One of the most famous and popular shows ever made for television.
A lot of you know from visiting this blog that I have a special love for most things horror and sci-fi, film noir, and western but believe it or not I do like a lot of things outside of those genres. Classic TV is one of them, and it gets no more classic than this.
Benny was one of the best performers in his field and a true comedy genius. I recently got a chance to see eight episodes of his show, which I haven't seen in many, many years. They are listed below.
THE HILLBILLY SHOW 4/20/58... Jack's manager has a hard time finding time to speak with Jack, and adding to the frustration is Jack reminiscing about a Hillbilly act he used to have. This episode is a gem.
BEDROOM BURGLARS 1/9/55... A pair of burglars enter Jack's bedroom and find that taking anything out is the biggest challenge they've ever had. Good comedy and some very laugh out loud moments.
FRED ALLEN 4/19/53... Benny and Allen were two great radio stars and they had a fictionalized feud for over 20 years in radio, the movies and TV. This episode is hilarious as that feud continues with Fred trying to oust Jack from his own show.
HUMPHREY BOGART 10/25/53... Police Lt. Benny has to question "Babyface" Bogart in connection with a murder. It was quite a thing to see Bogart on a TV show and even though he looks a slight bit uncomfortable with comedy the episode works out very well and it a great take off on film noir.
LIBERACE 1/17/54... A Great episode sees Jack visit the home of Liberace and even Jack is astounded by the goings on and extravagance. Liberace invites Jack to a concert where Jack can play his violin, and fans of this show know what that means.
GOLDIE, FIELDS AND GLIDE 3/21/54... George Burns and Bing Crosby appear in this timeless episode about Jack remembering his vaudeville days. Bob Hope also makes a quick appearance. So much talent showcased in a 26 minute show. Great memories here.
HOW JACK FOUND MARY 10/31/54... A reporter asks Jack how he met Mary Livingston and he tells him a story about meeting her while she was a clerk in a May Company Store. Lots of laughs and we even get to see Eddie "Rochester" Anderson singing and scat dancing with the Sportsmen Quartet.
It's sad that TV will never be like this again. Good, clean fun and some genuine laughs by people that knew how to make you laugh. I really enjoyed getting to see some of these wonderful shows again, and I hope I get to see more soon. They made a very pleasant change from my usual fare.