Although he was first heard on radio as a guest of Ed Sullivan, Jack Benny debuted his own radio show for NBC on May 2, 1932. After six months he moved to CBS and then in 1933 back to NBC. Although he continued to jump back and forth on networks, his radio program lasted until 1955, some five years after his television program appeared.
Benny was a fixture on radio and TV for three decades, and is still considered one of the best. He was a master of comic timing, creating laughter with pregnant pauses or a single expression, such as his signature “Well!“
Appearing with him over the years were Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Don Wilson, Dennis Day, Mary Livingston, Phil Harris, Mel Blanc and Sheldon Leonard. Leonard helped Benny produce what was said to be the longest laugh in radio history. Leonard as a holdup man approached Benny and demanded “your money or your life.” Benny remained silent. Finally, Leonard said “Well!?” and Benny answered “I’m thinking it over!”
Bing Crosby was born May 2, 1904. He won an Oscar for his role as Father O’Malley in Going My Way (1944). “If I’m going to get by in pictures, it’s going to be as a singer, with about as much acting as you would expect from a guy standing in front of a microphone.” His 1942 recording of White Christmas has sold 25 million copies. “A jackdaw with a cleft palate could have sung it successfully,” he said.
If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted? – George Carlin