Biografie van Bob Hope Comeidan - Geskiedenis

Biografie van Bob Hope Comeidan - Geskiedenis

Bob Hoop

1903-2003

Komediant

Die in Engels gebore komiek en filmster Bob Hope is sedert die dertigerjare 'n geliefde deel van die Amerikaanse vermaaklikheidswêreld. Met sy "Road" -flieks, reise om Amerikaanse dienspligtiges en vroue te vermaak, spesiale aanbiedinge en advertensies, het Bob Hope bekend geword by miljoene regoor die land en oor die hele wêreld.

Hy het die Presidential Medal of Freedom (1969) ontvang, sowel as die Jean Hersholt -toekenning, 'n Emmy en 'n ere -Oscar.


Bob Hope, 'n seksmasjien, en#8216 het gereeld bedrieg tydens sy huwelik van 69 jaar

Die komedie -legende Bob Hope was 'n topster in vaudeville, op Broadway, op radio, in films, op TV en deur dekades se USO -toere oor die hele wêreld. Hy het ook een van die langste huwelike in die skouspel gehad-hy was 69 jaar lank getroud met die sangeres Dolores Reade Hope tot met sy dood op 100-jarige ouderdom in 2003.

Of was hy? 'Hope: Entertainer of the Century', 'n nuwe biografie van Richard Zoglin uit 4 November, laat nie net twyfel ontstaan ​​oor of Hope ooit wettig getroud was met die voormalige Dolores DeFina (wat in 2011 op 102 -jarige ouderdom oorlede is nie) - dit beskryf ook 'n 'n lang lys van sy gerugte oor seksuele struikelblokke, waarvan sommige jare lank voortduur.

'Geen huwelikslisensie vir Bob en Dolores Hope het ooit opgedaag nie,' skryf Zoglin. 'Die gebrek aan 'n rekord van die huwelik van die Hopes (selfs nie 'n troufoto nie) het sommige familielede van Hope deur die jare laat bespiegel dat 'n troue moontlik nooit plaasgevind het nie.'

Die skrywer kon 'n egskeidingsbesluit vind waarin Hope se huwelik van 1933-34 met die voormalige Vaudeville-vennoot Grace Troxell gedokumenteer word, wat Hope se publisiste ontken het dat dit ooit plaasgevind het toe dit in 'n biografie van 1993 onthul is. Zoglin se boek onthul dat Hope "in 1976 op 65 -jarige ouderdom rustig vir haar geld gestuur het".

Zoglin haal die voormalige Hope -skrywer Sherwood Schwartz aan oor die vrou se vrou in die laat 1930's: 'Ons sou na 'n hotel gaan, ek sweer u, buite sy kamer was drie, vier, vyf jong, pragtige meisies wat wag om deur hom gekies te word kom in . . . Hy was 'n ster wat sy sterre geniet het. ''

Volgens die boek het Hope meestal een-nag-staanplekke geniet met vertoningsmeisies en skoonheidskoninginne-vermy romantiese verstrengelinge met sy pragtige medesterre in films, waaronder aktrises soos Lucille Ball, Jane Russell, Madeleine Carroll, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine en Dorothy Lamour.

Maar sommige van sy aangeleenthede was langer, skryf Zoglin, en het vroue met 'n hoër profiel behels, met wie 'n paar saamgewerk het-en wat soms ongelukkige eindes bereik het:

Doris Day

"Hope het jare later aan 'n vriend beweer dat hy en Day in 1949 'n kort romantiese uitstappie gehad het terwyl hulle saam toer [geld insamel vir die March of Dimes, hierbo], '' skryf Zoglin. 'Toe hulle terugkeer huis toe na Burbank, was Dolores op die lughawe om hulle te groet, en Bob het 'n spoggerige welkom-huis-drukkie gegee. Volgens Hope het Day die gebaar gesien as 'n vrou se simboliese aanduiding van haar gebied, en sy het die verhouding af en toe beëindig. Dag [nou 90] het nooit kommentaar gelewer op die beweerde saak nie. ''

Barbara Payton

Payton, 'n blonde femme fatale wat gespeel het in noirs soos 'Bad Blonde' (hierbo) en James Cagney se 'Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye', het 'n verhouding gehad met Hope wat in die lente van 1949 begin het en etlike maande geduur het, volgens die boek. Zoglin haal haar biograaf aan en sê: 'Sy het Hope in die hele land gevolg, in 'n gemeubileerde woonstel ingetrek wat hy vir haar in Hollywood gehuur het, en toe die verhouding in Augustus eindig, is Hope terugbetaal om daaroor te swyg. As dit die geval is, het dit Payton nie gekeer nie. . . van die verkoop van haar verhaal aan die tydskrif Confidential in 1956, 'n seldsame oortreding in die muur van geheimhouding wat Hope se sekslewe omring het. '

Marilyn Maxwell

Die krom aktrise-sangeres Marilyn Maxwell was Hope se meisie van ongeveer 1950 tot 1954, volgens die boek, saam met hom in die rolprente "The Lemon Drop Kid" (bo) en "Off Limits" sowel as om saam met sy vaudeville te toer. optrede en USO -vertonings. 'Hope se intieme verhouding met Maxwell was bekend by die meeste mense wat saam met hom gewerk het,' skryf Zoglin. 'Op pad na 'n militêre kamp het die publicist Frank Liberman eenkeer gesien hoe Hope en Maxwell die nag by 'n goedkoop motel inklok. . . Die twee was so gereeld bymekaar dat mense op die Paramount -lot na Maxwell begin verwys het as mev. Hope. ’’ Sy is drie keer getroud en het in 1972, 50 jaar oud, aan ’n hartaanval gesterf.

Ursula Halloran

Hope het 'n 'redelik oop verhouding' gehad met Halloran, 'n lid van sy publisiteitspersoneel wat hom in 1958 op 'n reis na Rusland vergesel het, onthul Zoglin. Sy is in 1963 dood weens 'n oordosis dwelms.

Rosemarie Frankland

Nadat hy die Welsh beauty Miss World van 1961 (hierbo) bekroon het, het Hope “Frankland op sy Kersreis na die Arktis in 1961 geneem, haar ondersteun toe sy na Los Angeles verhuis het om 'n filmloopbaan te volg en haar 'n klein rol in sy film van 1965 gegee het. 'Ek sal Swede neem', 'skryf Zoglin. Die publisist Liberman het aan die skrywer gesê die verhouding duur 'byna 30 jaar' en die komediant noem haar 'die groot liefde van sy lewe'.

Sandy Vinger

Hope se laaste vriendin was 'n skrywer van sy advertensies in Kalifornië (soos hierbo) waarvan Zoglin berig 'was sy gereelde metgesel in die 1980's.' Sandy Vinger het 'n kontrakbreuk teen Hope in 1994, toe hy 91 en beweer dat hy ingestem het om haar lewenslank te ondersteun. Dit is buite die hof geskik.

Dolores Hoop

Zoglin skryf dat Dolores Hope, 'n vroom Katoliek wat vier kinders met Hope aangeneem het [saam in sy geboorteland in Engeland in 1994, hierbo], 'byna seker' bewus was van sy sake. In 1978 deur 'n verslaggewer gevra of sy dink haar man is 'honderd persent waarblou', het sy geantwoord: 'Ek twyfel daaraan. Ek dink hy is volkome mens en gemiddeld en dit alles. ''

Hope se dogter Linda word in 'Hope: Entertainer of the Century' aangehaal: 'Ek is seker my ma het geweet wat aan die gang was. En sy het net besluit dat hy die moeite werd is om deur alles te gaan, om die lewe te hê en mev. Bob Hope te wees. Maar ek dink nie een van die [ander vroue] het vir hom die betekenis gehad wat sy en die gesin gehad het nie. ''


IKONOKLASTIESE BIOGRAFIE VOORSTEL 'N DONKER BOBHOP

Op 90 is Bob Hope 'n ikoon van die goue era van Hollywood, wat deur baie as 'n held beskou word vanweë sy patriotiese uitstappies na oorlogsgebiede om Amerikaanse troepe in vier oorloë te vermaak.

