Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520295049

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520295049.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Jack Benny’s Turn Towards Television

Jack Benny’s Turn Towards Television

Chapter:
(p.281) Nine Jack Benny’s Turn Towards Television
Source:
Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy
Author(s):

Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520295049.003.0010

The new medium of television was to cause Jack Benny much consternation in how to best adapt his iconic radio program after 18 years to the new visual medium. Benny fretted and delayed his entry into New York City-based TV broadcasting until October 1950, meantime remaining radio’s top comic. But industrial pressures to switch networks (in Benny’s momentous move to CBS) and move to television, while trimming radio production budgets, and chasing audiences flocking to TV, pressed Benny to act. Benny struggled against critical expectations, and critical disdain, to find a way to merge the best of his radio narrative to TV’s visual demands. After 18 months of excoriation, critics discovered that Benny was utilizing his silent exasperated looks toward the camera and studio audience to communicate with the TV viewers. The critics pronounced Benny a marvelous TV comic. His program did change significantly in the new medium, but remained a popular favorite.

Keywords:   television, New York City, critics, adaptation, visual comedy, slapstick, liveness, audiences, silence

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.