Monday, February 14, 2011

Jack Benny (February 14, 1894 – but always 39 years old)

Here is an interesting characterization of Benny's TV persona:
"'Human' is a key word, for the Benny persona defied sub-categorization. Benny had shed his Jewish identity along with his Jewish name on his way from vaudeville to radio. The character he and his writers sustained on the airwaves for four decades had no ethnicity or religion.
"He had no strongly defined sexuality either, despite his boasts about mythical romantic success with glamorous female movie stars and his occasional brief dates with working-class women. In minimizing his ethnicity and sexuality, the Benny character managed to transcend those categories rather than deny them. Beneath his quickly lifted arrogant facade lurked an American Everyperson" (Jack Benny)

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