American dancer, comedian, singer and actor Eddie Cantor (1892-1964) provides the testimonial for this Old Gold advertisement. Cantor was nicknamed “Banjo Eyes” for his tendency to roll his eyes dramatically as he performed. He is pictured in blackface in this advertisement; he spent the last third of the Broadway show turned motion picture, Whoopie, in blackface. In this ad, he speaks from the perspective of a Broadway performer, lamenting over the “coughers” in the audience who interrupt his shows. He says that the coughing is not the audience members’ fault – “he can’t help it.” Instead, Cantor recommends that the coughers try Old Golds “to avoid that throat tickle.” This also presents Old Golds as Cantor’s choice in cigarettes, indicating that if a singer with such a beautiful voice trusts his voice to Old Golds, they must be easy on the throat. Cantor was no stranger to tobacco endorsements. Later, in 1938, Eddie Cantor endorsed Camels both in print ads and on their CBS radio show, Cantor’s Camel Caravan. Cantor passed away from a heart attack in 1964.
Cough, Health, Throat