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VERNA FELTON

  Say Hello To- VERNA FELTON—whose specialty on the air is playing mothers. You’ve heard her as Dennis Day ’s mother on the JackBenny program and as the mother of practically every famous personality dramatized by Hedda Hopper . Verna’s own mother, Clara Allen, was a noted actress, and Verna herself began acting when she was six. In 1923 she married Lee Millar, stage and radio star in his own right, and now they are one of Hollywood ’s ideally happy couples. They own right, and now they are one of Hollywood ’s ideally happy couples. They own a home with a garden composed entirely of old-fashioned flowers, where Verna spends most of her time when she’s not on the air, and they have one son, Lee, Jr., whose nickname is Spuddy . PLENTY PROUD is the mother of tenor Dennis Day , singing star of the Jack Benny program. Dennis Keeps busy while Benny’s show vacations for the summer months, makes an appearance Sunday on “Pause That Refreshes”

Fred Allen—Pickle Puss With Nerves

The Milwaukee Journal – May 18, 1941 Fred Allen —Pickle Puss With Nerves By Gladwin Hill NEW YORK, N. Y.—(AP)—If, walking down Broadway, you chanced to encounter a haggard, dejected man who looked as though he had lost his last friend, funds and scratch sheet pencil, the probabilities are the individual would be a happy, prosperous professional comedian. If, in addition to being haggard and dejected, the man looked as though he had recently been sentenced to the electric chair, but planned to beat the rap by hanging himself with his necktie, the chances are his brief case would disclose a partly consumed package of chewing tobacco and the tell tale gold lettering “F. Allen.” Fred Allen , who has been arousing mirth from coast to coast for 25 years in vaudeville, movies and radio, is probably the most morose looking person at large today. This is not a pose. Allen is just one of those people born to worry, fret, stew and suffer about their work, and the fact th

Hope Gets No Help in Books

The Milwaukee Journal – Sep 27, 1942 Hope Gets No Help in Books By Larry Feathers HOLLYWOOD , Calif.—Thousands of town wits and barbershop cutups throughout the land aspire to the thrones of Jack Benny , Bob Hope , Fred Allen and other top comics of screen and radio—and all entertain the same idea how their goal can be achieved. What to do? Simple! Start off by buying a large filing cabinet and cluttering it with old joke books. Then go through the tomes and “modernize” the antique puns. Thus, where a reference is made to horse car in Joe Miller’s classic volume, the fledgling craftily substitutes “trolley,” repeats the gag to himself—and has visions of wowing ‘em. Nothing to it at all, according to youngsters who aspire to profitable laugh provoking careers. In fact, they firmly believe that Jack Benny and company get by today by pursuing exactly such methods. “Just a lotta silly bunk,” says a rather successful young fellow named Lester Townes Hope, co

CLAGHORN’S THE NAME

CLAGHORN’S THE NAME BUT CALL HIM KENNY – DELMAR, THAT IS BY TWEED BROWN THAT grinning whirlwind whipping in and out of Radio City isn’t a refuge from the sound effects cabinet. On closer inspection it will prove to be a bushy-haired young gent out of Boston by name of Kenneth Frederick Fay Howard, attempting to keep up with his radio commitments. This bustling Bostonian has ample reason to rush, for under the professional name of “Kenny Delmar” his actor-announcer talents are in such demand as to require would be sponsors to queue up for considerable distances. Not only is Delmar sought for more announcing chores than he can shake a Social Security card at, but his brainchild, “Senator Claghorn” (That’s a joke, son!) is currently the “hottest” thing in radio. If you don’t immediately identify “the Senator” as the unreconstructed tenant of Allen’s Alley—on the Fred Allen program—then he is the person responsible for normally sane citizens from Wenatchee, Wash.,

The True Story of— Phil Harris linked with Dozens of Hollywood Glamor Girls... but just one girl really counts!

  The True Story of— GOSSIPS LINK PHIL HARRIS WITH DOZENS OF HOLLYWOOD GLAMOR GIRLS. BUT JUST ONE GIRL REALLY COUNTS! HE TAKES the romantic “rap” from Master Kidder Jack Benny on his fictitious “dates” with tawny-haired GingerRogers and wisecracking Carole Lombard , when a Hollywood blonde with a husky voice is the one who really makes his heart turn somersaults. And he’s never met her! That’s the “true story” of curly-haired Phil Harris ’ big “dates” . . . that is, it’s almost the story. The other half has to do with a five-foot, four-inch brunet. A gal who swims and dances and sings and handles the piano ivories in a way that should put her in her husband’s band. You’re right. She’s Mrs. Phil Harris . And has been for nine years. It takes the romantic starch out of the Sunday night kidding that Swingmaster Harris, with the broad, beaming smile, is subjected to. But there’s more to this romance-and-rhythm story than that. when I saw her.” Good sport that

