The Jack Benny Program

Watch The Jack Benny Program

  • 1950
  • 15 Seasons
  • 9.1  (35)

The Jack Benny Program was a popular comedy and variety show that was broadcast on CBS television from 1949 to 1965. It starred Jack Benny, who was one of the most beloved comedians of his time. The show was a continuation of his popular radio program of the same name, which had been on the air for over 20 years.

The Jack Benny Program was a classic sitcom that followed the daily life of Jack Benny, a self-centered, egotistical comedian who often found himself in absurd and hilarious situations. Each episode was divided into various segments, including comedy sketches, musical performances, interviews with guests, and recurring features like "The Benny Shopping News" and "The Benny Quiz Show." Many of the show's most memorable moments involved Benny playing elaborate pranks on his long-suffering cast members, including his announcer Don Wilson, his bandleader Phil Harris, and his valet Rochester.

One of the key features of The Jack Benny Program was its star-studded guest list. Over the years, Benny welcomed a wide range of celebrities and entertainers onto his show, including Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Bing Crosby, Elizabeth Taylor, and many others. Often, the guests would participate in comedy sketches with Benny, which allowed them to showcase their own comedic talents.

In addition to its comedy segments, The Jack Benny Program was also known for its music. The show's bandleader, Phil Harris, was a popular musician and actor in his own right, and he often performed with his band during the show. The program also featured many guest musical performances from famous singers and musicians.

In many ways, The Jack Benny Program was a reflection of its time. It aired during the early years of television, when the medium was still in its infancy, and it often relied on the tried-and-true formulas of radio and vaudeville. However, the show also embraced the new possibilities of the television format, with elaborate sets, costumes, and production numbers that took advantage of the visual medium.

Ultimately, what made The Jack Benny Program so successful was its star. Jack Benny was a master comedian who was beloved by audiences for his deadpan delivery, impeccable timing, and self-deprecating sense of humor. He was a true icon of American entertainment, and his impact on the world of comedy can still be felt today. The Jack Benny Program remains a classic of television history, and a testament to the enduring power of laughter.

The Jack Benny Program is a series that is currently running and has 15 seasons (258 episodes). The series first aired on October 28, 1950.

