Ed Wynn was a popular American comedian and actor noted for his Perfect Fool comedy character, his pioneering radio show of the 1930s, and his later career as a dramatic actor.
Wynn became a headliner in vaudeville in the early-1910s, and was a star of the Ziegfeld Follies starting in 1914. In The Ziegfeld follies, W. C. Fields allegedly caught him mugging for the audience under the table during his "Pool Room" routine and knocked him unconscious with his cue, but this may be apochryphal. He was best known as a comedian, billed as The Perfect Fool. Wynn also wrote, directed and produced many shows. He was famous for his silly costumes and props, and he always worked "clean," making his shows suitable for the entire family.
A Jewish-American who was born Isaiah Edwin Leopold in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he attended Central High School until age 15. He ran away from home in his teens, worked as a hat salesman and as a utility boy, and eventually adapted his middle name "Edwin" into his new stage name, "Ed Wynn", to save his family the embarrassment of having a low comedian as a relative.
Although many gag writers later provided material for Wynn's performances in radio, television and movies, it was his proud boast that every line he ever spoke during his early career as a stage performer was written by himself.