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Benjamin and Mantan

Radio Hall of Fame

Benjamin and Mantan

Jan 28 1945




CAST:

HOST, Dick Powell

MANTAN, Mantan Moreland

BENJAMIN, Ben Carter


Mantan Moreland (left) and Ben Carter.





HOST: ... Your RADIO HALL OF FAME couldn't pay tribute to comedy without including an example of one of the oldest forms of American humor -- blackface comedy. Woodrow Wilson relaxed by reading detective stories. Abraham Lincoln took time off from the tribulations of steering the ship of state by attending minstrel shows and yakking at the jokes and antics of the blackface endmen. 


One of the top teams in delivering this type of merriment is Benjamin and Mantan of "The Bob Burns Show." Individually, they're featured players in the movies -- Benjamin, whose full name is Benjamin Carter, being featured in M-G-M's forthcoming feature "The Harvey Girls," and Mantan, whose complete cognomen is Mantan Moreland being dittoed in Monogram's Charlie Chan series. But, take 'em together, they're Benjamin and Mantan.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION


MANTAN: (BEAT) Boy, why don't you say somethin'? What is the matter with you?


BENJAMIN: Well, I'm a sick man, Mantan.


MANTAN: Sick? You always complainin' about somethin' that you ain't got, and you couldn't have even if you had it.


BENJAMIN: (BEAT) Well, I got it.


MANTAN: You got what?


BENJAMIN: Well, it's a kind of a feeling that starts--


MANTAN: I had that once. ... A kind of a feelin' that starts right along--


BENJAMIN: That's it.


MANTAN: Well, what're ya doin' fer it?


BENJAMIN: Well, I saw myself a doctor, and he gave me a bottle--


MANTAN: Don't take 'em; they'll kill ya. ... Who was the physician that prescribed that for you? 


BENJAMIN: A doctor lives out here--


MANTAN: He ain't no good. ... The doctor you want is the doctor that live out here--


BENJAMIN: I had him! ... You see, I thought maybe--


MANTAN: It couldn't be that. ... Why don't you try some of those pills that my brother took, when he was sufferin' from what he caught when he was out--


BENJAMIN: Was he out there? ...


MANTAN: Sho'!


BENJAMIN: I thought all the time he was--


MANTAN: He did, but he come back. ...


BENJAMIN: Yeah? What's he doin'?


MANTAN: Oh, he's workin'.


BENJAMIN: Where is he workin'?


MANTAN: He's workin' down here for a man, and they payin' him a salary of--


BENJAMIN: That ain't no money at all. ... 'Course, I guess he--


MANTAN: You've got him wrong, you've got him wrong. ... He's gon' get married.


BENJAMIN: No!


MANTAN: Sho'! He's gon' marry the daughter of Mrs.--


BENJAMIN: She's a nice girl! ... Hey?


MANTAN: Hm?


BENJAMIN: Wait a minute.


MANTAN: What's that?


BENJAMIN: (CONFIDENTIALLY) Let me tell you somethin'.


MANTAN: What is it? Hm? What is it?


BENJAMIN: (LOW) One time, I heard--


MANTAN: (INDIGNANT) That was her sister! ... I'm keepin' company with her.


BENJAMIN: Yeah?


MANTAN: I've been keepin' company with her now ever since--


BENJAMIN: I didn't know you've been knowin' her that long. ...


MANTAN: Sho'!


BENJAMIN: I thought all the time that--


MANTAN: He was, but I cut him out! ...


BENJAMIN: Well, Mantan, that's funny.


MANTAN: What?


BENJAMIN: I was talkin' to her dad yesterday--


MANTAN: Yeah?


BENJAMIN: And the first thing I know--


MANTAN: That was yo' fault. ... What you should have done was--


BENJAMIN: I did. ...


MANTAN: (FRIENDLY) See that, Ben? 


BENJAMIN: What?


MANTAN: That's why I like to talk to you.


BENJAMIN: Yeah?


MANTAN: (JOVIAL) 'Cause me and you seems to agree with each other.


BENJAMIN: (AMUSED) We sure do, don't we?


MANTAN: Yes!


BENJAMIN AND MANTAN: (BOTH LAUGH WILDLY FOR A SOLID TEN SECONDS ... THEN SLOWLY THE LAUGHTER WEARILY SUBSIDES AND THEY ADOPT A PLAYFUL MOCK DIGNITY)


BENJAMIN: Say, Mantan--?


MANTAN: Yes, what is it, Benjamin?


BENJAMIN: Why don't you come up to my house and have dinter sometime?


MANTAN: Have dinter with you?


BENJAMIN: That's right.


MANTAN: Up to your house?


BENJAMIN: That's right.


MANTAN: (ABRUPTLY CASUAL AGAIN) Where is you dodgin' rent now? ...


BENJAMIN: I live out here on--


MANTAN: I've got a brother live in that house. ... I'll be there--


BENJAMIN: I won't be home then. ... 


MANTAN: When will you be home?


(FINAL EXCHANGE IS VERY RAPID AND OVERLAPPING)


BENJAMIN: Well, now, the best time to catch me--


MANTAN: That suits me. What hour?


BENJAMIN: Oh, any time between--


MANTAN: That's a little early, but I'll see ya--


BENJAMIN: I'll be lookin' for ya then.


MANTAN: Au revoir!


BENJAMIN: Be sure and call me!


MANTAN: (HIGH-PITCHED LAUGH) Whooooo!


BENJAMIN: Look me up!


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: CURTAIN ...



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Jun 22, 2013, 10:38 PM
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