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Christmas Shopping '54

The Jack Benny Program

Christmas Shopping

Dec 05 1954




CAST:

JACK BENNY

ROCHESTER

DENNIS DAY, the boyish singer

DON WILSON, the genial announcer

MEL BLANC, the store clerk; working class 

BEA BENADERET, Mel's wife

FRANK NELSON, the obnoxious floorwalker

MAHLON MERRICK, the bland orchestra arranger

SHELDON LEONARD, the slightly sinister Runyonesque racetrack tout

VEOLA VONN, the oomphy lingerie clerk

ARTIE AUERBACK, friendly Mr. Kitzel; Yiddish accent

SINGERS, of Lucky Strike jingle

ANNOUNCER, of Tareyton ad


NOTE: This transcript includes some material from the script in brackets.






DON: The Jack Benny Program -- transcribed and presented by Lucky Strike, the cigarette that's toasted to taste better.


SINGER: (TO CALYPSO ACCOMPANIMENT)

If you want better taste from your cig-a-rette,

Lucky Strike is the brand to get!

IT'S TOASTED to give you the best taste yet,

It's the toasted - - - cig-a-rette.


DON: This is Don Wilson. The song you just heard has an important message for everyone who smokes. The sure way to get better taste from your cigarette is to make sure you get Lucky Strike. It's toasted to taste better. Of course the better taste of a Lucky begins with fine tobacco. And then, that fine tobacco is toasted. "IT'S TOASTED" -- the famous Lucky Strike process -- tones up this naturally mild, good-tasting tobacco to make it taste even better. Cleaner, fresher, smoother. Yes, a Lucky tastes better because it's the cigarette of fine tobacco and it's toasted - to taste better. So -- Be happy -- Go Lucky!


MUSIC: THEME ("YANKEE DOODLE DANDY"/"LOVE IN BLOOM") ... THEN IN BG


DON: The Lucky Strike Program starring Jack Benny, with Mary Livingstone, Rochester, Dennis Day, Bob Crosby, and "yours truly," Don Wilson.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: THEME ... UP AND OUT


DON: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the middle of the Christmas shopping season, and as usual, Jack is going to his favorite department store to purchase gifts for his gang. But before we go Christmas shopping, I'd like to take you to a modest little home in the suburbs of Los Angeles. The home belongs to a department store salesman and his wife. It's five o'clock in the morning.


MEL: (SNORES THREE TIMES NORMALLY ... THEN WHIMPERS AS HE SNORES ... THEN WHIMPERING TURNS INTO FRIGHTENED CRYING OF A MAN HAVING A TERRIBLE NIGHTMARE)


BEATRICE: Melville! 


MEL: (SNORES AND HYSTERICS)


BEATRICE: (STAMMERS) Mel, wake up!


MEL: (HYSTERICS)


BEATRICE: Mel!


MEL: (WAKES) Huh? Huh? Huh? Wha--? What?


BEATRICE: You were having a bad dream.


MEL: Oh. Oh, yeah. That same nightmare. I always have it this time of year, Beatrice.


BEATRICE: Uh, about that blue-eyed old man that comes to the store for his Christmas shopping? ...


MEL: Yeah. Only this dream was worse. I looked at his hands and instead of fingers, he had shoelaces. On one hand the fingernails were plastic tips and on the other hand was metal tips. Why do I always have to dream about him?!


BEATRICE: Now, Mel, control yourself. Maybe he won't come into the store this year.


MEL: Oh, he'll come, he'll come. He's been coming in and drivin' me nuts for over fifteen years.


BEATRICE: Well, don't worry about it. Maybe he's mellowed. Maybe he'll be kinder now that he's getting old.


MEL: He was old fifteen years ago! ...


BEATRICE: Look, Mel. Look, you go to the store, and during my lunch hour, I'll come down to your department and if you've had any trouble, I'll relieve you. Anyway, there's very little chance of seeing him now that you're in the art department.


MEL: Yeah. Guess that's right, Beatrice. He - he don't look like the kind of guy who would go in for paintin'. He ain't the artistic type.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... ENDS WITH A PHRASE OF "JINGLE BELLS"


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND (SHOPPERS MURMUR, CASH REGISTER RINGS, ELEVATORS CHIME, ET CETERA)


ROCHESTER: Mr. Benny, you've still got quite a few more names on your Christmas list.


JACK: Yeah, I still have to get something for my producer and Miss Livingstone now. So you can do your personal shopping.


ROCHESTER: Thank you. And will it be all right if I charge my things to your account? 


JACK: Charge it? What happened to the Christmas bonus I gave you? 


ROCHESTER: I lost it. 


JACK: Lost your bonus? Gambling?


ROCHESTER: Oh, no! I had a hole in my pocket and it rolled down the sewer. ...


JACK: Now, wait a minute, Rochester. Stop making up jokes. I gave you a twenty-five dollar check for a Christmas bonus.


ROCHESTER: I know, Mr. Benny, but I can't cash that check until after next Monday. 


JACK: Why not? 


ROCHESTER: Me and the check are appearing on "You Asked For It." ... 


JACK: Oh, yes. We'll show 'em. I'll meet you here later, Rochester.


ROCHESTER: Okay.


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


JACK: (TO HIMSELF) Gee, I still haven't gotten anything for Mary. I know what I'll do, I'll buy her a negligee. Now where's the negligee department? Oh, that must be the floorwalker over there -- that man in the striped trousers and the cut-away coat. (CALLS) Oh, mister? Mister?


NELSON: Yyyeeeeeeesssss?! ...


JACK: Are you the floorwalker?


NELSON: No, I'm a pallbearer, but my handle broke. ...


JACK: Look, I didn't come here for corny conversation. All I want to know is where I can buy a negligee.


NELSON: On the third floor, but I don't think they have anything in your size. ... 


JACK: Don't be so smart; it's not for me. 


NELSON: Oh, for your wife? 


JACK: No, I'm not married.


NELSON: Don't tell me you got to look that way all by yourself. ...


JACK: Now cut that out! Anyway, I don't need you. I'll find it.


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


JACK: (TO HIMSELF) The store's so crowded I don't think I'll ever finish my-- Hey, looks like my orchestra arranger, Mahlon Merrick. (UP) Hi, Mahlon.


MAHLON: Oh, hello, Jack. 


JACK: Doing your Christmas shopping, eh? 


MAHLON: Yes. I'm getting some gifts for the boys in the band. 


JACK: Gee, it's a nuisance, isn't it, trying to get--?


SHELDON: (COMING IN, CONFIDENTIALLY) Hi ya, bud. Long time, no see. 


JACK: Huh? Oh, oh, hello. Hello. 


SHELDON: So long, bud. See ya around. ...


JACK: Yeah, yeah. Goodbye. 


MAHLON: Jack? Jack, who was that fellow?


JACK: Oh, he's a race track tout. He's always trying to talk me out of everything. I've got to finish my shopping. So long, Mahlon.


MAHLON: Oh, er, just a minute, Jack. 


JACK: Yes? 


MAHLON: I'm having a big party on New Year's Eve and--


JACK: I know, I know. You've already invited me.


MAHLON: Yes, and I thought that since you've given so many parties you could help me out a bit. You see, I've already hired a caterer, and I thought you might recommend a good bartender.


JACK: Well, now that's the silliest thing, Mahlon, spending good money on a bartender. Why don't you get one of the boys in your band? I mean, get Frank Remley. Nobody knows more about drinks than he does.


MAHLON: No, I wouldn't try that again, Jack. He was the bartender at the last party I gave. 


JACK: Well, what happened? 


MAHLON: Well, the first guest to arrive walked up and ordered a Scotch and soda. 


JACK: Uh huh.


MAHLON: Remley bent down, got the scotch; never came up again. ...


JACK: No kidding. Well, thanks for inviting me, anyway. I'll see you New Year's.


MAHLON: Good.


JACK: I'll be there.


MAHLON: And Jack, if you run into Don Wilson, see if you can persuade him to come to the party, too.


JACK: Persuade Don Wilson? 


MAHLON: Yes. He never wants to go anywhere since he's taken up painting as a hobby.


JACK: Painting? As a hobby? Say, I'm glad you mentioned that, Mahlon. I was worried what to get for Don. You know, last year I got him a box of dates with nuts in them and everything. Now I'll get him some paints! I'm going to the art department. I'll see you later. ...


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


JACK: (TO HIMSELF) They sure have everything for the artist here. Hm, where's the salesman? Oh, there he is. (CALLS) Oh, clerk? Clerk?


MEL: Ah, yes sir? What can I--? (SEES JACK, REACTS EXTRAVAGANTLY) Euh-euh-euh-euh! ... It's you again.


JACK: (BLANKLY) Huh?


MEL: How do you find me every year? You got radar or somethin'? ...


JACK: What are you talking about?


MEL: (TO HIMSELF) Gee, he doesn't recognize me. Maybe everything's gonna be okay.


JACK: What are you mumbling about, clerk?


MEL: Oh, nothin', nothin'. Ah, what can I do for you, sir?


JACK: Well, a friend of mine has taken up painting as a hobby, and I'd like to get him a nice set of paints.


MEL: Oh, oh, very good, sir. Now - now here's a set that's very popular and reasonable, too. It's only nine ninety-five.


JACK: Well, gee. Those tubes of paint seem very small.


MEL: Well, that's right, sir, but they're the best paints. And in addition to the primary colors, it also contains such exotic colors as vermillion, chartreuse, turquoise, cerise, heliotrope, citron, purple fuschia, cardinal red, burnt orange, midnight blue -- and shocking pink! ...


JACK: Yeah, it has a lot. Say, that's a beautiful color right there. That's the most beautiful color I've ever seen. What do you call it?


MEL: Money green. ...


JACK: Well, I'll take it. Now, I'd like it gift wrapped. 


MEL: Yes, sir. I'll be back in a second with it.


SOUND: MEL'S STEPS AWAY ... MEL WRAPS GIFT BEHIND--


MEL: (TO HIMSELF) Gee. He didn't even recognize me. And he didn't give me the least bit of trouble. In fact, he was real sweet. (SINGS CONTENTEDLY, TO HIMSELF) "Oh, boy, I'm lucky. I'll say I'm lucky. This is my lucky day." There. There, that looks pretty.


SOUND: MEL'S STEPS RETURN


MEL: Ah, here you are, sir. That'll be ten and a quarter includin' tax.


JACK: Ten and a quarter? Gee, that seems like a lot to pay for just a few paints.


MEL: Well, not when you consider what you're gettin'. Most people don't mind payin' the extra money for oil paints. They last so much longer than the water colors.


JACK: (BEAT) Oh. ... You have water colors, too? ...


MEL: (TO HIMSELF) Me and my big stupid mouth! ... I had to tell him yet. I couldn't let well enough alone. I had to tell him!


JACK: Clerk, how much is the water color set? 


MEL: (FAST, DESPERATE) Three ninety-five, but you're-- They're - they're not near as nice as these are! 


JACK: I don't care! I want to see the water color set!


MEL: (MISERABLE) Okay, okay. I'll have to climb this ladder to get it. It's on the top shelf. 


SOUND: MEL'S STEPS TO LADDER WHICH HE CLIMBS


MEL: (TO HIMSELF) I had to tell him. Had to tell him! I wish I could paint red spots on my face so he'd think I had small pox and go away. (BEAT, EXPLODES) I wish I had small pox! ... Ah, it wouldn't do any good. This guy's lived so long, he must be immune to everything. ... But it's my own fault.


SOUND: MEL'S STEPS DOWN LADDER TO JACK


MEL: Here's the water color set, mister. Look at it, look at it. 


JACK: Say, this looks okay. 


MEL: But it's only got five colors -- gray, blue, black, red, and dirty brown. ...


JACK: I don't care. It's three ninety-five and I'll take it. Now gift wrap it and I'll be back.


