Monday, July 28, 2003

Holding out Hope: First of all...are you sure he's really dead?? Okay, enough with that. Hope was sort of like a Minister Without Portfolio of the comedy world. Not a movie star exactly, not a stand-up exactly, never had a t.v. show, exactly. He just "acted" in countless movies, was constantly doing live comedic shows, and probably was on more televisions than Milton Berle. He was the master of the inoffensive put-down. He could poke fun without drawing blood, and he was apolitical. That and his tireless work for the troops is no doubt why every president you can think of made nice with the man. You could say this made him second-rate - that he was afraid to go for the jugular - but does anyone think Dennis Miller, for example, is still funny (or that Bill Maher ever was)? He also never tarnished his image through women, drink or worse. 100 years, and the worst you could say about him was that he was ego-centric, or a kiss-ass.

It's funny, if you mention Bob Hope, and ask what the first word to come to one's mind is, each person will probably have a different answer: golf, USO, presidents, movies, t.v. specials, nose.... What is clear is that there will never be another of his type. Nowadays, every bar-comedian has an exclusive development deal that keeps him tied down to his "star vehicle". Bob realized that as long as you have an audience, you're always the star, and no matter the setting (golf course, Army base, stage, screen, press conference), you put your best effort forward. Truly a timeless class act, and one that will be ever-appreciated.

No comments: