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November 26th, 2008
Best of the Best
Joan Benny about Jack Benny and his Violin

Joan Benny talks about Jack Benny and his violin.

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Joan Benny: My father was a very good friend of Harry Truman, when Harry Truman was in the White House.  And my father went to visit him.  And they used to play duets, cause Truman played the piano.  And they loved to play duets together.  So my father goes to the White House, and he’s carrying his violin case, and he gets there, and the guard – security, of course, says, “Mr. Benny, I hate to ask you this but I have to.  What are you carrying in that case?  And my father to be funny said, “a machine gun.”  And the guard said, “Oh thank God, I thought it might be your violin.”

  • Jim Coffey

    That’s funny, I’ll bet Jack Benny thought so!

  • Ken

    Thanks for this great story! I love so many comics from Jack Benny’s era, but I miss Benny the most. What a magnificently funny man he was!

  • Robb Hadley

    The Jack Benny radio programs–short on topical humor, long on character humor–still hold up today. I have hundreds of them on my iPod. My eleven-year-old makes fun of me for listening to them, but he always lets out several guffaws per show.

  • Richard Wozny

    Comedy as I remember was a common healer for the common good.
    Having been a WWII war baby, I do remember the rushing, the postponements and the sacrifice, just to hear a broadcast of comedy.
    Radio had our attention for oh so many years. The reasoning was that
    lacking sophisticated technology, comedy was the thought stimulus that
    helped us to reason us through our problems. We were thinkers and tinkerers. We could figure out ways to accomplish a task using only what
    we had on hand at the time. We couldn’t create personal debt without
    material collateral. Our neighborhood bankers were our mentors.
    Comedy was centering to us. Is was our guide to reasoning. Not an extra
    club in the bag if you will but a thought alternative on the road to accomplishment.
    It was a conversation piece as we compared what we had heard the night before on a radio show. We were all attached and couldn’t live without it.
    Thanks for the memory.

  • John Dzurak

    It is an absolute tragedy that the young people today have absolutely no idea who Jack Benny, Laurel & Hardy, Red Skelton, Burns & Allen, etc. were. They woulnd’t watch a black and white movie if you paid them Baby Boomers like me were priviledged to grow up on “moldy oldies” music on AM radio and the great old movies shown on TV. comedians.

  • John Bialas

    True story: Jack Benny once appeared on stage with an antique Stradivarius violin and announced that it was valued at over ten thousand dollars. It was a setup for a joke, but before he could get out the punchline, a guy in the audience yelled out “Didja buy it new?” Jack said it was one of the few times a heckler ever made him laugh out loud.

  • lee lee

    Benny: impeccable timing. King of pause.

    Must hold the record for the longest, comedic silence. (when asked by a bandit , “Your money or your life?” He hesitates for AT LEAST 30 SECONDS…”Well?’

    “I’m thinking about it!”

  • Ed Reiser

    I have read some of your interviews to various people. And I find that you without a doubt a wonderful person. You have (I believe) been blessed in that you were so much in Love with your Dad. I have a few of your Dad’s recordings and without a doubt He must have been a very kind person. I wish you good health. Thank you for relating your wonderful relationship with your Father to me as well as to other Fans.
    I read your wonderful book Sunday Nights at Seven and enjoyed it very much. The day that I heard the news that your Dad died, I cried.
    I had a radio show in the Chicago area at the time when your Dad died and was able to play some of your Fathers recording. And read the local newspaper articles over the Air about your Father.
    I wish that I could have had the opportunity to talk to your Dad.
    The listeners loved Your Dad and said many kind things about Him.
    Ed Reiser

  • John Favors

    Thanks to Sirus XM Radio, I have become a fan of your father’s radio show. So much of a fan that one day they aired a recording of Jack and Mary announcing that they would be holding a show in my home town. They indicated they would be playing in a theater that is still in business today. For a moment I forget that it was a recording was actually contemplating how I could get tickets.

    Much love to you and the memories that I enjoy from the show.

    John Favors

  • Dave Bethel


    Precious memories to be sure. I still enjoy the JB gang through OTR downloads. Loved your book that you co-wrote using your father’s notes.

    All the best to you.

  • gary

    Your father was, in my opinion, the greatest comedian who ever lived. I imitated him nearlly to perfection. I actually cried like a child when he passed away. There will never be another person who was so endearing to so many people.

  • Delbert “Dellie Goose” Hutchinson

    Miss Joan I Watched Your Dad In Reruns On KTVW Channel 13. Now It Is On Antenna.

  • Delbert “Dellie Goose” Hutchinson

    Miss Joan I Used To Watch Your Dad On TV My Mom And Dad Used To Watch Him In Reruns On KTVW Channel 13 In The Late 60’s I Seen You Say Joan Benny Lost Her Father To Cancer. I Seen Your Dad Do The Voice Of Himself On Merrie Melodies Cartoon I Seen Your Dad In Reruns On CBN Cable In The 1980’s

  • Delbert “Dellie Goose” Hutchinson

    Miss Joan I Heard Your Dad On Record I Seen Your Dad’s Tribute In 1981 With George Burns,Bob Hope And Johnny Carson. I Seen It On You Tube I Seen Your Dad On The Lawrence Welk Show On PBS In The 1990’s Many Years Ago

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  • Art Roney

    Hi Joan,
    Did your father really love Christmas as much as he seemed to on his program, I’m curious because I have read that he was of Jewish heritage which would of course seem different. I loved to listen to your father & still do as I have many of his programs on cassette & listen to them every night at bed time, I just never tire of them over & over again. His Christmas shows were some of the best shows ever recorded, very funny and always well done.


    Art Roney

  • Hello Joan,

    I just finished reading ‘Sunday Nights at 7′ for about the 4th or 5th time.And have enjoyed it as much as the first.
    This time around I wanted to be able to write and let you know how much I have enjoyed reading it.
    I was born in 1950 and was fortunate enough to have had seen and heard your Dad on TV as I grew up , so I was able to hear in his own voice the passages in the book that were his. To everyone reading these comments,
    ‘Sunday Nights at Seven’ is SO worth your time.
    Thank You writing the book and sharing…
    Now I go to read again ‘Grace a Love Story’ by George Burns….What couple of great fellas !!!!!

    P.S. I like to eat my soup just like Jack and George.. piping hot.

    Warmest Regards,

    Roxann Carlson

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