Centenarian Celebrity!
May 29, 2003 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Bob Hope turns 100 today. And he's still alive, unlike that Emerson fellow.
posted by WolfDaddy (43 comments total)
 
So I guess Hope is now neck and neck with Reagan to see who finishes second to Sinatra in dying first?
posted by xmutex at 10:05 AM on May 29, 2003


Hope is now neck and neck with Reagan.

The battle of the waddle.
posted by vito90 at 10:13 AM on May 29, 2003


Is Johnny Carson in the same race?
posted by mnology at 10:13 AM on May 29, 2003


Few have confidence in Hope's abilities to make it much longer. He's the second most popular entry in this year's Atwater Dead Pool.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:26 AM on May 29, 2003


I don't give two shits about Bob Hope. Not dissing the post, just stating my feelings.
posted by aacheson at 11:00 AM on May 29, 2003


I don't either, aacheson. What is it about 50s celebrities? They remain relevant forever. Does anyone think that celebrities will ever achive this kind of perpetual icon status again?

I pray that when my grandkids pick up a Time magazine 40 years from now, they're not looking at a cover story about Kelsey Grammer passing on, or whoever.
posted by scarabic at 11:18 AM on May 29, 2003


{dons regal Ethel Merman repartee}


"...TO YOUUUU...howoldareyaskinose?......... ....

HAPPPPPPAY BIRTHDAY TO ah YOUUUUUUUUUUU
"

(clav meme)

I saw Bob Hope back in 75' i don't remember much other then then some soft shoe and looking at the adults after bob made a joke i, at 9 of course, did not get but i suspected it was a tad naughty....oh, i remember there where few kids there and the band sounded "vibrant and brassy".
Ya know folks, one must remember to thank parents more often for supporting ones dreams at so young an age.

that summer my parents took me to Washington D.C.

on the lawn at Mt. Vernon, i ambled down to the Potomac. It was a beautiful day. and i vowed to the funniest general in history.
posted by clavdivs at 11:21 AM on May 29, 2003


no offense aacheson, but bob hope has made fun of more presidents, entertained more people so your opinion is dumb in a vulgar sence.
bob is has forgotten more about fame and power then probably anyone of us knows.
posted by clavdivs at 11:21 AM on May 29, 2003


strike 'is'

(does softshoe)
posted by clavdivs at 11:30 AM on May 29, 2003


No offense taken. But just because he's entertained a lot doesn't mean I have to care about him.
Yanni entertains a bunch of people and I sure don't care about him, either.
posted by aacheson at 11:43 AM on May 29, 2003


That's because Kelsey Grammer doesn't even come close to the celebrity status (for lack of a better qualifier at the moment) of a Bob Hope... and if he wasn't one of the greatest human beings to ever walk the earth, then the rest of us might not give two shits about him either. One thing I don't give two shits about is your opinion aacheson. Your comment is just plain rude and unnecessary.

If you think that Bob is just some dying, washed-up entertainer from the 50's, than you really just don't know what you're talking about.

...doesn't mean I have to care about him.

Good... then just go away.
posted by Witty at 11:52 AM on May 29, 2003


I give one shit to aacheson, and one to Witty.
posted by websavvy at 12:01 PM on May 29, 2003


Jim Knipfel takes fair aim at Mr. Hope today. As usual, I think he is right on the mark.
posted by rainbaby at 12:05 PM on May 29, 2003


Tough crowd. Not even clavdivs in Ethel Merman drag brings you up out of your spite.

Do this ... go take a journey in show business that takes you from Vaudeville to Vietnam and then come back and tell us all about it, mmkay?
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:45 PM on May 29, 2003


Witty, I think you need to really calm down. I think we all get it that you're Bob Hope's #1 fan and you're really offended by a curse word used in the vicinity of his heavenly and amazing name. Got it. Doesn't change my opinion nor make me regret my choice of words. Really, this is just silly virtol.
posted by aacheson at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2003


Whoops, vitriol.
posted by aacheson at 12:50 PM on May 29, 2003


That's because Kelsey Grammer doesn't even come close to the celebrity status (for lack of a better qualifier at the moment) of a Bob Hope...

[overlooking your substitution of venom for wit, Witty] I predicted your response, and it's of course unfair to comare the work of one celebrity with another who has decades of "legend" status propping him up.

Actually, your specific use of the phrase "celebrity status" makes your statement illogical. These celebrities hold a mythic status because of the grandiosity of their celebrity status? Circular.

So let's assume you meant "talent," or "impact as an entertainer. Well, Kelsey Grammer has been on TV for over a solid decade now, has a nationwide hit show, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Jackie Gleason made the cover of Time when he died. Wasn't he primarily a sitcom actor? Who's to say Kelsey Grammer won't make Time in another 40 years? I think it's plausible, if Jackie Gleason can.

Let's just say it would be inane if he did, as I think it's inane to celebrate the cult of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, etc etc forever ad nauseum.

The "legend" of someone like Bob Hope far outlives his actual career (perhaps by factors), because entertainers from the 50s serve as touchstones to a different period in America, one a certain dominant demographic (over 50 and white) enjoys remembering. That's all.

