Here’s a classic old episode that seems to be mislabeled in most archives, and show listings. The date that it is usually listed as November 17, 1935. Here’s why this is the wrong date. The sponsor is Chevrolet. Beginning with the 1935 season, Jello began it’s long run as sponsor. Chevrolet started around the end of January, or the beginning of March 1933. There’s a gap there where no shows are listed, so it’s fuzzy as to when the sponsors changed hands. Chevrolet then went on to sponsor the show until April 1934, when General Tire took over. Therefore the date is sometime between late January 1933 and April 1934.
In the show, Jack refers to a recent visit to Waukegan for his birthday. This puts the show in either February 1933, or 1934. There is actually a run of shows that are preserved from the final months of the Chevrolet sponsorship, including ones from February. This isn’t one of them.
The last known show that the original sponsor, Canada Dry, ran was on January 26, 1933. The first known show for Chevrolet is listed as March 3, 1933. This doesn’t necessarily mean there were no shows in this gap, just none that are listed. It would make sense though, that this episode is really from February 17, 1933. It doesn’t fit anywhere else in the run of the Jack Benny show. The cast members, and other topical conversation also fits with this period.
Whew! With all that said, here’s what the show is about.
The audio is crackly, but Jack talks about his recent visit in his home town, Waukegan, to celebrate his birthday. He chats with Frank Black about relatives. As Jack tries to tell jokes, Frank keeps interupting because the jokes all were already told on other radio programs. Mary Kelley claims that she was sent to take the place of Mary Livingston, who is on vacation to Florida. Frank Black begins to play, but is cut. Jack reads fan mail. At a fan’s request, a murder mystery is to be the featured play. Frank Parker is to sing, but it gets snipped. Jack becomes melodramatic as the play starts. With Jack on the case of the murder, the jokes fly. Nothing can stop Jack when he’s on the job… except a sponsor break. Eventually the crime is solved, but only after all the clues, and jokes have been put in.
Bill Bragg Interview with Joan Benny.
Ray Noble. 1935. Easy to Love.