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This Day in Jack Benny


The Jack Benny Show AKA The Jello Program AKA The Lucky Strike Program aired from the 1930's right through to the 1950's. Each week your host, John Henderson, brings an episode from that week 60-80 years ago. It's old, yet still as funny as ever. "The Jack Benny program, starring Jack Benny with Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Rochester, Dennis Day, and yours truly Don Wilson"


Waukegan, IL


The Jack Benny Show AKA The Jello Program AKA The Lucky Strike Program aired from the 1930's right through to the 1950's. Each week your host, John Henderson, brings an episode from that week 60-80 years ago. It's old, yet still as funny as ever. "The Jack Benny program, starring Jack Benny with Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Rochester, Dennis Day, and yours truly Don Wilson"




Oscar Night (The Continental)

March 24, 1952 - Jack and Mary attend the Academy Awards and Jack tries to sing his song. References include the many celebrities at the Oscars - Host Danny Kaye, best actor nomonees Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire), Montgomery Clift (A Place in the Sun), Arthur Kennedy (Bright Victory), Fredric March (Death of a Salesman), and Humphrey Bogart (The African Queen) plus James Cagney, Lionel Barrymore, Edward G Robinson, Shelly Winters, Betty Davis, Irene Dunn, Joan Crawford, Gene...


Live at Air Base (Lt Robert Taylor)

March 12, 1944 - From Livermore, CA near San Fransisco. Jack in the Navy. References include Red Skelton, Abbot and Costello, Fred Allen, Maxie Rosenbloom, Shirley Temple and Lt Robert Taylor.


Now Cut That Out! (Hubba Hubba Hubba)

March 5, 1944 - From Lemoore Army Air Field, Don Wants to Get Paid. This is the first episode where Jack Benny says "Now Cut That Out!". References include George Burns' singing voice, Bob Hope, Fred Allen, Hedy Lamarr, Betty Grable and her husband Harry James, and the song from Oklahoma "A Surrey With The Fringe On Top".


Surprise Guests (Tamarisk Country Club)

March 2, 1952 - Guest Show in Palm Springs at the Tamarisk Country Club. The surprise guests will be Danny Kaye, George Burns, Frank Sinatra and Groucho Marx! References include Lord Calvert Whisky, conductor Dir Thomas Beecham, Eddie Cantor, Lana Turner and announcer Harry Von Zell.


Brewster's Millions starring Jack and Mary

February 15, 1937 - The Lux Radio Theater presents "Brewster's Millions" with Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone. There have been a few versions of the story including the 1945 movie (with Eddie "Rochester" Anderson in a supporting role) and the 1985 movie with Richard Pryor and John Candy. This pre-dates both.


Jack Benny Fiddles With The Classics (Bonus)

1956 - It’s a children’s record! Jack Benny tells the story of becoming a great violinist and how it all went wrong. Featuring the vocal talents of Mary Livingstone and Mel Blanc. Originally titled “Jack Benny Plays the Bee Ably Assisted by Isaac Stern” in 1956, it was re-released as “Jack Benny Fiddles With The Classics” in 1978.


Dennis Day's Parents (Baa Baa Baa)

February 7, 1954 - Dennis is told to quit the show by his mother. Jack Benny is also visited by a ten-year-old Harry Shearer. Plus Mel Blanc's hillarious rendition on "The Whiffenpoof Song (Baa Baa Baa)". References include the actresses Ava Gardener, Lana Turner, Jane Russel and Marilyn Monroe, who was on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio.


North-West Mounted (Winter Olympics)

February 9, 1936 - Jack Benny and the gang have returned home to New York after almost a year in California. They mention the Winter Olympics in Germany, and the actor Cary Grant. Mary Livingstone writes a play about The North-West Mounted Police.


The Shooting of Dan McGrew

January 24, 1954 - After a look at the home life of Bob Crosby, Jack Benny and the gang dramatize the Robert W Service poem "The Shooting of Dan McGrew". References include "Santa Baby" by Ertha Kitt, the end of the Chlorophyll fad, and the game of Scrabble. Plus a Lucky Strike commercial by the poet Ogden Nash.


