Posted Bykurt on August 03, 2002 at 21:06:36:
In Reply to: The On-Air "Jack & Mary" Relationship posted byGerry O. on August 03, 2002 at 20:43:48:
The relationship between Jack and Mary on-air was deliberately left vague, but it wasn't all that unique in its time.
Goodman and Jane Ace, Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa, and George Burns and Gracie Allen all had similar on-air relationships. Burns and Allen weren't a "married" couple on the air for quite a number of years.
What makes Mary different is that she wasn't ever the "daffy" one. Also, the entire listening/viewing public at the time knew Jack and Mary were married in real life, but they accepted Jack's romantic escapades, anyway. That's the power of good writing and the illusions of broadcasting.
: Here's something that I've wondered about for YEARS....
: Just WHAT was the on-air relationship between Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone supposed to be?
: We all know that they're not married on the show, but sometimes you read or hear that Mary was Jack's on-air girlfriend...but she wasn't really THAT either!
: While Jack and Mary would go out on an occassional date (to a football game, dinner, a movie, etc.), she could hardly be considered Jack's steady girlfriend. Both Jack and Mary would date other people...and even discuss their other dates with each other (just as good friends would).
: However, there are OTHER times where either Jack or Mary would act jealous (or at least "miffed") over the other person going out with someone else.
: I've tried to understand this relationship, and I come up with different slants on it, depending on which episode of Jack's radio series I happen to be listening to at the time.
: One personal theory (and the one which I seem to arrive at most of the time) is that Jack and Mary's relationship was similar to that of Jerry Seinfeld and Elaine on "Seinfeld"....The two of them had at one time been an "item" or "couple", with a steady romance. However, eventually things cooled off or just didn't work out....and now they have more of a male-female friendship, even though they do like to step out together on occassion.
: Again, this is only my personal take on the on-air relationship....So what's YOURS?