Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy by Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley (2017)

I started listening to Jack Benny's old time radio show on Spotify a few years ago.  I love it.  I think Jack Benny is a genius; his show always reminds me of Thirty Rock..  Jack Benny (the character) and Liz Lemon are cousins for sure.  I wanted to know more about Jack Benny and his show - what went into it, who the actors were, where the meta humor originated, what it was like back then making a radio show.  I did as much research as I could, read Joan Benny's biography of her father.  And then found this book.  Thank you Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley for an excellent book.  It's an academic book, but it certainly doesn't read like one.  It's never dry - at least to me,  and quite fascinating.  Fuller-Seeley doesn't shy away from the controversial topics of the time either - namely race and gender.  This isn't a love fest.  But it is pretty darn cool if you like Jack Benny.

Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio ComedyJack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy by Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Jack Benny's old time radio shows (you can find them on Spotify and various places online). The more I listened, the more I wanted to know about Benny, his cast, and the ideas that went into making his comedy. But there wasn't a whole lot of places to go - until this book. Fuller-Seeley's scholarly work was like rain in the desert, and I came away completely sated. She is academic without ever being too dry; she also tackles some of the messier aspects of the show (race and gender, for example) - this isn't a love fest. But you can tell she loves the radio program, that certainly shines through. This book isn't for everyone; but if you like Benny, you're going to like this book.


View all my reviews



No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Followers