The Chief DVD
The saucer eyes, dithering voice and jittery mannerisms are unmistakable and grew on audiences over a beloved 63-year showbiz career. Only the great Ed Wynn could bumble his way into becoming the hero of the Bowery with nimbly nitwitted, sunnily slapstick style as The Chief, bringing his popular radio persona of The Perfect Fool to delighted movie audiences. Starting with young legend-in-the-making Mickey Rooney tossing some firecrackers, the hodgepodge plot the mother-pampered son of a fire chief goes from being an honorary chief to inadvertent hero of a neighborhood blaze to humiliated hat salesman to cockeyed candidate for office (with a bear-wrestling match tossed in) is a goofball excuse to see a master comedian (already a headliner of vaudeville, the Ziegfeld Follies and several Broadway vehicles) and recently minted radio star at work. Indeed, the movie ends with Chief Wynn in a radio studio summing up the madcap mayhem preceding it. Funny business is one thing, but media cross-promotion isequally a chief concern!