I'm sure the phrase "They don't make 'em like that anymore," has passed many of your lips once or twice. Otherwise you wouldn't be reading blogs like these. I've mentioned before my absolutely lifelong fan-dom of Jack Benny; it knows no bounds and perhaps may, at some point in the future, be diagnosed for medication. I've been recently rereading his autobiography that wrote and his daughter Joan Benny finished after his death. It's a wonderful read, and full of Hollywood and OTR history and a wonderful portrait of the man, his family, friends and cast. What other comedian so successful built a persona that no matter what he did or would guest star in, his character would inevitably follow to the delight of the audience? And Jack was either grateful, humble or intelligent enough (or all three) to play it up and bring delight to the audience for decades. No talk of "typecasting" or lamenting about be limited from the real man - no matter how much the "miser" Jack would protest on air.
Jack's book, Sunday Nights at Seven, (so named because that timeslot was perennially his for decades), is hard to put down, and Joan's memories about her father are warm and loving- her respect and love for him really come out. In a passage about her father's later years, Joan recounts how she and her father would try and work together. One appearance of interest was an appearance by Jack and Joan on the classic game show, Password, as the celebrity guest stars. For years I have thought it would be nice to catch this episode on rerun or on DVD someday. For some reason the most obvious place to look never occurred to me in the past couple of years: the Internet! Yes, I am shocked that I had never considered it either.
Lo and behold, there it was: the whole episode- in three parts. And so for your viewing pleasure I share it with all of you to enjoy. Also I encourage you to pick up Jack's book. It is sadly out of print, but is available used via Amazon and other places, and perhaps your local library. Remember that place? It's still there. And guess what? They still lend books. Cool.
This is some funny stuff, especially if you are familiar with Jack. And watch for one of the password clues: Miser!
By the way, you can click the embeded screens above to pull up the video on YouTube itself. There you will find in the sidebar other videos of Classic Password with James and Gloria Stewart as guests. They really don't make 'em like that anymore.
When another comedian has a lousy show, I'm the first one to admit it.