Posted ByDavid M. Lynch on November 17, 2002 at 18:48:35:
In Reply to: (Off topic) Bob Hope posted byKaty on November 17, 2002 at 13:24:46:
: Im hoping that some of the Benny fans can help explain this to me. I like Jack a lot, but never could quite get into Bob Hope. Maybe because his humor is topical, I dont know. But can someone explain the general attraction of his work?
Bob Hope's delivery was a lot closer to Henny Youngman's than to Jack's, so if you tend to lean more toward Jack's laid-back style, Bob can admittedly seem a bit too pushy. It's almost as if he's saying, "Didn't like that joke? Here's another! No? Okay, here's another!"
Bob's movies have dated fairly well, however, as opposed to his old monologues. This is probably due to the topicality of his monologue humor, which you mentioned. Comparing him again to Jack, I would say that Bob's usual scripted persona had fewer facets, but was still a character with whom the viewer could identify. He usually wanted to do "the right thing," but was too cowardly to be truly heroic. And rather than using his fists, he was more likely to fight back with words. And wouldn't we all like to be quick-witted enough to do that?
If you really want to make an effort to see what others have seen, I'd suggest renting or borrowing films like "Sorrowful Jones" (with Lucille Ball), "The Seven Little Foys" (with James Cagney reprising his George M. Cohan role from "Yankee Doodle Dandy!"), and -- especially for Christmas -- "The Lemon Drop Kid," which (if memory serves me correctly) introduced the song, "Silver Bells."
I could easily recommend half a dozen more, and I haven't even considered the "Road to..." series Bob made with buddy Bing Crosby! Give Bob a few tumbles, and let us know how you feel afterwards.