The Jack Benny Program
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Smothers Brothers Show
28. Smothers Brothers Show
April 16, 1965
The Smothers Brothers introduce the show trying to sing "Love in Bloom." Later, they sing "Boil that cabbage down" and "I never will marry." The sketch is set in London in 1944, after an air raid. Jack has been trapped under an unexploded bomb, and the Smothers Brothers play the bomb defusing squad.
Jack Has Dog Trouble
27. Jack Has Dog Trouble
April 9, 1965
Jack picks up his new, expensive, tailor-made suit in Beverly Hills. A State Farm claims person shows up in the store before an auto accident outside the store has even happened. Benny wears his new suit to his sponsor's home for dinner, where it is ruined by his sponsor's dog
Jack Appears on a Panel Show
26. Jack Appears on a Panel Show
April 2, 1965
Jack is berating his publicity agent for not getting him dignified publicity, when the agent gets a phone call informing him that Ronald Reagan won't be able to make his scheduled appearance on the Impromptu panel discussion show. Jack insists that his agent get him on the show. Dennis arrives looking for a ruby lost from his ring; he thinks he has found it, but he has found a One-a-Day Brand Vitamin, allowing Don to do the commercial. On the show, Jack can't think of anything to say on various intellectual topics, until a question is asked about the affect on the American dollar of the fall of the British pound; Jack is still talking about money after the final credits have gone on, and the camera has been turned off.
Dennis Opens a Bank Account
25. Dennis Opens a Bank Account
March 26, 1965
The show opens with Jack's publicity agent and a photographer posing photos of Jack, first as a Beatle (for a younger image), and then as a frogman and as a surfer (to depict Benny as a man of action). Dennis sings 'There'll be music' while Don plays the piano. When the photographer poses Don and asks him to think of the most exciting thing in the world, Don gives a bigger smile thinking of State Farm Insurance. When Dennis mentions that he cashes his check at the gas station, Jack takes him to the bank to open an account. There he visits his private safety deposit vault, which is guarded much like his vault at home.
Jack's Navy Buddy Returns
24. Jack's Navy Buddy Returns
March 19, 1965
Jack's first partner, who worked with Jack as a variety team in the Navy, is retiring. He wants to hold Jack to a promise made forty years ago that they would work together again when he got out. Jack tries him out on his show, but he can't say his lines, and his old routines are too corny.
Jack Finds a Double
23. Jack Finds a Double
March 12, 1965
At the rehearsal for his show, Jack keeps making mistakes. Don does the State Farm commercial with a drum covered with paper: you can't beat State Farm. Because Jack has been complaining that he is working too hard, the Programming Department has found a double for him; however, the sponsor must never know, and they decide they must fool Rochester if they want to fool the sponsor.
Jack Brings Ed Up From the Vault
22. Jack Brings Ed Up From the Vault
March 5, 1965
Jack takes viewers on a tour of his legendary bank vault.
Rainy Day in Palm Springs
21. Rainy Day in Palm Springs
February 26, 1965
Rochester explains the rules to the new housekeeper; the main one is that they must watch Benny's show. In Benny's monologue, he explains how he keeps fit, and announces that the American Federation of Musicians has given him a one-way ticket to Australia. Dennis Day sings the State Farm Insurance jingle, and then "If ever I would leave you," to a running commentary by Rochester and the maid. Rochester tells her about the time Benny fired Dennis Day: in flashback to the radio days, Dennis suggests they all drive to Palm Springs for the weekend, where it rains the whole time.
Jack Joins Acrobats
20. Jack Joins Acrobats
February 19, 1965
Jack's monologue concerns TV ratings. He is interrupted by a member of the audience from Toledo who wants to take a picture of his family with Jack. Don does the One-A-Day Brand Vitamins commercial with one member of the family. Dennis sings 'Chicago is my kind of town.' In the sketch, Jack plays a Sultan visiting one of his villages. Jack's crew had devised a flying carpet that was supposed to fly, but it fails to do so; to cover up, a troop of acrobats takes over; Jack, worried about being upstaged, goes out to stop them, and is incorporated in their act. The show ends with Jack hanging from the stage rigging about 15 feet off the ground.
The Stradivarius Story
19. The Stradivarius Story
February 12, 1965
Jack introduces cameraman Charlie Summers and his new wife from the audience; she asks why Charlie has never had a raise. Jack's guest is Stuart Canin, who, as a 10-year-old violin prodigy, could play the Bee better than Jack and did so on Fred Allen's show. He is now Professor of Violin at Oberlin. He plays Vida breve by Manuel de Falla on the Stradivarius. Don Wilson introduces a man with a rocket pack, radar, a telephone, a direction finder, and a record player who wants to be a State Farm agent. In the sketch, Jack plays the violin-maker Antonio Stradivari, whose wife complains that he could make more money by turning out his violins at a faster clip. Jack and Canin play the Bee in duet.
Jack Goes to the Monkey's House
18. Jack Goes to the Monkey's House
February 5, 1965
