Sunday, October 3, 2010


'Boardwalk Empire' airs tonight on HBO, so here's another chance to showcase one of its historical characters.....


'Boardwalk Empire'

Stephen DeRosa
From Wikipedia:
Eddie Cantor (January 31, 1892 – October 10, 1964) was an American "illustrated song" performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor and songwriter. Familiar to Broadway, radio, movie and early television audiences, this "Apostle of Pep" was regarded almost as a family member by millions because his top-rated radio shows revealed intimate stories and amusing anecdotes about his wife Ida and five daughters. Some of his hits include "Makin' Whoopee", "Ida", "If You Knew Susie", "MA! He's Makin' Eyes at Me", "Margie" and "How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)" He also wrote a few songs, including "Merrily We Roll Along", the Merry Melodies Warner Bros. cartoon theme.

His eye-rolling song-and-dance routines eventually led to his nickname, "Banjo Eyes". In 1933, the artist Frederick J. Garner caricatured Cantor with large round eyes resembling the drum-like pot of a banjo. Cantor's eyes became his trademark, often exaggerated in illustrations, and leading to his appearance on Broadway in the musical Banjo Eyes (1941).

His charity and humanitarian work was extensive, and he is credited with coining the phrase and helping to develop The March of Dimes.

This first video clip is basically the routine we see Cantor doing at the end of the first episode of 'Boardwalk Empire' (intercut with the hijacking of an illegal booze shipment):

Eddie Cantor started out in vaudeville, was one of the first movie comics of the sound era, and then had a long career in radio before venturing into the world of the Toob:

On that show, he introduced the viewing audience to a young talent who lived up to the promise Cantor made that he'd become a big star.....

Finally, from 'The Jack Benny Show', here's Cantor, Benny, and Fred Allen.....

If you get the chance, check out that first episode of 'Boardwalk Empire' to see a great impression of Eddie Cantor.......


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