Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Know the Voice: Two legends cross over

As we know, Mel Blanc was a member of Jack Benny's repertory company, both on radio and on television. At the peak of the TV version of The Jack Benny Program, Benny was persuaded to step into Blanc's world, if you will, and star in an animated cartoon.

"The Mouse That Jack Built", released in 1959, features Benny and most of his troupe, particularly Blanc, Mary Livingston, Don Wilson, & Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. As you'll see, the real Benny appears at the end of the story, and he appears to have dreamt the entire tale, but for a slight twist.....! Uploaded by hyrail73:

This has aired on syndicated Looney Tunes compilations, but I'm not sure if it turned up on network television.

Of course, being that it's Cinco de Mayo, I couldn't let this next offering pass. From an episode of The Jack Benny Program, here's Mel Blanc as a Mexican tourist in a variation on a routine that Mel & Jack did on radio. Uploaded by TVRewind:

"The Mouse that Jack Built" merits an A.


magicdog said...

This is the first time I've ever seen the short in its entirety. In NY, the PC Fairy excised the scenes with Rochester, on the off chance someone would be offended by his demeanor.

It helps if you've seen Jack Benny & company on TV or heard their old radio show (which I got to do later on) but it's still an entertaining short.

hobbyfan said...

When did they do the editing? When I first saw this in the 70's, the scenes with Rochester were included when this aired on channel 5.

wbhist said...

When this 'toon was made, apparently only Jack, Mel, Don Wilson and Rochester were present at the recording session; Mary Livingstone's lines were apparently recorded separately and spliced in - a technique which was also used in the final radio season of Jack's long-running radio show in 1954-55. It was also one of Mary's very last acting gigs, as she retired from showbiz around the time this was first released in 1959.

hobbyfan said...

Well, thank you for the information.