The show opens with the audience in line to see the show comparing notes on how they got their tickets. Jack's monologue is about his trip to Australia. He introduces Australian singer Luray Dudman(?) who sings 'Wouldn't it be loverly.' Jack and Luray compare the U.S. and Australia. Don asks Luray whether you lose or gain a day when you cross the international date line on the way to Australia; he is concerned because he doesn't want to miss a One-a-Day Vitamin. Luray asks how Jack first got the idea of using the Marquis Chimps on his show. In the sketch, Jack remembers the first visit he paid Detroy after seeing the act in Las Vegas.
Kingston Trio Show
17. Kingston Trio Show
January 29, 1965
In the sketch, the Kingston Trio join prisoner Benny in the Tijuana jail. The Kingstons sing 'Tijuana Jail' and 'I'm going home.'
Jack Adopts a Son
16. Jack Adopts a Son
January 22, 1965
In the opening monologue, Jack shows the audience why his Stradivarius is worth $30,000. He introduces Milton Berle and they spar a bit. Don introduces Miss Carmelita Montoya, a dancer from Madrid who uses One-a-Day Brand Vitamins for castanets. The sketch is about Jonathan Goodheart (Jack), wealthy philanthropist who believes there is no such thing as a bad boy, but his newly adopted son (Berle) gives him cause to wonder.
Jack Jones Show
15. Jack Jones Show
January 8, 1965
Guest Jack Jones sings 'Bewitched, bothered and bewildered,' and 'I need a girl.' In the sketch, Benny plays the principal of Benedict Arnold High School, and Jones is a moonlighting teacher working as a car washer.
One Man Show
14. One Man Show
December 25, 1964
Jack Does a solo show and while going out to the audience her asks Gisele Mackenzie To sing a song.
Amateur Night
13. Amateur Night
December 18, 1964
Jack's usual amateur show: Mel Blanc plays the drunken bottle-player; Dennis Day plays a Japanese in a Beatle outfit who sings 'I want to hold your hand;' The Guire Sisters do their singing act.
Jack Has a Sick Alligator
12. Jack Has a Sick Alligator
December 11, 1964
One of the alligators that guards Jack's secret vault falls ill, so Jack calls in a veterinarian.
Wayne Newton Show
11. Wayne Newton Show
December 4, 1964
Jack's guests are comic Louis Nye and singer Wayne Newton, who describes how he was discovered at a benefit that was raising money to send "underprivileged" Beverly Hills children to camp--on the French Riviera. Newton sings 'You're nobody till somebody loves you,' 'Falling in love,' and 'When the saints go marching in.'
Jack Hires a Cook
10. Jack Hires a Cook
November 27, 1964
Rochester finally manages to get Jack to give him a week off by telling him how much he needs and deserves a vacation. While relaxing at the Palm Valley Inn with his friend Roy, he reads an ad for domestic help put in the paper by Jack. Don and Dennis come to Rochester's aid; discovering that Jack has already hired a housekeeper, they try to scare her off.
The Cat Burglar
9. The Cat Burglar
November 20, 1964
At a poker game at Jack's house with members of the band, Don and Dennis, the talk is all of the cat burglar terrorizing Beverly Hills celebrities. The State Farm commercial is heard on Dennis' radio. After the guests leave, it is revealed that Jack has been hypnotized into acting as a cat burglar, dressed up in a cat costume.
Jack Loses a Raffle
8. Jack Loses a Raffle
November 13, 1964
Jack's guests play three women from the Beverly Hills Improvement Committee who conspire to rid the city of Benny's Maxwell auto by holding a raffle and selling Jack the only ticket, so that he will win a replacement auto.
Jungle Sketch
7. Jungle Sketch
November 6, 1964
Don introduces the show by announcing that the show must go on; Jack is brought out in traction in a hospital bed. Abbe Lane sings 'I believe in you.' Don says he needs his glasses to do the State Farm commercial; when he finds them, they include a funny nose and a State Farm sign. In the sketch, Benny plays a scientist living deep in the jungle trying to develop a non-skid banana peel. Abbe Lane plays his beautiful wife, who is sick of the rain, and Dennis plays his new assistant, Lawrence of Africa.
Hillbilly Sketch
6. Hillbilly Sketch
October 30, 1964
In his monologue, Jack reveals that his producer has been using raffle tickets to get the audience to stay in their seats until the end of the program. He introduces Connie Francis, and they argue about whether it is harder to sing or to get laughs. She sings "I was born too late," an Al Jolson medley ("Swanee," "Mammy," and "April showers"). Don does the Alka-Seltzer commercial as an endorsement by a safe-cracker. In the sketch, Benny, Stevens, Dale White and Don Wilson play members of the Skinner family of the Ozarks. They all sing a parody of "Sit right down and write yourself a letter." This sketch is a remake of the "Ah, Wilderness" radio program of May 16, 1937.
Jack Makes a Comedy Record
5. Jack Makes a Comedy Record
October 23, 1964
When Bob Hope drops by, Jack comes up with what he's convinced is a great idea: The two should team up to cut a comedy record album.
Income Tax Show
4. Income Tax Show
October 16, 1964
The IRS interviews Jimmy and Gloria Stewart about some unusual aspects of neighbor Jack's tax return.
Andy Williams Show
3. Andy Williams Show
October 9, 1964
Jack and his guest Andy Williams perform at the gala grand opening of a meat market. Andy sings "On the street where you live."
Lucille Ball Show
2. Lucille Ball Show
October 2, 1964
Guest star Lucille Ball appears with Jack in a sketch that reveals the "true" story of Paul Revere's famous ride in 1775.
NBC Premiere
1. NBC Premiere
September 25, 1964
For his 15th and final television season, Jack Benny is welcomed back to NBC after an absence of 16 years.
Where to Watch The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program is available for streaming on the CBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Jack Benny Program on demand at and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    October 28, 1950
  • IMDB Rating
    9.1  (35)