Jack Benny or Fred Allen?

Discussion in 'Radio' started by LizzieMaine, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Ok, the eternal question for OTR fans -- which do you prefer, Jack or Fred, two comedians who spent nearly twenty years involved in a wonderfully entertaining fake show-biz feud.

    I like them both very much -- one of my best friends is the president of the official Benny fan club, and we have discussed this issue far into the night. But I have to say if the chips are down, I prefer Fred Allen. Part of it's because he's a fellow New Englander, and part of it's because I find his programs, especially his hour-long shows from the mid-to-late thirties, to be quite spontaneous and unpredictable -- you never quite knew which avenues his ad-libs would explore.

    So I'm a Fred Allen kind of gal -- even though I'll always enjoy listening to that Waukegan Jell-o salesman too...

    How 'bout you?
     
  2. Absinthe_1900

    Absinthe_1900 One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
    The Heights in Houston TX
    I liked Jack Benny's timing, and I always liked Fred Allen needling Jack Benny.

    For me it's a draw.


    Now,.......Fields & Bergen (My favorite on air sparring partners):eusa_clap
     
  3. johnnydnh

    johnnydnh Familiar Face

    Messages:
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    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I need to make it a point to listen to more Fred Allen. I have been exposed to Jack Benny quite a bit more as I am sure most of us have been.
     
  4. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Jack Benny- for sure
     
  5. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Jack Benny

    Is Pants-Pee funny.
     
  6. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    ditto, Jack.
     
  7. VivianRegan

    VivianRegan One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Valley of the Sunstroke, AZ
    I have to say Jack, too, but only because I've had much more time to absorb and appreciate his humor than Fred's.

    I listen to too much Ch. 164 (Radio Classics) on XM. The other day, they played an episode broadcast in '42 from Williams Field near Phoenix, AZ. I was thrilled to hear this episode (I live in the Valley) and did a little research on the 'net... and found the very episode (Ep. 229, "Jack Gives the Maxwell for Scrap.")

    Here's the link, if anyone cares to listen (or re-listen) to every Jack Benny Program ever.

    The Jack Benny Program at OTR.Network Library: http://www.otr.net/?p=jbny

    Also, the original Jack/Fred question would make a great poll for this newbie forum.
     
  8. Lana

    Lana New in Town

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Jack Benny, he's always been one of my favorites. He also had a great ensemble with Mary Livingstone, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Phil Harris, Don Wilson and Dennis Day.
     
  9. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    I think that JB's show seldom veered from the script and therefore maintained a certain consistency, whereas the ad-libbing of FA would produce some hysterical moments along with some bombs. Such is the nature of improvisation.
     
  10. deanglen

    deanglen My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    lol lol lol I wish I had written that! Agreed!

    dean
     
  11. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    .

    "Let's see what a knock here will start... "

    "Hello?"

    "Ah! Mrs. Nussbaum!"

    "You were expecting maybe Tura-Lura-Lura Bankhead?"

    lol
     
  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    You were expecting maybe Emperor Shapirohito?
     
  13. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Yay! This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping would turn up in this forum.
     
  14. Absinthe_1900

    Absinthe_1900 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,628
    Location:
    The Heights in Houston TX
    Somewhat related to the Jack Benny show is another favorite of mine, The Phil Harris & Alice Faye Show.
     
  15. The Captain

    The Captain One of the Regulars

    Benny Rules!

    My wife and I used to listen to KNX out of L.A. quite a bit and Sunday night was Benny night. His cast of regulars were outstanding. Mel Blanc as Professor L' Blanc - Jack's violin teacher - was great. Jack continually trying not to pay him for the lessons elicited this: "Please, Monsieur Benny, my money, please!" Jack's response to a holdup man request of "Your money or your life" was "I'm thinking!" I miss those shows. KNX discontinued playing radio shows.
     
  16. The Wolf

    The Wolf Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,153
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, Calif
    tough call

    I would say Jack Benny, mostly because I know his work more.
    I've enjoyed both of them, even their spoofs of each other. I think Jack Benny had his cast spoof Allen's cast in "Benny's Boulevard" or something like that.
    A while ago I was thinking that it would be fun to have a fake rivalry between some personalities today like Benny and Allen had. There are plenty of PR started feuds. I don't mean Britney vs Eminem. I mean one where both sides are having fun and actually admire the other.
    Sorry about blathering on.

    Sincerely,
    The Wolf
     
  17. Tony in Tarzana

    Tony in Tarzana My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Jack was still alive and working when I was a kid in the 1960s, and we watched his TV shows. I've only recently been introduced to Fred Allen via Stan Freberg's radio show, but I'm an instant fan. I've read enough about those times to be able to "get" his topical and political humor, and his quick wit is amazing.
     
  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    One of the things I most enjoy about Allen are the segments of his hour-long shows where he interacts with ordinary people. During the mid-thirties, the latter half of his show was an unscripted amateur contest, where Allen would talk for the performers a bit, get them comfortable, and then have them go on with the acts. A few years later, he had a segment called "People You Didn't Expect To Meet," where he'd interview people in strange occupations -- and a few years after that, he conducted "The Average Man's Round Table," where he'd bring people up out of the audience and talk with them about some issue of the day. It was this kind of unforced spontaneity where he really excelled -- I think if he'd been born fifty years later, he'd have made an extraordinary talk show host.

    Those who are just getting acquainted with Allen's work should seek out these earlier shows -- they're really fun listening.
     
  19. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    I agree, Lizzie. I saw a few of his appearances, as a panelist, on "What's My Line" and he seemed very comfortable in a free-form environment.
     
  20. shindeco

    shindeco A-List Customer

    Jack Benny gets my vote! (I love the Burns and Allen show where he guest stars and goes to college with George Burns.)
     

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