Posted ByGerry O. on September 26, 2001 at 09:20:21:
In Reply to: Question about commercials and network posted byJohn O on September 24, 2001 at 14:42:03:
: I have a Jack Benny show on tape from 1950. I got it from the library for a project I'm doing based on comparing an older radio show with shows today. Despite the fact that it states "unedited" on the tape, there are no commercials on the show. However, I did hear one cigarette commercial done by one of his side kicks on another show. My question is: what were commercials typically like on the Jack Benny show? Were they always just one or two a program and done live?
: Another question I had was reguarding the networks. I know that some programs were heard nationally, but Jack keeps mentioning that they are in New York at this time.
: Thanks for any help!
As a rule there were three commercials in a network Jack Benny program....There was a commercial at the opening and closing of the show, and these were "hard-sell" commercials....by that I mean that Don Wilson would read a "straight" commercial telling of the product (Jello, Lucky Strike, etc.), and then there would be a "fun" commercial somewhere around the middle of the program. This middle "fun" commercial would usually feature the cast, and be part of the show's story for that week. For instance, Jack might be home packing for a trip and Don Wilson would stop by with the Sportsmen Quartette. Don would want Jack to hear the Sportsmen's singing commercial for the upcoming broadcast, Jack would say, "Don, I haven't got time now", Don would yell, "HIT IT, BOYS!" and the quartette would sing a popular song with newly-written Lucky Strike lyrics, all the while Jack would be complaining how he didn't have time to listen right now. Most of the earlier Benny shows had all commercials performed live in front of the studio audience...however, the later Lucky Strike broadcasts had the opening and closing "hard sell" commercials performed from another studio. These "remote" commercials usually featured people other than Don Wilson (Kenny Delmar, Basil Ruysdale, "Speedy" Riggs and others). Hope this info helps!