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Best of Jack Benny

4.4 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews

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(Sep 25, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Star of Vaudeville, Radio and the Big Screen, Jack Benny brought his highly-successful radio program to the small screen in 1950 and the show ran until 1965. Along for the ride were his famous cast of co-stars including Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Don Wilson, Dennis Day and Mary Livingstone, who all shared in the fun and misadventures of their famous boss. Whether dealing with his love of money, his perpetual age of 39 or his beloved Maxwell automobile, Jack Benny and his gang entertained one and all!

About the Actor

Star of Vaudeville, Radio and the Big Screen, Jack Benny brought his highly-successful radio program to the small screen in 1950 and the show ran until 1965. Along for the ride were his famous cast of co-stars including Eddie Rochester Anderson, Don Wilson, Dennis Day and Mary Livingstone, who all shared in the fun and misadventures of their famous boss. Whether dealing with his love of money, his perpetual age of 39 or his beloved Maxwell automobile, Jack Benny and his gang entertained one and all!

Episode List:

Disc 1

  • Guest Stars: Fred Allen & Eddie Cantor
  • Honolulu Trip - Guest Star: Marilyn Monroe (First Television Appearance)
  • Guest Star: Humphrey Bogart
  • Guest Star: Johnnie Ray & Danny Thomas
  • Guest Stars: Irene Dunne & Vincent Price
  • Guest Star: Liberace
  • Jack Dreams He's Married to Mary
  • Goldie, Fields and Glide - Guest Stars: Bing Crosby, George Burns & Bob Hope
  • George Burns and Gracie Allen Show - Guest Star: Jack Benny
  • Road to Nairobi - Guest Stars: Bob Hope, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis
  • Jam Session - Guest Stars: Kirk Douglas, Fred MacMurray & Dick Powell

    Disc 2

  • How Jack Found Mary - Guest Stars: Sheldon Leonard, Joyce Randolph & Bea Benaderet
  • Jack Does Christmas Shopping - Guest Stars: Mel Blanc & Frank Nelson
  • Four O'Clock in the Morning
  • Talent Show - Guest Stars: Jayne Mansfield & Mel Blanc
  • Honeymooners Show - Guest Stars: Audrey Meadows & Dennis Day
  • Guest Star: Ernie Kovacs
  • Jack's Hong Kong Suit - Guest Star: Gisele MacKenzie
  • The Lunch Counter Murders - Guest Star: Dan Duryea
  • Jack Casting for a Television Special - Guest Star: Mel Blanc
  • Don Wilson's 27th Anniversary - Guest Star: John Daly
  • Jack Rents His House

    Disc 3

  • $64,000 Question Spoof - Guest Star: Hal March
  • Jack Benny Hour - Guest Stars: Bob Hope, The Beach Boys, Elke Sommer & Walt Disney
  • Ghost Town Western - Guest Star: Gisele MacKenzie
  • Christmas Show - Guest Stars: Edgar & Frances Bergen
  • New Year's Day Show 1956 - Guest Stars: UCLA and Michigan State Football Coaches
  • Easter Seal Teleparade of Stars
  • New Year's Eve
  • Jack's Maxwell is Stolen
  • Jack Goes to a Concert - Guest Star: Jimmy Stewart

    Disc 4

  • March of Time: Show Business at War - Guest Stars: Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Edgar Bergen
  • Reminiscing about New Year's Eve
  • Guest Stars: Peggy King & Art Linkletter
  • Jack Gets Robbed - Guest Star: Bob Crosby
  • Guest Stars: Dorothy Shay & Bob Crosby
  • General Electric Theatre: The Honest Man - Guest Stars: Jack Benny, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Charles Bronson & Roanld Reagan
  • You Can Change the World - Guest Stars: Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby & Irene Dunne
  • The Bing Crosby G.E. Show - Guest Stars: Jack Benny & Sheree North

  • Special Features

    None.

    Product Details

    • Actors: Jack Benny, Don Wilson, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Dennis Day, Mary Livingston
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Full Screen, NTSC
    • Language: English
    • Region: All Regions
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 4
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007
    • Run Time: 1260 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000UVV260
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,297 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 21, 2007
    Format: DVD
    MILL CREEK box sets offer good-to-average-quality audio and video transfers of public domain material at a most reasonable price.

