Wayne and Shuster

  Wayne and Shuster, comedy team composed of John Louis Wayne (b at Toronto 28 May 1918; d there 18 July 1990) and Frank Shuster (b at Toronto 5 Sept 1916; d there 13 Jan 2002). They met at Harbord Collegiate, Toronto, where they performed in annual revues. After receiving BAs in English from U of T, they were both studying for MAs when WWII intervened. After enlisting in the infantry, they were soon reunited, writing and performing for The Army Show.

Following the war, they returned to Canada and worked together on radio (by 1946 they had their own show on CBC) and later on television. In 1950 they began appearing as guests on various American TV programs, including a record 67 performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Although their wide-ranging skits, described as "an amiable mixture of slapstick, pantomime, visual tricks, sheer corn and sometimes ingenious twists on classic situations," did not always meet with critical approval, the comedy team remained popular and won several international awards. Despite their popularity in the US, Wayne and Shuster remained based, personally and professionally, in Toronto, repeatedly resisting pressure to pursue greater wealth and fame south of the border.