The New Democrat Online

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Kieran Monroe: Video: Jayne Mansfield on Jack Benny in 1956


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Wow! And I thought Jack Benny was pretty popular and that the Jack Benny Show was pretty popular. And then I hear that they have to grab the purses of women, including Jayne Mansfield in order to get them to appear on the show. I wonder if they paid the audience just to show up. How they make any money paying people just to come to the show. Jayne Mansfield showing her quick comedic side as an actress on this show. Playing along and doing very well on it. Going toe to toe with perhaps one of the top 5-10 comedians of all-time who inspired many other comedians as well.

Jayne Mansfield was probably at her peak and at the top of her career at this point. Which is a damn shame, because she was only I believe twenty-three years old at this point. And probably should’ve had another twenty-years as a Hollywood star had she took care of herself and laid off heavy drugs including booze. Because her career moderated, but didn’t collapse the way it did in the early and mid 1960s. Leaving her depressed and wondering what was the point in going on. Every comedy and variety show wanted a piece of her. Not just physically, but they also knew she was a very good comedic actress. With an excellent sense of humor.

Jack Benny had Jayne, along with Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors and Mami Van Doren, who by far in away had the longest career of any of these Hollywood Goddess’s, on his show in the 1950s. Dina Dors had the second longest career of these starlets, with Marilyn burning out in 1962 and Jayne in 1967. They were both in their mid-thirties when they died. Mami is still alive today in her early eighties and Diana died in 1984. But Jack could get basically anyone he wanted on his show. His show was that popular, good and funny. And inspired future variety shows in the future.
Jayne & Jack