography would make a great musical.  Look at the novel opening.  When I'm being born in Waukegan.  What other picture ever had a musical scene in a maternity hospital?"
Zanuck:  "I think it's corny."
Jack:  "What?"
Zanuck:  "Imagine the doctor singing 'Feet up, pat him on the Po-Po'."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  A popular song that was fodder for much humor this season:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITY_y1w0nTo

JOKE:  [19:00] (Hack's life story is being cast)
Jack:  "I want this picture to be perfect, and I hope you've been very careful with in the casting."
Don:  "Oh, I am.  In fact, I've already selected the actress who will play the part of your mother."
Jack:  "I'd like to see her.  Where is she?"
Don:  "Right behind you."
Jack:  "Move over so I can see her."
Don:  "Yes, sir.  Miss Vonn, this is Mr. Benny."
Veola Vonn (sultrily):  "Hello, Mr. Benny.  I'm so terribly happy to know you."
Jack:  "YOU?  You're going to play the part of my mother?"
Veola:  "I sure am!"
Jack:  "And to think I ran away from home!"
Don:  "And Chief, you'll never guess who I'm casting to play the part of your father."
Jack:  "Never mind, I'll play that part myself!"

  A so-so episode with few really good lines.  The dream sequence is over before it really gets started.  The inventory scene is okay, but I can't imagine what Freudians would make of that business with Jack and his mom.


7.   10/26/52            GOSSIP ARTICLE ON JACK               (29:34)

SITCOM: Frank Nelson is a tour guide on a free sightseeing bus. He points out stars home's for the benefit of tourists that include a newlywed Mel, his blushing bride, and her mother, who doesn't blush at all. As they pass Jack's home, Jack asks the bus to stop so he can get off.

Jack does a walking monologue on the way home, in which he comments on Barbara Stanwyck's taste in curtains. It's not funny, so it must be a setup for something later.

Jack arrives home late, causing Rochester to wonder if the bus went to Santa Monica first today (it didn't, it's just another setup line). Rochester tells Jack that Miss Louella Parsons, the famous Hollywood gossip columnist (Rochester doesn't mention this fact, as everyone at the time knew it, but I'm telling you now) called, wanting to come over tonight to do an interview with Jack about his career. Jack objects that he can't have Louella over tonight, as he already has a dinner party planned with his cast. Rochester suggests impressing Louella by telling her that the party is in her honor.

Mary arrives. Jack tries to give her instructions for the party tonight, and in his nervousness, has Rochester put flowers on the table far too many times (funnier than it sounds). Mary suggests complimenting Louella on her weight, so Jack makes a note of it. Mary also points out that Louella did an article about Jack a few weeks ago. Jack says that he never got to read the earlier article, so that if Louella asks about it, to try to change the subject.

Dennis arrives. Jack brings him up to speed on the whole Louella Parsons plot point. Jack asks to preview Dennis' song for the show. Dennis sings "Because You're Mine". Jack instructs Dennis to sing it for Louella when she arrives, which of course he's not going to do because the audience has already heard it.

Jack asks Rochester to make crepes suzette. Rochester objects that they no longer have any brandy to make it, after Phil Harris stopped by for a goodbye toast.

The doorbell rings, but it turns out to be Bob and the Sportsmen. Bob arrived earlier, but was outside looking at Jack's swimming pool, and comparing it with that of his brother Bing. Bing's pool wins out, which you'd probably already guessed.

Jack reiterates the directive to change the subject every time Louella asks about the previous interview. He suggests that they talk about politics, like what's going on with Nixon, Eisenhower, and Stevenson (apparently, there was an election or something on the horizon in those days). Dennis finds a way to make the political discussion seem unappealing.

Bob says that he and the Sportsmen have a song prepared, which Louella might like. Bob sings "Them There Eyes", with the Sportsmen backing him up. Of course, you won't hear that one when Louella gets here either, because again, the audience has already heard it.

The doorbell rings again. Jack trips on the footstool and loses his toupee (not for the first time in the episode). This time it is Louella. Jack gossips about Barbara Stanwyck's curtains, and has to do an emergency swerve when he learns that Louella has the same design. Louella promptly trips over Jack's footstool, showing that she can do slapstick too, as long as it's Radio Only.

Jack tries to compliment Louella on her weight, as Mary suggested, but finds a way to turn it into a disaster.

Louella and Bob talk about what it's like working for Jack. Louella and Jack both plug their shows, naturally and conversationally (it says here).

Everyone sits down to dinner. Whenever Louella starts to bring up the subject of her earlier article on Jack, someone shoves more mashed potatoes in front of her as a distraction. Louella says that tonight's interview is to get Jack's views on television. Jack offers a few piquant observations on the medium. Louella brings up the first interview again, only to be treated to more mashed potatoes. By this time, she's completely hidden behind a mountain of them, so Jack offers a brief summary of his life, and film credits.



Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Frank Nelson, The Sportsmen Quartet

Gwen Delano, Del Sharbutt

"Ladies and gentlemen, Los Angeles is so proud of its civic beauty that the local Chamber of Commerce supplies visiting tourists with free sightseeing buses. So, let's take a tour on one of these buses and see what it's like.

TOBACCO NEWS: Lucky Strike has a new commercial where college students do a cheer for Luckies. According to Don, a new study shows that more students prefer Luckies than any other type of cigarette, and Luckies gained more smokers among college students than any other brand. (Imagine how much more market share they'll pick up in the college market when they release a marijuana cigarette). If you're into political incorrectness, this commercial is the best thing since Phil's Drinking-and-Driving Mobile of last year.

Speaking of Don, this year he frequently appears in the non-integrated Lucky Strike commercials. Before this year, they never featured any of the regular cast.

JOKE: [0:00]

Don: "The Lucky Strike Program, starring Jack Benny. With Mary Livingstone, Rochester, Dennis Day, Bob Crosby, and yours truly, Don Wilson."
[more music]
Don: "Ladies and gentlemen, Los Angeles is so proud of its civic beauty that the local Chamber of Commerce supplies visiting tourists with free sightseeing buses. So, let's take a tour on one of these buses and see what it's like.
Frank: "Well!! Here we are in Beverly hills. On the left, ladies and gentlemen, is the residence of that very fine dramatic actor, Lionel Barrymore. And to the right is the home of none other than Gary Cooper."
Woman: "Gee, Gary cooper. I could sure go for him."
Man (Mel): Hey, remember Poopsie, we're on our honeymoon."
Woman: Yeah, we've been married two days already."
Another Woman: "Nearly three days."
Woman: "Quiet, momma, or we'll send you home!"
Frank: "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are now in the heart of Beverly hills, which ha more movie stars per square mile than any other community."
Woman: "Oh, look. There's Trigger."
Frank: "Eh, that's my wife, she got one of those new hairdos. Now we're turning into Beverly drive. At the moment, we're passing the home of Johnny Ray. Look, that's Johnny sitting on the porch laughing. This is his day off."
Woman: "Gee, imagine, the home of Johnny Ray."
Man: "Yeah, look at the little white cloud over it."
Frank: "And now folks, if you'll look to the right, you'll see Barbara Stanwyck's house. Next to it is the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Colman. And next to that is the home of Jack Benny."
Jack: "This is where I get off, driver. Stop the bus."

Frank: "Did you stow away again??"
Jack: "Never mind, stop the bus!"
[bus stops]
Frank: "Watch your step getting off."
Jack: "Thank you."
Frank: "Forget the thanks, I don't want you to get hurt and sue the company again!"
Jack: "Oh, quiet!"
Frank: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, we leave Beverly Hills, and drive out to Santa Monica. Yes folks, beautiful Santa Monica."
[bus sounds]
Jack: "Anything I hate it's a smart-alec bus driver. When you say I beg your pardon, then I'll come back to you. When you ask me to forgive you, I'll re… can't you hear me callin' when the rainin' is a-fallin'? Gee, was I surprised when we… so surprised when we passed Barbara Stanwyck's house. She's still using those same old curtains."
[laughter, even though this isn't a punchline, just a setup for a future one]
[door opens]
Jack: "Hello, Rochester."
Rochester: "Hello boss, you're a little late.
Jack: "Yeah."
Rochester: "That bus must have gone to Santa Monica first today."
Jack: "No, we came right to Beverly Hills. Any mail, Rochester?"
Rochester: "No, but Miss Louella Parsons called."
Jack: "Louella Parsons!"
Rochester: "Yeah, she wants to get an interview about your career in radio and television."
Jack: "Well!"
Rochester: "And pictures!"
Jack: "Pictures, too??"

Rochester: "I talked her into that.
Jack: "Good, good. Then is she coming over for the interview?"
Rochester: "I told her this evening would be okay?"
this evening? Rochester, Louella can't come over tonight, I invited my gang for dinner."
Rochester: "That's good, Boss."
Jack: "Good?"
Rochester: "Be a big shot, tell her you're giving the dinner in her honor."
Jack: "Say! You know, Rochester, you really think fast."
Rochester: "I wouldn't last long around here if I didn't."
Jack: "Well, you go in the kitchen and get things started, and I…"
[doorbell buzzer]
Jack: "Come in!"
[door opens]
Jack: "Hello, Mary."
Mary: "Hello Jack, did the gang get here yet?"
Jack: "Not yet, but guess what. Louella Parsons is coming over tonight to interview me."
Mary: "She is?"
Jack: "Yeah. Gee Mary, I want everything to be just right when Louella gets here. Rochester, don't forget to put flowers on the table!"
Rochester: "Yes, sir."
Jack: "And go down to the cellar and bring up some wine?"
Rochester: "The cheap wine, or the imported stuff from Cucamonga?"
Jack: "The imported wine, of course! Gee Mary, imagine Louella parsons coming here to interview me. I hope everything goes along all right. Oh, Rochester!"
Rochester: "Uh huh?"
Jack: "Don't forget to put flowers on the table."
Rochester: "I'm puttin' em, I'm PUTTIN' em!"
Jack: "Oh. Oh, oh, yes, of course."
Mary: "Jack, what are you so nervous about?"

Jack: "I'm not nervous."
Mary: "Then stop running your fingers through your hair. Put it on and relax."
Jack: "All right, all right."
Mary: "Jack, the curl goes in front."
Jack: "That's not a curl, it's the loop I hang it up with!!"
Jack: "Well, there's nothing wrong with being neat, you know. That loop is supposed to be in back."
Mary: "Well, tuck it in, you look like Fu Manchu."
Jack: "Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu!!... They might have a May Company in China, too, you know."
Jack: "Look Mary, you know…"
[Mary laughs too]
Jack: "Gee, I'm hot tonight. You can stop with the jokes now. Louella parsons is coming over and I want to make a good impression."
Mary: "Well Jack, if you really want to impress her, when she comes in, compliment her."
Jack: "Compliment her?"
Mary: "Yes, tell her how nice she looks, and that she's so much thinner than you thought she was. Women like to hear that."
Jack: "Yeah, yeah, that's a good idea."
Mary: "You know, Jack, I can't understand why you're so excited. Didn't Louella interview you a few weeks ago?"
Jack: "Yes Mary, she wrote an article that appeared in a fan magazine about my 20 years in radio."
Mary: "Was it a nice article?"
Jack: "Well, to tell you the truth, Mary, I never got a chance to read it."
Mary: "Well, what are you going to do if Louella asks you about it?"
Jack: "I'll just have to change the subject, that's all. Anyway, I want… oh, I just thought of something. Rochester!"
Rochester: "Uh huh?"

Jack: "Uh, put some flowers on the table."
Rochester: "Boss, what are you going to do with Miss Parsons; feed her or bury her??"
Jack: "Don't be so smart! And do what I tell you! Now Mary, come out in the kitchen and help me get things ready."
[doorbell buzzes]
Jack: "Whoops! That must be Louella now."
Mary: "Oh Jack, it's too early for her."

Jack: "Oh yes, yes. Come in!"
[door opens]
Jack: "Oh. Oh, hello Dennis, come in."
[door closes]
Dennis: "Hello, Mr. Benny. Hello, Mary."
Mary: "Hello, Dennis."
Jack: "Dennis, I'm glad you came a little early, because I wanted to…"
Dennis: "When do we eat?"
Jack: "That's what I want to talk to you about! Now, look Dennis, I don't want you pulling any silly stuff tonight. We're having Louella Parsons for dinner."
Dennis: "You promised us roast beef!"
Jack: "Dennis. We ARE having roast beef! Louella Parsons is the guest of honor."
Dennis: "The way prices are today, the roast beef should be the guest of honor."
Jack: "You said it. Now, look Dennis…"
[delayed laugh]
Jack: "That's a great line, wasn't it? 'You said it!' Now, that's a sporty line. Now look, Dennis, when Louella gets here, I think it would be nice if you sing a song."
Dennis: "Not me."
Jack: "Now Dennis, don't be silly. If you sing for her, she might say something nice about you in her column."
Dennis: "That's what I'm afraid of."
Jack: "What?"
Dennis: "I can just see the headline now: 'Dennis Thrills Louella'."
Jack: "Look, kid…"
Dennis: "If my girl reads that, she'll slap my face."
Dennis, unfortunately, nobody is going to slap your face. Now, you're going to sing for Louella, and let me hear the song now."
Dennis: "Okay, but if my girl throws me over and marries King Farouk, it'll be your fault."
Jack: "Mary!"
Mary: "Dennis, sing."
Jack: "Thanks."
[Dennis sings 'Because You're Mine']

Jack: "Dennis, that was very good, and I want you to sing it just that way when Miss Parsons gets here. It'll be… oh, I just thought of something. Rochester!"
Rochester: "I'm puttin' 'em, I'm puttin' 'em!"
Jack: "I didn't mean that. Look, Rochester. About dessert tonight."
Rochester: "Dessert?"
Jack: "Yes, I'd like to have crepes suzette."
Rochester: "So would I, but we're having canned peaches."
Jack: "Why can't we have crepes suzette? Don't you know how to make 'em?"
Rochester: "Oh, I know how to make 'em all right, but we have no brandy."
Jack: "Wait a minute. What happened to those three bottles of brandy my sponsor gave me for Christmas?"
Rochester: "When Phil Harris came over to say goodbye, he drank a quick toast."
Jack: "How do you like that!"
[doorbell buzzes]
Jack: "Whoops! That must be Louella now."
Mary: "All right, Jack, now don't get excited."
Jack: "Who's excited??"
[doorbell buzzes]
Jack: "Rochester, answer the phone. I mean the door. The door."
Mary: "Uh, wait a minute, Jack. It'll make a better impression on Louella if you answer it. And be charming and gracious."
Jack: "I will, I'll even bow."
[doorbell buzzes]
Jack (sweetly): "I'm coming! Coming!!"
[door opens]
Jack: "Welcome to my humble abode."
Bob: "Hey, what are you looking for, Jack? Did you drop something?"
Jack: "Huh? Oh, Bob! Oh, Bob! Don! The Sportsmen. Come on in, everybody."
Bob & Don: "Hi, Jack. Mary."
Jack: "Well, this is quite a coincidence, all of you guys arriving at the same time."
Bob: "Well Jack, I got here about 10 minutes ago, but I was out in the back yard looking at your swimming pool."
Jack: "My swimming pool? Why?"
Bob: "Well, I've been thinking about have… put… I've been thinking of having one put in myself?"
Jack: "You have?"
[big delayed laugh]
Jack: "Don't worry about it, Bob, we've been doing that for years!"
Bob: "Boy, I really think."
Jack: "What do you think?"
Bob: "I've been thinking about having one put in myself, and I thought maybe I could pick up a few pointers on it."
Jack & Mary: "What…"
Jack: "Oh yours, go ahead."
Jack: "We'll be off of this show Tuesday!"
Mary: "Oh, that's nice, Bob."
[another delayed laugh]
Jack: "Bob, uh… Bob, what size swimming pool… what size swimming pool are you going to put in?"
Bob: "Oh, just the normal size: 20 x 40. I don't think I can afford a big one like you or like my brother Bing."
Jack: "Well, my pool is pretty big. It's 60 x 100. How big is Bing's pool?"
Bob: "Well, I don't know, but next week, Florence Chadwick is going to try to swim it."
[Bob stumbles a bit over Florence's name]

Jack: "Gee!"
Bob: "Jack, what I wanted to know about it is the upkeep. Is it very expensive to maintain a swimming pool?"
Jack: "Well, not too expensive. But there are certain costs that most people forget."
Don: "That's what I've been trying to tell you, Bob. A pool 20 x 40 requires about 40,000 gallons of water."
Bob: "Well, I don't have to worry about that, I'm filling my pool with Campbell's soup."
Jack: "What?"
Bob: "You haven't lived till you've Jackknifed into a whole pool full of Chicken Gumbo."
Jack: "Gee, if a guy goes down for the third time, he could get fat! Look fellas, look. Before I forget, I want all of you to behave yourselves tonight, because Louella Parsons is coming here to dinner. She's going to interview me."
Don: "Jack, I thought she gave you an interview just a couple of weeks ago."
Jack: "She did, and that's what I want to talk to you about. She did a big interview on me for a fan magazine, and I didn't get a chance to read it. So, if she mentions it, please change the subject."
Don: "Okay."
Jack: "In fact, a good idea would be not to talk about me at all. Just get on some other subject, like politics. Everybody's talking politics now."
Dennis: "Politics?"
Jack: "Yes, for instance, Adlai Stevenson… (laugh) Adlai Stevenson just visited Los Angeles, and uh, well Eisenhower had a birthday party down in Texas. You know, we can talk about that."
Bob: "By the way, how old is General Eisenhower?"
Jack: "He's 62."
Mary: "And Senator Nixon is 39."
Dennis: "Gee Mr. Benny, what a coincidence."
Jack: "Yeah."
Dennis: "You and Eisenhower are the same age."
Jack: "We are not! Now, look everybody, please remember that every time Louella brings up that fan magazine article she wrote about me, change the subject!"
Mary: "Oh Jack, stop worrying."
Jack: "Now Dennis, don't forget when Louella gets here, I want you to sing that song."
Dennis: "Okay."

Bob: "Say Jack, the Sportsmen Quartet and I have been rehearsing a song we were going to do on the show. Would you like us to entertain Louella too?"
Jack: "Say, that would be kind of nice. What number did you prepare, Bob?"
Bob: "Well, we could let you hear it now. Come on, guys, let's sing it for him."
[Bob and the Sportsmen sing 'Them There Eyes' with a few Lucky verses added]
Jack: "That was wonderful, Bob, and I'm glad you and the boys thought of it. And Louella will love it."
[doorbell buzzes]
Jack: "Coming! Coming!
[footsteps and tripping sound]
Jack: "Oh darnit, Rochester had to leave that footstool in the middle of the hall."
Mary: "Well, get up and the loop goes in back."
Jack: "All right, all right.
[doorbell buzzes]
Jack: "I'm coming! Coming!"
Mary: "Jack, don't forget to tell her that she's much thinner than you thought she was."
Jack: "I'll tell her, I'll tell her!"
[door opens]
Jack: "Well, Louella Parsons! What a surprise!"
Louella: "Hello, Jack."
Jack: "Well, come in, Louella."
Louella: "I would have been here sooner, but the bus went to Santa Monica first."
Jack: "Oh yes, yes. Say, Louella. Don't put this in your column, but when you passed Barbara Stanwyck's house, did you notice those curtains?"
Louella: "Oh yes, I have the same kind in my house."
Jack: "Well, aren't they LOVELY?? Come on in, Louella, I want you to meet my gang.
[door opens]
Jack: "Right this way, they're in the other room."
[footsteps and tripping sound]
Jack: "Oh, darn that footstool!"
Louella: "Well, don't stand there, pick me up!"
Jack: "Oh yes, yes. I'm sorry, Louella! Hey fellows, I got a surprise for you! Louella Parsons!"
Louella: "Hello, everybody!"
Don: "Hello Luella, come in."
Jack: "Yep, she's here for an interview."
Mary: "How are you, Louella? I haven't seen you for a long time."
Louella: "I'm just fine, Mary. Just fine."
Mary: "Well, you look wonderful. Doesn't she, Jack?"
Jack: "Huh?"
Mary: "Doesn't she look wonderful, Jack? Huh?"
Jack: "Oh yes, yes. You know, Louella, you're not nearly as fat as I thought you were."
Mary: "JACK!!!"
Jack: "I mean… I mean, Louella, you really look very slender."
Dennis: "That's because she's standing next to Don Wilson."
Jack: "Dennis, behave yourself! Louella, you know everybody here, don't you?"
Louella: "Oh yes, of course I do. Oh! Bob. By the way, you're new on Jack's show, aren't you?"
Bob: "That's right, Louella. This is my first season."
Louella: "How do you like working for Jack?"
Bob: "Oh, it's wonderful. Such a happy gang, we're always laughing. At rehearsals we laugh, during the show we laugh. When we get our checks, we laugh."
Jack: "Yes, yes."
Mary: "When we try to cash them, we get hysterical."

Jack: "Mary, please! By the way, Louella, when is this interview… when is this interview you're giving me going to appear in print?"
Louella: "Next week. But first I'll tell all about it on my Luster Cream Shampoo Cream Program Tuesday night on the CBS Radio Network."
Jack: "Oh, then you can do me a big favor, Louella. Would you mention that next Sunday, November 2, I'm going to do another television show. See, Dinah shore is going to be my guest star, and we're going to do Buck Benny Rides Again."
Louella: "You know, Jack, anything I can do for you, I'm glad to. I'll mention it."
Jack: "Thank you. Now, is there anything else you want to know, Louella?"
Yeah, when do we eat?"
I'm sorry, I almost forgot about dinner."
Don: "I didn't."
Jack: "I know, I know!"
Rochester: "Dinner's served."
Jack: "Come on, everybody, let's go into the Dining Room!!"
[sound of clattering cutlery]
Jack: "Everybody! We're going to eat. Now, sit… sit right here, Louella. And let me fill up your plate. Some roast beef, some green peas, and some mashed potatoes."
Louella: "Thank you, Jack. I just LOVE mashed potatoes. By the way, Jack, how did you like the magazine article I wrote about you a few weeks ago? Did you like…"
Jack: "Here Louella, have some more mashed potatoes! They're delicious!"
Louella: "Oh, thank you, Jack. Did you read…"
Mary: "Here Louella, have some more mashed potatoes."
Louella: "Oh, thank you, Mary. Now, as I was saying, I wrote an article about Jack which appeared in the mashed potatoes. I mean fan magazine."
Jack: "Mashed potatoes? Oh, sure Louella, have all you want."
Louella: "Now, Jack. The main purpose of tonight's interview is to get your reactions to television."
Jack: "My reactions to television?"
Louella: "Yes, television is more difficult for the actor than radio, now isn't it, Jack?"
Jack: "Oh, that's right, Louella, it is. Television is very demanding. You see, an actor has to rehearse for hours. Then he has to shave as closely as possible. And then the makeup. You don't know what they have to go through makeup. The Makeup Department spends an hour putting a base on them. Then the first layer of makeup, then the second layer of makeup. Then they tweeze your eyebrows and rouge your lips."

Louella: "All that just to be squirted in the face with a seltzer bottle?"
Jack: "Oh, it's murder."
Louella: "Well, I'll make some notes of this for my new article. By the way, Jack, getting back to my other article I did about you, did you read…"
Don: "Here, Louella! Have some more mashed potatoes!"
Jack: "Well, that was very thoughtful of you, Don. Wasn't it, Louella? Louella? Louella, where are you??"
Louella: "Right over here behind the mashed potatoes."
Jack: "Oh, well dig a hole in the middle so I can see you. There, that's better. Now, Louella, rather than just having you ask me a lot of questions, I'll give you a brief story of my life."
Louella: "All right, Jack, go right ahead."
Jack: "Now, I was born in Waukegan, Illinois. After graduating grammar school, I took an interest in music. Later, I went to Chicago, where I studied the violin under Hugo Kortschalk, at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. After four years of intensive study, my professor took a personal interest in me and arranged for my first appearance at…"
Dennis: "Aaaaah, shaddap!!"
Jack: "Dennis!! Uh, from that time on, Louella, my career grew by leaps and bounds. In 1934, I was lured to Hollywood in pictures, where I made 'Broadway Melody'. And 'Hollywood Review'. And 'To Be Or Not To Be'."
Louella: "And, Jack. Didn't you make a picture called 'Man About Town'."
Jack: "Yes, Louella. Then I made 'George Washington Slept Here', 'Lost Horizon', 'Gone With the Wind'. 'A World In His Arms'! 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro'! 'Frances Goes to Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga'! 'The Thief"! Ivanhoe! The Great Caruso! Sudden Fail!..."

Barbara Stanwyck's Curtains, Jack losing his toupee after tripping on the footstool, and 'the bus went to Santa Monica first'.

When Louella arrives, Jack announces her as a surprise guest, even though he'd earlier decided to go along with Rochester's idea of saying that the dinner was planned in her honor.

Florence Chadwick (1918-1995) was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.

NOTE: Tomorrow, October 27, is Navy Day, a time to give tribute to the heroes of the Navy, both living and dead. You don't have to buy presents for the dead ones.

COMEDIFACT: Comedifact.com has fact checked Dennis' joke about Nixon's age. Nixon was born on January 9, 1913, meaning that he'd just turned 40 twelve days before the broadcast. Comedifact rates this joke "Missed It By That Much".

COMEDIFACT: Comedifact also rated the claim about Eisenhower's age. Ike was born October 14, 1890, meaning that he had turned 62 twelve days before the broadcast. Comedifact rates this claim as True. But it also means that Ike was probably 61 when the script was being written, and someone kept a close enough watch on it to update it before the broadcast to get that extra year in. Comedifact rates this claim "Give A Guy A Break WhyDoncha?".

BOTTOM LINE: A real sleeper episode. Usually when Jack gets a famous guest star on, they appear on stage together, trade a few jokes, talk about that person's career, and that's it. It's good, but not great. This episode is much better than it has any right being. For a celebrity as (relatively) minor as a gossip columnist, they put together a great script that keeps the laughs coming from beginning to end. Easily the best episode of the season so far, and when we're done, it will still be near the top of the heap.




June Crosby, Verna Felton, Harry Shearer, Doris Singleton

  Artie Auerbach, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Stuffy Singer, Peter Votrian

9.   11/09/52            JACK GOES TO THE DOCTOR FOR A VITAMIN SHOT              (28:51)

SITCOM:  Jack is at the lunch counter across from CBS, reading a newspaper.  Rosie the Roisterer tries to get Jack to order (also not to crease the paper, which they still want to sell).  Jack sees an article about people living on the moon, and gets an idea for a joke for his radio show.  Rosie vetoes it.

Bob arrives, wanting to take something out.  Rosie gets the wrong idea.

Jack steps away to buy razor blades.  Mary arrives and gossips with Bob a bit about Jack's personal habits.

Jack returns and Don arrives.  The Sportsmen have prepared a commercial for Jack to preview.  They don't have time to go back to the studio, and so let Jack preview it right there in the drugstore.  The Sportsmen sing a Lucky Strike themed version of "Botch-a-Me" as Rosie desperately tries to take their order.

Jack slips out during the confusion, embarrassed by the scene Rosie causes.  Jack goes to the CBS, and asks "Harry" about his fan mail.  The number of letters Jack received goes from 8,000 down to 0 when Harry learns that no one is listening.

Jack overhears Dennis on the phone, reading someone the Riot Act.  When Jack asks Dennis who he was talking to, Dennis realizes that he had the wrong number.

Mary shows Jack the huge stack of fan mail that Bob just received, including a letter from Jack's own sister in Chicago.

Jack steps out on stage for rehearsal, and realizes that he has no time, as he needs to be at his doctor's office for a vitamin shot.  Jack and Mary leave for the Doctor's office, as Dennis sings "Hey Brother, Pour the Wine".

In the car, Jack, Mary and Rochester are travelling to the doctor's, and discussing the Maxwell's latest foibles.

In the doctor's office, the nurse takes his information, and sits down to wait, next to a gentleman who thinks he's a rabbit.  It turns out that the guy is not really a rabbit, but he plays one on TV

Dr. Stevens is missing, so Jack sees one Dr. Nelson instead.  Once again, Jack does not run screaming when he hears that name, and so in some sense deserves what he's about to get.  In the hallway, Jack meets the Rube from Calabasas.  The Rube's wife is about to have their 16th child, proving that even a Rube can sometimes… oh, never mind.  Let's not finish that line.  Jack resolves to ask why the Rube keeps calling him Rube (after it's too late, as usual).

Jack enters Dr. Nelson's office, and is shocked to find that it is Frank Nelson… Would you believe mildly surprised?  Dr. Nelson prepares to give Jack his vitamin shot.  Jack balks at the size of the needle, but eventually takes it.  The shot hurts, but Jack's discomfort quickly turns to pleasure.  Jack asks what vitamin Frank injected him with, and learns that it was Vitamins D, O, F, R and B.  I'd tell you what that means, but the punchline just isn't worth it.

TAG:  Driving back home, Jack nearly hits the guy who thinks he's a rabbit, and knocks the carrot out of his hand.

:  None


  Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Sam Hearn, Frank Nelson, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet

  Iris Adrian

DON'S INTRO:  "Ladies and gentlemen, let's go back to yesterday, a half hour before rehearsal.  Jack has dropped in at the corner drugstore, and at the moment, we find him sitting at the counter, reading a newspaper."

TOBACCO NEWS:  Well, the tobacco cheer is gone.  Apparently, the students couldn't deliver it without coughing.  For this episode, Lucky rolls out a new jingle sung by Dorothy Collins:
If you want better taste from your cigarette,
Lucky Strike is the brand to get.
It's toasted to give you the best taste yet,
it's the toasted cigarette.
They take fine tobacco,
It's light tobacco,
It's mild tobacco too.
And it's toasted, yes it's toasted,
Because the toasting brings the flavor right through.
If you want better taste from your cigarette,
Lucky Strike is the brand to get.
It's toasted to give you the best taste yet,
It's the toasted cigarette.

It's no "Be Happy Go Lucky", but it's better than actually smoking the darn things.  The closing non-integrated commercial informs us that Jimmy Hatlo, creator of "Little Iodine" and "They'll Do It Every Time", is a Lucky smoker.  Presumably this is supposed to send comics readers rushing to the tobacconist to be like Jimmy Hatlo.

JOKE:  [2:00] (Jack is reading the paper at the lunch counter)

Jack:  "Hmm, here's an interesting item.  'According to a national survey, in 20 years, California will be the #1 state.  Los Angeles will be the #1 city.  This anticipation of industrial growth has made the city of Los Angeles very smug.'  Hmm, and look at the way they spelled 'smug':  S-M-O-G.  no, no, they did spell it S-M-U-G.  I wonder what makes my eyes water like that?"

JOKE:  [2:30] (Jack is reading the paper at the lunch counter)

Jack:  "Hmm, here's an article that's hard to believe.  A famous scientist claims it won't be long before people will be living on the moon.  Hey!  That gives me an idea for a joke for my radio program:  If people live on the moon, prices will be sky high.  (wheezy laugh by Jack) Hey, that's a good joke, I better write it down.  Say Miss, do you have a pencil?"
Rosie:  "I heard it, don't bother."

Jack says he didn't like Rosie when she was a brunette.  On 9/21/52, Rosie was described as blonde and tattooed.  It sounds like Sara Berner may have changed her hair colour in real life at this time.

JOKE:  [5:00] (Jack orders)
Rosie:  "Are you going to order now?"
Jack:  "Yes, yes.  Now look, Miss.  I'll have a club sandwich.  And here's the way I want it made.  I want it on white bread, slightly toasted.  I want the bacon and tomato in the lower half, and the chicken and the lettuce in the upper half.  Trim the crusts, cut it in three parts, and put a slice of pickle on the top."
Rosie:  "Okay.  (shouts to the kitchen) ONE CLUB SANDWICH FOR AN ARCHITECT!!"

JOKE:  [5:45] (In the diner)
Bob:  "Well Jack I don't know, I'm not too hungry right now.  But then again…  Oh, Miss?
Rosie:  "Yeah?"
Bob:  "Is it all right if I take something out?"
Rosie:  "Are you kiddin'??  I'll go get my hat and coat!!"

WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT? JOKE:  [6:15] (Bob and Mary meet)

Mary:  "Oh, hello Bob."
Bob:  "Oh, Mary.  Sit down."
Mary:  "I thought Jack was here."
Bob:  "He is, he went over to the drug counter to buy some razor blades."
Mary:  "Ha, ha, ha, ha!  Ha, ha, ha, ha!"
Bob:  "What are you laughing at, Mary?"
Mary:  "Jack is the only man I know who has a single edged razor and buys double-edged blades."
Bob:  "What does he do that for?"
Mary:  "He cuts them in half."
Bob:  "Boy, what a guy, huh?  I heard Jack is the only man in the world who gets his dental floss re-threaded."
Mary:  "Jack does have his peculiarities, but he is sweet and he tries so hard.  I'll never forget the first time I went out with him.  When he called for me, I opened the door, and there he stood with the biggest orchid I ever saw."
Bob:  "An orchid, huh?"
Mary:  "It was so beautiful, I made him buy me one too."

  Jack seems shocked at the idea of the Sportsmen singing their commercial in public, right there in the drugstore.  But back on 9/21/52, Dennis sang his song in the same drugstore.

NOTE:  "Botch-a-Me" was written in 1941, and popularized again in 1952 by a Rosemary Clooney recording that made it to #2 on the charts, despite not having any tobacco references at all.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeqyTTo-uIc

JOKE:  [10:00] (Jack spots Dennis in a phone booth)

Dennis:  "Yeah, and that isn't all I'm mad about, I got plenty to say to you!!"
Jack:  "Hmm, there's Dennis, talking in that phone booth."
Dennis:  "Yeah, plenty!  I've taken all the guff out of you I'm going to take!"
Jack:  "Gee, that kid's really mad."
Dennis: "Oh no, you listen to me, I've listened to you long enough! As far as Jack: "I'm concerned, you're nothing but a low, underhanded, double-dealing conniver!"
Jack: "Wow!"
Dennis: "Oh, I know you put it over on me, but I'm going to see that you don't take advantage of anybody else! You heard me! Aaaaah, shaddap!!"
Jack: "Dennis!"
Dennis: "Oh, hello Mr. Benny. Excuse me a minute."
[coin drops in slot and dialing sound]
Dennis: "Operator, Mr. Benny is standing right here, you must have given me the wrong number."

JOKE:  [16:00] (Jack and Rochester are in the Maxwell)

Jack:  "Rochester, slow down.  The light on the corner is turning red."
Rochester:  "Don't worry, by the time we reach it, it will be green again."

JOKE:  [16:30] (Mary's contract)
Jack:  "You know, Mary, I've been thinking.  It seems every time I go to a doctor or a hospital for a checkup or an examination, you're always with me.  Gee, it's awfully nice of you."
Mary:  "It's not a matter of being nice, Jack.  I have to be with you when you go for medical examinations, in case you need me."
Jack:  "Need me?"

Mary:  "Yes.  How you ever got that transfusion clause in my contract, I'll never know!"

JOKE:  [17:50] (Rochester leaves to do the shopping)

Rochester:  "I made out the list, and the groceries amount to $17."
Jack:  "$17?  Hmm.  Here, you are."
Rochester:  "And a dollar and a half for a haircut."
Jack:  "A dollar and a half??  Wait a minute, Rochester, I'm not supposed to pay for your haircuts!"
Rochester:  "This one's for you, I've got it in the glove compartment."

JOKE:  [18:50] (The nurse takes Jack's information)

Nurse:  "Your name?"
Jack:  "Jack Benny."
Nurse:  "Occupation."
Jack:  "Radio comedian."
Nurse:  "Are you currently employed?"
Jack:  "Yes, yes I am."
Nurse:  "How tall are you?"
Jack:  "5' 11"."
Nurse:  "Your weight?"
Jack:  "165."
Nurse:  "Your age?"
Jack:  "39."
Nurse:  "39.  Now Mr. Benny, have you ever…"
Jack:  "Listen, nurse.  I happened to notice on your desk, you have another chart and the age is also marked 39."
Nurse:  "Yes."
Jack:  "Whose chart is that?"
Nurse:  "Grandma Moses."

JOKE:  [19:50] (In the waiting room)

Nurse:  "Sit over there by that gentleman in the corner."
Jack:  "Oh, is his appointment ahead of mine?"
Nurse:  "Oh, he's not waiting to see Dr. Stevens.  He has an appointment with our psychiatrist."
Jack:  "Psychiatrist?  He isn't violent, is he?"
Nurse:  "Oh, far from it.  In fact, he's very gentle.  He thinks he's a rabbit."
Jack:  "Come on, Mary, lets sit down."
Mary:  "Jack, what are you so made about?"
Jack:  "That smart-alec nurse trying to kid me.  A rabbit.  The man looks just as normal as I do."
Mary:  "Jack, there isn't room for both of us to sit on the sofa."
Jack:  "Yes there is, Mary.  I'll ask him to move over.  Uh, pardon me, sir?"
Bugs Bunny (Mel):  "Eeeeeh, what's up, Doc?"
Jack:  "Say!  You really do think you're a rabbit."
Bugs:  "Yeah.
Jack:  "Where do you live?"
Bugs:  "Oh, I have a nice little hutch in Brentwood."
Jack:  "Mary, move over.  Tell me, mister, did you always think you were a rabbit?"
Bugs:  "No, no, up until last week, I thought I was a toikey."
Jack:  "Up until last week.  What made you stop being a turkey?"
Bugs:  "It was so close to Thanksgiving, they turned me down for life insurance."
Jack:  "Oh."
Bugs:  "I wanted double indemnity."
Jack:  "I see."
Bugs:  "With cranberry sauce."
Jack:  "Well, that's the only way to have it!  Anyway, maybe you're better off being a rabbit."
Bugs:  "Yeah.  Well, I can't wait any longer for that psychiatrist.  Bye, Doc."
[phone buzzes]
Nurse:  "Yes, Doctor.  Oh, very well, sir, I'll send in the next patient.  It's Mr. Benny.  What?  No, it's Benny, Bunny just left."

THE RUBE:  [22:00] (Rube seems to have yet another wife)

Rube:  "Hi, Rube!"
Jack:  "Huh?"
Rube:  "Remember me?"
Jack:  "Oh, yes!  You're the fellow from Calabasas.  What are you doing here?"
Rube:  "Brought my wife to the doctor.  She's going to have a baby."
Jack:  "A baby?  Say, how many kids have you got now?"
Rube:  "This will be the 16th."
Jack:  "Gosh, 16 kids.  What are their names?"
Rube:  "Well, there's Albert, Hiram, Ellen, Julius, Catherine, Jeanette, Bertram, Herman, Blue Cross, Howard…"
Jack:  "Wait a minute.  Wait, you named one of your children Blue Cross?"
Rube:  "Yep, my wife's been in the hospital so much, we thought we owed 'em something."
Jack:  "Say, with such a large family, you must have a pretty big farm."
Rube:  "Oh, one of the biggest in Calabasas."
Jack:  "What do you raise there?"

Rube:  "Albert, Hiram, Ellen…"

  The Rube seems to have a different wife every time we see him.  In the 1951 opener, his wife sounded like an old lady.  On 5/4/52, he was married to Jeanette Eymann, doing a really sultry siren voice.  Now he's married to someone who's had 16 kids.  I have a feeling that if we looked into Rube's private life, even the National Enquirer wouldn't believe it.

JOKE:  [22:30] (Jack meets Dr. Nelson)

Jack:  "Oh, Doctor?  Doctor?"
Frank:  "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees??"
Jack:  "Doctor, I'm Jack Benny, I was told to see you."
Frank:  "Why do they always come to me at the last minute?"

JOKE:  [24:00] (One of the lamest closing jokes ever; Jack gets a vitamin shot)

Frank:  "Oh, stop being such a baby.  Roll up your sleeve, and I'll give you the shot.  It won't hurt a bit, I promise!"
Jack:  "Well.  All right.  There, my sleeve's up."
Frank:  "Okay.  Here goes.  There you are!"
Jack:  "Ow!!  Oooh, doctor, it did hurt when you… but wait a minute.  I do feel better already.  Doctor, what vitamins did you inject me with?"
Frank:  "D.O.F.R.B."
Jack:  "D.O.F.R.B?  What's that?"
Frank:  "Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer!"
Jack:  "What!?"
Frank:  "I'm sorry it hurt, but the ice cream got stuck in the needle!"
Jack:  "Well, that's the most RIDICULOUS thing I've ever heard!  I'll come back tomorrow when my regular doctor is here!!"

BOTTOM LINE:  Not quite First Rate, but a strong episode.  The drugstore sequence works well, Dennis in the phone booth is great, and the sequence with Jack and Bugs is classic.  The Maxwell and the Rube are a bit flat, and the closing joke is just ridiculous (and not in a good way either).  But overall, an above average episode.

10.   11/16/52            PURPLE PIRATE             (31:19)

SITCOM:  Jack comes into the kitchen one morning, and finds that Rochester has overslept.  He searches through the cupboards to make breakfast himself, but finds them all loaded with Ideal dog food.
Jack wakes Rochester up with a feather duster.  Roch tells Jack about his dream, and Jack's knack for interrupting certain dreams and not others. Polly is still sulking.  Mary arrives with the news that the Colman's butler quit rather than live next to Jack.  Jack is sure he'll be back. Dennis arrives, and does his routine.  Dennis sings "Lady of Spain".

