Jack Benny

The Jack Benny Program is a classic comedy that is truly one of the best-loved programs from the Golden Age of Radio. It started life as The Canada Dry Program in 1932 on the Blue Network and finished off as The Lucky Strike Program on CBS in 1955. In between, it kept the audience in stitches and established Benny as one of America's all-time great comedians.

But the vain miser that came over the airwaves each week was nothing like the real Jack Benny. As John Dunning relates in The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio:

Benny was remarkable in many ways, but in none more than this: he built a character of every sour ingredient in life, but somehow his real personality trickled through and made it wonderful. Would a real miser act that way before 30 million people each week? The Benny of the air was a fraud, a myth, a creation. It should have surprised no one to learn — after years of toupee jokes that played so well into the vanity theme — that Benny never wore one. He overtipped in restaurants, gave away his time in countless benefit performances, and was lavish in his praise of almost everyone else. "Where would I be today without my writers, without Rochester, Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, and Don Wilson?" he asked a reporter from Newsweek reporter in 1947. The reporter supplied his own answer, since Benny wasn't about to. "That he himself has handpicked the writers and cast is something that Benny never admits. He dismisses lightly the fact that he directs his own rehearsals, down to the last fine reading of a line. Nor will he ever say that part of his success stems from his own sense of timing and showmanship."

You can find more episodes in the Ear Benders section.

Here is a sample of the online episodes currently available at The Old Time Radio Fan:

Audio Quality: Fair

Hound Of The Baskervilles
1939-06-11  (6.59 MB)  [28:49]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Stanley And Livingstone
1939-10-22  (6.78 MB)  [29:38]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Masquerade Party
1939-10-29  (6.57 MB)  [28:42]

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Audio Quality: Good

The Women
1939-11-05  (6.72 MB)  [29:22]

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Audio Quality: Good

Jack Has A Toothache
1939-11-12  (6.61 MB)  [28:52]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From March Field
1942-01-11  (6.09 MB)  [26:36]

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Audio Quality: Fair

The Lone Palm
1943-11-14  (6.84 MB)  [29:53]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Annual New Years Eve Show
1944-01-02  (6.53 MB)  [28:32]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Camp El Toro California
1944-01-16  (6.78 MB)  [29:37]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Camp Muroc California
1944-01-23  (6.78 MB)  [29:37]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Terminal Island
1944-02-06  (6.65 MB)  [29:03]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Hollywood Canteen
1944-02-27  (6.2 MB)  [27:04]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Lemoore Air Force Base
1944-03-05  (6.38 MB)  [27:51]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Dennis Leaves for Navy
1944-04-23  (6.41 MB)  [28:01]

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Audio Quality: Good

Dick Haymes Subs for Dennis
1944-04-30  (6.71 MB)  [29:20]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Infantry
1944-05-14  (7.13 MB)  [31:09]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Captain O'Benny
1944-10-22  (6.54 MB)  [28:35]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Corona Naval Hospital
1944-11-19  (6.8 MB)  [29:43]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Jack Gets Mad and Goes Home
1944-12-03  (6.93 MB)  [30:17]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Mitchell Field
1945-01-28  (6.72 MB)  [29:22]

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Audio Quality: Fair

How Jack Found Mary
1945-03-18  (6.85 MB)  [29:56]

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Audio Quality: Fair

How Jack Found Phil Harris
1945-04-01  (6.37 MB)  [27:50]

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Audio Quality: Fair

How Jack Found Don Wilson
1945-05-06  (6.32 MB)  [27:36]

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Audio Quality: Fair

$85000 Bet Jack Gets Held Up
1945-10-28  (6.63 MB)  [28:58]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Steve Bradley Explains the
1945-12-02  (6.52 MB)  [28:29]

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Audio Quality: Fair

State Fair
1946-01-20  (6.62 MB)  [28:55]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Contest Winners
1946-01-27  (6.53 MB)  [28:31]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Palm Springs Ca
1946-02-10  (6.58 MB)  [28:44]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Rochester Lost at Sea Briefly
1946-02-17  (6.58 MB)  [28:44]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Palm Springs Shopping
1946-02-24  (8.94 MB)  [26:02]

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Audio Quality: Good

Lost Weekend
1946-03-10  (6.85 MB)  [29:57]

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Audio Quality: Good

Dennis Returns
1946-03-17  (5.47 MB)  [23:53]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Weekend at Acme Plaza
1946-04-07  (6.12 MB)  [26:46]

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Aboard The Saratoga
1946-04-21  (6.76 MB)  [29:33]

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Leaving For Chicago
1946-05-05  (5.2 MB)  [22:44]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Quiz Kids Contest
1946-05-12  (6.55 MB)  [28:38]

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Audio Quality: Good

Guest Show
1946-11-17  (6.83 MB)  [29:50]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Killers
1946-11-24  (6.79 MB)  [29:40]

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Audio Quality: Fair

I Stand Condemned
1947-01-19  (6.64 MB)  [29:00]

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Audio Quality: Fair

It's A Wonderful Life
1947-02-02  (6.67 MB)  [29:10]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Jacks Birthday
1947-02-16  (6.61 MB)  [28:52]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Jack Fires Sportsmen
1947-02-23  (6.79 MB)  [29:40]

