Composer Walter Donaldson and lyricist Gus Kahn wrote “Makin’ Whoopee” for the 1928 Broadway show Whoopee! where it was introduced by the star Eddie Cantor. “Love Me or Leave Me,” which also became a jazz standard, was introduced by Ruth Etting in the show. Produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, the show ran for 379 performances and would have run longer if Ziegfeld had not gone broke and had to close the show. According to David Ewen in the Complete Book of the American Musical Theater Ziegfeld had to sell the movie rights to Samuel Goldwyn and release Cantor to act as consultant and star in the film. The 1930 film, which closely follows the Broadway musical, was Cantor’s first movie and made a star of him. Whoopee! enjoyed a successful revival on Broadway in 1979.
Another bride, another June Another sunny honeymoon Another season, another reason For makin' whoopee
A lot of shoes, a lot of rice The groom is nervous, he answers twice Its really killin' That he's so willin' to make whoopee
Now picture a little love nest Down where the roses cling Picture the same sweet love nest Think what a year can bring, yes
He's washin dishes and baby clothes He's so ambitious he even sews But don't forget folks, Thats what you get folks, for makin' whoopee
Another year, maybe less What's this I hear? Well, can't you guess? She feels neglected, and he's suspected Of makin' whoopee
Yeah, she sits alone, Most every night He doesn't phone, he doesn't write He says he's busy, But she says, "Is he?" He's makin' whoopee
Now he doesn't make much money Only five thousand per Some judge who thinks he's funny Says, "You'll pay six to her."
He says, "Now judge, suppose I fail?" Judge say, "Budge. Right into jail. You'd better keep her. I think it's cheaper Than makin' whoopee."
Yes, yeah, you better keep her Daddy, I think it's cheaper Than makin' whoopee