Dennis announces that he's having his tonsils out tonight to entertain a doctor friend who's coming over.  Dennis and Mary leave. Bob calls to invite Jack over to a Poker game with the boys, but Jack finds the stakes to be a little too high. Mr. Kitzel calls asking Jack for tickets to various radio shows, in order to get his brother-in-law out of the house. Jack goes through his library looking for a book to read (and imagine a play around, of course).  He comes across a tome called "The Purple Pirate".  Jack sits down to read, and the play begins:

THE PLAY:  Jack is Captain Morgan the Pirate (and rum merchant?).  After being at sea a year, his ship has just captured a schooner coming back from the Orient.

His crew scuttles the captured ship with cannon fire.  Jack's first mate, Red Robert goes over the booty they captured.  Jack meets the enemy captain (Don) and Mary, one of his passengers.  Since a woman on a pirate ship is bad luck, Jack flips a coin to see whether Mary should stay or walk the plank.  After several attempts, he gets it to come up Heads, so Mary stays.

That evening, the crew serenades Mary with a Lucky Strike-themed version of a medley of sea shanties.  In fact, it sounds a lot like Jack's crew is the Sportsmen.

Over the next few days, the crew becomes surly and mutinous due to bad weather and lack of supplies.  Suddenly, Jack's ship is attacked by Dennis Lafitte.  Jack fashions a white flag out of Mary's laundry and surrenders.

After three days in the hold, Jack meets Lafitte.  Faced with the choice of becoming his slave or dying, Jack choose death for himself and Mary.  Mary vetoes half of this plan.

At this point, the doorbell rings.  With Rochester nowhere near, Jack answers it himself.  It's Mel, delivering two more vans of Ideal Dog Food.  Jack orders it stored in the swimming pool, as the garage is full.



  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


"Ladies and gentlemen, tonight Jack Benny does another television program.  But in the meantime, let's go back to this morning in Beverly Hills.  As we look in on the Benny household, we find Jack just entering the kitchen."

JOKE:  [2:40]
Jack:  "I don't know why it is, but every time I give [Rochester] a day off, the next morning he oversleeps. It's the second time it's happened this year."

JOKE:  [3:00] (Jack decides to make breakfast)

Jack:  "Let's see, where does Rochester keep the coffee?  I'll try this cupboard here.  Nope.  It's filled with Ideal Dog Food.  I'll try this one.  No, this one's filled with Ideal Dog Food too.  Maybe it's in this cupboard.  Hmm.  More Ideal dog food.  Well, there's no doubt about it.  I'll have to either get a dog or stop mentioning that stuff on my program."

JOKE:  [4:00]
Rochester:  "Gosh Boss, I'm sorry you woke me up when you did.  I was having the most wonderful dream."
Jack:  "I know, you were dreaming about a girl."
Rochester:  "Yeah, we were going to get married, and you offered me a $50 raise."
Jack:  "I offered you a $50 raise?"
Rochester:  "Uh huh.  And just as you were giving it to me, you woke me up."
Jack:  "Oh."
Rochester:  "That's the third time it's happened."
Jack:  "I know, I know, you told me."
Rochester:  "Once I dreamed you were cutting my salary, and you let me sleep until 4 in the afternoon!"

JOKE:  [6:15]
Mary:  "Oh, hello Polly."
[Mel does parrot sounds]
Mary:  "Come on, Polly.  Speak.  Speak."
[Mel does dog barking sounds]
Mary:  "Jack!  What have you been feeding this bird??"
Jack:  "It wasn't my fault, Mary.  She happened to find a can opener."

Dennis asks Jack how much money he'd want for his house, then slams the place.

NOTE:  Jack estimates that his house is worth $100,000 (or $853,284.52 in 2012 dollars).  That same house today is worth $10,730,000 (or $1,257,493.81 in 1952 dollars).


JOKE:  [11:30] (Dennis has just sung his song)

Jack:  "Very good, Dennis.  I know it's going to sound beautiful when you sing it on the show."
Dennis:  "Don't be so sure."
Jack:  "Why not?"
Dennis:  "I'm having my tonsils out tonight."
Jack:  "Tonight?  Dennis, are your tonsils infected?"
Dennis:  "No."
Jack:  "Well, has your throat been sore?"
Dennis:  "No."
Jack:  "Have you been catching colds?"
Dennis:  "No."
Jack:  "Then why are you having your tonsils out?"
Dennis:  "A doctor friend of mine is coming over and I don't know how else to entertain him."
Jack:  "What?"
Dennis:  "Last time he took out my appendix."
Jack:  "Dennis…"
Dennis:  "If he keeps coming over, there won't be anything left."

JOKE:  [12:15]

Bob:  "I'm having a few of the boys over for a friendly game of poker tonight, and I thought you'd like to join us."
Jack:  "Well, what stakes to you play for?"
Bob:  "Five and Ten."
Jack:  "Five and Ten??  Wait a minute, that's a little too steep for me."
Bob:  "Oh, no, no, Jack.  Not five and ten dollars.  Five and ten cents."
Jack:  "That's what I thought you meant."

NOTE:  The Poker Game will include Bob, Bagby, Fletcher, Remley, Sammy, Kimich, and Arturo Toscanini.

JOKE:  [13:40] (Bob invites Jack to the poker game)

Bob:  "Well, how about it, Jack?  Could you come over tonight?"
Jack:  "Well, I don't know, Bob.  I might come over for some laughs."
Bob:  "Oh, that's swell.  We'll be playing out by the pool.  We'll all be in our swimming trunks."
Jack:  "Wait a minute, Bob.  Won't the boys be cold in nothing but trunks?"
Bob:  "Yeah, but they won't play cards with each other wearing anything that has pockets or sleeves."

JOKE:  [14:00]
Bob:  "Oh, say Jack.  What goes with Dennis Day?"
Jack:  "What do you mean?"
Bob:  "Well, he was over to see me last night.  He wants to buy my house."
Jack:  "Did he offer you a good price?"
Bob:  "Yeah, but I turned it down."
Jack:  "Why?"
Bob:  "Well, he wanted me to include my Venetian blinds, drapes and children."

NOTE:  (Books Jack considered before settling on "The Purple Pirate".)

"The High and the Mighty" by Ernest Gann
"Look Who's Abroad Now" by Earl Wilson
"The Sea Around Us"
"Battle Cry"
"The Theory of Relativity"

JOKE:  [17:45] (Jack considers what book to read)

Jack:  "Here's a copy of "The Theory of Relativity", by Albert Einstein.  Oh, I read that.  I remember, it had 496 pages.  Those numbers were the only thing I understood."

JOKE:  [19:30] (In the play, Jack and his mate go over the captured booty)
Bob:  "She's sinking fast, Captain."
Jack:  "Good.  Tell me, Red Robert.  Did we get much booty?"
Bob:  "Well, it's a rich haul, Captain.  100 bolts of silk, 50 bails of rare spices, 10 sacks filled with gold, and four cases of Ideal Dog Food."
Jack:  "Fine, my supply was running low."
Bob:  "That isn't all the loot, sir.  We found a small sack of diamonds, some rubies, and best of all, a woman's dress."
Jack:  "A woman's dress?  What's so wonderful about that?"
Bob:  "Oh, you ought to see what's in it."

JOKE:  [20:15]  (Jack interviews the captured Captain and woman)
Jack (Voiceover):  "In a few minutes, both the captain and the girl were standing before me.  I looked them over very carefully for a long time.  Finally I spoke."
Jack:  "Which one of you is the captain?"
Mary:  "He is, of course."
Jack (Voiceover):  "There was no doubt about it.  I'd been away from land too long."

DO YOU THINK THAT WAS NICE?:  [20:30] (Yep, this is becoming a running joke for Don)

Jack (Voiceover):  "As I stood there, the schooner's gruff captain turned to me and spoke."
Don:  "Are you the captain of these pirates?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Don:  "Are you responsible for blowing my ship to bits?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Don:  "Did you make some of my men walk the plank?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Don:  "Did you hang all the rest of 'em?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Don:  "Do you think that was nice?"
Jack:  "No."
Don:  "Well, watch it next time."
Jack (Voiceover):  "I sent him below, then I turned my attention to the girl.  She was wearing a tight skirt, a yellow sweater, and a large button that said 'I Like Louis XIV'."

THE LONGEST LAUGHS:  [24:00] (The crew of Jack's ship is getting restless)

Bob:  "Bagby!  Fletcher!  Remley!  Kimick!  Man your guns!  It's no use, Captain, it's no use.  The men are revolting."
Jack:  "Would you repeat that?"

NOTE:  "The Peasants are Revolting" was the title of a Wizard of Id book.

THE LONGEST LAUGHS:  Although he repeats the line in mid-laugh, which may extend it, Bob's line about "The Men are Revolting" keeps a laugh going for nearly 30 seconds continuously before it ends.

  A fairly typical late-Benny episode.  Jack's at home, his cast drops by one by one to do routines with him, and when they leave, he curls up with a book and dreams a play that goes nowhere.  Such episodes usually have several decent lines, and are well worth listening to, but don't really stand out from the pack of similar episodes.


11.  11/23/52            THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO


Eddie Anderson


  Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Jeanetter Eymann, Muriel Landers

12.   11/30/52            THANKSGIVING PILGRIMS



  Charlie Bagby

  Artie Auerbach, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Frank Nelson, The Sportsmen Quartet


13.   12/07/52            HAPPY TIME             (29:14)

SITCOM:  Jack is at home, making out his Christmas Card list with Rochester.  Although his list includes such luminaries as Heifetz, Eisenhower, and Truman, he won't be shopping for any of them in the upcoming Christmas Shopping episode.  Hmmm...

Mary and Bob arrive.  They find a list of presents with their names on them, but unfortunately, it's the list of presents Jack hopes to receive, not the ones he plans to give. Dennis arrives and does his routine, then sings "Christmas in Killarney". Don arrives.  Bob tells him how Jack took them all out for dinner, and to see "The Happy Time".  Unfortunately, the dinner was purchased in the theater.  Jack liked "The Happy Time" enough to want to do a version of it on the show.  He explains the premise to Don, and which characters each of  them could play.  As the premise is explained, the play suddenly begins.

THE PLAY:  It is 1924, in Ottawa.  Jack is Jacque Renoir, practicing his violin.  Renoir plays a lot like Jack Benny.  Jack tries out his lousy French accent on Mary, and keeps practicing his new symphony (A French titled version of 'When You Say I Beg Your Pardon, Then I To You'. Grandpapa (Mel) returns after being out all night, and does a French version of the Si/Cy sketch with Jack.  Jack and Grandpapa argue over which of them is 39, with Grandpapa claiming dibs, as he was there first. Jack continues practicing and describes what it will sound like when the Quartet accompany him.  He describes it so well, that you could almost swear you could hear the Sportsmen singing along. Uncle Louis (Bob) arrives.  Jack quizzes him about the wine in his water cooler, and his relationship with the guitarist, Francois Remley.  Jacque's son Denis arrives.  They discuss his romantic relationship with the maid.  Getting nowhere, he goes to talk to the maid. Finding the maid on the ironing board, Jack has her put down her fans and talk.  The maid insists that the kiss she gave to Denis was not a real one, and demonstrates it to Jack.  Jack doesn't seem quite convinced.  Jack resolves to have a talk with that boy. Jack pulls Denis aside to tell him the Facts of Life (assuming that there were any in the 1950's).  Whether any exist or not, since it is the 50's, not much gets explained.  Dennis thinks he's got it anyway, and goes out to put his new knowledge into action. Returning with swollen lips, it becomes clear that Denis didn't have the right idea about the birds and the bees after all.

TAG:  Jack urges Don to go see "The Happy Time" for himself.  A new member joins Dennis' Elk's Club chapter.


Veola Vonn

Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


DON'S INTRO:  "And now, ladies and gentlemen, let's go out to Jack Benny's house in Beverly Hills.  And even though this is only the first week in December, Jack is preparing to mail his Christmas Cards early."

  Another new jingle is rolled out this week, featuring Dorothy Collins and a backup chorus:
Dorothy:  Luckies taste better!
Chorus:  Cleaner, Fresher Smoother.
Dorothy:  Luckies taste better!
Chorus:  Cleaner, Fresher Smoother.
Chorus:  For Lucky Strike means Fine Tobacco, Richer tasting fine tobacco.
Dorothy:  Luckies taste better!
Chorus:  Cleaner, Fresher Smoother.  Lucky Strike!  Lucky Strike!

For some reason, whenever I sing along with this jingle, the words come out as:
Luckies taste better!
Cleaner, Fresher, Smoother!
But they'll still kill you.
Deader, Stiffer, Sooner!

JOKE:  [2:30]

Rochester:  "Boss, do you send a Christmas card to Jascha Heifetz?"
Jack:  "Well, certainly.  After all, we have a lot in common.  You know, as a matter of fact, last year, Mr. Heifetz sent me a string off the violin he used when he did a concert in Carnegie Hall."
Rochester:  "Oh yeah, I remember."
Jack:  "By the way, Rochester, what did I do with that string?"
Rochester:  "You put it in your pyjamas."
Jack:  "Oh,  yes.  Tonight remind me to put some resin on it.  The knot slipped."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  The previous joke absolutely doesn't fly.  Jack, who fancies himself a great artist would absolutely not use Heifetz's violin string that way.  The Cheap Joke works in most situations, but not this one.

JOKE:  [3:30]

Jack:  "Now, let's get on with this list.  Oh, there's one Christmas card I must send out.  To General Eisenhower."
Rochester:  "Do you know his address?"
Jack:  "No.  Oh, I know.  I'll address the envelope this way:  General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Washington, DC.  Care of Harry Truman, please hold.  I'll send one to President Truman too.  Mark that one 'Please Forward'."

JOKE:  [4:00] (Bob is learning fast)

Mary:  "Is Mr. Benny in?"
Rochester:  "Oh yes, he's in the den.  He's been working all day addressing Christmas cards."
Bob:  "He sold that many, huh?"


Dennis:  "Hey, Mr. Benny, I've got a big surprise for you."
Jack:  "Surprise?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, I don't know if you know it or not, Mr. Benny, but I'm a member of the Elks Club."
Jack:  "Oh, oh, I know that."
Dennis:  "And every year we give an award to one whom we selected as the outstanding personality on radio and television."
Jack:  "Well!"
Dennis:  "And since I was the one who nominated you and campaigned for you, I felt I should be the one to come over here and tell you."
Jack:  "Well, certainly."
Dennis:  "You lost!"
Jack:  "I lost?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, but believe me, Mr. Benny, the way it turned out, you don't have to feel bad."
Jack:  "I don't?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, you didn't even come close."

JOKE:  [8:30] (Jack congratulates Dennis on his song)

Dennis:  "Don't call me kid."
Jack:  "What?"
Dennis:  "I've been with you 12 years and you keep calling me Kid."
Jack:  "What do you want me to call you?"
Dennis:  "Mr. Day."
Jack:  "You want me to call you Mr. Day?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, that's what my mother calls my father."
Jack:  "Well, that's ridiculous.  Why would your mother call your father Mister?"
Dennis:  "Since I was born, they haven't been such good friends."
Jack:  "Well, THAT I can understand."

NOTE:  "The Happy Time", starring Charles Boyer, was released in December 1952.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044687/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

JOKE:  [10:45] (Jack Explains "The Happy Time")

Jack:  "You see, the leading role in The Happy Time is played by Charles Boyer."
Mary:  "Oh, and he was just wonderful."
Jack:  "That's right.  You see, Don, in this picture, Charles Boyer is the father of a family.  He's in show business and plays the violin.  You know, come to think of it, I probably would have fit the part much better than he did.  I wonder why they didn't call me when they were casting the picture."
Bob:  "Well, maybe they didn't know you were available, Jack."
Mary:  "He's been available since "The Horn Blows at Midnight"."
Jack:  "I've had offers since then, sister!  As a matter of fact, I played a small but very important part in a picture called "Somebody Loves Me".  It's the life story of Blossom Sealy and Benny Field."
Dennis:  "Oh, I saw that picture, Mr. Benny.  You appeared as yourself, didn't you?"
Jack:  "Yes Dennis, I played the part of Jack Benny."
Dennis:  "I thought it was lousy casting."

JOKE:  [15:00]  (The French version of the Si/Cy sketch)

Jack:  "Good morning, papa. You were out late again last night, were you not?"
Mel:  "Oui, oui."
Jack:  "You were out with a girl?"
Mel:  "Oui, oui."
Jack:  "Was she pretty?"
Mel:  "Oui, oui."
Jack:  "What was her name?"
Mel:  "Fifi."
Jack:  "Fifi?"
Mel:  "Oui, oui."

The Sportsmen sing a Lucky themed version of an unidentified French song.

JACK'S VIOLIN:  Jack plays the violin at several points in this episode, including during the Sportsmen's number.


Jack:  "Louis, I am curious.  For years I have seen you carry that cooler around.  Tell me, what kind of wine do you keep in it?"
Bob:  "Manet."
Jack:  "Manet Bordeaux?"
Bob:  "Manet Chevevevitz."
Jack:  "Manet Chevevevitz??  Manet Chevevevitz??"
Bob:  "Oui, Oui!"

Starting now, Bob's inability to pronounce Manischevevevitz
Becomes a running joke.

BOTTOM LINE:  Another average episode.  Nothing great here, but it's a decent enough listen.  Memorable for the birth of the Manischevevevitz joke.


14.   12/14/52            JACK BUYS A GOPHER TRAP FOR DON             (28:13)

SITCOM:  Mel is having a session with his psychiatrist, telling him about the blue-eyed old gentleman who comes to his counter at the local department store every year, and repeatedly exchanges a gift for someone named Don.  Mel relates how it all began in 1946 when this man bought a pair of shoelaces as a gift and repeatedly kept exchanging the plastic tipped laces for metal tipped, and vice versa.  The doctor advises Mel to keep calm if he meets this unpleasant fellow again.  Mel says that he played it smart and asked to be transferred to the Gardening Department.  This man lives in the city, and so would be unlikely to go there.  Mel heads back to work.

In the Department Store, Jack and Mary are shopping.  They split up so Mary can go shop for her mother. Jack talks to the Floorwalker, who claims to be a horse, recovering from a Species Change Operation.  Mr. Ed, or Mr. Frank, or whatever we're to call him, directs Jack to the Jewelry Department. Elsewhere, Dennis is in Sporting Goods, shopping for his parents.  He picks out a punching bag, and decides to get something for his father later. Jack and Mary join up again.  Jack has shopped for everyone except Don.  Since Don's new ranch house is overrun by gophers, Jack decides to get him a gopher trap to deal with the problem.  Jack and Mary split up again. Jack calls the Floorwalker, who gallops over and directs him to the Gardening Tools department.

In Gardening Tools, Mel is singing to himself, when Jack comes up looking for a gopher trap.  He tries to play it calm, and wait on Jack.  When Jack expresses misgivings about the lethality of the trap, Mel makes mistake of mentioning that they also have a non-lethal model that just traps the gophers alive.  Jack orders the lethal trap, and has Mel wrap it up. Elsewhere, Bob and Mary meet.  Bob's oldest boy wants Marilyn Monroe for Christmas, but the store doesn't carry her.  Bob resolves to get Jack a desk lamp, for humorous reasons.

Despite the crowds and size of the store, Jack and Mary meet up again.  Don walks up carrying an armload of presents.  He shows off a tape recorder he's gotten for the sponsor, which carries Christmas greetings from most of the cast.  He plays a Christmas-themed version of "Be Happy Go Lucky", featuring the Sportsmen, with verses by Mary, Bob, Dennis, Don and Rochester.  Jack promises to add his own contribution tomorrow. Don has to get back home, as his wife fainted at the sight of a dead gopher in their garden.  Jack traipses back to Gardening Tools to exchange his trap for the non-lethal model.  Mel is unhappy about the exchange, as he's already spent 10 minutes wrapping the other trap, but tries to play it calm.  Jack decides to go to the Lingerie Department to buy something for his sister, Florence.  On the way, he meets the Tout, who tries to talk him out of nylons and into silk stockings (metaphorically speaking).  Jack asks the Tout to give him a tip on a horse for once, so The Tout tries to tout Jack into betting on the Floorwalker.

Jack overhears Rochester trying to buy a gift for him.  As often happens, Jack hears more than he wants to. Jack runs into Bob.  They discuss Gopher traps, and Bob warns Jack that the non-lethal traps aren't very reliable, as the gophers often escape them.  Jack heads back to Gardening Tools.

In the Gardening Tools Department, Mel's psychiatrist pays him a visit.  Mel informs him that Jack found him again, and has already bought and exchanged a present.  The psychiatrist gives him a tranquilizer, and Mel leaves the counter to find a glass of water to take it, leaving the psychiatrist to man the store. Jack returns, and lets the psychiatrist wait on him.  The psychiatrist agrees to exchange the trap, but Jack is so particular about how he wants the new one wrapped, that he pushes the psychiatrist over the edge.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Joe Kearns, Sheldon Leonard, Frank Nelson, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet


Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, it is now mid-December, and as is their customer every year at this time, Jack and Mary have gone to one of the local department stores to do their Christmas shopping.  But, before we take you there, let us look in at the office of a prominent psychiatrist."

JOKE:  [0:00]
Don:  "The Lucky Strike Program, starring Jack Benny.  With Mary Livingstone, Rochester, Dennis Day, Bob Crosby, and yours truly, Don Wilson!"
Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, it is now mid-December, and as is their customer every year at this time, Jack and Mary have gone to one of the local department stores to do their Christmas shopping.  But, before we take you there, let us look in at the office of a prominent psychiatrist."
German Accented Doctor (Hy Averback):  "Now, relax please, back on the couch, and tell me what is your hallucination.  Why are you afraid to go back to work?"
Mel:  "Doctor, it's no hallucination.  It happens every year at this time.  Just before Christmas.  Every year!  Just before Christmas!!"
Doctor:  "Ah. Calmly, calmly, Mr. Blanc.  Don't get excited.  Lay back on the couch.  Now.  Tell me, when did it first start?"
Mel:  "During the Christmas shopping rush in 1946.  as I told you, I'm a salesman at the department store.  And this kindly looking, blue-eyed old gentlemen, bought a gift.  Then, six times that day he came back, tested me and exchanged the gift for a different model.
Doctor:  "Well, what was the gift he kept exchanging."
Mel:  "Shoelaces."
Doctor:  "He bought someone shoelaces for a gift??"
Mel:  "Yeah, for someone named Don."
Doctor:  "Now, how could he possibly exchange shoelaces six times?"
Mel:  "Well, first he bought laces with metal tips.  Then he thought plastic tips looked more modern.  Soon, he was back again.  He was afraid the plastic tips might crack!  So he went back to metal tips!  Then he got to thinking the metal tips might rust!  So he came back to change them to plastic tips!  Six times he changed his mind!!  Plastic Tips, Metal Tips, Plastic Tips, Metal tips, Plastic Tips, Metal Tips!!  Bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha!!"
Doctor:  "Please!  Please come out, you're supposed to be on the couch, not under it!  Well, what did this man do the next year?"
Mel:  "Aw, the next year I was lucky.  I didn't see him."
Doctor:  "Oh, he didn't come into the store?"
Mel:  "I don't know, I was in the sanitarium."
[CONTINUITY ALERT:  Jack actually did meet Mel in 1947, but Mel wigged out before Jack could exchange anything.]
Doctor:  "Ah, definite traumatic psychosis.  When you got out, did you go back to your job at the department store?"
Mel:  "Yeah, but I was smart.  I had them transfer me to the jewelry department."
[Mel's story here skips over the Wallet Incident of 1948 and the Golf Tees Incident of 1950.  No installment in this story was featured in the 1949 Christmas Shopping Episode]
Doctor:  "What was smart about that?"
Mel:  "Well, this old gentleman didn't look like the jewelry buying type."
Doctor:  "Then you did not see him last year?"
Mel:  "He found me, he found me."
Doctor:  "You had more trouble?"
Mel:  "Yeah.  Once again, he came in to buy something for Don.  This time it was cuff links."
Doctor:  "Well, that is good.  Who could find anything wrong with cuff links?"
Mel:  "He found it, he found it!  It was the engraving.  First he had them engrave DW.  So I wrapped them, all pretty and Christmassy.  Then he goes off happy, and I am silently saying a prayer of thanks."
Doctor:  "Ah, ah, that is good."
Mel:  "Not good.  He discovered that DW has a middle initial.  So, first he buys the gift, and I engrave the gift, and I wrap the gift.  Then he changes his mind about the engraving.  So, I unwrap the gift, I change the engraving, rewrap the gift.  And then he changes his mind and wants cheaper cuff links!!  So I have to go through wrapping and engraving and rewrapping the gift again, and again and again!!!!"
Doctor:  "Please.  I'm trying to help you, stop choking me!"
Mel:  "I'm sorry, doctor."
Doctor:  "Mr. Blanc.  Avoiding your work will cause repression.  It will only magnify this in your subconscious."
Mel:  "So you think I should go back to my job?"
Doctor:  "Certainly, you will probably never run into this aggravating man again."
Mel:  "Mel:  "Well, I have taken precautions.  This year I asked to be put into the Gardening Tools Department."
Doctor:  "Gardening Tools?"
Mel:  "Yes, all these people live in the city.  They have no use for anything like that."
Doctor:  "Good.  You are facing your problems face to face with your face.  But remember, should you ever meet this man any place, use psychology.  Be nice, be calm, be pleasant to him, and you will have no problem."
Mel:  "Don't worry doctor, I won't see him.  But if I do, I'll be calm and I'll be nice to him.  Well, goodbye."
Doctor:  "Goodbye, and Merry Christmas, Mr. Blanc."
Mel:  "Merry Christmas, Doctor.  I gotta hurry back to the store."

[In the Department Store]
Jack:  "Gosh Mary, no matter how early you try to do your Christmas shopping, the store is always crowded."
Mary:  "Yeah."
Jack:  "Yet, I can't start doing my shopping any earlier.  I like to buy modern, up to the minute gifts, you know."
Mary:  "As far as I'm concerned, your gifts are ahead of their time."
Jack:  "What do you mean?"
Mary:  "You gave me jewelry that turned green years before they had chlorophyll."
Jack:  "Oh, stop.  Now, let me see.  I still have to buy lots of gifts.  I'm going to the Jewelry Department and see if I can find something for my sponsor."
Mary:  "Well, I've got to get something for my mother, I'll meet you out here later."
Jack:  "Okay, Mary.

Jack:  "Now, let's see. Where's the Jewelry Department?  I think it's on the next floor.  The top one.  I wonder where… oh, there's the floorwalker.  I'll ask him.  Oh, floorwalker.  Floorwalker?"
Frank Nelson:  "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees???"
Jack:  "Can you give me some information?"
Frank:  "Ask me anything, I'm a talking horse."
Jack:  "Oh, stop.  You don't even look like a horse."
Frank:  "Not now, there's a veterinarian in Denmark who does wonders!"
[A reference to the first sex-change operation, performed in Denmark in December 1952, on George Jorgensen (later Christine Jorgensen).  The subject was too taboo to mention directly, but comedians could still do jokes about it simply by mentioning the doctors.]
Jack:  "Now, stop with that silly talk or I'll go to the manager and report you.  Now, look, I'm looking for the Jewelry Department.  Will you tell me where to go?"
Frank:  "Ooooooooooooooooooh, will I???"
Jack:  "Never mind!"

Clerk:  "Yes sir, may I help you, young man?"
Dennis:  "Yes, I'm looking for Christmas gifts for my mother and father."
Clerk:  "Well, this is the Sporting Goods Department.  How about some golf balls?"
Dennis:  "Mmmm, no."
Clerk:  "Tennis rackets?"
Dennis:  "No."
Clerk:  "Say, I've got a great idea.  How about a punching bag?"
Dennis:  "Hey, that's great!  Now, what would you suggest for my father?"
Clerk:  "Uh, just a minute, young man.  You want to get this punching bag for your mother?"
Dennis:  "Uh huh."
Clerk:  "That's rather unusual.  Has she ever had one before?"
Dennis:  "No, she always used my father.  Well, I'll take the punching bag, and I'll enclose a card for both my parents."
Clerk:  "Yes sir, what's your address?"
Dennis:  "It's on Orange Avenue.  The address is 3247 1/2."
Clerk:  "A half?  Oh, oh, it's a duplex."
Dennis:  "No, it was hit by lightning.  Wrap it up, I'll take it with me."

Jack:  "Mary?  Mary?"
Mary:  "Oh, here I am, Jack.  Did you get a present for your sponsor?"
Jack:  "Yes.  I sent him a nail file."
Mary:  "A nail file?  You think that's a suitable Christmas gift for a sponsor?"
Jack:  "Well, for just any sponsor, no.  but mine needs sharp fingernails.  You know, so he can Tear and Compare.  I'm sure he'll like it.  Now, let's see.  I've already given you a Bonus.  And I bought Dennis his gift.  Gee, I wish I knew what to get for Don Wilson."
Mary:  "Well, it ought to be easy to get something for Don.  He just moved into a new home.  Get something for his house."
Jack:  "No, I heard him mention that his entire home was furnished by an interior decorator."
Mary:  "Oh, yes.  Oh, wait a minute, Jack.  Isn't Don's new home sort of a little ranch in the San Fernando Valley?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Mary:  "Well, why don't you get him some Gardening Tools?"
Jack:  "Yeah.  Gardening tools.  Why didn't I think of that?  Say Mary, I know what to get Don for a present.  And he'll really appreciate it."
Mary:  "What?"
Jack:  "A Gopher Trap."
Mary:  "A Gopher Trap?"
Jack:  "Yeah, I heard him mention that his place is overrun with gophers.  Come on, Mary, let's go."
Mary:  "You go yourself.  I'm going to buy a gift for Barbara Stanwyck.  I'll meet you at the perfume counter."
[This Barbara Stanwyck line is an odd one.  No joke, just a totally free plug.]
Jack:  "Okay, Mary.  I'll see you later."

Jack:  "Let's see, where would I get a Gopher Trap?  I wonder if that comes under hunting equipment?  Now, where's that floorwalker?  Oh yes, way over there.  Oh, Floorwalker!  Floorwalker!"
[galloping sound]
Jack:  "Hmm."
Frank:  "Did you call me?"
Jack:  "Yes, where can I buy a gopher trap?"
Frank:  "In the Garden Tools department down in the basement."
Jack:  "Thanks.  Imagine that crazy floorwalker saying he's a horse.  Well, I'd better get over to the gardening tools department."

[in the basement]
Mel:  "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingle all the way.  Oh, what fun it is…"
Jack:  "Oh, excuse me, clerk."
Mel:  "Yes sir, what can I… Oooooh, it's you again!"
[THE LONGEST LAUGHS:  This line gets a very long laugh, between 20 and 30 seconds, depending how you time it]
Jack:  "What?"
Mel:  "I'm sorry, sir.  (I must be calm).  I'll be happy to wait on you."
Jack:  "Thank you.  I'd like to buy a gopher trap."
Mel:  "Yes sir.  Excuse me, I'll go get one for you. (Hmm.  He wants a gopher trap.  A gopher trap.  What trouble can I get into with that?)  Here you are.  Here you are, this is the most popular type of gopher trap."
Jack:  "It looks so complicated.  How does it work?"
Mel:  "You open this little door, and you set it with this wire, then you put a piece of tomato in this wire cage for bait."
Jack:  "Well, that's fine.  What do you do with the gopher after you have him trapped?"
Mel:  "Well, you have to take him out and kill him."
Jack:  "Hmm.  That seems so cruel."
Mel:  "Well, we have another type trap that catches them and kills them at the same time."
Jack:  "Oh, you have another type trap?"
Mel:  " (I had to tell him, yet).  Uh, yes sir.  Here it is, sir."
Jack:  "How does this one work?"
Mel:  "Well, you spread these two sharp tongs apart.  And pretty soon the little gopher comes sniffing around, walks in, Boingg!!!!  That's the end of him."
Jack:  "Good.  I'll take this one here that kills them, see?  Wrap it up as a Christmas gift."
Mel:  "Yes sir, I… I… I… A Christmas gift!?"
Jack:  "Yes.  I'm… I'm giving it to someone for Christmas.  Now, I want red and green ribbon, and tinsel and everything."
Mel:  "Okay.  Okay."
Jack:  "And clerk?"
Mel:  "Yeah."
Jack:  "Enclose a card saying…"
Mel:  "'To Don', I know!"
Jack:  "That's right.  I'll be back and pick it up later."

Bob:  "Hey, Mary!"
Mary:  "Oh, hello, Bob.  Doing your Christmas shopping?"
Bob:  "Uh huh.  And Mary, when you've got a wife and five kids, that's really a chore."
Mary:  "I imagine it is.  What are you getting the kids?"
Bob:  "Well, I'm getting both the girls dresses.  And the two younger boys electric trains.  And my oldest boy I'm getting a bicycle."
Mary:  "Ooh, that's nice."
Bob:  "Well, I thought so too, but he keeps claiming he thinks he's too old for a bicycle."
Mary:  "Well, what does he want?"
Bob:  "Marilyn Monroe."
Mary:  "No!"
Bob:  "Yeah!  Well, I got some more shopping to do.  You want to join me, Mary?"
Mary:  "No, I've got to wait here for Jack."
Bob:  "Hey, that reminds me.  I've got to buy Jack's present right now.  But it's kind of hard to figure out a gift for him.  Have you got any suggestions?"
Mary:  "Well, how about something for his den?  A picture, a book…"
Bob:  "Hey, I know what.  I think I could get him a lamp to put on the table near his telephone."
Mary:  "Well, he needs a lamp near that phone."
Bob:  "You're not kidding.  It's so dark in that corner that twice I put a dime in the quarter slot."
Mary:  "Yeah, that's a nice gift.  It will save us all money."
Bob:  "See you later, Mary."

Jack:  "Oh, Mary!  Mary?"
Mary:  "Over here, Jack.  What took you so long?"
Jack:  "I'm sorry, but the store is so busy."
Mary:  "Well Jack, who else do you have to get gifts for?"
Jack:  "Well, I'll have to look at the list."
Clerk (Joseph Kearns):  "Thank you, ma'am.  That's six dollars and seventy cents."
Clerk:  "Yes sir, that's four dollars even."
Clerk:  "Yes, ma'am.  Three dollars out of cash."
Jack:  "Listen, Mary.  They're playing our song.  Oh, here's my list.  Now, Let's see…"
Don:  "Oh, hello Jack.  Hello, Mary!"
Mary:  "Hi, Don.  Gosh, you're carrying a lot of packages."
Don:  "I sure am."
Jack:  "Hey, what's that big bundle there on the bottom?"
Don:  "Oh, I just got that in the sports department.  You know, I like to go hunting occasionally, and I bought myself a tent."
Jack:  "Oh, really?  Single breasted or double?"
Mary:  "Uh, what's that square box, Don?"
Don:  "Oh, I'm glad you mentioned that, Mary.  That's a tape recorder the Sportsman Quartet and I bought for the sponsor."
Jack:  "Oh Don, a recorder is a wonderful gift for the sponsor."
Don:  "And I've had the entire cast record a greeting to him.  That is, everybody except you.  Now, will you do it?"
Jack:  "Well… Don, let me hear what you've got first."
Don:  "Okay.  I'll play it for you."

[Be Happy Go Lucky music]

Sportsmen:  We're sending you a Christmas greeting, just so you will know,
What fun it is to sing for you, here on the ra-di-o.
Be Happy, Go Lucky,
Be Happy, get better taste,
Be Happy, Go Lucky,
Get better taste today.
Mary:  This is Mary wishing you a Merry Christmas too,
And what a lucky day for us, the day that we met you.
Bob:  There is nothing, no there's nothing, nothing that I like,
As well as Manischevevevitz, and good old Lucky Strike.
Be Happy, Go Lucky,
Be Happy, get better taste,
Be Happy, Go Lucky,
Get better taste today.
LSMFT are letters quite well known to you,
So at this special time of year, they'll spell our greeting, too.
Sportsman:  L is for those little lights on every Christmas tree.
Bob:  S, of course, could only stand for Santa, you'll agree.
Another Sportsman:  M is for the Mistletoe and Merry Christmas too.
Another Sportsman:  F is for your friends and T for ties they give to you.
Dennis:  Dublin and Killarney and the shoals of Galway Bay,
They are the green in Christmas trees and holly come your way.
And may your sacks of jelly green be filled with all you like.
With Shamrocks and shillelaghs and good old Lucky Strike.
Be Happy, Go Lucky,
Be Happy, get better taste,
Be Happy, Go Lucky,
Get better taste today.
Don:  Greetings to our sponsor and a happy '53,
With all the joys that come from smoking LSMFT.
Rochester:  I have to dress like Santa Claus at home on Christmas Day,
The beard I wear is not my own, it's just an old toupee.
Sportsmen:  Lucky Strike, Lucky Strike, Luckies all the way!
A cleaner, fresher, smoother smoke, we smoke 'em night and day!
Lucky Strike, Lucky Strike, we join in wishing you,
A very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year too!

Jack:  "Well.  Well, that was… that was very clever, Don.  I'll put something in there too in the morning."
Don:  "Oh, that's swell, that's swell, Jack.  Well, I've got to go."
Jack:  "For more shopping, Don?"
Don:  "No, I've got to get hold of my wife, she's not feeling well."
Mary:  "Oh, that's a shame, Don.  What's wrong with Lois?"
Don:  "oh, nothing serious.  But this morning she went out in the garden and saw a dead gopher.  The mere sight of it made her faint, but she'll be all right.  So long."
Mary:  "So long, Don.  Well, come on, Jack, we'd better go out.. Jack?  Jack, what are you thinking about?"
Jack:  "What Don said.  He said his wife faints at the sight of dead gophers."
Mary:  "So what?"
Jack:  "So what?  Mary, I bought Don the type of trap that kills the gophers."
Mary:  "Well, what do you want to get?  The kind that lifts their feet up and pats them on the Po-Po?"
Jack:  "I want to get the kind of a trap, you know, the kind that traps them alive.  Wait here, I'll be right back."
Mary:  "Okay."
Jack:  "Oh, Clerk.  Clerk?"
Mel:  "Yes sir, I got your package right here.  It's gift-wrapped and tied with tinsel ribbon.  Just a second, I'll get it for you."
Jack:  "Oh, don't get it.  I've changed my mind."
Mel:  "What!?"
Jack:  "I want to exchange it for the kind that captures the gophers alive."
Mel:  "Look Mister, there's really no difference."
Jack:  "I'm sorry, I don't want the trap that kills the gophers."
Mel:  "What do you care??  You don't know 'em personally!"
Jack:  "It's not that."
Mel:  "But Mister, it took me 10 minutes to wrap that gopher trap as a gift, with all that tinsel and ribbon!  Just look!  Look at all the trouble you put me to!"
Jack:  "I'm sorry, I don't want the trap that kills them.  Now, I like to be kind to animals."
Mel:  "Why don't you try it with people??"
Jack:  "What?"
Mel:  "Nothing, nothing.  (I must be polite).  I'm sorry, sir."
Jack:  "Good.  Now, gift wrap the kind that catches the gophers alive, and I'll be back."
Mel:  "I know, I know!"
Jack:  "Mary said she'd wait here.  But since she's not here, I'll go over to the lingerie counter and buy some stockings for my sister, Florence.  Gee, I think Florence wears size…"
Tout:  "Hey, Bud.  Bud."
Jack:  "Huh?"
Tout:  "C'mere a minute."
Jack:  "Who, me?"
Tout:  "Yeah.  Where ya going?"
Jack:  "To the lingerie counter.  I'm going to buy some stockings for my sister."
Tout:  "What kind?"
Jack:  "Nylons."
Tout:  "Uh uh."
Jack:  "Huh?"
Tout:  "Get silk stockings."
Jack:  "Why?"
Tout:  "Silk will give you a run for the money."
Jack:  "Well… I don't know.  I don't think I'll get her stockings.  Maybe I'll get her something else, something real nice.  What do you think of a sheer negligee?"
Tout:  "A great Show Bet."
Jack:  "Hmm.  Say, look fella, every time I run into you, you tout me on trains, apples, candy.  Everything but horses."
Tout:  "So what?"
Jack:  "Look, Santa Anita is going to open in a couple of weeks, so for once, why don't you give me a tip on a race?"
Tout:  "Okay.  I've got a great horse for you on Opening Day."
Jack:  "You have?  What is it?"
Tout:  "Floorwalker in the Second."
Jack:  "No, I saw him and he's carrying too much weight.  See you later."
Tout:  "Yeah, so long, Bud."
Jack:  "So long."

Jack:  "I always run into that guy.  I wonder where Mary is.  Hey, there's Rochester doing some shopping.  I bet he's buying something for me.  I'm going to eavesdrop and see what he gets."
Clerk:  "May I help you?"
Rochester:  "Yeah, I'm looking for a Christmas gift for my boss."
Clerk:  "For your boss, eh?  How about a tie?"
Rochester:  "No, he has lots of those."
Clerk:  "Well, how about a wallet?  Or a money clip?"
Rochester:  "Money clip?  What's a money clip?"
Clerk:  "You know, it's a thing to hold your folding money."
Rochester:  "I never had any that folds.  How does it work?"
Clerk:  "Well, it's a spring-like metal clip that holds your money tight."
Rochester:  "He's got a fist that does that."
Jack:  "Hmm.  Wait'll I get Rochester home."

