Jack Benny - Wikipedia. Jack Benny. Jack Benny in 1. Born. Benjamin Kubelsky. Awards. Golden Globe for Best TV Show (1. Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1. Websitehttp: //www.
Jack Benny (born Benjamin Kubelsky; February 1. Recognized as a leading American entertainer of the 2.
Benny portrayed his character as a miser, playing his violin badly. In character, he would claim to be 3.
Benny was known for comic timing and the ability to cause laughter with a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature exasperated . His parents were Jewish. Meyer was a saloon owner and later a haberdasher who had immigrated to America from Poland. Benny began studying violin, an instrument that became his trademark, at the age of 6, his parents hoping for him to become a professional violinist.
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He loved the instrument, but hated practice. His music teacher was Otto Graham Sr., a neighbor and father of Otto Graham of NFL fame. At 1. 4, Benny was playing in dance bands and his high school orchestra. He was a dreamer and poor at his studies, and was ultimately expelled from high school. He did poorly in business school later and at attempts to join his father's business. At age 1. 7, he began playing the violin in local vaudeville theaters for $7.
Minnie, their mother, enjoyed Benny's violin playing and invited him to accompany her boys in their act. Benny's parents refused to let their son go on the road at 1.
Marx Brothers, especially Zeppo Marx. The next year, Benny formed a vaudeville musical duo with pianist Cora Salisbury, a buxom 4. This provoked famous violinist Jan Kubelik, who feared that the young vaudevillian with a similar name would damage his reputation. Under legal pressure, Benjamin Kubelsky agreed to change his name to Ben K. Benny, sometimes spelled Bennie. When Salisbury left the act, Benny found a new pianist, Lyman Woods, and renamed the act . They worked together for five years and slowly integrated comedy elements to the show.
They reached the Palace Theater, the . Benny left show business briefly in 1. United States Navy during World War I, and often entertained the troops with his violin playing.
One evening, his violin performance was booed by the troops, so with prompting from fellow sailor and actor Pat O'Brien, he ad- libbed his way out of the jam and left them laughing. He received more comedy spots in the revues and did well, earning a reputation as a comedian and musician. Shortly after the war, Benny developed a one- man act, . Benny: Fiddle Funology. By 1. 92. 1, the fiddle was more of a prop, and the low- key comedy took over. Benny had some romantic encounters, including one with dancer Mary Kelly.
Benny was introduced to Kelly by Gracie Allen. Some years after their split, Kelly resurfaced as a dowdy fat girl and Jack gave her a part in an act of three girls: one homely, one fat and one who couldn't sing. Their first meeting did not go well when he tried to leave during Sadie's violin performance. Jack had not remembered their earlier meeting and instantly fell for her.
She was working in the hosiery section of the Hollywood Boulevard branch of the May Company, where Benny courted her. Adopting the stage name Mary Livingstone, Sadie collaborated with Benny throughout most of his career. They later adopted a daughter, Joan. In 1. 92. 9 Benny's agent, Sam Lyons, convinced Irving Thalberg, American film producer at Metro- Goldwyn- Mayer, to watch Benny at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Benny signed a five- year contract with MGM, where his first role was in The Hollywood Revue of 1.
The next movie, Chasing Rainbows, did not do well, and after several months Benny was released from his contract and returned to Broadway in Earl Carroll's Vanities. At first dubious about the viability of radio, Benny grew eager to break into the new medium. In 1. 93. 2, after a four- week nightclub run, he was invited onto Ed Sullivan's radio program, uttering his first radio spiel . There will be a slight pause while you say, 'Who cares?'.. It was among the most highly rated programs during its run. Ayer agency and their client, Canada Dry, after which Bertha Brainard, head of the division, said, .
Benny is excellent for radio and, while the audition was unassisted as far as orchestra was concerned, we believe he would make a great bet for an air program. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 2. He continued with sponsor General Tire through the end of the season. In October, 1. 93. General Foods, the makers of Jell- O and Grape- Nuts, became the sponsor strongly identified with Benny for 1.
American Tobacco's Lucky Strike was his longest- lasting radio sponsor, from October 1. The show switched networks to CBS on January 2, 1. CBS president William S. It stayed there for the remainder of its radio run, ending on May 2. CBS aired repeat episodes from 1. The Best of Benny. Characters. At some point he developed a miserly persona.
His comic rendering of these traits was the linchpin to the success of his show. Benny set himself up as comedic foil, allowing his supporting characters to draw laughs at the expense of his own flaws.
With his humanism and vulnerability in an era where few male characters were allowed such character traits, Benny made what could have been an unlikable everyman character. Benny said: . This attitude reached its apogee in a broadcast structured as a Hollywood bus tour of the stars' homes. Not until the final moments of the program did the bus arrive at Jack Benny's house, at which point the listening audience heard Benny's only line of the episode: . She was not quite his girlfriend, since Benny would often try to date movie stars like Barbara Stanwyck, and occasionally had stage girlfriends, such as . Don Wilson, the rotund announcer, also appeared on the show. He also announced for Fanny Brice's hit Baby Snooks. Bandleader Phil Harris appeared as a jive- talking wine drinker and philanderer, whose repartee was risqu.