Ed Wynn (born Isaiah Edwin Leopold on November 9, 1886 – June 19, 1966) was an American actor and comedian
noted for his Perfect Fool comedy character, his pioneering radio show of the 1930s, and his later career as a dramatic actor. Although
many gag writers later provided material for Wynn's performances in radio, television and movies, he was proud to boast that he had
written every line he ever spoke during his early career as a stage performer. In the early 1930s Wynn hosted the popular radio show
The Fire Chief, heard in North America on Tuesday nights, sponsored by Texaco gasoline. Like many former vaudeville performers who turned
to radio in the same decade, the stage-trained Wynn insisted on playing for a live studio audience, doing each program as an actual stage
show, using visual bits to augment his written material, and in his case, wearing a colorful costume with a red fireman's helmet. He usually
bounced his gags off announcer/straight man Graham McNamee; Wynn's customary opening, "Tonight, Graham, the show's gonna be different,"
became one of the most familiar tag-lines of its time; a sample joke: "Graham, my uncle just bought a new second-handed car... he calls it
Baby! I don't know, it won't go anyplace without a rattle!" Wynn reprised his Fire Chief radio character in two movies, Follow the Leader
(1930) and The Chief (1933). Near the height of his radio fame (1933) he founded his own short-lived radio network the Amalgamated
Broadcasting System, which lasted only five weeks, nearly destroying the comedian. According to radio historian Elizabeth McLeod, the
failed venture left Wynn deep in debt, divorced and finally, suffering a nervous breakdown. Wynn was offered the title role in MGM's
1939 screen adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, but turned it down, as did his Ziegfeld contemporary W. C. Fields. The part went to Frank Morgan.