Bob:  "Hi, Jack."
Jack:  "Oh, hello Bob.  Doing your shopping too, I see."
Bob:  "Yes Jack, and, as a matter of fact, I've got all the gifts for everybody except Don Wilson.  Do you have any suggestions?"
Jack:  "No, I had a tough time deciding on a gift for Donsie.  Myself, I finally got him something for his ranch.  A gopher trap."
Bob:  "Well, that's different, anyway.  And it makes a sensible gift.  Everybody wants to kill those little pests."
Jack:  "Oh, this isn't the kind that kills them.  It catches them alive."
Bob:  "Jack, those kind aren't any good.  Why, if the gopher is in there a long time, he bites his way out and gets away."
Jack:  "Oh, you mean that traps that kill them are better?"
Bob:  "Well, certainly."
Jack:  "Excuse me, Bob.  I've got to take care of something."
Mel:  "I'm dreamin' of a white Christmas.  Just like the ones I used to know…"
Shrink:  "Hello, Mr. Blanc.  How is it going?"
Mel:  "Huh?  Oh, hello, Doctor."
Shrink:  "Did that blue-eyed gentleman find you?"
Mel:  "Like he had radar.  He comes over here to buy a gopher trap, a simple little thing like a gopher trap.  First he decides on one that catches them alive.  But I made a mistake.  Before I wrapped it, I let him know we also had the kind that kills 'em.  So I sold him one of those.  Then I wrap it and put tinsel and ribbon on it and he goes away.  Then he comes back and makes me unwrap it because he wants the kind that catches them alive!  Bwa, ha, ha, ha!"
Shrink:  "Now, control yourself, control yourself.  Here.  Take this little pill, it will calm your nerves."
Mel:  "I can't take a pill, Doctor, there's no water here.  I can't leave my counter during this rush."
Shrink:  "Please, I am the doctor.  You go take the pill, I'll wait on any customers that come along."
Mel:  "Okay."
Shrink:  "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way.  Oh, vhat fun… Oh, yes sir, may I help you?"
Jack:  "Yes, I… where's the other clerk?"
Shrink:  "He is gone for a little while.  Perhaps I can take care of you."
Jack:  "Well, yes. I have a gopher trap here, wrapped as a gift."
Jack:  "Uh huh.  Oh, here it is. It says Merry Christmas."
Jack:  "Just a minute.  I don't want this one, I want the other kind."
Shrink:  "But Mister, this is all wrapped up, with tinsel and ribbons.  I'm sure the gopher will like it just as well."
Jack:  "But lookit, I don't want this kind, it traps them alive.  I want the kind that kills them instantly."
Shrink:  "Yes, very well.  I guess that's the kind.  Yes, here you are."
Jack:  "Wait a minute, I don't want it like that, I want it gift-wrapped."
Shrink:  "Isn't that kind of silly?"
Jack:  "No, never mind that, just wrap it up."
Shrink:  "All right."
Jack:  "Look, not so much red ribbon, get some more green."
Shrink:  "Look Mister, it's Christmas, not St. Patrick's Day!  Yes, here you are."
Jack:  "Thank you.  Wait a minute.  You forgot to take the card out of the other one and close it in this one."
Jack:  "Can't you put another card on the outside?"
Jack:  "No, no, no, I want the original card, you see, the one that I had something written on there.  So, unwrap the first trap, take the card out, and unwrap the second trap, put the card in, then re-wrap the second trap."
Shrink:  "What is this?  First you make me wrap the second package, then you want me to unwrap the first one…"
Jack:  "That's right."
Shrink:  "Take the card out, unwrap the second one, put the card in, more tinsel, more ribbons, not so much red, more green, unwrap it and rewrap it!  Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo!!!!!
Jack:  "Mister.  Mister, calm down.  You get upset too easily.  You ought to see a psychiatrist."
Shrink:  "I am a psychiatrist!!"
Jack:  "Control yourself!"
Shrink:  "I know all about you, Blue Eyes!  I know all about you and your shoelaces with the plastic tips and metal tips!!  And the initials on the cuff links!  Oh, I know you!  I know you, Blue Eyes!!  But you're not going to make me crazy!!  You're not going to drive me crazy!!  Bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha!!

BOTTOM LINE:  Best episode of the season so far, and a worthy successor in the long-running "Driving Mel Crazy" Christmas story.  Rather than just repeat the formula verbatim as they have in some years, they came up with the new angle of tying the earlier stories into this one, and bringing the shrink into the picture.

15.   12/21/52            SETTING UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE           (29:30)

THE SHOW:  Don can't stop laughing at his introduction of Jack.  Jack dampens Don's spirits by threatening to cut his salary.  Jack tells a few fat jokes, but Don sees no humor in those. Mary arrives.  She overslept, as she's tired from moonlighting at the May Company during their Christmas Rush.  Mary passes on regards from the two doctors who did a funny abdominal operation on Don.

Rochester arrives with the Christmas tree, and asks for time off to go play Santa… Anita, that is. Bob arrives, and discusses the great chow to be found at Veteran's Hospitals (which is coincidentally where they're broadcasting from).  Bob considers changing his name, in order to set himself apart from brother Bing, who looks and sounds too much like him.  To set himself apart, Bob decides to change his name to Sam Crosby. A representative from the Veteran's hospital (Mel) arrives, to present Jack with a present.  Since Jack has an autographed propeller and life preserver from his visits to an Air Force and Navy base, Mel gives him an autographed bed sheet. Rochester can't reach the top of the tree to put the star on.  Jack tries to do it himself, and falls off the ladder, losing his toupee in the process.

Don answers the phone.  A radio survey asks Don what he's listening to.  Don says he's listening to Jack's show, and turns it into a way to plug the Home Insurance Company, which seems to be their sponsor this week.  Don and the caller get into an argument over whether Don Wilson is any good as an announcer.  The caller turns out to be Don's wife Lois, who's taken the pollster job to supplement the piddling income Don gets from Jack. Dennis arrives.  He was actually here all along, but was hiding, to annoy Jack.  Dennis laughs at Don's introduction again. Rochester turns on the tree, but it shorts out, frying the tomatoes being used for ornaments.  Rochester finds a bare wire by the socket, and tries to figure out how electricity works, in order to fix the short.  While Jack and Rochester argue, Don fixes the wire.

Dennis closes out the show with Christmas Carols.  Dennis sings "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful", and "Silent Night."



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, since our program today comes to you from a hospital, I take great pleasure in bringing you a man who talks like a doctor, and walks like a nurse..."
Jack:  "What!?"
Don:  "Jack Benny!"

SPONSOR CHANGE ? :  Lucky Strike is conspicuously absent from this episode.  Instead, the sponsor is The Home Insurance Company of New York.  Don does their non-integrated commercial, along with a really flat chorus of unknown singers singing a bouncy little song that rivals "Be Happy Go Lucky" for the insipidness of its lyrics:

Friendly, neighborly, that's the policy,
At the Home Insurance Company.
Friendly, neighborly, that's the policy,
At the Home Insurance Company.

Protect your business, home and property,
Just make sure you have a policy,
At the Home Insurance Company.
It's friendly, neighborly, that's the policy,
You... should... own!

They even act as though the sponsor change is going to be permanent.  Don says that the show is brought to you "this week and every week" by your Home Insurance Agent.  But next week, Lucky Strike is back. Absolutely no explanation is offered for this change.  I like to think that Mr. Paley got drunk at a Christmas Party and gambled Jack's services for one week on an Inside Straight.  But the real story is probably more boring than that.

(The real story is that the Home Insurance Company bought up the rights to rerun a block of Benny episodes some years later, and so Don and his wife recorded new commercials to replace the deleted Lucky Strike material.  I like my story better.  When people say that truth is stranger than fiction, what they don't tell you is that that's a best case scenario.)

NOTE:  The episode is broadcast from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach, California. 

JOKE:  [5:15] (Don's Operation)
Mary:  "Oh, Don?"
Don:  "Yes, Mary?"
Mary:  "I've got a big surprise for you.  Just as I entered the building, I ran into Dr. Kollmar and Dr. Boar."
Don:  "No kidding, Mary.  Dr. Kollmar and Dr. Boar, huh?
Jack:  "Who's Dr. Kollmar, and who's Dr. Boar?"
Mary:  "Don, they said that since the operation they have received honorary mentions from the Medical Society."
Don:  "Ah gee, that's quite an honor for Dr. Kollmar and Dr. Boar."
Jack:  "Who's Dr. Kollmar, and who's Dr. Boar?"
Mary:  "And you know, Don…"
Jack:  "Wait a minute!  Who's Dr. Kollmar and Dr. Boar??"
Mary: "Well Jack, if you must know, they're the doctors that performed a major abdominal operation on Don."
Jack:  "On Don?"
Mary:  "Yes."
Jack:  "Gee, I didn't know that Don had a stomach operation, Mary.  What did they take out?"
Mary:  "They didn't take anything out, they put in a deep freeze."
[abnormally loud laughter and applause]
Jack:  "Now, Mary.  Mary, before you came in, Don told me that he doesn't like any platitudes concerning his obesity."
Mary:  "Uh, what does that mean?"
Jack:  "I don't know, Mary, I'm quoting."
Mary:  "Oh, Longfellow the poet?"
Jack:  "No, Fatfellow the announcer."

NICKNAMES FOR DON:  [6:12] Fatfellow the Announcer.  This one has been used more than once.

JOKE:  [6:45]
Jack:  "Bring it right in, Rochester, and we'll set it up in the corner."
Mary:  "Jack, a Christmas tree!"
Jack:  "That's right, Mary, I bought it for the boys here.
Mary:  "Well Jack, with trees selling for $1.50 a foot, you certainly picked out a nice big one."
Rochester:  "Oh, I picked this one out, Miss Livingstone.  I returned the one Mr. Benny bought."
Mary:  "Why, couldn't you get it through the door?"
Rochester:  "Through the door?  You could have gotten that one through the keyhole!"

JOKE:  [7:15]
Rochester:  "Boss, if I do a good job, would you give me the rest of the week off?  I sort of made arrangements to play Santa this year."
Jack:  "Rochester, you're going to play Santa Claus?"
Jack:  "No, Santa Anita."

Rochester:  "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingle all the way.
If my voice was higher, you would fire Dennis Day!"

JOKE:  [9:30] (The great chow at the Veteran's Hospital.)
Bob:  "You know, Jack, I ran into a friend of mine who's a patient here, and you should have heard him rave about the service."
Jack:  "No kidding!"
Bob:  "Why, he said all you have to do is yell, and four beautiful nurses rush right in and wait on you."
Jack:  "No!"
Bob:  "Yes.  And he said it doesn't matter when you feel like eating. All you’ve got to do is press a little buzzer, and the chef comes out, sits on the edge of your bed, and says 'Which would you prefer, boys?  Filet mignon or crepes suzette?'"
Jack:  "That is service.  I don't blame your friend for raving."
Bob:  "That isn't all.  If you feel like a little liqueur or champagne after dinner, my friend says all you have to do is just call the wine steward and uh…"
Jack:  "Bob?  Bob, why did you stop talking?"
Bob:  "Well, that's where my friend stopped.  He came out of the ether."

Bob:  "What would you do if you found out that someone was stealing your jokes and trying to imitate you?"
Jack:  "Well, I'd be awfully upset about it.  Why do you ask?"
Bob:  "Well, I'm in the same predicament.  There's this other singer around, he makes records and everything.  Goes out of his way to sound an awful lot like me."
Jack:  "I THINK I know who you mean.  Bob Hope introduced me to him while they were making that picture, "The Road to Redondo'.  But lookit, if you're so concerned about this fellow stealing your star, why don't you go talk to him?"
Bob:  "Well, I did, and he hit me over the head with Gary."
Jack:  "Well, good, good!"
Mary:  "Well, wait a minute, Bob.  If you feel your brother Bing's reputation is hurting you professionally, why don't you change your name?"
Bob:  "Say, that's a good idea.  Why didn't I think of that before?  That's what I'll do, I'll change my name."
Jack:  "What are you going to change it to?"
Bob:  "Sam Crosby."

JOKE:  [11:30] (The tomatoes Jack got to trim the Christmas tree went bad in the car)
Jack:  "Hmm, I can't understand how those tomatoes could ripen so fast.  From Beverly Hills to Long Beach is only 40 miles as the crow flies."
Rochester:  "That's a crow.  You got a Maxwell."
Jack:  "Oh, stop."
Mary:  "Rochester's right, Jack.  Why don't you get rid of that old car and buy a new one?"
Jack:  "I'll tell you why, Mary.  That car has been like an old friend to me.  It's been with me through rain and shine.  Through thick and thin.  Through good times and bad."
Mary:  "Through McKinley and…"
Jack:  "…Coolidge, I know!"

FLUB:  [12:15]
Jack:  "She must be trying to impress the girls at the May Company."
Bob:  "What does he mean, Mary?"
Mary:  "Well Bob, I can't live on what Jack is paying me, so I'm working nights wrapping Christmas gifts."
Bob:  "Oh no, now wait a minute.  I can't believe that Jack could be that cheap."
Mary:  "Well brother, you're in for a shock."
Bob:  "A shock?"
Mary:  "Yes, last night I wrapped the Christmas gift he's sending you."
Bob:  "No kidding, Mary.  What did he get me?"
Mary:  "Well, I'm not allowed to tell, Bob.  When… but you… but when you unwrap the Christmas package, save the paper, it's the most expensive part.
Jack:  You nearly loused that joke up good!  I thought she'd never get to the end of that one!  I don't mind being stingy, but get to it!"

JOKE:  [12:30]
Mel:  "Mr. Benny, I represent the patients here at the Long Beach Veteran's Hospital."
Jack:  "I see."
Mel:  "We understand that when you did a show at an airbase, the boys gave you a propeller with their names on it."
Jack:  "Yes, yes they did."
Mel:  "And when you did a program at a Naval Base, they gave you a life preserver bearing the signatures of the entire personnel."
Jack:  "That's right."
Mel:  "So, we too would like to present you with a token of our appreciation."
Jack:  "You would?"
Mel:  "Yes.  On behalf of the patients at the Veteran's Hospital here in Long Beach, I'd like to present you with this autographed bed sheet."
Jack:  "Well, isn't that wonderful?  Gee, look at all the names of the boys here.  Wait a minute, what's this name here?  It looks like Robert Smith.  But the Robert is scratched out, and it says Louise."
Mel:  "Yes, the doctors here are as good as the ones in Denmark."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  From the page "Cultural References of the 1940s and 1950s" at http://www.day3media.com/culture.html:
Doctors in Denmark: Euphemism for a sex change (trans gender) operation. Christine Jorgensen was literally front-page news after having received a sex change operation in Denmark in December of 1952.  This was a highly taboo subject in this era, yet comedians and writers were still able to reference the event by mentioning only the doctors.

JOKE/FLUB:  [18:20] (Dennis arrives)
Jack:  "Dennis, what made you so late?"
Dennis:  "Oh, I wasn't late.  I was here all the time, but my mother told me to hide."
Jack:  "Why would your mother tell you to do a thing like that?"
Dennis:  "She said I like to see the old man worry."
Jack:  "Dennis, what has your mother got against me, anyway?  Look what I did for you.  I made it possible for you to be on radio.  Got you jobs in pictures, television.  I don't know why your mother is so mad.  Why, last summer when I took you to London, I even bought you first class package… uh, passage.  I'm worse than Mary here!  Why, last summer… I'm going to take that line over again.  Last summer when I took you to London, I even got you first class passage."
Dennis:  "That's why she's mad at ya."
Jack:  "Why, because your ticket was first class?"
Dennis:  "No, because it was round trip."

JOKE:  [19:15]
Mary:  Now, look Dennis.  This is the first time you've been here at the Veteran's Hospital.  So, why don't you…"
Dennis:  "Oh, I was here before."
Mary:  "You were?"
Dennis:  "Uh huh.  During the war, when I was entering the service, I had to fill out a questionnaire, and after I got through answering all the questions, they sent me down here for an examination, and three doctors examined me to see if I was fit to go in the service.
Jack:  "Three doctors?  Gee, that must have been quite an examination.  Did you have to remove all your clothes?"
Dennis:  "No, they just told me to take off my hat."
Jack:  "Well, THAT I can believe."

JOKE:  [20:20]
Dennis:  "Oh, you know, Mr. Benny, I rode down here with Don Wilson, and he told me a very funny joke.  Would you like to hear it?"
Jack:  "Yes, Dennis, go ahead."
Dennis:  "Well, Don said…"
Jack:  "Just a minute, Dennis.  Are you sure you can tell this joke before this mixed audience? You know, Louise is here.  Is the joke all right?"
Dennis:  "Oh sure, it's a wonderful joke."
Jack:  "Well, what is it?"
Dennis:  "Well, Don told me that you ought to be a big success at this hospital, because you talk like a doctor and walk like a nurse!  Ha, ha!  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!"
Jack:  "Dennis, I'm glad you repeated that joke, because if I'm a doctor, that makes me an MD. MD stands for Morton Downey, who may be singing on the program next week."
Dennis:  "Oh vey!"
Jack:  "So, watch it!"

JOKE:  [21:30] (Jack asks Rochester to fix the Christmas tree lights)
Rochester:  "Boss, I ain't fooling around with electricity."
Jack:  "Oh Rochester, imagine being afraid of electricity.  Supposing Robert Fulton was afraid?  He never would have invented the electric light, would he?"
Mary:  "Jack, you're thinking of Thomas Edison."
Jack:  "Edison?  Well then, what did Robert Fulton do?"
Mary:  "He wrote 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus'."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  The previous joke is a combination of two stock routines.  The first one (usually involving Don Wilson rather than Rochester) involves Jack
Misquoting an historical fact and arguing when correct.  The second is a running bit where Jack asks what some famous person did, and Mary credits him with writing a current popular song.  The same joke was Done in 1950 with "Mule Train" as the song.

BOTTOM LINE:  Above average episode.  These live shows tend to work out better when they don't do a play.

16.   12/28/52            MY FANTASY




RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


17.   01/04/53            THE DISHWASHER IS BROKEN 




RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Artie Auerbach, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Iris Adrian, Jeanette Eymann, Dick Ryan

NOTE:   Program was transcribed on January 2, 1953  {BC}

18.   01/11/53            THE ROAD TO BALI               (28:47)

THE SHOW:  Jack pillories Don's introduction, for accuracy.  Imagine claiming that Jack owns the White House.  Don insists that as a taxpayer, Jack does own the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and other public buildings.  Jack isn't too interested in Don's list until he mentions the Mint. Mary enters, complaining that she can't store her things in Jack's freezer with all the space his Christmas tree is taking up.

Sammy the Drummer falls off the bandstand, after the other boys wired his chair. Bob makes a crack about the steak dinner Jack provided the cast having been reindeer.  Everyone makes jokes about it except Dennis.  When Jack points this out, Dennis joins in too.

Dennis sings "Heart and Soul".

Rochester calls, saying that a fan magazine wants to print the story of Jack's life.  Rochester loaned them photos of Jack at various stages of life.  He couldn't find a picture of Jack as a baby, so gave them one of himself.  Rochester joins in on the reindeer jokes.  Don asks about the important sketch Jack had mentioned earlier.  Jack announces that they're doing their version of "The Road to Bali", starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.  Jack casts himself as Bob and Bob as Bing.  Dennis is a headhunter, Mary is Dorothy Lamour, and Don is the Road.

The play begins at 13:00.  Jack and Bob are two vaudeville partners who have become stranded in Australia and become pickpockets.  Both are destitute after coming up empty picking kangaroo pouches.  Bob tries his best to sing Bing's signature piece, "When the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day", when Bob Hope himself makes a surprise (?) visit.  Jack finds himself required to say the words "The Road to Bali" every 60 seconds, as a substitute for paying Bob for his appearance.  Bob Hope meets Bob Crosby, and much hilarity ensues from the fact that they're both named Bob.  Bob (Hope) has written special Lucky-Strike-themed lyrics to his own signature piece, "Thanks For the Memory", which he sings with the Sportsmen.

Bob meets Dennis, who manages to insult him.  Bob offers to take his own role from the movie.  Jack tries to take Bing's part, but Bob (Hope) insists that Bob Crosby play the Bing Crosby role.  They cast Jack as the octopus, which he accepts only because the octopus guards the treasure.  Jack introduces the new version of the play:  "The Road to Bali", starring The Octopus.

THE PLAY:  "The Road to Bali", a parody of "The Road to Bali" (1952), starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour.  Hope and Crosby have been captured by cannibals.  Mary, their leader, insists that they don't intend to eat the Bobs, but since they are cannibals, they have their doubts.  Hope asks Crosby's advice, but all Bob C. can do is sing "The Blue of the Night".  Finally they come to the coast and find the sunken treasure in the lagoon.  Hope sends Crosby overboard to recover it, but he's eaten by the octopus, who begins singing "The Blue of the Night" too.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


DON'S INTRO:  "Ladies and gentlemen, in just nine more days, a new tenant will move into the White House.  And tonight, since we can't bring you the distinguished and lovable tenant, we bring you the mean old landlord, Jack Benny!"

TOBACCO NEWS:  Dorothy Collins begins doing Lucky Strike songs during the non-integrated commercials.

NOTE:  Although a big part of the show is devoted to discussing the U.S.'s new President, Eisenhower is never mentioned by name in the program.

JOKE:  [2:00] (The opening)
Jack:  "Hello again, this is Jack Benny talking, and Don, that's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.  Saying that I own the White House."
Don:  "But Jack, what I said isn't so ridiculous.  Technically, as a citizen and taxpayer, you do own the White House."
Jack:  "But Don…"
Don:  "You own all the buildings in Washington.  The Capital, the Library of Congress…"
Jack:  "Don…"
Don:  "The United States Post Office…"
Jack:  "Don…"
Don:  "The United States Supreme Court…"
Jack:  "Don…"
Don:  "The United States Mint…"
Jack:  "Don… stop being… What did you say??  What did you say?  The Mint?  What did you say, Don?"
Don:  "I thought that would get you.  But Jack, it's true.  You own it, I own it, all the taxpayers own it.  It's like being a stockholder in a corporation, like uh… oh, The American Tobacco Company."
Jack:  "Well Don, that's a very good comparison, because everybody knows the United States Mint is round and firm and fully packed.  And if it isn't, it will be on March 15th.  That I know."
Don:  "March 15th?  What happens on that day?"
Jack:  "Well Don, you wouldn't know about this, but people who earn over $500 a year have to pay taxes."

JOKE:  [3:00]
Jack:  "What's eating you?"
Mary:  "Plenty.  All I asked you is to let me keep a couple of packages of meat in your deep freeze, and this morning Rochester sent them back to me.  He said there was no room."
Jack:  "Well Mary, if there's no room, there's no room."
Don:  "Well now, wait a minute, Jack, I happen to know that your freezer is unusually large.  And just a week ago, I looked in and it was empty."
Mary:  "Well, it's full now."
Don:  "No kidding?  What's he got in it?"
Mary:  "His Christmas tree."
Jack: "All right, what's wrong with preserving a Christmas tree?"
Don:  "Jack's right, Mary.  It isn't any of our business what he keeps in his deep freeze, as long as he has plenty of meat.  Like those steaks he served us last night."
Mary:  "Some steak.
Jack:  "What do you mean some steak?  If you didn't like it, why did you eat so much?"
Mary:  "I was trying to guess whether it was Dancer, Prancer, Donner or Blitzen."
Jack:  "They were not reindeer, those were very fine steaks.  Didn't you see the government stamp on them?  Grade A?"
Mary:  "Mine said Merry Christmas."

JOKE:  [4:00]
Jack:  "Now look, Mary, we have a show to do tonight, and a very important sketch.  So let's…
[engine revving sound]
Jack:  "What in the world was… Bob!  Bob, what happened?
Bob:  "Well, Sammy the Drummer, he fell off the bandstand."
Jack:  "What?"
Bob:  "Well Jack, it isn't what you think."
Jack:  "No?"
Bob:  "See, the boys in the band are just such practical jokers."
Jack:  "Practical joker?  Why?  What did they do?"
Bob:  "Well, they took the electric wire that goes to Remley's guitar, and taped it to Sammy's chair."
Jack:  "Well, of all things.  Wiring up his chair with electricity.  I can't understand Sammy falling for it.  Didn't he suspect anything when he fell on those wires?"
Bob:  "He didn't even get suspicious when they slit his pants legs."
Jack:  "Slit Sammy's pants leg??"
Bob:  "Yeah, they didn't have to shave his head."
Jack:  "That I know!  But Bob, I think the boys are going too far.  Sammy could have gotten electrocuted."
Bob:  "Oh, well that's what the boys figured.  So last night they took him to a cafeteria and told him to order anything he wanted."
Jack:  "Bob, you mean you went with them?"
Bob:  "Oh no, Jack. Don't you remember, I was at your house?"
Jack:  "Oh yes, yes."
Bob:  "Hey, by the way, what kind of steaks were those you served last night?"
Jack:  "Huh?"
Bob:  "Well, I went to bed and every time I turned over, I heard sleigh bells."

JOKE:  [6:00]
Jack:  "Dennis, why do you go around irritating people?"
Dennis:  "I'm experimenting."
Jack:  "What kind of experiment is that?  Irritating people."
Dennis:  "When you do it to oysters, they give pearls."

JOKE:  [8:45] (Rochester makes his obligatory phone call)
Rochester:  "Hello Mr. Benny, this is Rochester."
Jack:  "Rochester, I'm in the middle of a program."
Rochester:  "I know, but I want to tell you something."
Jack:  "Tell me something?  I just left the house a little while ago.  Why do you always call me at the studio?"
Rochester:  "I don't get applause at home."

Rochester:  "A man was here from a fan magazine, and he said they wanted to print the story of your life.  Pictures and everything."
Jack:  "Oh, pictures too,  huh?"
Rochester:  "Yeah, so I gave him some that were taken when you were in the Navy, some when you were in vaudeville, and some that were taken when you were entertaining overseas."
Jack:  "Oh good, good."
Rochester:  "And then he asked for one of your baby pictures, but I couldn’t find any."
Jack:  "So, what did you do?"
Rochester:  "I slipped him one of mine."
Jack:  "What!?"
Rochester:  "Then he asked me a lot of personal questions.  And I told you were the nicest, kindest, and most considerate man I ever worked for."
Jack:  "Well, thank you."
Rochester:  "Then he brought up the subject of your generosity."
Jack:  "Uh huh."
Rochester:  "So I told him for Christmas you gave me a bonus of $5000."
Jack:  "You told him I gave you $5000?  What made you think he'd believe that."
Rochester:  "Boss, when he didn't question the baby picture, I knew he was vulnerable."

FLUB:  [10:00]
Rochester:  "Oh, say Boss."
Jack:  "What now?"
Rochester:  "A few minutes after you left the house, an electric flute… fuse blew out and your freezer went off."
Jack:  "An electric what blew out?"
Rochester:  "A fuse."

JOKE:  [11:00] (after the call)
Jack:  "Ha, ha.  You know, Rochester may not be a good butler, but he's certainly… he's certainly… hmmm…"
Mary:  "What's the matter, Jack?"
Jack:  "I wrote an ad-lib in here and I can't find it.."

JOKE:  [12:00] (Casting the Play)
Jack:  "Now, as a matter of fact, we were going to have Dorothy Lamour on the show, but at the last minute, something happened."
Mary:  "She wanted money."
Jack:  "Oh, quiet!  Now Mary, you're going to be Dorothy Lamour."
Mary:  "Okay, but with Bing and Bob in the picture, who's going to get me?"
Jack:  "The May Company if you keep making those cracks!"

JOKE: [12:30]
Jack: "And now that we've done all our casting, let's get on with our sketch: The Road to Bali."
Don: "Wait a minute, Jack. What about me?"
Jack: "Oh yes, Don, you've got a very important part."
Don: "I have?"
Jack: "Yes, paint a white line down your back, you're going to be the road."

JOKE: [14:45] (a surprise visitor drops in)
Jack: "Look, it's Bob Hope!!"
Jack: "Bob! Bob Hope! What a surprise."
Hope: "Some surprise. We had three rehearsals, I turned down the first two scripts, finally had to call in my own writers, and he's surprised."
Jack: "Look, Bob…"
Hope: "You can go home if you want. I've got a monologue here that will run through Amos & Andy, Edgar Bergen, and right up to the weather report."
Jack: "Weather report?"
Hope: "Yeah, dull today, funny tomorrow."
Jack: "Oh yeah, well let me tell you something! Rochester may not be a very good butler, but he's certainly… Oh, my goodness, I wrote it on the wrong page!"

JOKE:  [15:30] (Hope Meets Crosby)
Jack:  "Say Bob, you know Bing's brother, of course."
Hope:  "Oh sure, hello Bob."
Crosby:  Hello, Bob."
Hope:  "How do you feel, Bob?"
Crosby:  Fine, how do you feel, Bob?"
Hope:  "Fine, how's your wife, Bob?"
Crosby:  Fine, how's your wife, Bob?"
Hope:  "Fine, how are your kids, Bob?"
Crosby:  "Fine, how are your kids, Bob?"
Mary:  Four writers got paid $6000 for this sparkling dialogue."
Jack:  "Say Bob, I meant to ask you.  Does Crosby here resemble his brother Bing much?"
Hope:  "I don't know, let me see.  Smile, Junior."
Crosby:  "Okay."
Hope:  "Well, they look alike, but Bing is a little fatter around the wallet.  He's also a little fatter around the place where he keeps his wallet.  Which reminds me, I'd like to ask you something, Junior?"
Crosby:  "What is it, Bob?"
Hope:  "I haven't seen Bing since Christmas, what did he give Santa Claus this year?"

JOKE:  [18:00] (Bob Hope filks Thanks For the Memory)

Thanks for the Lucky Strikes,
The pack you gave to me,
Is more than I expected, thought I'd have to work for free,
Oh, thank you, so much.

Thanks for the Lucky Strike.
A sentiment we share, you hear it everywhere,
A Lucky Strike is better made, just tear 'em and compare,
Oh thank you, so much.
Sportsmen:  Listen Bob, on your new program, can you use a hungry quartet?
Bob:  Of course, and I'll pay you in Jell-O..  Yes, all you can eat, oh boy what a treat.

Well, thanks for the offer, Bob.
We'd really like to go and be part of your show,
But we are stuck with Benny, and for very little dough,
But thank you so much.
We like the taste of a Lucky,
There's nothing as good, no there's nothing.
Bob:  For real smoking pleasure, start puffing,
Sportsmen:  A Lucky Strike, the smoke you like.

So, thanks for the Lucky Strike.
The smoke we all enjoy, no loose ends to annoy,
From Florida to Washington, from Maine to Illinois.
So, thank you, so very much.

THE BIGGEST LAUGHS  [19:45] (This exchange generated one of the longest laughs in the program's history, at 17 seconds.]
Jack:  "By the way, you haven't met Dennis Day yet."
Dennis:  "Hello, Mr. Hope."
Hope:  "Oh, hello Dennis."
Dennis:  "You know, I saw your very first Road Picture, The Road to Singapore."
Hope:  "Really?"
Dennis:  "Yeah.  And then I saw The Road to Morocco, The Road to Zanzibar, The Road to Rio, The Road to Utopia, and last night I saw The Road to Bali."
Hope:  "No kidding?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, and now that I've finally met you in person, I'd like to tell you something."
Hope:  "What?"
Dennis:  "You're nothing without Bing Crosby."
Hope:  "You E-Flat idiot!"

NOTE:  This is one of the very few occasions in which Jack doesn't take the starring role in a play.

NOTE:  "The Road to Bali" is the 6th of the seven "Road" movies Hope and Crosby made together, and the only one filmed in color.  Bob Crosby has a cameo shot in the movie.

JOKE:  [21:15]
Hope:  "Hey Jack, who's that lying down on the floor?"
Jack:  "That's Don Wilson, he's the Road."
Hope:  "He's certainly got the Bali for it."

JOKE:  [22:30] (From the play's monologue)
Hope:  "For days we wandered through a tangle of vines.  And then we came to a rubber plantation, and went through it for quite a stretch."
Hope:  "Rubber stretch?  If I'd known I was going to get dialogue like this, I would have worn a top hat and white tie.  No pants, you've got to get laughs, you know."

JOKE:  [23:30] (Mary plays Dorothy Lamour)
Mary:  "No worry, my tribe not eat you.  You very handsome man."
Hope:  "Now, wait a minute, you don't look like the real Princess."
Mary:  "Real Princess not here, she want money."

JOKE:  [24:15] (More travelogue)
Hope:  "We resumed our long trek through the jungle.  Then our bad luck began.  We had no food or supplies.  At night we had to light fires to keep the animals away.  Then our water supply ran out.  We had nothing to drink.  We went three weeks without a bath.  Then the animals started lighting fires to keep us away."

RUNNING JOKES:  Jack keeps reindeer steaks in his deep freeze.

NOTE:  Program was transcribed on January 6, 1953  {BC)

BOTTOM LINE:  A strong episode, with lots of good lines, and the biggest guest star of the season.


19.   01/18/53            JACK BUYS AN UMBRELLA STAND             (30:08)

SITCOM:  Rochester and Roy are cleaning up Jack's home after a party for the sponsor.  Jack comes in and asks if Mary is there (she isn't).  Jack thanks Roy for helping, and pays him for his efforts.
Rochester tells Jack that Dennis is waiting in the den with a present.  Jack goes in to see him and Dennis does his routine.

Dennis sings an "Till I Waltz Again With You".  After his routine, Jack is no longer speaking to Dennis.  Mary arrives, and Jack is talking to her.  Mary has a new $5,000 convertible, which she actually got from working on Jack's show, kinda sorta.  Mary shows off all the features of her new car.  Jack and Mary get ready to go to an auction.  They pass the Colmans who still have colds which they deliberately acquired as a way of avoiding Jack's party.

Rochester reports that Jack got a call from Don.  Jack tries to call him, and gets Gertrude at the CBS switchboard.  Jack finally gets through to Don, who says that he and the Sportsmen are rehearsing a number that might be good for the TV Show.  The Sportsmen sing a Lucky-Strike-themed version of "Glowworm" to Jack over the phone.  Gertrude tries to stop them, as there are no open lines at the moment.  Jack insists on hearing the song anyway.  Midway through, William Paley, head of CBS, tries to make a call. Gertrude "Wait-a-minutes" the song to a halt.

Jack and Mary leave for the antique auction.  The auctioneer (Mel) shows them the ring that Marc Antony gave to Cleo-pat-era, which is up for auction later.  There's also an umbrella stand made out of an elephant's leg.  As bidding begins on the stand, Jack laughs at the people actually willing to pay for such a monstrosity.  Mary mentions that Bob Hope is upset about not being paid for being on Jack's show last week.  Bob thought he was getting a guest fee, while Jack thought they were going to exchange guest shots.  When Mary mentions that Bob Hope is expecting $5,000 for the appearance, Jack blurts the figure out loud, and inadvertently buys on the umbrella stand!

TAG:  Jack returns home with the elephant stand, which he only ended up paying $130 for, but still got stuck with it.  Jack asks Rochester to put it on and kick him.


NOTABLE GUEST STARS:  Hy Averback, Roy Glenn

RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Bea Benaderet, Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet


DON'S INTRO:  [1:30]
Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, last night Jack Benny gave a party at his home for his sponsor.  It is now the morning after, and we find Rochester, with the aid of his boy friend Roy, cleaning up the house."

JOKE:  [2:18]
Rochester:  "Every time the sponsor comes out to talk business, Mr. Benny gives him a farewell party."
Roy:  "Well, why is that?"
Rochester:  "To keep the sponsor from giving him a farewell party."

THE OLD DAYS:  [2:45]
Roy:  "How many people were here last night?"
Rochester:  "Nineteen."
Roy:  "That's funny, I only counted 18 dinner plates."
Rochester:  "Mr. Phil Harris was here, and he's not a food man."

JOKE:  [2:30]
Rochester:  "Everybody was here.  Mr. Benny's cast, his writers, musicians."
Roy:  "Well, were his neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Colman here?"
Rochester:  "No, they were invited, but they couldn't come.  They both had colds."
Roy:  "Well, isn't that unusual for both of them to have colds at the same time?"
Rochester:  "No, they sat out in the rain all night to get 'em."

JOKE:  [3:30] (Rochester searches for something)
Rochester:  "Now Roy, you keep on with the dusting, I've got to look for something."
Roy:  "Okay."
Rochester:  "Now, let's see.  It ought to be around here somewhere.  No, it's not under the chair.  It's not behind the sofa either.  And it's not in any of the corners.  Hmm, it's not under the coffee table."
Roy:  You know, Rochester, whenever I see Mr. Benny, he seems so dignified.  How is he at a party?  Does he ever let his hair down?"
Rochester:  "What do you think I'm looking for?"

JOKE:  [4:15] (Jack discusses the party)
Jack:  "Say Rochester, wasn't that a swell party I gave last night?"
Rochester:  "Yes, sir."
Jack:  "I thought the caviar was just wonderful, and the Vichyssoise just right."
Rochester:  "Uh, Boss…"
Jack:  "The baked pheasant under glass was done to perfection."
Rochester:  "Boss?"
Jack:  "I thought some of the guests preferred the breast of guinea ham."
Rochester:  "Boss, you can't fool Roy, he washed the dishes."

JOKE:  [5:45]
Jack:  "By the way, Roy, I really appreciate you coming over to help Rochester with the cleaning"
Roy:  "Oh, that's all right.  Rochester is my friend."
Jack:  "I know, but I want to give you this money to show my appreciation"
Roy:  "Well, thank you, Mr. Benny.  You know, I'm out of a job, and it's hard for two people to get along on unemployment insurance."
Jack:  "Two people?  I didn't know you were married."
Roy:  "I'm not, I have to keep lending money to Rochester."
Jack:  "Gee, I can't understand it.  I pay Rochester a nice salary.  What does he do with his money?"
Roy:  "Well, almost every year, you go to England.  And to celebrate, Rochester throws a little party here, which puts him in debt."
Jack:  "Oh.  So, when I'm away, Rochester throws a party here.  How long does the party last?"
Roy:  "That depends on how long you stay in England."
Jack:  "The party lasts for two months?"
Roy:  "Plus six days if you come back by boat."
Jack:  "Look, Roy…"
Roy:  "Next time why don't you fly back and join us?"

DENNIS' ROUTINE:  [7:10] Dennis has a gift-wrapped empty box.
Jack:  "By the way, Dennis, what have you got in that package?"
Dennis:  "Oh, nothing."
Jack:  "Aw, come on, kid, don't be a tease.  What's in the package?"
Dennis:  "Nothing."
Jack:  "Now Dennis, the package is gift wrapped, and it looks so pretty.  What's in it?"
Dennis:  "Nothing."
Jack:  "All right, if you don't want to tell me, at least give me a hint."
Dennis:  "Well, it's something a famous person once wore.
Jack:  "Something a famous person… look, I'm no good at guessing games.  What's in the package?"
Dennis:  "Nothing."
Jack:  "Oh, yeah?  Gimme that package, I'm going to open it!"
Dennis:  "Okay.  Here."
(unwrapping sounds)
Jack:  "Hmm.  Dennis, this package is empty."
Dennis:  "I know."
Jack:  "Well, Dennis.  Why in the world would you carry around an empty package?"
Dennis:  "Well, that way when somebody asks me what's in it, I can tell them the truth and still drive them nuts."
Jack:  "Well, that's about the craziest thing, I… wait a minute!  You told me the package contained something a famous person once wore!"
Dennis:  "That's right."
Jack:  "Who?"
Dennis:  "Lady Godiva."

JOKE:  [12:00] Mary's new car
Mary:  "I want to show you something."
Jack:  "Show me something?"
Mary:  "Yeah, come on."
Jack:  "What is it, Mary?"
Mary:  "Well, can't you see?"
Jack:  "Mary!  Mary, that new car!  Is it yours?"
Mary:  "Uh huh."
Jack:  "Gosh Mary, what a beautiful convertible.  Congratulations."
Mary:  "Well, thanks."
Jack:  "Gee, a car like that costs about $5,000."
Mary:  "That's right."
Jack:  "Listen Mary, how can you afford a car like this?"
Mary:  "Well, after all, Jack, I've been working for you for 20 years."
Jack:  "I know."
Mary:  "So, last week, I went out to the bank, drew out all the money I'd saved, bought a raffle ticket, and won the car."
Jack:  "Gosh.  You see, Mary, I told you.  Stick with me and you'll do okay.  Boy, what a car."
Mary:  "Look.  Look how big the luggage compartment is."
Jack:  "Gee, it certainly is roomy, and… wait a minute, I don't see a spare tire."
Mary:  "Well, the car didn't come with a spare tire."
Jack:  "Well, of all the nerve!  That's awful."
Mary:  "What do you want me to do?  Go get my dollar back?"
Jack:  "No, but next time you read a raffle ticket, read it carefully!  That way, you won't get stuck!"
Mary:  "Come here, Jack, I want to show you something else.  Look at this, it's the latest thing."
Jack:  "What is it?"
Mary:  "It's an automatic dimmer.  When you're driving along at night and other cars are coming towards you, you hit this little gadget, and it automatically dims your lights."
Jack:  "Gee, that's not so new.  I've got the same thing."
Mary:  "Jack, it's not the same thing."
Jack:  "What?"
Mary:  "When another car passes your Maxwell, the wind blows your lights out."

JOKE:  [14:45] (Breaking the 4th Wall)
Mary:  "Oh, say Dennis."
Dennis:  "What?"
Mary:  "I want you to offer my congratulations to your brother.  I read in the paper that he's going to marry Ann Blythe."
Dennis:  "Yeah, that's right."
Mary:  "But Dennis, there's one thing that I don't understand.  Your brother's name is McNulty, and your name is Day.  Why is that?"
Dennis:  "Well, you know how it is, Mary.  When you get into professional life, sometimes you change your name."
Mary:  "Oh, so you changed yours?"
Dennis:  "No, he changed his.  He didn't want people to know I'm his brother."

