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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Benjamin Kubelsky!!!!!

 For those of you who are unsure about who Benjamin Kubelsky is, then you clearly are not a fan of his. You may know him by his stage name, Jack Benny. He was born on this day in 1984. He grew up in Waukegan IL. He changed his name to Jack Benny while in vaudeville after being threatened by a couple of lawsuits by actors with similar names. Another little known fact is that his wife, Mary Livingstone (nee Sadie Marks) was a cousin of the Marx Brothers.  You can read his whole story here.
 I have been a fan of Jack Benny for as far back as I can remember.  He had perfect timing & he created a character that was the perfect foil. He presented himself as vain, cheap & petty. In reality he was just the opposite, especially when it came to getting laughs. He didn't care if they came at his expense, he cared about the audience getting a show that was funny & entertaining. The fact that he surrounded himself by so many talented people is proof of that.
& he seldom failed to deliver what he promised.
I 1st became a fan watching his TV show in the early 60s. It wasn't until much later that I began hearing his early radio shows.
 1 of my favorite bits that he brought back again & again involved Mel Blanc.  1 of the characters Blanc created was Sy. While most of the time Sy was Mexican, Blanc also played him as French. By today's standards what he did would be politically incorrect, something that Jack Benny would argue. He was 1 of the 1st entertainers to work to eliminate stereotypical presentations. Sy was usually monosyllabic. & this led to some very funny reactions by Benny.








Another running gag was how cheap Benny was.  There was 1 bit, originally done on radio in March of 1948 that, more than anything else, solidified this image:


Another of Mel Blanc's recurring characters was that of Jack's longsuffering music teacher, Professor LeBlanc. While Jack Benny was quite accomplished as a violinist, he intentionally played bad for the comedic effect. 




Love in Bloomioso was a joke about his theme song, Love In Bloom.



His appearance on The Lucy Show ties in all the jokes about his personality.





Jack Benny died on 26 December 1974. I was home from college. I had been downtown shopping in Oelwein. We had just got home & pulled into the driveway when the news came over the radio.

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