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Thu Nov 16, 2017, 11:53 PM

The Bob Hope USO shows were always a mystery to me...

Apparently they brought comfort, laughter, and hope to thousands of men in uniform.

But so many of the jokes were demeaning to women that I could hardly stand to hear him.

Context is everything.

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/mbqqeb/isnt-it-funny-that-bing-crosby-and-bob-hope-were-woman-hating-bigots

19 replies, 2841 views

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 11:56 PM

1. That was the first thing I thought about when the news hit the fan

Said to myself that it was a good thing Bob Hope was dead.

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Response to dhol82 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:00 AM

3. A lot of the old comedians used women jokes in their routines. nt

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Thu Nov 16, 2017, 11:59 PM

2. The Zeitgeist, or spirit of the time, has changed.

The Zeitgeist is the set of norms and ideals that exist in a society in a particular period in time.

Yes some of the norms from not that long ago are fairly disgusting now.
This is a good thing.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:01 AM

4. Hopes appeal was always a mystery to me.

About as funny as a herpes outbreak.

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Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:04 AM

5. It went with the times.

Ratings slipped lower and lower as the years went on.

Although, the GIs seemed to get a kick out the show whenever I saw bits of it.

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Response to dhol82 (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:06 AM

7. I'd be interested to hear what the shows are like now, and whether they have changed much.

Or if this is still the type of humor that is expected in that setting.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:07 AM

8. Me too

Did not know these shows were still going on.

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Response to dhol82 (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 03:35 AM

14. nah, he just sucked

 

Quick - name a funny Bob Hope routine. There isn't one.

All he ever did was read other people's jokes off cue cards. No signature performance to speak of.

Age has nothing to do with it.

Jack Benny still makes me laugh my ass off. Chaplin and Keaton are brilliant. Abbot and Costello hold up. Ditto Groucho. And Carson's quick wit and ad libs in interviews are the stuff of legend.

But Hope - He's that unfunny guy your parents and grandparents watched out of tradition, who didn't have an original bit in his entire career.

He kissed executive ass for decades, knew the right people and coasted on no talent. He was the proto-Jimmy Fallon.

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Response to Adenoid_Hynkel (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 03:43 AM

15. There was also that annoying thing of Hope randomly crashing talk shows

 

...with the "orchestra" of each show interrupting whatever anyone was saying or doing by striking up "Thanks For The Memories" the moment he hit the stage.

Carson apparently despised the guy for refusing to ad lib or do anything other than read the jokes from the damn cue cards any time he was on.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 04:00 AM

18. Milton Berle used to do the crashing the show bit

 

Say what you will about him - he had a difficult reputation, but at least the guy could ad lib or, as he would admit, have enough one liners memorized that he could engage a host.

Thought I'm reminded Conan telling the story of how, in his last years, Berle crashed "Late Night" on NBC.
He ran around the stage, hamming it up to each camera, went into the audience, etc.
The crew kept trying to interrupt to get get a word in, but he stubbornly wouldn't have it. When he was done, he dashed out the door...and never found out the crew was trying to tell him the show was in commercial, that nothing was being recorded at the moment and they were trying to get him to stay for the actual taping.

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Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 02:35 AM

12. I know what you mean. I never got hope as funny

but then again, a lot of the humor of that era isn't really funny. It was mostly white men making fun of everyone else. And the bob hope movies were just awful.

Then came Lenny Bruce. Richard Pryor. George Carlin. They really changed things.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:05 AM

6. Will his movies be banned now?

How about his sidewalk star? If the times don't matter will we just erase history? Women have not done well historically it's been a man's world. Sure makes a mystery of the future.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:20 AM

9. I was thinking the same thing.

He'd bring bikini-clad women on his tours and the sex-starved GIs would leer and drool over them. He'd even ask some of them to come up on the stage. Hope himself partook of many of the women he brought along. In the business it was no secret that he wasn't faithful to his wife Dolores.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:23 AM

10. Yep-there was plenty of T+A on display

But here is a different view. This guy wrote about the 1970 show at Camp Eagle/Phu Bai which my brother was at:

http://memoirsfromnam.blogspot.com/2014/12/bob-hope-christmas-1970-camp-eagle.html

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 12:32 AM

11. Joey Heatherton, Ann-Margaret, Racquel Welch, etc.

MEN BEHAVING BADLY ALERT, AVOID READING IF EASILY OFFENDED...

A friend of mine who served told me that some G.I.s (whod also had a few) at these shows would actually jack off when the women performed. Hes not a bullshitter, he was just amazed at how weird the whole Vietnam experience was.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 03:10 AM

13. Hope just wasn't funny.

I never got it either.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 03:50 AM

16. Hope always acted

like he had semi-wood in any skit with a woman in it. the hope specials were so terrible to women, but in that old school "haha" "nudge nudge" way that seemed innocent. obviously not so much.

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 03:53 AM

17. There was a chilling line about those shows in one of Phil Ochs' songs

 

The comic and the beauty queen are dancing on the stage
The raw recruits are lining up like coffins in a cage


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=Pqu6mXOXmx4

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Response to milestogo (Original post)

Fri Nov 17, 2017, 04:13 AM

19. They would televise some of his USO shows, our family would watch.

I was just a kid but from what I recall Hope would make lots of political digs against the Viet Nam war and against LBJ, that's why my parents watched.

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