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Jack Benny Old Time Radio
Jack Benny had been only a minor vaudeville performer, but he became an enormously successful national figure with The Jack Benny Program, a weekly radio show which ran from 1932 to 1948 on NBC and from 1948 to 1955 on CBS, and was consistently among the most highly rated programs during most of that run.
Benny's stage character was a clever inversion of his actual self. Though the character was named Jack Benny, he was also just about everything the actual Jack Benny himself was not: cheap, petty, vain and self-congratulatory. His masterful comic rendering of these traits became the vital linchpin to the Benny show's success. Benny set himself up as the comedic foil, allowing his supporting characters to draw laughs at the expense of his stinginess, vanity, and pettiness. By allowing such a character to be seen as human and vulnerable, in an era where few male characters were allowed such obvious vulnerability, Benny made what might have been a despicable character into a lovable Everyman character. Benny himself said on several occasions: "I don't care who gets the laughs on my show, as long as the show is funny."
The Jack Benny Program evolved from a variety show blending sketch comedy and musical interludes into the situation comedy form we know even now, crafting particular situations and scenarios from the fictionalization of Benny the radio star. Anything, from hosting a party to income tax time to a night on the town, was good for a Benny show situation, and somehow the writers and star would find the right ways and places to insert musical interludes from Phil Harris and Dennis Day. (With Day, invariably, it would be a brief sketch that ended with Benny ordering Day to sing the song he planned to do on that week's show.)
Benny's first sponsor was Canada Dry Ginger Ale from 1932 to 1933, Chevrolet from 1933 to 1934, General Tire in 1934, and Jell-O from 1934 to 1942. The Jell-O Show Starring Jack Benny was so successful in selling Jell-O, in fact, that General Foods could not manufacture it fast enough when sugar shortages arose in the early years of World War II, and the company had to stop advertising the popular dessert mix. General Foods switched the Benny program from Jell-O to Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes cereals from 1942 to 1944, and it became, naturally, The Grape Nuts Show Starring Jack Benny. Benny's longest-running sponsor, however, was the American Tobacco Company's Lucky Strike cigarettes, from 1944 to 1955, and it was during Lucky Strike's sponsorship that the show became, at last, The Jack Benny Program once and for all.
This collection of Jack Benny Greats includes 869 different shows and appearances for a total of 410+ hours of listening enjoyment.
This product is a DVD collection of Old Time Radio mp3s. It is
designed to be played on your computer DVD drive with standard mp3
software - like Windows media player or its equivalent on Macintosh
computers. The mp3 files on the DVDs can be copied onto CDs for
play in your car stereo, home entertainment center, etc so you can
take your favorite shows with you anywhere you go.
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