NOTE:  Bob is making a special appearance this week at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas.

JOKE:  [19:00] (Mabel and Gertrude)
Gertrude:  "Say, Mabel."
Mabel:  "What is it, Gertrude?"
Gertrude:  "It's Jack Benny on the line."
Mabel:  "Yeah, I wonder what The Schmoe of Kilimanjaro wants now."
Gertrude:  "He wants I should get him Studio A, but it's busy."
Mabel:  "You know, Gertrude, I haven't seen Jackie since I was out with him and Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Stewart on New Year's Eve."
Gertrude:  "Yeah.  I wonder why he took you out instead of me.  After all, he knows me longer."
Mabel:  "Say, that's right.  You knew him before you came to CBS, didn't you?"
Gertrude:  "Certainly.  I met him years ago at Cirro's."
Mabel:  "Cirro's?  Were you the cigarette girl?"
Gertrude:  "No, I was parking cars.  Believe me, Mabel, you and Jack made a lovely couple New Years.  Only you should wear your hair hanging down.  Not piled up on top of your head."
Mabel:  "Well, why?"
Gertrude:  "Well, with your ears, it looks like you're waving to somebody."
Mabel:  "Look who's talking.  I remember once at a masquerade party, you painted a face on each of your ears and came as The Andrews Sisters.  Anyway, I think you're just jealous because Jack took me out on New Year's Eve."
Gertrude:  "Why should I be jealous?  I went with that big handsome football player."
Mabel:  "Oh, yeah.  You know, Gertrude, I was kind of surprised to find out he was still in High School."
Gertrude:  "So was I."
Mabel:  "He's old enough to go to college, ain't he?"
Gertrude:  "He must be, he's got a son at UCLA."

NAMES FOR JACK:  The Schmoe of Kilimanjaro.

JOKE:  [23:15] (At the auction)
Mel:  "Can I show you folks around? You still have a few minuets before the auction starts."
Mary:  "Yes, I wish you would.  But you don't sound like the type of person I'd expect to find working here."
Mel:  "You're right, Lady.  See, I'm just here taking my brother's place.  You see, he's not here on account of jury duty."
Jack:  "Oh, your brother's on a jury?"
Mel:  "No, the jury did its duty and gave him 20 years."

CONTINUITY ALERT:  Jack thought he and Bob Hope were going to exchange guest shots on each other's shows.  Last week, the arrangement was that Bob would appear free if Jack said the words "The Road to Bali" every 60 seconds.

JOKE:  [27:15] (Jack mistakenly buys the elephant leg)
Auctioneer:  "Congratulations sir, here's your elephant leg!  May I have your check, please?"
Jack:  "I didn't bid on that!  I wouldn't pay $5,000 for an elephant's leg, would I, Mary?"
Mary:  "You wouldn't pay $5,000 for your own leg."
Jack:  "Darn right, I wouldn't!  Let's get out of here!"

BOTTOM LINE:  A surprisingly strong episode.  The auction scene is a bit weak, but lots of funny bits earlier, between Dennis' empty package, and Mary's new car.

20.   01/25/53            BETS ON 'OUR FANCY'             (24:15)

SITCOM:  Jack gets a phone call from the phone company, asking about the second phone Rochester asked to have installed.  This is the first Jack has heard about it, so he promises to check into it.  It turns out that Rochester wanted a second phone in addition to Jack's regular one, in case there was an emergency and he didn't have any change.  Rochester also wants the extra phone to talk to his girlfriend Susie, which he must do secretly now that he's on the outs with her dad.

Jack is going to the races with Mary later.  Mary arrives and tells about a phone call she received from Momma and Poppa (it's not a letter, for a change). Jack is eager to get to the track, as he has a hot top on a horse called Our Fancy.  Dennis is coming with them, but takes time to do his routine first. Jack realizes he has no money, so he goes down to the Vault.  Jack swaps a few words with Ed the vault keeper, and gets enough money for the races. Jack comes back upstairs.  Dennis sings "Three Coins in the Fountain" while Jack gets the Maxwell out of the garage.

Later at the track, Jack has let five races go by.  He explains he's only interested on betting on Our Fancy in the 6th Race.  Jack sees the racetrack tout coming, and ducks into the clubhouse. In the clubhouse, Jack tries to order lunch from Frank Nelson, who seats him at Table #1. The Tout comes by again, and tries to tout Jack into eating at Table #9 instead.  The Tout makes a pretty convincing case, so Jack tries to take the tip, but to no avail. Jack tries to get information about Our Fancy from the Idunno Guy, who doesn't know.

Jack advises Dennis to bet on Our Fancy, but Dennis says he's already bet on #12.  Dennis explains his system for betting on horse races, which is quite convoluted. Jack spots CBS Head William Paley, and decides to go talk to him.  Mr. Paley is betting on Aviatrix.  Jack tries to convince him to change his bet to Our Fancy, with no success. After Jack leaves to make his bet, Mr. Paley reconsiders.  If Jack is gambling $5 on a horse, he must have inside information.  Mr. Paley decides to change his bet and bet $100 on Our Fancy.  He also puts down $2 for Mary.

Jack returns, and they watch the race, which Aviatrix wins.  Jack is elated that they won, explaining that Paley was so convincing that he changed his bet too.  Mary belts Jack and asks Mr. Paley to take her home.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Joe Kearns, Sheldon Leonard, Frank Nelson, Benny Rubin

MINOR ROLES:  Jerry Mohr, Dick Ryan

Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, let's go back to last Thursday.  It is late morning at Jack's home in Beverly Hills."

NOTE:  This episode is a remake of 3/6/1949 episode, with William Paley taking the part that Ronald Colman took in the original.

NOTE:  This show has been edited for re-broadcast.

NOTE:  Dennis' Routine is lifted nearly verbatim from the 10/14/1951 episode.

VAULT PASSWORD:  The password to the vault is missing from the copy of this episode in general circulation, but a version I recorded off of Armed Forces Radio reveals that the password this week is "It's Toasted".

CONTINUITY ALERT:  Jack complains that the tout never gives him racing tips, but the Tout did in fact give Jack a tip on a horse in this season's Christmas Shopping episode.

JOKE:  [0:00]
Don:  "The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, with Mary Livingstone, Rochester, Dennis Day, Bob Crosby, and Yours Truly, Don Wilson."
Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, let's go back to last Thursday.  It is late morning at Jack's home in Beverly Hills."
[One of Don's lamer introductions, but don't let that fool you.]
[phone rings]
[sound of phone being answered]
Jack:  "Hello?  The telephone company?  You want to install a phone here this afternoon?  Are you sure you have the right address?  Yes, this is 366 North Camden Drive, but… there must be some mistake.  Oh, the phone is for Rochester Van Jones?  Well, let me find out about it, and I'll call you back.  Goodbye."
[hangs up phone]
Jack:  "Hmm, I wonder why… oh, Rochester?  Rochester?
[door opens]
Rochester:  "Did you want me, Boss?"
Jack:  "Yes, the telephone company just called.  What's this about you ordering a phone in your name?"
Rochester:  "Well, I figured it would be more convenient if we had two phones in the house?"
Jack:  "But that's silly, my phone should be enough.  I talk on it very little, you can use it whenever you want to."
Rochester:  "I know, but I thought it might be a good idea to have another phone in case of emergencies."
Jack:  "But why?  Suppose there is an emergency?  You can use my phone."
Rochester:  "Yeah, but suppose the house is burning down and I haven't got any change?"
Jack:  "Gee, I never thought of that."
Rochester:  "And besides, I'll be using the phone a lot from now on.  It's the only way I'll be able to talk to my girlfriend, Susie."
Jack:  "Why, what's wrong?"
Rochester:  "Well, her father seems to have taken a dislike to me."
Jack:  "But I thought you always got along so well with her family.  What happened?"
Rochester:  "The other night, Susie and I were sitting in the dark on the sofa, watching television, when her father came in and got awful mad."
Jack:  "Why should that make him mad?"
Rochester:  "They ain't got a television set."
Jack:  "OH!  Oh.  Say, look what time it is.  I'm going out to the racetrack today, and Miss Livingstone isn't here yet."
Rochester:  "Boss, you've got plenty of time the first race doesn't go on until 1 o'clock."
Jack:  "I know, but I go to the races so seldom, I don't want to be late."

[doorbell buzzer]
Jack:  "Well, that must be Miss Livingstone.  Coming!  Coming!"
[Of course it's Mary, doesn't she always arrive first?]
[door opens]
Mary:  "Hello, Jack."
Jack:  "Mary, you're late."
Mary:  "Well, I'm sorry, Jack, I was leaving the house when I got a long distance call from Mama and Papa."
Jack:  "Oh, a phone call from your mother and father, huh?  What did the Bad and the Beautiful have to say?"
[In later episodes, the letters from Mama are often replaced with phone calls.  The March of Technology, I suppose.]
Mary:  "Well, Mama said that Cousin Sylvia eloped last night."
Jack:  "Sylvia?  Married?"
Mary:  "Mmm hmm."
Jack:  "Gosh, it seems like only last summer I picked her up and bounced her on my knee."
Mary:  "It was last summer, she's a midget."
Jack:  "Oh.  So she got married, huh?"
Mary:  "Yes, she married a man 6 feet two."
Jack:  "No kidding!  Little Sylvia?"
Mary:  "Mmm hmm.  Oh, but Jack, a terrible thing happened.  Right after the ceremony, as she turned to go back up the aisle, she took one step and broke her leg."
Jack:  "How?"
Mary:  "She forgot she was standing on a box!"
Jack:  "Oh, that's awful.  That must have been a sad wedding."
Mary:  "(singing) Her mother was crying, her father was crying, and Iiiiiii."
[Riffs on popular song lyrics are commonplace on the Benny Show.  This one is from "I Went To Your Wedding", by Patti Page, released in 1952.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2wdgbh31WU]
Jack:  "All right, all right!  I had to ask her how yet!  Now, come on, Mary, let's go to the races.  I've got a hot tip in the 6th race.  A horse named Our Fancy."
Mary:  "Our Fancy?"
Jack:  "Yeah, and I hope I win, I could sure use the money."
Mary:  "Why?  You've never used any before."
[a great line]
Jack:  "Mary, stop that.  Now, come on, let's get going."
Mary:  "Uh, wait a minute, Jack.  Isn't Dennis going with us?"
Jack:  "Well, certainly."
Mary:  "Well, what are we supposed to do?  Pick him up?"
Jack:  "No, no, he's here.  Dennis?  Dennis, where are you?"
Dennis:  "I'm in the kitchen!"
Jack:  "Well, come on, Mary's here and we're ready to go."
Dennis:  "Okay."

Dennis:  "Oh, hello Mary."
Mary:  "Hello, Dennis."
Dennis:  "Say, Mr. Benny, would you mind having rehearsal at my house tomorrow?"
Jack:  "Why should we rehearse at your house?"
Dennis:  "Well, my uncle is visiting us and he thinks I'm the star of the show."
Jack:  "Oh, he does, huh?  Well, let me tell you something…"
Dennis:  "Awww, Mr. Benny, what's the difference where you have rehearsal?  Let me impress my uncle, huh, huh?"
Mary:  "Yes Jack, what difference does it make?"
Jack:  "Well, all right, Dennis.  We'll have rehearsal at your house.  Tomorrow at 11 o'clock."
Dennis:  "Okay, and be there on time, kid."
Jack:  "What?"
Dennis:  "My uncle doesn't think I need you at all."
Jack:  "Now, cut that out!!"
[this exchange, nearly verbatim, is taken from the 10/14/1951 episode.]

Jack:  "Oh, my goodness.  Here I am all set to go to the races, and I haven't got any money.  Excuse me, Mary, I've got to go down to my vault.  I'll be right back."
[door opens]
Jack:  "Now to cross the bridge over the moat."
[sloshing sound]
Jack:  "Gosh, look at that alligator.  So strong and powerful.  And very valuable to me too.  Three wallets and a belt and he's still as healthy as ever.  I hope he forgets before next Christmas.  He's getting wise to me when I come in here with a piece of meat in one hand and a can of ether in the other.  Down, boy.  See you later."
[more footsteps]
[sound of rattling chains]
[door squeaks open]
[sound of rattling chains again]
[another door squeaks open]
Ed:  "Halt!  Who goes there, friend or foe?"
Jack:  "Uh, friend."
Ed:  "Oh, it's you, Mr. Benny!"
Jack:  "Yes, Ed."
[I have another copy of this episode, taped off the Armed Forces Radio Network, which has the following additional dialogue at this point:  Ed:  What's the password?"  Jack:  "It's toasted."  Apparently whoever edited this for rebroadcast took out the password, as it was a product plug.  But my AFRTS copy was also edited for broadcast, and left it in.  Go figure.]
Ed:  "How are things on the outside world?"
Jack:  "Oh fine, fine.  How have you been, Ed?"
Ed:  "Oh, pretty good.  Say Mr. Benny, I hate to complain, but it's awfully cold down here."
Jack:  "Oh, I'm sorry Ed.  The next time I come down, I'll bring a stove."
Ed:  "Well, if it's all the same to you, I'd rather have clothes."
Jack:  "Oh, well I'll send some down.  I've got to open the safe and get some money."
Ed:  "Shall I lie down so you can give me the ether again?"
Jack:  "No, no Ed, you can watch.  This time."
[Did you ever notice that Jack is much stingier off-screen than on.  Things like him drugging Ed, or cutting chunks out of his alligator are things that get talked about, but never actually happen during a show.]
Jack:  "Now, let me see, the combination is right to 45."
[sound of tumblers spinning]
Jack:  "Left to 60."
[sound of tumblers spinning]
Jack:  "Back to 15."
[sound of tumblers spinning]
Jack:  "Then left to 110."
[sound of tumblers spinning]
[This combination never changes.  Every time Jack opens his vault, this is the combination he uses.  Of all the times to be a stickler about continuity.  I mean, this is one they could get wrong, and nobody would notice.  Or if they did, they'd just think that the combination had been changed.]
Jack:  "There."
[sound of door opening]
[a barrage of alarms go off]
[the alarms conclude with a loud foghorn]
Jack:  "There we are.  Now, let's see how much money I need.  There, this ought to be enough.  Gosh, look at that big pile of money way at the back of the safe.  Boy, if the South had won, I'd be a millionaire!  Well, I'd better close the safe."
[door shuts]
Jack:  "Well, I've got to be going along now.  So long Ed."
Ed:  "Goodbye, Mr. Benny."
[Jack takes about two steps, opens a door, and is back upstairs.  Is it my imagination, or did it take longer going down than up?]
Jack:  "Okay kids, I'm ready, let's go."
Dennis:  "Mr. Benny, don't you want to hear the song I'm going to do on the program?"
Jack:  "You listen to it, Mary, while I get the car out of the garage."

[Dennis sings "Three Coins in the Fountain"]

[sound of cheering crowd]
Mel:  (on the loudspeaker) Ladies and gentlemen, the fifth race was a photo finish.  We'll have the results in a moment."
Mary:  "Jack, when are you going to make your bet?  You've let five races go by already."
Jack:  "I know, I'm only interested in the 6th race.  Our Fancy can't miss.  Say Mary, let's go get a… oh no, look who's coming.  That racetrack tout."
Mary:  "Uh, where?"
Tout:  "Hiya Bud.  Long time no see."
Jack:  "Hello, hello.  Come on, Mary, let's get away."
[In later episodes, this is starting to become the norm, where Jack meets the Tout, eludes him without doing a routine, and then meets up with him again later.  That way the audience has time to anticipate another great exchange between them.]

Jack:  "Mary, let's go get a hot dog."
Mary:  "But Jack, we're in the clubhouse.  Why not have lunch?"
Jack:  "Well, all right.  Oh, waiter?  Waiter?"
Frank Nelson:  "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees????"
Jack:  "We'd like to get something to eat.  What would you suggest?"
Frank:  "Another waiter, I can't STAND you!"
Jack:  "I don't care whether you can or not.  Now, what can we get in a hurry?"
Frank:  "Well, we have roast pork, corned beef, leg of lamb, sirloin tips, and bacon and eggs."
Jack:  "Hmm, bacon and eggs.  That sounds good.  Are the eggs fresh?"
Frank:  "Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, ARE they?????"
Jack:  "Oh, well I'll have that.  How about you, Mary, would you like bacon and eggs?"
Mary:  "Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, would I?????"
Jack:  "Behave!  Just… just bring us our orders, waiter, as quick as you can."
Frank:  "Yes sir, and I'll seat you at Table #1.  That's right over there."
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "Ladies and gentlemen, as you all know, the last race was a photo finish.  But you won't know the results till tomorrow."
Jack:  "Gee, that's strange."
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "The picture turned out so good we've decided to show it at your neighborhood theater."
Jack:  "Now Mary, let's look over the list of entries for the next race.  I want to see if.."
Tout:  "Hey, Bud?  Bud?"
Jack:  "Huh?"
Tout:  "C'mere a minute."
Jack:  "Me?"
Tout:  "Yeah."
Jack:  "What is it?"
Tout:  "You gonna eat here?"
Jack:  "Yeah."
Tout:  "What table?"
Jack:  "Table 1."
Tout:  "Uh uh."
Jack:  "What?"
Tout:  "Take Number 9."
Jack:  "Well look, I'm very happy with Table 1."
Tout:  "Think it over, Bud.  Number 1 is a card table."
Jack:  "A card table?"
Tout:  "Yeah.  If it carries too much weight, its legs'll fold."
Jack:  "Gee, I never thought of that!  So you think I ought to take Table #9?"
Tout:  "Well, certainly.  Look at the breeding."
Jack:  "The breeding?"
Tout:  "It's by Birdseye Maple out of Grand Rapids."
Jack:  "Gosh, I didn't think they even knew each other."
Tout:  "Get wise, Bud, think it over."
Jack:  "Look, I'm not… wait a minute!  This is the first time I've ever run into you at a race track!  Why don't you give me a tip on a horse??"
[Continuity Alert:  The Tout actually did give Jack a tip on a horse in the 12/14/1952 episode.  Kinda sorta.]
Tout:  "Who knows about horses?"
Jack:  "What?"
Tout:  "So long, sucker."
Jack:  "Hmm.  Mary?  Mary, have you figured out yet…"
Frank:  "Your bacon and eggs are ready, I've put them on Table #1."
Jack:  "Number 1?  Do you think I'm a sucker?  We'll eat at Table #9!"
Frank:  "Table 9?  The shiny mahogany one?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Frank:  "I'm sorry, but you can't eat at that table."
Jack:  "Why not?"
Frank:  "It was scratched."
Jack:  "NOW CUT THAT OUT!!  I don't know why you had to be our waiter!  You make me sick!"
Frank:  "Well, you're not penicillin to me, either!"
Jack:  "Come on, Mary, we'll eat at the counter."
[crowd noises]
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "Attention, please.  We have a late change.  Horse #7, Little Lady, will not run in the next race.  As she left the paddock, she broke a leg."
Jack:  "I wonder how that happened?"
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "She forgot she was standing on a box."
Jack:  "How do you like that!"
Mel (singing on loudspeaker):  "The jockey was crying, the trainer was crying, and Iiiiiii was crying for her!"

[later, more crowd noises]
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "The horses for the 6th race are now in the paddock."
Mary:  "Jack, are you still going to bet on Our Fancy?"
Jack:  "Well, of course.  That horse will not only win the race today, he'll probably set a new track record."
Mary:  "How much are you going to bet?"
Jack:  "I don't know.  I wonder how much weight Our Fancy is carrying?  I wonder who the jockey is?"
Mary:  "Jack, if you buy a 15¢ program, you'd know."
[Can you imagine Jack Benny today listening to his old shows, and drooling over the prices?  Fifteen cents for a program, indeed!]
Jack:  "Well, I don't have to buy a program.  I'll go over to the Information Desk and find out.  You wait here, Mary."
Mary:  "Okay."

[crowd noise]
Jack:  "Pardon me, Mister, but how much weight is Our Fancy carrying?"
Idunno Guy:  "I dunno."
Jack:  "Well, what's the name of the jockey?"
Idunno Guy:  "I dunno!"
Jack:  "Well, how long is the race going to be?"
Idunno Guy:  "I dunno!!"
Jack:  "Well, for heaven's sake, if you don't know anything about the races, what are you doing behind that desk?"
Idunno Guy:  "I had to get behind something, I lost my pants!"
[For some reason, a heckuva lot of the Idunno Guy's punchlines have to do with his pants.]
Jack:  "Well, of all the silly…"
Mary:  "Oh, Jack!  Jack!"
Jack:  "What is it, Mary?"
Mary:  "Did you get the information you wanted?"
Jack:  "No, darnit.  I came to the track to bet on Our Fancy, and that's what I'm going to do.  And Dennis?"
Dennis:  "Yeah?"
Jack:  "This is your first time at the races, so take a tip from me.  Put your money on Our Fancy."
Dennis:  "Our Fancy?  Let me see, that's Number 8."
Jack:  "That's right"
Dennis:  "That's not for me.  I already bet on Number 12."
Jack:  "Number 12?  What's the horse's name?"
Dennis:  "Who cares about names?  It's the number that's important, that's my system."
Jack:  "Dennis, you've got a system?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, sure."
Jack:  "Well, according to your system, how come you bet on Number 12?"
[Doesn't Jack know by now not to ask questions like this?]
Dennis:  "Well, the horse is carrying 116 pounds, he's running in the 6th race.  So I add 6 to 116, which gave me 122.  I added 18 to 122, which makes 140.  This is the 4th week of the month, so I divided 4 into 140, and that makes 35."
Jack:  "Uh huh.
Dennis:  "Then I subtracted my age, which is 26, and 26 from 35 leaves 9."
[Continuity Alert:  Usually, these shows seem to take place on the day of the broadcast, or within the last week, unless stated otherwise.  But this is actually the 2nd week of the month, not the 4th.]
[Another Continuity Alert:  Dennis is actually 37, not 26 at the time of this episode.  As has been mentioned before, Jack isn't the only one who lies about his age on this show, brother.]
Jack:  "Uh huh."
Dennis:  "Then I added 3 and bet on Number 12."
Jack:  "Wait a minute, Dennis.  I followed you all the way down to 9.  Why did you add 3?"
Dennis:  "How else can you get to 12?"
Jack:  "Yeah, yeah, how else?  Now, come on, let's go to the $5 window, and… Hey, Mary!  Mary, look down there!"
[Even though he came with them, Dennis now disappears into a black hole for the rest of the episode.]
Mary:  "Where?"
Jack:  "Down that aisle.  Isn't that Mr. Paley?"
[William Paley, 1901-1990, the long-time head of CBS who conducted the infamous talent raid of NBC in the late 40's that lured stars like Jack to CBS.  Not to be confused with William Paley, the 18th century philosopher, who didn't run any network at all.]
Mary:  "Oh, yes."
Jack:  "Well, come on, let's go over and talk to him."
Mary:  "But Jack, he came to the track to enjoy himself, now leave him alone."
Jack:  "But Mary, I'm a big star on CBS, and he's the head of the network.  If he knew I was here and didn't stop to say hello, he'd be heartbroken.  Now, come on."
[I don't know about heartbroken, but possibly offended.  Mary slams Jack for pretty much everything he does, but his reasoning seems sound enough this time.]

Jack:  "Mr. Paley!  Mr. Paley!"
Paley:  "Huh?  Oh, hello Jack.  Hello, Mary."
Mary:  "Hello, Mr. Paley."
Jack:  "Say Mr. Paley, what horse are you betting on in this…"
[trumpet fanfare]
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "And now!  Coming out on the track are the horses for the 6th race."
Jack:  "Mr. Paley, have you picked your horse yet for the 6th race?"
Paley:  "Yes Jack, I'm betting on Aviatrix."
Jack:  "Well look, Mr. Paley, forget about Aviatrix.  Put your money on Our Fancy.  He'll win by 8 lengths."
[But this, on the other hand, is Jack setting himself up for failure again.  There's no sense in trying to talk your boss into a bet he might lose.]
Paley:  "Well Jack, my mind is made up.  I'm going to play Aviatrix."
Jack:  "But look, Mr. Paley, it's silly to come out here and just bet on any horse.  Especially after driving 6 hours to get to the track."
Paley:  "In my car it's 40 minutes."
Jack:  "Well look, Mr. Paley.  I've been studying these horses all season, and I know what I'm talking about.  Our Fancy can't lose."
Paley:  "I'm sorry Jack, but I'm going to bet on Aviatrix."
Jack:  "Well okay, Mr. Paley, it's your dough, but don't say I didn't tell you."
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "The horses are nearing the starting gate."
Jack:  "Well, I'm going up to the window and make my bet.  Five dollars on the nose."

Paley:  "Say, Mary."
Mary:  "Yes, Mr. Paley?"
Paley:  "I've been thinking, if Jack is going to bet $5 on a horse, he must know something."
Mary:  "Hmm, that's what I think."
Paley:  "Yeah.  I'm going to change my bet.  I'm going to put a hundred dollars on Our Fancy."
Mary:  "Well Mr. Paley, would you do me a favor?  Put $2 on Our Fancy for me."
Paley:  "Okay, Mary."

[crowd noise]
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "The horses are in the starting gate."
Jack:  "Gee, I'm glad I got to the window in time."
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "Now they're all lined up in the gate.  They'll start as soon as they can quiet Silverado.  He's dancing around a bit.  So is Blue Reading."
Jack:  "Gee, both of them dancing?"
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "It takes two to tango."
Jack:  "What!?"
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "And there they go!"
[crowd noise]
Mary:  "Mr. Paley, Mr. Paley!  Come on, the race is starting."
Paley:  "Here I am, Mary."
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "Going into the first turn, it's Wild Glory in front, Colavito is second, Silverado is 3rd, Aviatrix is 4th, and Our Fancy!"
Paley:  "Come on, come on Our Fancy!"
Mary:  "I wonder what happened to Jack?"
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "Coming around the far turn, it's still Wild Glory in front, Colavito is second, Silverado is third, Our Fancy is now 4th by half a length."
Paley:  "Come on Our Fancy, Our Fancy!"
[crowd noise]
Jack:  "I placed my bet and here I am!"
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "Driving down the home stretch, it's Silverado in front, Wild Glory is second, Our Fancy is third, and here come Contribution and Aviatrix!"
Mary:  "Come on, come on, Our Fancy!"
Mel (on loudspeaker):  "And now coming into the finish line, it's Silverado, Contribution and Wild Glory, and coming up fast on the outside it's Aviatrix.  It's Silverado and Aviatrix, it's Silverado and Aviatrix.  Now Aviatrix is pounding hard, they cross the finish line and it's Aviatrix the winner by half a length!"
Jack:  "Mr. Paley!  Mr. Paley!  We won, we won!"
Paley:  "What do you mean WE won??"
Jack:  "I bet on your horse, Aviatrix!"
Paley:  "You what??  Jack, you mean to tell me that when you left here, you didn't bet on Our Fancy?"
Jack:  "No, you talked me out of it.  Mr. Paley, what are you so unhappy about?"
[The only real plot weakness in this episode.  There's no clear reason why Jack was "talked out" of betting on Our Fancy, or even why he was so determined to bet on him in the first place.]
Paley:  "Jack Benny, I bet on the horse you gave me!"
Jack:  "You did!?  Mr. Paley, how could you be so silly?"
[punching sound]
[sound of body falling to the ground]
Jack:  "Oooohh…"
Paley:  "Mary, you shouldn't have Done that, he's wearing glasses!"
Mary:  "Well, it serves him right.  Mr. Paley, would you please drive me home?"

Jack:  "We're a little late, so goodnight, folks."

Don:  "The Jack Benny Show tonight was written by Milt Josefsberg, John Tackaberry, Al Gordon, Hal Goldman, and produced and transcribed by Hilliard Marks.  This is Don Wilson, inviting you to join us next week at this same time for The Best of Benny."

[For some reason, George Balzer and Sam Perrin aren't credited on this one.]

BOTTOM LINE:  If not one of the Top 10 shows Jack ever did, then very close to it.  With a lot of programs, a remake of an old episode is inferior to the original, with everyone just going through the motions.  With Jack's show, the remakes are often superior to the original.  We see that not only in this episode, but also with the No Script Episode, and upcoming The Beverly Hills Beavers Imitate Jack's Show.

21.   02/01/53            HIGH NOON




RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Stanley Kramer

22.   02/08/53            STEAK RIDE             (30:21)

THE SHOW:  Jack and Don talk a bit about Palm Springs, where they're broadcasting from, for the 12th straight year.  Jack uncorks a fat joke, and Don tries to convince Jack that he isn't overweight (Fat chance). Bob enters.  Bob talks about the fun his kids are having in Palm Springs.  Jack tells Bob about his hotel, the El Poacho de la Sal. Mary arrives and relates her own experiences with the El Poacho.  Mary describes her meeting with Tom May of the May Company at the Palm Springs Racquet Club. Bob talks about the band's experiences in Palm Springs.  Dennis arrives, late from his date. Jack forgot his golf clubs, so he calls Rochester in Beverly Hills.  The Operator can't get through, but will call back when she does. While they're waiting, Dennis sings "Even Now".

Joan rings back, with Rochester on the line.  Rochester has been taking care of a sick Polly.  Jack wants his golf clubs, but Rochester returned them to Ronald Colman.  Ronnie is in Palm Springs, so Jack says he'll pick them up himself.  Rochester plugs Bing Crosby's appearance on next week's show. Jack tries to get a golf game up, but nobody wants to play with him after what happened on that Steak Ride the other night.  Jack doesn't want her talking about it, but Mary tells the story anyway.

FLASHBACK:  Last night, Jack insisted that the whole cast go on a Steak Ride with him.  Jack talks to the stable boy (Frank Nelson) about getting the ride going, and gets the usual horse hockey from him. They set out on the ride.  Jack muses about how he should have been a cowboy, and sings snatches of the old Buck Benny theme, which Dennis filks for him.  Frank says he brought The Guadalajara Trio with him.  They sing an unidentified song, modified into a tobacco ad. Jack wants to thank The Guadalajara Trio, so Frank introduces their manager (Mel).  Amazingly, his name isn't Cy, so the Si/Cy Routine is referenced, but not actually performed.

They ride on further.  Jack asks directions of the Idunno Guy, who doesn't know.  They ride into evening.  Frank is ready to start the fire, but nobody has a match or lighter, and there's no man among them who can summon up flame without flint or tinder (if they'd invited Tim the Enchanter along, the problem would be solved).  As a result, there's no way to cook the steaks, which somehow explains why nobody wants to play golf with Jack.

TAG:  Jack announces Bing Crosby as next week's guest.  Bob says Bing will have to change his style to avoid sounding like him.


NOTABLE GUEST STARS:  The Guadalajara Trio

RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Frank Nelson, Benny Rubin

MINOR ROLES:  Jeanette Eymann

DON'S INTRO:  "Today, ladies and gentlemen, we're doing our show from Palm Springs, California.  And this year, hundreds of Hollywood's biggest stars come here to get away.  So now, I bring you the man they thought they were getting away from, Jack Benny!"

NOTE:  The show is broadcasting from The American Legion Hall in Palm Springs.

NOTE:  This show is edited for rebroadcast.

JOKE:  [3:15] (another fat joke)
Don:  "I've got a bone to pick with you.  You walked right by me this afternoon.  I waved to you and you didn't even acknowledge my greeting."
Jack:  "But Don, I didn't see you this afternoon."
Don:  "Don't kid me, Jack, I was sitting right by the Park Lane Swimming Pool in a red and white striped bathing suit."
Jack:  "A red and white stripe… Don, was that you?  I thought it was a beach umbrella.  Those people sitting in your shade fooled me there."
Don:  "Now Jack, I resent the way you keep giving people the impression I'm fat.  I've lost a lot of weight, in fact, I felt self conscious because my bathing suit was so loose on me."
Jack:  "Oh.  Well Don, maybe your bathing suit was loose on you, but the pool fit you like a glove.  Especially around the deep end, you know?"

Bob:  "I brought June and the kids up with me, so I rented one of those family bungalows on the edge of town."
Jack:  "Well, that's nice.  I bet the kids are having a good time."
Bob:  "Yeah, but this morning we had a little excitement."
Jack:  "Why?  What happened?"
Bob:  "Well, Malia, our baby, she crawled away from the bungalow, and she'd gone two miles into the desert before we caught up with her."
Jack:  "I wonder why she did that?"
Bob:  "Well, she thought she was in the sandbox that Uncle Bing gave her."
Jack:  "You know, Malia, she's a cute kid.  You know, Bob, you've got five of the nicest children I've ever met."
Bob:  "Yeah, I guess so."
Jack:  "What do you mean you guess so?"
Bob:  "Well Jack, they're good children, they're well behaved, they're smart in school, and kind to their mother, dependable, they respect me, but well…"
Jack:  "Well, what's wrong?
Bob:  "Well, five kids and not one of them sings like Gary."
Jack:  "You mean none of your kids are talented?"
Bob:  "Well, Malia is.  In fact, next week she starts out on a nightclub tour."
Jack:  "A nightclub tour?  What are you talking about, she's only a baby.  What does she do?"
Bob:  "Well, she cries like Johnny Ray."

FLUB:  [5:10]
Bob:  "By the way, Jack, where are you staying at the Biltmore?"
Jack:  "What?  Bob, read that line over again, will you please?"
Bob:  "All right, I see.  By the way, Jack, where are you staying?  At the Biltmore?"
Jack:  "You see, to him it's nothing.  But a comma can cost me $30 a day!"

JOKE:  [5:45] (The Acme Plaza West)
Jack:  "No Bob, I'm not at the Biltmore, they didn't have a vacancy there."
Don:  "Well, where are you staying, Jack?"
Jack:  "Well, I'm at a little place just at the edge of town, it's called The El Poacho de la Sal."
Don:  "The El Poacho de la Sal?"
Jack:  "Yes, that's Spanish for Don't Let The Sand Get In Your Eyes, Don't Let the Cactus Break Your Heart.  It's very nice, you know it's one… Oh, hello Mary."
Mary:  "Hello, Jack.  Hi, everybody."
Mary:  "Uh, what were you fellows talking about?"
Don:  "Well Mary, we were just discussing a motel here in Palm Springs.  Have you ever heard of the El Poacho de la Sal?"
Mary:  "The El Poacho de la Sal?  Yes Don, I know quite a few people that have stayed there."
Jack:  "You see?"
Mary:  "It's not bad if you don't mind taking the shots."
Jack:  "Yeah, you know, they find a few Tsetse flies in the kitchen, and the Board of Health gets all upset.  Anyway, I like to stay there.  They give you a room and your meals for $2 a day."
Don:  "$2 a day, they give you meals and a room?"
Jack:  "Yeah."
Don:  "What about a bath?"
Mary:  "They insist on it."
Jack:  "They do not!  They just make you run through the sprinklers.  Slowly."

JOKE:  [7:15] (You can take the girl out of the May Company…)
Jack:  "Where are you stopping, Mary?"
Mary:  "At the Howard Manor."
Jack:  "Oh yes, I called you there today and you were out."
Mary:  "I know, I was playing tennis over at the Racquet Club."
Jack:  "Oh, the Racquet Club, eh?"
Mary:  "Yes, and Mr. May was there."
Jack:  "That's a great line, wasn't it?  'Oh, the Racquet Club, eh?'  I get those lines all through the show.  What did you say, Mary?"
Mary:  "I said Mr. May was there."
Jack:  "Oh, you mean Tom May, the owner of The May Company?"
Mary:  "Yes, and I could have played tennis with him too, if I just hadn't gotten so excited."
Jack:  "Excited?  What do you mean?"
Mary:  "Well, when he handed me the racquet, I wrapped it up and was figuring the sales tax before I knew what I was doing."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  This is as good a time as any to mention that The May Company was founded by David May in 1877, and merged with Macy's in 2005.  Tom May seems to have been the Executive Vice President of the company in 1953.

Bob:  "Oh, Jack?  Jack?"
Jack:  "What is it, Bob?"
Bob:  "Well, before I forget, the boys in the band want me to ask you if they can leave immediately after the show."
Jack:  "Leave Palm Springs?  Why, it's so nice and warm here."
Bob:  "Well, that's what they're complaining about."
Jack:  "What?"
Bob:  "Well, this desert sun is murder on those ice cubes."
Jack:  "Bob, you mean the boys are at it again?"
Bob:  "Well, on the contrary, Jack, they've been behaving.  In fact, Remley was in bed at 9 o'clock last night."
Jack:  "Remley??  Remley in bed by 9 o'clock?  How come?"
Bob:  "Well, he was walking down Palm Canyon Drive, he saw the sign at the Chi Club, and he decided…"
Jack:  "Wait a minute, Bob.  It isn't the Chi Club, it's Chi-Chi."
Bob:  "Well, how do you like that?  Gee, Remley thought he was seeing double and he went right to bed."

Jack:  "Did you phone my motel?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, but I think the telephone wires were crossed."
Jack:  "Oh."
Dennis:  "Every time I dialed your number, I got the board of health."
Jack:  "Well, if a Tsetse fly answers, hang up."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  The previous joke isn't that funny, but compare it to the 5/27/1951 episode, in which Dennis imitated Jack's mannerisms, and hung on the "g" for an extra half second when he said "Hangg up".  Here Jack says the same words, and sure enough, he hangs on the G in exactly the same way.  I'd never even noticed that he did that until Dennis pointed it out.

JOKE:  [8:15] (Local humor)
Jack:  "Where were you this afternoon?"
Dennis:  "I was out with a girl."
Mary:  "Dennis, you've already been out with a girl?  That's pretty fast work."
Dennis:  "Well, it's easy to find a girl in Palm Springs.  Every store window in town is advertising them."
Jack:  "Advertising what?"
Dennis:  "Advertising dates."

Jack:  "That was Dennis Day singing "Even Now". And Dennis, it was excellent."
Dennis:  "Thanks, Mr. Benny, and I'm sorry if I made you nervous."
Jack:  "That's all right, kid."
Dennis:  "It's just that I was out in the sun all day, and my head hurts."
Mary:  "Your head hurts?  Well Dennis, do you see spots in front of your eyes?"
Dennis:  "Uh huh."
Mary:  "Oh my goodness, maybe you're suffering from a sunstroke."
Dennis:  "Sunstroke?"
Jack:  "Certainly.  I mean, how long have you been seeing these spots in front of your eyes?"
Dennis:  "Next month, it will be 22 years."
Jack:  "Dennis, sit down!"
Dennis:  "You're just mad because I'm a better singer than you are."
Jack:  "Well, that's the silliest thing I've ever heard.  Certainly you're a better singer than I am.  I'm a comedian."
Dennis:  "I'm funnier than you are, too."
Jack:  "OH, STOP IT!!"

Rochester:  "Mr. Benny's residence, star of stage, screen, radio, television, and is getting harder to live with every day."

JOKE:  [14:45] (Rochester calls)
Rochester:  "Well, Boss… cough, cough."
Jack:  "Rochester, what's the matter?"
Rochester:  "Well, the weather has been kind of chilly in Beverly Hills.  Cough, cough.
Jack:  "Wait a minute, are you hinting for me to give you permission to come to Palm Springs?"
Rochester:  "Either that, or permission to turn on the heat."
Jack:  "What?"
Rochester:  "The pilot light don't give off much."
Jack:  "Now Rochester, it's not going to do you any good to complain, because you're not coming up here.  You've got to stay home and take care of Polly, my parrot.  She's got a cold."
Rochester:  "I've been taking care of her.  I gave her a hot toddy, but I think I put in too much whiskey."
Jack:  "Why?  What happened?"
Rochester:  "She fell of the perch, and when I went to pick her up, she took a swing at me."
Jack:  "No!"
Rochester:  "And Boss, nothing looks worse than a green parrot with red eyes."
Jack:  "Well, give her an Alka Seltzer."
Rochester:  "I did, and the bubbles keep knocking her off the perch again."
Jack:  "Well Rochester, the reason I called is I want you to send me my golf bag and clubs."
Rochester:  "I returned it to Mr. and Mrs. Colman."
Jack:  "Where are the Colmans?"
Rochester:  "In Palm Springs."
Jack:  "Oh, well then, I'll get it myself.  Where are the Colman's staying?"
Rochester:  "I don't know, but they don't have to run through sprinklers."
Jack:  "Well, I hope not.  Who wants to play with a wet golf bag?  Goodbye, Rochester."
Rochester:  "Goodbye.  Oh, say Boss?"
Jack:  "Now what?"
Rochester:  "Is Mr. Bing Crosby going to be on your radio program next week?"
Jack:  "Yeah, what about it?"
Rochester:  "Well, let's plug it!  Let's plug it!"

Jack:  "Oh, Mister?  Mister?"
Frank:  "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees?"
Jack:  "Are you the one who takes care of the stables?"
Frank:  "Well, who do you think I am with this broom in my hand?  An offseason witch?"

JOKE:  [18:45]
Frank:  "What kind of a horse would you like?"
Jack:  "Well, I don't care."
Frank:  "I've got a brown horse, a grey horse, a black horse, and a purple one with yellow polka dots."
Jack:  "Well, that's silly.  Who ever saw a purple horse with yellow polka dots?"
Voice:  "I did!"
Jack:  "Quiet, Remley!"

IMITATION:  Mel Blanc does his legendary English Horse impression at about 20:00 into the program.  Unfortunately, it doesn't translate to print.

