Reviews and Press



“Jack Benny built his career on letting his second bananas cut him down to size, but media scholar Kathryn Fuller-Seeley knows a giant of twentieth-century entertainment when she sees—and hears—one. A meticulous researcher, sensitive critic, and unabashed fan, Fuller-Seeley examines the sonic wraparound and cultural reverberations of Benny’s comic art and discovers an atmosphere thick with the buzz of ethnic, racial, and gendered static—not to mention some seriously funny gags, wisecracks, voices, and sound effects. Like its subject, Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy is tone-perfect and a delight to dial in to.”—Thomas Doherty, Brandeis University

“At last, Jack Benny gets the treatment he deserves! This lively, wonderfully detailed and meticulously researched study of Benny’s contributions to twentieth-century arts and culture will delight not only those who remember him but those who have yet to discover this icon of American comedy.”—Michele Hilmes, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“When we think of Jack Benny, his real-life wife Mary Livingstone and his radio valet played by Eddie Anderson also come to mind. Now we have another perfect pairing, the great Benny with one of our finest cultural historians. Kathryn Fuller-Seeley examines a life and career in entertainment as well as the half-century, cross-media popularity of Benny’s particular form of Jewish masculinity.”—Eric Smoodin, author of Regarding Frank Capra: Audience, Celebrity, and American Film Studies, 1930-1960