MEL: (WILDLY) I know you will! I know you will! ...


JACK: Never mind. (TO HIMSELF) Now let's see. What else do I have to get? Gee, I still haven't gone to the lingerie department for Mary's gift.


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


VEOLA: Yes? What can I do for you, young man? 


DENNIS: I'd like to buy a Christmas gift for my mother.


VEOLA: Well, a negligee's always a very suitable gift. Now here's a lovely one that I'm sure would please your mother.


DENNIS: Mmm, no. She wouldn't like that one. She never wears anything with a low neckline.


VEOLA: Oh? Is she modest?


DENNIS: No, she's tattooed. ...


VEOLA: Well, here's something that might suit your mother more.


DENNIS: Gee, that looks nice. Only I'd like it in a brighter color. You see, my father is always depressed and bright colors cheer him up.


VEOLA: Oh. Well, we have a large selection of colors. But tell me, what size does your mother wear?


DENNIS: Well, gee, I don't know, but, she's about as tall as you are. 


VEOLA: Oh. Does she have my build? 


DENNIS: If she did, my father wouldn't need cheering up. ...


VEOLA: Well, now, how does this one seem?


DENNIS: Oh, that looks about the right size. I think she'll like it very much. Will you wrap it up and charge it, please?


VEOLA: Yes, sir. Now who shall I charge this to? 


DENNIS: To me. My name is Dennis Day. 


VEOLA: (IMPRESSED) Dennis Day?


DENNIS: Uh huh.


VEOLA: The singer?


DENNIS: Yes, ma'am.


VEOLA: (GUSHY AND OOMPHY) Oh. Gee, Mr. Day, I'm one of your most ardent fans. I bought all your records and everything. Why, when I hear you sing, I just quiver and shake all over.


DENNIS: (BURSTS OUT SINGING) "Three coins in the fountain! ... There they lie in the fountain. Which one will the fountain--?"


VEOLA: Mr. Day! Mr. Day!


DENNIS: Huh? ...


VEOLA: I'm not joking. No, I'm really a great admirer of yours.


DENNIS: Oh, well, thanks. Thanks a lot.


JACK: (COMING IN) Dennis? Oh, Dennis?


DENNIS: Huh? Oh, hello, Mr. Benny.


JACK: Gee, I heard you singing. I was way on the other side of the store, but I thought it was a record.


DENNIS: Maybe that's because I've got a hole in my head. ...


JACK: Hmmm. 


DENNIS: Well, I've got to run along, Mr. Benny. I still have lots of shopping to do. 


JACK: Same here. So long kid. (CALLS) Oh, miss? Miss? 


VEOLA: Yes, sir? 


JACK: I'd like to get a gift for a girlfriend. 


VEOLA: Well, just a moment, sir. That man at the end of the counter was here first. 


JACK: That's quite all right. (SINGS, TO HIMSELF) Jingle Bells. Da bump, bump, bump. 


ROCHESTER: (COMING IN) Oh, there you are, Mr. Benny.


JACK: Yeah, Rochester. You finish your shopping? 


ROCHESTER: Uh huh. I even got a present for you. 


JACK: Aw, that's nice. What is it? 


ROCHESTER: Oh, now wait till Christmas.


JACK: Aw, come on, tell me, Rochester. You know how I hate waiting. Is it something I can wear?


ROCHESTER: Uh huh.


JACK: Is it something I'd wear above the waist?


ROCHESTER: Uh huh.


JACK: A shirt?


ROCHESTER: Nope.


JACK: Hmm. Is it something I wear above the shoulders?


ROCHESTER: Uh huh.


JACK: I've got it. It's a hat!


ROCHESTER: No, but it's right under it. ...


JACK: Well, that's a strange gift to give me. Why should you get me that?


ROCHESTER: Well, I ruined one of your good ones. I threw it in the Bendix and all the curls came out of it. ...


JACK: Well, don't throw it away. Save it in case I ever get the part of an Indian in a picture. ...


