Monday, 9 July 2012


                                                                                                 You couldn't get two more American ,American entertainers than BOB HOPE and BING CROSBY....Ironically ,whereas BING is a pure American boy ,the archyotype American comic BOB HOPE is an ENGLISHMAN born and raised during his early days in gods country. He went over 'the pond' and ,suprise ,suprise , spent time in reform school and was a boxer for a while, joking  he was so bad they sewed handles onto his shorts ,or was that LES DAWSON?...He broke into showbiz and on it went . To boost his career America joined the SECOND WORLD WAR ,so Hope could go and entertain the troops. In fact as the years went on, whenever Hopes career was having a quiet time of it America would go to war ;KOREA, VIETNAM, he was there entertaining the troops. This may seem a little extreme , but you have to put a little effort in if you wish to create a showbiz legend . All i can say is that the yanks didn't know their favourite comedian ,friend of the troops and presidents was a Brit. Apparently 'Our Bob' was a bit of a womaniser and a bit of a lad ,liked a drink and was a friend of all the stars like 'THE RAT PACK' of which he was a regular. Everybody tuned into watch BOB HOPE reading his monologues even when he got to an age where he couldnt read his idiot cards.

He met up with the other great, BING CROSBY a one time jazz singer who liked a drink. App arently Bing was the guy who fought to have his radio shows recorded and through him taping techniques eventually developed. He gave LES PAUL some kind of recording tape system and this lead to multi tracking. BING CROSBY ,get this!.....His team created THE LAUGH TRACK!!!....Which we've all grown up wih ,and which is used even today for virtually every comedy show,  but for radical ,finger on the pulse comedians into reality comedy ,like THE OFFICE',without the laugh tracks.....I dont know if the attraction of BING CROSBY to  BOB HOPE was access to the laugh track ,he wouldn't have had  to worry about the audience ,he would've got an audience pissing themselves laughing at the press of a button ,indeed a comics dream. Crosby was the ultimate 'CROONER' and SINATRA was told to copy CROSBY by concenterating on the words rather than the jazz beat and tune and ,apparently thats just what'OL BLUE EYES'went and did. Everybody loved UNCLE BING...He made it look so easy. He put a lot of effort into making it look easy. He also liked a drink and was a great fan of 'THE WACKY 'BACCY!'....And according to one of his sons ,was a right bastard who used to beat them with a metal studded belt until he drew blood. Some of his brothers backed him and some denied it . Some of his sons blew their heads off with shotguns. The rest seem to be getting on with it. That tasty blonde actress who played TASHA YAR in STAR TREK..THE NEXT GENERATION was a grand daughter of BING.

When BING N' BOB  weren't wearing funny trousers and sweaters playing golf ,or bouncing abuse off each other  on stage, they made about 7 films all titled 'THE ROAD TO...'...DOROTHY LAMOUR  was their paramour in most of the films until the last 'THE ROAD TO HONG KONG'...Where lovely BING decided that 40-odd DOROTHY  was too old to appear, but HOPE insisted she did or he wouldn't appear, so she got a little 'bit' in the film to keep everybody happy and the leading lady was JOAN COLLINS...But our heroes were looking a little 'past it' and it was thought the young fresh PETER SELLARS stole their comic thunder. It was arranged for them to make a film in the middle 70's ...THE ROAD TO THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH'...This hit a hiccup soon after the decision was made to go ahead when BING  popped his clogs. They both had amazing lives living in amazing times ,wars ,prohibition ,gangsters ,etc and most important they were great to watch ,i admit to loving 'the crooners' and i watched a documentary about CROSBY the other day and he was so listenable as were they all, but he was so easy and funny and quick. HOPE was quick ,sharp and funny always doing the Oscars ,etc for year after year . He never got one and referred to the oscars as 'Passover. BING got one and on one of the road films HOPE grabs an Oscar and wont give it to CROSBY screaming how it was his and .."You've already got one!"...But although they were never a double act ,as such .They were perfect together and always worth watching.                                                           


Thud said...

The road films were a staple of sunday afternoon viewing after dinner at my grans, all would watch and laugh together...great stuff.

Tim Leatherbarrow said...

Yep! Great stuff i came to them late thinking they were old fashioned ,but as i get older so do my tastes so it seems ....Anyhow when this breakfast? ...I hit the big 52 on Sunday ...AAAAArrrrggghhh!

Thud said...

Tim, sunday would have been a good day for it but i presume you are busy?

Tim Leatherbarrow said...

Ah yeah got the family n' Lynnes playing a gig on the Saturday night so she wont be shifting her arse out of the bed too early on Sunday morning. But see how it goes next week ,or something.