Johnny Wayne (1918-1990) was born John Louis Weingarten in Toronto to Sarah and Charles Byron Weingarten. He was married to Beatrice Lokash and they had three children: Michael, Jamie and Brian.
Frank Shuster (1916-2002) was born to Bess and Jack Shuster in Toronto. The family moved to Niagara Falls where Jack Shuster ran a local theatre called the Colonial Theatre. Married in 1947, Frank and his wife, Ruth Burstyn, had two children named Rosalind and Steve. Frank's cousin Joe Shuster was the creator of the Superman comic strip.
Wayne and Shuster met in the tenth grade at Harbord Collegiate in Toronto. Both went to the University of Toronto for degrees in English Literature.
In 1941, they started a show called Wife Preservers for CFRB, after which they started writing and performing a comedy show called the Wayne and Shuster show for the CBC's Trans-Canada Network. In 1942, they both joined the infantry and were stationed to perform for the Army Show travelling across Canada to different military bases. They took the show to Normandy after D-Day and wrote a 52 week series for veterans and spent six weeks entertaining the Commonwealth Division in Korea. In 1946, they returned to the CBC performing the Wayne and Shuster Show on the radio. In 1958 they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in the United States of America; in fact, they became a regular feature on Ed Sullivan, breaking the record for the number of appearances for any one guest. Wayne and Shuster created numerous hour long television shows for the CBC, and were a Sunday night fixture for many years to follow.
Wayne and Shuster's comedy has been described as literate slapstick. They used classical or Shakespearean settings and characters as the backdrop for their comic skits. When they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, they used the premise of Julius Caesar for their skit called Rinse the Blood off My Toga. In 1999, they were inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.
Scope and Content
Photograph is of the comedians Wayne and Shuster in the CBC Television studio. This image was probably used for promoting one of the comedians' television specials hosted by the CBC.
Wayne and Shuster
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