Jack Benny, left, with Kermit and Jim Henson

Jack Benny (1894-1974) was a popular radio comedian, as star of The Jack Benny Program from 1932 until 1955. He later transferred the program to television, where it ran on CBS from 1950 until 1965, and in sporadic specials thereafter. In both radio and television, Benny played a distinct comic characterization of himself as a vain yet insecure miser. He also appeared in many films, starring in To Be or Not to Be (later remade by Mel Brooks) and the infamous The Horn Blows at Midnight.

Benny was also a popular guest star on the talk show and variety show circuit. He crossed paths with Jim Henson, however briefly, as fellow guests on The Flip Wilson Show on September 14, 1972, when they shared the stage for the closing guest bows.

A more notable encounter occurred on the January 23, 1974 broadcast of Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show. Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog were fellow guests, and at the end of the frog's spot, Benny quipped, "This little louse is stealing the whole show!"

In 1982, Jim Henson received the March of Dimes Jack Benny Award, for Outstanding and Original Contributions to the World of Entertainment.


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