Kanter was famous for saying, "Radio is theater of the mind; TV is theater of the mindless."
Kanter started his career peddling jokes to Eddie Cantor for his radio program. Kanter recalls, "I'd listen to his show and say, 'I can write jokes as funny as that,' so I walked from my rooming house to his show, and told the guard, 'Mr. Kanter is here to see Mr. Cantor, figuring he'd see me because of our names, although his real name was Iskowitch. I was seventeen years old and had the nerve of a burglar." Although Kanter was not hired by Cantor, one of his writers, Hugh Wedlock, Jr., paid Kanter $10 per week to write jokes. Wedlock would then resell Kanter's jokes to Cantor. Kanter stated, "So I became a ghostwriter to a ghostwriter."
Kanter died at his home in Encino, California on November 6, 2011, aged 92.