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The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes

Jack Benny , Frederick De Cordova  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes + Best of Jack Benny + George Burns & Gracie Allen Show, Volume 1
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Benny
  • Directors: Frederick De Cordova
  • Format: Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: July 23, 2013
  • Run Time: 540 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008Z0D5L8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,508 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

New Interview With Director Norman Abbott, Benny Secretary Dorothy Ohman And Actor/Writer/Satirist Harry Shearer

Comedy Bits From The Jack Benny Television Specials

Hearst Newsreels

Editorial Reviews

The Jack Benny Program and its legendary star are counted among the most dazzling jewels in the crown of American comedy. From its beginnings as an immensely popular radio program to its heyday on television, the daily trials and tribulations of the beloved comedian kept millions of fans laughing for over 30 years. Here at last are 18 long-lost episodes, unseen since their original broadcast, that have been lovingly restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Jack, Don, Mary, Eddie Rochester Anderson and a constellation of guest stars are all here in this first-of-its-kind DVD collection of The Jack Benny Program.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
173 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOORAY!!! April 5, 2013
So CBS (and/or Universal) have FINALLY released "lost" episodes of one of the greatest comedies in television history - uncut and digitally restored. This is momentous news, and long overdue. The TV version of The JACK BENNY PROGRAM aired, in one form or another, for fifteen seasons - from 1950 to 1965. A popular and critical success of its time, it's still considered classic and still regularly referred to as a "high-water mark" in 20th century American comedy. (Even the commercials, integrated into the show itself and performed by series regulars, were hilarious!) There are approx. 260 episodes, but fans have had to content themselves with the same handful of recycled public domain titles for decades.

This 3-disc set features 18 original episodes from 1956 thru 1964; a combined running time of 9 hours (not including bonus material) of genuine rarities unseen for 50 years. According to a SHOUT! Factory press release: "In addition to the recurring character lineup of Jack, Don [Wilson], Mary [Livingston] and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, LOST EPISODES also features a superb lineup of guest stars including Natalie Wood, Red Skelton, Gary Cooper, George Burns, John Wayne, Dick Van Dyke, Billy Graham, Milton Berle, Tony Curtis and President Harry Truman." Also featured are Dennis Day, Spike Jones, Mel Blanc, Frank Nelson, Ronald Colman, Frank Fontaine, Jack Paar, Robert Wagner, Rock Hudson, George Gobel, Mike Wallace, Hugh Downs and more. Additional Bonus Features include excerpts from 4 color TV specials spanning the years 1969 through 1974, with appearances by Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Lucille Ball and Don Rickles.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Jack Benny is arguably the greatest comedian of all time. Beginning in Vaudeville, he played violin and told jokes as a start. But he accumulated comic ticks and personality quirks, one after another, and incorporated them into his act. He nurtured his writers and his supporting cast.

He was a radio giant through the Depression, WWII and the Korean War. He balanced TV and radio appearances in the mid-50s then moved to the tube full time. His series, "he Jack Benny Program," gave way to occasional specials and an endless procession of guest appearances, along with movies and even a Warner Brothers cartoon ("The Mouse That Jack Built").

Many of his TV episodes, numbering over 200, are still being rerun on cable stations. Some are in the public domain and can be found on budget DVD sets. This new "Jack Benny Show - The
Lost Episodes" collection from Shout! Factory, is different. It's very big news of course for fans, but also because many of them figure prominently into pop culture, Hollywood legend and American history.

This set is big news, indeed. Perhaps the most astonishing find among the 18 shows is one with then-married Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, singing, dancing and playing beautifully off Benny. But then most anyone could play well against Benny, even Harry Truman.

Jack Benny's "Truman show" is a rare appearance on an entertainment show by the 33rd President. The episode was shelved after its first broadcast because the sound quality in the Truman sequence is not really broadcast quality. Seeing it now is astonishing.

If you love Jack Benny, this set is a gold mine.
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60 of 72 people found the following review helpful
By fuzz
Mr. Benny was known for his pauses but he never made us wait as long for a laugh as we have had to wait for his TV work to be on DVD. It is long overdue for The Jack Benny Program to be released in a respectful fashion and the possibility that some of the shows in this set might have been lost forever is frightening. Big 'Thank You's' go right up front to the Shout Factory and everyone involved for making Mr. Benny's work available here.

When Jack Benny came to radio from vaudeville in 1932, he realized that to sustain a weekly program he needed to develop a style of comedy with a depth that was not existent yet. Rather than stand in front of a microphone and tell jokes endlessly, he developed a comic character (in fact a whole cast of them) that became real and lasting to generations of Americans. It was Benny, more than any other that invented the sitcom formula that has been used ever since .... and it could still be argued that no one has ever done it better.

When Benny moved to TV in the 50's, a certain magic from radio was lost but great things were gained as well. We got to see his annoyed looks to go with the celebrated pauses. We got to see the expressions on Rochester's face that went with that wonderful voice of his. We got to watch as Jack and Gisele MacKenzie played warm and hilarious violin duets. You will see those things here as well as other timeless fun with guest stars like: Red Skelton, George Burns, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Dick Van Dyke, Gary Cooper, Tony Curtis, Jack Paar, Robert Wagner & Natalie Wood .... and that is a partial list. This set also includes a show with the Rev. Billy Graham and a program done with President Harry Truman at his library in Independence, Missouri!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Benny
Jack Benny was a real comic, he didn't need dirty words to be funny. Bring back a lot of memories
Published 12 hours ago by G. Knutson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jack Benny Trailblazer on gathering all available episodes with a...
As a fan of Jack Benny, I have long sought to expand my episode collection, a deceptively complicated endeavor. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Kimberly M Monihan
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Benny at his best
What television was meant to be - entertaining, spontaneous, fun, thought-provoking. A great buy for the classic Jack Benny. Why Jack has the reputation he has. Solid.
Published 1 month ago by Scott M. Kruse
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful release!
Taken direct from the UCLA archives, where Mr. Benny donated his own, personal Kines, these shows are an example of good, clean entertainment. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John Field
5.0 out of 5 stars CHEAP THRILLS
THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM: One of the most beloved entertainers of all time, vaudevillian trained comedian JACK BENNY's impeccable timing, laconic delivery and priceless hand to cheek... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jukebox Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars good ole jack
you got to get this one...quite the man. watched many shows of him. too funny. get a bag of popcorn.
Published 3 months ago by S. R. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost? They never were.
The Jack Benny Program-The Lost Episodes produced by the Shout Factory is a misnomer.The 18 eps included in this set from the 1950s are from Jack Benny's personal cache of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robert Badgley
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Jack Benny!
Jack Benny could pull a laugh from a slow burn like no other and this set has that in episodes you might not have seen in reruns.
Published 4 months ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope there will be more of these
We absolutely love this set. Every show is funny and the selection of guest stars is great. Please give us more of Jack Benny's TV show work. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Carl E. Feather
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Transfer of "Lost" Jack Benny Shows
Great value and fairly good transfer of some Jack Benny programs I have not seen in years, if ever. Nice treat, with clean comedy and old friends from the past.
Published 5 months ago by Movie Mike
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Lost Episodes with bonus dvd Horn Blows At Midnight is offering the Omnibus: The Horn Blows At Midnight bonus dvd with The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes. Order can be placed on line but no phone customer service available. Anyone interested in seeing the Jack Benny film "The Horn Blows at Midnight" (1945)... Read more
May 4, 2013 by R. A. Small |  See all 4 posts
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