The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes

Watch The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes

  • 1956
  • 1 Season

In the world of classic television, few entertainers were as beloved as Jack Benny. He made his name as one of America's greatest comedians, earning a place in the pantheon alongside luminaries like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. Benny's charm and wit were matched only by his impeccable timing, and he became a fixture of radio and television in the mid-20th century.

Now, thanks to Shout Factory, viewers can experience the magic of The Jack Benny Program all over again. The release of The Lost Episodes is a trip down memory lane for anyone who grew up laughing at Benny's antics, and it's a master class in comedy for those who are discovering him for the first time.

The Lost Episodes consists of 18 episodes that haven't been seen in over 50 years, most of which were originally broadcast in the 1950s. They were discovered in a vault in Canada and painstakingly restored by film archivists, resulting in a collection of hilarious sketches, musical performances, and comedic bits that are as fresh today as they were when they first aired.

Benny's trademark humor is on full display in The Lost Episodes. His deadpan delivery, exaggerated expressions, and jovial interactions with his co-stars create a familiar charm that's impossible to resist. But what really makes this collection stand out is the way it showcases the depth of Benny's comedic talent.

Fans of the show will recognize some of Benny's most beloved recurring characters, including Rochester Van Jones, played by the legendary Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. Rochester, Benny's valet, household manager, and best friend, is often at the center of the show's most memorable moments.

Another fan-favorite character is Benny's secretary, played by the talented Joan Benny, the comedian's real-life daughter. Watching the father-daughter duo play off each other is a delight, and it's easy to see why they were such a successful team.

But it's not just the recurring characters that make The Lost Episodes so special. Benny was known for his impressive roster of celebrity guests, and this collection includes appearances by some of the biggest stars of the era, including Marilyn Monroe, Liberace, and Humphrey Bogart.

The musical performances are also a highlight of The Lost Episodes. Benny was a talented violinist and musician, and he often featured musical numbers in his show. Watching him perform alongside legends like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald is a true treat.

Of course, not every sketch and bit is a slam dunk, but the show's hit rate is high enough that even the few misses are forgivable. What's most striking about these episodes is how confident they feel. Benny was at the top of his game during this era, and it shows in the way he effortlessly commands the stage and interacts with both the audience and his co-stars.

The restoration of The Lost Episodes is also a marvel of modern technology. The team at Shout Factory has done an incredible job of improving the visual and audio quality of the episodes while still preserving their original charm. Viewers will be able to appreciate the crisp black-and-white images and clear sound, making it feel like they're watching these classic episodes for the first time.

Overall, The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes is a treasure trove of classic comedy that's sure to delight fans of all ages. With its winning combination of Benny's iconic humor, memorable characters, and star-studded guest appearances, it's a testament to the enduring appeal of one of America's greatest comedians. Whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to Benny's world, this collection is not to be missed.

The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (18 episodes). The series first aired on October 7, 1956.

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18. 23736
December 25, 1964
Jack states that he let the members of his cast have the night off; so he goes into the audience to chat with the folks. There he finds Gisele MacKenzie; and they perform their classic violin duet.
17. 23278
September 24, 1963
Jack; Don and Dennis imitate Peter; Paul; and Mary in response to the folk-singing craze. Billy Graham asks Jack why comedians insult each other to get laughs; and the gang demonstrates what would happen if they didn't.
16. 23040
January 29, 1963
Dick Van Dyke says that he has been warned that Jack "works his guests to death." In the skit; Jack plays an inspector investigating a murder who questions everyone in the house - all played by Van Dyke.
15. 22695
February 18, 1962
Jack debates the psychology of sex appeal with Rock Hudson. Jack wants to do a show like Jack Paar's The Tonight Show; and illustrates the concept with the help of Hudson and Hugh Downs.
14. 22639
December 24, 1961
CBS is throwing a Christmas party; and Jack and Rochester give gifts to all the cast members. Mel Blanc makes his first TV appearance since his near-fatal auto accident eleven months earlier on January 24; 1961 (his wheelchair elicits no comment).
13. 22240
November 20, 1960
Jack introduces celebrities in the audience; including John Wayne. When guest singer Jaye P. Morgan appears; Wayne whispers to Jack that he wants a date with her - and gets it.
12. 22219
October 30, 1960
Milton Berle coaches Jack on what it takes to do a weekly comedy show; including goofy outfits; lousy jokes; and - when Jack wants something to sink his teeth into - getting a pie in the face.
11. 22205
October 16, 1960
Everyone is talking about Jack's show going weekly; and wondering if he is up to the challenge. Jack is so rattled that he dreams of Mike Wallace verbally browbeating him about his life and career.
10. 22037
May 1, 1960
Jack discusses his trip to the Far East; including "Japan's #1 announcer" doing the middle commercial. The sponsors have a plan for cutting costs on the program; which leaves Jack extremely wired.
9. 22023
April 17, 1960
Jack and his girlfriend, Mildred Meyerhauser, dress up to walk in the Easter Parade on Wilshire Boulevard. They encounter many of the usual gang of eccentrics, including Jack's long-suffering violin teacher, Professor LeBlanc.
8. 21981
March 6, 1960
Jack tells CBS executives that he wants to "broaden out" and direct a Playhouse 90 TV episode. He rehearses a dramatic scene with Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood; and chaos ensues.
7. 21883
November 29, 1959
Jack Paar asks if Jack would replace him as a host on The Tonight Show while Paar is on vacation. Jack is reluctant but Paar coaches him; and Dennis Day pinch hits for Tonight Show regular Charlie Weaver.
6. 21841
October 18, 1959
Jack recalls visiting the Truman Library in Independence; Missouri. The former President gives Jack a personal tour of the facility; and they share their mutual love of music.
5. 21827
October 4, 1959
Jack is found sleeping because his show has moved from 7:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.; and the Sportsmen Quartet has challenges with the sponsor shift to Lux Soap after shilling Lucky Strike Cigarettes for well over a decade.
4. 21449
September 21, 1958
Gary Cooper discusses his latest movie; Man of the West; and Jack tries to get himself cast in Coop's next picture. The part is for Cooper's twin brother; and Jack attempts to man up and measure up.
3. 20763
November 4, 1956
Jack mistakenly receives an invitation to a dinner at the home of Ronald and Benita Colman. Arriving in his tuxedo; he tries in vain to pretentiously fit in with the upper-crust British crowd.
2. 20749
October 21, 1956
Jack and George Gobel vie to be elected President of the Beverly Hills Beavers; a Boy Scout-type organization of neighborhood youths.
1. 20735
October 7, 1956
Jack is extremely nervous about his debut at Carnegie Hall. George Burns appears as the devil and makes a Faustian pact with Jack to make him the greatest concert artist; but Ol' Nick exacts his vengeance onstage.
Where to Watch The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes
The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes is available for streaming on the Shout Factory website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Jack Benny Program: The Lost Episodes on demand at Amazon and Google Play.
  • Premiere Date
    October 7, 1956