Posted Byjerry4opry on August 07, 2003 at 07:39:10:
In Reply to: Hey, maybe I can help, too! posted bykurt on November 18, 2002 at 17:18:53:
: Benny's comedy routines, especially on TV, were often cruel. Today, they'd be considered edgy or in bad taste. But in his day, it was called comedy.
: If you recall the routine in which Mel Blanc is the suffering department store clerk at Christmastime, you'll remember that it ends with Blanc staggering to the back, followed by the sound of a gunshot, followed by hysterical audience laughter as Jack deadpans. Suicide as a punchline doesn't play today.
: Neither, of course, do fat jokes. Benny's radio and TV programs contained far more fat jokes, all aimed at Don Wilson, than they did racial material, all aimed at Rochester, and occasionally at Schlepperman. There was at least one fat joke in nearly every single radio program.
it's a shame that political correctness should play a part in comedy or comedians who weren't PC. it's disgusts the (blank) out of me when i hear these 20 or 30 somethings complain and talk down to ethnic humor. In some circles, Fred Allen has been attacked because Allen's Alley contained ethnic characters and like it or not, stereotypes are used for comedy.
Here's a message to the Politically Correct crowd: if people personally find something offensive, people have the right to tune out...but for the ones who like what they see or hear, stop trying to control our right to be entertained by it! "Jack Benny" is a character; off-camera or off-microphone he wasn't like the guy you were seeing on TV or hearing on the radio. Like Carroll O'Connor, off-camera he wasn't anything like the bigoted Archie Bunker he played on "All in the Family"...Jack Benny simply played a false version of himself, nothing more or nothing less, and it's Jack's talent as an actor to pull such a character off and make it likable which many people of the PC generation should appreciate. moving on...
The episode being talked about, the Christmas show with Mel Blanc as the clerk, is hilarious. even though i've seen that episode nearly 40 times on a home video i still howl with laughter everytime Blanc goes berzerk and then the topper comes when Blanc kills himself and Jack innocently responds: "what a shame! he was such a nice man, too!" and then Jack, keeping with his character's outrageous cheapness, walks over and gets his change for the billfold... "$1.98 from $40.00, let's see, i got some change coming to me!" He then exits with Rochester "come on, Rochester, let's get out of this crazy store!". i've never looked at the show from the suicide aspect because the episode is so dam funny that you feel for Mel Blanc and all the hell he went through to please Jack that afternoon...