ROCHESTER: Okay. Are you done with your shopping, Mr. Benny?


JACK: Not quite. But you know I always have trouble getting something for Don Wilson and this time I think I got him a gift he'll like. A set of paints.


ROCHESTER: Oh, he should like that, boss. Whenever he sees me, he talks to me about painting. He's really crazy about that hobby.


JACK: I know, and I got him a lovely set of water colors.


ROCHESTER: Water colors? Oh, he's way beyond that. For the past few months he's been painting with nothin' but oils!


JACK: (PAUSE) ... Oils? Are you sure?


ROCHESTER: I'm positive.


JACK: (TO HIMSELF) So Don only uses oil paints. (UP) Excuse me, Rochester, I'll see you later.


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


MEL: (SINGS DOLEFULLY, TO HIMSELF) "Don't know why / There's no sun up in the sky / Stormy weather."


JACK: (COMING ON) Oh, clerk? Clerk?


MEL: (UNHAPPY) Oh, it's you again. Here's your water colors, all gift wrapped and everything.


JACK: Well, I've changed my mind. I want the oils.


MEL: (NERVOUS BREAKDOWN) No. No. No, this - this can't be happenin' to me. I - I lead a good life. I - I'm kind to my mother. ... It - it can't be happening. It just can't.


JACK: Look, look, control yourself.


MEL: Okay. Okay. I - I - I'm gettin' calmer. I'll - I'll control myself. (SOBS)


JACK: Good, good.


MEL: (CALMLY) Only, mister, do - do me a favor and tell me somethin', will ya?


JACK: Certainly.


MEL: What business are you in?


JACK: I'm a comedian.


MEL: (BEAT, EXPLODES, SCREAMING) WELL, WHAT'S FUNNY ABOUT THIS?! ... (SOBS, BUILDS TO HYSTERICS BEHIND--)


JACK: (ANNOYED) Look, I-- ... Look, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not trying to be funny. I just made a simple request. I want the water colors changed to oils. Now please gift wrap them, and I'll be back to pick 'em up later.


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


JACK: (TO HIMSELF) Now let's see. I've got to get Mary's gift, and then-- Oh, darn it. I'm out of cigarettes. Wonder where I can get some. Oh, there's a cigarette machine at the end of the aisle.


SOUND: JACK'S STEPS TO MACHINE


JACK: (TO HIMSELF) Here it is. Gee, what a fancy cigarette machine. Let's see. I ought to have some change in--


SHELDON: (CONFIDENTIALLY) Hey, bud. Bud. ...


JACK: Huh? 


SHELDON: Come here a minute. 


JACK: Who, me?


SHELDON: Yeah, yeah. What are ya doin'? 


JACK: I'm getting a package of cigarettes. 


SHELDON: What kind? 


JACK: Lucky Strikes.


SHELDON: Oh, Lucky Strike, eh? Smart boy. ...


JACK: Huh? 


SHELDON: You're puttin' your dough on the favorite. 


JACK: I know, I know.


SHELDON: And it's a great bet across the board. 


JACK: Win, place, and show? 


SHELDON: No. Cleaner, fresher, smoother. ...


JACK: Oh.


SHELDON: And another thing. 


JACK: What? 


SHELDON: Come here a minute.


JACK: Huh? 


SHELDON: Look at the breedin'. 


JACK: The breeding? 


SHELDON: It's by Sold American out of Goldsboro, North Carolina. ...


JACK: Well, thanks. Thanks very much. 


SHELDON: You gonna get a pack of Luckies? 


JACK: Am I gonna get a pack of Luckies? 


SHELDON: Yeah. 


JACK: (BEAT, MIMICS SHELDON, CONFIDENTIALLY) Come here a minute. ...


SHELDON: Huh? 


JACK: I'm gonna get two packs. ...


SHELDON: Two? 


JACK: I'm tryin' for the Daily Double. ...


SHELDON: Smart boy. So long and Merry Christmas. 


JACK: Same to you. Same to you. 


