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(No subtext here, just a funny bit from The Jack Benny Program about speaking in abbreviation that seems written for the internet era. Keep in mind the sponsor’s slogan: “Look for the big red letters on the box.”)
- 1937-12-12, after the band’s second number
Starts min. 8:55
Benny: Very nice, Phil. Very nice. That was Dipsy Doodle, played by Phil Harris and his orch.
Mary Livingston: Orch?!
Benny: Yes. We’ve got a long program tonight, Mary, so I’m abbreviating. Anyway, it was very good, Phil. I thought that number was terrif. Really coloss.
Phil Harris: Thanks, Jack. I appresh that.
Benny: That’s the idea, Phil. You saved us half-a-sec, there. Didn’t he, Mary?
Mary Livingston: Oh, but, deff.
Benny: Well, Livy, that’s co-opping.
Don Wilson: Jack, is our program really so long tonight?
Benny: I’m afraid it is, Don.
Don Wilson: I see. (does commercial) Ladies, and gents, when you’re out shopping for an econom dessert, go to your neighb gross and consid Jell-O.
Benny: Very good, Don. Very good.
Don Wilson: It comes in six delish flaves: straw, rasp, cher, or, lem and lum.
Mary Wilson (reference to another radio show): He forgot Abner.
Don Wilson: So remember, folks, none is gen without the big red letts on the b.
(Incidentally, another example of how cutting edge The Jack Benny Program was, is the fact that they were for sure the first show to ever make fun of their sponsor. Few dared to follow the show’s lead and try it in the 1930s and 40s, and none thereafter. Even David Letterman in his salad days never drew his salary-payers into his gags. But Jell-O let them do it for a simple reason: their sales skyrocketed on the weeks Benny joked about the product – even the week Andy Devine accidentally thanked the audience for tuning into “The Jelly Program.” General Foods had the good sense not to let pride override profit.)
@Reader1810The show above, with the link to it, is a good one to start. Jack does his Christmas shopping
This made me smile. Pride cereal!
(Haters gonna loose their damn minds hatin' it - LOL)
Installment 3 - Gay Jokes from "The Jack Benny Program"
- 1936-11-22, from opening dialogue
Starts min. 1:52
Benny: Don, I wouldn’t care how you introduce me tonight. You can kid me all you want to. I feel too good. Full of pep, and everything.
Don Wilson: Oh, you do?
Benny: Yes, sir!
Don Wilson: Well, tell me, Jack, what’s the cause of your exhilaration and sparkling effervescence?
Benny (pausing): Well, I…a… What was that, Don?
Don Wilson: I say, what’s the cause of your exhilaration and sparkling effervescence?
Benny: I don’t—
Don Wilson: Well, what motivates this sudden display of exuberance?
Benny (pausing): Well, I…a….
Don Wilson: In other words, Jack, what makes you so gay?
Benny (light goes off): Oh, I was hoping we’d get together.
. White-Jacket Appendices Many of the noms de mer listed below are never used to the person’s face, but are nevertheless how the crew knows them. In terms of officer clothing, there are ample sources online showing U.S. Navy and Marines uniforms from the 1840s, so I will rarely go into detail concerning them in the Costume Notes. The times were whiskery ones in the Navy, so I provide excerpts from Melville’s chapter concerning onboard hair and beard styles. The updateable nature of the internet means some material documented here may have been moved or deleted. If so, copy t
Installment 2 - Gay Jokes from “The Jack Benny Program”
- 1936-06-07, from opening dialogue
Starts min. 0:28
Johnny Green (in regards to a movie studio potentially dropping Benny from a film contract): “Oh, say, Jack, it’s none of my business, but I hear you’re out at Paramount.”
Benny: “How do you mean that, Johnny? Am I out at Paramount, or am I out at Paramount?”
Johnny: ”(It’s) too bad either way.”
Because of his fey walk and mannerism, Benny often joked about being Gay. Years later, on a TV celebrity roast, he had the following exchange with Milton Beryle.
Beryle (to the audience): "Oh, I love this man." (to Benny) "If I ever turn, you'll be the first!"
Benny (without losing a beat): "The problem is you did turn, and I was not the first!"
Beryle laughed so hard, he could barely keep standing.
I love those, old and not so subtle pushing of the closet doors.
I also love the British drag act Mrs Shufflewick, who was big here on the radio and television in 50's and 60's. Two of my favourite jokes of hers:
"Last night I had the devil in me. It was that or a little man in a red cape."
"If I'm not nicely tucked up in bed by ten-thirty, then I'm going home."
@Drew Payne- love the second one
During the worst years of Hollywood Hayes code censorship, when even the existence of Gay people could not be mentioned, Radio was pushing boundaries. In the comedy shows of the greats like Fred Allen and Jack Benny, gentle jokes for and about Gay people were abundant - and the audiences ate it up. Scripted radio shows from the golden era (1932-1956) are far superior to the films of the time, and are as fresh and funny to us as to the original audience.
Anyway, recently I've moved on to listening to all of The Jack Benny Program from its start. And I decided to document these Gay gems. Here is the first installment, and I hope you listen to the whole skit (guest star Benny Rubin steals the show with his masterfully funny accents).
Gay Jokes from the Jack Benny Program:
- 1936-02-09, from “Sergeant Benny of the North-West Mounted”
Starts min. 21:38
Benny as an RCMP officer (thick French-Canadian accent): “Now, listen, you are all brave men, but you hang around and do nothing.”
Officer: “What do you want that we should do, serg?”
Benny: “The book, he show we have been here 12 year. There have been 435 robberies and 12 murder, and not once did you get your man. What do you say to this?”
Kenny Baker: “Maybe we’re not the type.”
If you ever get the chance listen to the BBC Radio show Round The Horn, from the 1950s. They had a gay couple on it, Julian and Sandy (Voiced by two gay actors). Here's my favourite Julian and Sandy joke (Well one of them).
Sandy: Then this huge wave swept us overboard.
Kenneth Horn: Where you dragged back up?
Julian: No! We were in our casuals, weren't we Sandy.
@Drew Payne- Love It!
. Mardi Appendices The updateable nature of the internet means some material documented here may have been moved or deleted. If so, copy the name of the content & content-creator and search online. Alternates will most likely be easy to find. Mardi Script Notes 1) Setting: March 1843 to May 1844. 2) Character and Costume Notes: JARL: (aka Viking; Skyeman; Sky-man) From the Isle of Skye, Scotland, mid-30s. Having long weathered Redburn’s ambivalence to his love, in Mardi we see a good man wandering, holding on
Awwwww, a feel-good story...
AC Benus posted new chapter in MARDI - At the Crossroads of Life and Art - A Film Script. [Part 7 – Dream as Reality – I: Rebellion and Fear] EXT. MEDIA’S BARQUES ON GRAY WATERS – NOON The sea is calm, and like the sky, colorless and glassy. A moody-looking island is in the near distance. A central volcano peak, like a sharp-angled cone, rises in the center and sends a wind-bent column of black smoke into the sky. Media’s party lounges on with cups of kava and pipes. MEDIA We must make one more stop. Mohi, tell us Hautia’s story. Redburn starts at the name. MOHI A dark telling. It seems once an angelic race