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Audio Quality: Good

From San Francisco
1947-03-30  (7 MB)  [30:36]

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Jack Fixes A Phonograph
1947-04-13  (6.77 MB)  [29:35]

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Audio Quality: Fair

The Egg And I
1947-04-20  (6.65 MB)  [29:03]

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Audio Quality: Good

Leaving For Chicago
1947-04-27  (6.57 MB)  [28:43]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Chicago
1947-05-11  (6.69 MB)  [29:14]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From New York
1947-05-18  (6.68 MB)  [29:10]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Allens Alley
1947-05-25  (6.75 MB)  [29:30]

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Audio Quality: Good

Dark Passage
1947-11-02  (6.77 MB)  [29:34]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Corner Drug Store
1947-11-09  (6.72 MB)  [29:21]

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Audio Quality: Good

Turkey Dream
1947-11-30  (6.79 MB)  [29:39]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Violin Lessons
1947-12-07  (5.54 MB)  [24:12]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Jack Has A Sprained Ankle
1947-12-14  (6.75 MB)  [29:28]

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Audio Quality: Good

 Last Moment Christmas Shopping
1947-12-21  (6.71 MB)  [29:18]

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Audio Quality: Good

New Tenant
1947-12-28  (6.58 MB)  [28:44]

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From Palm Springs, California
1948-04-11  (6.4 MB)  [27:57]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

Murder At The Racquet Club
1948-04-18  (6.79 MB)  [29:41]

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Charlie's Aunt
1948-04-25  (6.56 MB)  [28:39]

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Guest Show
1948-05-02  (6.78 MB)  [29:38]

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Audio Quality: Good

Robert Taylor Subs for Jack
1948-05-16  (6.78 MB)  [29:38]

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The Egg And I
1948-05-23  (6.93 MB)  [30:18]

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I Was Framed
1948-05-30  (6.74 MB)  [29:27]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Jack Leaves for Detroit
1948-06-06  (7.16 MB)  [31:17]

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Audio Quality: Fair

From Cleveland Palace Theater
1948-06-20  (6.37 MB)  [27:49]

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From New York
1948-06-27  (6.45 MB)  [28:12]

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Jack Returns
1948-10-03  (6.41 MB)  [28:01]

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Sorry, Wrong Number
1948-10-17  (5.11 MB)  [22:18]

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Jack Goes Trick or Treating
1948-10-31  (6.61 MB)  [28:52]

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Audio Quality: Fair

First Show For CBS
1949-01-02  (6.84 MB)  [29:54]

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Lunch At The Brown Derby
1949-01-09  (5.08 MB)  [22:11]

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Don's Contract
1949-01-23  (6.77 MB)  [29:35]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Don Signs A New Contract
1949-02-06  (6.47 MB)  [28:17]

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Jack's Birthday is Tomorrow
1949-02-13  (6.85 MB)  [29:56]

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Audio Quality: Good

The Horn Blows at Midnight
1949-02-20  (6.38 MB)  [27:52]

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Audio Quality: Good

Jack Has A Music Lesson
1949-02-27  (7.06 MB)  [30:49]

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A Day At The Races
1949-03-06  (6.71 MB)  [29:19]

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After The Races
1949-03-13  (7.03 MB)  [30:43]

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Mary And Van Are Late
1949-03-20  (6.59 MB)  [28:48]

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Spring Cleaning
1949-03-27  (5.42 MB)  [23:41]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Easter Parade
1949-04-17  (6.55 MB)  [28:37]

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The Treasure of Sierra Madre
1949-05-01  (7.01 MB)  [30:38]

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Jack Is Upset with the Cast
1949-05-08  (7.09 MB)  [30:59]

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Mary Is Sick
1949-05-15  (6.7 MB)  [29:16]

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Bus Tour Introduces the Cast
1949-09-11  (6.87 MB)  [30:01]

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Audio Quality: Good

Edward My Son
1949-09-18  (6.8 MB)  [29:43]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Guest Show
1949-09-25  (6.86 MB)  [29:58]

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Jacks Memory is Lost and Found
1949-10-09  (6.61 MB)  [28:53]

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Audio Quality: Fair

Recovering From a Cold
1949-10-16  (6.75 MB)  [29:30]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

Drear Pooson
1950-01-08  (6.59 MB)  [28:48]

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Audio Quality: Good

How Jack And Fred Allen Met
1950-01-15  (6.79 MB)  [29:40]

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Allen's Alley Spoof
1950-02-12  (5.65 MB)  [24:41]

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Jack Returns
1950-02-19  (7.09 MB)  [30:58]

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The Whistler
1950-02-26  (6.78 MB)  [29:37]

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Buck Benny Rides Again
1950-03-05  (6.79 MB)  [29:39]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

Sagebrush Soap Contest
1950-03-12  (6.82 MB)  [29:48]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

The Champion
1950-03-19  (6.44 MB)  [28:09]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

From Palm Springs
1950-03-26  (6.76 MB)  [29:31]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

From Palm Springs
1950-04-02  (6.77 MB)  [29:35]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

Fifty Cents To A Bum
1950-04-09  (7 MB)  [30:34]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

Jack Gets The House Painted
1950-04-16  (6.78 MB)  [29:38]

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Audio Quality: Excellent

The Beavers Do The Show
1950-04-23  (6.77 MB)  [29:34]

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