On Broadway

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald-Journal/April 4 1940

Mr. Broadway And His Girl

 (By Their Idiosyncracies Shall Ye Know Them):

If he makes little dolls and figures out of the wire that comes off with champagne corks he’s John Jacob Astor, 3rd . . . If he never wears a coat or hat when he goes night-clubbing, but insists on tipping the checkroom cuties—his name is Harry Carey, the movie feller . . . If every gown she wears looks like a bathing suit, she can’t help it—she’s Dorothy Lamour.

If he regales you with the most amusing anecdotes and news about people from his own set and then says he is talking “off the record” and fevvensakes don’t print it!—that’s John Gunther.

If he asks the headwaiter at LaConga to sit on his lap and pose for a photo, don’t get him wrong—he still likes the girls—he’s Balmy Manville . . . If he requests columnists to refer to him as a sportsman instead of a gambler, he’s Nick, the Greek . . . If his hat is pushed back like a poolroom shark’s—and he’s waiting for O. Levant to get shaved—he’s A. G. Vanderbilt.

If he has one of his side-kicks leave a night club around 2 avem with instructions to go to his hotel and bring him a fresh shirt—he’s not Lucius Beebe, the town dude, but Hollywood’s George Raft.

If the girl with him seems bored—the guy must be Ben Bernie.

If you see a gal staying up pretty late having singing waiters or performers sing torch songs at her table don’t feel sorry for her. She’s happily married and her name’s Lita Gray Chaplin Day, Jr.

If she goes up to the nearest newspaperman and whispers: “We’ve just become engaged—see if you can confirm it!”—you can safely wager the guy with her is out with her for the first time—and her name’s Elinor Troy.

If when his wife’s on tour, you see him in the night clubs every night with some guy and no women—he is Broadway’s most faithful husband—John Emery of “Liliom”—the groom of Tallulah.

If he’s slip and dapper and gets up every time a newspaperman enters the place and he says: “I want to see you about a couple of things” and never does—he’s that personality—James J. Walker.

If she appears attractively aloof and her Norwegian-German dialect is as charming as her figger—the odds are 100 to Nothing that she’s Vera Zorina . . . If he is the most inconspicuous guy in the place, he doesn’t necessarily have to be Dick Merrill or Buddy De Sylva. He very likely is Sherman Bilingsley, who merely owns it . . . If the waitresses are lovely dishes, too, then you are in The Roosevelt Coffee Shop.

If he is a thin little guy with red hair and he is most attentive to the pretty girl with him, he’s not a playboy giving her a fast line—but Frank Norris, one of Time’s editors—with his wife!

If he tells the café owner to add “corkage” to his check because he brought along his own “rare” beverage (pink champagne), which he totes in a special case—that’s Rudy Vallee . . . And the “rare” stuff is one of the commonest brands—purchasable almost any place!

If he’s very short and serious looking, and insists in a voice over six feet high that everybody at the bar have a drink on him—he’s not trying to make any impression, nor is he showing off. He’s simply Larry Hart, the song-writer, who has scored as many hits as Joe DiMaggio.

If the scene is LaMartinique and she impresses you as the most graceful dancer on the floor (especially during the Cuban numbers) and her hair is bronze—she’s the manager’s wife, Evelyn Vernon.

If she haughtily refuses to pose for a photo in the swankier spots, but joins the Conga line with the rest of the peasants—or sits up on back of her seat to watch the show—she’s Doris Duke.

If he displays a keen interest in every Latin looking lassie and expresses a desire to be introduced, he’s not a frustrated romanticist, but Joe Schenck, who hires more beauties than any man in the world.

If she uses that black lipstick, which doesn’t become her, she isn’t Brenda Frazoo, but one of her countless imitators.

If when she approaches a night club manger (and feels she has been imbibing too much) and says: “Hold this for me until tomorrow”—and then hands him about $2,000 in small bills, she’s not an heiress. She’s Lolita Cordoba, the singer.

If she’s got that continental manner about her and her ankles are the shapeliest in the Stork Club, her name’s Tamara Geva.

If she’s spic-and-Spanish and her frocks are in grand taste, and her rhumba is the envy of the others, that’s Elvira Rios, the Cuban thrush, whose song styles are without equal—and whose orbs are ditto.

If the ‘kerchief pocket of his coat is on the right side instead of the left, and his ‘kerchief always dangles from it carelessly, and his hair needs combing, he’s that perennial juvenile critic G. J. Nathan

If the opening night is clogged up by first-nighters how-do-doing a distinguished looking man—that Conde Nast.

If you see his name linked with a different chorus girl or Powers model in his papers every day—or at the least—every other day, it used to be Franchot Tone—but now he’s Tony Martin.

If she’s trying to cut an oyster in two—she’s Connie Bennett . . . If he looks like Victor Moore playing the role of a droppy politician he might be Vic at that—but more than likely Sec’y of War Woodring, who looks more like Victor Moore than Victor does . . . If he covers his dainty digits with canary-colored mittens—he isn’t any Herald Tribune journalist. He’s Leopold Stokowski . . . If he’s wearing a Mickey Mouse wrist watch his name is G. Jessel and it’s a gift from his fiancée, Lois Andrews, who paid $3.49 for it . . . If she bends too far back when she is doing the rhumba—her name’s Gloria Swanson . . . Lissen to the Perfesser! . .  And if you happen to run into a guy who is taking a shower with nothing on but an old Derby hat don’t get scared—it’s just producer Gil Miller.

(Source: Google News, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=SFOYbPikdlgC&dat=19400404&printsec=frontpage&hl=en)