Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Frank Nelson - "Yeeesssssss???????"

Frank Nelson was a veteran comedic character on radio and television, beginning his career in the 1930s.

Mr. Nelson found fame during the 1940s appearing on Jack Benny's radio show. He typically portrayed a sales clerk or customer service worker. For example, needing airline tickets, Benny would call the ticket agent, "Oh Mister? Mister?" Nelson's appearance began with his catchphrase, a bellowed "Ye-e-e-e-s?". The two men would banter, with Nelson gleefully delivering one-liners such as "Is that a hairpiece or did someone plant moss on your head?" and sarcastic responses like "Do I work at this airport? No, I'm a DC-4 with a mustache."

Mr. Nelson continued his association with Jack Benny into the 1950s and 1960s appearing on many of the latter's television shows. He also provided voices for many tv and movie characters into the 1980s. One of his last performances was as a spokesperson for McDonald's, appearing in a series of tv commercials.

I wrote to Mr. Nelson in 1985, requesting a photo, because I couldn't find one through the usual sources. He sent this one, of himself in character for McDonald's.

Here he is in a scene from a Jack Benny Christmas Show in 1960.

And here he is in a 1981 McDonald's commercial.

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