Skip to main content

Jack Benny - the Satchel Paige of Comedy!


Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky in Chicago, Illinois on February 14, 1894 –born, Jack Benny was an American comedian, vaudevillian, and star of radio, television, and movies. Benny’s usual part was that of a 39 year-old, penny pinching miser, and bad violin player.


Benny started playing the violin when he was six. He hated practice. He was a dreamer and poor student and was expelled from high-school.

At age 17, he was playing the violin vaudeville theaters for $7.50 a week.


Jack Benny changed his name twice because two performers thought his name resembled theirs too closely.

Jack Benny, George Burns, Jimmy Steward

Jack Benny, George Burns, Jimmy Steward

Jack Benny and Cora Salisbury were a vaudeville musical duo and later Jack teamed with Lyman Woods.

After five years, Jack left vaudeville in 1917 to join the U.S. Navy and World War I. Jack often entertained the troops with his violin playing. When his violin performance was booed by the troops, he ad-libbed his way out of the jam and left them laughing. And so became one of my all-time favorite comedians.


Scroll to Continue

Jack Benny became a national celebrity with his weekly radio show The Jack Benny Program which ran from 1932 to 1955. It was one of the most highly rated programs of that era.

Jack Benny RADIO SHOW Part 1

Venture into the world of radio with the video above.

Jack Benny - Mel Blanc Classic Routine

Mel Blanc was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Tweety Bird, etc., etc.

Mel Blanc is a national treasure!

Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Eddie Anderson

Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Eddie Anderson

The Jack Benny Program television show ran from October 28, 1950 to 1965. Jack Benny never cared who got the laugh on his show. Benny just wanted a funny show.

My favorite character on the Jack Benny television show was the valet-chauffeur Rochester van Jones who was just as popular as Jack Benny.

Eddie Anderson’s popularity was a radical proposition for that time. Rochester was a black man who was allowed to one-up his frugal employer.

Eddie Anderson’s Rochester broke a comedic racial barrier. Rochester was depicted and treated as a regular member of Benny's household. Benny treated Rochester more like an equal partner than as a hired domestic, although gags about Rochester's meager salary were a regular part of the show.

When Benny and his staff stayed at the restricted Robidioux Hotel in St. Joseph, Missouri the desk staff told Benny that "Rochester" could not stay at the hotel. Benny stated, "If he doesn't stay here, neither do I." The hotel relented.

What Kind Of Man Was Jack Benny?

If you have 47 seconds, please watch Rochester as he tries to buy Jack a gift.

Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Jack Benny

Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Jack Benny

In 1973, Dean Martin described Benny as "the Satchel Paige of the world of comedy."

Jack Benny, Bob Hope, George Burns

Jack Benny, Bob Hope, George Burns

Jack Benny died of an inoperable pancreatic cancer on December 26, 1974. He had chosen to spend his final days at home and was visited by close friends including George Burns, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Carson. Bob Hope delivered the eulogy at his funeral.


Two minutes will get you Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope.

Jack Benny and Humphrey Bogart

Jack Benny and Humphrey Bogart

Jack Benny had fun with tough guys like Humphrey Bogart.

Johnny Carson and Jack Benny

Johnny Carson and Jack Benny

Jack’s family donated his personal, professional, and business papers, and a collection of his television shows to UCLA.

Johnny Carson was the first recipient of the Jack Benny Award established by UCLA in his honor in 1977. The award recognizes outstanding people in the field of comedy.

Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Sammy Davis Jr.

Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Sammy Davis Jr.

Jack Benny, forever played the "miser".

Jack Benny donated a Stradivarius violin purchased in 1957 to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Benny commented, "If it isn't a $30,000 Strad, I'm out $120."


Explaining his successful life, Jack Benny said,

"Everything good that happened to me happened by accident. I was not filled with ambition nor fired by a drive toward a clear-cut goal. I never knew exactly where I was going."


In his will, Jack Benny arranged a single long-stemmed red rose, to be delivered to his widow, Mary Livingstone, every day for the rest of her life.

God bless Jack Benny!

Please enjoy some more videos of Jack!

Jack Benny and His Rocky Mountain Boys

Comedy is an art and a science.

I appreciate the joke that is set in advance and its preparation.

Please watch the brilliant skit above.

Keep your eye on the beautiful child - all the way - to the end!

If you've run out of time please come back or find them all on youtube.

But Jack Benny and His Mountain Boys will make your day!

Now mind you - I've seen boys like these "Mountain Boys" in the cities and everywhere. Folks in the mountains can survive in most worlds. This is not to stereotype. People from the mountains are a great people.

Jack Benny and Frank Nelson the Travel Agent

Frank Nelson is certainly a funny man.

I do love that bold voice of his!

There are many Jack Benny videos on youtube.

Unfortunately many have commercials at the beginning.

I didn't want to include them here but please go to youtube by clicking twice on any video to enjoy a wonderful evening of Jack Benny.

I have his DVD collection. I highly recommend it!


PMCCRAY !!! On The Hubpages!