[howling sound]
Jack:  "What's that?"
Bob:  "Well, it's either a coyote, or somebody got his bill at the Racquet club."
Jack:  "Gee, coyotes and everything.  I love riding out here.  I should have been a cowboy. (starts singing the Buck Benny theme)  I'm an old cowhand, from the Rio Grande…"
Dennis:  "And your hair just fell, down in the sand!"
Jack:  "I'm a cowboy who never saw a cow!"
Mary:  "Never paid a bill cause you don't know how."
Jack:  "I sure ain't fixin' to start it now!  Yippee I-oh, cay-ay!"

JOKE:  [25:30]
Jack:  "I wonder where we are, anyway?  I'll ride up and ask the guide.  Let's see, there he is up on the horse up front there.  Pardon me, how much longer until we get to the camp?"
Idunno Guy:  "I dunno."
(long laugh, far outweighing the funniness of this bit)
Jack:  "Well, how much farther is it?"
Idunno Guy:  "I dunno."
Jack:  "Well, are we going in the right direction??"
Idunno Guy:  "I dunno!!"
Jack:  "You don't know anything.  Are you the guide?"
Idunno Guy:  "I'm a jockey, I made a wrong turn at Santa Anita!"

JOKE:  [26:45] (Nobody has any matches to light the campfire)
Jack:  "Match?  Don, Don, give him a match."
Don:  "I haven't got one, Jack."
Jack:  "Mary, have you got a match?"
Mary:  "Nope."
Jack:  "Bob?"
Bob:  "I ain't got one either."
Jack:  "Holy Smoke, what do we do?  Wait a minute.  Dennis, didn't I give you a book of matches?"
Dennis:  "That was last Christmas."

NOTE:  It doesn't speak well for a show sponsored by a cigarette company that nobody in Jack's whole cast has a match or lighter on them.

NOTE:  For some reason, this Steak Ride story is supposed to explain why nobody wants to play golf with Jack.  The story takes a very long time just to tell us that nobody brought matches on the Steak Ride, and it's not at all clear why this is Jack's fault, which makes the whole story kind of pointless.

BOTTOM LINE:  A So-so episode.  The good thing about Palm Springs based episodes is that they're done in front of a live audience, usually more enthusiastic than those in the studio.  The bad thing is that the Palm Springs jokes don't go very far.  The El Poacho jokes are generally good, but the play takes 10 minutes just to tell us that nobody remembered to bring matches to the cookout.  Not a bad episode, but nothing to write home from Palm Springs about.

23.   02/15/53            THE LIFE OF BING CROSBY             (30:24)

THE SHOW:  Don objects to his own introduction for a change, claiming that Jack didn't really lose a golf ball as Don claimed.  It was all just an excuse to put a saddle on Don, and rent him out as a pack horse. Before they can take this any further, Mary arrives.  She's just been moving Jack out of the hotel he's been in the last few weeks (an unnamed Palm Springs equivalent of the Acme Plaza).

Bob arrives.  He's been staying at the El Mirador, a former wartime hospital, that still serves meals intravenously. A telegram boy (Mel) arrives, and goes away happy for once.  The telegram is from Dennis, who is eloping with Marilyn Monroe this week, and sending a substitute singer in his place.  The sub arrives, and it's one of Bob's brothers ("Bingo", or something like that).  Jack introduces Bob's brother to the gang.  Bro recognizes all of them except Bob, who has grown noticeably thinner since working for Jack.  Jack and Bing discuss Bob Hope's recent appearance on the show.

Bing is in town, to promote his life's story, appearing in The Saturday Evening Post in 8 weekly installments.  To save time (and money), Jack asks to hear the story now.  Bing has a copy of all 8 installments with him, so Jack reads them while Bing sings Dennis' song.  Bing sings "Open Up Your Heart". During the song, Jack reads all 8 installments, and Mary suggests dramatizing it as tonight's play.  Even though Mary has just now thought of the idea, they somehow have the scripts all ready to go.

The Operator calls with a collect call from Mr. Paley, which actually turns out to be from Rochester.  Rochester wrecked the Maxwell by getting caught on a hook from the Super Chief, and slamming it into a tunnel.  It turns out that the story is not true, just an excuse for being late that got out of hand.

THE PLAY:  "The Life of Bing Crosby", adapted from "The Saturday Evening Post" serial of the same name.  The play begins at 18:50.  Bing is born in 1914, and goes from "Dah" to "Dah Dah" to full blown melodies in a few months.  Where other kids brought their teachers apples, Bing brought them Minute Maid Orange Juice.

At the age of 7, he got the nickname "Bing" from his fondness for Bing Cherries.  In addition to Bing, Larry, Chad and Everett, Bing gets another brother named Bob.  Bing tries to teach Bob to speak.  The boys grow up and go to High School.  Bing gets a dollar a week allowance, but even then has to give 10% to his brother Everett.

In High School, Bing meets Bob Hope.  They play hooky and get in trouble together.

Bob and Bing sing a duet of "Way Back Home".

After graduation, Bing auditions for a singing job in LA, doing jingles.  Bing buys his first racehorse from Mel, followed by a stable of slow racehorses.  In 1948, Bing wins an Academy Award.  From there, he goes on to success after success until the world is his.  Jack asks him to give it back.

TAG:  Jack thanks Bing for taking Dennis' place, and asks to caddy for Ben Hogan too.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins

MINOR ROLES:  Jeanette Eymann

DON'S INTRO:  "And now, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you a man, who, after one week in Palm Springs, has become a picture of health.  He was on the golf course Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, looking for the ball he lost on Monday, and here he is, Jack Benny!"

NOTE:  The episode is broadcast from the American Legion Hall in Palm Springs.

JOKE:  [3:40] (More hotel humor)
Jack:  "Mary, why didn't you show up for rehearsal this morning?
Mary:  "Well, if you must know, for one thing I was busy moving out of that hotel where you've been living."
Jack:  "But Mary, I've been staying in that hotel for two weeks.  It's a lovely place."
Mary:  "Some lovely place.  This morning a guest bawled me out for using the roller towel."
Jack:  "Why?"
Mary:  "He was sleeping in it."
Jack:  "Well Mary, it's the height of the season and people have to sleep where they can.  I happen to know that last night some people had to sleep in the Police Station."
Mary:  "Jack, that was the orchestra, and the height of the season had nothing to do with it."

JOKE:  [4:30] (For once, Bob stays in a funny hotel too)
Jack:  "Bob, are you still enjoying yourself here in Palm Springs?"
Bob:  "Oh uh… pretty good."
Jack:  "What do you mean pretty good?  You're living at one of the swankiest places in town, the El Mirador."
Mary:  "That's right, Bob.  You know, during the war, the El Mirador was a hospital. But it isn't any more."
Bob:  "Well, I wish someone would tell the waiters."
Jack:  "Why?"
Bob:  "Well, last night I ordered Borscht."
Jack:  "Borscht?  Well, did it taste good?"
Bob:  "Who knows?  They laid me on a table and shot it in my arm."
Jack:  "You're kidding."
Bob:  "Kidding?  Look at this muscle, it's a potato!"
Jack:  "Well, how do you like that?"
Bob:  "Then for dessert, they gave me an anesthetic."
Mary:  "Look Bob, that has nothing to do with the dinner.  Everyone who stays at the El Mirador gets an anesthetic."
Bob:  "Yeah, but why?"
Mary:  "That way they can give you the bill and you won't come to until you go through Banning."
Jack:  "Well, that explains a lot of things."
Bob:  "Yeah, it really explains a lot of things."
Jack:  "Yeah.  Like what?"
Bob:  "Well, when I drove up to the place, the bellboy came out, carried in my wallet, and left my bags I the driveway."
Jack:  "Sorry I took your line there.  Anything happens when you do… I take his line, he takes somebody else's.  that's because we don't rehearse, you know."

TIP JOKE:  [6:15]
Mel:  "Telegram for Mr. Jack Benny."
Jack:  "I'll take it, boy."
Mel:  "Here you are."
Jack:  "Oh, just a minute, boy.  Have you got change for a $5 bill?"
Mel:  "Change for a 5?  Yeah, I think so."
Jack:  "Good, good.  Here's the $5 bill."
Mel:  "Here's your change.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5."
Jack:  "Okay, boy.  You can go now."
Mel:  "Oh, thank you, Mr. Benny!  Thank you, this is my lucky day!"
Mary:  "Uh, wait a minute, boy.  What do you mean this is your lucky day?  Mr. Benny gave you a $5 bill and you gave him back five ones.  What are you so happy about?"
Mel:  "When you do business with him and break even, it ain't bad!

JOKE:  [8:00]
Jack:  "Bing, I'm surprised, actually amazed that you're the one taking Dennis' place today."
Bing:  "Why, Jack?  What's so amazing about that?"
Jack:  "Well, let's face it.  How can a kid like Dennis afford to pay a big star like you for a guest appearance."
Bing:  "Wait, wait a minute, Jack  Dennis isn't paying me anything.  The kid and I worked out an exchange deal."
Jack:  "An exchange?"
Bing:  "Yes, I do a guest shot for him today, and he caddies for me tomorrow."
Jack:  "Well Bing, I don't like to cast aspersions on your business ability, but I think Dennis got the best of you on the deal."
Bing:  "Uh uh.  He didn't, Jack.  You see, tomorrow I'm playing a match with Ben Hogan at $100 a hole."
Jack:  "Wait a minute, you can't beat Ben Hogan, he's the best golfer in the country."
Bing:  "That's what I want with Dennis. He'll drive Hogan nuts!"
Jack:  Oh!  Oh, oh!  That's some writing, I got three "oh's"!"

Bing meets the gang [9:00]

Jack: "You know my whole gang, don't you?"
Bing: "Oh, yes. Hi, fellas. Hello, Mary."
Mary: "Hello, Bing,"
Bing: "I guess I know everybody, but who's the fellow standing over there?"
Bob: "I'm your brother."
Bing: "I didn't recognize you. How are you, Robert?"
Bob: "I'm fine, Bing. Gosh, I haven't seen you for months. In fact, not since I started working on Jack's program."
Bing: "Gee, no wonder I didn't recognize you, kid. You've gotten a lot thinner."
Mary: "Now, wait a minute, Bing. If Bob lost any weight, it's not Jack's fault."
Jack: "Certainly not."
Mary: "Bob's working for peanuts, and peanuts are fattening."
Jack: "Well, thank you, Mary. You know, Bing?"
Bing: "Huh?"
Jack:  "It's quite a coincidence having you on the program.  Only three weeks ago, we had your sidekick, Bob Hope as a guest star."
Bing:  "Oh, really?  Well, how is old Sickle Snoot?"
Jack:  Sickle Snoot?  Why do you call Hope that?"
Bing:  "Well, his nose looks like a bagel with one bite out of it."
Jack:  "You know, it does at that."
Mary:  "Say, Bing?"
Bing:  "Huh?"
Mary:  "You and Bob Hope have made an awful lot of pictures together, haven't you?"
Bing:  "Yes, and don't hit that word 'Awful' so hard, will you?  Anyway, Beagle Beak is a little mad about it now.  You know, in every picture we make, I get the girl."
Mary:  "Oh, is that what makes him mad?"
Bing:  "No, I get the money too."
Jack:  "Oh, for heaven's sakes, Bing, with everything else you have, why are you so interested in money?  Believe me, you can't take it with you."
Bing:  "They finally convinced you, huh?"
Jack:  "Well, ALMOST."

JOKE:  [11:15] (Bing's age)
Bing:  "You see, my life story starts off with my birth in the year 1914."
Jack:  "1914?  Gee, this is 1953.  14 from 53… Hmmm.  That would make you 39.  Bing, you can't be 39!"
Bing:  "What's the matter, have you got it patented, or something?"
Jack:  "No, it's just that…"
Mary:  "That finders keepers."
Jack:  "It is not!!"

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  Bing turned 50 a month after this broadcast.

Jack:  "Goodbye."
Rochester:  "Goodbye.  Oh, say boss?"
Jack:  "Now what?"
Rochester:  "The director or your television show called and he's already hired 700 dancing girls for your TV show next Sunday."
Jack:  "Rochester!  I'm not having 700 dancing girls on my television show next Sunday."
Rochester:  "Boss, you know that and I know that, but let's lure the listeners."
Jack:  "Oh, yes!"

Jack:  "In the city of Tacoma, Washington, the stork paid a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Crosby, in the year 1914… it says here."

Jack:  "Then at the age of 7, he received the nickname he made famous:  Bing. It happened to him because his family lived next to a cherry orchard, and he was very fond of Bing cherries.  Fortunately, he didn't live next to an orange grove, or today he might be known as Navel Crosby."

Jack:  "Bing took care of little Robert, and tried to teach him to talk."
Bing:  "Come on, Bobby.  Say Mama."
Bob:  "Dah."
Bing:  "Come on, Bob, say Mama."
Bob:  "Dah."
Bing:  "No, Mama.  Say mama."
Bob:  "Ma-ma-chevevevitz."

Jack:  "Mother Crosby thought Bing was old enough to have responsibilities. So she decided to give him an allowance of a dollar a week.  When it came time to receive his first dollar, Bing said:"
Bing:  "Mother, may I have my allowance?"
Mary:  "Why, certainly son."
[sound of clinking coins]
Mary:  "Here it is."
Bing:  "But mother, I'm supposed to get a dollar allowance.  How come you only gave me 90 cent?"
Mary:  "Brother Everett gets 10%."

JOKE: [21:45]
Jack:  "By now Bing was attending High School.  And one day, on his way to class, he ran into his best friend, Robert Leslie Hope.  Hope suggested they play hooky, which they did.  They went down to the corner fruit store and swiped apples.  Then they went around tipping over ash cans, and breaking windows.  This was the start of their first picture:  'The Road to Reform School'."

Jack:  "When he graduated from college, Bing's ambition was to become a singer.  His career really started with an audition in Los Angeles."
Voice:  "Your name is Harry Lillis Crosby?"
Bing:  "Yes sir, but most people call me Bing."
Voice:  "Tell me, have you made any phonograph records?"
Bing:  "Yes sir.  I made lots of records.  I made them for a company owned by Rudy Vallee, but… I think he's jealous of me."
Voice:  "Well, how can you say Rudy is jealous?  He let you make the records, didn't he?"
Bing:  "Yeah, but he wouldn't put the holes in the middle."
Voice:  "Young man, you know, I like you.  I'm going to give you a chance.  Here, learn this song, and tomorrow night, you'll sing on a coast to coast radio network."
Jack:  "And tomorrow night, for the first time in history, the rich baritone voice of Bing Crosby was heard, as he sang:
Bing:  (To the tune of the old Pepsi Cola jingle) Crunchy Munchies hit the spot!  From the can, and they are shot.  They will become your favorite dish!  They are better than gefilte fish!"

JOKE:  [26:15]
Jack:  "But Bing could afford a stable of slow horses.  He had gone into pictures.  His movie career was always successful.  It became more so because of three brilliant decisions.  He made "Going My Way", he made "Bells of St. Mary's."  And he turned down "The Horn Blows at Midnight".

BOTTOM LINE:  One of the season's better episodes.  Bing can be hot or cold, depending on what he has to work with, but Jack's writers turned in a good script for him.

24.   02/22/53            THE BEAVERS IMPERSONATE THE SHOW             (24:26)

SITCOM:  Rochester is pressing Jack's tuxedo.  The Beverly Hills Beavers are going to do their version of Jack's show at the school auditorium tonight, and Jack is getting ready to attend.  Rochester is pressing Jack's tuxedo. Mary arrives.  She was just talking with Momma on the phone, who was interested in Jack's recent visit with Dwight Eisenhower.  They discuss President Truman's live TV visit from the White House some time back.  Jack mentions that there's now a putting green where the piano used to be.  Mary doesn't want to be seen with Jack in that old fashioned tux, and says it makes him look like the villain in The Drunkard.

Bob calls to say that he's going to have to miss the program due to Jury Duty (funnier than it sounds).  Bob asks if Jack received the recording of him and the Sportsman.  Jack has received it, and plays it as he gets dressed.  Bob and The Sportsmen sing a Lucky Strike-themed version of "Oh, Happy Days".

Jack tells Rochester to get the car ready, but it's got a flat.  (Apparently, Jack did not get the same lifetime supply of product from General Tire that he got from Jell-O).  Mary takes them in her car. As they leave, Dennis drops by, and does his routine. Later, Jack, Mary and Dennis are seated in the auditorium.  Little Joey drops by to report to Jack on the concession stand activity, as well as final casting decisions.  The lady across the aisle asks for Jack's autograph, saying that she loved him in The Drunkard.  Mary thinks the idea of the Beavers parodying Jack's show is very clever (forgetting that they did it once before).

As the curtain goes up, a Kid Orchestra (presumably not falling over drunk, and therefore not very authentic) plays a wheezy, gaspy version of Jack's theme song.  Li'l Don gives Li'l Jack an insulting introduction, which he laughs much too hard at.  Li'l Jack takes exception to it, and slams Li'l Don for not being Li'l enough.  Li'l Mary arrives, fresh from a date with Van Johnson (not Li'l Van, which makes it kind of creepy).  She reads a letter from Li'l Momma.  Li'l Jack asks Li'l Bob if he's learned how to pronounce "that word" yet.  Li'l Bob does it about as well as Big Bob does.

Li'l Frank Nelson delivers a telegram, and finally does the joke that Big Frank was supposed to use on Dreer Pooson day. Li'l Jack starts to introduce the play, when even Li'ler Dennis shows up and does his li'l ol' routine. Li'l Jack goes out into the hall for a candy bar while Li'l Dennis sings his sing.  Li'l Dennis sings "Clancy Lowered the Boom".

Out in the hall, Li'l Jack is trying to decide what kind of candy bar to get.  He plans to get a Milky Dip until Li'l Tout comes by and tries to tout him into buying a Hershey Bar.  To be contrary, Li'l Jack decides on an Almond Joy. Li'l Jack returns to the stage.  Li'l Mary wants to start the play, but Li'l Jack decides to call Li'l Rochester first.  He reaches Li'l Mabel and Li'l Gertrude at the Li'l Ol' Switchboard, who have their own gossip session first. Li'l Jack asks if Li'l Rochester was able to sell the Maxwell.  (No, Li'l Jack doesn't drive a tricycle).  Li'l Rochester tells Li'l Jack about an offer, which Li'l Jack is quite enthusiastic about until he finds where the decimal point is.

When the call is over, Li'l Jack hasn't got enough time left to do a play.  Meanwhile, Big Jack is in the aisles, hawking his concessions.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Frank Bank, Gloria Gordon, Patty Lannone, Sandy Lannone, Eric Nielson, Stuffy Singer, Peter Votrian, Beverly Washburn, Walter Wooten

DON'S INTRO:  "Ladies and gentlemen, let's take you back to yesterday.  Last night, the members of the Beverly Hills Beavers put on a play at the school auditorium.  Of course, Jack Benny, who happens to be the treasurer of the club, was planning to go.  We now find Rochester pressing Jack's tuxedo.

NOTE:  Edited for Rebroadcast

NOTE:  This is a remake of the 04-23-1950 episode, with some jokes altered, and minor changes made (Phil's character removed, Bob's added).

RUNNING JOKES:  Jack's tuxedo is of a very old style, and Jack has rented it out for funerals.  The tuxedo is said to make Jack look like the villain in "The Drunkard" (1950), which starred Orestis Makris.

NOTE:  Most of the routines in the Beavers version of the play are taken more or less verbatim from previous Benny episodes.

BIG DENNIS' ROUTINE:  Dennis thinks he won a bicycle on a quiz program, but actually bought it at an auction.

LI'L DENNIS' ROUTINE:  Li'l Dennis shows up wearing glasses, which he doesn't need, but inherited from his Uncle.  Li'l Jack insists that just because somebody leaves you something in a will doesn't mean you have to use it.  Dennis puts a pair of false teeth up for sale.

JOKE:  [0:00]
Don:  "The Jack Benny Program!
Don:  "Jack Benny, with Mary Livingstone, Rochester, Dennis Day, bob Crosby, and yours truly, Don Wilson."
Ladies and gentlemen, let's take you back to yesterday.  Last night, the members of the Beverly Hills Beavers put on a play at the school auditorium.  Of course, Jack Benny, who happens to be the treasurer of the club, is planning to go.    We now find Rochester pressing Jack's tuxedo."

Rochester:  "(singing) Press it once and press it twice and press it once again.  It's been a long, long time.  Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah… Well, I got the pants pressed.  Now, I'd better finish pressing the coat.  I wonder where Mr. Benny bought this coat.  It should be on the label.  Yeah, there it is.  The Pep Boys."
Jack:  "Oh, Rochester!  Have you finished pressing my clothes yet?"
Rochester:  "Yes Boss, but who was the last one you rented this tuxedo to?"
Jack:  "Why?"
Rochester:  "Every time I lay the coat down, the arms fold!"
Jack:  "Oh, stop."
Rochester:  "Anyway, you're only going to a school play.  Why dress formal?"
Jack:  "Well Rochester, the Beavers aren't putting on just a play.  They're going to do their version of my radio program.  You see, each one of the kids will portray a member of my cast."
Rochester:  "Oh."
Jack:  "And since I'm the inspiration for their show, they may ask me to come up on the stage and make a speech.  Gosh, I'll never forget 10 years ago when I made that speech at the Academy Awards."
Rochester:  "Boss, I didn't know you were on the speaker's list."
Jack:  "I wasn't, but I just had to get up and tell them what I thought of them.  I'm glad I did, too.
Jack:  "I'll get it, Rochester."
[door opens]
Jack:  "Oh, hello Mary."
Hello, Jack.  Am I late?"
Jack:  "Well, we don't have to be at the school auditorium for a half hour yet.  Sit down, Mary."
Mary:  "Thanks.  You know, just before I left home, I was talking on the phone to Mama."
Jack:  "Oh, your mother, huh?"
Mary:  "Mmm hmm."
Jack:  "What did the No Loose Ends of Plainfield have to say?"
Mary:  "She told me she read in the paper about your visit with President Eisenhower.
Jack:  "That's right, Mary, I did visit the President."
Mary:  "Did he show you around the White House?"
[Amazing that Jack did this and Mary hasn't heard the story yet.]
Jack:  "Yes, Mary, he was very nice to me.  And Mary, remember when you saw the White House on television?  That big room where the piano was?"
Mary:  "Uh huh."
Jack:  "There's a putting green there now.  Very nice, though."
Rochester:  "Here's your tuxedo, Boss."
Jack:  "Oh, help me on with the coat, Rochester.  I want to see if it still fits.  Thanks."
Mary:  "Jack!  If you wear that old tuxedo again, I'm not going out with you!  It's so old-fashioned now!"
Jack:  "Old fashioned?"
Mary:  "Yes, look how long the coat is!  Ha, ha, ha, ha!  Ha, ha, ha!"
Jack:  "What are you laughing at?"
Mary:  "You look like the villain in The Drunkard."
Jack:  "Only when I wear the cape!  Now, Mary…"
Mary:  "Jack, I mean it.  I wouldn't be seen dead in that tuxedo."
Rochester:  "Our last customer didn't mind."
Jack:  "Now, cut that out!  I'm going to wear this tuxedo and that settles it.  Now Rochester, I won't be home…"
[phone rings]
Jack:  "Oh, there's the phone, I'll get it."
Jack:  "Hello?"
Bob:  "Hi, Jack.  This is Bob.  I hate to bother you today, but I wanted to let you know I'm on jury duty."
Jack:  "Jury duty?  You're kidding."
Bob:  "No, the first case comes up on Wednesday, and it may last for weeks."
Jack:  "But this is ridiculous, you'll miss my show.  Didn't you tell them you work for me?"
Bob:  "Yes I did, Jack."
Jack:  "Well, why didn't you tell them it would be a hardship if you had to lose the income from my show?"
Bob:  "Well, I told them, Jack, but that didn't work either."
Jack:  "Why not?"
Bob:  "Well, they pay more than you do."
Jack:  "What?"
Bob:  "Three bucks a day!"
Jack:  "Well, that temporary work is always high.  Well Bob, I just can't let you miss my show."
Bob:  "Well, there's really nothing you can do about it, Jack."
Jack:  "Oh no?  What about my contract with you?"
Bob:  "Well, that's the case that we're trying Wednesday."
Jack:  "Now lookit, stop joke, Bob.  I need you for the show, so I wish you'd try and make it."
Bob:  "Okay.  Say, by the way, Jack, did you get that recording I made with the Sportsmen?"
Jack:  "Oh, yes Bob, it's right here."
Bob:  "Well, would you play it?  I think you might enjoy it."
Jack:  "All right, I'll play it right now.  So long, Bob."
Bob:  "Goodbye.
[hangs up]
Jack:  "Oh Mary, Bob sent me a record he made with the Sportsmen Quartet. Let's play it."
Mary:  "Okay.  Where is it?"
Jack:  "Right there by the phonograph.  And play it loud, Mary, so I can hear it from the other room while I'm getting dressed."
Mary:  "Okay."

[Bob and The Sportsmen sing "Oh Happy Days" with the tobacco verses removed.]
Jack:  "Say Mary, that was very good.  It was thoughtful of Bob to get the Sportsmen to do it with him."
Mary:  "Oh, it sure was.  Say Jack, don't you think it's about time we left for the school auditorium?"
Jack:  "Yes, we haven't got much time.  Rochester, get my car out of the garage, will you please?"
Rochester:  "You can't use the car, Boss, a nail went through one of the tires."
Jack:  "Oh."
Rochester:  "I told you not to buy such cheap tires."
Jack:  "Rochester, the most expensive tire in the world can be punctured by a nail."
Rochester:  "A fingernail??"
Jack:  "Well, what did you touch it for??  Always testing!  Now, what are we going to do?"
Mary:  "Well, I've got my car outside."
Jack:  "Okay, we'll go in yours.  Come on."
Mary:  "Bye, Rochester."
Rochester:  "Goodbye.
Rochester:  "Goooodbye!"
Mary:  "Jack, wasn't that a nice song Bob sang?"
Jack:  "Yeah."
Mary:  "The sun is shining, oh happy days."
Jack:  "They may cut taxes, I feel so gay…  Bom-bom-bom-bom…"
Mary:  "Oh Jack, look.  Here comes Dennis on a bicycle."
Jack:  "Where?"
Dennis:  "Oh, hello Mary.  Hello, Mr. Benny."
Jack:  "Oh, hello kid.  We were just leaving for the school auditorium.  Aren't you going to see the Beverly Hills Beavers put on their play?"
Dennis:  "Oh, sure, but it's such a nice night, I thought I'd ride over on my new bicycle."
Mary:  "Oh, is that a new one, Dennis?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, I won it last night on a quiz program."
Mary:  "On a quiz program?  Gosh,  you're really lucky."
Dennis:  "Yeah."
Mary:  "Well, was it a hard question?"
Dennis:  "Oh no, it was easy.  The man pointed at me and said 'Would you pay $100 for this bicycle?'  I said yes, so I gave him the hundred dollars and he gave me the bicycle."
Jack:  "Dennis…"
Dennis:  "I almost won a refrigerator but I didn't have enough money."
Jack:  "Look kid, did the Master of Ceremonies at this quiz program have a little hammer in his hands?"
Dennis:  "Uh huh."
Mary:  "Dennis, you were at an auction."
Jack:  "Certainly.  And all those people crowded around were bidding.  I know what I'd have done if I'd have had the hammer.  Now, come on, we'd better get to the school auditorium."
Dennis:  "Okay."
Jack:  "And, by the way Dennis, did you ask your mother if you could go duck hunting with me again next week."
Dennis:  "Yeah."
Mary:  "Dennis, I didn't know you go with Mr. Benny on his hunting trips."
Dennis:  "Oh sure, I'm his retriever."
Mary:  "You mean when he shoots, you bring back the duck?"
Dennis:  "No, when he misses, I have to bring back the buckshot."
Jack:  "All right, all right.  Now Dennis, leave your bicycle here and come with us."
Dennis:  'Okay."

[interlude music]

[crowd noise]

Jack:  "Say, this school auditorium really is packed.  But we got pretty good seats, didn't we, Mary?"
Mary:  "Oh, these are fine.  Right in the center, too."
Jack:  "Can you see all right, Dennis?"
Dennis:  "No."
Jack:  "Well, why don't you ask that man in front of you to take off his hat."
Dennis:  "It isn't his."
Jack:  "What?"
Dennis:  "It's mine, I put it there."
Jack:  "Well, take it off and be quiet!"
Joey:  "Oh, Mr. Benny!  Mr. Benny!"
Jack:  "Oh, hello Joey.  Is everything ready backstage for your show?"
Joey:  "Uh huh."
Jack:  "Are the kids nervous?"
Joey:  "Yeah, a little bit."
Jack:  "Well, good luck."
Joey:  "Thanks, Mr. Benny.  And by the way, you'll be happy to know that we're almost sold out of popcorn."
Jack:  "Oh good, good.  Now, push the lemonade.  Go ahead."
Joey:  "Hello, Miss Livingstone.  Tonight we're going to do a takeoff on Mr. Benny's radio show."
[If the Beavers actually listen to Jack's show, how come they still idolize him and believe he's done all the things he claims?]
Mary:  "I know."
Jack:  "Hey Joey, did you finally find a fat kid to pay Don Wilson?"
Joey:  "Uh huh."

Jack:  "Good, good.  Now you'd better hurry or you'll be late.  Well Mary, it won't be long now before the show starts."
Mary:  Gee, I hope the Beavers really do a…"
Jack:  "Hey, Mary!  Mary!"
Mary:  "Huh?"
Jack:  "Don't look now, but there's a lady across the aisle who keeps staring at me.  I guess she recognizes me."
Mary:  "Where?"
Jack:  "Here she comes."
Lady:  "Pardon me, but would you be good enough to give me your autograph?"
Jack:  "Why, certainly.  There you are."
Lady:  "Thank you.  You were wonderful in The Drunkard."
Jack:  "Hmmm."
Mary:  "I told you not to wear that cape!"
Jack:  "I'll take it off!  You know, Mary, this idea of the kids doing my radio program is really clever."
Mary:  "Oh yes, Jack, I think it's the cutest thing… Oh!  The curtain is going up."
Jack:  "Yeah, yeah."
[curtain rising sound]
Jack:  "And look!  Look!  They've even got a kid orchestra."
Mary:  "Quiet, here they go."


[Orchestra plays a wheezy, gaspy version of Love in Bloom]
Li'l Don:  "The Jack Benny Show, starring Jack Benny, with Mary Livingstone, Rochester, Dennis Day, Bob Crosby, and yours truly, Don Wilson."
[music gasps to a halt]
Li'l Don:  "And now, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to bring you the star of our show.  A man who still has the first dollar he ever earned.  Not because he's cheap, but because you can't spend Confederate money.  And here he is, Jack Benny."
Li'l Jack:  "Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Hello again, this is Jack Benny talking.  And Don, did you think up that introduction all by yourself?"
Li'l Don:  "Yes Jack, and I thought it was very funny."
Li'l Jack:  "Oh, you did, eh?"
Li'l Don:  "Yeah!  Ha, ha, ha, ha!  Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Li'l Jack:  "Don.
[Li'l Don can't stop laughing]
Li'l Jack:  "Don.
[Li'l Don can't stop laughing]
Li'l Jack:  "Blubber Boy!  Take it easy.  The last time you shook like that, you got a proposal from Helo Hattie.  And another thing, Don… Oh, hello Mary."
Li'l Mary:  "Hello Jack, hiya Don."
Li'l Jack:  "Say, Mary.  I called you last night, but your maid said you were out."
Li'l Mary:  "That's right, I went to the baseball game with Van Johnson.”
Li'l Jack:  "That was nice.  Who won?"
Li'l Mary:  "When you're with Van Johnson, who watches the game?"
Li'l Jack:  "Mary, what's this you dropped on the floor?"
Li'l Mary:  "That?  Oh, that's a letter I got from Mama."
Li'l Jack:  "From your mother, eh?  What does the Third Dimension of Plainfield have to say?"
[Li'l Mary screams]
Li'l Mary:  "I'll read it to you.  Hmm, hmm, hmm.  My darling daughter, Mary.  Just a few lines to let you know that we are all well.  The weather is nice here now, but as you probably read in the paper, we had an awful blizzard.  And when your father came in from the barn, his milking hand was frozen."
Li'l Jack:  "Gee."
Li'l Mary:  "I hope it thaws out soon, as we'd like to get the cow out o the house."
Li'l Jack:  "I don't blame her."
Big Jack:  "Mary.  Mary, that little girl is a natural born actress."
Big Mary:  "Yes, she went right on reading the letter even though her bloomers were slipping down."
Big Jack:  "Yeah."
Li'l Mary:  "No other news, so we'll close now.  With love, your loving mother, Mama."
Li'l Jack:  "You know, Mary.  Your mother's letters get better all the time.  But let's get on with the show.  Oh, Bob?  Bob Crosby, I'm talking to you!"
Li'l Bob:  "Oh, I'm sorry, Jack, I didn't hear you."
Li'l Jack:  "Didn't hear me?"
Li'l Bob:  "No, I've been rehearsing the band and my ears are still folded."
Li'l Jack:  "Oh, say Bob.  I meant to ask you.  Did you learn how to pronounce that word yet?"
Li'l Bob:  "I think so."
Li'l Jack:  "Let me hear you say it."
Li'l Bob:  "Manischevivivitz."
Li'l Jack:  "Well, keep trying Bob.  You don't want to disgrace your wife and children."
Li'l Don:  "Say, Jack."
Li'l Jack:  "What is it, Don?"
Li'l Don:  "I think this fellow has a telegram for you."
Li'l Jack:  "Well?  What are you waiting for?  Oh, boy?  Boy?"
Li'l Frank Nelson:  "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees?"
Li'l Jack:  "Oh, fine.  Are you from Western Union?"
Li'l Frank:  "Who do you think I am with this uniform?  Nelson Eddie?"
Li'l Jack:  "Never mind, just give me the message."
Li'l Frank:  "Here you are."
Li'l Jack:  "And here's a tip for you."
Li'l Frank:  "Oh boy, a nickel!  Now I can send my father through college!"
Li'l Jack:  "Say, I've had trouble with you before.  What's the matter with you?  Do you enjoy aggravating me?"
Li'l Frank:  "Ooooooooooooooooooooooooh, do I?????"
Li'l Jack:  "Now, let's see.  I wonder who this telegram is from."
Li'l Mary:  "Jack, you only gave a nickel tip!  That's the cheapest thing I ever heard of!"
Li'l Jack:  "Mary, be quiet.  Or you'll be known as Nylon Nellie at the May Company.  And now, ladies and gentlemen, for our feature attraction of the night, we are going to…"
Li'l Dennis:  "Hello, Mr. Benny, hello Mary."
Li'l Mary:  "Hello, Dennis."
Li'l Jack:  "Hey, Kid.  I'm glad you got here because it's time for your… wait a minute.  Dennis, look at me."
Li'l Dennis:  "Huh?"
Li'l Jack:  "Dennis, this is the first time I ever saw you wearing glasses.  Are your eyes bad?"
Li'l Dennis:  "No."
Li'l Jack:  "Then why are you wearing those glasses?"
Li'l Dennis:  "My uncle died and left them to me."
Li'l Jack:  "My uncle?  Oh, that's a shame."
Li'l Dennis:  "Yeah, I can't see a darn thing with 'em!"
Li'l Jack:  "Well, for heaven's sake, kid.  If you can't see with them, take them off.  Just because somebody leaves you something in a will doesn't mean you're compelled to use it."
Li'l Dennis:  "I'm not?"
Li'l Jack:  "No."
Li'l Dennis:  "Anybody want to buy a set of teeth?"
Li'l Jack:  "Now, cut that out!  And take off those glasses.  It's time for your song."
Li'l Dennis:  "Okay."
Li'l Jack:  "And while you're singing, I'm going out in the hall to get a candy bar out of the machine.
[Li'l Dennis sings "Clancy Lowered the Boom"]
Li'l Jack:  "Where's the candy machine?  Ah, here it is.  Now, let's see.  They've got Hershey, Circus Peanuts, Lifesavers, Baby Ruth, and Milky Dip.  I think I'll get that one.  A Milky Dip."
Li'l Tout:  "Hey, Bud.  Bud."
Li'l Jack:  "Huh?"
Li'l Tout:  "C'mere a minute."
Li'l Jack:  "Who, me?"
Li'l Tout:  "Yeah. What'ya doin'?"
Li'l Jack:  "I'm getting some candy."
Li'l Tout:  "What kind?"
Li'l Jack:  "A Milky Dip."
Li'l Tout:  "Uh uh."
Li'l Jack:  "What?"
Li'l Tout:  "Get a Hershey Bar."
Li'l Jack:  "Why a Hershey Bar?"
Li'l Tout:  "In this hot weather, nothing runs like chocolate."
Li'l Jack:  "But I want a Milky Dip."
Li'l Tout:  "Milky Dip hasn't got a chance."
Li'l Jack:  "What are you talking about?  Milky Dip not only has chocolate on the outside, it has cream in the center."
Li'l Tout:  "That's what'll give you the trouble."
Li'l Jack:  "What?"
Li'l Tout:  "Cream is hard to handle unless you whip it."
Li'l Jack:  "Gee, I never thought of that.  You really think I should get a Hershey Bar?"
Li'l Tout:  "Can't miss.  Look at the last performance."
Li'l Jack:  "Last performance?"
Li'l Tout:  "Coming out of the machine, Hershey was boxed in by Lifesaver, but got through the hole."
Li'l Jack:  "Really?"
Li'l Tout:  "And Lifesaver was the flavorite."
Li'l Jack:  "Well, I don't know.  I'm still going to… wait a minute!  I know what I'll do.  I'll get an Almond Joy."
Li'l Tout:  "Okay, it's your dough."
Big Mary:  "Wasn't he cute, Jack?  Just like the Tout on our show."
Big Jack:  "Yeah."
[completely unnecessary expository dialogue, just to keep the real Jack and Mary with a little presence in the show]
Li'l Mary:  "Hurry up, Jack.  Dennis has finished his song."
Li'l Jack:  "Okay, Mary."
[door opens]
Li'l Mary:  "What took you so long, Jack?"
Li'l Jack:  "Oh, I ran into that racetrack tout.  Hmm, now where were we?"
Li'l Dennis:  "We're supposed to start our sketch."
Li'l Jack:  "Oh, yes.  Hold it a moment.  Kid?  Before we start, I want to call Rochester."
[picks up phone]
Li'l Gertrude:  "Oh, Mabel?"
Li'l Mabel:  "What is it, Goitrude?"
Li'l Gertrude:  "Mr. Benny's line is flashing."
Li'l Mabel:  "I wonder what The Schmoe of Kilimanjaro wants now?"
Li'l Gertrude:  "Well, I'll answer it and find out.  Hello?"
Li'l Jack:  "Hello?  Gertrude?  Will you try and get me Rochester, please?"
Li'l Gertrude:  "Just a moment, Blue Eyes."
Li'l Gertrude:  "He wants I should get him Rochester."
Li'l Mabel:  "It's a good thing he talked to you.  I'd hung up on him."
Li'l Gertrude:  "Why?"
Li'l Mabel:  "Jack took me out once and didn't even kiss me goodnight.  I can't understand it.  I even brought my lips up close to him.  Like this."
Li'l Gertrude:  "Well, no wonder he didn't kiss you."
Li'l Mabel:  "What!?"
Li'l Gertrude:  "I've seen a better pucker on a closed laundry bag."
[clicking sound]
Li'l Jack:  "Operator!  Operator!  Get me Rochester."
Li'l Gertrude:  'Yes, Mr. Benny.  I'm ringing for you."
[line rings]
Li'l Rochester:  "Mr. Benny's residence, star of stage, screen, radio, television and a man who knows."
Li'l Jack:  "Never mind that, Rochester."
Li'l Rochester:  "Oh, it's you, Boss."
Li'l Jack:  "Did the man from the used car lot come around to buy my car?"
Li'l Rochester:  "Yes sir."
Li'l Jack:  "Well, did you tell him the price was a thousand dollars?"
Li'l Rochester:  "Uh huh.  But he told me [unintelligible]
Li'l Jack:  "Oh?  What did he offer you?"
Li'l Rochester:  "Seven fifty."
Li'l Jack:  "Well, that isn't so bad."
Li'l Rochester:  "You ought to see where the decimal point is."
Li'l Jack:  "Now, Rochester!  Stop being on his side.  You know as well as I do that the car is worth a thousand dollars."
Li'l Rochester:  "Oh Boss, come now."
Li'l Jack:  "All right, all right.  Well, tell the man I'm not selling it anyway.  Come down to the studio and pick me up.  Goodbye."
Li'l Rochester:  "Goooodbye."
Li'l Mary:  "Jack, you were on the phone so long we haven't got time to do the play."
Li'l Jack:  "Oh, I don't know.  You try to put on a program and something always happens.  Play, Bob."
Big Jack:  "Lemonade!  Get your lemonade in the lobby."
Big Mary:  Jack!"
Big Jack:  "Oh, I'm sorry."
Big Jack:  "Good night, everybody, we're a little late."

BOTTOM LINE:  Another one of the all-time great shows, despite the rushed ending.

25.   03/01/53            OFF TO NEW YORK CITY             (25:00)

SITCOM:  Jack and Rochester are at home, packing for a trip to New York.  Jack is packing all his heaviest clothing for the cold weather.  Jack muses about whether or not to take his violin along.  Jack announces he's staying at the Acme Plaza, triggering another spate of Plaza jokes.  Rochester asks to come along to New York, but Jack realizes that he just wants to go to Harlem and spend all his time with his girlfriend, Dorothy. Jack gets a mysterious phone call from a young girl, who thinks she's calling her fiancé "Chuck", about their elopement.  She gives instructions and hangs up before Jack has time to mention that he's not Chuck.

