For years, Sunday night was Jack Benny night, first on radio, and then television. The Benny show was so seared into popular culture, references to a Maxwell, the age 39, and being cheap brought only one thing to mind--Jack Benny.
A number of Benny biographies have been written over the years and you’d think since Benny has been dead for 41 years, there’d be little else to say. Ah, but you’d be wrong. Kathy Helgesen Fuller Seeley has been studying the evolution of Benny’s humour, looking at its origins and comparing it with the wider world of vaudeville and radio comedy at the time. A little taste of it has been posted HERE. It contains footnotes to provide assurances of the accuracy of the facts.
For much of his career, Benny appeared on the air on Sunday nights (while 7 p.m. is the popularly ascribed time of his show, that applied only to the East Coast). It’s the reason this blog has posted a Benny-related piece almost every Sunday. Over the course of the next few months, we’ll try to augment Kathy’s work with a yearly roundup of clippings from Variety. 1932 will be posted this week, the following two years are banked. We can’t guarantee anything after that as the hunt is still time consuming (especially because of OCR scanning errors), but Kathy has lent some assistance to make the task a little easier.