Now Performing in the Rocky Top Theater
167 East Wears Valley Road Suite #17 (Shops of Pigeon Forge) Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky, February 14, 1894 and passed away December 26, 1974, at the age of 39;)
Jack Benny always insisted he was 39 years old no matter how many years over that age he was. Jack Benny was known for his comic timing and his ability to get laughs with either a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature exasperated "Well!"
Jack Benny was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in neighboring Waukegan, Illinois. He was the son of Meyer Kubelsky and Emma Sachs Kubelsky.
When Jack was just six, his parents hoped he would be a great classical violinist. He loved the violin, but hated practice. By age 14, he was playing in local dance bands as well as in his high school orchestra. Benny was a dreamer, and a poor student and was expelled from high school.
At age 17, he began playing the instrument in local vaudeville theaters for $7.50 a week. In 1911, Benny was playing in the same theater as the young Marx Brothers, whose mother Minnie was so enchanted with Benny's musicianship that she invited him to be their permanent accompanist.
The plan was foiled by Benny's parents, who refused to let their son, then 17, go on the road, but it was the beginning of his long friendship with Zeppo Marx. Benny's future wife Mary Livingstone was a distant cousin of the Marx Brothers.
Benny had been only a minor vaudeville performer, but he became a national figure with The Jack Benny Program, a weekly radio show which ran from 1932 to 1948 on NBC and from 1949 to 1955 on CBS. It was consistently among the most highly rated programs.
Benny's stage character was just about everything the actual Jack Benny was not: cheap, petty, vain, and self-congratulatory. His comic rendering of these traits became the anchor to the Benny show's success.
Jack Benny set himself up as the comedic foil, allowing his supporting characters to draw laughs at the expense of his character's flaws.
The Jack Benny Program evolved from a variety show blending sketch comedy and musical interludes into the situation comedy form we know even now, crafting particular situations and scenarios from the fictionalization of Benny the radio star.
If you can remember the Jack Benny Radio and TV show than you probably remember Red Skelton. Next time you are in Pigeon Forge, check out the only family friendly comedy show paying tribute to Red Skelton
CLICK HERE or on the Show Schedule link above to make sure you get a seat to this great afternoon show and re-live the wonderful memories of the golden age of television.
"Goodnight for now and may God bless"
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