Showing posts with label Kubelsky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kubelsky. Show all posts

Nov 5, 2009

Jack Benny

Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky in Chicago on Valentine’s Day, 1894. His parents lived in nearby Waukegan. Jack worked there as a violinist in the pit band of a local Vaudeville house and that was his beginning in show business.

He toured working with a female pianist in an act known as "Salisbury and Kubelsky - From Grand Opera to Ragtime", but when concert violinist Jan Kubelik’s lawyer objected to the comedic violin-playing and similarities in name, Benjamin changed his name to Ben Benny.

With a new partner, “Benny and Woods” continued, but when World War I broke out, Benny enlisted, working in a Navy-sponsored revue touring the Midwest. After the war, Benny went back to vaudeville, doing a monologue as “Ben K. Benny, Fiddleology and Fun.”

Although he changed the spelling to “Bennie,” Ben Bernie, an entertainer (also a violinist-bandleader who did monologues), had been doing a similar act longer, so his lawyer contacted young Kubelsky objecting to the similar names. This time, Benjamin changed his stage name for the last time to Jack Benny.