From member Michael Leannah (contact him at

"I wondered if you'd be interested in contributing to a new book about Jack Benny. I don't know if you know Midnight Marquee books, but they've been doing a series of books of nonfiction essays on horror films. There haven't been any books of this sort done yet on otr, and I think it would be a good idea to start. The first would be on Jack Benny, though all major series (like Amos n Andy, Fibber McGee, etc.) could have their own volume later. To give you an idea of topics for this book: a history of the Benny-Allen feud; the changing role of Rochester from the early years in which there was an emphasis on his fondness for chicken and for playing craps to a more positive image, perhaps best illustrated by the New Year's Eve show in 1950 when he shares a toast with Jack as a colleague and friend; the railroad shows and how they captured a sense of the adventure of traveling by train; a rundown of the bloopers; the wonderful use of sound effects on the show and how they contributed to the enjoyment of the listeners by appealing to the imagination; specific writer contributions to the series; the masochistic Jack and the anatomy of an ego. There are lots more ideas possible, and in fact, I'd like to hear ideas from you rather than just take something from this brief list of samples.

"I'd like to solicit different topics from different writers, perhaps 20, plus pictures.  Submissions can be between 1000 to 4000 words, however much it takes to say what you want to say. I'll start with Benny, and if it interests enough people, move on to other shows. I haven't solicited many writers about this yet, though Clair Schulz, Laura Wagner and Martin Grams Jr. have signed up so far. Already published writers and/or incredibly smart Jack Benny fans only please! I can pay $50 or 2 copies of the book for use of the non-fiction. If you're interested, let me know. Thanks."

Ben Ohmart