This relatively undemanding (shot on film, which avoided the stress of live broadcasts) syndicated half-hour comedy variety series was shot after Eddie Cantor suffered a heart attack in 1952. The 38 episodes played like Cantor's Broadway show, with almost no material dating beyond the Hoover administration. A lot of the sketch routines were tackled by a wide range of guest stars (Peter Lorre, Billie Burke, the aging Three Stooges, 'Eddie Fisher', Stan Freberg and Buster Keaton, among others) with Cantor providing the framework as host. Cantor performed in a running bit as a cabbie and rehashed nearly every one of his pre-Depression-era sheet music hits replete with the requisite updated version of the Goldwyn girls. See more »
There was a fluctuation in quality among the episodes, but those that featured old masters---like George Raft (dancing gracefully but lightning fast as in his vaudeville and speakeasy days), Buster Keaton, Billie Burke, The Three Stooges or other vaudeville or legit theater trained stars---were gems. This program, Cantor's final TV show, was similarly nostalgic to his last radio show, in which he played old recordings from his own collection of the great stars of vaudeville and musical comedy. Whereas many of those old sound recordings were subsequently reissued in LP and CD, the film episodes from this series are not, to my knowledge, currently available. That's a shame. I wish whoever has them in cold storage will soon transfer these 30 minute filmed telecasts to DVD for aficionados to enjoy. Frank Cullen American Vaudeville Museum
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