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Jack Benny: An Intimate Biography

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A warm and intimate portrait of the quintessential humorist of an age – Jack Benny – by Irving A. Fein, Jack’s personal manager, and with an introduction by George Burns. When Americans heard the rasping strains of “Love in Bloom” and the first long-drawn-out, perfectly timed “Well!” they sat back and prepared to laugh at that dean of comedians Jack Benny. Now Irving Fein, A warm and intimate portrait of the quintessential humorist of an age – Jack Benny – by Irving A. Fein, Jack’s personal manager, and with an introduction by George Burns. When Americans heard the rasping strains of “Love in Bloom” and the first long-drawn-out, perfectly timed “Well!” they sat back and prepared to laugh at that dean of comedians Jack Benny. Now Irving Fein, Jack’s friend for twenty-eight years, reaches behind the persona of “the world’s worst violin player” and “the stingiest man in in show business” to write about Jack Benny the man: a gentle, generous, yet serious person who loved to make people laugh and who loved to laugh himself. It’s all here – the best anecdotes of a half century in show business, the enduring friendships with stars as well as everyday people, his long and happy marriage to Mary Livingstone. Anyone who ever laughed at or with Jack Benny will treasure this perspective, revealing tribute to a man who represented humor itself, a man whose voice characterized the laughter of an age – Mr. Jack Benny.


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A warm and intimate portrait of the quintessential humorist of an age – Jack Benny – by Irving A. Fein, Jack’s personal manager, and with an introduction by George Burns. When Americans heard the rasping strains of “Love in Bloom” and the first long-drawn-out, perfectly timed “Well!” they sat back and prepared to laugh at that dean of comedians Jack Benny. Now Irving Fein, A warm and intimate portrait of the quintessential humorist of an age – Jack Benny – by Irving A. Fein, Jack’s personal manager, and with an introduction by George Burns. When Americans heard the rasping strains of “Love in Bloom” and the first long-drawn-out, perfectly timed “Well!” they sat back and prepared to laugh at that dean of comedians Jack Benny. Now Irving Fein, Jack’s friend for twenty-eight years, reaches behind the persona of “the world’s worst violin player” and “the stingiest man in in show business” to write about Jack Benny the man: a gentle, generous, yet serious person who loved to make people laugh and who loved to laugh himself. It’s all here – the best anecdotes of a half century in show business, the enduring friendships with stars as well as everyday people, his long and happy marriage to Mary Livingstone. Anyone who ever laughed at or with Jack Benny will treasure this perspective, revealing tribute to a man who represented humor itself, a man whose voice characterized the laughter of an age – Mr. Jack Benny.

30 review for Jack Benny: An Intimate Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    John G.

    Bit disappointed with this. Was interested in Benny's comedic technique, because he's considered the king of timing and facial gestures and stares. Very little of that here, a lot of name dropping though. I came away liking Benny less after reading this, he came away as petty, vain and rather spoiled. Bit disappointed with this. Was interested in Benny's comedic technique, because he's considered the king of timing and facial gestures and stares. Very little of that here, a lot of name dropping though. I came away liking Benny less after reading this, he came away as petty, vain and rather spoiled.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Glasser

    Chuck Schaden interviewed Fein and they chatted about his association with Benny and discussed Benny's enthusiasm for the little things in life, such as a drive from point A to B without hitting a red light, or a great dish of ham and eggs. Chuck Schaden interviewed Fein and they chatted about his association with Benny and discussed Benny's enthusiasm for the little things in life, such as a drive from point A to B without hitting a red light, or a great dish of ham and eggs.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Part of my interest in the old comedians, who moved from Vaudeville to radio, to TV. After reading the Marlo Thomas book and several books by George Burns, I had to read something on Jack Benny, the ultimate entertainer. This book is a bit too detailed, written by Benny's producer for close to 30 years, but it still has some interesting insights and stories. After reading over 100 pages, and then skipping to the end, I think I read enough. Maybe a little more before I return it to the library. Th Part of my interest in the old comedians, who moved from Vaudeville to radio, to TV. After reading the Marlo Thomas book and several books by George Burns, I had to read something on Jack Benny, the ultimate entertainer. This book is a bit too detailed, written by Benny's producer for close to 30 years, but it still has some interesting insights and stories. After reading over 100 pages, and then skipping to the end, I think I read enough. Maybe a little more before I return it to the library. The nice thing about these comedians is they, as my grandmother would say, if she was alive, is that the humor more mostly clean and good natured. I'm tired with the young comedians who can't be funny without being coarse and crude. The older comedians knew their audiences, and when to work straight and when to work "blue". But it wasn't all the time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Howard Fox

    Moving, funny and gossipy. A wonderful light read and insight into America's funniest patriot. Moving, funny and gossipy. A wonderful light read and insight into America's funniest patriot.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Dunn

    Do not read if you want to maintain respect for Jack Benny. Fans are better off watching “To Be Or Not To Be” instead of languishing through this bitter diatribe.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John

    Really enjoyed it, His friend and manager of 28 yrs was there and tells Jack's life story with interesting detail, really fascinating life of a performer for 60 yrs in comedy/radio and television. He praised his writers and did a ton of charity work. A book I enjoyed reading about a chapter or two every night. His character and style influenced Johnny Carson and many self deprecating comedians. Check his videos on you tube. This book looks at Benny in a positive light. If I was a hippie I would Really enjoyed it, His friend and manager of 28 yrs was there and tells Jack's life story with interesting detail, really fascinating life of a performer for 60 yrs in comedy/radio and television. He praised his writers and did a ton of charity work. A book I enjoyed reading about a chapter or two every night. His character and style influenced Johnny Carson and many self deprecating comedians. Check his videos on you tube. This book looks at Benny in a positive light. If I was a hippie I would say , I dug it. But I am not, ( I enjoy soap baths) I liked it. Easy read, brought back memories, I still think he is funny today and He introduced Frank Nelson, The YESSSSSS, May I Help YOUUU! guy who played the clerk everywhere Jack went.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I'm a new fan of Benny's, and it was my daughter whom introduced me to this genius of comedy. I would've liked less of his "bits" repeated in this book, and more about the man himself. Regardless, I learned more than I knew, which was nothing:) I'm a new fan of Benny's, and it was my daughter whom introduced me to this genius of comedy. I would've liked less of his "bits" repeated in this book, and more about the man himself. Regardless, I learned more than I knew, which was nothing:)

  8. 5 out of 5

    David

    I hesitated over the rating stars; let's call it 3.75 stars. Full review to come I hesitated over the rating stars; let's call it 3.75 stars. Full review to come

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tom Walsh

    details his long friendship with Gracie Allen and George Burns. Did you know Benny dated Gracie before she met Burns? True.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    read some time in 1979

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jax

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ron Weaver

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wt

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen Vice

  15. 5 out of 5

    T

  16. 4 out of 5

    Colin

  17. 4 out of 5

    John

  18. 4 out of 5

    Randee

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara James-Richardson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  22. 5 out of 5

    John Reilly

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jon Bertoletti

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  25. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Gioia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Logan Stark

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

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