SOUND: APPLAUSE FOR SHELDON ... DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


JACK: (SINGS, TO HIMSELF) "If you want better taste in your cigarette, / Lucky Strike is the brand to get. It's toasted to give--" (SPEAKS, TO HIMSELF) I got the cigarettes. Now I've got to go--


ARTIE: Hellooo, Meester Benny!


JACK: (PLEASED) Why, Mr. Kitzel! (SOUND: APPLAUSE FOR KITZEL) Well, look who's here -- Mr. Kitzel. Say, how you coming along with your Christmas shopping?


ARTIE: Practically finished. 


JACK: Did you buy some nice presents?


ARTIE: Wonderful -- especially for my magneeficent mother-in-law. 


JACK: Oh, your mother-in-law, huh?


ARTIE: Yeah. Thees year, I'm giving to my mother-in-law such a geeft. I'm proud I thought of it. A trip to Hawaii. ...


JACK: Why, Mr. Kitzel, what a wonderful thing to give a mother-in-law -- a round trip to Hawaii.


ARTIE: Who said anything about a round treep? ...


JACK: Oh, oh, oh! Oh, I see--


[ARTIE: But for mine wife, I'm getting a (MOANS IN PAIN) Ooooohhhh.


JACK: What's the matter?


ARTIE: I better get a glass of water....I've got to take an aspirin.


JACK: Oh..you have a headache?


ARTIE: No..mine nephew just opened up a dentist's office, and I went to him this morning.


JACK: And you had a tooth pulled?


ARTIE: Five of them.


JACK: You had five bad teeth?


ARTIE: Only one.


JACK: Then how come you let him pull the other four?


ARTIE: He's a beginner, he needs the experience.


JACK: Oh.


ARTIE: But he's going to be a very good dentist....He's still studying hard...He wants to specialize in stopping pain..He's studying the nerves of teeth.


JACK: Really?


ARTIE: Yes, you should see how delicately he works...He removes the nerves from the teeth, and hangs them on tiny little racks.


JACK: Gosh, that must be hard work!


ARTIE: It's nerve wracking.


JACK: Mr. Kitzel, you went through all that just to tell me a joke?


ARTIE: (LAUGHS) My..I guess I'm still a little silly from the laughing gas he gave me.


JACK: Oh, he used laughing gas as an anaesthetic?


ARTIE: Yes, and it's the silliest thing..He puts his pliers in my mouth, turns on the gas and it starts...I'm laughing, he's pulling..he's pulling, I'm laughing..Oy, such a mish mash.


JACK: Gosh, I never had that...How long did you keep laughing?


ARTIE: Until he handed me the bill.


JACK: No.]


ARTIE: Well, I better run along. Goodbye, Mr. Benny.


JACK: Okay. Well, Merry Christmas, Mr. Kitzel.


ARTIE: Happy you-tide to Yule. ...


SOUND: APPLAUSE FOR KITZEL ...DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


VEOLA: (OOMPHY) Here you are, sir. And I assure you, it's a lovely gift.


JACK: Thank you.


VEOLA: And I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and do come back again.


JACK: I don't even know if I'm gonna leave. ... You know, you're one of the most attractive saleswomen--


DON: (COMING IN) Oh, miss, can you please--?


JACK: Oh, hello, Don.


DON: Well, hi, Jack. Hey, hey. I'll bet I know something you don't know.


JACK: What's that?


DON: I ran into Bagby the piano player and now I know what the boys in the band are gonna give you for Christmas.


JACK: What, what, what? 


DON: Beautiful set of golf clubs.


JACK: Oh, isn't that wonderful. I can use a new set. I can hardly wait till Christmas. 


DON: Well, you may even get them before Christmas if the paint dries. 


JACK: Paint? What paint? 


DON: Where they scratched off the owner's name. ...


JACK: Well, they should have left the name on. I'd know who not to play with. What characters they are. By the way, Don, how's your wife?


DON: Oh, she's fine now.


JACK: Now?


DON: Yeah, just a few weeks ago, she broke out in hives and her eyes were always watering, and the doctors didn't know what it was until they found out she had an allergy.


