In court, Eddie Cantor makes a fool of a cop, who retaliates when he catches Eddie speeding. Eddie does a vaudeville routine for the cop, including the song "My Wife is on a Diet." Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Never seen Eddie Cantor? Here's a good place to start
Eddie Cantor stars in this early talkie short which looks like it might have been adapted from a stage sketch. It begins with a brief bit in a courtroom, where Cantor and an attractive blonde flapper type stand before a judge. Eddie is charged with "making violent love to this woman in the park." (Very Pre-Code!) He admits that it's true but adds that it's okay because the woman is his wife, whereupon he produces their marriage license as evidence. The judge dismisses the case. Outside the courtroom the arresting officer apologizes and says that he didn't know the lady was his wife. Cantor shoots the cop a dirty look and says that he didn't, either, until the cop shined his flashlight in her face!
After this risqué intro Cantor drives off at high speed, but is soon pulled over by a motorcycle cop-- the very same one he just encountered in court. What follows is a comedy routine that might not sound funny if you read it on paper, and might not have been so amusing with a lesser comedian in the lead, but which is strangely beguiling as delivered here. It isn't the familiar stream of jokes and puns delivered in a rat-a-tat tempo found in some of Cantor's other movies; this is something a little different. The cop simply asks Eddie where he lives, and out pours a stream of consciousness monologue about his relatives, their stinginess, their eating habits, etc. There are jokes along the way, but they seem almost incidental. And somehow it all leads into a comic song, "My Wife is on a Diet," which is sung straightforwardly, without the usual skipping and dancing.
This short was filmed on Long Island in late 1929, which means that the references to the recent stock market crash may be among the first to be found in the movies. (Cantor was one of the formerly wealthy show business stars who were wiped out, although he soon earned back his fortune as a radio star.) For those who've never seen Eddie Cantor on film this little taste of Vaudeville-style comedy offers a good sample of his style. I have to confess I find him a bit much at times in some of his other appearances, but in Getting a Ticket he's quite charming. Plus, like the best Vaudeville turns, this sketch has the advantage of brevity; when it's done, you're primed and ready for the sister act or the Chinese jugglers.
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