Jack is waiting for Mary to come help him pack.  Bob arrives with a suitcase Jack wanted to borrow.  The suitcase belongs to Bob's brother Bing, and has some amenities not found in ordinary suitcases. Jack gets another phone call intended for Chuck, but again the young girl hangs up before Jack can tell her she has the wrong number.  Bob discusses a gig he has with his piano player, Charlie Bagby.  Jack tells Bob about the phone calls, and asks if Bagby ever goes by the name "Chuck".  Bob downplays the idea.  Bob and Bagby are rehearsing a number called "Keep it a Secret", and so Bob plays it for Jack.

Segue to Mary's house, where Mary's maid Pauline is helping Mary pack.  Pauline insists that Mary is the real star of the show, and that Jack would be nowhere without her.  By the time Jack calls, Mary is pretty burned up about the situation. Later, Jack, Mary and Rochester arrive at the station in Mary's car.  Mary accuses Jack of going to the Testimonial dinner just for the free meal.  In the station, a train is about to leave for Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga.  Mary wants to go to the soda fountain for a drink, but Bing's suitcase is well equipped. When Mary goes to the newsstand for a magazine, Jack runs into Don.  Don brought the Sportsmen along.  Since they can't be there when Jack returns, they want to welcome him back to town NOW.  The Sportsmen sing a Lucky Strike themed version of "Hello, Beautiful", entitled "Hello, Jack."

Jack runs into Mr. Kitzel waiting for his wife.  She went to the Republican National Convention that started last July, and has just finished her speech.  Later, Mr. Kitzel is taking his wife to a Marilyn Monroe picture to show her why they don't get along.  Jack tells Mr. Kitzel he's going to New York.  Kitzel asks Jack to say hello to that bum of a brother of his, who's staying at some dump called The Acme Plaza. The young girl pages Chuck over the PA system.  She finally catches Jack's interest when he learns that she withdrew $10,000 from the bank for their elopement.

Jack goes to get his ticket validated, and runs into Frank Nelson in the ticket booth.  As they argue, the train begins to leave.  Jack gets his ticket stamped, and makes a run for it.  Chuck and the young girl are on the train, and it turns out that Chuck really is Bagby.


NOTABLE GUEST STARS:  Charlie Bagby, Doris Singleton

RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Artie Auerbach, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Frank Nelson, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Muriel Landers

DON'S INTRO:  Ladies and gentlemen, Jack Benny took the Super Chief to New York to attend the testimonial dinner given by the Friar's Club in honor of Bob Hope.  Let's look in on him as he packs for the trip, with the help of Rochester.

NOTE:  Edited for rebroadcast.

ACME PLAZA:  [2:00]
Jack:  "Now Rochester, if anyone wants to contact me while I'm in New York, I'll be at the Acme Plaza Hotel?"
Rochester:  "Again??"
Jack:  "Yes, and you don't have to use that one of voice.  They treat me very nice at the Acme Plaza.  In fact, this time they're giving me the Penthouse Suite."
Rochester:  "Oh, that's nice.  That's the one that underlooks the park."
Jack:  "Never mind that.  Since you were there with me last, that hotel has made a lot of improvements.  You remember how every time I wanted to take a bath, I'd have to stand in line?"
Rochester:  "Yes."
Jack:  "Well, they've put a bench there now."

JOKE:  [2:30] (The farce begins)
[phone rings]
Jack:  "Hello?"
Girl:  "Hello, Chuck??  I have to talk fast, so don't interrupt!  My father's found out that we're in love, so if we're going to get married, Chuck, we'd better elope!  I'll have my things ready and I'll be waiting for you!  Goodbye, Chuck!"
Jack:  "Hmmm."
Rochester:  "Who was it, Boss?"
Jack:  "It must be a wrong number.  It MUST be a wrong number, I don't know any girls whose fathers are still alive!"

[doorbell rings]
Jack:  "Hi, Bob."
Bob:  "Hi, Jack.  I brought the suitcase."
Jack:  "Oh, thanks a lot.  Come on in.  let's bring it to the other room where I'm packing."
Bob:  "Oh, hello Mr. Crosby!  Say, that's the most expensive bag I've ever seen.  And look at those initials in gold:  BC."
Jack:  "Gee Bob, this bag must have cost a lot of money."
Bob:  "Well, I don't know.  You see, it's Bing's.  he loaned it to me."
Jack:  "Oh, well it certainly is the most beautiful suitcase I've ever seen.  Let me open it."
[opening sound]
Jack:  "Gee, this is just as beautiful on the inside.  It's all fitted and made into sections."
Bob:  "Bing had it made that way."
Jack:  "Oh, really?  What are all these compartments for?"
Bob:  "Well, they're all marked.  You see, handkerchiefs, socks, ties, twenties, fifties and hundreds."
Jack:  "Oh, oh yes.  Yes, now I see.  Some of the green rubbed off there.  Well, this is the most novel suitcase I've ever seen."
Bob:  "Well, Bing thinks of everything.  Jack, turn that little knob on the side."
Jack:  "The side of the suitcase?"
Bob:  "Mmm hmm."
Jack:  "This knob here?"
Bob:  "Mmm hmm.  Yeah, turn it."
[liquid sound]
Jack:  "Well, I'll be darned!  Minute Maid Orange Juice!  Well Bob, it's awfully nice of you to lend me this bag, and… wait a minute.  What's this?  Looks like a little sunbonnet."
Bob:  "Oh, we packed the baby's things in this when we went to Palm Springs.  I guess we forgot to take some things out."
Jack:  "Aww, isn't this cute.  The tiniest little dress I've ever seen.  Look at these baby shoes too.  Bob?  What does a baby need with all these handkerchiefs?"
Bob:  "Jack, they're not handkerchiefs."

 JOKE:  [7:30]
Jack:  "Tell me.  Is Charlie Bagby ever called Chuck?  Huh"
Bob:  "No, why?"
Jack:  "Well, some girl keeps calling me, and she's going to elope with some guy named Chuck."
Bob:  "Oh, that wouldn't be Bagby.  He hates women now."
Jack:  "What do you mean now?"
Bob:  "Well Jack, didn't you know, Charlie was all set to be married, and on the very day of the wedding, his girl jilted him?"
Jack:  "You mean she stood him up?"
Bob:  "Yep, but he fell right back down again."

FLUB:  [10:00]
Bob tells Jack to "enjoy yourselves".

JOKE:  [10:00]
Bob:  "By the way, the weather in New York can get pretty cold.  Are you taking your long underwear?"
Bob:  "Jack, I said are you taking your long underwear?"
Rochester:  "Mr. Crosby, you're new here.  We've done all those flap jokes."

JOKE:  [11:00] (Pauline discusses Jack's trip to New York)
Pauline:  "Miss Livingstone, what's he going to New York for this time?"
Mary:  "Well, the Friars are giving Bob Hope a testimonial dinner, and Mr. Benny is supposed to make a speech there."
Pauline:  "Is he a good after-dinner speaker?"
Mary:  "Oh, yes.  You should have heard him last night.  He made one of the most stirring after dinner speeches I ever heard."
Pauline:  "Where was that?"
Mary:  "At the Thrifty Drugstore."
Pauline:  "The Thrifty Drugstore?"
Mary:  "Yes, right after we had dinner, he jumped up on the counter and complained about the bill."

Mel:  "Train now leaving on Track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa and Cu... camonga."

Mel:  "Attention, please, attention.  The Sunset Limited now leaving for Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Jambalaya.  Sonofagun, we had big fun on the bayou!"

JOKE:  [15:15]
Don:  "My wife and I took our nephew Tommy out to dinner."
Jack:  "Tommy?  Oh yes, I know him, he's that mischievous little kid, isn't he?"
Don:  "Aww, he's not so bad, Jack."
Jack:  "He isn't, eh? Listen Don, that kid can get into more trouble."
Don:  "Well, as a matter of fact, he did embarrass me a little."
Jack:  "I can imagine, that boy is the worst… what happened?"
Don:  "Well, after dinner, I paid the check and left a couple of bucks for the waitress.  And after we got home, Tommy stuck out his hand and said 'Uncle, here's the $2 you left on the table'."
Jack:  "Gee, what a wonderful kid.  I had him all wrong, you know."

Mel:  "The Union Pacific Stream Liner now arriving from Las Vegas on Track (dice rolling sound, bells) 17."

Mel:  "Attention please, attention.  We have a special announcement to make about our Lost & Found Department.  It's been lost."

Mel:  "The Super Chief departs on Track 9 in 10 minutes."

Mel:  "Attention please, attention.  The new 160 mile an hour Super Streak now leaving for Phoenix, El Paso, St. Louis, New York, and maybe London."
Jack:  "What does he mean 'Maybe London'?"
Mel:  "It has bad brakes."
Jack:  "That's the silliest thing I ever heard!"

Mel:  "Attention please, attention.  This is contrary to our policy, but there is someone here who wishes to make a special announcement.  Go ahead."
Girl:  "Chuck!  I got out of the house myself and I'm waiting for you!  I would have been here sooner, but I stopped at the bank and drew out all my money!  $10,000!"
Jack:  "Ten thou… coming!!  Coming


Jack:  "Mister, are you the man who validates tickets?"
Frank:  "No, I'm just here because I was born with this rubber stamp in my hand."
Jack:  "Look, all I want you to do is validate my ticket."
Frank:  "Where are you going?"
Jack:  "New York."
Frank:  "Good, now if we can just get rid of the smog."

JOKE:  [23:15]
Frank:  "Would you like a compartment?"
Jack:  "No, I'm by myself."
Frank:  "A roomette?"
Jack:  "No, I don't even need that.  As a matter of fact, I don't even need a lower berth.  Tell me, do you have any uppers?"
Frank:  "Well, I… wait a minute!  Ask me that again!"
Jack:  "Do you have any uppers?"
Frank:  "yes, and if you don't go away, I'll bite you!"
Jack:  "You're very funny"
Frank:  "My mother thinks so."
Jack:  "Now cut that out!"

BOTTOM LINE:  Above average episode.  These train station scenes are usually good.

26.   03/08/53            THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO             (26:01)

SITCOM:  Jack is having breakfast after returning from New York.  Mary arrives, to take Jack to rehearsal, and make the usual cracks about his age. With great difficulty, they start the Maxwell, and head to the studio.  At the studio, Jack can't find a parking spot, and deigns to park in a public lot.  A chauffeured limousine drives into the lot, with Dennis inside.  Dennis does his routine. In the studio, they find Bob rehearsing the band.  Dennis rehearses his song, "You Are My Guiding Light".  Jack decides to rehearse the play.

THE PLAY:  "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", a take off on the movie of the same name (1952), starring Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward. Jack is Gregory Peck, a writer in Africa.  He has an infected leg and two vultures hovering over him.  The end is near.  His companion, Rosie the Roisterer has gone out and strangled a lion for lunch. A Witch Doctor (Dennis) comes by to help Jack, but is only interested in shrinking his head.  Jack insists on getting a second opinion.  The Witch Doctor incants a goofy song to try to treat Jack (not accompanied by Alvin and the Chipmunks, for some reason, and none of the lyrics sound like "Oo-Ee-Oo-Ah-Ah, Ting-Tang-Walla-Walla-Bing-Bang).

In his delirium, Jack reminisces over his past romances.  One was with Maria (Mary), who once took him to a bullfight. Rosie wakes Jack from his reverie to tell him that the rescue plane is on the way.

Jack falls asleep again, and remembers Ava, whom he met in Paris.  Ava sings in a French café, but for some reason, she sings exactly like Maria Callous.  Jack remembers filling Ava's slipper with champagne, and using several bottles to do it.  Jack proposed to Ava, but when she turned him down, he married Rosie the Roisterer instead (since they're both played by Sara Berner, there's not much difference), and came to Africa.

The relief plane arrives, but can find no place to land.  It throws the food, medicine and Rosie's peroxide out on parachutes.  Jack retrieves the medicine and cures himself, but no trace of the peroxide can be found until they encounter several hundred blonde gorillas on the trip back home.

This was the story of the Snows of Kilimanjaro, Jack assures us, but the snows never seemed to have much part in the story.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Iris Adrian

DON'S INTRO:  "Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday Jack Benny returned from a trip to New York, where he attended the dinner given for Bob Hope by the Friar's Club.  Right now, it's morning, and Jack is just getting up."

RUNNING JOKES:  Using ketchup to substitute for blood, and Don's calendars trying to compete with Marilyn Monroe's.

JOKE:  [0:45] (Haven't heard this bit in a long time)
Jack:  "I was awfully cold last night."
Rochester:  "You're cold every night.  Maybe you haven't got enough blood."
Jack:  "Rochester, I'm not anemic.  Now, lay out my clothes and get me a clean shirt.  I don't want to be late for rehearsal."
Rochester:  "Yes sir."
Rochester:  "Hee, hee, hee.  Not anemic.  I wonder what he'd say if he knew that every morning I sneaked in the bathroom and put ketchup on his razor to keep up his morale?"

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  There were a lot of jokes about Jack's anemia told in the 30's, but they dried up (pun intended) for a long time.

MAXWELL SOUND:  Mel does the Maxwell sound at 3:30.

Jack:  "Try the motor again, Rochester."
Yes sir."
[The engine wheezes and gasps, but doesn't start]
Jack:  "Try it again, Rochester.  Only this time, step on the throttle, advance the spark, pull out the choke, and hold down the clutch."
Rochester:  "Keep talking, Boss.  So far you haven't named one thing we've got."

JOKE:  [4:00] (More on the Maxwell)
Mary:  "Jack, last month when the automobile show was in town, you said you were going downtown and look at a new car."
Jack:  "I did, but the one I wanted to buy they're not making yet, you see.  It's that revolutionary car with three wheels."
Mary:  "Three wheels?  Is that good?"
Rochester:  "It's one more than we've got now."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  No idea if there really was a 3-wheeled car on the drawing board back then, or if it was just a gag.

THE OLD DAYS:  [7:00] (Rehearsing the band)
Jack:  "Aren't some of the boys missing?"
Bob:  "Yeah, Remley, Bagby and Sammy the Drummer won't be here for the show."
Jack:  "Why not?"
Bob:  "Well, last night they were listening to a quiz program, and the MC was asking questions about arithmetic."
Jack:  "What's that got to do with it?
Bob:  "Well, one of the questions was about fractions.  It was how many times will one fifth go into three?  So, they started working it out."
Jack:  "Uh huh?"
Bob:  "And by the time they'd killed off 22 fifths, they lost interest in the answer."
Jack:  "I can't understand it.  I thought when Phil Harris left, the boys would change."
Bob:  "They will, Jack, they will."
Jack:  "But when?"
Bob:  "As soon as they find out that Phil is gone."
Jack:  "Well Bob, who do they think you are?"
Bob:  "Well, I don't know but they keep calling me Alice."

Don:  "And now, ladies and gentlemen, we present our version of The Snows of Kilimanjaro, produced by 20th Century Fox, makers of that new picture, Niagara, starring yours truly, Don Wilson."
Jack:  "Don!  Stick to the script.  You weren't the star of Niagara."
Don:  "I know, but I need the publicity.  My calendars aren't selling at all!"

Jack:  "As the night wore on, my feverish mind was frightened by the sounds of the jungle.  The roar of the lion!"
[lion roars]
Jack:  "The cry of the wild boar!"
[boar cries]
Jack:  "The frightened whinny of our horses."
[horses whinny]
Jack:  "The wild chattering of the monkeys."
[monkeys chatter]
Jack:  "The maniacal screech of the hyena."
[hyena cackles]
Jack:  "The terrifying sound of the crocodile."
Jack:  "The terrifying sound of the crocodile."
Jack:  "I knew if I kept trying, I'd find something that Mel Blanc can't do."

JOKE:  [18:30]
Jack:  "(Narrating) The toreador did well, and to show its appreciation, the crowd yelled and showered him with gifts.  Maria took the rose out of her hair and threw it to him.  I didn't have a rose, so I just threw him my hair."

JOKE:  [19:15]
Jack:  "(Narrating) My thoughts were all of Maria at this time.  Until I felt the throbbing of my leg.  And great waves of pain swept over me and washed me back into unconsciousness.  I was in my camp in Africa.  Susan was still standing guard over me.  She must have realized I had been dreaming of Maria.  Because she said:"
Rosie:  "Wipe that smile off your face, Mac!"
Jack:  "Oh, it's you, Susan.  I must have been dreaming.  Has the plane arrived yet with the medicine?"
Rosie:  "No, they were halfway across the Atlantic and they had to turn back for the peroxide."
Jack:  "For my leg?"
Rosie:  "No, for me! I wasn't born a blonde!"

BOTTOM LINE:  An okay episode.  The idea of doing a sitcom about a rehearsal was a clever way to work a sitcom and a show into the same episode, but the jokes have been better.

27.   03/15/53            HOW PALM SPRINGS WAS FOUNDED             (25:11)

THE SHOW:  In the studio, Don tells the story of Jack's last few days through flashbacks.

SITCOM:  Flashback to last Thursday.  Rochester and Jack are driving to Palm Springs. The Maxwell isn't having one of its better days, and has taken two hours just to get through Cabazon (population 2,535 in 2010).  Jack stops at a filling station to get enough gas to finish the trip, and shows a level of mathematical genius that we never realized he had.

Flashback to Friday.  Jack and Mary are in Palm Springs, sitting around the pool.  Jack has borrowed Mary's swimsuit, since he forgot his own.  If you can forget the hygiene issue, the tan lines would make this pretty funny.  Jack jumps in the pool and stays under for an uncomfortably long time.  No, he's not Guybrush Threepwood, it turns out that his bathing trunks had no string.

Flashback to Saturday.  Jack and Bob are golfing at Tamarisk.  Jack and Bob argue about whether Bob took 4 strokes or 5 on the hole, which is kind of irrelevant, as Jack took 12.  Jack takes his next shot into the rough.  While Jack looks for his ball, he asks Bob to sing the song he's going to do on the program.  Bob sings "Pretend You're Happy When You're Blue".  Jack finds his ball behind a tree, and "accidentally" kicks it into a better position.  Bob wants Jack to take a penalty stroke for doing this, until he finds out the real circumstances under which Phil Harris left the show.  Jack extorts his way to victory.

THE SHOW:  Now it's Sunday, and Don announces a dramatic play about the founding of Palm Springs.

THE PLAY:  [12:30]  Don gives a straight monologue about the history of Palm Springs.  There are no laughs, but at least it's dialogue, which for Don is pretty good this episode.

Jack and Bob are two prospectors, both named Tex.  Lost in the desert, they see a man coming towards them.  The man (Mel) gets into a Seester/Meester routine, which bears a strong resemblance towards Si/Cy. Jack and Bob encounter a man named Windy Wilson, who is blocking their way.  Jack plugs him, but only succeeds in drawing a long, drawn-out death scene. Mel mentions the fact that he's the manager of the Guadalajara Trio.  To prove it, he produces them (from his pocket?) and has them sing a song.  The Guadalajara Trio sings an unidentified song.  Mel asks if they've ever met a Mexican who doesn't do that silly joke about Sy.

Bob sees a mirage; an oasis and a beautiful blonde.  Offering Jack the water, Bob kisses the mirage. Jack and Bob arrive in Palm Springs, which seems to have been already discovered.  In the Date Shop, they meet Tumbleweed Tess (Mary).  Jack plays a game of obviously rigged roulette and loses.  Jack claims that the game is fixed.  The croupier (Mel) admits that in the last half hour, he's been a gas station attendant, a Mexican, and a drunken cow.  Jack walks out in disgust.


NOTABLE GUEST STARS:  Guadalajara Trio

RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


DON'S INTRO:  "Ladies and gentlemen, as you probably know, our little star has completely recovered from his recent attack of influenza.  But his doctors advised him to get a little sunshine and rest.  So last Thursday, he got in his Maxwell, and had Rochester drive him to Palm Springs."

NOTE:  The show is broadcast from the American Legion Hall in Palm Springs.

JOKE:  [1:10] (The Maxwell has its usual problems)
Jack:  "I'd like to get to the Springs before dark.  Although, we're not making such bad time considering we had three blowouts."
Rochester:  "Five."
Jack:  "No, no, Rochester, we only had three blowouts."
Rochester:  "Five.  The tire blew out three times, and your hair blew out twice."
Jack:  "Oh yes, the man behind us thought we lost our fox tail."

JOKE:  [2:00] (Fill 'er up?)
Rochester:  "We're almost out of gas, we'd better stop at a gas station."
Jack:  "Oh, all right.  Now we have to go through lifting up the seat and everything.  Oh, well."
Rochester:  "I'll drive into this station on the corner."
[car pulls up]
Mel:  "Yes, sir.  Fill 'er up?"
Jack:  "Well… how far are we from Palm Springs now?"
Mel:  "Seventeen miles."
Jack:  "Seventeen miles, huh?  Let me see.  The altitude here is 3100 feet.  And the altitude of Palm Springs is 270 feet, that's a drop of 2830 feet.  With 17 miles would be about 3 1/4% grade.  Now, the wind is at our back.  But at the pass, it becomes a headwind of 19 miles an hour.  Hmm.  Let me see, put in 2 and 4/10 gallons."
Mel:  "Yes, Mr. Einstein."
Jack:  "My name isn't Einstein!"
Mel:  "Oh yes, your initials are on the side of the car.  BH."
Jack:  "Those aren't my initials, they belong to the man I bought the car from."
Mel:  "Bob Hope?"
Rochester:  "No.  Ben Hur."

JOKE:  [4:15] (Poolside)
Jack:  "Say, uh Mary?"
Mary:  "Yes, Jack."
Jack:  "Mary, I'd like to talk to you."
Mary:  "What is it?"
Jack:  "Well, it's a little embarrassing."
Mary:  "For heaven's sake, Jack, what is it?"
Jack:  "Well, I don't like to mention this, but your bathing suit is awful snug and skimpy."
Mary:  "Well, go in and take it off.  I didn't want to lend it to you in the first place."
Jack:  "Well, I can't help it if Rochester forget to pack my suit.  Do you think I like wearing yours?  I'm going to have an awful time explaining my tan to the boys in the steam room."

JOKE:  [6:00] (The Golf Scene)
Don:  "That was how Jack spent Friday.  And on Saturday, feeling full if vim, vigor and vitality, he tried his luck on the Tamarisk Golf Course with Bob Crosby."
Jack:  "What did you have on this hole, Bob?"
Bob:  "I had a par 4."
Jack:  "Four??"
Bob:  "Yes, Jack.  Four."
Jack:  "Hmm.  I was sure you took five strokes."
Bob:  "Oh no, my tee shot was right down the middle.  Then I used a 6-iron and was right on the green.  My first putt put it right near the cup, and my second putt was in."
Jack:  "Yes.  You're right.  You did have a four.  Well, I guess you win that hole."
Bob:  "Why, what did you have?"
Jack:  "Twelve.  Well, maybe I'll beat you on this next hole.  Go ahead, tee off."
Bob:  "Okay."
Jack:  "Nice shot, Bob.  Now stand back, will you.  Make sure I'm teed up just right.  Well, here I go."
Jack:  "Hmm.  Missed it."
Jack:  "Hmm."
Jack:  "Hmm."
Bob:  "(singing) They're not making the balls as big this year…"
Jack:  "Oh, quiet!  Stop grinning, you're making me nervous!  Now, here goes!"
Jack:  "There, I hit it!  Say, where did the ball go, Bob?"
Bob:  "You flashed it out into the rough."
Jack:  "Well, let's go look for it."
[walking sounds]
[Bob Sings to himself]
Jack:  "That's a pretty song, Bob."
Bob:  "Yeah, I'm going to do it on the show."
Jack:  "Well, let me hear it now.  If I don't find my ball, sing an encore or something."
[Bob sings "Pretend" so well you can almost hear an orchestra accompanying him]
Jack:  "Nice song, Bob.  I like the way you…"
Bob:  "Hold it, Jack.  You were walking past your ball."
Jack:  "Oh, where is it?"
Bob:  "Oh, it's right behind that tree.  Say, you got a real bad lie there.
Jack:  "Oh, yes.  It's about 200 yards to the green.  Got to keep it low so I don't hit the branches of that tree there.  And I've got to get it high to go over those other trees.  Right in front of the green is that big sand trap.  Bob, what do you think I ought to use?"
Bob:  "Ben Hogan."
Jack:  "Too light a club for me.  I'm an ad-libbing fool, I tell you.  Gee, I was in the same spot yesterday when I played with Stanley Curtis, and George Howard.  They're both watching the game, I thought I'd mention them.  If this tree wasn't directly in the way, I could…"
[whoosh sound]
Jack:  "Hey, where did that ball go?"
Bob:  "You know where it went, you kicked it right out in the fairway."
Jack:  "Well, it was an accident!"
Bob:  "Some accident, the first kick you missed it."
Jack:  "Well, it was an accident, I'm going to shoot it from there."
Bob:  "Oh no, you're not.  The rules say that if you move a ball, it costs you a stroke, and you can't argue with me because I know the rules of golf."
Jack:  "You know, Bob, this is an amazing coincidence."
Bob:  "What's a coincidence?"
Jack:  "It was exactly this time last year, right here on this course, that my ex-orchestra leader became my ex-orchestra leader because he too knew the rules of golf.  Now caddy, hand me my 3-wood.  Thank you."
Jack:  "Where'd it go?  Where'd it go?  Where'd it go?"
Bob:  "Well, I don't know, but when we get to the green, just drop a ball in the hole.  I've got a wife and five kids to support."
Jack:  "There it is. Just on the green there."
Bob:  "Say, that was a swell shot, Jack."
Jack:  "Yeah.  Here's your ball, Bob.  Your shot."
Bob:  "Well, all I need is just another chip."
Jack:  "Hmm, nice shot, Bob.  Right on the green.  Come on."
Jack:  "Well, we're both on the green in two."
Bob:  "Yeah.  You putt first, Jack."
Jack:  "Putt?  Aren't you going to concede that?"
Bob:  "Jack, you've got an 8 foot putt there.  Give me one good reason why I should concede it."
Jack:  "I'll give you six, your wife and five children."

CONTINUITY ALERT:  As in the 9/14/52 episode, we're told that Bob is supporting a wife and five kids on his salary as Jack's orchestra leader.  But in the Jury Duty routine of 2/22/53, Bob seemed to be as poorly paid as the rest of Jack's cast.

JOKE:  [14:40] (They meet Mel in the desert.  Guess what happens)
Bob:  "I think we're lost in this desert, because… hey, wait a minute. Look, there's a man coming towards you."
Jack:  "Oh, yes.  Hello there."
Mel:  "Buenas Dias, Meester."
Jack:  "Now look, amigo, we're lost.  We've been wandering through this desert for days without water or food.  Our skins are burned to a crisp, and our feet worn raw.  Maybe you can help us."
Mel:  "[Something in Spanish]"
Jack:  "What does that mean?"
Mel:  "Next time take the train and relax."
Jack:  "Don't be stupid, there's not a train within a thousand miles of here."
Bob:  "Yeah, do you live around here?"
Mel:  "Oh no, meester."
Bob:  "Then what are you doing out here in the desert anyway?"
Mel:  "I'm looking for my seester, meester."
Jack:  "You're sister's lost, eh?  When did she disappear?"
Mel:  "Last night was when I first meesed her."
Jack:  "Your seester?"
Mel:  "Yes, meester."
Jack:  "So you've been walking through the desert all day?"
Mel:  "Yes, and on my foot, I have a bleester."
Jack:  "Well, that's too…"
Mel:  "Meester."
Jack:  "Hmm."
Bob:  "Hey, that sis of yours.  Is she beautiful?"
Mel:  "Yes, you couldn't reseest her."
Jack:  "Well, maybe you can…"
Mel:  "Meester."
JOKE:  [20:10] (Later)
Jack:  "Now, come on Tex, we've got to go and discover Palm Springs.  So long, Amigo."
Mel:  "Adios, and If I do not see you till then, Happy Easter."
Jack:  "Thanks."
Mel:  "Meester."
Jack:  "Yeah, yeah.  Come on, Tex."
Mel:  "Oh, one moment, senor."
Jack:  "Now what?"
Mel:  "I bet you are surprised to meet a Mexican who does not do that silly talk about Sy."
Jack:  "Sy?"
Mel:  "Si."
Jack:  "Now, cut that out!"

JOKE:  [21:45] (Lost in the desert)
Jack:  "Tex, what are you staring at?"
Bob:  "Why, look up ahead, there's a pool of clear, cold water, and a beautiful gal standing beside it.  Let's go, you can have the water."
Jack:  "Tex!  Tex, come back, it's only a mirage!"
Bob:  "Hello, beautiful."
Mirage:  "Hi, handsome."
Jack:  "Tex, come back!  It's a mirage!"
Bob:  "How about a kiss, sweetie?"
Mirage:  "Okay, cutie.  Come here."
Jack:  "Tex, stop kissing that mirage!  Tex, I tell you it's a mirage!  Tex, stop!"
Bob:  "Oh!  What?"
Jack:  "You were making a fool out of yourself.  You were standing there kidding a mirage."
Bob:  "Are you sure!?"
Jack:  "Yes, your arms are around a cactus plant."
Bob:  "Cactus plant!?  Oh, what a fool I've been!"
Jack:  "Yeah."
Bob:  "For the past two weeks, I've been walking right by 'em!"

BOTTOM LINE:  A below average episode.  The bit in the Maxwell is okay, the swimsuit scene is unfunny (not to mention a little unsanitary), and the play is pure formula, and rambles all over creation in search of a plot.  However, the golf scene with Jack and Bob is quite funny, and is one of Bob's better scenes.

28.   03/22/53            A WALK THROUGH BEVERLY HILLS             (25:26)

SITCOM:  Jack and Rochester are having breakfast at Jack Benny's home (in Beverly Hills).  Polly is afraid of them, but Jack insists that they're going to buy eggs this year. Jack goes for a walk and does one of his Walking Monologues.  He meets Beverly Washburn, one of the neighborhood girls, who wants to know what kind of baby Jack had when he was in the hospital. Jack tries to explain that he wasn't pregnant, but, broadcast standards being what they were, can't go into much detail.

Jack continues his walking monologue.  Dennis comes by, overly brogued, to make up for missing St. Patrick's Day.  Dennis offers to sing the song he's going to do on the show.  Dennis sings an unidentified song, as Jack counts the tips they get from passersby on the street.  Jack muses about why Dennis does so well, when his own song, "When You Say I Beg Your Pardon" didn't.  Jack sings a few bars of it, and realizes (belatedly) that it stinks.

The Rube from Calabasas pulls up, asking for directions to the Farmer's Market where he's going to sell pig's knuckles, to keep his pigs from cracking them.  Even less funny than it sounds, and kind of even grosser than last week's joke about Jack and Mary sharing a swimsuit, but it gets a laugh somehow.  Jack realizes he's walked all the way to Don's house, so he decides to barge in on the little woman, so to speak.  Lois (the latest of Don's little women) tells Jack that Don is in the living room, practicing his diction.

In the Living Room, Don is practicing tongue twisters and the like.  The Sportsmen  (Hmmmm!) are there, practicing theirs, as well.  They've prepared a song for the show, which Jack agrees to preview.  The Sportsmen sing a Lucky-Strike themed version of "Accentuate the Positive", which with Lucky Strikes, is just about everything (it says here).  Lois invites Jack to stay and have lunch.  Jack refuses (to Don's relief).  Jack continues walking to the shopping district.  He notices that haircuts are now $1.50 (up from the $0.40 that they cost when he had his last one).

Jack walks into a bakery.  The baker (Mel) offers Jack a variety of items, including something called Cimarron Rolls. Jack continues walking, and passes a store selling television sets, one of which is broadcasting Jack's own show.  Bob walks by on his way home from visiting Remley, who is in bed with the flu.  Jack talks about looking forward to playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on an upcoming TV show. Jack continues on his way to the studio, and passes a newsboy announcing Hoover's election.  Jack decides that he shouldn't transcribe his shows so far in advance.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Sam Hearn, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Beverly Washburn

DON'S INTRO:  "Ladies and gentlemen, immediately after this radio program, Jack does his television show.  But meanwhile, let's go out to Jack Benny's house in Beverly Hills.  It's morning, and he's just finished his breakfast.

JOKE:  [0:50] (Breakfast)
Jack:  "You know, Rochester, I like starting off with that pink grapefruit.  Where do those pink grapefruits come from?"
Rochester:  "Florida."
Jack:  "Florida, eh?  I wonder what makes them pink?"
Rochester:  "When they see the size of our California grapefruit, they blush."

JOKE:  [2:30] (another walking monologue)
Jack:  (walking) gee, it's certainly nice out today.  Everything looks so beautiful.  Hmm, the air smells so fresh.  I feel great since I got out of the hospital.  A person doesn't realize the tremendous advances medical science has made.  All those new wonder drugs they've invented.  Aureomycin.  Chloromycetin.  Cortisone.  Penicillen.  And the 4-way cold tablet.  Now they've even got a 12-way cold tablet.  That's for people who get sick watching three-dimensional pictures.  That stay in the hospital sure did me a lot of good.  No business, no phone calls.  Just wonderful rest and quiet.  Doctors wanted me to stay in the hospital a little longer, but I insisted on getting out.  Twenty bucks a day!  Fortunately, I was getting 25 from the Blue Cross.  I think next week I'll tell them I'm out."

JOKE:  [4:00]
Jack:  "Hey!  Hey, there's that cute little Washburn girl playing with her doll.  Hello, Beverly."
Beverly:  "Oh, hello Mr. Benny.  It's nice to see you out of the hospital."
Jack:  "Oh, thank you, Beverly."
Beverly:  "What did you have?  A boy or a girl?"
Jack:  "No!  no, no, honey, I had the flu."
Beverly:  "Gee, I didn't know there were boys and girls that flew."
Jack:  "No, Beverly.   Beverly, you're mixed up.  You see, the flu is like a cold."
Beverly:  "Well, didn't you bring anything home from the hospital?"
Jack:  "No."
Beverly:  "Then they cheated you.  Every time my mommy goes, she brings home a baby."
Jack:  "She does?"
Beverly:  "Yes.  She's such a good customer that last time they gave her two."

JOKE:  [5:15] (More walking monologue)
Jack:  "Gee, she's cute.  Imagine me having a baby…  That would drive my press agent nuts…  That little Beverly is a doll.  Her parents named her Beverly because she was born here in Beverly Hills…  Her brother's name is Pismo."

Jack:  "Oh, by the way, Dennis, I'm a little disappointed in you.  You didn't come to visit me when I was in the hospital."
Dennis:  "Well, I couldn't, Mr. Benny, I was sick at the time, myself."
Jack:  "You were?  I didn't know that."
Dennis:  "Yeah, I had to have a doctor and everything.  I felt awful, I had chills and fever and temperature and butterflies in my stomach."
Jack:  "No kidding.  What did the doctor do?"
Dennis:  "He told me to stop eating the butterflies.
Jack:  "Hmm.  Dennis, come here a minute."
Dennis:  "If you hit me, I'll tell the Blue Cross you're out of the hospital!"
Jack:  "Well, goodbye, Dennis.  I'll see you later."
Dennis:  "Oh, wait a minute, Mr. Benny, don't you want to hear the song I'm going to do on the show next week?"
Jack:  "Listen to it here?  Here on the street?  It would be embarrassing."
Dennis:  "Yeah, I guess you're right, Mr. Benny.  The last time I sang on the street, people started throwing money out of the windows."
Jack:  "Sing, kid.  I'll get a broom."

JOKE:  [10:15] (after the song)
Dennis:  "Well, how'd you like my song, Mr. Benny?"
Jack:  "Just a minute, Dennis.  65, 70, 75, 80.  No, that's a bottle cap. That's the one that landed right on my nose."
Dennis:  "They're right.  Pepsi Cola hits the spot."
Jack:  "Yeah, yeah, well so long, Dennis."
Dennis:  "Goodbye."
Jack:  "(walking) That was a nice song that Dennis sang.  Probably be a big hit.  I never could understand why the song I wrote wasn't a hit?  When you say I beg your pardon, then I'll come back to you.  When you ask me to forgive you, I'll return.  Like the swallows at Serrano, come back…  Say!  Now I know what's wrong with my song!  It stinks!"

JOKE:  [12:00] (The Rube)
Rube:  "I'd better get going, Rube.  I'm in a hurry."
Jack:  "Why, what's the rush?"
Rube:  "I want to get home before 8 o'clock.  This is going to be a big night in Calabasas!  They're re-opening the movie house.  They put in a new, modern feature."
Jack:  "Oh, you mean three-dimensional pictures?"
Rube:  "No, talkies."

JOKE:  [13:13]
Jack:  "Gee, I had no idea I'd walked this far.  Here's Don Wilson's house. I wonder if Don is home?  He must be, the house is tilted.  I'll drop in and surprise him."

CONTINUITY ALERT:  Odd behavior, considering that Jack is the one who once told Don a thousand times, "CALL your wife!  Call her up, I said!  Let's not BARGE in on the little woman!" (11/24/1940, and again on 11/14/1954).

JOKE:  [17:45]
Jack:  "What smells so good?  Oh, it's this bakery here.  Oh boy, look at those nice looking cakes in the window.  I'll go in and buy something."
[door opens]
Mel:  "Yes sir, what can I do for you?"
Jack:  "Well, I don't know, everything looks so good here.  What do you recommend?"
Mel:  "Well, we got pies, cakes, doughnuts, brownies and Cimarron Rolls."
Jack:  "What?"
Mel:  "Cimarron Rolls."
Jack:  "Don't you mean cinnamon?"
Mel:  "That's what I said, Cimarron Rolls."
Jack:  "Well, I don't want any of those.  Oh I know, have you got any Lady Fingers?"
Mel:  "I used to have, but I had to get rid of them.  They kept cracking their knuckles."
Jack:  "Don't be so smart!  I came in here to buy something!  Now, let's see, I'll have a half a dozen doughnuts, that chocolate cake, and, let's see, I'll have this Napoleon."
Mel:  "That's a Josephine."
Jack:  "No, it isn't!  I've been having these for years.  It's a Napoleon."
Mel:  "It's a Josephine, this is Danish pastry."
Jack:  "Well, I'll uh, I'll have it anyway.  And say, on second thought, I think I'll have some of those Cimarron Rolls."
Mel:  "What?"
Jack:  "I said I'll…"
[pause for big laugh]
Jack:  "I said I'll have some of those Cimarron Rolls."
Mel:  "Don't you mean Cinnamon Rolls?"
Jack:  "Yes, give me six of them.  How much is it altogether?
Mel:  "Let's see, doughnuts, chocolate pastry, and half a dozen Cimarron rolls, that comes to a dollar even."
Jack:  "A dollar?  Here you are, goodbye."
Mel:  "Goodbye, and call again!  You're quite a character!"

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  Great bit, but one joke per episode about inanimate objects cracking their knuckles is enough, and this episode has two.  The Rube had earlier made the same comment about the pigs knuckles he was selling.

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  The joke about the Napoleon being a Josephine is yet another reference to those rascally "Doctors in Denmark".

JOKE:  [20:45] (Remley's latest exploits)
Jack:  "Where are you going, Bob?"
Bob:  "Oh, nowhere.  Just coming from Remley's house, you see, Frankie is sick in bed with the flu."
Jack:  "Gosh, everybody seems to have had it.  Is Remley taking good care of himself?"
Bob:  "Oh, yes.  He starts out in the morning with a hot toddy.  9 o'clock, he has grapefruit juice and bourbon.  At 10 o'clock, he has orange juice and vodka.  At noon, he has lime and gin.  He keeps repeating this until bedtime."
Jack:  "Well, for heaven's sake, who's his doctor?"
Bob:  "Oh, he hasn't got a doctor, he's got a bartender."
Jack:  "Well, of all the… why doesn't he get a doctor?"
Bob:  "WHAT!?  And get well??"

JOKE:  [21:30]
Jack:  "Oh, Bob?"
Bob:  "Yes?"
Jack:  "You know… I have something funny to tell you.  You know that word that you always have so much trouble pronouncing?  Uh… uh…"
Bob:  "Manischevavavitz?"
Jack:  "Yes, yes.  Well, I just ran into a fellow in a bakery who couldn't pronounce Cinnamon Rolls."
Bob:  "Well, how do you… ha, ha!  How do you like that?  You mean he couldn't say Cimarron Rolls?"

TRIVIA:  Beverly Washburn, who plays the little girl in this episode, later played Lt. Galway in "The Deadly Years (Star Trek).

BOTTOM LINE:  Another So-So episode, except for the Cimarron Rolls bit, which is brilliant.

29.   03/29/53            MISSISSIPPI GAMBLER     (27:14)

THE SHOW:  Jack starts to go into his act, but Don is still laughing hysterically over his opening introduction.  Jack calms Don down by threatening to cut his salary. Dennis comes in and threatens to give Jack what for if he tries to cut his salary.  Jack chews Dennis out for missing rehearsal without giving notice.  Dennis insists that he told Rochester that he wouldn't be there.  Jack tries to phone home to confirm this. Jack gets Mabel and Gertrude at the CBS Switchboard.  They have a scintillating conversation with each other, but fail to contact Rochester.  Jack tells them to keep trying.  A telegram boy (Mel) delivers a telegram from Fred Allen.  Dennis sings "Pretend".