Building a Bob Hope Radio Show

Sunday, December 27, 1942       THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL—SCREEN and RADIO Building a Bob Hope Radio Show Comedy half hour is put together piece by piece, rough edges trimmed By Kate Holliday “THAT was a boff . Leave it in!” Such a cry might barrel through the NBC control room in Hollywood at a preview of Bob Hope’s radio show . A boff, for your information, is a joke so funny it brings a belly laugh. What is a radio show preview? Just that: A show before a show—to which the public is invited and at which Hope and company test the merit of gags they have concocted. It explains, to a large degree, Hope’s continued success. A comedian’s life is usually not a happy one, evidence to the contrary. A guy like Hope, say, doesn’t just amble toward a microphone come Tuesday night and be funny. Instead, he builds his show gag by gag . It all begins on the Thursday or Friday of the week preceding the program. At that point Hope and his seven writers meet and discu

The Radio Parade – News and Gossip of Stars By George Lilley

The Milwaukee Journal – Jan 14, 1945 The Radio Parade – News and Gossip of Stars By George Lilley NEW YORK, N. Y.—Radio comedians (on the networks) average $2,000 to $5,000 a wekk, the fellows who write their stuff, $200 to $500. Youthful ( mid thirties) collegiate looking Don Prindle, who writes for Abbott and Costello, this year decided to do something about the financial disparity. Getting together with AnnouncerWendell Niles , who announces for Bob Hope , the two will become funnymen themselves with a soft drink sponsor beginning Jan. 24, 9 p. m., on the Blue network. Prindle has written wit into the mouths of the best, including Hope and Jack Benny . Niles, from Twin Valley, Minn., ex-band-leader and flier, was in 1934 one of the 80 government licensed ground school flying instructors in the United States. Out of military zones, he sometimes flies the planes taking the Bob Hope crew around the country. * * * Six foot one Art Linkletter was Southern Calif

JACK BENNY’S RADIO GANG

St. Joseph News-Press – Nov 2, 1947 -Associated Press JACK BENNY ’S RADIO GANG . . . Jack Benny , one of radio’s top performers has just signed a three-year contract, after 15 consecutive years before the microphone. During that time Jack and his program co-workers, Mary Livingston (his wife, Sadye Marks) , Dennis Day , PhilHarris and Rochester have become households words. In above sketch, AP News-feature Artist Milt Morris pictures the radio comedian and his aids looking over a script. They are (left to right), back row, Don Wilson, Rochester and DennisDay . Front row (left to right), Mary Livingston, Phil Harris and Jack Benny . Jack Benny at Times Becomes Fed Up With Roles He Has Created By RALPH DIGHTON HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 1 (AP)— Jack Benny as not bald. Jack Benny is not stingy. Jack Benny does not make Dennis Day mow his lawn. That is, Jack is not completely bald, he is not as stingy as he pretends on his radio program, and he doesn’t e

Larry Stevens

February 1945 Radio find of the year is Jack Benny ’s new singer, Larry Stevens. The baritone was completely unknown, and had never performed commercially, until he participated in a Freddy Martin bond rally at Los Angeles’ Cocoanut Grove . Spotted by a scout immediately, Larry soon tried out for Mary Livingstone —and was signed up for the place vacated by Dennis Day on the NBC show.

Rochester Designs Own Speedster

Popular Mechanics, June 1951 Rochester Designs Own Speedster Tired of “driving” the boss’ horse-and-buggy Maxwell, Eddie Anderson , famed Rochester of Jack Benny ’s show, designed himself a sleek sport car that will hit more than 100 miles an hour. Its power plant is a highly tuned Cadillac engine, Anderson proved himself to be no slouch as an engineer, coming up with such innovations as dual soft springs in the rear for a gentle, firm ride. Said to cost about $20,000, the speedster was made by Emil Diedt, builder of the Blue Crown Special racers. <Motor Trend Magazine drawing > Frame of the Rochester car is principally chrome- moly tubing. Seats are low, being mounted within frame members. Car has 6 ½ -inch ground clearance. Below, Rochester and his car. Note the “clamshell” fenders

'Kidnaping’ Starts Riot at Harvard

Reading Eagle – May 1, 1940 ‘Kidnaping’ Starts Riot at Harvard Rochester, Benny’s Stooge, Center of Fracas Cambridge, Mass.. May 1 (AP)— The first riot of spring occurred in Harvard Square last night and seven Harvard students were arrested for disturbing the peace. The riot, which embodied all the usual features of Harvard Square spring disturbances, apparently developed from a combination of the warm evening air and the fact that a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology students put one over on the Harvards by “abducting” Eddie “Rochester” Anderson , Negro comedian on the Jack Benny radio program . Rochester, scheduled to appear at a Harvary smoker, turned up instead at the Delta Kappa Epsilon House at M. I. T., after being persuaded by a group of Dekes to leave his plane at Providence, R. I., and motor to Cambridge. The comedian thought he was at Harvard until two hours later. The riot, which found some 200 students milling around in the s