Radio stars (May 1933)

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RADIO STARS YOU CAN'T KEEP By CURTIS MITCHELL i ED WYNN got up slowly off his chair. His jaw was set. "I'm not going to see a doctor. I'm not going to a hospital. And I'm not going to quit!" he said. "It's your funeral," the man in Oxford gray stated. "I'll be seeing you." Ed Wynn closed the door after his visitor and went to a window. Below, at the bottom of a gulch that was a street between skyscrapers, the busy life of the city clat- tered and growled. He held his hand straight out before him, fingers extended. The hand trembled, like spring leaves in a light breeze. A sigh pushed through his tight lips and for a moment his face turned tired and sick. That busy street below was Broadway in New York. Ed Wynn had clowned its breadth and length for thirty years. Miraculously, he had balanced atop its ladder of success season after season. Seeing new rivals spring up and seeing them fade, he had survived almost alone. But now—now out of that Babel of city sound he heard the whisper that was on everyone's tongue. "Ed Wynn is through ... Ed Wynn is through." Everyone knew the tragic story. He had produced a show meant for Broadway and taken it for a shake-down tour through the smaller cities. He had named it "The I^augh Parade." The irony of that name, for people didn't laugh. Week after week and in city after city, he worked his heart out, and gained hardly a giggle. Ed Wynn had actually reached the point where wise guys said he was through 6