Teenage Angst Set to Music ~by pmccray

Buy DVDs - Classic Hollywood Favorites ~by pmccray

Hollywood Elite - part 8 - Tony Curtis ~by pmccray

Anita O' Day aka "The Jezebel of Jazz" ~by pmccray

Lena Horne - A Tribute ~by pmccray

Hollywood's Elite - The Meteoric Star and Legend Amongst Leading Men 9 ~by pmccray

Film Noir part 3 ~by pmccray

Erma Bombeck, Wife, Mother and Author ~by pmccray

Hollywood's Elite - The Barrymore Family - 5 ~by pmccray

Film Noir ~by pmccray

Film Noir, Part 2 ~by pmccray

Bill Bailey Master of Tap and Moonwalk? ~by pmccray

Bernie Mac "The Mac Man" ~by pmccray

Great Actress Hattie Mc Daniel ... Where is Her Missing Oscar? ~by pmccray

Tyler Perry - A Man of Many Faces ~by pmccray

The Black Swan - Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield ~by pmccray

Charles W. Chesnutt, First Black Fiction Novelist ~by pmccray

A Celebration of Black History Month, A Tribute to Black Female Pioneers ~by pmccray

Polio Vaccine Developed From Cells of a Black Woman ~by pmccray



More hubs by Micky Dee:

Micky's First Rap Song

Al Green-A Soul Man

Ode To Anne Moody-Civil Rights Activist

Willie Nelson

Viva Zapata

A Man Named Pearl

John Prine

A Poem For Major Taylor

Major Taylor-A World Champion 1878-1932

Muhammed Ali


Leighsue on December 29, 2011:

Thanks for a very good hub. Those were the days.

Micky Dee (author) on November 30, 2010:

Thank you so much Cheeky Girl! You are so kind. Thank you for loving Mel Blanc too!

Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on November 29, 2010:

Cool Hub, wow so many cool videos of Jack Benny. He was well before my time, Micky, but my granny remembers his shows well. he was a legend in his time, and such stars he had on his shows. I loved the Mel Blanc "Si" sketch. That was so funny! I could hear Speedy Gonzalez breaking through his voice! LOL! Great hub. HubPages are lucky to have you!

Micky Dee (author) on November 22, 2010:

You know I love the TonyMac!

Tony McGregor from South Africa on November 22, 2010:

I do love comedy and I do love Micky Dee! And now I also love Jack Benny! Thanks brotherman.

Love and peace


Micky Dee (author) on November 19, 2010:

Yo Hokey Dude!!! I love that Jack Benny too! Good to see you Brother Hokey!

Hokey from In the energy. on November 19, 2010:

I love Jack Benny!!!

Micky Dee (author) on November 16, 2010:

You know it saddlerider! I miss Jackie Gleason a lot too. The great one! God bless BrotherMan!

saddlerider1 on November 16, 2010:

You can't replace the best, the Hope, Bing, Jack Parr, Jackie Gleason and of course Jack Benny. I watched all these guys growing up and laughed my socks off. Jack was such a deadpan looking comedian, however he possessed timing and that is critical in comedy. Him and Rochester were brilliant and his violin a close second:9) Peace

Micky Dee (author) on November 15, 2010:

Great comment BkCreative! Thank you for loving Rochester (Eddie Anderson) too! God bless!

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on November 15, 2010:

Wow! What a great tribute - you have done this so well. How well I remember the Jack Benny show as a child - he even appealed to children. It was my mother who told us that he was actually quite generous and could play the violin (we kind of figured he wasn't 39 years old).

He was amazingly limber too because I remember one skit where he decided to run out where two people were turning the rope and he jumped in got tangled and promptly flew up into the air and landed on his back. He was fine - but yikes!

I remember too a whole episode was dedicated to Rochester going out for the evening - and it was totally all Rochester. We were awed - Rochester was human.

What I didn't know is that he had the rose sent to his wife everyday - what a kind act.

Well, another great Micky Dee hub here. Yay! And rated up of course!

Micky Dee (author) on November 15, 2010:

Hi Jane! He was/is super. I love his comedy. He was sweet to his wife too.

Jane Bovary from The Fatal Shore on November 15, 2010:

Jack Benny was great and I loved him in those old movies with Rochester. He was always getting the better of his boss.

I didn't realise he was such an old romantic...a rose a day eh? Aw

Micky Dee (author) on November 14, 2010:

God bless DREAM ON!

God bless you too Martie! Thanks for loving "Jack"!

Micky Dee (author) on November 14, 2010:

pmccray!!! You know I love you! I like seeing pmccray shine! I love the attention you've given the "oldies but goodies". You are so deserving of so much attention and so much LOVE! God bless you Dear pmccray!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on November 14, 2010:

Micky, it is so sad to know that those super stars are no longer with us. Life is too short, we've got to grab all opportunities to enjoy it. Take care!

DREAM ON on November 14, 2010:

A wonderful way to spread cheer over the years.I think we can all learn from the masters.What a world when we can laugh at everything.

pmccray on November 12, 2010:

Well . . . I never. Excellent tribute to one of the greatest funniest men on the big and little screen.

Micky Dee you lovable lug thanks for the plug! Who'd a thunk it I rhymed. You are the sweetest hubber on this site and I really appreciate the thought.

I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either. - Jack Benny

Smooches and hugs friend Micky Dee

Micky Dee (author) on November 10, 2010:

Thank you daydreamer. God bless you Dear. Thank you for loving Jack!

daydreamer13 on November 09, 2010:

This is great! I didn't know the guy but now I do I know I would've been a fan. Thanks for sharing.

Micky Dee (author) on November 09, 2010:

God bless you Darski! I've missed you too Girl!

God bless you Katie! Peace!

Katie McMurray from Ohio on November 09, 2010:

Great videos, WOW comedy sure has changed. I like the old civil comedy, it's very funny and now I too will be going back to watch more videos. Peace :)

Micky Dee (author) on November 09, 2010:

Through thick and thin,

be my friend,

and we will remember when...

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 09, 2010:

I've sent this to others on my email list that have also loved this. You are making many of us "remember when."