Parking Ticket

January 17, 1954 - This episode begins with Jack Benny and the gang have lunch at the drug store and ends with Jack fighting a parking ticket in court, References incule Terry Moore's ermine bathing suit, golfers Fred Wanpler, Lloyd Mangrum, Sam Sneed and Ben Hogen, musicians Bing Crosby, Liberace, The Bell Sisters, The Ink Spots, The Fred Waring Choir, and Teresa Brewer with her song "Ricochet Romance". Plus the movie "The Eddie Cantor Story", detective Boston Blackie, and Mandrake the...


All Music (Carole Lombard's Death)

January 18, 1942 - This episode was broadcast two days after the sudden death of Jack Benny's co-star Carole Lombard. The episode is all music. "In respect to Carole Lombard, his co-star in "To Be Or Not Be", an Alexander Korda-Ernest Lubitsch film, to be released through United Artists, Jack Benny cancelled his Jan. 18 broadcast of the NBC Jack Benny Show, sponsored by General Foods (Jell-O). Although no specific explanation was given, the show was replaced by a musical program, featuring...


Pet Camel (Stan Freberg)

January 9, 1944 - Jack Benny picks up his new pet Camel. The camel is played by a young Stan Freberg in his only appearance on the Jack Benny show. This is also the last episode with Jack's pet polar bear. References include bodybuilder Charles Atlas, comedian Fred Allen, and the Draft categories 4-F (Not qualified for military service) and 4-H (Deferred for reason of age, 38-44).


Dennis Has a Cold (Cut Jokes)

December 26, 1954 - The day after Christmas and Jack Benny visits Dennis Day who has a cold. Plus the unedited master recording for this episode survives and includes a couple of cut jokes and behind the scenes banter. References include "This is Your Life", "Robert Montgomery Presents", Louella Parsons, and John L Lewis.


Christmas Shopping for Dennis

December 14, 1941 - Horseradish, a ride in the Maxwell, a bird on a stick. Jack Benny is Christmas shopping for Dennis Day. This is one week after Pearl Harbor and the mention the blackouts that followed. Merry Christmas!


Christmas Eve 1942

December 24, 1942 - Command Performance featuring Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Harriet Hilliard, The Andrews Sisters, Spike Jones, Bing Crosby, Kay Kaiser, Ginny Simms, Ethel Waters, Charles Laughton, Edger Bergan and Charlie McCartney, Dinah Shore, Fred Allen and Jack Benny.


Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941 – The day of the Pearl Harbor attack that would lead to the United States’ entry into WWII. This is a continuation of the previous episode in which Jack Benny plays Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They also mention socialite friends Brenda Frazier and Cobina Wright Jr.


Psychiatrist Office (Pinky Lee)

November 28, 1954 - Jack Takes Dennis to the Psychiatrist. Meanwhile it's the sportsman quartette's birthday. References include the chidren's television host Pinky Lee, the Aurthur Murray dance studio, ballet dancer Nijinsky, the sound barrier, the LA Times and Nat "King" Cole.


Alice Faye (Thanksgiving)

November 23, 1941 - Thanksgiving Day Dinner. Jack Benny invites his cast to his house for dinner including Mary Livingstone, Don Wilson and his wife Peggy, and Phil Harris and his new wife Alice Faye. Dennis is in blackface helping Rochester serve the meal. References include Miles Standish, Chipped Beef, Hedy Lamarr, Humphrey Bogart, and gossip columnists Louella Parsons, Harrison Carroll, Jimmy Star, Herb Stein, and Sidney Skolsky.


Duck Hunt (NBC 15th Anniversary)

November 16, 1941 - He fumbled the ball. Jack Benny tells Don Wilson about his latest hunting trip, Phil Harris plans to be in a play of the pilgrim historical fiction story "The Courtship of Miles Standish", Dennis Day asks Jack about the NBC 15th Anniversary special from the night before, and Mary Livingstone plays a football player in the skit. The football announcers are Frank Nelson and Arthur Q. Bryan (the voice of Elmer Fudd). References includemovie "Ah Wilderness!", Commodore Dewey...


Ernst Lubitsch (Leo Durocher)

November 9, 1941 - Football Game. Jack Benny is making a movie (To Be Or Not To Be) with Carole Lombard and director Ernst Lubitsch. Phil Harris brings his pal, Leo Durocher, the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. References include Fred Allen, John Barrymore's profile, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Alexander Korda, Al Smith and more.