posts on 7/16/2012 8:45:47 PM
Dear Ms. Benny,
First, let's get this out of the way: I had an unpleasant email encounter with your Boston-based speakers' agent a few years ago (my fault, perhaps; I am a performer, and made my general dislike of agents known when he rudely ignored the initial email).
Putting that aside, allow me to tell you that about a foot away from me, on the mantlepiece, is your late mother's leather-bound copy of "The Rubaiyat", inscribed "Oct. 1, 1926. To Sadie from Harry". From the year, I suspect that it was a 21st-birthday gift.
"Harry" was my great-great uncle-by-marriage, Harry Wagner, Sadie Marks' uncle, who was married to my great-great aunt, Esther Samuel (born in Baltimore, c. 1875).
My Aunt Belle and my grandmother grew up with Sadie in Vancouver, where they all attended King George High School, in the west end.
My grandparents knew Sadie well, of course, and once stayed with your parents for a few days at their home in Beverley Hills. This would have been in the 30s, or 40s.
Jack Benny (and, possibly, Sadie), while in Vancouver for a benefit at The Orpheum, had supper at my grandparent's house; a great thrill for my father, who would have been in his teens.
Well, anyway, because of my family history, and my respect for Jack Benny, I've always felt badly about the run-in with your agent, and I intend to read your book.
Sadie, by the way (who apparently fell out with Aunt Belle -- Grandpa's sister)in their late adulthood, appears not to have read this copy of "The Rubaiyat"; all the pages are very fresh.
Sorry to have mouthed off at your agent years ago, but he really was snarky.
All the best,
posts on 6/19/2011 1:21:10 AM
I'm a big fan of your dad's. I got all 20+ years of the radio program on MP3 disks (10 disks + 2 more with specials). I can't get enough of him. Took me over a year to listen to them all, but I did. Not a bad show in the bunch. My only problem is I have a bad habit of quoting the shows. I then say I have to stop listening to Jack Benny.
I loved your book when it first came out 20 years ago and again when I recently re-read it. I think your mom was one of the best parts of the show, the Jack Benny program would not have survived for over 20 years without her. Question, where in Plainfield did her family live? I live in North Plainfield, NJ and I want to go see the old family home. (LOL, I do live in N. Plainfield, but I know it was only part of the show that her family lived in Plainfield.)
The world lost a great comedian in 1974 and no one has come close to being the Jack Benny of the 21st century.
posts on 5/8/2011 4:56:34 PM
My husband and I are great fans of Jack Benny. We have read all of the biographies available, including your wonderful book. Please join us on our small, yet solid Facebook group honoring your father and the cast of his shows. We created this group out of our passion for The Jack Benny Show. We have a wonderful group of members including Jayne Weiss, Sammy the Drummer's daughter; and Doris Dodge Eberhardt, Jack's sidekick little girl violin player from 1966 to 1971. Thank you!
Rhonda C. Poynter
posts on 2/23/2011 12:53:03 AM
I'm watching the PBS special on Mr. Benny, and I just had to find somewhere to post how much Jack is still remembered and appreciated. My son Gannon is autistic, and he loves Jsck; I actually think that there is something almost 'calming' in the way Jack delivers his routines that an autistic child can feel 'safe' smiling or laughing with, whereas the majority of the comedy today is almost threatening or just too over-the-edge. What a great talent, and somebody who'll always have a place in entertainment history. =)
posts on 7/28/2010 7:42:24 PM
I am only 12, but I am a big fan of your father. I am reading Sunday Nights at Seven and I am a member of The International Jack Benny Fan Club. I would be very happy if I could call you my friend. I asked my Mum and Dad if I could call you, but they said it would cost too much from Australia.
From your new friend
posts on 7/3/2010 7:44:52 AM
Ms Joan Benny,
I have just received an email that is circulating here in Australia about your mother receiving flowers every year and how she was so surprised to still receive a bouquet after your father's death. It was a beautiful poem that your father wrote to your mother. If you have not seen this, I will be very happy to send you a copy. I bought all the radio show recordings for my iPod and really enjoy listening to them while I do my mundane job. Thank you for reading this. Sincerely, Barbara Burton
posts on 3/9/2010 3:06:33 PM
Just want to say that Jack Benny was the greatest comedian of my lifetime (and I'm 77) but even that palls in comparison to his reputation as one of the nicest guys in the entertainment industry. I miss Jack!!
posts on 1/18/2008 11:35:11 PM
I have a very good friend of my father that is a huge fan of Jack Benny. His name is Tom Penwarden. He helps my father who just turned 81. My request is to have Joan call me at (217)248 8118 so I can get her in touch with Tom. My fathers name is also Tom.I promise these guys aren,t deranged stalkers! Please reply.
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