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The Jack Benny Program
The Grape Nuts & Grape Nuts Flakes Program

(143 Episodes)
Update: ** Episode information added to all uploads prior to Jan 05, 2011

JACK BENNY (Feb 14, 1894 – Dec 26, 1974): Jack Benny, born Benjamin Kubelsky, was an American comedian, vaudevillian, radio, television, and film actor. Widely recognized as one of the leading American entertainers of the 20th century, Benny played the role of the comic penny-pinching miser, insisting on remaining 39 years old on stage despite his actual age, and often (although an accomplished violinist) playing the violin - poorly!

Benny was known for his comic timing and ability to get laughs with either a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature wave of the hand with an exasperated "Well!" His radio & television programs, tremendously popular from the 1930s to the 1960s, were a foundational influence on the situation comedy genre. Dean Martin, on the celebrity roast for Johnny Carson in November 1973, introduced Benny as "the Satchel Paige of the world of comedy."

* PROGRAM HISTORY:
Benny had been only a minor vaudeville performer, but he became a national figure with The Jack Benny Program, a weekly radio show which ran from 1932 to 1948 on NBC and from 1949 to 1955 on CBS. It was consistently among the most highly rated programs during most of that run.

* SPONSORS: With Canada Dry Ginger Ale as a sponsor, Benny came to radio on The Canada Dry Program, beginning May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing there for six months until October 26, moving the show to CBS on October 30. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933.

Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934. He continued with sponsor General Tire through the end of the season. In October, 1934, General Foods, the makers of Jell-O and Grape-Nuts, became the sponsor most identified with Jack, for the next ten years. American Tobacco's Lucky Strike was his longest-lasting radio sponsor, from October 1944, through the end of his original radio series.

The show returned to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's notorious "raid" of NBC talent in 1948–49. There it stayed for the remainder of its radio run, which ended on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeats of old radio episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny.

The primary name of the show tied to the sponsor. Benny's first sponsor was Canada Dry Ginger Ale from 1932 to 1933. Benny's sponsors included Chevrolet from 1933 to 1934, General Tire in 1934, and Jell-O from 1934 to 1942. The Jell-O Program 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 from 1942 to 1944, and it became, naturally, The Grape Nuts Program 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 (although it was often announced by Don Wilson at the start of the show as The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny).

* SITUATIONS:
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.

Any situation from hosting a party to income tax time to a night on the town was good for a Benny show, 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.

One extremely popular scenario that became an annual tradition on The Jack Benny Program was the "Christmas Shopping" episode, in which Benny would head to a local department store. Each year, Benny would buy a ridiculously cheap Christmas gift for Don Wilson from a store clerk, played by Mel Blanc. Benny would then have 2nd, 3rd, even 4th thoughts about his gift choice.

This drove Blanc (or, in two other cases, his wife and his psychiatrist, as well) to hilarious insanity when he exchanged the gift, pestered about the Christmas card or wrapping paper countless times throughout the episode. As a result, in many cases, the clerk would commit suicide, or attempt & fail to commit suicide ("Look what you done! You made me so nervous, I missed!"). In the 1946 Christmas episode, for example, Benny buys shoelaces for Don, and then is unable to make up his mind whether to give Wilson shoelaces with plastic tips or shoelaces with metal tips.

After Benny exchanges the shoelaces repeatedly, Mel Blanc is heard screaming insanely, "Plastic tips! Metal tips! I can't stand it anymore!" A variation in 1948 concerned Benny buying an expensive wallet for Don, but repeatedly changing the greeting card inserted—prompting Blanc to shout: "I haven't run into anyone like you in 20 years! Oh, why did the governor have to give me that pardon!?" Benny realizes that he should have gotten Don a wallet for $1.98, whereupon the put-upon clerk immediately responds by committing suicide. Over the years, in these Christmas episodes, Benny bought and repeatedly exchanged cuff links, golf tees, a box of dates, a paint set, and even a gopher trap.

