Posted ByGerry O. on December 10, 2002 at 15:13:09:
In Reply to: Best years of the radio show? posted byBT on December 10, 2002 at 00:53:11:
: I'm interested in the opinions of those of you who've heard many of the shows: do you notice certain years when the program really took off, and others when it was, relatively speaking, in the doldrums? If one were to listen to three or four years in their entirety, which would you recommend?
Hmmm....That's a tough one!
The Jell-O shows from the 1937-1940 era may contain broad and dated (even "corny") humor, but there's a certain element of FUN in those shows. The cast seems very relaxed and having a good time chuckling and breaking up at gag lines, etc. Plus you have those great band numbers from Phil's band.
The later Lucky Strike programs from the 1945-1954 period are considered by many fans to be the "Golden Age" of the Benny series. These shows are very well-written and performed, and the shows have a definite polish to them.
The final radio season of 1954-1955 contains very good shows too, but for some reason I get the impression that the "family" or "gang" element was starting to die off by this point. Mary was almost literally "phoning in her lines" from home, and the shows were starting to feature Jack more and the regulars less....sort of an indication of what was to come with Jack's TV series.
It's really a matter of taste...but I highly doubt that you will find many Benny fans who say that the "Grape-Nuts Flakes" years of 1942-1944 are their favorite Benny years...the show seemed to go into a definite slump (both in quality and ratings) around that time.