In sy nuwe biografie, The Secret Life of Bob Hope (Barricade, $ 21,99), erken skrywer Arthur Marx - die seun van Groucho - Hope se plek in die Hollywood -panteon. Maar hy beeld ook die private Hope uit as 'n vasberade man wat uit 'n verarmde kinderjare uit sy elmboog gekom het om 'n persona te skep wat hom ryk en beroemd gemaak het - en 'n paar van die mooiste vroue in Hollywood na sy slaapkamer gelok.

Onder die bewerings wat Hollywood -insiders na die indeks laat reik om te sien of hulle in die boek genoem word:

Dat Hope se skermpersoon van die leersugtige nader nader aan sy werklike persoonlikheid is as sy noukeurig versorgde openbare beeld, en dat hy nie net plaaslike trollops bedek het nie, maar ook show-meisies in Las Vegas en 'n paar van sy rolprente.

Marx beweer dat hierdie aktiwiteite tot in die middel van die 1980's voortgeduur het. Sy lys met Hope se skakels sluit in Rhonda Fleming, Gloria DeHaven, Janis Paige, Joey Heatherton, Marilyn Maxwell, Barbara Payton, Johnine Leigh Avery (Miss World USA 1968) en die gholfspeler Jeanne Carmen.

Dat 'n vroulike publisist wat ook 'n Hope -paramour was, selfmoord gepleeg het nadat hy haar afgedank en verwerp het.

Dat Hope en Bing Crosby vroeër met gemaklike seksmaats handel gedryf het, wat elkeen die ander voorgestel het aan vroue wat hulle veral goed in die bed gevind het.

That Hope het woonstelle naby sy huis in Toluca Lake gehuur sodat hy sy minnaresse tydens sy wandelinge in die middernag kon besoek.

Dat Hope sy onderbetaalde skrywers geteister het deur middel van die nag-eise vir vars & quotad libs, & quot en hul salarisstrokies-ingevou in papiervliegtuie-na hulle van die balkon van sy kantoor neergegooi het om te kyk hoe hulle vir hul geld skarrel.

Dat Dolores Hope, 'n vroom Katoliek, bewus was van haar man se onheilspellendheid, maar het meestal 'n ander kant gekyk.

Dat Hope in die geheim getroud was met 'n vroeë stadiumsmaat, voor sy huwelik van ses dekades met Dolores - en dat 'n dogter, wat finansieel deur die Hopes ondersteun is, moontlik uit die vorige vakbond gebore is.

Die tydsberekening van die vaste eiendom van Hope - hy het in die vyftigerjare skerp duisende hektaar in die San Fernando -vallei gekoop - was net so fyn geslyp as sy komedie.

As Hope self kennis geneem het van die woede, het hy dit privaat gedoen.

& quotThe Hopes sal hierdie boek steeds nie met 'n reaksie waardig maak nie. Ek is vir my eie kwaad, ontsteld, ”het Ward Grant, woordvoerder van Hope, gesê.

Grant het ook aan Associated Press gesê dat daar geen kommentaar sou wees nie, maar het slegs die boek beskryf as 'n klomp ou dinge, niks nuuts nie.

Marx het toegegee dat sommige van die inligting oud is, maar het gesê dat dit nooit in 'n boek geplaas is nie.

& quot (Verskeie vorige biograwe) het vir my gesê dat hul uitgewers hulle gevra het om niks hiervan in te sit nie, "het hy gesê.

Maar Marx weet nie of die verbod van die uitgewers self gekom het of dat Hope sy invloed gebruik het om publikasie te voorkom nie.

& quotHope het wel 'n sterk hand gehad, wat uitgestrek het en baie (negatiewe inligting) stopgesit het. . . . Ek dink hy het alles redelik goed beheer. Ek is verbaas dat hy sy mense wat vir hom werk, stil gehou het. 'N Goeie bron wat ek gevind het, was die skrywers, "het Marx gesê.

Om vir Bob Hope te skryf, was 'n gespesialiseerde vaardigheid, en dit was soortgelyk aan die skryf van 'n sitkom, 'het Marx gesê. My vader het eenkeer gesê: 'Hy is nie regtig 'n komediant nie, maar hy is 'n goeie vertaler van ander mense se grappe.' & quot

Deur die jare het Hope talle gags van 'n leër van skrywers gebruik.

"Hy wil eerder 10 goedkoop skrywers hê as twee duur skrywers," het Marx gesê, "maar daar was 'n tydperk waarin hy nie kry wat hy wil nie, en hy huur drie of vier duurder skrywers. Maar hy het altyd skrywers van buite gehad en mense wat grappies vir hom stuur - en al hierdie grappe het in u draaiboek beland, en dit pas nie by die karakters wat u geskryf het nie.

Hy het nie veilig gevoel sonder 'n grap nie. Dit is die onsekerheid van die komediant. & Quot

Marx en sy skrywersvennoot, Bob Fisher, werk aan vier films vir Hope: Eight on the Lam, A Global Affair, I'll Take Sweden en Cancel My Reservation, wat volgens Marx die tweede laaste foto was wat Hope gemaak het. "Ek kan nie sê dat dit sy slegste foto's was nie, maar dit was nie baie goed nie," het Marx gesê. "Ek het net gedink dat hy 'n entjie oor die heuwel was om sulke films te maak."

Marx vertel hierdie ervarings breedvoerig in The Secret Life of Bob Hope, en hy het insig in die boek gekry uit die kontakte wat hy destyds gemaak het. "Die feit dat ek 'n persoonlike verhouding gehad het, het gehelp," het hy opgemerk, "want ek kon dinge vertel wat Louis Shurr, sy agent, vir my oor Hope en sy vroue vertel het - nooit geweet ek gaan 'n boek daaroor skryf nie."

Trouens, Marx het eers in die vroeë sewentigerjare 'n boek oor Hope probeer skryf.

Ek sou 'n boek vir Norton gaan doen. Maar hulle kom na my toe en sê ons sal verkies dat ek nie die slegte dinge aan hom doen nie. En ek het gesê: Wel, wat is die punt om 'n boek te skryf? Ek wil nie 'n ander boek doen nie, net 'Ek was 'n groot treffer hier, ek was 'n groot treffer daar.'

& quot As jy nie wil hê dat ek 'n eerlike biografie oor hom moet doen nie, sal ek dit glad nie doen nie. & quot

Marx het die onderwerp van sy boekkontrak oorgeskakel na Sam Goldwyn, en die Hope -projek is uit die weg geruim.

Hy stel die Hope -boek weer in 1986 en 1987 voor. Ek dink niemand wou hierdie afgod, hierdie ikoon, aanval nie. & Quot

Marx het 'n groot hoeveelheid werk oor Hope se lewe gevind, insluitend 'n gedetailleerde biografie, deur die voormalige Hope -woordvoerder William Faith.

Om die waarheid te sê, toe ek die eerste keer begin om dit te doen, het ek amper gesê: 'Miskien moet ek nie hierdie boek skryf nie, daar is soveel boeke oor hom', 'het Marx onthou. Maar 'n deeglike voorlesing het hom vertel dat die hele verhaal - en veral die rol van die vroue in Hope se lewe - nog moet vertel word.

Marx meen dat die boek wat uiteindelik verskyn het, 'n regverdige voorstelling is van Hope se ingewikkelde lewe. & quot Ek dink nie ek val hom aan nie, maar ek het die waarheid oor hom probeer vertel. & quot

As seun van Groucho Marx was die skrywer bekend met Hope lank voordat hy vir die komediant geskryf het. Ek onthou dat hy een keer by ons huis gekom het toe ons in Beverly Hills gewoon het. Ek was ongeveer 13 of 14. Ek onthou hoe hy in ons speelkamer gesit en met my pa gesels het. & Quot

Maar Marx het gesê dat dit moeilik was om naby Hope te voel.

