Five hundred business students who jammed Baker Library at the Business School last night were treated to a speech at the same time highly enlightening and generously sprinkled with the choicest Cantor wit.
"It is indeed a tribute to the business acumen of you students", said Cantor, speaking from the rostrum, "when you can get me to an extra show for nothing."
Radio, and its possibilities for Business School graduates, was the subject of Eddie's speech. The star said that radio is still in its infancy, and that its opportunities are untold for the well-trained man. Though he stressed advertising as the most probable field for the business student, he said that good script writers are becoming more important every day. Pointing to the ace radio announcer, Jimmy Wallington, who had introduced him, as an example, he affirmed that no radio announcer could ever be important without a college education.
The bulge-orbed comedian dealt at length on many aspects of the field of radio, television, and the future of the broadcasting industry. In connection with news broadcasts, Cantor cut loose with the crack that "the power of the press is an outdated phrase. . . . judging by the last election".
Education Is Swell
Interviewing reporters back-stage at the RKO Boston Theatre yesterday, Cantor, clad in shrieking pink underwear, spoke seriously on education:
A formal education never hurt any comedian. It is a misconceived notion that a person has to be unlettered in order to be funny. Look at one of the greatest humorists in the world today--Stephen Leacock. Why, that man holds degrees from Oxford, and he taught Political Science at McGill . . . Yet he knocks 'em in the aisles once he gets started."
Eddie, who almost started a Third Party a few years ago with his "We Want Cantor" movement, was asked what he would do if he were President, not of the United States, but of Harvard. The banjo-eyed comedian turned around and said, "Why, I assure you, I'd do the same thing that your president is doing . . ."
Cantor's innumerable operations have become almost a classic in Broadway prattle, and while Frenchy, his valet rubbed him down, many of the incisions, including the famous one with the zipper, could be seen. The star was resting between shows, but his flow of speech was unhalting. Audiences, actors, his own family, stage personalities--all were discussed by the comedian.
"You know who the greatest figure on the contemporary American stage is? Well, it's George M. Cohan. That man is a genius. I've seen him come into a rehearsal with one act of a play written, and he'd write out the other two acts sitting in the darkened orchestra. Sometimes he'd have three or four shows going on at the same time-- let's say, one musical comedy, one straight drama, a comedy, and on top of that, a revue. Remember, all the writing, song-writing, and direction by him, and he might even take an acting part besides."
"The idea that a Boston audience, or for that matter any audience, sits on its hands, is pure bunk. Once the people pay the price of admission, you've won them over. . . That's reasonable, isn't it? They paid to have a laugh, now all you have to do is give them one."
Eddie expects to return to New York immediately after the present Boston engagement closes. "Then he will go to Hollywood to make a new picture "Saratogo Chips", an adaptation of Damon Runyon's play of the same name