* THEME MUSIC:
During his early radio shows, Benny adopted a medley of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Love in Bloom" as his theme music, opening every show. The strange interpolation of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" seems to have been an inside joke at Benny's expense. Jack Warner of Warner Brothers had once promised to cast Jack Benny as George M. Cohan in the film Yankee Doodle Dandy (which of course didn't happen, although Warner did cast Benny in The Meanest Man in the World, based on a Cohan play).
* SOURCE: Wikipedia
OTR * def gp ddh

  1. JB #010 A Conversation w Harpo Bing Crosby Gary Cooper (1.6Mb)
  2. JB 1932-05-12 Jack's 1st Paying MC Job (5Mb)
  3. JB 1933-01-01 Outstanding Achievements of 1932 Review (3.8Mb)
  4. JB 1933-01-22 Bertha the Sewing Machine Girl (Pr Snd) (3.3Mb)
  5. JB 1933-03-31 Mae West Skit - She Done Him Right (6.7Mb)
  6. JB 1933-04-21 Edward G Robinson (6.8Mb)
  7. JB 1933-06-02 Who Killed Mr. X Pt 2 & Sherlock Holmes (6.7Mb)
  8. JB 1933-06-09 Who Killed Mr. X Pt 3 & Sherlock Holmes (6.7Mb)
  9. JB 1933-12-10 Uncle Tom's Cabin (Pr Snd Improves) (6.2Mb)
  10. JB 1934-02-11 Miniature Women (4.7Mb)
  11. JB 1934-02-18 Don't Live Right (4.1Mb)
  12. JB 1934-02-25 My Life As A Floorwalk (3.4Mb)
  13. JB 1934-03-04 Duel in the Graveyard (3.9Mb)
  14. JB 1934-03-11 Haunted House (4.2Mb)
  15. JB 1934-03-18 An Arizona Western (4.5Mb)
  16. JB 1934-04-01 The Eternal Triangle (4.3Mb)
  17. JB 1934-04-06 Frank Parker's Music Store (Pr Snd Improves) (5.9Mb)
  18. JB 1934-04-13 Bridge Game (Pr Snd) (4.3Mb)
  19. JB 1934-04-27 New Hampshire Through a Keyhole (1.6Mb)
  20. JB 1934-05-04 The Hills of Kentucky (4.8Mb)
  21. JB 1934-05-11 (INC) Home Cooking at Don's (2.7Mb)
  22. JB 1934-05-18 A Visit to the Parkers (3.9Mb)
  23. JB 1934-07-20 Who Killed Mr Stooge #5 (6.4Mb)
  24. JB 1934-08-03 The Stooge Murder Case 1 (3.7Mb)
  25. JB 1934-08-24 The House of Rothchild (4.7Mb)
  26. JB 1934-08-31 House of Benny (7Mb)
  27. JB 1934-09-14 School Days (Much Skipping) (2.6Mb)
  28. JB 1934-09-21 School Days (4.3Mb)
  29. JB 1936-11-15 Buck Benny (6.2Mb)
  30. JB 1936-11-22 Buck Benny (7Mb)
  31. JB 1936-11-29 Buck Benny (4.6Mb)
  32. JB 1936-12-06 Money Ain't Everything (6.7Mb)
  33. JB 1936-12-13 Buck Benny (13.1Mb)
  34. JB 1936-12-20 #237 Old-Fashioned Xmas Party (13.2Mb)
  35. JB 1936-12-27 Buck Benny (6.7Mb)
  36. JB 1937-01-03 Buck Benny (6.6Mb)
  37. JB 1937-01-10 Buckingham Benny (Complete) (6.7Mb)
  38. JB 1937-01-17 Buck Benny's Mexican Adventure (6.9Mb)
  39. JB 1937-01-24 Jack Practices the Bee (6.8Mb)
  40. JB 1937-01-31 Nightmares of Fred Allen (6.7Mb)
  41. JB 1937-02-07 Jack's Violin is Stolen (3.8Mb)
  42. JB 1937-02-14 Jack's Birthday (6.6Mb)
  43. JB 1937-02-21 Buck Benny (6.2Mb)
  44. JB 1937-02-28 The Bee is Finally Played (7Mb)
