Tuesday, October 20, 2015
No list of great Jewish comedians would be complete without Jack Benny, who was one of America's most beloved entertainers from the 1930s to the 1970s in vaudeville, radio, and television.
Born Benjamin Kubelsky in 1894, he used his comedic talents to create what many consider to be the first situation comedy that gave rise to the sitcom format that's been so popular for decades.
Benny portrayed his character as a miser, playing his violin badly. In character, he would claim to be 39 years of age, regardless of his actual age.
Benny was known for comic timing, and the ability to create laughter with a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature exasperated "Well!"
Benny's biography is much too long to reprint here, so we suggest looking at his Wikipedia entry for all the details. In 1927 he married Sadie Marks, who changed her name to Mary Livingstone, and appeared with him as his comedic foil on radio and TV.
They met while she was working in the hosiery department at The May Company department store in Los Angeles, and today we're posting one of Benny's sitcom episodes that focused on their meeting.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)