Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jack Benny in The Mouse that Jack Built (1959)

Obscurity factor: 6

In the 1950's, Jack Benny had a very popular television show and was a huge star from his work on radio and in film. At the time, Warner Brothers were experimenting with making animated versions of television stars - they had already done The Honey Mousers - and his sly, gentle style of comedy translates very well to the medium. In this short, we get to see Jack interact with Rochester, his butler and Mary his fiance, all as animated mice. They make plans to go out and are tricked into going to the Kit Kat Klub, a night club the household cat has set up inside his mouth.

These cartoons are fun examples of an alternate take on the popular culture of the day. The trend continued into the 60's with episodes of shows like The Flintstones featuring Samantha Stevens from Bewitched and, infamously, Ann Margrock. This short is available on the Looney Toons: Golden Collection, Volume 3 DVD.

Obscurity factor: 6 (available on DVD, somewhat forgotten)


  1. Stony Curtis
    Gary Granite
    Alvin Brickrock

  2. Mel Blanc! He was in EVERYTHING!

    I'm a big Warner Bros. cartoon (and Benny Program) fan.

    I also recall the Honey Mousers and Ann Margrock. I would add Gina Loadabricks!

  3. I loved this cartoon when I was a little kid in the 1960s. At the time I think I had a vague idea it was based on Jack Benny, but I don't think I knew anything about the TV show it was based on, Rochester, or Mary Livingstone. I just thought it was funny on its own, which I guess says that it was a success. "The Honeymousers" was great too.

  4. I hadn't seen them in a while. It was nice to rediscover them.