Maybe the audience would be grateful if I stepped to the footlights some night and voiced the above protest about the 'coughing chorus' down in front.Many of us have seen enough minstrel photographs to be somewhat desensitized, but...wow, THOSE GLASSES! This picture of Eddie Cantor is the most frightening thing I've seen this year. I don't think I'll ever understand the grotesque caricature that was blackface comedy.
But that wouldn't be kind and it wouldn't be just. The cougher doesn't cough in public on purpose. He can't help it. It embarrasses him as much as it annoys his neighbors.
What he needs, to avoid that throat tickle, is an introduction to OLD GOLDS.
When I first looked at this advertisement I instinctively thought it was a reference to whooping COUGARS, which any frequent nightclub patron can relate to.
PS: Cantor wasn't bemoaning his inability to have intercourse on stage, he was referring to the play he was currently in.
(The New Yorker, January 26 1929, p.40)