Entertainment for the troops Pt. 2


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The Jack Benny Program was a widely-known and well respected comedy series that ran for more than three decades. It ran as a radio show from 1932-1955 and as a TV show from 1950-1964. In 1943, Jack brought the show to Camp Patrick Henry to entertain the troops. Many members of the cast were involved including Eddie Anderson as Rochester, Sam Hearn as Schlepperman, Dennis Day, and Don Wilson. Other well-known performers were also in attendance.

Group portrait
Those pictured above include: Sam Hearn, actress Virginia Bruce, actress Betty Furness, Lt. Richard Barthlemess, Lt. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Jack Benny, Col. Medorem Crawford, Don Wilson, and Dennis Day.

Benny plays violin

Benny was also an accomplished violin player (his program character was known for playing violin poorly). He started playing when he was only six years old.

Benny and Rochester

Eddie Anderson played Rochester Van Jones, Jack’s valet and chauffeur and second in popularity only to Benny himself. Here they are shown on stage during a sketch.

Dennis Day singing

Dennis Day was a well-known singer who was associated with Benny and the program from 1939 to Benny’s death in 1974. Day was also particularly good at impressions and performed many during the program.