  45. JB 1937-03-07 Stuart Canin (7Mb)
  46. JB 1937-03-14 End of Fued with Fred Allen (6.6Mb)
  47. JB 1937-03-21 A Day In Our Lives (6.7Mb)
  48. JB 1937-04-11 Guests are George Burns & Gracie Allen (6.8Mb)
  49. JB 1937-12-19 Little Red Riding Hood (6.6Mb)
  50. JB 1938-01-30 The Hurricane (32.3Mb)
  51. JB 1938-03-20 Taking The Show To New York (6.8Mb)
  52. JB 1938-03-27 Guests - Fred Allen, Kate Smith (6.7Mb)
  53. JB 1938-04-10 A Yank at Oxford (6.8Mb)
  54. JB 1938-04-17 At The Circus (Easter Show) (6.7Mb)
  55. JB 1938-04-24 Snow White & the 7 Gangsters (6.7Mb)
  56. JB 1938-06-19 Back Home In Indiana (7Mb)
  57. JB 1938-10-24 Jack Buys his Maxwell (his car) (5.3Mb)
  58. JB 1938-10-30 Jack Gives A Halloween Party (6.4Mb)
  59. JB 1938-11-13 (INC) Jack Steals A Girl From Phil Harris (1.4Mb)
  60. JB 1938-12-25 Jack's Christmas Open House (6.7Mb)
  61. JB 1939-01-01 Goodbye 1938 (6.7Mb)
  62. JB 1939-04-02 April Fool's Day (6.7Mb)
  63. JB 1939-05-21 (INC) More Gunga Din (0.6Mb)
  64. JB 1939-05-28 Alexander Graham Bell (6.8Mb)
  65. JB 1939-06-11 Hound Of The Baskervilles (6.6Mb)
  66. JB 1939-11-19 Ostrich For Thanksgiving Dinner (6.8Mb)
  67. JB 1939-12-17 East Coast Christmas Shopping (5.1Mb)
  68. JB 1940-02-18 Skiing at Yosemite (6.8Mb)
  69. JB 1940-02-25 Jack’s Birthday Party (after Ski Accident) (6.7Mb)
  70. JB 1940-05-05 at the Ritz Theater - Clown Hall Tonight (6.5Mb)
  71. JB 1940-05-12 Returning from New York By Air (6.4Mb)
  72. JB 1940-06-02 Code Of The Hills (34.9Mb)
  73. JB 1940-06-09 Vacation Plans (6.8Mb)
  74. JB 1940-10-27 ''Hold That Line'' (5.4Mb)
  75. JB 1940-11-10 Dog Catcher of Beverly Hills (6.4Mb)
  76. JB 1940-11-17 Jack & the Head of Paramount (5.8Mb)
  77. JB 1940-11-24 Jack Visits Don's New Wife (5.3Mb)
  78. JB 1941-01-05 Christmas Gift Exchange (at 1m 11s) (6.9Mb)
  79. JB 1941-10-19 Train to L.A. (4.6Mb)
  80. JB 1941-10-26 Dive Bomber (6.4Mb)
  81. JB 1941-11-02 Jack's Halloween Story (6.7Mb)
  82. JB 1941-12-28 Jack Talks About His Christmas Party (5.1Mb)
  83. JB 1942-01-11 Broadcast From March Air Field (6.1Mb)
  84. JB 1942-03-01 Jack Mad About Academy Awards (6.3Mb)
  85. JB 1942-03-15 Talks about Lending $10.00 to Fred Allen (6.5Mb)
  86. JB 1942-05-03 Cast Visits Jack At Warner Brothers (6.6Mb)
  87. JB 1942-05-17 Jack Imitates Fred Allen House (31.9Mb)
  88. JB 1942 Guests are Lum & Abner (6.6Mb)
  89. JB 1943-01-03 #463 Bear Hunting (from Maine) (6.4Mb)
  90. JB 1943-01-17 Information Please (4.8Mb)
  91. JB 1943-03-14 Orson Wells Hosts (Phil Harris Returns) (4.2Mb)
  92. JB 1943-04-18 Jack Opens Pool (1.8Mb)
  93. JB 1943-04-25 #030 Rochester's Horse is in the Kentucky Derby (Low Volume) (5.6Mb)
  94. JB 1943-05-02 Rental of Eddie Cantor's House (33.4Mb)
  95. JB 1943-05-09 Jack Jams With Louis Armstrong (6.5Mb)