Hy was nogal helder, maar almal wat ek ken, het gevoel dat hy 'n soort koue persoon was, nie die warm persoon wat jy dink jy op televisie sien nie. Nie onbeskof of onvriendelik nie. . . afsydig. Kom ons sê dit so: 'Koud soos 'n moordenaar.' As hy nie van jou gehou het nie, het hy jou afgedank. & Quot

Marx skryf hierdie afstand toe aan 'n probleem wat voortspruit uit die vroeë armoede van Hope, as een van die jonger seuns van 'n groot gesin. Hope se pa was 'n alkoholis, en sy ma het koshuise ingeneem om die gesin te onderhou.

Maar Marx maak nie die talent van Hope af nie.

Ek dink hy was in die begin baie snaaks. Ek dink hy was wonderlik saam met Crosby toe hulle die Road -foto's gemaak het - alhoewel hulle te veel daarvan gedoen het, wat altyd met vervolgverhale gebeur. Ek dink The Facts of Life, saam met Lucille Ball, was 'n baie snaakse prentjie. En ek dink hy het die Oscar -toekennings beter gedoen as iemand wat ek gesien het, toe hy goed en skerp was. & Quot

Marx verwag gemengde resensies van Hope se wye gehoor.

Sommige van die ouer mense wat gevoel het dat hy 'n wonderlike taak in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog verrig het - en hy het goed gedoen om die troepe te vermaak - dink waarskynlik dat ek hom onregverdig aangeval het. Alhoewel ek nie weet of hulle almal sal nie. . . . Maar ek dink dat die jonger mense sal hou van wat ek geskryf het. & Quot

En hoe dink hy sal Hope oor die boek voel? Ek weet nie of hy dit sal lees nie. Ek dink hy gaan dit ignoreer. Ek dink hy sal doen wat hy tot dusver gedoen het.

Ek hoop hy wys dit nie vir Dolores nie. Al weet sy dit, sal sy dit waarskynlik nie hou nie. Daar is iets daaraan om iets in druk te sien wat jou meer tref as om net daarvan te hoor. & Quot

Maar, het Marx gesê, "ek was nie regtig daarop uit om hom aan te val nie. Ek wou net die storie vertel wat niemand regtig ken nie, behalwe 'n paar mense. & Quot

En hy beweer: & quotDit is 'n regverdige boek. Ek dink dit is 'n ware prentjie van sy lewe. Laat iemand anders oordeel of ek sy beeld benadeel het of nie. Ek dink nie ek het nie, en ek dink nie jy kan nie, hy is so groot. Maar ek dink baie mense sal die boek lees - ten minste hoop ek so. & Quot


Die huwelikstatus van Bob Hope is Getroud En sy lewensmaat se naam is Dolores Hope (Sep 1933 – 27 Jul 2003) en Grace Troxell (Maart 1932 – Nov 1934). Saam het die egpaar saam 4 kinders Linda Linda, Anthony , Nora en Kelly

Hoe oud was Leslie?
– Hy was 100 jaar oud.

Wat was die naam van Leslie se vrou?
– Dolores Hope (Sep 1933 – 27 Jul 2003) en Grace Troxell (Maart 1932 – Nov 1934)

Hoeveel kinders het hy gehad?
– Saam het die egpaar 4 kinders, Linda, Anthony, Nora en Kelly

Was Bob Hope lewend of dood?
Hy is op 27 Julie 2003 oorlede.


Persoonlike lewe

Bob Hope was twee keer getroud. Sy eerste huwelik-met sy vaudeville-vennoot Grace Louise Troxell-was van korte duur. In Februarie 1934, slegs 'n jaar en 'n maand nadat hy met Troxell getroud is, trou hy met sy tweede vrou, Dolores Reade, 'n nagklub -kunstenaar en lid van Bob Hope se vaudeville -groep. Hulle het getroud gebly tot die dood van Bob Hope in 2003.

Bob en Dolores Hope het vier kinders aangeneem met die naam Linda, Tony, Kelly en Nora. Hulle het van 1937 tot 2003 in Toluca Lake, 'n woonbuurt in Los Angeles, Kalifornië, in die San Fernando -vallei gewoon.


Bob Hoop

Die feite rondom die sukses van die multi-dekade, multi-generasie van Bob Hope, is onweerlegbaar. Hy was 'n dawerende sukses-'n ware ster-op die Broadway-verhoog, in rolprente, op radio en op televisie, en het meer as 'n halfeeu by NBC in die laaste twee ondernemings gebly. Hy verskyn in meer as 70 films in 'n filmloopbaan wat oor vier dekades strek. Hy het meer as ses miljoen myl afgelê om troepe te vermaak tydens oorlog en vredestyd, en 'n welwillendheidsambassadeur geword in elke land waarheen hy gereis het. Hy het 'n Amerikaanse ikoon geword vir vertonings en miskien een van die rykste entertainers wat hierdie land ooit opgelewer het, ongeag die kabel- en videotydperk.

Maar met die sukses het die bewering gekom dat Hope weinig meer was as die Michael Bolton van stand -up -strokiesprente wat deur miljoene aanbid is, maar sonder respek van sy onmiddellike portuurgroep. Groucho Marx meen eens dat Hope bloot 'n openbare adres was vir 'n grapmasjien wat deur 'n leër van skrywers gevoed is. Inderdaad hoë ironie, veral vir 'n strokiesprent wat sy standpunt as meester van die ad-lib gemaak het, gereed vir enige situasie wat sy pad kruis.

Dit lyk ook ironies dat die man wat 'n Amerikaanse komiese instelling geword het, nie eintlik in die Verenigde State gebore is nie. Hy is gebore as Leslie Townes Hope, in die Londense voorstad Eltham op 29 Mei 1903. Hy was 'n broersel van ses seuns en bevind hom in sy vierde jaar saam met sy gesin in Amerika, en vestig hom in Cleveland, OH. Sy ma - wat 'n konsertsanger was - het 'n liefde vir musiek en vermaak by hom ingeboesem. Hoop sou later beweer dat hy eers opgewarm is vir 'n gehoor wat vir hom lag toe sy stem kraak terwyl hy tydens 'n gesinshereniging in die familie sing. Sy kinderjare en tienerjare was deurgebring in 'n verskeidenheid vreemde werke, koerantseun, bootblack, skoenverkoper, slaghuismaat, voorraadseun, gholfcaddy, en selfs 'n kort tydperk as prysstryder, onder die naam Packy East. Gedurende hierdie tyd was hy die gereelde wenner van plaaslike talentwedstryde met sy indruk van Charlie Chaplin, en onder leiding van die Afro -Amerikaanse tapdanser King Rastus Brown, het hy ontwikkel tot 'n eerlike hoofer om sy eie dansonderrigstudio te open. Sy eerste professionele beurt kom op die ouderdom van 18, as deel van 'n danshandeling met sy destydse vriendin, Mildred Rosequist. Teen 1924 het hy 'n nuwe vennoot gehad en werk hy as "Two Diamonds on the Rough". Hulle het die rekening een aand oopgemaak vir die stil-komediant Fatty Arbuckle, wat so beïndruk was dat hy die daad aan Fred Hurley, die vervaardiger van 'n klein musikale komedie-ensemble van Vaudeville, aanbeveel het. In Hurley's Jolly Follies het Hope nie net gedans en gesing nie, maar ook 'n rudimentêre saksofoon gespeel en in swart gesig verskyn tydens verskeie komediesketse. Dit was vaudeville op-die-werk opleiding op sy beste, of die ergste, as 'n mens die werkskedule en reisomstandighede van die dag moes verduur. Tydens sy ampstermyn by Hurley het hy sy verhoognaam verander na Bob Hope.

Die volgende belangrike stap in sy ontwikkeling as komediant het gekom toe hy geroep is om as seremoniemeester by 'n klein huis in Vaudeville in New Castle, PA, in te vul. Deur verskeie destydse mode Skotte-grappies te bevry dat hy vir openbare verbruik opgeknap het, het Hope groot genoeg behaal om te besluit om as solo-daad aan te gaan, nie meer in swart gesig of die klein derbyhoed en die groot rooi strikdas gedra nie deel van sy gewone verhooguitrusting. Hy het 'n week lange optrede as emcee in die Stratford Theatre in Chicago uitgebrei tot 'n verlowing van ses maande. Dit is hier dat Hope sy bemeestering van die spontane ad-lib ontwikkel het, wat hom in staat gestel het om alles wat 'n gehoorlid of mede-strokiesprent na hom toe kon gooi, saam te stel.

