Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Best of Jack Benny|
Actors: Jack Benny, Don Wilson, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Dennis Day, Mary Livingston
Studio: Digital1stop Release Date: 09/25/2007 Rating: Nr
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Roger Long | Port Clinton, OH USA | 11/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I ordered this, I was expecting excerpts from Jack Benny programs. Instead, to my surprised delight, there are entire programs, most complete with Lucky Strike cigarette commercials. LSMFT. Young people don't know what those letters stand for (thank goodness), but if you are old enough to be a Benny fan, the letters are indelible in your brain.
There are some very funny bits and the great characters associated with Benny: Rochester, Mary Livingston, Don Wilson, Mr. Kietzel, Mel Blanc, the race track tout, etc. etc. And then there are the guests, Fred Allen, Eddie Cantor, Johnny Ray singing "Cry," Marilyn Monroe, Vincent Price, Liberace, Humphrey Bogart--a veritable who's who of show business stars in the 1950s.
The programs hold up very well. They are still funny. They are still warm and wonderful."
Best of Jack Benny
Mr. K. Campbell | United Kingdom | 11/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An excellent collection. Although some of the episodes are available elsewhere, about half aren't, including some real rarities. I hadn't seen the HONEYMOONERS sketch before, with both Jack and Dennis Day doing credible impressions of Ralph and Ed. Besides Jack's own shows, there are other appearances like 2 TV plays he starred in, an TV special TELEPARADE OF STARS and a BING CROSBY SHOW he guested on. At it's very reasonable price, it is worth getting for the more unusual items, even if you have the more common ones. For the newcomer, this is the perfect introduction to Jack, with classics like HOW JACK MET MARY and the CHRISTMAS SHOPPING show, which has a wonderful performance from Mel Blanc.
Having said this of course, what we really need for all 50's U.S. comedy classics like Jack, BURNS AND ALLEN, BOB CUMMINGS and BILKO are complete season by season sets like has been done so well with I LOVE LUCY...and how about a complete collection of Jack's later hour specials, like the George Burns one brought out recently? In the meantime, this is probably the best collection to be going on with."
Classic, if Scratchy, Television
J. Stickney | 04/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Jack Benny, America's greatest radio comedian, dipped his toes into the television waters in 1949 for his new bosses at CBS. He must have liked the medium because he stayed until 1965. While never the top television comic, his legendary status as both a performer and a human being helped CBS to gain stature as the top network in TV's early days.
Unlike his friend Lucille Ball, his television shows were only sporadically recorded and not always in the best quality. They tend to be similar to the "Honeymooners' Lost Episodes" kinoscope recordings in video quality. The shows that did have a better look remain under copy write to NBC by way of MCA, ironic for a CBS show, eh? So what we are left with in this collection are unrestored kinoscope to vhs quality recordings whose rights were allowed to lapse because the rights holders figured they were unsaleable. If you get the idea they don't look like a lovingly retouched HD-DVD set of "Heroes", then you are on the right track.
The set has two major redeeming qualities. The first is value. At 5 to 8 bucks depending on where you shop its hard to argue the price on a 4 DVD box set. The second is the show. Jack Benny was a master of comic timing whose much ballyhooed cheapness and vanity were a wink wink, nudge nudge disguise for one of the best loved men in the country. Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, while playing the somewhat demeaning role of valet, was a virtual costar for much of the shows run. His amazing voice, at once gravelly and expressive, and tremendous chemistry with Benny made him the best second banana in early television. Rotund announcer Don Wilson appeared in most every show, while other Benny radio vets like Mary Livingstone, Dennis Day and Mel Blanc made sporadic visits to the show. With a stripped down cast that no longer included Phil Harris and only occasionally Mary and Dennis, Jack began to feature a plethora of guest stars. Because of his friendship with many Hollywood stars, big names from Bob Hope to Jimmy Stewart to Humphrey Bogart were seen on the Jack Benny shows across the years.
While not as strong as his radio shows and despite the video quality, getting sixteen plus hours of Jack Benny is definitely a bargain at this price. See the inspiration for all the great comedians from Cosby to Seinfeld in quite often watchable grainy black and white, its the most fun you will ever have courting eye strain."
Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live in a Time Capsule
j. | Upstate NY | 12/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection of episodes is fantastic. All the great stars of the day appear as guests in skits, routines and song and dance sketches. The full length episodes include the Lucky Strike commercials that are entertaining as well. The comedy writers today could take a lesson from the quality of the past material.
This collection is more than a scratchy violin rendition or Jack Benny calling "Oh Rochester". It is quality comedic entertainment that I can only compare to the Tonight Show (Johnny Carson) and Saturday Night Live (Early Years) in a Time Capsule.
The transfer to DVD is good, with some occasional blips from the day, but is not bothersome.
While the pricing is very good, I picked this up on a discount site for one third of the price, with a discount during a semi annual promotion.
Update: 4/5/08 - This is at Walmart in the bin for five bucks. This is a great price for the value and fantastic content.