Bob enters, late from buying a present for Sammy's new baby.  Jack announces the play and casts himself as Tyrone Poewr.  Bob questions whether Jack can handle the role.  Dennis defends the idea, then immediately discredits himself. Before they can begin, Rochester calls and confirms that Dennis gave notice that he would miss rehearsal.  Rochester was just out buying alfalfa, as the price of milk has gone up two cents.  Rochester gives Jack his phone messages, including Barbara Stanwyck wanting Jack to park cars at her upcoming party.  The play begins at 12:50.

THE PLAY:  "The Mississippi Gambler", based on the movie of the same name (1953), starring Tyrone Power.  Jack is Tyrone Benny, a riverboat gambler.  One day, Jack and his best friend, Bob Crosby, board a boat to new Orleans (to sip absinthe, because that's what they like about the South?).  They meet a couple of suckers (Don and Mel) who look ripe for easy picking.  Jack tosses Mel out, and they play three-handed poker.  In a very high-stakes hand, Don has four aces to Bob's three.  Jack, with only two, drops out early.

They meet a Mississippi Riverboat Trio, which sounds a lot like the Guadalajara Trio, which sings "Up the Lazy River With Me".

The trip continues.  Jack plays poker, and wins every night.  One night, the Captain catches him cheating.  Jack meets Yvette (Veola Vonn), a showgirl, who wants to be "very good friends".  Jack and Veola fall in love, but her brother doesn't like gamblers (especially, no doubt, Mississippi gamblers).

Jack orders breakfast from a waiter (Mel), who tries to serve him something called Cimarron Rolls.  There's a knock at the door.  It's Veola's brother, Dennis.  She makes an impassioned plea to Dennis in French, which even he doesn't understand.  Dennis challenges Jack to a duel, by hitting him with a glove that still has his hand in it.  They begin duelling.  Dennis summons Blue Eyes White Dragon… (sorry, wrong kind of duel).  The duel goes on for hours and hours until the two sound men kill each other.  The End.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Bea Benaderet, Sara Berner, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, last Sunday on his television show, Jack Benny acted both roles in that famous classic, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which was written by Robert Louis Stevenson."
Jack:  "That's right."
Don:  "Stevenson took a beating."
Jack:  "Wait a minute!"
Don:  "And here's the star of our show, Jack Benny!"

NOTE:  The show was edited for rebroadcast.

NICKNAMES FOR DON:  33-Dimensional.
[1:33] (the opening)
Jack:  "Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Hello again, this is Jack Benny talking, and…
[Don is still laughing]
Jack:  "Don!"
[Don is still laughing]
Jack:  "Don!"
[Don is still laughing]
Jack:  "33-Dimensional!!  And I want to ask you something about that introduction.  Did you write that joke yourself?"
Don:  "Well, I don't want to take all the credit.  My wife helped me write that."
Jack:  "Oh, your wife.  Your wife helped you, eh?  Don, she's an actress, isn't she?"
Don:  "Jack, you know very well that my wife is an actress, you've had her on your program many times.  In fact, she was on just last week."
Jack:  "That's right.  Don, isn't it a shame that both of you are going to be out of work at the same time?  I'm sorry you have no children, I'd enjoy firing them too."
Don:  "Now, wait a minute, Jack!  You can't fire me after all the years I've been with you.  I started as your announcer in 1934, and during all these 19 years, I've given you loyalty and devotion."
Jack:  "Some loyalty and devotion.  Every time I cut your salary, you tell everyone."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  A reworked version of the end of this bit was later re-used for "The Jack Benny Special Christmas Show" in 1956, after the regular radio show had ended.

NICKNAMES FOR JACK:  The Bad and the Pocketful.

JOKE:  [3:30] (Jack tries to call Rochester)
Gertrude:  "Say, Mabel."
Mabel:  "What is it, Gertrude?"
Gertrude:  "Mr. Benny's line is flashing."
Mabel:  "Yeah, I wonder what The Bad and The Pocketful wants now."
Gertrude:  "I'll plug in and find out."
Gertrude:  "Hello?  Yes, Mr. Benny.  Very well, I'll see if I can get him for you."
Gertrude:  "He wants I should ring his house and get him Rochester."
Mabel:  "Gee Gertrude, you sounded awfully formal when you were speaking to Jack.  Did you two have a fight?"
Gertrude:  "No.  In fact, just the other night, he took me to a preview.  We saw Rita Hayworth in "Salome".  It was an exciting picture, especially when Rita did the Dance of the Seven Veils."
Mabel:  "Gosh, did she take off all seven?"
Gertrude:  "No, she stopped when she took off Number 6.  But Jack'll never know."
Mabel:  "Why not?"
Gertrude:  "He fainted at Number 5."
Mabel:  "Aww, you're kidding.  Jack really fainted?"
Gertrude:  "Yeah.  He closed those baby blue eyes and slid right off the seat."
Mabel:  "Well, whaddya know?  Uh look, you've been seeing a lot of him lately, haven't you?"
Gertrude:  "Yeah.  I've been seeing Jack so often I had to turn down a date with Dennis Day last week."
[Line missing?]
Gertrude:  "Well, look who's talking:  Genie with the Light Brown Teeth."
Mabel:  "All right, look.  Let's not argue."
TIP JOKE:  [6:30]
Jack:  "Boy, what are you hanging around here for?"
Mel:  "Well sir, I don't mean to sound impudent or presumptuous, but when someone delivers a telegram, it is customary for the recipient to show his appreciation with a gratuity."
Jack:  "Okay, okay.  Here."
Mel:  "Oh boy, a Canadian dime!  Now I can summer at Lake Louise!"

JOKE:  [9:20] (Remley)
Jack:  "Bob, I just happened to think of something.  You missed rehearsal too.  What's your excuse?"
Bob:  "Well, I had to go down to buy a little gift for Sammy's new baby."
Jack:  "Sammy the Drummer's wife had a new baby?"
Bob:  "Hmm mm."
Jack:  "Gee, I didn't know that. Hey, remind me to send something too, will you?"
Bob:  "Okay.  Gee, it's wonderful the way the presents have been rolling in.  all the musicians sent gifts.  Gosh, Bagby sent a little blanket, Wayne Songer sent a cute little dress.  Remley sent a sweater that he knitted… and Kimich sent…"
Jack:  "Hold it, hold it a second, Bob.  Hold it.  You said Remley sent a sweater he knitted!?"
Bob:  "Yeah."
Jack:  "I didn't know Remley could knit."
Bob:  "Jack, when you've got the shakes like Remley has, you can do wonders with knitting needles."
Jack:  "I guess so."
Bob:  "After six martinis, he's an Argyle man."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  Bob's character has developed quite a bit in less than a full season.  In the first episode or two he was looking askance at the eccentricities of Phil's band.  Now Bob is like Dave Seville with the Chipmunks; only he takes it more in stride.

JOKE:  [10:20]
Dennis:  "What about the sketch, Mr. Benny?"
Jack:  "Well, it's based on that wonderful Universal International picture, Mississippi Gambler, starring Tyrone Power.  I, of course, will play Tyrone Power's part."
Bob:  "Wait a minute, Jack.  Do you think you're the type?"
Jack:  "Well…"
Dennis:  "He certainly is!  Young, handsome, and romantic, just like Tyrone Power."
Jack:  "Aww, thanks, Dennis.  You're loyal and devoted."
Dennis:  "I'm nuts, too."
Jack:  "Now, cut that out!!"

JOKE:  [11:25] (Jack's phone messages)
Jack:  "Were there any calls today?"
Rochester:  "Yes sir, I have them right here.  Let's see.  The income tax department called."
Jack:  "Income tax??  What did they want?  What did they want?"
Rochester:  "Oh, it didn't concern you, Boss.  It was about the income I reported."
Jack:  "Well, what was wrong with it?"
Rochester:  "Nothing, they just called to offer their sympathy."
Jack:  "Well, that's your problem!  Were there any other calls?"
Rochester:  "Oh yes, Miss Barbara Stanwyck called.  She's having a big party tomorrow night, and she wants you to be there."
Jack:  "Oh good, good.  Black tie or white tie?"
Rochester:  "White coat, you'll be parking cars."

Jack:  "(narrating) Our ride took us down past Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and then Missouri!"
(strains of the Missouri Waltz on a piano)
Jack:  "No, that isn't who you think, folks."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  For those who don't know what to think, the previous is a Harry Truman joke.

Jack:  "(narrating) The trip continued.  Every night I played poker and I always won.  But one night, the Captain caught me cheating.  And as punishment, he tied a rope around me and kept dipping me in and out of the river.  He thought it was a treat to beat my feet on the Missisippi mud."

JOKE:  [20:10]
Jack:  "(narrating) It was shortly after this incident that I met… her.  I remember when we were first introduced, she said:"
Veola (sexy):  "I am awfully glad to meet you, Monsour.  And I hope you and I can become good friends.  VERY good friends."
Jack:  "(narrating) Her name was Yvette.  And she had come aboard that morning at Albuquerque.  Oh, I know that Albuquerque is far from the Mississippi.  But for her, somehow the boat made it.  I told her that I too hoped we would become good friends.  And she said:"
Veola:  "You are very kind, monsour."
Jack:  "(narrating) She was a plain gal.  Slim, frail and immature.  This description was written before the part was cast."

Jack:  "(Narrating) While waiting for her, I thought I'd have some breakfast and call room service.  Soon the waiter was knocking at my door."
[knock, knock, knock]
Jack:  "Come in?"
Mel:  "Did you call for room service?"
Jack:  "Yes, I want some breakfast.  Orange juice, coffee, and let's see, what can I have with the coffee?"
Mel:  "Well, we have toast, English muffins, doughnuts and Cimarron rolls."
Jack:  "What?"
Mel:  "Cimarron Rolls?"
Jack:  "Look Waiter, bring me some orange juice, coffee, and a Cimarron Roll."
Mel:  "Okay, and you're lucky.  Yesterday I couldn't have brought you any Cimarron Rolls."
Jack:  "Why not?"
Mel:  "We were out of cinnamon."

NOTE:  According to Yvette, later in the episode, "Cimarron" is French for "cinnamon".

BOTTOM LINE:  An Average episode, consisting mostly of stock routines.

30.   04/05/53            EASTER PARADE




RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Artie Auerbach, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Frank Nelson, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Jeanette Eymann, Stuffy Singer

31.   04/12/53            MISSING HEIR     (20:53)

SITCOM:  At Jack's house, Jack is taking a shower, while Rochester sings for him.  Jack discovers that the cake of soap he used in the shower was actually a peeled potato that Rochester left on the counter. Rochester goes downstairs to fix breakfast.  Polly sings and lays an egg.  Mary arrives.  Mary kisses Jack, and can't understand why she suddenly has a craving for potatoes.  Jack asks Rochester for bacon and eggs, but has to spell the word "egg", to avoid upsetting Polly.  Unfortunately, Polly manages to spell the word phonetically.  Jack settles for pancakes instead.

The doorbell rings, and if the formula for these episodes holds true, it's going to be Dennis.  Sure enough, it is.  Dennis does his routine.  Jack asks Dennis to sing the song he's going to do on the program.  Dennis sings "Suddenly".

Jack's breakfast is about ready, but the toast flies out of the popup toaster, and out of the window.  Jack goes outside to find it before it attracts ants.  Jack looks for the toast in Ronald Colman's garbage can.  Bob drives by, sees Jack apparently down and out, and offers to take him to the grocery store to buy food.  Jack is ready to take him up on it, until Bob sees through it. Bob and Jack go inside.  Mary pours coffee, and Dennis takes it black, as he's in mourning for his Uncle, who just died (less tragic than it sounds). The man from the bakery (Mel) drops by.  As in last week's play, he still has difficulty pronouncing "Cimarron Rolls".  Jack tries to coach him into saying it correctly, but only succeeds in annoying him.  After he leaves, Mary finds evidence to suggest that Mel may have been saying it right all along. Dennis stirs his coffee with his leak proof pen, causing Bob to start channeling Phil Harris.

A Mr. Martindale (henceforth known as "Wink") drops by to settle a legal matter.  Wink says that an unknown aunt has left Jack $5000 in her will, and he's there to confirm Jack's identity.  Wink starts asking questions to see if Jack is the Jack Benny he's looking for.  Considering that Jack's real name is Benny Kubelsky, it doesn't seem likely, yet Jack answers all the questions correctly anyway, with increasing giddiness.

At least he does until they get to the part about his age.  Jack claims to be 39, but the Jack Benny that Wink is looking for was born in 1894, and is 59 years old.  Jack says, with regret, that he isn't the Jack Benny that Wink is looking for, as he is only 39 years old.

After Wink leaves, Mary and Bob are incredulous that Jack would give up all that money.  Jack insists that when you can buy 20 years for $5000, it's a bargain.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Joe Kearns, The Sportsmen Quartet


DON'S INTRO:  "And now, let's go out to Jack Benny's house in Beverly Hills.  It's such a lovely morning that outside on the front lawn, we hear the splashing of birds in the birdbath.  While upstairs, we hear the sound of the shower."

NOTE:  This show is edited for rebroadcast.

ROCHESTER SINGS:  Rochester sings "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" in the opening scene.

RUNNING JOKES:  Jack took a shower using a peeled potato instead of a bar of soap.  Jack keeps long fingernails from his fighting days, in order to scratch his opponents.

JOKE:  [1:45]
Rochester:  "Boss, you sure have well-developed shoulders."
Jack:  "Oh, thank you.  Thank you, Rochester."
Rochester:  "Yes sir.  Did you ever do any fighting?"
Jack:  "Oh, yes.  Yes, a long time ago.  As a matter of fact, I won 22 fights.  Jack:  "I was known as The Waukegan Wildcat."
Rochester:  "Waukegan Wildcat?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Rochester:  "Why did you quit?"
Jack:  "Well, they made us put on gloves, and I couldn't scratch any more."

JOKE:  [3:05] (Rochester is singing "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning")
Mary:  "Oh, hello Rochester."
Rochester:  "Oh, good morning, Miss Livingstone.  Come right in."
Mary:  "You must be in a good mood, I heard you singing as you were coming to the door."
Rochester:  "Oh, I always sing when it's getting close to my payday."
Mary:  "Really?  When is your payday?"
Rochester:  "September 1st."
Mary:  "September 1st?  But this is only April.  Why are you singing so long before payday?"
Mary:  "There ain't much to sing about after."

CLUES TO MARY'S IDENTITY:  When Jack meets Mary at 4 minutes into the program, he asks for a kiss, and she gives him one.  They aren't married onscreen.  In very early episodes, Mary was said to be Jack's girlfriend, but they aren't noticeably dating now, and Jack has been dating people like Gertrude, Gladys Zybisko, and a string of dogs.  So why is he asking his employee for a kiss here?  Is this sexual harassment??

DENNIS' ROUTINE:  Dennis comes in fighting mad, ready to tell Jack off for mistreating him.  When Dennis actually sees Jack, he's completely calm, making it look as though Mary is the one trying to start a fight between them.  Mary insists on trying to sort it out, and gets Dennis to admit that he came in ready to tell Jack off.  Dennis says he changed his mind after seeing Jack's long fingernails (one of this week's running jokes).

JOKE:  [10:30] (Jack's breakfast)
[whooshing sound]
Jack:  "Rochester, what was that?"
Rochester:  "The toast, it flew out the window."
Jack:  "Oh, my goodness, that piece of toast flew out on the lawn.  And it will attract ants!  I'll be right back."
[door opens and closes]
Jack:  "Now, let's see, it flew out that window, so it should be right on the lawn.  Hmm, I don't see it.  Maybe it flew out into the street.  Funny, I don't see it around here either.  Hmm, there's the Colman's garbage can, it hasn't got a lid on it.  I wonder if the toast could have gone in there.  Gee, I've got to find it or it will be loaded with ants."
[lift lids]
Jack:  "Hmm, there are several pieces of toast in here."
Bob:  "Jack!"
Jack:  "Oh, hello Bob.  I was just looking for a piece of toast."
Bob:  "Well Jack, why didn't you tell me that things were that rough?  Why, I'd work for nothing!"
Jack:  "Bob, you don't understand…"
Bob:  "Jack, you can be honest with me.  Come on, I'll take you down to the market and buy you enough food to last for two months."
Jack:  "Bob, I'm trying to tell you that… What did you say?  Huh?"
Bob:  "Why, I said I'd take you down to the market and buy you enough food for two months."
Mary:  "Jack, come in, your breakfast is ready."
Jack:  "You eat it, Bob and I are going shopping!"


Jack:  "Mary, pour everybody some coffee."
Mary:  "Okay."
Dennis:  "Make mine black."
Jack:  "Black?  Dennis, I thought you always took cream.  Why do you want it black?"
Dennis:  "I'm in mourning, my uncle died."
Jack:  "Dennis!  Dennis, you're kidding."
Dennis:  "No, I'm not, he committed suicide."
Mary:  "Suicide?"
Dennis:  "Yeah."
Jack:  "Did he shoot himself?"
Dennis:  "No."
Jack:  "Did he hang himself?"
Dennis:  "No."
Jack:  "Well, did he take poison?"
Jack:  "Well, for heaven's sake, how did he do it?"
Dennis:  "He bought a bottle of Stopette, and poofed himself to death."
Jack:  "What!?"
Dennis:  "Joke's over, pass the cream!"
Jack:  "You know, Bob.  Bob, I think it's only fair that I warn you."
Bob:  "Warn me about what?"
Jack:  "Before Phil Harris met Dennis, he didn't drink a drop."

FORGOTTEN HUMOR:  Stopette was an early deodorant, whose slogan was "Poof!  There goes perspiration."  If you don't know that, it almost sounds like Dennis says "pooped himself to death", which would probably wouldn't meet broadcast standards in 1953.

JOKE:  [12:40] (The lowdown on Cimarron Rolls rivals the backstory of Doo-Wah-Diddy)
[door buzzer]
Jack:  "There's someone at the back door.  Rochester, give everybody coffee.  I'll answer it."
Mel:  "Hello, Mr. Benny."
Jack:  "Oh, the man from the bakery shop."

Mel:  "Yeah, I got the stuff that you ordered; some doughnuts, some chocolate cake, some pastry, and half a dozen Cimarron Rolls."
Jack:  "You still can't pronounce it, can you?  Look, it isn't Cimarron, it's cinnamon.  Now, let me ask you something.  Maybe this will help you pronounce it.  How are these rolls made?"
Mel:  "Well, you take some flour, sugar, eggs, and uh… and uh… You want to know all the ingrediments?"
Jack:  "Now lookit, it isn't ingrediments, it's ingredients.  Yes, I want to know all of them."
Mel:  "Well, there's flour, sugar, eggs, shortening, and cinnamon."
Jack:  "That's it!  That's it!  That's it!  Now, take your time.  Think.  Okay, now let me hear you say it!"
Mel:  "Ingredients!"
Jack:  "I don't mean ingredients, I'm trying to get you to say Cimarron!  I mean cinnamon!"
Mel:  "Why don't you order something else??  You drive me nuts!"
Jack:  "All right, just give me my stuff.  Thanks, and goodbye!"
Mel:  "Bye."
[door slam]
Mary:  "Uh Jack, who was that?"
Jack:  "Oh, that silly guy from the bakery.  The fellow who insists upon saying Cimarron Rolls.  Well, here you are, kids, you can have some of these with your coffee.  They're nice and fresh…"
Mary:  "Uh, wait a minute, Jack!  He's right!"
Jack:  "What do you mean he's right?"
Mary:  "Well, look at the label on this paper box:  'These are genuine Cimarron Rolls, named after J.P. Cimarron, founder of The Cimarron Baking Company."
Jack:  "What?"
Mary:  "These Cimarron Rolls should not be confused with ordinary cinnamon rolls, which are made from entirely different ingrediments."
Bob:  "Well Jack, I guess that'll hold you."
Jack:  "Hold me, nothing!  That silly guy had that label printed just because he can't say cinnamon!  He must be crazy!"
Rochester:  "Well Boss, there's one way of finding out."
Jack:  "How?"
Rochester:  "Ask him if he showers with a peeled potato."

THE OLD DAYS:  [15:40]
Jack:  "Dennis?  Dennis, what are you stirring your coffee with?"
Dennis:  "My Paper-Mate Pen."
Jack:  "Dennis!"
Dennis:  "Oh, don't worry, it's leakproof."
Dennis:  "Joke's over, pass me a spoon."
Jack:  "Stop being silly!"
Bob:  "Boy, I don't know how long Phil stood it, Jackson, but I'm slippin'!  Get the ice!"

JOKE:  [15:45]  (Wink Martindale visits)
Jack:  "There's the front door."
Rochester:  "You want me to get it, boss?"
Jack:  "No, no, I'll get it.  All I did was shower with a peeled potato, the whole day is mixed up."
[opens door]
Jack:  "Yes?"
Martindale (Joseph Kearns):  "How do you do?  My name is Martindale.  I represent a law firm that specializes in settling estates, and tracing legal heirs."
Jack:  "Legal heirs?"
Martindale:  "Yes.  Does Mr. Jack Benny live here?"
Jack:  "Oh, I'm Jack Benny."
Martindale:  "Well, then it's very possible you're the man I'm looking for.  May I come in?"
Jack:  "Yes!  Yes!"
[close door]
Jack:  "Have a seat, Mr. Martindale."
Martindale:  "Mr. Benny, if you're the man we're looking for, an aunt whom you have never seen has left you a legacy of $5,000."
Jack:  "$5,000!  Hey, kids!  Kids, come on in here!"
Mary:  "What is it, Jack?"
Bob:  "Yeah, what's up?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, what, what, what?"
Jack:  "You… you… you tell 'em, Mr. Martindale!"
Martindale:  "Certainly.  We have reason to believe that Mr. Benny's Aunt Matilda, whom he has never met, left him $5,000."
Bob:  "Hey, that's wonderful!"
Jack:  "Yes!  Yes, where's the money?  Where's the money?  Where's the money?  My aunt Matilda…"
Martindale:  "Yes, I've got the check right here in my briefcase.  Oh, but first I'll have to verify a few facts."
Jack:  "Oh, of course! Of course.  Go ahead, mister, ask me anything you want.  Good old Aunt Matilda.  I'm uh.. I'm sorry about this interruption, Mr. Martindale."
Martindale:  "Oh, that's quite all right, Mr. Benny."
Jack:  "I'll answer any questions and then you can give me the $5,000 my Aunt Matilda left to me."
Mary:  "Uh, Jack?"
Jack:  "Huh?"
Mary:  "Come here a minute."
Jack:  "What is it, Mary?"
Mary:  "Jack, Bob and I have been talking it over.  If your Aunt Matilda never saw you, why should she leave you all that money?"
Jack:  "Because she was my own flesh and blood!"
Mary:  "Jack, if she had any of your blood, she wouldn't leave anything to anybody."
Jack:  "Oh, quiet!  Okay, Mr. Martindale, I'll answer those questions now."
Martindale:  "Very well.  Mr. Benny, were you born in Waukegan, Illinois?"
Jack:  "Yes, yes!  You see, Mary?  You see, it's me!"
Martindale:  "And at the age of six, you started to practice a musical instrument."
Jack:  "That's right!  That's right!  Ha, ha, ha!  That's right."
Martindale:  "And that instrument was…"
Jack:  "The violin!  The violin!  The violin!  The violin!  I still play it!  The violin!  The violin!  I play the violin!"  A fiddle!  A fiddle!  The violin!
Martindale:  "Now uh, you graduated from Central Elementary School and went to Waukegan High School?"
Jack:  "That's right!!  That's right!  The violin!  The violin!  The violin, right?  Right, right, right!"
Martindale:  "And at the age of 17, you left Waukegan, became an actor, and went into vaudeville."
Jack:  "I went into vaudeville, vaudeville, I played the violin in vaudeville!  Ha, ha, ha!!  Right, right, right!"
Martindale:  "Mr. Benny, I'm sure that further questioning is unnecessary.  I'm perfectly convinced that you're the man we're looking for."
Jack:  "Where's the money?  The money?"
Martindale:  "Oh, oh, just a minute.  Here's one question I neglected to check.  How old are you?"
Jack:  "39."
Martindale:  "39?  Well, that's strange.  Every other answer seemed to fit, but the Jack Benny we're looking for was born in 1894, and that would make him 59."
Jack:  "Hmm.  But Mr. Martindale, it must be me.  There was no other Jack Benny born in Waukegan who played the violin."
Martindale:  "I'm sorry, but the Jack Benny we're looking for, who gets this $5,000, was born in 1894 and is 59 years old."
Jack:  "Hmm.  Well… 59?"
Martindale:  "Yes."
Jack:  "Well…"
Bob:  "This is a tale well calculated to keep you in Suspense."
Jack:  "Mr. Martindale, I'm sorry.  But I'm not the Jack Benny you're looking for.  I am only 39."
Martindale:  "Well, I'm sorry, Mr. Benny, I was hoping my search was over.  Good day."
Jack:  "Goodbye, Mr. Martindale."
[Jack starts humming 'Love in Bloom']
Mary:  "Uh, Jack?"
[Jack keeps humming]
Mary:  "Uh, Jack?"
[Jack keeps humming]
Mary:  "Jack?"
Jack:  "What is it, Mary?"
Mary:  "I can't believe what I just heard."
Jack:  "What do you mean you can't believe it?"
Mary:  "Jack, all you had to do was to say you were 59, and you would have gotten the money."
Jack:  "Uh huh."
Mary:  "But by insisting you were 39, you lost $5,000!"
Jack:  "That's right."
Mary:  "I can't understand it.  Why?"
Jack:  "Mary, I may not be a spendthrift, but I know a bargain when I see one."
Mary:  "Bargain?"
Jack:  "Where else can you buy 20 years for $5,000?  Come on kids, let's have some coffee and Cimarron Rolls!"

BOTTOM LINE:  This is a pretty funny episode, but I don't know.  The climax is a battle between Jack's ego and his stinginess, and his ego wins.  In one sense, it's kind of like The Battle of the Century, but in another sense, did we really want to know the answer to this question?  It seems like it would have been more fun to be kept wondering.  A similar routine was Done once on Groucho Marx's show (
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wNK1Jt4JLg), in which Jack gives up prize money rather than admitting to be older than 39.  It's funny, but it takes a little of the mystery out of life too.

32.   04/19/53            BOB BORROWS $500 FROM JACK




RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins

MINOR ROLES:  Eric Snowden

33.   04/26/53            FROM SAN FRANCISCO     (29:07)

SITCOM:  In Jack's dressing room in San Francisco, Rochester is cleaning up and singing.  Rochester delivers a monologue to himself as he cleans. Jack comes in from doing his show stage show.  Jack talks about the show, and sends Rochester out for a sandwich.  When Rochester is gone, Jack takes off his makeup, using Crisco shortening in a fancy jar. Mary arrives and returns the toupee Jack lost when he took his bow, and completely blows a joke about Jack's makeup remover.

Bob arrives (he seems to arrive in the #3 spot whenever Dennis isn't around).  Jack asks Bob and Mary to do a duet on the radio show (as you know, what we're hearing now isn't supposed to be the radio show, even though it is).  Bob is okay with it, but Mary declines.  Bob tells Jack about how his brother Bing bought France.

An operator calls, and announces that Jack has a call from Hollywood.  It's Don, who has an idea for a 3-D movie.  It will take place on a tobacco plantation, and, being in 3-D, the audience will feel like they're actually sitting in the middle of that light, that fine, that naturally mild tobacco.  To illustrate, the Sportsmen sing a Lucky Strike-themed version of "You Were Meant For Me".  Don plans for the ushers to pass out ashtrays to the audience, who will smoke along with the movie.  It'll be great.  Unhealthy, but great. After the call, Rochester returns with Jack's sandwich.  Jack doesn't feel comfortable eating in front of Bob and Mary, and so looks for an empty dressing room.

Mary and Bob have to leave anyway.  Jack tells Rochester to laugh it up big during the jokes he tells in his stage show (apparently, not the first time he's needed to issue that directive). Fred Allen shows up at the door for a visit.  He and Jack shoot the breeze for a bit.  Jack invites Fred to stay, but he has to get back to Hollywood to work on a new No-Dimensional picture he's doing.  Rochester asks if Jack and Fred ever had a vaudeville act together.  On a show like this, such a question cannot fail to generate a flashback

FLASHBACK:  Jack and Fred are two vaudevillians on their way to see a booking agent.  The secretary (Bea) takes down their information, gives them the runaround, and eventually admits them to see Mr. Rockford (Mel, that is, not James Garner).

Jack and Fred ask for a booking, but Mr. Rockford seems a little reluctant.  He gave them a break once before, which they failed to capitalize on.  Jack asks Rockford to listen to their opening number.  Before they can do it, a young Eddie Cantor drops by to pay his bill, and sing a few bars of "Now's The Time To Fall In Love".

Fred brings out his clarinet (which he plays every bit as poorly as Jack plays the violin), Jack his violin, and they launch into a an extremely squeaky, wheezy duet of "Tea For Two", with jokes and snappy patter (it says here) filling in the pauses.

Mel suffers through the act, which leaves him more than a bit cold.  Mel admits that he has no openings for a double act, but has got a spot for a single in Scranton for $15 a week.  Jack and Fred each resist the idea of splitting up their act, then almost immediately, begin fighting over the job.  They keep undercutting each other's price until both of them have agreed to do the act for nothing.  Mel says that at that price, he can afford them both.  Jack and Fred rejoice that they are, once again, gainfully employed.

TAG:  Don does a PSA about preventing forest fires by not throwing away lit matches while camping out.  It sounds pretty reasonable, actually.

Fred recalls a gig that he and Jack played in Burning Stump, Iowa.


NOTABLE GUEST STARS:  Fred Allen, Harry Shearer

RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Jeanette Eymann

DON'S INTRO:  "Ladies and Gentlemen, right now, Jack Benny is in San Francisco, California, where he's making a personal appearance at the Curran Theater.  So, lets go backstage where we find Rochester in Jack's dressing room."

ROCHESTER SINGS:  (In the opening scene, Rochester does a filksong version of "There's No Business Like Show Business.")
There's no business like show business,
Like no business I know.
Every time they sell another ticket,
Mr. Benny's blue eyes start to glow.
But when he looks and sees a seat that's empty,
The little tear drops, they start to flow.

Rochester:  "Uh oh, look what time it is.  Mr. Benny will be offstage in a minute.  I'll put everything he needs on his dressing table.  Yep, that'll do it.  There's the cold cream for his makeup, the wash cloth for his face, a brush for his suit, and a comb for his morale.  Let's see, what else?  Oh yes, his glasses.  He always puts them on when he comes back to the dressing room.  I wish he'd forget his pride and wear 'em on the stage.  Yesterday, he did two shows with his back to the audience.  That wasn't so bad, but when he took his bow, WOW, what a target!  Even the manager ran up and kicked him.  I haven't seen that many people on stage since Quo Vadis!  Oh well, I guess I'd better lay out a clean shirt for him.  Yeah, this white one will be all right.  Hmm, I know Mr. Benny isn't a spendthrift, but I do wish he'd buy real cuff links.  Imagine putting a toothpick through the cuff and sticking an olive on each end.  This even amazed me and I've been with him for 15 years!"

RUNNING JOKES:  Jack cries when he sees an empty seat during one of his stage shows.  Jack uses olives for cuff links.  Jack uses Crisco to remove his makeup.  A fan found Jack's toupee, kept it, and tried to get it autographed.

JOKE:  [4:15] (After Jack's show)
Rochester:  "I'm glad there weren't any empty seats."
Jack:  "How did you now?"
Rochester:  "Your mascara isn't running."
Jack:  "Rochester, I don't cry when there's an empty seats.  After all, I didn't take this personal appearance engagement to make money."
Rochester:  "You didn't?"
Jack:  "No.  You may not understand this, Rochester, but every so often a performer must satisfy his artistic temperament.  I'm playing these three weeks in San Francisco merely as a release for my talents.  Do you understand what I mean?"
Rochester:  "Well… is this the same kind of release that your talent got from Warner Brothers?"
Jack:  "No, no this is something different."

JOKE:  [4:00]
Jack:  "Let's see, I've got quite a while before I have to be back on stage.  I think I'll freshen up my makeup.  First, I'd better take this old stuff off.  Now, let's see, where is that jar?  Oh, here it is.  There, that ought to be enough.  Hey, this stuff really takes the makeup off.  And in that fancy jar, no one would ever guess it's Crisco."

JACK'S EYES:  [5:45]
Jack:  "Hmm, look at my eyes.  They're bluer than the thumb of a cross-eyed carpenter."

JOKE:  [6:00]
Jack:  "Come in?"
[door opens]
Jack:  "Well, if it isn't Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?"
Mary:  "With silver bells and cockle shells, and boy are you a schmoe."

BLOOPER:  [7:00]
Jack:  "Look Mary, I want to finish my makeup, so excuse me."
Mary:  "Uh, wait a minute, Jack.  Your jar of cold cream, it doesn't have any label on it."
Jack:  "I know."
Mary:  "Gee.  It looks good.  Smells good, too.  Who recommended it, Percy Westmore or Max Factor?"
Jack:  "Betty Crocker."
Mary:  "Betty Crocker?"
Jack:  "Uh huh."
Mary:  "But she teaches you how to cook and fry, and… wait a minute.  Let me smell that again."
[sniff, sniff, sniff]
Mary:  "Ha, ha, ha, ha!  Ha, ha, ha, ha!"
Jack:  "What are you laughing at?"
Mary:  "I never thought that Buck Benny would turn out to be the Cisco Kid."
Both:  "CRISCO Kid!"
Jack:  "She's even got it underlined!!"

Jack:  "I meant to tell you Mary, I want you and Bob to sing a song on my radio show."
Mary:  "Oh, I don't want to do that.  After all, I haven't got the voice of a great singer."
Bob:  "Well, I've got the name of one, so let's take a stab at it.  As a matter of fact, I just got a letter from him this morning.  You know, Bing is in Paris.
Jack:  "Oh yes, I read about that.  Gee, Paris in the spring.  Gosh, how I'd like to be there.  Say Bob, wasn't it in Paris last year when Bing was taking a nap in the park, and a French policeman arrested him?"
Bob:  "Yep.  But this time he's taken some precautions to make sure that it doesn't happen again."
Jack:  "What did he do?"
Bob:  "He bought France."
Jack:  "He bought France?"
Bob:  "You're surprised, huh?"
Jack:  "I didn't think Maurice Chevallier would sell."

INTEGRATED COMMERCIAL:  [8:00] (Just like the old Jell-O days)
Don:  "Hello Jack, this is Don Wilson."
Jack:  "Oh, what is it, Don?"
Don:  "Jack, I just had the most wonderful idea, I just had to call you."
Jack:  "What is it, Don?"
Don:  "Well, you know how the entire movie industry is so excited about the new 3-dimensional pictures?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Don:  "Well, I have an idea for a new 3-D picture that's bound to be absolutely sensational."
Jack:  "What is it?"
Don:  "Well, the opening scene takes place on a tobacco plantation in Goldsboro, North Carolina."
Jack:  "No."
Don:  "And the scene is so realistic, the people in the audience will think they're sitting right in a field of that light, that fine, that naturally mild tobacco."
Jack:  "Continue, Don, you fascinate me."
Don:  "Now, this is going to be a musical.  The Sportsmen Quartet comes out and sings a love song to a Lucky Strike Cigarette."
Jack:  "NO kidding!"
Don:  "Take it, fellas!"
[The Sportsmen sing a Lucky Strike themed version of "You Were Meant For Me".]
Jack:  "Don, that sounds wonderful. But remember, with 3-D pictures, you have to give everybody in the audience a pair of glasses."
Don:  "Not for this picture, we're going to give everybody an ashtray."

JOKE:  [12:15]
Rochester:  "Here's your sandwich, Boss."
Jack:  "Thank you.  Say, this is a nice thick one."
Rochester:  "Yeah, when I told the man in the delicatessen it was for you, he put in an extra piece of meat."
Jack:  "Gee, he must like me.  Put in an extra piece of corned beef, huh?"
Rochester:  "No, ham."
Jack:  "Hmm."
Rochester:  "Not hmm.  Ham."
Jack:  "I heard, I heard!"
Rochester:  "Would you like some more mustard on it?"
Jack:  "No, no, this is fine the way it is."
Mary:  "Gee, that sandwich looks good."
Bob:  "It sure does."
Jack:  "Oh, I'm sorry, I shouldn't eat like this in front of you kids.  Oh, Rochester?"
Rochester:  "You want me to run across the street and get some more sandwiches?"
Jack:  "No, see if there's an empty dressing room, I'll go and eat in there."

JOKE:  [13:30] (Fred Allen Guest Spot)
[knock, knock, knock]
Jack:  "Come in?"
[door opens]
Fred:  "Hello, Jack.  Hello Rochester."
Jack:  "Well, Fred!  Fred Allen!
Jack:  "Well Fred, this is a surprise.  When did you get into town?"
Fred:  "Last night."
Jack:  "Last night?  But why didn't you call me at my hotel?"
Fred:  "You mean you're staying at one that has phones?"
Jack:  "Well no, but there's a candy store in the lobby… gosh, it's good to see you, Fred.  What are you doing here in San Francisco?"
Fred:  "Well Jack, I'm down here on business."
Jack:  "Business?"
Fred:  "Yes, you see Portland needs a nymph… a mink stole, and I've heard that there's a midget here that wants to sell one."
Jack:  "Oh, you were nearly as bad as Mary there."
Fred:  "I had some of the fur in my mouth."
Rochester:  "Say Boss, as long as Mr. Allen is in town, why don't you put him on your stage show?"
Fred:  "Well, thank you, Rochester, but I couldn't very well go out on the stage now.  I haven't got any material."
Jack:  "Well, don't you have any of your old vaudeville routines left?"
Fred:  "Well, if I did, I'd be on television."
Jack:  "Gee, it would be great if you could join me on my stage show, Fred."
Fred:  "Well, I'd really love to Jack, but I have to rush back to Hollywood.  I've been offered the lead in a new picture."
Jack:  "A new picture?"
Fred:  "Uh huh.  No Dimensions, it's a new picture that's just coming out.  When it comes out, you don't 'di-mention' the whole thing."
Jack:  "So far, that's better than what we've got written here."
Fred:  "In this picture, Jack, I play the part of a test pilot in Los Angeles."
Jack:  "I see."
Fred:  "The picture is called 'Breaking the Smog Barrier'."
Jack:  "Gee, it's a shame you can't stay over, Fred, so we can appear together.  It would be like old times."
Rochester:  "Say Mr. Benny, did you and Mr. Allen once do an act together in vaudeville?"
Jack:  "We sure did, Rochester, we had a lot of fun in those days."
Fred:  "Oh gosh.  Do you remember, Jack, how we'd always celebrate with a big dinner at Lindsay's every time we got a job?"
Jack:  "Yeah, we always got the best.  Shrimp cocktails, turtle soup, Chef's salad…"
Fred:  "Filet Mignon, stuffed with potatoes.  Strawberry shortcake."
Jack:  "Then I'd top it all off with a big glass of Ovaltine."
Rochester:  "Ovaltine??"
Fred:  "Well, he wanted to be asleep when the check came."
Jack:  "Those were the good old days.  I'll never forget the time we rehearsed and polished our act for weeks.  We went to see Mickey Rockford, the biggest booking agent in New York."


[Establishing Theme:  There's No Business Like Show Business]

Jack:  "Come on, Fred, I think Mr. Rockford's office is down the hall."
[door opens]
Fred:  "Hey, it's crowded in here, Jack."
Jack:  "I guess we'll have to talk to the secretary."
Jack:  "Miss, we'd like to see Mr. Rockford."
Bea:  "Do you have an appointment?"
Jack:  "Why Miss, we're Benny and Allen."
Bea:  "Benny and Allen?"
Jack:  "Yes, don't you recognize us?"
Bea:  "Why, is there a reward?"
Fred:  "You don't, uh you don't understand, girlie.  We do a vaudeville act."
Bea:  "Really?  Which one throws the fish?"
Fred:  "Say, that is clever!  Miss, you ought to be in show business yourself."
Bea:  "Me in show business?"
Fred:  "Yes, I know a magician who saws a woman in half.  You'd look better in two pieces."
Jack:  "Take it easy, Fred.  Look Miss, we don't… we don't want to argue, we'd just like to see our agent, Mr. Rockford."
Bea:  "Well, first I'll need some information.  Now, what's the name of your act again?"
Fred:  "Allen and Benny."
Bea:  "I thought you said it was Benny and Allen."
Fred:  "Well, at 2 o'clock, our billing changes."
Bea:  "Well, what kind of an act do you do?"
Jack:  "Violin, clarinet and snappy patter."
Bea:  "And where have you played?"
Jack:  "Oh, all over."
Bea:  "Well, where??"
Fred:  "Well, just… just tell her the important dates, Jack."
Bea:  "Yeah, go ahead."
Jack:  "Well, we did a week in Sow Belly, Wyoming.  A week in Loose Tooth, Arizona.  Three days in Stagnant Water, New Mexico.  And we also played the Palace here in New York."
Bea:  "Sow Belly, Loose Tooth, Stagnant Water, and the Palace?  Well, at least you worked your way up."
Fred:  "No, we played the Palace first."
Bea:  "Well… Mr. Rockford is busy right now, so just have a seat and I'll call you. Oh, by the way, Mr. Allen, I don't mean to be personal, but are you an American citizen?"
Fred:  "Yes, I got these slant eyes from pulling off a tight derby."
Jack:  "Come on, Fred, let's sit down."


Bea:  "Yes?  Yes.  Very well, Mr. Rockford.  Oh boys, Mr. Rockford will see you now."
Jack:  "Oh good, good.  Come on, Fred, let's go in."

