PROGRAM DETAILS

Jack Benny: America's Favorite Miser

Instructor
Paul Offenkrantz
Category
Comedy / Arts & Letters
FPL12022

Course Description

Jack Benny (born Benjamin Kubelsky) was one of the most beloved entertainers in American history. With a career which began in vaudeville, Benny went on to conquer the mediums of radio, television, and film. With impeccable comedic timing, Benny played the character of a miser (although he was very generous in reality) as well as someone who played the violin poorly (although he was actually quite good at it) and who was perpetually the age of 39. He could cause convulsions of laughter with a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature exasperated "Well!" With rare archival video footage, this program will explore and re-experience what made Jack Benny such an American treasure.

About the Instructor

  • Paul Offenkrantz, PhD, a graduate of Oberlin College, attended the Yale School of Music and earned a Master of Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College, where he was also ordained as a cantor. In his distinguished career, he has served communities in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and West Palm Beach. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Hebrew Union College and received rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute. He began singing professionally on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera at the age of nine and appeared in over 30 different operas at the MET over the course of five seasons. He has worked with Leonard Bernstein, Richard Tucker, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine and many other important artists. He concertizes and lectures extensively throughout South Florida and is also an adjunct professor of Music History at the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University.