Vanaf sy triomf by die Stratford, het Hope oorgegaan na die groener weivelde van Broadway, wat sy paleisdebuut gemaak het in die musikale komedie Ballyhoo van 1932. Die jaar daarna verskyn hy in Jerome Kern se musiekblyspel, Roberta, en word hy 'n Broadway -ster. Met sy groter naam in die rolverdeling, het Hope 'n merkwaardige terughoudendheid in sy aflewering getoon, en 'n ligte komiese aanraking tot stand gebring wat 'n deel van die rand van sy vinnige vuur afgehaal het. Dit het hom goed te pas gekom in toekomstige Broadway -produksies, waaronder Red, Hot en Blue en die Ziegfeld Follies.

Die volgende logiese stap was radio, met sy magiese kus-tot-kus-aanloklikheid van 'oral speel op dieselfde tyd'. Na gaste en semi-gereelde werk aan vergete vertonings soos die R.K.O. Theatre of the Air, The Woodbury Soap Show, The Atlantic Oil Show en die onwaarskynlik genoemde Bromo-Seltzer Intimate Hour, het Hope op sy hoede geslaan met sy eie vertoning op NBC, geborg deur Pepsodent-tandepasta, 'n verhouding wat die volgende 15 jaar sou duur.

Anders as 'n Jack Benny of 'n Fred Allen, het Hope nooit regtig 'n situasie-tipe komedie-formaat ontwikkel nie, maar in 'n heel ander rigting gegaan. Op sy program van 30 minute lank het die openingsmonoloog die toon aangegee vir die res van die program, nie anders as vandag se laat-aand geselsprogramme nie. Sy aflewering van 'n masjiengeweer, waar geen grap belangriker was as die volgende een nie ("en ek wil jou vertel", sou ná byna elke slagreël 'n uitdrukking van Bob Hope word, of die grap onbeheerde gelag of 'n ligte tert veroorsaak het, dit het die gehoor die kans gegee om dit te kry), is gedurende hierdie tydperk tot in die volmaaktheid geslyp en was perfek vir die medium. Daar is aangevoer dat elke komediant sonder 'n gedefinieerde karakter (byvoorbeeld Eddie Cantor) elke keer met 'n gehoor moet begin. Met Hope was dit asof hy vars begin met elke ponslyn. Sy grappie -lêer was net so vooraanstaand soos almal, en het 'n onrusbarende frekwensie oor huidige nuusgebeure afgevuur. Kort voor lank, in die gemoedere van sy radiogehoor, het hy die meer citified en moderne verlengstuk geword van die ontslape humoris Will Rogers. Toe 'n nuusberig verskyn, wou almal weet wat Bob Hope in sy volgende program daaroor sou sê.

Dit was tydens hierdie enorme radiosukses dat hy die mees identifiseerbare aspek van sy karakter gekweek het en die een waarna hy altyd sou wend terwyl die jare sy aflewering vertraag tot 'n kruip, en die ervare kunstenaar wat meer selfversekerdheid uitstraal as iemand wat ooit geloop het 'n verhoog. Rondom hierdie tyd het Hope ook sy teen -verhoogpersoon ontwikkel, 'n ster wat pas 'n Amerikaanse Everyman was, kompleet met al die persoonlikheidsgebreke - hebsug, lafhartigheid, lechery, jaloersheid, ydelheid - endemies van die menslike toestand. Hy sou die res van sy loopbaan die een karakter teenoor die ander speel, en geen komediant het soveel kilometers as 'n lafaard as Bob Hope nie.

Hollywood het vroeg in die dertigerjare 'n beroep gedoen met 'n reeks kort suksesvolle broekies vir Educational en Warner Brothers. Sy eerste filmdebuut oor die hele lengte kom saam met The Big Broadcast van 1938, en stel hom voor om te sing wat sy temalied, "Thanks for the Memories", sou word. Twee jaar later werk hy saam met die skurk Bing Crosby vir 'n suksesvolle reeks padfoto's, begin met The Road to Singapore en eindig met The Road to Hong Kong 22 jaar later. Die span van Hope en Crosby-wat gewoonlik 'n gesellige kunstenaar speel-was 'n goed geoliede masjien, met albei mans wat hul onderskeie talente (Crosby as strokiesprent, Hope as sang-en-dansman) verruil het en 'n ou tyd in die proses. Hope se ander opvallende films gedurende hierdie tydperk sluit in The Seven Little Foys, Paleface, Fancy Pants, Beau James en The Lemon Drop Kid.

Die toename in gewildheid van televisie dwing hom spoedig om die stryd aan te sluit. Hy het in die vroeë vyftigerjare talle gasteskote en spesiale aanbiedinge vir NBC gedoen, en sy jaarlikse reise oorsee om die troepe te vermaak - wat tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog ten volle begin het en die USO help vestig het - het gou 'n gereelde Kersfees -televisie -geleentheid geword. Teen die einde van die 60's was Hope se valk, regse politieke standpunt egter in stryd met die stemming van die land oor die Viëtnam-oorlog, en dit kos hom byna al die geloofwaardigheid wat 30 jaar se optrede opgebou het. Hy het die mees afskuwelike van alle bekendes geword, een wie se politiek nie van hul verhoogpersoonlikheid geskei kan word nie. As daar gesê kan word dat daar slagoffers van die uitstallings uit die Viëtnam-oorlog is, dan sou die naam van Bob Hope beslis die lys wees. Vir die eerste keer in jare se reis om die troepe te vermaak, was hy baie minder entoesiasties. Hope, wat presidente gedurende sy loopbaan vermaak het sonder om self politiek te word, het uiteindelik die grens oorgesteek en dit het hom duur te staan ​​gekom.

Sy loopbaan - hoewel dit steeds winsgewend was - was nooit heeltemal dieselfde na daardie tydstip nie. Alhoewel hy in die volgende drie dekades sou voortgaan met vermoeide aanbiedings met huidige NBC -TV -sterre, was Hope vinnig besig om 'n anachronisme te word, wat stadiger en stadiger word, en sy styl met elke opeenvolgende uitsending al hoe meer corny, gemanierd en clichéisties was. In 1996 kondig NBC aan dat hul kontrak met Bob Hope tot 'n einde kom na 60 agtereenvolgende jare se uitsaai oor hul luggolwe. Sy netwerkuitsending van daardie jaar, Bob Hope salueer die presidente, was sy laaste Kersspesiaal, wat 'n lang tradisie bevat. Nader aan totale blindheid en met sy optrededae agter die rug, moes Hope vertroosting gevind het in die wete dat sy 70-jarige showjare goed bestee en die winsgewendste was, wat hom uiteindelik een van die rykste entertainers van alle tye gemaak het. Hope is op 7 Julie 2003 in die merkwaardige ouderdom van 100 oorlede. Bob Hope was - en bly - 'n Amerikaanse komedie -instelling.


Ouderdom, lengte en afmetings

Bob Hope is op 27 Julie 2003 (100 jaar oud) oorlede. Hy is gebore onder die Tweeling -horoskoop, aangesien Bob se geboortedatum 29 Mei is. Bob Hope -hoogte 5 voet 11 duim (ongeveer) en gewig 168,7 kg (ongeveer). Op die oomblik weet ons nie van liggaamsmetings nie. Ons sal in hierdie artikel opdateer.

