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Born Benjamin Kubelsky in Chicago, Jack Benny started playing violin in vaudeville theaters after being expelled from high school. At age 17 he went on the road with the Marx Brothers. Benny's vaudeville career led him to begin The Jack Benny Program on radio, which transitioned smoothly to The Jack Benny Hour on television. Benny's comedic appeal lay in his willingness to allow supporting characters to draw laughs at his expense-a remarkable display of male vulnerability for its time. Benny made one of his final television appearances in the fall of 1972 on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.