Dick offers one of his charming glimpses of by gone years when he was a comedy writer for Jack Parr’s TV show. I recommend reading the whole piece, but if you don’t then at least enjoy this vignette. Jack needs an introduction for the well endowed and beautiful Jayne Mansfield. This photo of Jayne showing up Sophia Loren with a wardrobe malfunction gives a sense of her style (from Wikipedia).
Apparently, Jayne was not shy about getting publicity. Dick and his colleagues can’t seem to come up with the perfect line. Finally, Dick finally gets it right - and here it is
Paar: “Ladies and gentlemen, what can I say about my next guest, except — Here they are, Jayne Mansfield.”
In fact, I don’t remember ever watching Jack do his talk show. It was a bit before my time. So I did a quick Youtube search to see if there is a video of Jack with Jayne. Sadly I could not find one. On the other hand, Youtube did offer another gem. A video of Ms Mansfield appearing on the Jack Benny Talent Show. The video is a bit jarring, starting from the “Light up for Lucky” cigarette commercial (which seems a bit surreal now) to Jack Benny’s monologue about Christmas presents. And indeed, Ms Mansfield’s appearance has the intended effect … even with somewhat more modest attire than what you see above.
But about that cigarette commercial. I had forgotten about how cigarette ads made such a strong link between lighting up and the good life. BTW, TV cigarette ads were banned in the US in 1970. But the Marlboro Man and others still appeared in print and on billboards flogging cigarettes for many years there after. Indeed, de-linking smoking with the good life proved to be more difficult than many thought it would be despite rather gruesome stories of the health hazards from smoking. Here is a 1989 ad by the then recently deceased Yule Brynner asking people not to smoke. Back in the days of Jack Benny and Jack Parr, however, things seemed more innocent.