More like the David Letterman of his day (the days of vaudeville and the early years of radio and sound-enhanced monochrome films). In his heyday, he was a droll, wiseass genius; by the television age, his skillz eroded, he was more and more propped up by an army of expensive gag writers. Brother hatless is hereby sentenced to a marathon of pre-1950 Hope flicks.

American comedian (1903-2003). Born Leslie Townes Hope in London, he and his family moved to America when he was still a baby. He got his start in show business as a vaudeville comic and made his way to Broadway in the 1930s. After making a few uninspired short films, he hit it big in radio, starring on "The Pepsodent Show" in 1938. He also appeared in "The Big Broadcast" that year, where he and Shirley Ross sang a song called "Thanks for the Memories"--of course, it has been his signature song ever since.

Paramount signed Hope to a series of films, of which "The Cat and the Canary" was the most popular. The comedic thriller featured Hope as a wisecracking coward who tossed off topical references like fastballs, and audiences loved it. Most of his screen roles from then on had the same basic persona. After another popular ghost movie, "The Ghost Breakers", Hope appeared with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour in "The Road to Singapore", the first of the wildly successful "Road" movies. Hope and Crosby continued their screwball, sometimes ad-libbed comedies with "The Road to Zanzibar", "The Road to Morocco", "The Road to Utopia", "The Road to Rio", "The Road to Bali", and "The Road to Hong Kong". The comic and the crooner also made frequent cameo appearances in each other's movies.

Some of Hope's other movies included comedies like "The Princess and the Pirate", "The Paleface", "Son of Paleface", "Fancy Pants", and "My Favorite Blonde", as well as a couple of dramas: "The Seven Little Foys" and "Beau James". He also made his first TV special for NBC in 1950--for the next 40 years, he made regular specials for the Peacock Network. He hosted the Academy Awards for many years (and received four honorary Oscars), and he made regular tours to entertain military troops overseas.

After many years of quiet retirement, Hope finally hit his 100th birthday, which was cause for much celebration in the entertainment biz (as well as in the military--Hope's tours with the USO had been wildly popular with soldiers for decades) and died only a few weeks later. He was probably the most popular entertainer we've ever seen--yes, bigger than Elvis, bigger than Sinatra, bigger even than Britney--and with his death, we've seen the official passing of America's last Living Legend...

Mucho grande research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

Since Bob Hope helped me celebrate my birthday, I think it's only proper that I should salute him on his.


Happy Birthday Bob Hope!!

On December 20, 1964, I turned 21, and Bob Hope was there to help me celebrate. He had come all the way to Bien Hoa, Vietnam where I happened to be at the time, and he brought a bunch of folks with him. Les Brown and His Band of Reknown always traveled with Bob as he entertained the troops at Christmastime, year after year after year. I'm sure Miss America was there because Bob didn't travel without the current Miss America. And I remember a singer named Anna Maria Alberghetti who helped Bob croon some tunes, but what all the troops waited for each and every year, was the hot little honey Bob had picked to add a little extra excitement to the show. On this specific year, and on my birthday, Bob had chosen Joey Heatherton, who was just that, a hot little honey. As TheDeadGuy indicates in his w/u of Joey, she was best known for her suggestive and risque dancing and her legs, which began somewhere and seemed to never end. There were other foxy ladies there I'm sure, but Bob isn't the only one who's aged since then and the memories just aren't what they used to be. But, when Bob would leave the stage he and his entourage would sing, Thanks For The Memories, and today there are millions of ex-servicemen like myself, who would like to tell Bob, thanks for the memories. It's probably one of those deals where you'd have to be there to appreciate it; we were and we do.


Happy Birthday Bob!!



Rest in Peace, My Man
May 29, 1903-July 27, 2003

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