Hoogte4 voet 9 duim (ongeveer)
Gewig169,1 kg (ongeveer)
Liggaammetings
OogkleurBlou
Haar kleurDonker bruin
KleregrootteXXS
Skoen grootte11,5 (VS), 10,5 (VK), 46 (EU), 29 (CM)

Resensies

& quotLiewe Bob. . . kry jou in jou ingewande, jou hart, jou siel. Tydsberekening is alles, soos Bob Hope sou getuig. 'Tydig' is hierdie belangrike, diep ontroerende publikasie. Martha en Linda het dit reggekry! Dit moet vereis word dat dit in ons skole gelees word. Dit is 'n liefdesarbeid - 'n kosbare gedenkteken vir 'n ware Amerikaanse en mens! & Quot

- Judith B. Feldman, voormalige persoonlike assistent/sekretaris van Bob Hope

Dit was baie belangrik vir Bob en Bing om op te daag vir ons troepe. Gedurende die oorlog het beide mans hul naweke gewy aan optredes by militêre basisse en hospitale, en hulle het mededingende gholftoernooie geskep om geld in te samel vir wat uiteindelik die USO geword het. Bob was so geliefd dat hy tot ere van G. I. & quot

- Kathryn Crosby

Martha Bolton het Amerika 'n kosbare skat besorg. Hierdie briewe onthul die liefde en respek wat Bob Hope vir die militêre manne en vroue van ons land gehad het - 'n wedersydse gevoel wat op hierdie bladsye duidelik blyk. U besef die ware hoedanigheid van hoop as u lees oor die impak wat mnr. Hope op oorlogvoerders gehad het. Hierdie briewe, geskryf uit die voorste linies, slagskepe, chow -sale en hospitaalafdelings, getuig van die krag van onbaatsugtige diens - beide van die weermag en van meneer Hope. & quot

- Randy Curry, kapelaan (luitenant -kolonel), Amerikaanse weermag

& quotWat 'n storie. Bob Hope was 'n meester van tydsberekening en so snaaks dat dit maklik was om sy deernisvolle hart oor die hoof te sien. Op hierdie junkets het hy verstaan ​​dat baie van die seuns in sy gehoor vir die laaste keer in hul lewens sou lag. Dit was amper 'n afhanklike verhouding. Hulle het albei geweet wat aangaan. Hulle kyk in die gesig van die dood en lag. Martha Bolton het 'n wonderlike verhaal vasgevang. & quot

- Doug Wead, topverkoper -skrywer en adviseur van twee presidente in die New York Times

As 'n militêre offisier en oorlogsveteraan, was ek eerstehands getuie van die effek wat Bob Hope se toewyding aan ons troepe op die moreel in die oorlog gehad het. Bob se band met die Amerikaanse soldaat was onmiskenbaar, en veral sy band met die soldate van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog was besonder sterk en aangrypend. Op skrif Liewe Bob. . . Martha Bolton het die kern van hierdie band vasgevang en, nog belangriker, bewaar dit vir toekomstige geslagte. Dit is duidelik 'n werk van historiese betekenis. & quot

- John Harbour, luitenant -kolonel, afgetrede Amerikaanse leër

Bob Hope was bekend daarvoor dat hy die dienspligtiges en vroue wat in gevegsgeteisterde, afgeleë, byna onuitspreeklike dele van die wêreld dien, gelag en 'n tikkie tuis gebring het. Martha Bolton se emosiebelaaide Liewe Bob . . . toon aan hoeveel die troepe hierdie besoeke geniet het. Dit wys ook op hoeveel Mr Hope die mans en vroue waardeer het wat soveel opgeoffer het om hul land te verdedig. Sy toewyding aan hulle strek veel verder as sy optredes. & quot

-Gene Perret, viermalige Emmy-bekroonde skrywer vir The Carol Burnett Show en hoofskrywer vir Bob Hope

Hierdie opregte, snaakse en inspirerende briewe is 'n wonderlike huldeblyk aan die unieke hegte verhouding wat Bob Hope met al sy aanhangers gehad het - veral diegene wat hom 'n welkome herinnering aan die tuiste op die verre slagvelde van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog gevind het. & quot

- Richard Zoglin, bydraende redakteur, tydskrif Time, en skrywer van Hope: Entertainer of the Century

Bob Hope, die legendariese Hollywood -entertainer, het in 1941 begin met USO -vertonings en het die volgende vyftig jaar steeds troepe ondersteun en bemoedig. Hy het 'n huldeblyk geword van 'n hele dankbare nasie, wat die lat baie hoog gestel het in sy vyftig jaar van vermaak en ondersteuning van ons troepe. Die korrespondensie in Liewe Bob . . . is 'n verdere bewys van sy absolute en onwrikbare toewyding aan die Amerikaanse G. I. & quot

- Gary Sinise, akteur, advokaat vir veterane en skrywer van Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service

Gedurende die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het Bob Hope eerstehands die pogings van die Amerikaanse Rooi Kruis gesien om militêre dienslede te ondersteun. Hy het saam met ons gewerk om die moraal op te bou en die gees van diegene wat dien, te verhoog, en hy was getuie van hoe ons militêre lede met hul geliefdes tuis verbind het deur middel van noodboodskappe. Hy het gesien hoe ons Rooi Kruis -vrywilligers troospakke en sorg aan die gewondes in hospitale uitdeel. Dit was deur Bob Hope se deernis, toewyding en stem dat die Amerikaanse Rooi Kruis 'n nog groter impak kon hê om Amerikaanse dienslede tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog te help. & quot

- Gail J. McGovern, president en uitvoerende hoof van die Amerikaanse Rooi Kruis

& quotHope het 'n presedent geskep vir alle entertainers wat in sy pad gevolg het. Afgesien van die impak van Hope as kunstenaar, kan die ware akteur van Hope se invloed gesien word in die aantal akteurs, komediante, musikante en atlete wat vandag vrywillig wil deelneem aan 'n USO -vertoning of toer. When these celebrities sacrifice their time to travel to places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, or South Korea and meet one-on-one with our nation’s military, they are joining the ranks of countless others who saw the selflessness and impact of Hope and his career that was almost entirely dedicated to those who serve. Bob Hope’s name has become synonymous with the USO, and there can be no greater honor. He displayed our organization’s most closely held values and was committed to the USO’s mission of connecting troops to home, bringing a moment of joy during challenging times and always going where our service members go. & quot

- Jack Dyer (J. D.) Crouch II, president and CEO of the United Service Organizations

(Travalanche)

The Billy Rose Theatre Collection, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Perhaps no more polarizing figure exists in these annals than that of Bob Hope. Years ago, a baby boomer friend spotted a copy of Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me, Bob Hope on my shelf. “In that case,” he said, “I’ll be sure to take careful aim.” No doubt for this scraggly ex-hippie, Hope was the enemy – a mummified square who performed for the troops in Vietnam, starred in creaky, stodgy, phoned-in movie comedies, and staged unbelievably unhip variety shows for which he booked acts ranging from Barbara Feldon to the U.S. Marine Corps Glee Club. A baby boomer’s vaudevillian would of course be an act more like the Marx. Bros – anarchistic, irreverent, anti-everything. Hope, however, is the epitome of the slavish flag-waver, the foremost heir to George M. Cohan of the post-war period. Hope was America’s premiere pro patria stand-up comedian, whose subject matter tended to be girls and sports. (“Say, how about that Dorothy Lamour?”, and “Hey, how about those Dodgers?”) He symbolizes so much about America. In him one can glean much that is characteristic of the successful vaudevillian: the breezy self-confidence, the brashness, the unapologetic affluence. How disorienting, in light of all that, to learn that Hope was born a foreigner!

He was born Leslie Towne Hope on May 29, 1903 in Eltham, England. His father was a bricklayer, and the family was extremely poor. (Hope was one of seven children). Hope’s father moved the family to Cleveland, OH in search of better opportunities. For Hope senior, there weren’t any. His son would eventually be one of the richest men in the country.

As a teenager he saw Frank Fay perform at Keith’s 105 th Street in Cleveland. (No doubt he told himself, “If there’s room for an arrogant jerk like that in show business, surely there’s a place for me!”) In 1915, he got his first performing experience (in the same way Berle had gotten his) in one of the Charlie Chaplin contests that were so popular at that time.

