Classic Video Showplace

The “Good” Hope

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For over a hundred years some of the greatest video treasures of all time have been produced. Some have been lost in the sands of time and others, soon to be rediscovered, will become fan favorites for a whole new generation.

 Each week we will feature just one of the many hidden gems that you can see on the Astound Broadband TV Network with insights and commentaries on classic television shows and legendary cinematic performances.

You can make a serious argument that Bob Hope was the most famous entertainer in the world in the 20th century.

Very few people, if anyone, will ever accumulate more awards, honorary degrees and other accolades from as many countries while starring in more shows, movies and special programs and hosting as many galas, events and award shows than Hope.

One could also argue that very few public figures have had a more polarizing effect from fans and followers worldwide.

Today we shall examine the optimistic view and share some of the many positives in the legendary career of one Leslie Townes Hope.

While many regard him as one of the greatest Americans ever, it’s ironic that he was not born in the USA.

Originally a product of Eltham, London (now the Royal Borough of Greenwich), Hope’s family (which included seven boys in all) immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio when Bob was eight years old.  By the age of 12, he earned pocket money singing, dancing and performing comedy on the street.

Hope spent a brief amount of time as a boxer, a butcher’s assistant, a lineman and a tree surgeon, among other odd jobs.  While some rumors indicate his boxing career gave him his now famous odd-sized nose, he actually had his face smashed while clearing trees, which forced him to have reconstructive surgery on his face.

Hope initially decided to become a dancer–Fatty Arbuckle gave Bob one of his first big breaks.  While having success in vaudeville, he failed his first screen test for a French film company in 1930.

Undaunted, Bob continued to develop his now patented rapid-fire comedic delivery on the radio, on the stage and then, eventually, in pictures.  His big break came in 1938’s The Big Broadcast, in which Hope’s comedy not only stood out amongst the star-studded cast, but he first sang the song that would become his trademark, “Thanks for the Memories” (which also won an Academy Award as Best Original Song).

His star power now established in films, Hope would continue to build his legacy in all forms of media, but became particularly entrenched in the fabric of America with his tireless work performing for the military in World War II.

Between 1941 and 1991, Hope made 57 tours for the United Service Organizations, entertaining active duty American military personnel around the world. In 1997, Congress passed a bill that made Hope an honorary veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Hope became internationally famous for his highly successful projects in virtually every media avenue possible for an entertainer…and then some.

We could probably spend several blog entries just talking about the many other great things that Leslie Townes Hope did for America and for the world.

But there is another side to Hope – a side that is much darker – one we will explore in two weeks here at “The Showplace.”

In the meantime, you can see Hope starring in films like My Favorite Brunette, this Monday at 2:30pm, along with his scene-stealing guest starring appearance in various classic television situation comedies on Astound Broadband TV Network.

To view the complete rundown of classic programming on ATVN, check out the weekly listings here on our website.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.