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Who's that bear? And what's he doing in Jack Benny's basement? It's the famous Carmichael - guarding the vault and getting laughs!
Dish up the Jell-O for Mary Livingston, Phil Harris, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Dennis Day, and Don Wilson in twenty classic prewar episodes -- and be sure to leave a plate for you-know-who downstairs!
Includes a Program Guide by radio historian Elizabeth McLeod.<P>Episodes include: Love Finds Annie Hardy 02-12-39; Carmichael, The Polar Bear 02-19-39; Jesse James (Part One) 02-26-39; Jesse James (Part Two) 03-05-39; Carmichael Is Sick 03-12-39; Jack Has A Cold 03-19-39; April Fool's Gags 04-02-39; Phil Shoots The Movie 'Man About Town' Behind Jack's Back 04-16-39; 7th Anniversary On The Radio 04-30-39; Gunga Din 05-14-39; More Gunga Din 05-21-39; Father's Day Show 06-18-39; Introducing Dennis Day 10-08-39; Dennis' Mother Interferes With The Show 10-15-39; Ostrich For Thanksgiving Dinner 11-19-39; Gladys Zybisco Disappoints Jack On New Year's Eve 12-31-39; Jack Calls Gladys 01-21-40; Buck Benny At The Paramount Theater 04-28-40; Jack Waits To See A Movie Director 11-17-40; The Sponsor Likes Herbert Marshall 02-09-41
Download Collection: 20 Episodes
Running Time: Approx. 10 Hours
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These twenty episodes explain why Mischka, the bear playing Carmichael in the movie had to be powdered for the part.
All About Carmichael, aka Mischka, Jack Benny’s Polar Bear by Peggy Adler Carmichael was first written into Jack Benny’s radio show in February 1939 and became one of his program’s most beloved, running gags. Given to him as a birthday gift, Carmichael lived in the basement of his Beverly Hills home and was in twenty episodes. In 1940, Benny fans finally saw Carmichael, in the feature film, Buck Benny Rides Again. There, he was portrayed by a female bear named Mischka, who was powdered for the part to make her look like a polar bear. The district passenger representative for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Los Angeles graphically described how the head of the property department at Paramount Pictures had him arrange to transport Mischka from Clinton, Connecticut to Los Angeles, California, “right side up”. “Jack Benny’s polar bear, ‘Carmichael’, with attendants, started from Clinton on the New Haven Road and was delivered to our road at New York. We carried it to St. Louis on the National Limited and Rock Island-Southern Pacific handled to California.” After completing her scenes in the movie, Mishka returned to her Connecticut home and shortly thereafter, Paramount discovered she would be needed back in Los Angeles for retakes. Her owner and trainer, Emil Pallenberg, objected, saying that she was hibernating. Studio Executives, after checking with their research department, told Pallenberg, “polar bears do not hibernate” and wired him to that effect -- to which Pallenberg promptly replied, ‘“Maybe your research department knows more than Carmichael – but I’ll give odds they can’t wake her up long enough to convince her.” Mischka’s owner and trainer, Emil Pallenberg (1888-1963), is considered to have been the greatest bear trainer of his time and he originated most of the tricks performed by bears to this day. He was the first person to teach a bear to ride a bicycle and a motorcycle. He also taught his bears to roller skate, dance, walk on stilts, play musical instruments and walk the tight rope. At no time did The Pallenberg Wonder Bears, as they came to be known, perform in a cage. They performed on a leash attached to a muzzle -- on a platform or in a ring. The Pallenbergs’ bears appeared in three major, motion pictures, including Buck Benny Rides Again -- and one was on Broadway for over a year in the 1932 Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein Musical, Music in the Air. Emil Pallenberg and his companion (and later, wife), Catharina Wouts Suverein (aka Cato), came to the United States through Ellis Island in 1914, with three trained, acrobatic bears to perform in Vaudeville for six months -- and became headliners in Ringling Brothers owned circuses for more than two decades. Emil met Catharina in 1913 while performing with his bears in Holland -- and she ran away with him and his bruins to perform in Russia, leaving behind her innkeeper husband and two year old son. Emil Pallenberg and his Wonder Bears were with Ringling owned circuses from 1915 to at least 1939 – and when they were not performing, lived in our small, shoreline town of Clinton, Connecticut. Coming soon from BearManor Media, at over 200 pages, the biography, Pallenberg Wonder Bears- From the Beginning, by Emil Pallenberg’s granddaughter, Dibirma Jean Burnham and me. I did the investigative research, found all the legal documentation and wrote the text -- while my collaborator supplied: the family’s archival photos; vaudeville, circus, stage and motion picture contracts; and her grandfather’s eleven page handwritten memoir, which he wrote in retirement. I have a short video that I made of Rochester and Mischka, aka Carmichael, in Buck Benny Rides Again. If you'd like to post it along with production pix and Mischka's Paramount contract, please let me know and I will send them to you.