Hope quit school at age 16, took dancing lessons, and started singing with a quartet. He was part of that song and dance team Durbin and Hope that performed in a revue starring filmdom’s disgraced expatriate Fatty Arbuckle in 1924. When Durbin died of TB, Hope teamed up with another hoofer named George Byrne. Among their memorable engagements in the three years they were together was a tour with Daisy and Violet Hilton, the Siamese Twins. In 1927, at a gig in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Hope was asked to announce upcoming shows – his first true assignment as a monologist. He threw in some jokes and Frank Fay’s walk and got big yuks. Hope decided that he would be more successful as a single at this point, and fired Byrne. He moved to Chicago that year and – after several weeks without work — began a successful run as m.c. at the Stratford theatre, where he went over big. As added joke fodder, he hired a girl named Grace Louis to play a Dumb Dora for part of the act.

Making the leap to New York, Hope got booked at Proctor’s 54 th street. He consciously got this gig as a showcase to impress the Keith booker Lee Stewart. He soon learned that this was the toughest house in the city and that his turn would be a make or break moment. With typical resourcefulness, he devised a show stopping opening line while waiting in the wings to go on. Prior to his entrance, the stage was occupied by a woman named Leatrice Joy who was famously divorcing the actor John Gilbert. So as Joy walked off and Hope walked on (what a felicitous phrase!), Hope snapped to a woman in the audience, “No lady I am nie John Gilbert”. The line slayed the audience and from there they were eating out of his hand. He got several curtain calls, and William Morris signed him to a three year contract with the Keith organization.

Hope’s strength was his comic manner, as opposed to his material. Something about his face, the arch eyebrows, the devilish glint in his eyes just before he delivered a punchline helped him sell it. His personality was brash and bold and he instinctively knew how to get a joke over, no matter how bad. Often the material was so weak in the early days (and frankly also the later ones) that in 1930 he hired the consummate vaudeville gag man Al Boasberg to write jokes for him. Boasberg wrote also for Burns and Allen, the Marx Bros. and others before being taken early by a corned beef induced heart attack.

Hope was next booked for a revue called The Antics of 1931 at the Palace on a bill with Bea Lillie. He didn’t set the world on fire in the revue, but he got screams hosting something called “Celebrity Night at the Palace”, a Monday night all-star show that gave performers from other shows on Broadway an opportunity to see current performers on their night off. From there, it was The Ballyhoo of 1932, and a succession of other revues and book musicals through the mid-30s, radio throughout the 30s and 40s, film from Die Big Broadcast of 1938 (in which he first sang his signature song “Thanks for the Memories”) through Cancel My Reservation (1972), live tours for the military in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf, and periodic television variety shows in which he helped keep vaudeville alive for another 3 decades.

His best films were in the 40s, especially the so-called “Road” pictures with Bing Crosby, in which they formed a sort of loose comedy team. Hope was also at the top of his form during these years as the sole star as such comedies as Monseuir Beaucaire (1946) en My Favorite Brunette (1947). Woody Allen cited Hope’s film persona during this period as a major influence. However, with the 1963 film Call Me Bwana, it is generally agreed that the quality of Hope’s output for the silver screen took a steady and permanent nosedive. At this point, Hope was just phoning it in.

Hope started in show business at just the right time. He came to vaudeville late in its evolution his ascent coincided with its demise, but he managed to get a foothold elsewhere before it winked out. While there was a vaudeville he was glad to work there but by the time it died he didn’t need it any more. He stepped from his dates at the Palace to book musicals and radio as one might step off a ship that is going under. Though he never particularly distinguished himself in vaudeville per se, it was his training ground. He spent the better part of a decade on its stage, learning timing, improvisation and developing stage presence.

Traces of the vaudevillian remain throughout his 70 year career, notably his noticeably effeminate “swishy” style of walking on and off stage, which he consciously borrowed from monologist Frank Fay (as did Benny). Hope was still doing regular tv specials right up until the early 1990s, when his frail body simply couldn’t do it anymore.

We have an entire section of posts related to Bob Hope on Travalanche! Read the rest of them here.

To find out more about the history of vaudeville and stars like Bob Hope, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


Laugh Factory

When I was a teen-ager, I sort of hated Bob Hope. All of us did. Generationally crazy about the classics of American comedy—Groucho and Chaplin and Keaton and W. C. Fields—movie-loving kids could, in the nineteen-seventies, afford to be pious about the industrious, blue-collar types of that dispensation. Abbott and Costello and the Three Stooges had their Dada charm—they were working so hard that you couldn’t help but laugh. Henny Youngman, with his violin and grinning, rapid-fire delivery, was cool in his dirty-uncle-at-the-bar-mitzvah way. (Philip Roth went on the record as a Youngman fan.) If you were lucky enough to get to stay home with a cold and watch reruns on morning television, you could catch Lucille Ball’s and Jackie Gleason’s fifties sitcoms, which were truly funny, and had neat theme music, too.

But Hope was beyond hope. There he was, year after year, on those post-Christmas U.S.O. specials, with shrieking starlets and shirtless soldiers, swinging his golf club like a swagger stick. He seemed barely interested in his jokes, which he recited rather than performed, their standardized rhythmic forms—“Hey, you know what A is? It’s B!” “Yeah, let me tell you: C reminds me of D”—more like the mumbled monotones of some ancient scripture than like anything funny. James Agee’s canonical essay on silent comedians used Hope as an example of everything that had gone wrong with movie comedy since sound came in.

Worse, Hope seemed like the perfect jester for the Nixon court: contemptuous of his audience and even of his role. A rule of American life is that the same face often appears as comic and tragic masks on two public figures at the same time. The unsmiling and remote Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry and the ever-smiling but equally remote Johnny Carson were look-alikes of this kind through the seventies, and so in the early nineties were the shoegazing stoner twins of the rocker Kurt Cobain and the comedian Mitch Hedberg—both sweet and self-destructive and dead too young. Hope and Nixon had that kind of symmetry: the ski-jump nose the hooded, darting, watchful eyes the five-o’clock castaway shadow (in the thirties, Hope did razor-blade ads because of it) the flat, nowheresville American accent above all, the constant show of regular-guy companionability, unable to disguise for long the coldness and isolation at its core.

Woody Allen’s was the one voice speaking up for Hope’s genius in those years he even did a Hope homage in “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex.” But one felt that Allen liked Hope because he needed something from Hope’s work for his own—perhaps a sense that this much verbal aggression was going to work out O.K., perhaps a desire to be pious about someone other than the obvious.

America, however, is the country of the eternal appeals court, where judgment, once it has worked its way through the system, has to work its way through it all over again. With a comedian or a humorist, the newsweekly eulogy usually oversweetens the case, then the memorial makes some of the right jokes, and then the biography comes to make the last, best case for his importance. Richard Zoglin’s biography “Hope” (Simon & Schuster) does such an effective job of arguing the appeal that even the Hope-hater comes away eager to see more of his good early work, and more sympathetic to the forces in his life and in the country’s which left him hard to like at the end.

Bob Hope, we learn, was born outside London in 1903, and remained in one respect more English than American: the truest thing that can be said about his inner life is that he chose not to have one. His hard-drinking father was a stone cutter—a mediocre artisan in a dying field, who, failing to make a living in London, immigrated to Cleveland only to fail further there. Hope’s mother brought up seven boys in drear, impoverished conditions. The outer fringes of London and then industrial Cleveland were not places designed to bring out the beaming aesthete in any man. The grim determination with which Hope pursued his career is perfectly understandable if you first grasp the grim lack of determination with which his father pursued his own.

Some successful performers are perpetually on, and some are just perpetually pushing. Hope was the second type. You almost have a sense, following his progress, that he became a comedian not because he much liked entertaining people but because he had to do iets, and it beat all the other jobs on offer. Then he discovered that the same gift of sober perseverance that would push you up in any other business would push you up onstage. In the mid-twenties, he hopped onto what was left of the vaudeville circuit, which, one gathers, was a bit like writing for the Huffington Post today: to do it, you did it. The early notices suggest that Hope was an efficient comic rather than an inspired one—a swift retailer of as many jokes as he could borrow from other comedians or steal from magazines. This made his rise surprisingly swift without, at first, being particularly notable. He was successful before he had a style.