  96. JB 1943-05-30 #035 Guest is Deanna Durbin (6.5Mb)
  97. JB 1944-04-23 Dennis Leaves for the Navy (6.4Mb)
  98. JB 1944-05-14 Infantry (AFRS Re-Broadcast) (7.1Mb)
  99. JB 1944-05-21 Jack's Split Personality (6.5Mb)
  100. JB 1944-10-26 Clark Gable (Winged Victory Edition) (7Mb)
  101. JB 1944-11-19 From Corona Naval Hospital (6.5Mb)
  102. JB 1944-12-17 Drugstore w Frank Sinatra & Frank Morgan (6.7Mb)
  103. JB 1944-12-17 Drugstore w Frank Sinatra & Frank Morgan (Alternate - Comm. Perf.) (6.9Mb)
  104. JB 1944-12-24 Trimming The Christmas Tree (6Mb)
  105. JB 1945-01-04 How Jack Met Phil Harris (6.4Mb)
  106. JB 1945-01-21 Ice Skating In Central Park (6.5Mb)
  107. JB 1946-04-07 Acme Plaza (Guest Van Johnson) (6.1Mb)
  108. JB 1946-10-06 Listening To The World Series (6Mb)
  109. JB 1946-10-20 The Whistler Parody (5.5Mb)
  110. JB 1946-11-10 #238 Comm. Perf (Bob Hope Superman Bela Lugosi) (10Mb)
  111. JB 1947-01-04 Guests are Bogart & Bacall (4.7Mb)
  112. JB 1947-01-11 I Stand Condemned (Boris Karloff) (5Mb)
  113. JB 1947-03-16 Andy Russell Dick Haymes Bing Crosby New Quartet (5.1Mb)
  114. JB 1947-05-06 Guest is Hoagy Carmichael (6.7Mb)
  115. JB 1947-05-18 Guest is Al Jolson (3.9Mb)
  116. JB 1947-10-19 Golf Match at Hillcrest Country Club (4.9Mb)
  117. JB 1947-11-30 Turkey Trial Dream (6.8Mb)
  118. JB 1947-12-07 (INC) Violin Lesson (w Mel Blanc) (10.4Mb)
  119. JB 1947-12-21 Last Minute Xmas Shopping (6.7Mb)
  120. JB 1948-03-07 Jack is the Walking Man (6.7Mb)
  121. JB 1948-04-04 Borrows Bing Crosby's Oscar (5.1Mb)
  122. JB 1948-05-30 I Was Framed (5Mb)
  123. JB 1948-12-19 Christmas Wallet (For Don Wilson) (6.7Mb)
  124. JB 1949-01-02 1st CBS Show (Amos & Andy) (6.8Mb)
  125. JB 1949-02-06 Don Wilson's Contract (6.5Mb)
  126. JB 1949-04-17 Easter Parade (6.6Mb)
  127. JB 1950-01-15 (2 Eps) How Jack & Fred Allen Met (15.7Mb)
  128. JB 1950-11-26 Jack Tries to Buy USC - UCLA Football Game Tickets3 (6.8Mb)
  129. no title (17.3Mb)
  130. JB 1951-12-09 Mel Blanc as Indian - Si Routine (5.6Mb)
  131. JB 1952-03-02 Palms Springs Show (6.8Mb)
  132. JB 1953-09-13 Back from Vacation in Hawaii (6.6Mb)
  133. JB 1953-12-23 (INC) Comm Perf Host Jack Benny (2.4Mb)
  134. JB 1954-03-21 Jack Listens To Mean Old Man On Radio (6.8Mb)
  135. JB 1955-05-15 A Friend At Union Station (4.8Mb)
  136. JB 1974-10-23 JB & Mel B on Johnny Carson NBC TV Show (19.1Mb)
  137. JB Back From Far East USO Tour (PR SND) (6Mb)
  138. JB Captain Horatio Hornblower (PR SND) (5.9Mb)
  139. JB Mail Call - Jack Benny & Chico Marx (6.5Mb)
  140. JB Rudy Vallee hosts NBC's 10th Anniversary Tribute to Jack (8.9Mb)
  141. JB The 20th Anniversary Banquet (5.9Mb)
  142. JB Who is the Best Comedian - Benny or Allen (5Mb)
  143. LUX 1938-09-26 Seven Keys To Baldplate (Benny LIvingstone) (13.6Mb)

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