American comedian (1894-1974). Born Benjamin Kubelsky, he got his start performing as a comic violinist on the vaudeville circuit. He was funny and popular, and he got his own radio show in 1932.

The cast of his show included the acidic and snappy Mary Livingstone (actually Sadie Marks, Jack's wife, who became so associated with the character that she eventually changed her name to Mary Livingstone); Eddie Anderson, who played Rochester, Jack's long-suffering valet; Phil Harris, Jack's alcohol-swilling orchestra leader; Dennis Day, a tenor with a beautiful voice and a naive outlook; and Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, who performed a number of different roles, including Jack's violin teacher and the deadpan, sombrero-wearing Cy...

Jack: "What's your name?"
Cy: "Cy."
Jack: "Cy?"
Cy: "Si."
Jack: "Who you waiting for?"
Cy: "My seester."
Jack: "Your sister?"
Cy: "Si."
Jack (biting lip to keep from laughing): "What--What's her name?"
Cy: "Sue."
Jack (more lip biting): "Sue?"
Cy: "Si."


Jack and the cast got a lot of mileage out of the show's running gags: Jack's awful violin-playing; Jack's pet polar bear, Carmichael; the huge bank vault in Jack's basement; the ongoing feud with fellow radio comedian Fred Allen; Jack's stingy love of money (Robber: "Your money or your life!...Well?" Jack: "I'm thinking!"); Jack's eternal age of 39 years old; and lines like "Now cut that out!", "YYYEEEESSS???", and "Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc........amonga!"

"The Jack Benny Show" moved to television in 1950, and for a few years, the radio and TV shows were broadcast back-to-back. Finally, after 33 years on the air, the show was cancelled in 1965. Despite a weekly audience of 18 million viewers, the network felt that the show was too expensive and wasn't attracting enough young viewers.