Jet Benny And The Jets

  • videoarchives
  • March 21, 2023

The Video Archives After Show wants you to cut that out! Today’s episode has a little bit of everything, including more of Quentin & Roger’s discussions of The Last Run and Rustlers’ Rhapsody, and new revelations from Gala on the origins of The Jet Benny Show. We also have the next part of Gala’s interview with Roger, where he explains his approach to adapting works for the screen. For my part, I’ve got fan art and more Jet Benny facts on today’s Counter Talk, so let’s get into it…

The Jet Benny Show is one of the most enigmatic films covered on the podcast so far. Quentin & Roger speculated on the genesis of the film, but with very little information about Jet Benny online, we had to settle for speculation as we released the episode. A couple days after release, however, we heard from the director of the film, Roger Evans! He tweeted the following to the @VideoArchives account:

So this answers a few lingering questions! As Quentin and Roger guessed, this was a Texas production, based in Houston to be precise; Roger (Evans) also confirmed Roger (Avary)’s hypothesis that it was shot on Super 8. The Jet Benny Show was cast with members of Houston’s Main Street Theater, but contra Quentin’s best guess, this wasn’t a theatrical show adapted for film, à la The Real Live Brady Bunch, but an original movie idea.Steve Norman had never even played Benny before! He’s simply a gifted actor and impersonator.

 

Since last week’s episode, Gala did some sleuthing of her own, and today’s After Show includes an essay from Evans on the making of the film from a long-defunct Jet Benny website. Listen to get the full story – then watch Evans’ stop-motion homage to Jonny Quest to see what he’s been up to more recently. And why not catch up on the original Jack Benny Program, as funny and groundbreaking as ever? The complete series is here on YouTube.

 

Thanks to all the talented artists listening to the show who have sent in fan art! I just love this depiction of Sam Peckinpah, perched in his director’s chair with the full ATF hat trick of cigarettes, guns and liquor. Credit goes to Sascha Ciezata, who wrote “I imagine this is Sam giving the Playboy Interview QT referenced in [the Straw Dogs episode]” on his Instagram.

Sascha also says “I am from MB and was a VA customer (Well, my parents were, I was just a kid then), but my one memory of QT working there was when he rented my friends and I (about age 13) a copy of the X-rated Fritz The Cat by convincing my friend’s mom it was just an animated film. She was never the wiser and that movie left a lasting impression on me as I eventually became an animator myself!” Check out Sascha’s work at culturaldrop.com.

 

We also have this unmistakeable Jed Trigado from Sonny And Jed with an unmistakably Jed Trigado expression on his face, courtesy of listener Jaz. He says “Thanks for introducing me to Jed’s spaghetti eating technique, and to Sonny’s theme which is now on constant repeat in my head 😁….Thanks for the love , from a humble electrician over here in Scotland. Massive fan of you all.” Check out more of his art on Instagram @_____jaz___!

Speaking of great directors, today’s Video Archives Merch Spotlight comes from listener Leighton Hughes! He says “I produce a Band of Brothers inspired podcast with two of the cast members called We Happy Few 506 and had the opportunity to go meet one of the cast members and now director Dexter Fletcher recently, and looking for a shirt to wear, there was no other consideration than to wear this shirt when I met him.”

Next week, we’ve got another single movie spotlight episode that I’m very excited for you all to hear…all I can share is it’s one of Roger’s favorite movies, and it was a treat to do a full-on Roger episode. Until then, keep sending us your fan art on Twitter or Instagram, keep getting your Video Archives merch at Podswag.com, keep listening to the show and I’ll be back soon with more Counter Talk!

 

–Josh