    The Jack Benny Program aired on radio from 1932 to '55. Many of that show's scripts were recycled for television, beginning in 1950. Benny's CBS-TV series ran until 1965. The core cast (on radio and TV) changed little over the decades: Dennis Day replaced tenor Kenny Baker early on; Bob Crosby (Bing's younger brother) took over for bandleader Phil Harris in 1952.

    At one time or another, almost every Hollywood, radio and TV star guested on Jack's show. This four DVD set offers only a fraction of Benny's 258 television episodes, yet the viewer is provided an excellent illustration of his popularity within the "Showbiz" community.

    An unrelated highlight of this collection is a 1943 documentary about Hollywood's war efforts. Among the 58 cameo appearances here are: Benny, W.C. Fields, Louis Armstrong, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Bob Hope, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, Irving Berlin, James Cagney, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich and Walt Disney.

    The Martin & Lewis Collection - COLGATE COMEDY HOUR (17 episodes) is highly recommended for fans of early TV comedy/variety programming.

    .
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    17 Comments 122 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    An excellent collection. Although some of the episodes are available elsewhere, about half aren't, including some real rarities. I hadn't seen the HONEYMOONERS sketch before, with both Jack and Dennis Day doing credible impressions of Ralph and Ed. Besides Jack's own shows, there are other appearances like 2 TV plays he starred in, an TV special TELEPARADE OF STARS and a BING CROSBY SHOW he guested on. At it's very reasonable price, it is worth getting for the more unusual items, even if you have the more common ones. For the newcomer, this is the perfect introduction to Jack, with classics like HOW JACK MET MARY and the CHRISTMAS SHOPPING show, which has a wonderful performance from Mel Blanc.
    Having said this of course, what we really need for all 50's U.S. comedy classics like Jack, BURNS AND ALLEN, BOB CUMMINGS and BILKO are complete season by season sets like has been done so well with I LOVE LUCY...and how about a complete collection of Jack's later hour specials, like the George Burns one brought out recently? In the meantime, this is probably the best collection to be going on with.
    1 Comment 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    When I ordered this, I was expecting excerpts from Jack Benny programs. Instead, to my surprised delight, there are entire programs, most complete with Lucky Strike cigarette commercials. LSMFT. Young people don't know what those letters stand for (thank goodness), but if you are old enough to be a Benny fan, the letters are indelible in your brain.

    There are some very funny bits and the great characters associated with Benny: Rochester, Mary Livingston, Don Wilson, Mr. Kietzel, Mel Blanc, the race track tout, etc. etc. And then there are the guests, Fred Allen, Eddie Cantor, Johnny Ray singing "Cry," Marilyn Monroe, Vincent Price, Liberace, Humphrey Bogart--a veritable who's who of show business stars in the 1950s.

    The programs hold up very well. They are still funny. They are still warm and wonderful.
    3 Comments 94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    This is the most entertainment I have gotten for under ten dollars in a long time - four discs of complete episodes of The Jack Benny Program and various other shows in which Jack appeared, including that of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Just about every star of the 50's and 60's shows up on Jack's show, and the show is presented complete with commercials in most cases. This is most interesting since Lucky Strike cigarettes sponsored Benny's show for much of its tenure. How ironic to see Humphrey Bogart plugging cigarettes during an episode in which he appears just a few years before the same product takes his life.

    Especially fun are the guest appearances by Mel Blanc and Bob Hope - Benny just can't resist breaking up during their routines. Then there is an episode entitled "Jam Session" in which a number of stars including Kirk Douglas, Fred MacMurray, Dan Dailey, and Dick Powell join Jack in his living room for an impromptu musical session. The group, in need of refreshment, find a number of vending machines placed throughout the room to dispense cold apples and soft drinks at a price, of course. They've obviously been to Jack's house before.

    There is a running gag through the shows about the failure of Jacks's 1940's film "The Horn Blows at Midnight". I don't know if it failed in the 40's, but if you ever get a chance to catch it on TV, give it a try - it really is pretty good.

    As for the controversy over Rochester, I'd say his role in TV was groundbreaking. Benny treats Rochester more as a member of the family than a servant, and several times Rochester's ingenuity and wisdom save Benny from himself.
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