About Me

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I try to find enjoyment in life's simple things: friends & family, gardening, nature, home projects, etc. The television and radio are generally silent appliances in my home. But sometimes we all need a little help outside of ourselves to lift our hearts with laughter or a song. In my house, that often means switching on "Golden Age" radio shows, classic television or film, or simply turning to a good old-fashioned book.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Radio Listening Log - Danny Kaye on The Jack Benny Show

The Jack Benny Show, "The Life Story of Jack Benny", May 28, 1944

Performers: Guest: Danny Kaye
Regulars: Jack Benny, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Mary Livingstone, Don Wilson, Phil Harris, Dennis Day
Content: Jack and Mary run into Danny Kaye when they go to Warner Brother's offices to talk about plans for a new motion picture on Jack's life. Danny Kaye explains what one learns about acting from the great "Stanislavsky."
Comments: This is Danny Kaye's first appearance on the Jack Benny Show. Writer Milt Josephberg later wrote about how highly Jack and Danny thought of each other. Benny Show writers often picked up on an exaggerated the truth such as this for the script.

A variation on the Warner Brother's Office skit was also performed by Jack, Danny, and Dinah Shore for the Armed Forces Radio Network's "Mail Call" on February 2, 1945 .

References: "Wilkie" - Wendell Wilkie withdrew from the 1944 presidential race on April 5, after being defeated in the Wisconsin Republican primary. Wilkie had been the Republican candidate who unsuccessfully ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940.

Paul Lukas won the 1943 Academy Award for best actor for his performance in Watch on the Rhine.

The Jack Benny Show, "The Kid from Brooklyn", April 28, 1946

Performers: Guest: Danny Kaye
Regulars: Jack Benny, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Mary Livingstone, Don Wilson, Phil Harris, Dennis Day, Mel Blanc
Content: The cast walks home after viewing Danny Kaye's latest motion picture, "The Kid from Brooklyn" and eventually run into Danny on the way. Later, at home, Jack is visited by four ghosts, including one from one of Danny's earlier pictures.
Comments: Listen closely to hear Jack having a hard time keeping from laughing when Danny Kaye performs. The two have a lot of fun doing this show. Danny performs "Concerto for Tongue and Orchestra." A good, solid Benny Show. (Sadly, a few lines appear to be missing, ostensibly in the transition between recording disks, and other static and additional recording problems mar the recording.)

References: "Mr. Miland" must refer to actor Ray Miland who earned an Academy Award earlier that year for his performance as an alcoholic in the movie The Lost Weekend.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Radio Listening Log - The New Swan Show

The New Swan Show (Bob Hope), November 7, 1948
Performers: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Les Brown and His Band
Content: Bob jokes; Doris does a nice rendition of "My Darling, My Darling" with Les Brown and His Band; Bob and Bing have fun trying to out-do each other with clever insults then with a skit with outlandish German accents.
Comments: I don't typically find it amusing to hear insults hurled back and forth, but here Bing and Bob are too busy laughing at the writers' attempts to come up with more and more outlandish digs back and forth. The "insults" land on the superficial and nonconsequential--and are too ridiculous to take seriously.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Radio Listening Log - Tovarich (Lux Radio Theater)

Lux Radio Theater presents Tovarich, May 15, 1939
Performers: William Powell, Miriam Hopkins, C Henry Gorden, Heather Thatcher, 
Content: Exiled Russian nobility face poverty with a charming mix of good humor and determination to earn and enjoy simple blessings.  
Comments: A slightly slow start, but the couple turns out to be a delightful pair sharing a worthy, happy hour with us.