Re: Jack Benny Writers

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Posted ByWayne Balzer in Portland Oregon on July 31, 2003 at 14:03:34:

In Reply to: Re: Jack Benny Writers posted byjerry4opry on July 31, 2003 at 05:39:16:

The actors seemed to ad-libed the scripts at times, which made it even more funny. Of course the lines probably weren't ad-libed.
: : I always thought the writers really made the show. Of course there was a writer named George Balzer, & I have always wondered if there was a relationship. It would be fun to find out.

: : I think that the actors and actresses breathed life into the scripts. I have the Biography that A&E did on Jack and they feature one or two of his writers. One writer reads aloud from the script a scene that took place between Phil and Jack about cutting down on drinking. Well, even though the writer was reading the dialogue, it didn't have that extra something that Jack and his cast could do with simple words to make it amusing and funny. It sounds confusing but the writers wrote specifically for the "characters". Also, Jack's show is the only one i can think of that depended on delivery. For example: only Jack could get laughs when reading lines about being cheap simply on HOW he read his lines and he's the only one i know of who could remain silent after someone ridiculed him and then the laughter continues to grow the longer he remained silent. I guess what i'm saying is that i think the writers made the show but it was the wonderful chemistry and strong well-defined "false" personalities that each of them put into their delivery that made it so funny. Phil Harris is another example. If you read his dialogue in everyday English, it wouldn't be funny. But talk like Phil Harris as you read it and it's funny. It's one of the strangest things but it works. Like Dennis Day, you can't talk in a Phil Harris type of voice doing the Dennis "character". For Dennis, read the lines in a high tenor or "wide-eyed innocent" style and that's the trick for it to be funny if you or i stumbled onto an old script. In other words, the writing fit the characters.

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