During World War II, Bob Crosby spent 18 months in the Marines touring with bands in the Pacific. His radio variety
series, The Bob Crosby Show, aired on NBC and CBS in different runs from July 18, 1943, to July 16, 1950. This was followed by Club Fifteen on CBS
from 1947 through 1953 minus a brief interlude when he was replaced as host by singer Dick Haymes during parts of 1949 and 1950. During his stint
on Club Fifteen, he was teamed with the ever-popular Andrews Sisters three nights per week, singing with them and engaging in comedy skits. He first
met the trio in 1938 when his orchestra backed their Decca recording of "Begin the Beguine," their popular vocalization of Artie Shaw's big band hit.
One can't help when hearing these old Club Fifteen broadcasts how eerily similar Bob and the Andrews Sisters sound to the trio's very frequent and
hugely successful pairings with brother Bing Crosby on the Decca label. Bob and Patty even scored a hit duet on Decca Records with their duet recording
of the novelty "The Pussy Cat Song (Nyow! Nyot Nyow!)," which peaked at No. 12 on Billboard. A half-hour CBS daytime series, The Bob Crosby Show, followed
from 1953 to 1957. Bob introduced the Canadian singer Gisele MacKenzie to American audiences and subsequently guest-starred in 1957 on her NBC television
series, The Gisele MacKenzie Show. On September 14, 1952, Bob replaced Phil Harris as the bandleader on The Jack Benny Program, remaining until Benny
retired the radio show in 1955 after 23 years. In joining the show, he became the leader of the same group of musicians who had played under Harris.
According to Benny writer Milt Josefsberg, the issue was budget. Because radio had strong competition from TV, the program budget had to be reduced,
and so Bob replaced Phil. Prior to joining Benny on the radio, Crosby, who was based on the east coast, would often play with Benny during Benny's live
New York appearances, and he was seen frequently throughout the 1950s on Benny's television series. As a performer, Crosby had tremendous charisma and
wit combined with a laid-back persona. He was able to swap jokes competently with Benny, including humorous references to his brother Bing's wealth
and his string of losing racehorses. An exchange during one of the popular Christmas programs ran thus: Crosby muses to Jack that he's bought gifts
for everyone but band member Frank Remley. When Jack suggests "a cordial, like a bottle of Drambuie," Crosby counters that Drambuie is an after-dinner
drink and adds, alluding to Remley's penchant for alcohol, that "Remley never quite makes it to after dinner."