Monday, April 20, 2009

The Emperor Of Jell-O Ice Cream

Comedian Jack Benny wants to know if he likes ice cream. Well, Mary, does he? Of course he does!

And Mary, do you like that plaid jacket? Maybe not so much as Jell-O Freezing Mix, which is New and Amazing. Jack's jacket, on the other hand, is Old and Appalling.

Jack Benny (1894-1974) was a famous comedian in vaudeville, radio, TV and films. At the time of this ad in the late 1930s, he and his wife, Mary Livingstone (a cousin of the Marx Brothers, and a comedienne in her own right), were starring in the very popular radio show, The Jack Benny Program. Jack was especially known for his violin playing and his comic timing. According to Wikipedia, one of his trademark phrases was (are you ready?) "Well!" I am disappointed that he is not saying that here. Because that is the perfect response to Jell-O mix that is whipped up with some cream and stuck in the freezer."Well! Will you look at that...frozen stuff."

That frozen stuff came in "six gorgeous flavors" with varying degrees of authenticity about them. The fruit is real, the walnuts in the stuff Mary's whipping up, they're real. Also the vanilla. But the maple flavor? Sorry, it is fake. But then, this is really not ice cream. It is Jell-O pretend ice cream:

Let Jack Benny's jacket shout its loudest hello/ The only emperor is the emperor of Jell-O.


It's still National Poetry Month, you know...but I promise I won't do this every single day. This advertisement is from the Canadian newspaper Saturday Night, August 1939.

13 comments:

Me-Me King said...

Oh my goodness, does this ever bring back memories of my childhood. My grandmother used this product. She'd mix it up and freeze it in metal ice cube trays (minus the cube insert) and would then serve it to my sisters and me by slicing it with a knife. I remember it was very rich and creamy.

Tori Lennox said...

Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't really look anything like Jack Benny.

But I think my mom's used that frozen fake ice cream stuff, though...

Erica said...

I LOVED The Jack Benny Program -- they re-broadcast it on a local NPR station when I was growing up, and my brother and I listened to it religiously (as well as a number of other Old Time Radio shows). I never knew Mary was a Marx Brother's cousin though! :)

The freezing mix is pretty weird. Sounds like it's just Jell-O pudding extra-cold?

Hairball said...

I used to watch reruns of his TV show when I was a kid. I call still remember him yelling "Rochester!"

Relax Max said...

Well.

Bill said...

That's just so wrong.
I wonder how long this product was on the market?

I'm grateful that the ad banner has Jack Benny prominently identified. I'm with Tori on this one. I'd have never guessed who it's supposed to be from the illustrations.

Canned ice cream! Yum yum!

Amy said...

I think I'd rather have real icecream not pretend even if Jack benny really was putting a good word in for it.

Lidian said...

Me-Me - I think there is also an ice cream recipe in The Joys Of Jell-O in the 60s, where you make ice cream using regular Jell-O.

Tori - It is not that great a caricature, no. When i looked at some photos of him this became very clear.

Erica - I will have to see if there's any clips of his TV show on YouTube...

Hairball - Why did he yell that?

Max - Indeed!

Bill - I wonder if he really did eat this.

Amy - Well...Yes.

~~louise~~ said...

This is too funny Lidian! I've seen some Jack Benny Jell-O advertising before but never this one.

I have a few Jell-0 Ice Cream Powder inserts which were enclosed in early Jell-O leaflets. I think it was around longer than Jack Benny!

Lidian said...

Louise - I wonder if this was a Canadian-made ad?

~~louise~~ said...

Good point Lidian. Now, that you mention it, I bet it was...

Hairball said...

Lidian,
Rochester was Jack Benny's live-in chauffeur/valet on his TV show.

Lidian said...

Hairball - Thanks, I thought he was shouting about Rochester, NY.