Home' Greymouth Star : November 12th 2014 Contents While yesterday he may
have been thought of with
misgivings, if at all, Bob
Hope reigned for much of
the last century as America’s wisecracking
avatar of comedy.
By the time he died in 2003 at age 100,
Hope had conquered vaudeville, Broadway,
recordings, live concerts, radio, films and,
from its infancy, television, where he
remained a welcome presence into his 90s.
“By nearly any measure, he was the
most popular entertainer of the twentieth
century,” writes Richard Zoglin.
That alone should bear out Hope’s career-
long theme song, Thanks for the Memory.
Yet memories of Hope have already
dimmed, and his achievements, still felt by
performers and audiences alike, now are
largely taken for granted.
Aiming to correct that, Zoglin, an arts
writer and editor for Time magazine,
has drawn on his enduring fascination
and years of research to produce Hope:
Entertainer of the Century (Simon and
Schuster), the first major biography of
this towering figure. It is a thorough,
evenhanded and absorbing portrait of the
man who, beyond his vast exposure through
the media, “may well have been seen in
person by more people than any other
human being in history”, Zoglin writes.
From childhood, Zoglin loved Bob Hope
for his films, including the classic Road
comedies he made with Bing Crosby, and
the zippy monologues that were a staple of
his television specials.
Then the idea for a biography struck as
Zoglin researched his first book, Comedy
at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s
“I talked to all those comedians, from
(George) Carlin through ( Jerry) Seinfeld,
and I would ask them who their influences
were,” recalled Zoglin in a recent interview.
“Nobody once mentioned Bob Hope. I
thought that was really unjust because, in
my opinion, he invented their art form.
That made me want to take a closer look
Hope the father of standup?
Zoglin explained: “Instead of packaged
routines that were part of their own self-
contained world, Hope took topicality and
turned it into jokes what standup comics
do today.” And he was doing it as early as
Born in London, Leslie Towns Hope
arrived in America at age five with his
family. He was destined to achieve global
fame, but would remain quintessentially
American with his snappy vocal style,
his image (brash, upbeat, irreverent),
even the name he gave himself in his 20s
(Bob “had more ‘Hiya, fellows’ in it” than
Leslie, he reasoned). He embraced “our
boys in uniform” (whom he entertained
on innumerable concert tours), and
was embraced by America’s power elite,
including presidents Harry Truman
through Bill Clinton, both on and off the
Hope’s ties to one of those presidents,
Richard Nixon, and his all-too-vocal
support of the Vietnam War did him grave
harm among the under-30 generation, a
portion of which never forgave him.
But that stood as the lone misstep during
a career that seemed blessed not only by
Hope’s talent but also by his enterprise and
“He was smart enough to figure out how
to follow the mass audience wherever it was
going, from vaudeville to radio, to movies,
to television,” Zoglin said. And in tracking
this multiplatform cakewalk, Zoglin also
chronicles the century of show business
that Hope blazed.
Meanwhile, the book penetrates as well as
any biography could this man who lived his
life masked by the public face of Bob Hope.
“I don’t think he had many close friends,”
Zoglin said. “He was a distant father and
he cheated on his wife. I think there was a
certain poverty in his inner life that maybe
his public life compensated for. What gave
him the most satisfaction was being on
By the end, Hope stayed on stage too
long, sadly past the time when he could
keep fans coming back.
“Hope needed to keep performing,”
writes Zoglin, “ because he couldn’t stop
believing that the audience needed him.”
4 - Wednesday, November 12, 2014
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and — except for e-mails — your signature. Noms
de plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
e-mail to email@example.com
uLetters to the editor
1554 - Britain’s parliament re-establishes
1867 - Major eruption of Mount Vesuvius in
Italy begins and lasts for several months.
1912 - Search party finds remains of British
explorer Captain Robert Scott and his
companions after the ill-fated South
1923 - In Germany, Adolf Hitler is
arrested for a failed attempt to seize
power four days earlier.
1933 - Nazis dominate German
1962 - Island of Guam, in Pacific,
is devastated by typhoon.
1964 - Rhodesian high court rules Joshua
Nkomo’s detention illegal.
1980 - US space probe Voyager 1 sails beneath
Saturn’s rings while transmitting data back to
1991 - Troops in East Timor fire on
pro-independence demonstrators, killing dozens.
1993 - Pop star Michael Jackson cancels world
tour, citing painkiller addiction.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Alexander Borodin, Russian composer
(1833-1887); Auguste Rodin, French sculptor
(1840-1917); Dr Sun Yat-Sen, founder of
Chinese Republic (1866-1926);
Kim Hunter, US actress (1922-
2002); Princess Grace of Monaco
(1929-1982); Charles Manson, US
cult leader and convicted murderer
(1934-); Neil Young, Canadian
singer (1945-); Nadia Comaneci,
Romanian gymnast and Olympic
gold medallist (1961-); Naomi Wolf,
American author and feminist (1962-); Tonya
Harding, US ice-skater (1970-).
“ Don’t be a pal to your son. Be his father.
What child needs a 40-year-old for a friend?”
— Al Capp, American cartoonist (1909-1979).
“ I write to you, dear children, because your
sins have been forgiven on account of His
name. ” — 1 John 2:12.
The death of Mr
Ephraim John Q uy,
of D unollie, on
Friday, removed one
of the foremost indoor bowling enthusiasts
in the district. He was mainly responsible for
promoting the game here and was instrumental
in forming the Greymouth Umpires’
Association. On March 2, 1952, Mr Quy
convened a meeting at Rapahoe to form the
Rapahoe Indoor Bowling Club and was elected
its first president. This club encouraged other
clubs to begin, taking mats and bowls all over
the Greymouth district. To all Coast bowlers his
passing means the loss of a good opponent and
friend. He was aged 61.
Some outside industrialist with an eye on
the West Coast could look at the Greymouth
district if he needs land for a plant. The New
Zealand Railways Department is currently
offering sections south and north of the town
— land which it feels would be suitable for
The main section is eight acres of rough,
growth-covered ground at South Beach, sited
between the railway line and the shore. Part
of this was reserved for the factory proposed
for Coast Concrete, a venture which failed this
year when the company could not be floated
with enough shares. The other smaller lots are
adjacent to the Brunner railway station.
Television for 10/-: All the best brands
including Philips, Majestic, AWA, La Gloria.
Customers can now open a layby account
paying 10/- or higher and we will credit these
amounts for the purchase of television receivers
when good reception is available. Downes and
McL ennan Ltd.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Statistics Minister Craig Foss yesterday
commemorated Armistice Day with the launch of
a World War One infographic.
“The First World War was a significant event in
New Zealand ’s history — it helped define us as a
nation and it continues to have a lasting impact,”
Mr Foss says.
“I am proud to be able to tell the story of this
important event through statistics.”
The First World War — Changing the Fabric
of our Nation infographic has been developed by
Statistics New Zealand in partnership with the
WW100 programme office.
“Communities, towns and cities rallied to the
call for ‘King and Country’ in 1914. Just over
100,000 New Zealand troops served overseas
from a population of barely one million,” Arts,
Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry
“The WW100 centenary honours the sacrifice
of those who fought and will also tell the story of
those who remained at home.”
The infographic uses historical census data to
highlight key events prior, during and just after
The infographic and WW100 programme
information and resources are available at
NZ in WW1
by the numbers
Bob Hope: Avatar of comedy
Links Archive November 11th 2014 November 13th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page