A Tribute To Our Friend
Rare early TV footage, before videotape, of the Frank Kalil show featuring Frank and Jack Jacobson pitching Tabasco sauce.
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Throughout his long career he was frequently found hosting a show or pitching many diverse products. He never met a camera he didn't like.
Jack Jacobson began his broadcasting career in 1929 on WHAM radio in Rochester N.Y. at the tender age of eight with his debut on the "Uncle Bob Pierce and Company Radio Show." At age eighteen he was performing for live audiences as a comic in the New York City area nightclubs. In 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps which led to his forming the first Combat Special Services entertainment unit "The Sky Blazers." They toured throughout the Middle East, North Africa, then on to England entertaining the troops. They were the first performers to land on Omaha Beach in France just fifteen days after D-Day. They performed for the troops up to and through the Battle of the Bulge.
He returned to the United States and in 1945. He formed "The Ultra Tone Recording Company" in Dallas Texas. His responsibilities included production, sales and marketing.
In 1949 he became executive producer and on-air talent at WHIO-TV in Dayton, Ohio. He was producer of the "Wendy Barrie Show."
1962 he was hired as Program/Promotion Manager for KGUN-TV in Tucson, Arizona. During most of the 60's and 70's Jack was a fixture on Tucson TV. He was co-host of the Frank Kalil Show, long running daytime program.
And, who could ever forget his portrayal of the kindly "Dr. Scar" hosting the friday horror films on KGUN-TV.
In 1979, Jack moved to Phoenix and was Station Manager for KTVK-TV where he remained until the 90's. Then he returned to Tucson as General Manager of KTTU-TV until his retirement in December 2002.
He always was very active in his community. He served on the Executive Committee for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He brought the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon to KGUN-TV in 1968 and was the sole host until 1978. He was appointed a member of the Corporation and later served as a Vice President of the National Association.
He was a member of the advisory board of the Tucson Salvation Army and served on the Casa de los Ninos advisory board. He was elected to the ABC Television Network's first Promotion Advisory Board and served as President of the Metropolitan Phoenix broadcasters.
Jack was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his efforts in World War II, along with the Jubilee of Freedom Medal from the French Government. He was a recipient of the Tucson Ad Club's Silver Medal award, a member of the Arizona Broadcasters' Hall of Fame, and a member of the prestigious Silver Circle Society of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
He is a published author of two young adult novels, Miriam and No Ordinary Boy. A film writer is currently turning his World War II novel Sky Blazers into a feature film.
Until recently, he could be found enjoying coffee and good conversation every Monday and Friday morning with his friends, mostly retired broadcasters and ad guys at The Good Egg, Grant and Swan, in Tucson.
Jack passed away early in the morning of Monday, Mar. 23, 2009. He was preceded in death by his wife Doris. They were married over 40 years.
He was a great guy and will be missed.
Jack, portraying the unforgettable Ignatz Hammerschlob, one of his characters in the early days of television.
TV GUIDE, Dayton edition, May, 1953 reports on Jack and his group of early TV entertainers at WHIO-TV.
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Recent photo of Jack (far left) with two fellow AZ Broadcasters Hall of Fame members, Bob Lee and Larry Schnebly.
Jack as Nosey The Clown, WHIO-TV Dayton, 1950's