Interviews

 

George Balzer

Writer

Writer George Balzer on working with Jack Benny ensemble player Mel Blanc

07:02

It was not a big deal to make the move to television because for years on radio, we always had a picture in mind as we wrote our scripts. The problem was they were still trying to go on with jokes that didn't quite work on television.

About this interview

In his nearly two-hour Archive interview, George Balzer (1915-2006) recalls his start in comedy writing, first for Bing Crosby's "Kraft Music Hall" radio program, and then on the radio show Burns and Allen where he first teamed up with writer Sam Perrin. He talks about the duo next working on "The Jack Benny Program" radio show, and later transitioning with Benny to his CBS television program of the same name. Balzer discusses the writing process on the The Jack Benny Program, and talks about some of the more memorable skits and comedy bits. Lastly, he outlines writing for Lucille Ball's sitcom Here's Lucy, as well as The Red Skelton Show, and The Don Knotts Show. B-roll consists of photos from his Jack Benny years (and featured stars Barbara Stanwyck, President Truman, and the Benny writers), as well as a photo with Sam Perrin and another with Bob Hope and President Nixon. Dan Pasternack conducted the interview on January 25, 2001 in Van Nuys, CA.

It was not a big deal to make the move to television because for years on radio, we always had a picture in mind as we wrote our scripts. The problem was they were still trying to go on with jokes that didn't quite work on television.

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Mel Blanc

Writer George Balzer on working with Jack Benny ensemble player Mel Blanc

07:02
Embedded thumbnail for George Balzer on his first meeting with Jack Benny

George Balzer on his first meeting with Jack Benny

04:26
Embedded thumbnail for George Balzer on the first time he saw television

George Balzer on the first time he saw television

02:42
Embedded thumbnail for George Balzer on the Jack Benny and Fred Allen feud

George Balzer on the Jack Benny and Fred Allen feud

02:39
Embedded thumbnail for George Balzer on career highlights and how he'd like to be remembered 

George Balzer on career highlights and how he'd like to be remembered 

02:00