Isaac Stern



Please elaborate on this for ...

Jack Benny, The Jack Benny Show

Question: Please elaborate on this for my dad, who is a big fan of the late Jack Benny. Two of his biggest character traits were his cheapness and his bad violin-playing. Was he really that cheap? And was he really so bad on violin? Thanks.

Answer: You provided the answer in your question, Bill, when you used the term "character traits." Benny, who built a career via vaudeville and a popular radio show before launching TV's The Jack Benny Show, which kicked off on CBS in 1950 and finished 15 years later on NBC, played his stinginess to the hilt, played the violin poorly — and faked both well enough to become an entertainment legend. It was all part of the insecure, self-centered, no-talent character he invented and pulled off well enough to fool those who didn't know any better.

Of course, countering that image — one of the comic's most famous gags was facing down an armed robber who threatened, "Your read more

I've been a fan of Andy ...

Come on, tell me who are you: Andy Williams and friends

Question: I've been a fan of Andy Williams for years and years, but I can't remember: Was The Andy Williams Show his first TV series? Thank you for your help; I'm a fan of yours, too.

Answer: Technically speaking, no, Nancy, though what constitutes a regular series in this case isn't an easy call. Williams' first regular TV gig was The Andy Williams and June Valli Show, which ran twice a week in 15-minute segments in the summer of 1957. The following year Williams again landed a summer show, The Chevy Showroom Starring Andy Williams, when he was asked to fill in while Pat Boone took a break. He then met with success the year after doing the same thing for Garry Moore. You could argue, however, that until Williams landed NBC's The Andy Williams Show in 1962, he wasn't really given a true series that was all his own. Certainl read more

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