His real reputation was made on Broadway, when, in 1936, he was lifted out of the ranks of scuffling comics to star with Ethel Merman and Jimmy Durante in Cole Porter’s “Red, Hot and Blue.” (In a duet he sang with Merman, he introduced the Porter standard “It’s De-lovely.”) He was what was called brash, and could dance lightly on the surface of conventional comedy, without melodrama or pathos. “He knows a poor joke when he hides it,” a critic wrote of Hope on Broadway, and he always would.

It was the final, onstage translation of all that pure ambition. Hope knew that there were many laughs to be had by laughing at the whole business of making people laugh. Early on, he had hired stooges to heckle him from the wings during his act. “Don’t you boys know you can be arrested for annoying an audience?” Hope would snap. “You should know!” was their reply. (Johnny Carson took this manner over whole, knowing how to get laughs out of the failure of a one-liner.)

Onstage, Hope was a wise guy and a go-getter—“cocky, brash, and bumptious” was his own summing up. Durante, Bert Lahr, and, later, Jackie Gleason played at being lovable naïfs of a kind. The personae presented by Groucho and W. C. Fields represented another form of displacement: Fields a nineteenth-century con man lost in the new world of immigrant energies, Groucho a rabbinic disputant without a congregation to listen to him. Hope, by contrast, was all the things comedians are not supposed to be: sure of himself, self-satisfied, a man justified in his complacency. He got his laughs by hovering knowingly over his material, without worrying it too much. Hope was entirely a city smart-aleck. (It was already an American voice, right out of Sinclair Lewis’s “Babbitt.”)

The Marx Brothers were satiric—they were against war and authority—but they were not particularly topical. Hope was always “on the news” in a nicely breezy way. Zoglin retails some of his lines from his first movie hit, the horror-flick parody “The Cat and the Canary”: Someone asks whether he believes in reincarnation—“You know, that dead people come back.” Hope: “You mean like the Republicans?” Will Rogers preceded him in this, but that was slow-spoken country-boy wisdom. Hope was tabloid-alert, and very New York. He later referred to his “suave, sterling style” on Broadway Hollywood to his mind was mere “Hicksville.”

He was also what was called in those days an “inveterate skirt-chaser.” After an early and unsuccessful marriage to a vaudeville partner, he made an early and successful marriage to a minor singer, Dolores Reade. It was successful in the sense that they stuck together and raised children—she was devoutly Catholic—and that she permanently stabilized his life. Along the way, however, he had an apparently unending series of sexual escapades. Most of his assignations were with little-remembered beauty queens and chorus girls, though he did tell a friend that he had had sex with the brass-tonsilled Merman in doorways all the way up Eighth Avenue. Although all this was widely known, Zoglin points out, no one chose to notice. Some work went into this. Hope’s agent Louis Shurr once said, brutally, to a new Hope publicist, “Our mission in life is to keep all news about fucking and sucking away from Dolores.”

It was in Hollywood, hick town or no, that he got paired with Bing Crosby, a much bigger star, in a small buddy comedy called “The Road to Singapore” (1940). This was the first of the series of “Road” movies—“The Road to Morocco,” “The Road to Utopia,” “The Road to Rio”—which made him a household name, and are his best shot at posterity. They really are funny, and curiously modern, and a key part of this, strange to say, is Hope’s sex appeal. He’s a self-confident wise guy—exposed as a coward but not as a nebbish. Riding the back of a camel with Crosby in “Road to Morocco,” he’s as at ease in his undershirt as Brando.

Zoglin is right that the meta-comedy, “the fourth-wall-breaking,” of those movies is still charming, and must have seemed startling at the time. After Hope stops to recapitulate the plot in “Morocco,” Crosby protests that he knows all that. “Yeah, but the people who came in the middle of the picture don’t,” Hope replies. This is a stunt, and we buy it because the characters are so companionable—the real subject of the movies was Bob and Bing’s friendship, and our sense that, as with Redford and Newman later on, they were funny, attractive equals. Crosby isn’t truly a straight man Hope isn’t truly a clown. The Hope character doesn’t see himself as ineligible for Dorothy Lamour, just squeezed out.

The simulation of that brotherly relationship turns out to be an artistic invention of the movies. In truth, the two men barely tolerated each other. “He was a son of a bitch,” Hope remarked after Crosby’s death. Hope’s brand of sullen and Crosby’s brand of sullen were different: Hope’s outwardly genial and inwardly inert, Crosby’s fuelled by alcohol and anger, and perhaps by enough intelligence to make this great jazz singer, once described as the “first hip white person in America,” think that he was wasting his talent on these matters.

Hope, in the “Road” movies of the forties and in such solo projects as the fine costume-drama parody “Monsieur Beaucaire” (1946), inhabited a character—the panicked, helpless Lothario, too busy trying to talk his way out of trouble to actually do something to avoid it. It’s a stock character, a Shakespearean character, really: Sir Toby Belch or Sir Andrew Aguecheek, the loudmouthed coward, juxtaposed as usual with the smooth fraud. (How well Hope and Crosby would have played Sir Toby and Sir Andrew in “Twelfth Night,” if anyone could have got them to do it.) But he made the classical type an American type, and it was immensely cheering in the midst of the war.

For a decade, from 1939 to 1950, Hope was consistently and even irresistibly funny, in a way now hard to analyze, since its later inferior, mechanical TV version is so close to it in style. Part of it is period parody. Hope is to the tough guys and hardboiled dicks of the forties what Woody Allen was to the smooth seducers of the sixties—at once boldly aspiring and obviously inadequate. “It only took brains, courage, and a gun,” Hope announces in his 1947 parody film noir, “My Favorite Brunette.” “And I had the gun.” We know that’s not a Groucho line, typically an overwrought boast that dissolves into wordplay. (“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I don’t know.”) The key is the feint at courage, and the rueful confession of inadequacy. (As with his simple statement in “The Road to Zanzibar,” as he leads Crosby into the unknown: “Oh, come on, you follow me. In front.”)

“His is a thought experiment.”

Amputated abruptness is Hope’s speaking style, mixed with a bemused Have-I-got-this-right? curiosity—the wise guy who knows what he doesn’t quite get. In “Brunette,” having been shown the death chamber at San Quentin, he says, “Gas! You haven’t even put in electricity!” In “The Ghost Breakers,” a follow-up to* “The Cat and the Canary,” the heavy describes zombies (“You see them sometimes, walking around blindly with dead eyes, following orders, not knowing what they do and not caring”), and Hope, in a line balancing the joke about Republicans, says, “You mean like Democrats?” The joke depends on the openness of his expression. He isn’t so much making fun of tabloid politics as playing a guy whose whole experience is defined by them. He’s the true American Babbitt: good-natured, ignorant, forever optimistic, his understanding of the universe limited to a tiny range of insular referents.

If the “Road” movies made him a forties star, the U.S.O. tours he undertook throughout Europe and the Pacific made him a forties hero. The U.S.O. tours have become a staple of American entertainment, but Zoglin points out that they were an entirely new thing at the time, and Hope and his troupe took real and at times hair-raising risks. Zoglin enumerates the list of runways barely found on foggy flights that seem doomed midway, of German attacks just missed.

The real parallel to Hope—the great American comedian whose career most closely resembles his—is, of course, Bugs Bunny. Like Hope, he arrived in Hollywood in the late thirties and became a huge star with the war. Like Hope, he was usually paired with a more inward character who loves to sing (Daffy Duck is Bugs’s Bing, though blustery rather than cool), and, like Hope, his appeal rises entirely from the limitless brashness and self-confidence with which he approaches even the most threatening circumstances. Together, they are the highest expression of the smart-aleck sensibility in American laughter. Their fame in wartime may have something to do with the way that, as A. J. Liebling documents, the American Army itself was essentially an urban creature dispatched to deserts and jungles: Bugs, with his Bronx-Brooklyn accent, has somehow been sent out there in the countryside, among the hunters, as Hope ends up in the sands of Morocco with no weapon but street-corner sass.

