Jack Benny Show

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by GeoffHartlieb
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Jack Benny Show

The Jack Benny Show

The Jack Benny Program, starring Jack Benny, is a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades and is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century American comedy.

Time Line

1932

Jack Benny first appeared on radio as a guest of Ed Sullivan in 1932.

In his unpublished autobiography, I Always Had Shoes (portions of which were later incorporated by Jack's daughter, Joan, into her memoir of her parents, Sunday Nights at Seven), Benny said that he, not NBC, made the decision to end his TV series in 1965. He said that while the ratings were still very good.

The Jack Benny Program appeared infrequently during its first two years on CBS TV. Benny moved into television slowly: in his first season he only performed on four shows, but by the 1951-1952 season, he was ready to do one show around every 6 weeks.

From 1954-1960, the program aired every other week, rotating with such shows as Private Secretary and Bachelor Father. Beginning in the 1960-1961 season, The Jack Benny Program began airing every week.

Ratings:1951-52: #91952-53: #121953-54: #161954-55: #71955-56: #51956-57: #101957-58: #281960-61: #10

Whether on television or radio, the format of the Jack Benny Program never wavered. The program utilized a loose show-within-a-show format, wherein the main characters were playing versions of themselves.

The television show was a seamless continuation of Benny's radio program, employing many of the same players, the same approach to situation comedy and some of the same scripts.

1932

Given own show and moves to CBS 6 months later.

1944

Benny went from show to show and ended up at NBC working a tobacco sponsored show. This was his last year in radio.

1949

1949-50

Jack Benny show returns to air and runs (reruns) until 1955.

Jack Benny appears in his own TV show for the first time.


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