JACK: Gosh. What was she allergic to? 


DON: The oil in oil paints. 


JACK: (PAUSE) ... No. 


DON: Yeah, so now I'm gonna have to go back to water colors. 


JACK: (PAUSE) ... You use only water colors now, Don?


DON: That's right. 


JACK: Excuse me, Don. I've got to go somewhere. 


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE


BEATRICE: Now, Melville, control yourself. 


MEL: (HYSTERICAL) I can't. I can't control myself, Beatrice. I'm - I'm - I'm gonna quit. I - I-- 


BEATRICE: Now, now, Mel. It can't be that bad.


MEL: Can't be that bad. Look. In the first place, how he finds me, I'll never know. But first he buys oil paints, then he changes 'em to water colors, then back to oils, then water colors, then oils. He keeps comin' back like a boomerang! (SOBS) Bea, I'm goin' to the office right now and quit. (SOBS BEHIND--)


BEATRICE: Now, now, now, look, look, Mel. I'll tell you what to do. You go and take a nice long lunch hour and lie down, and I'll take your place at the counter.


MEL: Well-- Okay. Okay. When he comes, that's his package of oil paints, right there. 


BEATRICE: All right. 


MEL: I'll see you later. 


SOUND: MEL'S STEPS AWAY


BEATRICE: (TO HERSELF) Poor Mel. Gets upset so easily. I can't let him quit now. It'll ruin all our plans. We worked in the store together so long. We met in the store. He even proposed to me in the store. And now we're married. (SIMPERING "BETTY RUBBLE" GIGGLE) ...


JACK: (COMING IN) Excuse me. Excuse me, miss. 


BEATRICE: Oh, yes. Yes, sir. What can I do for you? 


JACK: Well, er-- Where's the clerk who's usually here? 


BEATRICE: Well, he's gone to lunch, but perhaps I can help you. 


JACK: Well, I'm supposed to have a package of oil paints ready for me.


BEATRICE: Yes, sir. It-- (TO HERSELF) Wait a minute. This must be the man who's been driving Mel crazy. Yet it can't be. This guy couldn't bother anybody. He's such a kindly looking old schnook. ... (UP, TO JACK) Now, here you are, sir. A package of gift-wrapped oil paints. Ten twenty-five, sir.


JACK: Look, miss, I - I changed my mind. I'd like to get a box of water colors instead.


BEATRICE: (STARTS TO GET MAD) But, sir! You-- (CHECKS HERSELF; BECOMES ALMOST TOO CHEERFUL) All right! I'll gift wrap the water colors. (CHUCKLES) The customer's always right. I'll get some water colors and wrap them, and I'll be right back.


SOUND: BEATRICE'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY


JACK: (TO HIMSELF) Gee, while she's gone, I'd better write out a card for Don. Let's see, I want it to be something clever. Oh, I've got it. "To Don Wilson. Here's lots of colors for portraits to paint, / But don't paint yourself, 'cause that much there ain't." ... Say, that's cute. And people say I need writers. ... I'll sign it, Jack Benny. (CALLS) Oh, miss? Miss?


BEATRICE: (COMING IN, CHEERFUL) Ah, here are your water colors. (CHUCKLES) Isn't that a pretty package?


JACK: Yes, it is. Now will you please unwrap it and put this card inside? ...


BEATRICE: (BEAT) Unwrap it? Card inside? Mister, [you can put that card on the outside.


JACK: Ohhh, no....The card may get lost that way...and when I spend three ninety-five for a gift, I want them to know who sent it.


BEATRICE: But, Mister...I'll put the card on tight with Scotch Tape.


JACK: I don't care if you weld it on----I want the card inside the package.


BEATRICE: Now look...why can't you be reasonable?] I went to a lot of trouble unwrapping the other one and gift wrapping this one. Have a little consideration, will ya? Don't be so mean and so selfish!


JACK: Well! How dare--? You're just as bad as that idiot clerk who went to lunch! ...


BEATRICE: Idiot?! Listen, you jerk! You're talkin' about my Melville!


