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"Harvard is fortunate in Bob Fisher's return," declared Eddie Cantor, star of "Kid Boots," to a CRIMSON reporter Friday evening. And Eddie Cantor, who was awarded a gold football for his services to the Crimson eleven of 1922, feels intimately connected with Harvard. He likes to tell the story, and he will when he speaks at the Union luncheon tomorrow, as the guest of honor at the fourth of a series of lunches for theatrical stars. When the stage manager, by announcing the second act, interrupted the story, the comedian became quite sad faced. "In 1922" said Eddie Cantor, "the night before the Yale game, when the Harvard team was waiting anxiously in New Haven, I ate supper with them and tried to entertain them. They were amused and I was pleased. I told them that if they beat Yale they might have every box in the house. After they won they came down to New York. George Owen and the whole team ran down the aisles and into the boxes while one man kicked a football onto the stage. Between the acts they presented me with a gold football.
Likes Harvard Men in Front Row
"Tonight I have dared more because a your Harvard men in the front row, than since I came to Boston," said Mr. Cantor of the ushers for the Junior Promenade and their guests, who filled the orchestra. "A comedian who takes chances before a receptive audience often cumbles on new laughs in his lines. But it is only rarely that one gets the chance to try anything new.
"For somewhat similar reasons I am glad to speak at the Union. No audience is easier to amuse than a well-fed one. And no girl is more liable to appreciate you than one who has just eaten, at your expense. Then, too, I can become acquainted without saying anything.
Getting acquainted with your public is very satisfactory--at meals. It is a great pity that the public cannot come into such intimate contact with actors more often. Now they have only a newspaper acquaintance. I blame the newspapers for the present theatrical mess in New York. They misrepresent us and as a result most people conceive all actors to be only carousers off-stage.
"Will Rogers is the best-informed man in America, I venture, on current events and their solution. But Peggy Hopkins gets the publicity.
"If the serious actors and the serious plays received their deserts, long runs would be the reward of every "Desire Under the Elms" and such tawdry shows as 'The Good Bad Woman' would soon die an ugly and lonely death. I insist that the newspapers can and must, eventually, save the theatre.
Can Please 90 Per Cent of Critics
"Criticism, nowadays, doesn't mean too much. No actor can please all the critics. But I'll venture that if all American critics were brought to one performance of my play, I could please 90 per cent of them. Most actors, however, don't read criticisms for any reason except that they are vain, and the critic praises them because it makes his job more pleasant than censure would.
"Properly, the theatre should be a business, just like any other business. I want to tell the boys that I may seem a natural boy scout in the way I want to help them understand, but I want to explain the theatre to them. And the business of the theatre is creating something by thinking theatrically. It is a business, too, of supply and demand. Just now the demand is not as lofty as it might be, but that is the newspapers' business.
Talks About Prince of Wales
"I want to tell the guests at the Union luncheon about the Prince of Wales. To me he is one of the most romantic characters of our time. In part he is made to be; in part he triumphs over his role.
"Just exactly what I'll say on Tuesday, I don't know. That will come. But you have the outline. The audience must encourage me, as only college men can and I'll try to surprise myself."
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