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Warner Club News #1

This is an excerpt from an issue of Warner Club News, the studio’s in house magazine, from February 1958. Each issue had a column, aptly titled “What’s Up, Doc?” written by a member of the cartoon division staff. I picked up half-a-dozen issues from the late 50s, early 60s at the recent Cinecon and I’ll be posting bits and pics from these issues all this week. The cartoon being discussed above was released in April 1959. To be included in the February ’58 magazine, I’d place the recording session in January ’58 or possibly December ’57.

Isn’t this photo terrific? Where are the original negatives and prints to photos like this? I’ll have to check with Warner Bros. Archives. These are gold.

  • Ted

    Have you tried scanning the image at a higher resolution than your target size and then resizing downwards? I find that sometimes (bit not always) avoids the problem.

  • P.C. Unfunny

    Thanks for the neat find Jerry !

  • Oh my GAWWD!!! That is super-terriff! One of my favorite films!! (& radio/tv shows, too!)

    Thank YOO!!

  • FP

    Looking forward to more excerpts.

    My 1996-era serial-port scanner’s included software has a “de-screen” function the works on the fly. Choose MAGAZINE, NEWSPAPER, or GRAVURE, and the scan is nearly flawless, no halftone dots in sight. I’m sure modern USB scanners have way more cooler super powers.

  • Artisticulated

    Rotate the original approx. 20º on the scanner bed. Scan away. Rotate it back in Photoshop. No more Moiré!

    Jack Benny’s Radio Show archive here:http://littlurl.com/vy6w1

    I’ve had ’em on my iPod for a while now. Mel played lots of bit parts over the years. He even hawked Grape Nutsâ„¢ with his Elmer Fud voice.

  • Artisticulated – Thank you! I rescanned the image per your instructions and it is much better now!

  • Jenny Lerew

    Oh, fudge. Which dealer had those?! Eh, you’ll never divulge. Collectors. ; P

    Notice Jack removes his glasses the better to be recognizable for the photo. Coincidentally I’ve been listening to a lot of the old Jello/Benny shows lately; he really earned his rep as a superb comedian, and the entire cast was great: Phil Harris, sarcastic Mary and even (to my surprise) Dennis Day, and the glue for the whole thing was Jack No wonder people loved him. I always loved that short, too. Benny+WB animation=pure appeal.

  • Great find Jerry!

  • Thanks for posting this one Jerry! I’m a long time Jack Benny fan (who, coincidentally is in his 39th year…) and I can’t recall seeing that one before.
    Did McKimson also direct the short live action bit at the end of “Mouse That Jack Built”?

  • Dewey McGuire

    What a great photo. Notice that all eyes are on Jack Benny except those of Mel Blanc and Robert McKimson, who are focused on Tedd Pierce.

  • Back in the fifties, I had the pleasure and privilege of hanging out back stage with the talented members of the “Jack Benny Program” over at CBS Television City on Fairfax.

    I was just a kid back then, but it sure was cool to rub shoulders with Jack and the gang back when television was truly, live.

  • Great photo! This is one of the VERY few (if only) watchable post shut-down McKimson shorts, mostly because of the brilliant voice work by Jack Benny & Co.

    Trivia Note: Mary Livingstone (who was a cousin of The Marx Brothers) developed stage fright later in her career & would pre-record her dialog for the radio show at home and rarely appeared on the TV show–though Mary is in the cartoon, she’s noticeably absent in the photo.

  • Cor! Thanks for this Jerry – looking forward to future Warner Club posts.

    Jack Benny fans may like to check out this article posted on our blog this past weekend:


  • Here’s a bit of Mel Blanc trivia. Prior to playing husband and wife on the “The Flintstones”, Mel Blanc and Bea Benadaret played husband and wife on one of Benny’s radio Christmas shows. Mel played the long suffering May Co. art supply salesman who sells Benny oil paints as a gift for Don Wilson. Jack keeps returning to the store to exchange the paints for water colors. Until he drives Mel crazy. Then Bea steps in. A really funny episode and kinda strange to hear Barney and Betty Rubble 20 years before their tv debut.

  • zavkram

    Don Wilson appears to be having a lot of fun here… I look forward to seeing more of these excerpts and photos!

    The Warner Bros. Studio, in general, must have truly been a fun place in which to work; what other Hollywood studio would have been laid back enough to produce a blooper reel at the end of each year? I love the Studio “Breakdowns” that WHV has been including as bonus extras on some of their recent DVD’s.

  • Interesting that the caption for the photo refers to Rochester. The great Eddie Anderson is a case of someone who is better known by the character he created (or which was created for him) than by his real name.

  • Jason

    My dad has a record album of Jack Benny narrating a Golden Age of Radio compilation. It’s pretty damn good. Very funny stuff. He talks about Fred Allen and Bing Crosby and so forth. I listened to it over and over when I was a kid. It was better than anything on TV at the time.

    And I LOVE that particular Looney Tune! One of my all-time faves!

  • Roby McHone

    Brent McKee mentions that Eddie Anderson is better known as his stage name, Rochester. After he became popular he legally changed his middle name to Rochester. Also Sadie Marx Benny (Mary Livingston) legally changed her middle name to Livingston..