JACK: I don't care who I'm talking about! Now unwrap that package and put the card inside!


BEATRICE: Oh, no. Not me! I know all about you. Melville warned me. 


JACK: Look, miss--


BEATRICE: (FAST; INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) First you wanted oil paints, then water colors, then oil paints, then dates with nuts, and then plain dates--


JACK: Dates?!


BEATRICE: Then plastic tips, then metal tips, then plastic tips, then metal dates. Then water tips--


JACK: Look, miss--


BEATRICE: Then dates with oil, then plastic water, then shoe laces with nuts!


JACK: Look, miss-- ...


BEATRICE: Ooooh! I'm wise to you! You drove my husband crazy! But you're not gonna do it to me! (BEAT, LENGTHY PSYCHOTIC LAUGH) ...


JACK: (GIVES UP) Aw, for heaven's sakes. I'll just send Don a card this year.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: CLOSING THEME ... "HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD" ... OUT FOR--


DON: Just before Jack comes back again, here's a word for anyone who enjoys a good cigarette.


SOUND: SINGERS CLAP HANDS -- CLAP, CLAP ... CLAP, CLAP


SINGERS: (A CAPELLA)

If you want better taste from your cig-a-rette,

Lucky Strike is the brand to get!

IT'S TOASTED to give you the best taste yet,

It's the toasted (Toasted!) cig-a-rette.


They take fine tobacco, (it's light tobacco), it's mild tobacco, too.

And IT'S TOASTED (Yes, It's Toasted!) 

'Cause the toasting brings the flavor right though.


So, to get better taste from your cig-a-rette,

Lucky Strike is the brand to get!

IT'S TOASTED to give you the best taste yet,

It's the toasted (Toasted!) cig-a-rette.


DON: All you have to do is look at a pack of Luckies, friends, and you'll see the reasons for Luckies' better taste printed right on it. LS/MFT. Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco. Light, naturally mild, good-tasting tobacco. And -- IT'S TOASTED! "IT'S TOASTED" is the famous Lucky Strike process that tones up Luckies' fine tobacco, bringing it to its peak of flavor, making it taste even better. Cleaner, fresher, smoother. So, be happy -- go Lucky. And, say, a wonderful way to say Merry Christmas to your friends is to give them Luckies in the beautiful Christmas cartons. These special Lucky cartons are handsomely decorated in keeping with the gay spirit of the Yuletide season. They're so nice to give; so wonderful to get. This Christmas, give Lucky Strike in Christmas gift cartons.


MUSIC: BRIEF CLOSING THEME ... "HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD" ... OUT FOR--


SOUND: DEPARTMENT STORE BACKGROUND ... ROCHESTER'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH


ROCHESTER: Well, boss, have you got everything? 


JACK: Yes, I have. 


ROCHESTER: Say, that's sure a pretty package. It looks so Christmassy with all that red paper. 


JACK: That's not red paper, that's blood. ...


ROCHESTER: Blood? 


JACK: I never thought she'd punch me in the nose. ... (TO ALL) Good night, folks. 


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: CLOSING THEME ... "HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD" ... THEN BEHIND DON--


DON: The Jack Benny Program is written by Sam Perrin, Milt Josefsberg, George Balzer, John Tackaberry, Al Gordon, Hal Goldman, and produced and transcribed by Hilliard Marks.


ANNOUNCER: Filter smokers! True tobacco taste, real filtration, famous TAREYTON quality -- they're all yours when you smoke Filter Tip TAREYTON. Filter Tip TAREYTON gives you all the full, rich taste of TAREYTON'S quality tobacco and real filtration, too, because Filter Tip TAREYTON incorporates Activated Charcoal, renowned for its unusual powers of selective filtration. Look for the red, white and blue stripes on the package. They identify Filter Tip TAREYTON, the best in filtered smoking.


DON: The Jack Benny Program was brought to you by the American Tobacco Company -- America's leading manufacturer of cigarettes.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: CLOSING THEME ... "HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD" ... UNTIL END


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