The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theatre

(ended 1955)


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The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theatre

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Eddie Cantor was a beloved show business institution by the time television arrived. He was one of the few "old timers" to sucessfully make the transition to the home screen, gaining positive reviews as one of the regular hosts of Colgate Comedy Hour. After suffering a heart attack a few hours after a Colgate show, he decided he should slow down a bit, though he had no intention of retiring. Cantor eventually found a deal that fit his needs. He signed with Ziv, a major syndicator in those days, to do radio programs along with The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theater. The format of this filmed series varied greatly from week to week. Some episodes would be half-hour situation comedies with Cantor playing a role; other week's he would simply introduce the proceedings. Other programs were structured as variety programs with music and sketches. It was reported at the time that the show cost $54,000 a week to produce, so it wasn't a cheap production. The program never caught on with audiences--perhaps because of no regular format--and reviews were awful, citing stale material. Soon, stations that had scheduled the program in primetime were bumping it to less desirable hours. By August, it was reported that Cantor wanted to get out of his contract with Ziv and put the whole embarrassment behind him. The series did not return for another season.moreless