Boardwalk Empire Wiki

Eddie Cantor (portrayed by Stephen DeRosa) is a renowned American "illustrated song" performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor and vaudevillian. He is based on the real-life entertainer of the same name.


Season 1[]

Eddie Cantor performs jokes to a packed theatre in January 1920, with Lucy Danziger and Nucky Thompson in the audience. Most of the number consists of Cantor complaining about his ugly, dumb girlfriend, and her criminal family. ("Boardwalk Empire")

Cantor 1x3

Cantor performing for a private party at the Ritz Carlton.

A couple of days later, Nucky entertains guests in his suite at the Ritz Carlton. Eddie Cantor sings, this time about how he likes dumb women, while Lucy, Annabelle and other friends dance. Aldermen Jim Neary, George O'Neill and Damien Fleming are also there. In the meantime Sheriff Eli Thompson enters and instantly recognizes Cantor, prompting his brother Nucky to scorn him for not paying enough attention to their serious situation. ("Broadway Limited")

Nonetheless, Nucky Thompson remains a fan of Cantor himself. During the June 1920 Republican National Convention at Chicago, campaign manager Harry Daugherty brags that his candidate Warren G. Harding has signed famous entertainer Al Jolson to write his campaign song. Nucky replies nonchalantly that "Eddie Cantor is better". ("Hold Me in Paradise")

He acts again in Atlantic City the night of the 1920 presidential election, at Babette's Supper Club, where he sings the song "Life's a Very Funny Proposition". Afterwards he thanks Babette and Nucky for their support. ("A Return to Normalcy")

Season 2[]

Eddie Cantor returns to Atlantic City in March 1921, this time at the request of the depressed Lucy, who is then pregnant and living in near isolation at Nelson Van Alden's boarding house. He jokes that when he asked the taxi cabby to bring him there he told him to run away and don't look back, but retires it after a surprised Lucy asks him if the neighbourhood is that bad. Cantor tries then to cheer Lucy up by telling her how happy her daughters make him, and then gives her booze, cigarettes and a copy of the play "A Dangerous Maid" telling her how good it would be if she auditioned for the role. ("A Dangerous Maid")

Season 3[]

Nucky and Margaret Thompson plan a lavish Egyptian themed party on December 31, 1922 to commemorate the new year. Nucky's party is a huge success. The guests are delighted with the themed design. Nucky has Eddie bring his mistress Billie Kent with him, ostensibly to provide musical entertainment for the crowd. They pull him up for a dance, comparing him to King Tutankhamen. ("Resolution")


Memorable Quotes[]

  • "Oh no!" (repeated line)
  • "Lovely girl. Lovely family. Her poor father died of throat trouble. They hung him." [badoom-stk!] "Her brother also recently left us. With good behaviour, he may be back in just twelve years." [badoom-stk!] "Because it doesn't matter how much the boss likes you, you can't work in a bank and take home samples! Oh no!" ("Boardwalk Empire")


Season one appearances
Boardwalk Empire The Ivory Tower Broadway Limited Anastasia
Nights in Ballygran Family Limitation Home Hold Me in Paradise
Belle Femme The Emerald City Paris Green A Return to Normalcy
Season two appearances
21 Ourselves Alone A Dangerous Maid What Does the Bee Do?
Gimcrack & Bunkum The Age of Reason Peg of Old Two Boats and a Lifeguard
Battle of the Century Georgia Peaches Under God's Power She Flourishes To the Lost
Season three appearances
"Resolution" "Spaghetti and Coffee" "Bone for Tuna" "Blue Bell Boy"
"You'd Be Surprised" "Ging Gang Goolie" "Sunday Best" "The Pony"
"The Milkmaid's Lot" "A Man, A Plan..." "Two Imposters" "Margate Sands"
Season four appearances
"New York Sour" "Resignation" "Acres of Diamonds" "All In"
"Erlkonig" "The North Star" "William Wilson" "The Old Ship of Zion"
"Marriage and Hunting" "White Horse Pike" "Havre De Grace" "Farewell Daddy Blues"