Posted ByLL on February 17, 2004 at 23:54:47:
In Reply to: Re: Harry Conn strikes again posted byGerry O. on February 17, 2004 at 09:00:24:
: Conn really knew Jack's character (in fact, he helped DEVELOP it) and knew how to write for Jack. Conn wrote several CLASSIC routines and sketches which Jack would hang onto and use for many years after their professional association officially ended.
: It makes you wonder what other hilarious bits Harry could have written for Jack through the years!
Well...after spending the last two days resurrecting lost Harry Conn shows, I'm going to disagree with you. While Jack and Harry were successful in their day, a lot of this humor doesn't age well. There are certain skits, like the orchestra bit, the Japanese wrestler, the singing sister act, etc., which did take on a life of their own and stayed funny. But many of the gags I'm seeing seem pretty corny now. Puns aplenty, like paying tribute to cities in song ("Albany...why not take Albany...", "Winnipeg O My Heart, I love you...", etc.), or a Babies' Night where the whole audience is babies ("Babe Ruth was here, but he had to run home."). Conn also must have been a serious sports devotee, as Jack will have entire pages of monologue, sometimes multiple pages, for goofy play-by-play of everything from boxing fights to bicycle races.
One thing I'm really enjoying is seeing the development of the relationship between Jack and Mary. They're at turns flirtatious, jealous, spooning...this is so much more fun to me than Jack saying that he feels bad about something and Mary saying, "Well, here's a gun...why don't you blow your brains out?" Sad that they weren't able to sustain this character dynamic between them.
Conn was good for Jack then, but it took Morrow and Beloin to get him to the next level. I'd even venture to say that if Conn had stayed, Jack might have joined the ranks of Joe Penner, Baron Munchausen, and Stoopnagle and Budd...very popular in their day but not evolving with their audience.