PROFESSOR JACK BENNY
Above is the audio only of a talk Jack Benny gave at UCLA in March of 1973, the year before he died. It's a monologue (as you might expect) in which he rambles through various subjects--humor, cheapness, Bob Hope, how he got started etc. His manner is affable and very user-friendly and he has the ability (which I imagine he had in his early years as a monologist in vaudeville as well) to tell a story in which you can clearly see the punchline coming, but somehow he tells in such a way that he keeps you amused and somehow makes the already known ending a delight. By the way, I hearby nominate that last sentence as perhaps the clumsiest I ever composed, but my Turkey Burger is getting cold and I'm damned if I'm going to sacrifice it for a rewrite.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 1:58 PM