A Few Moments with Eddie Cantor

A Few Moments with Eddie Cantor  (1923) 
by Lee de Forest

An American short sound film featuring Eddie Cantor, with stand-up comedy, verse, and singing. Being from 1923, this is one of the earliest examples of a "talkie" (film with synchronized speaking) in existence.

Key (info)
Dialogue
In scene
Storyline
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De Forest
Phonofilms

PRESENT

A Few Moments
with
Eddie Cantor

Star of
"Kid Boots"


DE FOREST-CASE PATENTS

Eddie Cantor

Hello. Oh, no. No, lady. No, you're wrong. I'm not Tommy Meehan. Funny how everybody takes me for Tommy Meehan. No, Tommy hasn't got that certain...you know, that I have.

But it's a funny thing, for a man that's good looking as I am, I get the homeliest girls! I just cancelled a girl of mine, yes. Homely? Ha! You've heard about people's faces being wrinkled? Hers was accordion-pleated.

And she had a very, very nice family, of course they had a lot of hard luck. Yes, her poor father, he died of throat trouble. They hung him. And her brother—lovely chap, but he's gone, poor fella—with good behavior, he ought to be out in 1927 or '8. You know, he used to work at a bank. But no matter how much the boss likes you, you can't work at a bank and bring home samples. Oh, no.

And she was a nice girl. I didn't mind her being homely, but she was so dumb, terribly dumb! Well, there was she was so dumb, they had to burn down the schoolhouse to get her out of the second grade. Can't beat that.

Well, enough about her. I think I'll recite. That's it, I feel poetical.

There was a man who loved the bees,
He was their earnest friend.
He used to sit upon their hives,
But they stung him in the end.

Audience lady
Ahahahahaha!

Eddie Cantor
Thank you. I knew you'd like it. Now I think I'll sing. It's the safest thing for me to do. Mr. Olsen, would you play something for Eddie? Do that, will you?

Eddie Cantor

I may look simple but I want you to know,
I've been to college, I'm full of knowledge.
I'm right at home with brainy men and them my wisdom I show,
But when there's clever girls around I get up and go.

Those educated babies are a bore.
I'm gonna say what I've said many times before.
Oh, the dumber they come, the better I like 'em,
'Cause the dumb ones know how to make love.

A wisenheimer has you meet her folks when you call.
The brainless baby always keeps you down in the hall.
Oh, the dumbbells I've met have won beauty prizes.
They look like angels sent from above.

The clever girl will want to know if you mean to wed.
The dumb ones never think of looking that far ahead.
That's why the dumber they come, the better I like 'em,
'Cause the dumb ones know how to make love.

Oh, the dumber they come, the better I like 'em,
'Cause the dumb ones know how to make love.

The smart girl's speaking Greek and other languages too,
But the dumb girl's only language is, whose poochy-poochy is you?
Oh, the saps that I've met have won beauty prizes.
They look like angels sent from above.

You start as squeezing clever girls, you're soon on the shelf,
But when you're with dumb Doris you can just be yourself.
Oh, the dumber they come, the better I like 'em,
'Cause the dumb ones know how to make love.

Eddie Cantor

I deserve it. I'll bet you feel I was all through. No such luck. I must finish this.

Oh, before I forget, yesterday I went down to the Pennsylvania Railroad Station to wait for a train for Philadelphia. And, standing alongside of me—right in the little place where you make the trains for Philadelphia—was a Jewish man and a little boy. And it seemed that this boy must have aggravated his father, because his father kept hitting him! He kept saying to him, "I could give it to you for the second time."

Finally a man passed and said, "Cut that out, Mister. Don't you hit that boy again, or I'll make trouble for you, hear that? I'll make trouble for you." This fella turned around and said, "You're gonna make trouble for me? Last week my wife ran away with a janitor, yesterday I failed in business, my baby's got measles, and he swallowed the tickets to Philadelphia, and you're gonna make trouble for me?"

You seemed to like the story so well, I think I'll tell you another story, of a gentleman of Hebraic faith. Last year, the week before Christmas—you remember, we had the week before Christmas last year—I was going on the train from Chicago to San Francisco, on the Overland Limited—that's an express train that goes directly from Chicago to San Francisco.

And the first day out, seated alongside of me, was this little fella who kept moaning to himself, like this: "Ohh!" And the next day out he repeated the same thing and says: "Ohh!" And when he did it the third day, I went over to him—I said, "Mister, please excuse me for butting in, but I want to help you. Tell me, why—why do you keep moaning like that?" He says "Oh, it's already the third day I'm on the wrong train. Agh!"

Well, I think I'll sing again now. It won't hurt. Mr. Olsen, again, won't you play a little something for Eddie?

Eddie Cantor

Georgie Porgie is a guy who is very bashful and so shy,
The ladies prize him,
They idolize him.
You can find him most anywhere,
In the great big cozy Morris chair.
I've been looking at the ceiling,
While some girly is appealing:

"Oh, gee, Georgie,
Whenever I'm with you,
Oh, gee, Georgie,
I don't know what to do.
You never tease or hug or squeeze,
Like Johnny or Joe.
You look at me, and then, oh, gee,
I get so...I don't know.

"Oh, gee, Georgie,
What can it be?
When you're around I get so excited!
You're not handsome like a statue,
But each time that I look at you,
Oh, gee, Georgie, oh, gee!

"Oh, gee, Georgie,
Whenever I'm with you,
Oh, gee, Georgie,
I don't know what to do.
You talk to me of poetry,
And music, and art,
But you're not here, for that my dear,
I wish you'd start, have a heart.

"Oh, gee, Georgie,
What can it be?
When you're around I get so excited!
My head should be just where your chest is,
Kiss me, hot lips, I'm asbestos,
Oh, gee, Georgie, oh, gee!"


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.


The author died in 1961, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.