CONTENT WARNING: This podcast discusses a 1960 episode of “The Jack Benny Program” in which a character shoots himself offscreen.
On this beautifully wrapped and unwrapped and rewrapped episode of the official podcast for 40-year-olds whose parents associate cigarette commercials with Christmas, we’re second-, third-, and fourth-guessing ourselves way back to 1960 to go Christmas Shopping with “The Jack Benny Program,” the last televised version of a longtime radio favorite.
On This Episode:
- Mike Westfall (@fallwestmike), surprisingly brittle for an unbreakable, crystal $12 watch.
- Guy Hutchinson (@GuyHutchinson), wrapped in beautiful paper and tinsel at least 4 times before we started recording, author, public speaker, and host of the Drunk On Disney Podcast.
Topics and Tangents:
- The Television Academy Foundation’s page on Jack Benny’s “Christmas Shopping” show, including a video interview with show writer George Balzer.
- The earliest “Christmas Shopping” variant I could find, from 1937.
- Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and the progression of race relations, and also a quick tangent on his becoming the first African-American to enter a racehorse in the Kentucky Derby.
- Finally I get to talk about Mel Blanc, the real star of this show.
- Adjusting the $1.98 and $40 wallets for inflation.
- A 2002 message board post on JackBenny.org answering whether Jack was a practicing Jew.
- A tribute to Frank “Yyyyyeeeees?” Nelson.
- The dumbest things we’ve made pets wear.
- Dennis Day and the dying practice of actors legally changing their names to their most popular characters’.
- Stupid “the customer is always right” stories.
Previous Podcast Episodes Mentioned:
- Fruity Pebbles Christmas Commercial (Season 1, Episode 5)
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (Season 2, Episode 19)
- Frosty’s Winter Wonderland (Season 4, Episode 1)
- The Stingiest Man in Town (Season 4, Episode 10)
- The Christmas Raccoons (Season 5, Episode 6)
- Norelco Santa Christmas Commercial, circa 1961.
- Weird Christmas, celebrating all things holly, jolly, and odd-ly.
“The Jack Benny Program” and “Jack Goes Christmas Shopping” ©1960 J&M Productions, Inc.
Listen to this episode of the Advent Calendar House podcast
Title: The Jack Benny Program: Jack Goes Christmas Shopping