[door opens]

Mel:  "Well, come on in, fellas, come on in.  Close the door and sit down."
Jack:  "Thank you.  Mr. Rockford, I'm Jack Benny, this is Fred Allen."
Fred:  "That's right, Mr. Rockford.  Remember, you booked our act in the Palace seven years ago."
Mel:  "Oh, yeah.  What business are you in now?"
Fred:  "Well, we're STILL in show business."
Jack:  "Yes, and we thought you could book us."
Mel:  "Please, fellas."
Fred:  "Our new act is sensational.  At least give us a chance, Mr. Rockford."
Jack:  "Yeah, all we need is one good break."
Mel:  "I gave you a break when I put you in Louis Flatbush."
Fred:  "Some break.  They opened with Fink's Mules, then Major Doty's Dogs came out.  Then Manny's Monkeys, then Powers Dancing Elephants."
Mel:  "So what?"
Fred:  "Well, by the time we came out, we looked like the last two passengers on Noah's Ark."
Mel:  "Well look, boys, I’m very busy, and…"
Jack:  "Please, Mr. Rockford, just listen to our opening number.  It will only take a second."
Mel:  "All right, but before you…"
[knock, knock, knock]
Mel:  "Oh, excuse me.  Come in."
Kid:  "Mr. Rockford?  Here's the ten percent commission I owe you for booking my act last week."
Mel:  "Oh, thank you."
Jack:  "Oh, wait a minute.  Cute boy.  Sonny, what's your name?"
Kid:  "Eddie Cantor."
Jack:  "Eddie Cantor?"
Kid:  "Potatoes are cheaper, tomatoes are cheaper, now's the time to fall in loooooove!"
[Li'l Eddie leaves]
Jack:  "Mr. Rockford, how about listening to our new act?"
Mel:  "Oh, all right, if you insist."
Jack:  "Uh, ready with your clarinet, Fred?"
Fred:  "Ready."
Jack:  "Okay.  1, 2…"
[Fred plays a Wheezy, squeaky version of Tea for Two on the Clarinet]
[the music stops]
Jack:  "Oh, Mr. Allen?"
Fred:  "What is it, Mr. Benny?"
Jack:  "Have you heard that they're making women's bathing suits out of spun glass?"
Fred:  "Women's bathing suits out of glass?  Well, that's worth looking into."
Jack:  "Ha, ha, ha!  I'll take it, Mr. Allen."
[Jack plays a Wheezy, squeaky version of Tea for Two on the violin]
[the music stops]
Fred:  "Uh…  You know, Mr. Benny?  I…"
Jack:  "Yes, Mr. Allen?  Oh, pardon me."
Fred:  "I love music."
Jack:  "So do I.  In fact, music once saved my uncle's life."
Fred:  "Well, how did music save your uncle's life?
Jack:  "They played The Star Spangled Banner just as he was sitting in the electric chair.  Take it, Mr. Allen!"
[Jack plays a Wheezy, squeaky version of Tea for Two on the violin]
[the music stops]
Fred:  "I'm interpolating.  You know…
[Fred plays a Wheezy, squeaky version of Tea for Two on the clarinet]
Jack:  "You don't have to finish it, you know."
Fred:  "Huh?  Oh, Mr. Benny!"
Jack:  "Yes, Mr. Allen."
Fred:  "I want you to meet my new girl.  Her name is Well Enough."
Jack:  "Why do you call your girl Well Enough?"
Fred:  "Because I want the boys to leave Well Enough alone.  How about the finale?"
Jack:  "In unison?"
[Jack and Fred both have a bash at Tea For Two on their respective instruments]
[they finish]
Jack:  "Well?  Well Mr. Rockford, what do you think of it?"
Fred:  "Wait till he gets his head out of the drawer."
Jack:  "Maybe he's looking for a contract."
Mel:  "Fellas…"
Jack:  "Yes, yes?"
Fred:  "Yes, Mr. Rockford?"
Mel:  "To tell you the truth, fellas, I'm confused.  The whole act leaves me cold.  It's neither fish nor fowl."
Fred:  "Well, that's funny, the last agent we went to thought it was both."
Jack:  "Mr. Rockford, you mean you can't book us anywhere?"
Mel:  "Well actually, I don't have a thing open for a double. Have either of you considered doing a single?"
Jack:  "What?  And break up the act?"
Fred:  "Why, we've been together for years.  You can't split Benny & Allen."
Jack:  "It's ridiculous.  We're more than just a team, we're partners, friends!  Buddies!  Why, we'd rather starve than let anything come between us."
Mel:  "Well, that's a shame because I've got an opening for a single in Scranton for $15 a week."
Jack:  "I'll take it."
Fred:  "Well, if that's the way you feel, I'll take it for $14 a week, Mr. Rockford."
Jack:  "Fred, you'd steal a job away from your partner, your buddy, your friend?"
Fred:  "Some friend!  What did you ever do for me?"
Jack:  "Why, you puff-eyed ingrate!  For years, we've lived off my violin, my brains, my talent, my jokes!"
Fred:  "And my money!  And listen, you miser, as for your violin playing, I've heard cleaner notes from a toothless Russian sipping borscht.  You are just lucky you've had me and my clarinet."
Jack:  "Clarinet?  The only way you could make a living with that clarinet is if you put a nail on the end of it and went out in the park!  Mr. Rockford, rather than let you hire this no-talented wage cutter, I'll take the job for $10 a week!"
Fred:  "Oh yeah?  Well, I'll take it for 8!"
Jack:  "I'll take it for 5!"
Fred:  "I'll take it for 3!"
Jack:  "Well, I'll take it for nothing!"
Fred:  "So will I!"
Mel:  "Well, at that price, I can afford both of you!"
Fred:  "Jack, did you hear that!  We're working!"
Jack:  "Fred!"
Fred:  "Jack!!"

JOKE:  [13:50]
Jack:  "Well Fred, this is a surprise.  When did you get into town?"
Fred:  "Last night."
Jack:  "Last night?  But why didn't you call me at my hotel?"
Fred:  "You mean you're staying at one that has phones?"

FLUB:  [14:30]
Fred:  "Well Jack, I'm down here on business."
Jack:  "Business?"
Fred:  "Yes, you see Portland needs a nymph… a mink stole, and I've heard that there's a midget here that wants to sell one."
Jack:  "Oh, you were nearly as bad as Mary there."

Bea:  "Oh, by the way, Mr. Allen, I don't mean to be personal, but are you an American citizen?"
Fred:  "Yes, I got these slant eyes from pulling off a tight derby."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  This is Fred's last ever appearance on Jack's show.  This sketch was later remade for television, with Bob Hope taking Fred's part, and Jesse "The Maytag Man" White playing Mel Blanc's part.

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  The Vaudeville sketch was remade for television in 1962, with Bob Hope replacing Fred Allen, Barbara Pepper replacing Bea Benaderet, and Jesse White replacing Mel Blanc.  Fred's clarinet is replaced by nothing.  Jack does all the music in the TV version: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq4PTUr1jvA  The TV version was so funny that Jesse broke up several times during the course of the sketch, but the radio version is even better.

BOTTOM LINE:  A very strong episode.  The first half of the show is good, and the flashback scene is brilliant.  Possibly the very best sketch Fred Allen ever did in all of his many appearances on the Benny Show over the years.

34.   05/03/53            FROM SAN FRANCISCO        (25:32)

THE SHOW:  Don defends his (typically) insulting introduction of Jack, asking why he should say something nice about someone who's about to fire him.  After all, Jack only bought him a one-way ticket to San Francisco.  Jack insists that he isn't going to fire Don, he just couldn't get return reservations. Bob arrives, and since he's arriving first, it kind of means Mary isn't going to be here this week.  Bob arrives late, saying that he lost track of the time while writing a letter to his wife and kids.  Jack offers to pay to have them come up to Frisco… well, kinda sorta.  Bob tells a story about Remley's drunken adventures in San Francisco.

Singer Gisele Mackenzie arrives.  She's appearing with Jack at the Curran Theater, and dropped in for a copy of a musical arrangement they're using in the next show.  Jack hasn't got it with him, and so goes to call Rochester.  Jack goes out into the hall, does a quick Walking Monologue, and goes to the pay phone, but finds it occupied.  He returns to the program. Jack asks Gisele to stay and sing a song, which means that Dennis isn't going to be here this week either.  Gisele isn't keen about doing it until she finds that Jack slipped it into her contract.  Gisele sings "Pretend".

Mary arrives!?  Amazingly, she is in the show today, but didn't arrive first!  What is it, Bizarro World today??  Mary makes an excuse for being late, which ties in to Bob's story about Remley.

Jack goes out into the hall to call Rochester again at the Fairmont Hotel.  He gets a switchboard operator who sounds a lot like Rosie the Roisterer.  She gives a long commercial for the hotel, and by the time she's done, Jack's three minutes are up. Jack doesn't have another dime, and so goes back to the show to try to borrow one.  He gets one from Don and goes out to try again.  This time the action stays with the show, rather than following Jack.  Mary muses about all the trouble Jack has doing the simplest things, and tells a story about what happened to him yesterday morning.

FLASHBACK:  It's yesterday.  Jack is asleep at the Fairmont Hotel (which, presumably has popular prices, if Jack is staying there), and Rochester is preparing to wake him up.  The hotel manager calls, to ask Jack not to hang his wash out the window again.

Rochester goes into Jack's room, and finds him dreaming about romancing major movie starlets of the day.  Rochester calls up room service for Jack's breakfast.  He and Jack have a quick argument about how overworked Rochester is.

The Room Service guy (Mel) arrives with Jack's breakfast.  Jack is outraged that it costs $1.40, and has Mel itemize it.  Mel responds with a joke so old that Jack is using it at the Curran Theater.  Mel reads the dessert menu, which includes Cimarron Rolls.  Jack, wisely, doesn't even get into it this time.  Jack gives Mel a nickel tip, which he pretends to be grateful for, just to have an excuse to sing a few lines of "Pretend" (he must be trying to audition for Jack, that's the only explanation).

Mel leaves, and Mary arrives.  Since this is all a story she's telling to Bob, it's unclear how she knows what happened before she even got there, but somehow she does. Mary insists that Jack have his writers stop telling jokes about her sister Babe, especially true ones.

Mary also objects to Jack playing his violin during the stage show, saying that nobody wants to hear "Love in Bloom".  Jack says that he's learned a new piece.  He tries to play "Pretend", but only succeeds in getting every dog in the neighborhood howling.

TAG:  Jack thanks Gisele for appearing, and makes one last plug for his stage show, which is playing at the Curran Theater at popular prices.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Iris Adrian

Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, as you probably know, our little star is currently appearing here in San Francisco, at the Curran Theater."
Jack:  "At popular prices.  Continue, Don."
Don:  "It has been said that Jack Benny has made more people laugh in this town than any other comedian."
Jack:  "That's right."
Don:  "And now, I'd like to bring you the man who said it, Jack Benny!"

NOTE:  The show was edited for re-broadcast.

Jack:  "Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Hello again, this is Jack Benny, and Don.  Considering that we're doing this show away from our home town, I don't think that was much of an introduction."
Don:  "Frankly Jack, I don't care what I say about you."
Jack:  "What?"
Don:  "You heard me.  Why should I say nice things about a man that's going to fire me?"
Jack:  "For heaven's sakes, I'm not going to fire you."
Don:  "Then why did you buy me a one-way ticket to San Francisco?"
Jack:  "Because I couldn't get reservations back.  Look, if you don't believe me, then get your own transportation back to Los Angeles, and charge it to me."
Don:  "Okay.  I'm going to make reservations for my return trip on the TWA Bus."
Jack:  "Bus?  Look Don, the TWA is an airplane, it flies."
Don:  "Not when I'm on it."

JOKE:  [2:40] I'll pay for it.  the call.
Jack:  "Oh, hello Bob."
Bob:  "Hello, Jack.  Hiya folks."
Bob:  "I'm sorry I'm late, Jack, but I was writing a letter to my wife and I didn't notice what time it was."
Jack:  "Oh, that's all right, bob."
Bob:  "I sure miss the family. I was so lonely I felt like calling June and having her fly up here with all the kids."
Jack:  "Well, why didn't you?"
Bob:  "Oh, I don't know.  Two weeks in a hotel with my wife and five kids.  Gee, that could run into quite a bit of money."
Jack:  "But Bob!  You're with me.  If you miss your wife and five children, I insist that you call them and have them come up here.  I'll pay for it."
Bob:  "The trip?"
Jack:  "No, the call."

Bob:  "I think this town has Remley confused."
Jack:  "Frankie?  Frankie confused?"
Bob:  "Yeah, we were all walking along Market Street, and we came to the corner of Market and Powell.  You know, where they turn the cable cars around?"
Jack:  "Oh yes, yes, I've seen those turntables."
Bob:  "Remley took one look at it and yelled 'Hey, dig that CRAZY record player!'."
Jack:  "No!"
Bob:  "Yes.  He stayed there for five days.  He wasn't going to leave until it played 'Doggy in the Window'."
Jack:  "Remley wouldn't leave.  For heavens sake, what did you do?"
Bob:  "Well, we got the motorman to bark three times, and Remley was happy."

JOKE:  [4:40] (Giselle Mackenzie makes another visit)
Jack:  "You?  You have a phone in your dressing room at the Curran Theater?"
Giselle:  "Yes, I asked the manager for one, and he put it in."
Jack:  "That's funny.  I asked the manager to put a phone in my dressing room, and he turned me down.  Hmm.  What have you got that I haven't got?"
Giselle:  "Nothing, but I'm supposed to walk that way."

JOKE:  [6:00] (To her surprise, Gisele is doing this weeks' number)
Giselle:  "I'd better run along."
Jack:  "Oh, just a minute, Gisele.  You don't think the audience here is going to let you get away without singing a song, do you?"
Giselle:  "But Jack, my contract with you calls for me to appear with you at the Curran Theater, not to sing on your radio show."
Jack:  "Oh, you're mistaken, Gisele.  The contract specifies that you're to sing on my radio program too.  It's the last clause."
Giselle:  "Oh, so that's what the Chinese writing was!"
Jack:  "Yes, my lawyer is Won Long Loophole."

RACIAL HUMOR:  After the song, in honor of Won Long Loophole, Gisele spouts a line of faux-Chinese gibberish from the contract.

CONTINUITY ALERT:  On the way to the pay phone, Jack sings a few lines of "When You Say I Beg your Pardon".  Didn't he decide a few weeks ago that the song stank?

JOKE:  [11:45]
[Jack dials the phone]
Rosie the Roisterer:  "Fairmont Hotel, overlooking the Bay in San Francisco."
Jack:  "Operator, I'd like to speak to…"
Rosie:  "Every room suited to your tastes.  Furnished apartments, bridal suites, hobby shop, and spacious lobby."
Jack:  "Operator…  I'd like…"
Rosie:  "Elevator service, room service, tailor shop, jewelry shop, and radio in every room."
Jack:  "Operator, I'd like…"
Rosie:  "Also writing paper, pen and ink, and combination writing desk that folds up into a dresser."
Jack:  "Operator, will you please get me the number…"
Rosie:  "Daily rates, weekly rates, monthly rates, and traveler's checks cashed without question."
Jack:  "Now look, look…"
Rosie:  "In San Francisco, the only place to live is the Fairmont Hotel, overlooking the Bay."
Jack:  "Operator.  Operator, I'm trying to get…"
Rosie:  "I'm sorry, your three minutes are up.  Goodbye!"

JOKE:  [13:10]
Mary:  "Did you make your call, Jack?"
Jack:  "No, I had trouble with the operator, and I used my last dime."
Mary:  "Why don't you try using your first one?"

CONTINUITY ALERT:  The Fairmont, where Jack is staying, is a luxury hotel in San Francisco, that still exists today.  No explanation is given as to why Jack is staying here, rather than in another seedy Acme Plaza-style dump.  Maybe the rooms were on the house?  The breakfast isn't.

Rochester:  "Hello, Mr. Benny's room, star of stage, screen, radio and television.  Will work for anything that jingles, folds or has a trade-in value."

JOKE:  [15:10] (Jack is asleep)
Jack:  "Zzzzzzz."
Rochester:  "My, my.  Just look at him lying there, so nice and peaceful."
Jack:  "Oh, Ava!  Kiss me, Ava.  Come here, Lana.  Let me put my arms around you.  Zzzzz.  Come here, Marilyn.  Kiss me."
Rochester:  "Ha, ha, ha.  What a man, he lives like a lamb and dreams like a wolf."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  The previous joke references Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and Marilyn Monroe.

JOKE:  [16:10] (Rochester calls room service)
Rochester:  "Operator, get me room service, please.  Room service.  This is Mr. Benny's room.  Send up some grapefruit juice.  Small glass.  Pot of coffee.  Small pot.  A bowl of cereal.  Small bowl.  And make out the check while you're in that small mood."


Rochester:  "But Boss, you know they have valet service in this hotel, don't you?"
Jack:  "Of course I know, but what do you think I've got you for?"
Rochester:  "Me?"
Jack:  "Yes, you."
Rochester:  "Well, listed alphabetically, Attendant, Actor, Auto Attendant, Barber…"
Jack:  "Look…"
Rochester:  "Bartender, Butler, Bodyguard, Bellhop, Busboy…"
Jack:  "Look, Rochester…"
Rochester:  "Cook, Chauffeur, Companion, Charwoman, Chambermaid…"
Jack:  "Rochester!"
Rochester:  "I've got more bureaus than the Federal Government!"
Jack:  "Now Rochester, now stop with that talk and start pressing my blue suit."
Rochester:  "Okay.  Doorman, Dishwasher, Dust…"
Jack:  "Rochester, stop complaining!  You… you don't do so much!"
Rochester:  "All I know is any time somebody asks me to shake their hand, I've got to put something down."

JOKE:  [18:00] (Room Service delivers Jack's breakfast)
Mel:  "Here you are, sir, and here's the check."
Jack:  "Oh.  Let's see… WHAT!?  A dollar and 40 cents.  Why that's outrageous!"
Rochester:  "Want me to call your lawyer?"
Jack:  "No, Won Long Loophole is out of town.  Waiter, how in the world could this be a dollar and forty cents?  Let's see, 35 cents for orange juice.  Isn't that awfully high?"
Mel:  "Well, you see, sir, we don't grow oranges here, they come from Florida."
Jack:  "So what?  I don't have to pay for their vacation!"
Mel:  "I'm just a waiter, sir, I don't have anything to do with the prices."
Jack:  "Now, look at this.  Two eggs.  Sixty cents.  Do you realize that's 30 cents an egg."
Mel:  "Yes sir."
Jack:  "Thirty cents for one little egg.  What's in an egg that could make it worth thirty cents?"
Mel:  "Well, it's a whole days work for a chicken."
Jack:  "That's a very old joke!"
Mel:  "Well, I thought it was funny when I heard it last night at the Curran Theater."
Jack:  "At the Curran Theater?"
Mel:  "At popular prices."
Jack:  "I know, I know.  Let's see, 20 cents for a pot of coffee.  Well that's all right.  Say, what's that extra quarter for?"
Mel:  "Well, that's a 25 cent charge for serving meals in the room."
Jack:  "Well, open the door, I'll eat it out in the hall!"
Mel:  "Well, that won't help, sir."
Jack:  "All right, all right.  I didn't order anything to have with my coffee.  Waiter, what would you suggest?"
Mel:  "Well, we have doughnuts, Danish pastries, French toast, and Cimarron Rolls."
Jack:  "Well, never mind, I'll drink my coffee without anything,"
Mel:  "Okay, goodbye."
Jack:  "Wait a minute, wait a minute, here's a tip for you."
Mel:  "Oh boy!  This is wonderful!  This is marvelous!  Thank you, thank you so much!  You're so very generous."
Jack:  "Wait a minute.  I only gave you a nickel."
Mel:  "I know, but… When you're not happy, just pretend…"
Jack:  "Get out!"

JOKE:  [20:30] (Mary's Sister Babe)
Mary:  "I was looking at the script for Sunday's program, and Jack, I wish you'd tell your writers to stop writing things about my sister Babe.  She's sensitive."
Jack:  "But Mary…"
Mary:  "Like the thing they've got in this script.  I'm supposed to say it takes Babe longer to make up her face because she has to powder her noses."
Jack:  "But Mary, it's just a joke."
Mary:  "If they want a joke, let them make up something."

RUNNING JOKES:  Jack is appearing at the Curran Theater at popular prices.

BOTTOM LINE:  A really average show.  A few good lines (but all shows have those).  Nothing really memorable, unless you were one of the people there in person, getting to see Jack Benny coming to your town at popular prices.

35.   05/10/53            FROM SAN FRANCISCO         (25:41)

THE SHOW:  Jack quibbles about Don's intro, insisting that he's not an "ageless wonder", as Don said, he's only 39 years old.  Don plans to ask the doctor who delivered Jack if this is true, but Jack says tough luck.  He died in 1900. This is Jack's last day in Frisco.  He'd like to go back home on the Lark (either a train or a bird), but can't get a reservation.  Don offers to help, as he carries a lot of weight in this town.  Jack considers biting on this straight line, but wisely declines.

Mary arrives first this week, so things are back to normal.  Jack thinks Mary looks especially good, but it's just the special new eyeglasses he's had made for San Francisco, which, in addition to new lenses, have windshield wipers and a foghorn.  Mary is sad to be leaving San Francisco after three weeks.  Jack, Bob and Mary discuss the sights they've seen there, but the only one Jack is interested in is the mint.  They argue a bit about where all the mints in the country are (personally, I would automatically defer to Jack on such a question).  Mary expresses interest in seeing the San Francisco mint.  Don offers to get her in, as he carries a lot of weight in this town.  Mary considers biting on this straight line, but wisely declines.  (You know somebody's going to have to do it eventually…)

Dennis arrives, and apologizes for being out sick last week.  Dennis talks a bit about his hotel room, which has no bath, but still has hot and cold running something or other (and this is quite a switch, having Dennis stay at the local Acme Plaza, rather than Jack). Jack asks Dennis to sing his song.  Dennis sings "Your Mother and Mine". Jack congratulates Dennis on the song, but Dennis thinks several of his notes were flat (they weren't).  Dennis keeps trying to find fault with the song to try to be modest about his incredible talent. A telegram boy (Mel) arrives with a telegram from the manager of the Curran Theater, confirming Jack's count of the audience size. Bob arrives, and reminisces about his first job, which was in San Francisco.  At age 15, he worked for Anson Week's orchestra for one day, and was promised he'd be rehired if he could sound like Bing. Jack asks why Remley visited rehearsal, and Bob explains how Remley was visiting a brother in Alcatraz.  Bob expresses a desire to visit Alcatraz.  Don offers to fix it up for him, as he carries a lot of weight in this town.  Jack tells him to knock it off with the straight lines.

Mr. Jones of Southern Pacific Railway arrives.  He was unable to get Jack reservations on the Lark for tomorrow, but got some for Friday.  All the earlier trains are busy hauling back the money Jack made on this trip.  The only Monday train he can arrange is passage on the Daylight, leaving at 9 p.m.  As Mr. Jones leaves, Jack lets slip that it's actually George Balzer, one of his writers.

Don says that the sportsmen have arranged a special number.  The Sportsmen sing a presumably Lucky Strike themed version of "Chinatown, My Chinatown".  I say presumably because, being an edited for re-broadcast episode, the tobacco references are removed.

Lt. Governor Goodwin Knight arrives.  Knight says he's there to collect Earl Warren's check for his appearance on Jack's show 7 years ago.  Jack and Knight trade tax quips.  Bob tries to get Knight to use a little influence to get Remley's brother out of stir.  Knight meets the rest of the cast, including Don, who he already knows, due to the fact that he carries a lot of weight in this town, especially around the Bay area (at last, the punchline!).  Knight invites Jack to meet him some day for coffee and Cimarron Rolls.

Rochester calls from Sausalito, where he's busy doing nothing.  After they discuss the nothing for a bit, the show ends.

TAG:  Dennis is annoyed at Jack for not introducing him to the Lt. Governor, so that they could have formed the team of Knight and Day.


NOTABLE GUEST STARS:  George Balzer, Goodwin Knight

RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


Don:  "Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we're broadcasting from the historic city of San Francisco.  San Francisco, known the world over for its beautiful golden gate.  Its luxurious buildings, its extensive harbor, its gigantic and impressive bridges.  It's..."
Jack:  "By the time he gets to me, I won't mean a thing.  Now I know how Berkeley feels.  Continue, Don."
Don:  "If this were television, we'd show you several of these ageless wonders.  But, since this is radio, we can bring you only one ageless wonder, and here he is, Jack Benny!"

NOTE:  The show is broadcasting from the Marine Memorial Theater in San Francisco.

NOTE:  The show is edited for rebroadcast.

FLUB:  [4:00] (Another great Mary Flub)
Mary:  "I'm laughing at Jack talking about cable cars. I saw him yesterday on Powell Street."
Don:  "What happened?"
Mary:  "Well, when he thought no one was looking, he walked out in the middle of the street, stuck his finger in the slot, hooked it around the cable, and got hooked [mangled] over nothing."
Jack:  "The way you read that, I didn't think I was going to get up the hill at all!  I got hooked up the hill??"

Mary:  "Uh Dennis, when did you arrive in San Francisco?"
Dennis:  "Yesterday morning, Mary."
Mary:  "Well, what have you been doing since then?"
Dennis:  "Well, I've been spending most of my time in my hotel room."
Don:  "Oh, have you get a nice place?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, I've got a room with hot and cold running."
Jack:  "Hot and cold running water?"
Dennis:  "I don't know, there isn't any bathroom."
Jack:  "Dennis, I know I'm silly to ask you this, and the only possible good it can do the program is that Remley might laugh, fall off his stool and break his guitar.  But I'm going to ask it anyway."
Dennis:  "Yes, sir."
Jack:  "First of all, though, I want to be sure of my facts.  Your hotel room has no water and no bathroom."
Dennis:  "That's right."
Jack:  "Well, what do you do when you need a bath?"
Dennis:  "Keep away from people."
Jack:  "Well, I asked a stupid question, and Stupid answered it."

TIP JOKE:  [11:00]
Mel:  "Daaaah, telegram for Jack Benny,"
Jack:  "Thanks.  Here boy, here's a tip for you."
Mel:  "Oh boy, a nickel!  Now I can go to the Top of the Mark and have coffee and Cimarron Rolls."
Jack:  "Gee, those Cimarron Rolls are everywhere, don't they?"
Mary:  "Who's the telegram from, Jack?"
Jack:  "Oh, it's from the manager of the Curran Theater.  It says 'Dear Jack, you were right.  Total attendance yesterday was 4,207, instead of 4,206.  how you can count with that spotlight in your eyes, I'll never know'."

BOB'S BACK STORY:  [12:00]
Jack:  "Well Bob, our visit to San Francisco is about over.  I suppose you'll be glad to get back home to your wife and children, huh?"
Bob:  "Yes Jack, but I kind of hate to leave.  You know, it was right here in this city that I made my start in the entertainment business when I was just a kid."
Mary:  "Oh, I didn't know that, bob."
Bob:  "Yes Mary, my first job was singing with Anson Weeks' orchestra.  I was just 15 years old and I lasted one whole day.  Then Anson told me that if I could sound like Bing, he'd re-hire me.  So the next day I was back, auditioning for him.  I sang all of Bing's big hits, like "Blue of the Night", "Please", "I Surrender, Dear", "White Christmas", "When the Swallows Come…"
Jack:  "Wait a minute, Bob.  You couldn't have sung "White Christmas", it wasn't written then."
Bob:  "I know, but I was desperate."
Mary:  "Did you get the job?"
Bob:  "No, I had a tough break, Mary.  Right in the middle of the audition, my voice changed."
Dennis:  "Gee, that's a coincidence.  When I was 15, my voice changed too."
Bob:  "Really, Dennis?"
Dennis:  "Yeah, it got higher."
Mary:  "Quiet, Dennis.  Bob, what did you do after you left Anson Weeks?"
Bob:  "Well, I formed my own orchestra.  But I had pretty tough sledding.  But anyway, we finally landed a job playing at Forbidden City."
Mary:  "Forbidden City?  Isn't that a Chinese Nightclub?"
Bob:  "Mmm hmm.  We were billed as Chang Woo Crosby's Royal Mongolians, and The Sweetest Music This side of the Emeryville Mudslide."
Jack:  "Well Bob, enough of these reminisces, we've got a show to do.  And that reminds me, why did Remley miss rehearsal yesterday?"
Bob:  "Oh, Remley?  Well, Frankie had to visit his brother."
Jack:  "Well, couldn't he be gone the day before?"
Bob:  "No, yesterday was visiting day."
Jack:  "Oh, Remley's brother is in San Quentin."
Bob:  "No, Alcatraz."
Don:  "What did he do?"
Bob:  "Nothing, he's just Remley's brother."
Jack:  "They'll get you on that ever time."

CONTINUITY ALERT:  Last week, Jack had Bob bring his wife and children to San Francisco.  This week, they're still at home.

BOTTOM LINE:  Another so-so episode.  There's sometimes a tendency to take it easier during these travelling shows.  Everybody's taking a working vacation.

36.   05/17/53            I FLEW TO MARS




RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


37.   05/24/53            INSURANCE MEDICAL EXAM             (25:32)

SITCOM:  Jack is in the fabled "Jack Benny's Home in Beverly Hills", preparing breakfast.  He sings a filksong version of "Pretend" as he looks for the eggs.  He considers planting his orange seeds, but can't wait that long. Rufus' Jewelry Store calls, asking Jack to have his check for $12,000 ready to pay for the diamond necklace he just bought.  The caller realizes his mistake once he realizes who he's talking to. As Jack muses about what he'd do with a diamond necklace, he finds that his orange juice glass is empty.  Jack goes down to accuse Rochester of the crime… okay, deed, but finds Rochester asleep in bed.  Jack tickles Rochester awake.  Rochester accuses the mice of drinking it (this is California, after all).

Jack asks Rochester to drive him down to the doctors, as his sponsor is taking out a $2,000,000 insurance policy on Jack.  Rochester advises Jack to watch his step, if you know what I mean. Jack goes down to squeeze some more orange juice.  Mary arrives.  Jack asks why she's here so early, but she says she was here a few minutes ago, and drank a glass of orange juice that she found on the counter.  Jack admits to having accused Rochester of drinking it.  Mary insists that Jack apologize to Rochester.  Mary calls Rochester in.  Jack is reluctant, but finally seems to mumble out an apology (although you'd have to slow down the recording to be certain), and rushes from the room.

Jack gets ready to leave, when the phone rings.  He hears a strange falsettoed voice on the other end, which turns out to be Don having a really weird moment.  Don wants Jack to preview the Sportsmen's new song, saying that it's a classy song, like Jack is always asking for.  Jack refuses to listen, and hangs up.  Rochester has the car ready.  Dennis comes in and thanks Jack for the orange juice he just took en passant from the counter.  Dennis does his routine, and has come to preview the song he's going to sing on the program.

Jack goes to eat breakfast, while Mary listens to Dennis sing "Never".

Later, Jack is in the car, and hears a gunshot, which turns out to be one of his tires blowing out.  Jack decides to walk the rest of the way while Rochester changes the tire. Jack arrives at the offices of Drs. Fenchell and Gordon.  The receptionist (Bea) fills out Jack's paperwork.  Jack insists he's 39 years old, but the lie detector disagrees with him. Jack sees Bob… Bob Crosby coming out of the office with a 3-D X-Ray that he's planning to give to his brother Bing.  Jack goes into the Dr. Fenchell's office, but it turns out to be Frank Nelson.  Dr. Gordon (Mel) asks Jack to strip, and plays appropriate (?) music as he does.

Frank and Mel go off into the next room to discuss their latest (non-medical) cases.  When they return, Jack has stripped, and is feeling quite grateful that this isn't TV.  Jack steps behind the fluoroscope which shows a quarter that Jack swallowed years ago, lodged behind his kidney.  Mel asks Jack to hiccup, but loses when it comes up tails.  They examine his other organs, and find them okay, except for Jack's liver, which has onions on it. Jack drinks a glass of barium, which Frank and Mel track, and take bets on.  After the examination ends, Jack starts to leave, and has to be reminded to put his clothes back on.

TAG:  Mary asks how Jack's physical came out.  Jack has to go back to the doctor's office tomorrow to get his underwear.



RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Frank Nelson, Benny Rubin, The Sportsmen Quartet


"Ladies and gentlemen, let's go out to Jack Benny's home in Beverly Hills, where, as you know, he lives alone with his butler, Rochester.  It's 9:30 in the morning, and as usual, one is in bed while the other is in the kitchen, preparing breakfast.

NOTE:  This episode is edited for rebroadcast.

JOKE:  [3:00] (a phone call)
Jack:  "Hello?"
Voice on Phone:  "Hello, this is Rufus' Jewelry Store in Beverly Hills."
Jack:  "Yes?"
Voice on Phone:  "The diamond necklace with the emerald pendant you ordered is ready, we can deliver it today.  Please have your check for $12,000 ready."
Jack:  "Look, this is Jack Benny.  You must have the wrong number."
Voice on Phone:  "Must have!?  I haven't been this wrong since I gave 2:1 on Walcott!"

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  A reference to the heavyweight championship fight of 9/23/1952 between champion Jersey Joe Walcott and challenger Rocky Marciano. A rematch was fought in Chicago five days after this broadcast, in which Marciano again won.

JOKE:  [5:00]
Jack:  "Get out of bed, I want you to drive me down to the doctor's office.  I've got to go for a physical."
Rochester:  "What's the matter, Boss?  You feel bad?"
Jack:  "No, no, it's just that my sponsor is taking out an insurance policy on me, and I have to be examined."
Rochester:  "How much is the policy for?"
Jack:  "A million dollars.  But if I'm killed accidentally, the sponsor collects two million dollars."
Rochester:  "Two million?"
Jack:  "Yes."
Rochester:  "Boss, you'd better watch your step.  I hear your sponsor's hobby is rifle shooting."
Jack:  "Oh, I'm not worried about that.  He does his target shooting on a range way out at Sunset and Westwood.  I don't even pass there on my way home."
Rochester:  "I know, but for two million dollars, they can make a bullet that waits for you at Pico and Sepulveda!"

JOKE/FLUB:  [6:00] (Rochester didn't drink the orange juice after all)
Mary:  "Oh, Jack!  Jack, are you up yet?"
Jack:  "Oh, hello Mary, come on in.  I'm in the kitchen.  What are you doing here so early?"
Mary:  "Early?  I was here a few minutes ago.  I cam into the house, walked into the kitchen, nobody was there, so I drank a glass of orange juice and left."
Jack:  "Mary!  You… you drank…"
Mary:  "All right, here's a dime!"
Jack:  "Here's a dime, here's a dime!  Don't be so sarcastic.  I made a terrible mistake.  I accused Rochester of drinking my orange juice."
Mary:  "Well, that's you, Jack.  Always jump people conclusions."
Jack:  "Always what??"
Mary:  "Always jumping to CONCLUSIONS!"

JOKE:  [9:30]
Jack:  "Rochester, did you get the car started?"
Rochester:  "Uh huh."
Jack:  "How did you get it started so fast?"
Rochester:  "Boss, when I know you're going out the next morning, I let it run all night."
Jack:  "Oh."
Mary:  "Jack, letting your car run all night, doesn't that burn up a lot of charcoal?"

Jack:  "It's not just the orange juice, it's the principle.  I'm trying to conserve food."
Dennis:  "Well, my mother conserves food every night."
Jack:  "Well, she deserves a lot of credit.  How does she do it?
Dennis:  "Well, when it's time for dinner, she locks me in a closet."
Jack:  "Dennis…"
Dennis:  "But last time I got even with her.  I ate the doorknob."
Jack:  "What?"
Dennis:  "Now every little thing turns my stomach."
Jack:  "Look kid, I haven't had my breakfast yet, leave me alone.  What brings you over here anyway?"
Dennis:  "Well, I've got a brand new arrangement for my song, and I thought maybe you wanted to hear it."
Jack:  "Well, do I have to hear it now?  So early?"
Dennis:  "Oh, it isn't early, Mr. Benny.  I'm up and dressed and out of the house at 5 o'clock every morning"
Jack:  "Five o'clock?  What for?"
Dennis:  "The buses aren't crowded."
Jack:  "Dennis, where do you have to go at 5 o'clock in the morning?"
Dennis:  "No place, but I get a seat."
Jack:  "Here kid, have a doorknob."
Mary:  "Jack, not in the head."
Jack:  "Look Dennis, you sing your song for Mary, and she'll tell me how it is.  I've got to have breakfast and rush away to the doctor."
Dennis:  "Oh, I don't blame you.  You look awful."
Jack:  "What?"
Dennis:  "Sing, kid."

JOKE:  [15:45] (Jack arrives at the doctor's]
Bea:  "Yes sir?"
Jack:  "How do you do?  I'm Jack Benny."
Bea:  "Oh, yes. You have an appointment for a physical examination."
Jack:  "That's right."
Bea:  "Well, I'll have to fill out this card first.  Name, Jack Benny."
Jack:  "That's right."
Bea:  "Your address?"
Jack:  "366 North Camden Drive."
Bea:  "Your complexion?"
Jack:  "Ruddy."
Bea:  "Color of your eyes?"
Jack:  "Lazy Lagoon Blue."
Bea:  "Your height?"
Jack:  "5'10."
Bea:  "Your weight?"
Jack:  "157."
Bea:  "Now, I'll just slip this band around your arm.  There.
Jack:  "Hey, this is awfully tight.  What is it?"
Bea:  "A lie detector, the next question is your age."
Jack:  "Now, wait a minute.  I don't need a lie detector to tell you my age!  I'm 39!"
Jack:  "Look, a lie detector can be wrong too, you know!"
Bea: "Well Mr. Benny, if you'll just sit over there and wait, the doctors will see you in a minute."
Jack:  "Thank you."
Jack:  "How do you like that?  Using a lie detector when she asked my age!  None of the other nurses ever did that.  They ask me my age, I tell them I'm 39, they put down whatever they think."

Jack:  "Bob!"
Bob:  "Oh, hello Jack."
Jack:  "Bob Crosby, what are you doing here?"
Bob:  "Well, they took this X-Ray of me and I just picked it up."
Jack:  "Oh.  Say, what's the writing down in the corner of the X-Ray?  The name of the doctor?"
Bob:  "Oh, no.  no, it says 'To Brother Bing with Love'.  I'm giving it to him for his birthday."
Jack:  "Bob, why in the world would you give Bing an X-Ray for a present?"
Bob:  "Well, he's got everything else."
Jack:  "Well, that's logical.  Can I take a look at it, Bob?"
Bob:  "Sure, go ahead, Jack."
Jack:  "Let's see.  Bob, nothing shows in this X-Ray.  Why is it so blurry?"
Bob:  "Oh, well you have to use Polaroid glasses.  It's 3-dimensional."
Jack:  "A three-dimensional X-Ray?"
Bob:  "Oh, the doctors like it better than The House of Wax."

NOTE ON PREVIOUS:  The House of Wax (1953), starring Vincent Price, was a 3-D movie made at the height of the 3-D craze of the early 50's.

JOKE:  [18:30] (Guess who Dr. Fenchell is)
Jack:  "Oh, Doctor.  Doctor?"
Frank:  "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees?"
Jack:  "Well… Doctor.  Here I am."
Frank:  "Oh.
[dials phone]
Frank:  "Hello, Bolton's Mortuary?"
Jack:  "What??"
Frank:  "I'm having lunch with Ralph Bolton."
Jack:  "Oh."
Frank:  "Oh, quite frankly, I throw him a lot of business."
Jack:  "I see."
Frank:  "Hello, Ralph?  1:30 at the Brown Derby?  Fine.  Goodbye, Ralph."
[hangs up]
Frank:  "I like going out with him, he drives such a big car."

BOTTOM LINE:  A fairly good episode.  The orange juice saga works well, although the big about Frank and Mel having barium hydrochlorate races, and flipping the quarter in Jack's stomach is a little too corny for anybody but Phil Harris."

38.   05/31/53            JACK LISTENS TO THE INDY 500 ON THE RADIO




RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Artie Auerbach, Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, Frank Nelson, Benny Rubin, Marty Sperzel, The Sportsmen Quartet

MINOR ROLES:  Iris Adrian

39.   06/07/53            GONDOLA IN VENICE




RECURRING GUEST STARS:  Bea Benaderet, Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Dorothy Collins, The Sportsmen Quartet


SUMMER RERUNS (53-07-06)

Rerun of 53-03-22

SUMMER RERUNS (53-08-03)

Rerun of (53-04-26)



10-26-1952:  Louella Parsons Stops in for Dinner

11-09-52:  Lunch at the Drugstore turns into a public performance of Botch a-Me, with Rosie the Roisterer as Dave Seville and the Sportsmen as the Chipmunks.  Later, Jack encounters Bugs Bunny at the Doctor's office.

12-14-1952:  Christmas Shopping

01-25-1953:  Jack Tries To Bet On Our Fancy

02-22-1953:  The Beavers Impersonate the Show


09-14-52:  Introduction of Bob Crosby
01-11-1953:  The Road to Bali, with Bob Hope and Bob Crosby
02-15-1953:  Bing visits the show.
03-22-1953:  The Cimarron Rolls saga (a multi-episode routine which starts here)
04-26-1953:  Jack reminisces about the time he and Fred Allen auditioned their Vaudeville act.

BOTTOM LINE:  The show has lost a step or two from its peak.  There are a lot more formula episodes than before, and much of the funniest stuff you'll hear this season is a remake of earlier material.  But there's still a lot to like in this season, and apart from a few lemons, the show is still top-notch and well worth listening to.