Eddie Cantor, Singing Comedian: Celebrity and Character Across Media

Noah Teichner

"Makin’ Whoopee," one of Eddie Cantor’s most celebrated numbers. Whoopee! (Samuel Goldwyn, 1930).

Cantor’s Banjo Eyes underline the innuendos in his "Automobile Horn Song." A Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (Paramount, 1929).

The phonographic iteration of a song performed in A Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (1929). "Eddie Cantor’s Automobile Horn Song," Victor 21862, 10” 78 rpm phonograph record, 1929.


2nd file in playlist: Automobile Horn Song 1929 Eddie Cantor - 02:15]

A typical example of Cantor’s sardonic treatment of romance. "Makin’ Whoopee," Whoopee! (Samuel Goldwyn, 1930).

A down-and-out Eddie, accompanied by a group of children, sings about post-Depression prosperity in "When My Ship Comes In," Kid Millions (Samuel Goldwyn, 1934).

A plaintive whiteface number in which Cantor’s movements are reduced to a minimum. "A Girl Friend of a Boy Friend of Mine," Whoopee!

A link between blackface and Cantor’s eccentric dance steps? "There’s Nothing Too Good For My Baby," Palmy Days (Samuel Goldwyn, 1931)

The blackface performance of "My Baby Just Cares for Me," Whoopee!

Now in whiteface, Cantor reprises "My Baby Just Cares for Me" for the finale of Whoopee!

Blackface integrated into the narrative. The Kid From Spain (Samuel Goldwyn, 1932).

Eddie escapes from his pursuers through performance in The Kid From Spain.

From character to celebrity. The Kid From Spain.

The finale of "What a Perfect Combination," in The Kid From Spain, choreographed by Busby Berkeley, which insures the transition from musical to comedy spectacle.

Cantor promoting The Kid From Spain, with a performance of "What a Perfect Combination" [00:00 to 05:50]. The Chase and Sanborn Hour radio broadcast, December 30, 1932.


File 42: Eddie Cantor Broadcast - Chase And Sanborn Hour 1932-10-30 - Eddie Cantor - Chase And Sanborn Hour - 44:55]

Direct address of the auditor in The Kid From Spain’s "theme song." "What a Perfect Combination," Columbia 2723-D, 10” 78 rpm phonograph record, 1932.

The first among many shifts in address during "In The Moonlight" in The Kid From Spain (clip edited).

Character/celebrity split reconciled through the punch-line. Ali Baba Goes to Town (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1937).

The overlapping of character and celebrity through radio [clip edited].Thank Your Lucky Stars (Warner Bros., 1943).

Joe Simpson’s performance as Eddie Cantor in Thank Your Lucky Stars.

Eddie Cantor’s parodies himself during his first performance of "We’re Staying Home Tonight," reprised by his double Joe Simpson for the film’s finale. Thank Your Lucky Stars.