Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Jack Benny's Birthday!

Resisting the temptation to say the legendary comedian and star of stage, screen, radio and television would be 39 today, I present this delightful caricature (by Carl Rose) from Bennett Cerf's 1948 book, SHAKE WELL BEFORE USING. Here we have the cast of Jack's show riding on his back--a visual interpretation, perhaps, of the fact that so many of them achieved individual success through the Benny show. L-R we have Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Phil Harris, Mary Livingstone, Don Wilson, Dennis Day and the Lucky Strike tobacco auctioneer with his LS-MFT banner. Jack's writers almost always gave the best lines to the cast and Jack reportedly took delight in the fact that no matter who said the most memorable lines, the next day people would be asking, "Say, didja hear JACK BENNY last night?" Happy Birthday, Jack!

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