January 1975, Hillside Memorial Park, California, USA
When Benny Kubelsky was born, who in their wildest dreams would imagine that eighty years later, at the event of his passing, every television program, every radio show would stop, and that every magazine and newspaper would headline it on their front pages.
To millions of people who had never met him, who had only seen him or heard him would feel the pain of a very personal loss. For a man who is the undisputed master of comedy timing, you'd have to say this was only time when Jack Benny's timing was all wrong. He left us much too soon. He was stingy to the end. He only gave us eighty years and it wasn't enough.
Jack Benny long ago ceased to be merely a personality and became an institution. If there's a Mount Rushmore for humanitarians, the first stone face might easily resemble him, and if stone could talk it would say, 'Well.'
Perhaps what made Jack Benny such a great laugh maker was that he himself loved to laugh. He was the greatest audience a comedian could ever want. George Burns will attest to that. And of all of use would play jokes on him just to bring him up and hear him laugh. I know it might sound a little corny but there'll be times from now on when the lightening will crackle with a special type of sound or thunder will peal with a special roar, and I'll think to myself that # Fields or Fred Allen must have told Jack a joke.
In his beautiful full lifetime Jack succeeded gloriously. Jack found a great joy in the joy he brought to others. I cannot say it better than these words, his life was gentle and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world 'this was a man.'
God keep him, and enjoy him. We did for eighty years.