There may be some deeper connection between the high-energy comedian and the needs of a wartime audience. The young Chaplin, whose rise coincided with the First World War, was a hyperactive mischief-maker, closing doors on the feet of gouty heavies and hooking up women’s skirts and throwing feed to orphans as if in a farmyard, even going in one film to France and arresting the Kaiser. When civilians face mass conscription, the nonconscripted audience may feel the need for a comic hero who, though scared to death of everything, still has an answer for anything. Peacetime welcomes little fellows wartime needs a wise guy. So in the peaceful post-Vietnam era, the sublime silliness of Steve Martin could blossom, while once the wars came back, in the nineties, the louder realists reigned again, as with the later, enraged George Carlin.

Following the national pattern, the urban New Dealer became an Eisenhower-era suburban golfer and real-estate mogul—at one time, Hope was said to be the largest single private landowner in California. As Zoglin notes, Hope’s trajectory rose ever higher, while in some ways his first reputation, as a kind of joke machine, a repository of other writers’ wit, returned. Hope made no secret of his writers’ existence. (“I keep an earthquake emergency kit in my house. It’s filled with food, water, and a half a dozen writers.”) Nor did the manner of his telling disguise the fact that someone had told him what would be funny to say. He became a cue-card comedian—“Stay on the cards, kid,” he warned the improvisational young Jonathan Winters—and could be seen to be reading off them even when you wouldn’t think he had to. Even when he was playing golf with C.E.O.s, his writers would provide him with one-liners. (Before Hope died, he left to the Library of Congress eighty-five thousand pages of jokes.)

The curious thing about a comedian with a large, well-paid writing staff is that he is sure that he alone knows what’s funny for him. Hope was like that. He remained, in his own mind, the author of his material, even if he didn’t put down a word of it, because he had invented the character to whom the writers were merely feeding lines. Making up the character took years finding new things for him to say is easy. The performer’s prejudice, though exasperating to the writers—was Groucho the vehicle of George S. Kaufman or his creation?—isn’t entirely unjust. The comedian really does know his character inside out. Like the Old Master painter Raphael or Rubens, in his studio, passing out to the lesser assistants the lesser angels, the Master retains the authorship, because he thought up the way to paint each dimple on each cherub’s rear. All the writers or assistants have to do is do it again. Of course, from the writer’s point of view, everything has altered as the situations and circumstances of the comedy alter—as, from the assistant’s point of view, each angel’s ass is unique to the angel. This tug-of-war between the Master and his paid seconds is eternal.

By the time Hope became, above all else, a television comedian, in the nineteen-fifties, his staff had congealed, and one has the sense that Hope himself lost track of the character. Where the forties Hope is a highly specific urban wise-guy type (what a good Nathan Detroit the forties Hope would have made!), the fifties Hope is a comedian in front of a curtain telling jokes. Cooling himself down for the new medium, he gave a performance that often feels jelled. The jokes in the Library of Congress have no particular “voice.” Hope appreciated his writers, but it became hard for him to distinguish one from the next the story is that he would bring his head writers in at Christmastime to get a gift, and then open the room in which he kept all the gifts he had received from sponsors and the like, and invite the writers to take what they wanted. It was generous and contemptuous at the same time. Though his bull pen of writers was not quite Sid Caesar calibre—Caesar had the Simon brothers, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks—it still contained stars, including the young Larry Gelbart, who is said to have witnessed, with Hope on a U.S.O. tour in the early fifties, the black comedy of a mobile-hospital unit in Korea that he later transferred to “M*A*S*H.”

But this was the birth of the cue-card age, a time when politicians, too, could expect to recite words written entirely by others and still get full credit for the performance. Hope’s Ted Sorensen was the writer Mort Lachman, nicknamed the Owl, who supplied him not just with jokes but with narration for his “ambassadorial” television specials, giving him words that were often simpler and more humane than most Cold War narration. Lachman wrote the concluding lines of Hope’s delicately negotiated 1958 special from Moscow: “I found out that the little kids with the fur hats and the sticky faces have no politics, and that their party line is confined to ‘please pass the ice cream.’ . . . It would be nice if somebody could work out a plan for peaceful coexistence, so that human beings like these don’t become obsolete.”

The U.S.O. tours continued through Korea and Vietnam and even into the first Gulf War, some forty years of Christmases, as people never tired of intoning, away from home. (But he didn’t much want to be home.) There is a reasonable case to be made that the one who profited most from the perpetual U.S.O. touring was Bob Hope. He was well paid for the specials, which were broadcast on NBC every January. In a sense, the soldiers were being recruited as extras in a television program about Bob Hope. But there were easier ways for a man who was coming to own half of Southern California to make two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

The trouble was that the jokes, which had been so appealing when they came from a guise of helplessness, had become pure exercises in power. Usher on a starlet, usher off a quarterback, tell six indifferent one-liners (“I asked McNamara if we could come, and he said, ‘Why not, we’ve tried everything else’ ”), and then try to stay awake as the troops cheer. A good joke comes back to me after all the decades, because it spoke for soldiers rather than for their keepers: “I tell you, when the enemy started firing I started running backwards so far that I almost bumped into a general.” Still, the sixties were a time of more cultural multiplicity than memory likes to admit: “Love Is Blue,” Paul Mauriat’s “semiclassical” instrumental, was the No. 1 song for many weeks in 1968, and, as late as 1970, with the Beatles breaking up, Bob Hope’s Christmas special drew close to a fifty share, with almost half the households with televisions in America watching. Many were, in effect, watching the old Hope, or their recollections of him. “Thanks for the Memory,” indeed—it seems that rituals of generational piety can withstand vast amounts of audience abuse. People still show up to hear Bob Dylan display syne sullen indifference to his aging audience, and cheer him as though they were, well, soldiers at war.

But it was not a time of cultural coexistence: things banged together instead of bouncing around congenially. Hope was one of the things that got banged. The later movies, and the later “memoirs” that went with them, the excruciatingly lazy joke books—Ian Frazier wrote a very funny parody of them in these pages—are, as Zoglin knows, terrible, and he doesn’t pretend to admire them. Nolo contendere is a good plea for late bad work. As Zoglin also notes sadly, it was Hope’s seeming sponsorship of the Vietnam War that dampened his reputation in his lifetime, and lost him the claim on younger generations that Groucho reclaimed by being openly antiwar. Still, the movies and the television specials kept being made long after the ratings had plummeted and the comedian, in his eighties and nineties, was too obviously fragile to be funny. (He died just past his hundredth birthday.) Many institutions have one senior member who can’t be used and can’t be removed: the elderly Churchill was of that kind for the British Conservatives. Hope was that for NBC.

“How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!” Shakespeare has Hal, newly crowned, announce of Falstaff. The weird thing is that nobody minds a white-haired musician. Old baritones (even pop baritones, such as Sinatra) and aging conductors seem more lovable than old clowns. Crooners, perhaps because their work depends on the illusion of emotion, seem defiant of time. A comic, whose work depends on energy, seems victimized by it. When Sinatra had to stand still and speak his songs, he was still great when Bob Hope seems to stumble, he’s sad.

The best hope for aging clowns is to come back to sing. The ghost of Jimmy Durante was still moving as he chortled through “As Time Goes By” in “Sleepless in Seattle,” even when he was no longer much remembered as a comic. When Groucho made his last Carnegie Hall appearance, the stories were shaky, but the songs (“Show Me a Rose”) were beautiful. Of Hope’s surviving performances, it may be, paradoxically, his songs that last longest and seem purest. Cole Porter’s songs aside, Hope had at least two wonderful tunes written especially for him: Frank Loesser’s “Two Sleepy People” and Leo Robin’s “Thanks for the Memory,” Hope’s theme song. Even as late as 1985, when he sang a version of it with special Christmas lyrics, Hope comes alive a little as he sings: though his body seems aged, locked in place, his voice still rises from the weary rhythms of joke-telling to conjure again the eager song-and-dance man who once lit up Broadway. You’ve got to love him, some. ♦

*Clarification: An earlier version of this article misidentified the film in which the quote appears.


Watch the video: Bob Hope - Biography - 1998