"Ah! Bob Hope. Remember the glory days when smoking wasn't unhealthy and there was no environment and a soda cost a nickel?" Let's not confuse this nostalgia with Bob Hope being holier than the next comedian.
posted by scarabic at 12:51 PM on May 29, 2003


As a member of that demographic, I'd like to weigh in here. Bob Hope had a hell of a career and has lived to be 100. That's worth remarking on. If Jack Nicholson or Steve Martin live to be 100, that'd be remarkable, too. You don't necessarily have to be a fan to see that the guy accomplished a lot.
posted by timeistight at 1:00 PM on May 29, 2003


Of all the things to get mad about, considering poverty, George Bush, racism, the state of the economy and American military buildup without flagrant connection to terrorism, Bob Hope is a downright moot issue. What next? People getting into fistfights over George Burns?
posted by ed at 1:02 PM on May 29, 2003


Oh, God!
posted by clavdivs at 1:09 PM on May 29, 2003


Yeah, about George Burns...I don't give two.. just kidding. :)
posted by aacheson at 1:11 PM on May 29, 2003


scarabic, confining Hope to the 50s just reveals your ignorance of the man's career, as well as your agenda.

Let's contrast and compare Grammer and Hope from a different point of view:

Niche actor (who's been playing the same character for 20 years now) vs. a pioneer of modern show business, who popularized the gimmick of an opening comedic monologue in his radio and television broadcasts--a gimmick without which you would never recognize the names Jack Parr, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Arsenio Hall, David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, Jack Benny ... you get the idea.

Next?
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:29 PM on May 29, 2003


Pinoeer of the opening monologue? I stand corrected.

Anyway, I never set out to skewer Bob Hope, deny he had a great career, or say this thread was uncalled-for.

Must I repeat myself?

what is it about 50s celebrities? They remain relevant forever. Does anyone think that celebrities will ever achive this kind of perpetual icon status again?
posted by scarabic at 1:49 PM on May 29, 2003


Must I repeat yourself?

entertainers from the 50s serve as touchstones to a different period in America, one a certain dominant demographic (over 50 and white) enjoys remembering. That's all.

That's not what I'm remembering, and it's why I took exception to your second post in the thread, and not the first.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:56 PM on May 29, 2003


I'll give you a point, WolfDaddy, sure, in the cases where the artists of yesteryear seeded the ones of today. If Bob Hope has done a lot of this, good for him. Happy birthday.

You have to admit there's an aura around anyone famous who's old enough to remind a whole generation of the time they were young.

Also worth noting is that in previous decades, it wasn't as fashionable for the press to assassinate celebrities by exposing their negative exploits: divorces, alcohol problems, etc. So I think a lot of people from years past have graduated into perpetual saint-hood, unspoiled by scandal, in a way that will be hard for anyone made of flesh and blood to ever achieve again.
posted by scarabic at 2:05 PM on May 29, 2003


Also worth noting is that in previous decades, it wasn't as fashionable for the press to assassinate celebrities by exposing their negative exploits: divorces, alcohol problems, etc.

Tell that to Fatty Arbuckle.
posted by timeistight at 2:33 PM on May 29, 2003


I hate the sound of Frank Sinatra's voice. I can't fucking stand Ingmar Bergman movies. Kafka is boring. Mozart was a no talent pervert. John Ford sucks. Shirley MacLaine is a mad old woman. Orson Welles was an alcoholic show-off. I don't give two shits about Bob Hope.

America at its worst.
posted by Carlos Quevedo at 2:53 PM on May 29, 2003


Bob Hope is given the finest dispassionate treatment; Lahr steps back and allows Mr. Hope produce his own cause and effect. The reader can judge for himself. I was left thinking, as my grandmother would say, "this is NOT a very nice man."

This is a reader comment about an article that John Lahr wrote in The New Yorker a few years ago about Bob Hope. I also came away from reading that article with less respect for Hope, although I give him his due for great comedic timing.

Witty, there is banter and then there is bile. . .
posted by Danf at 3:21 PM on May 29, 2003


I was weaned on Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "Road" movies. They were a lot of fun. And Hope was no '50's entertainer, he began his film career back in the '30s, and was in vaudeville long before that.

And aacheson, how would you feel if someone popped into the next thread you posted simply to proclaim that they don't give "two shits" about the topic?
posted by MrBaliHai at 3:24 PM on May 29, 2003


Off-topic, my girlfriend and I nearly ran Kelsey Grammer over with our rental car while driving in Malibu a few months ago. He came tearing around a corner on his bicycle, huffing and puffing, and we had to swerve to miss him.

"Whew! That was close!"
"Yeah!"
beat.
"That was Kelsey Grammer, wasn't it?"
"Yep."
posted by GriffX at 4:07 PM on May 29, 2003


I could care less if Bob Hope was a class A bastard, he was responsible for bringing a little laughter and a little joy to a hell of a lot of people. That, coupled with his longevity, deserves a tip of the cap, and as far as I'm concerned, that's all this thread is. A tip of the cap, and a kind word of thanks, and we're back on to more important topics like who said what about taxes and rights and where were the illegal immigrants with the massive weapons and whose bill did Michael Moore lie about in his fake speech and damn, what am I gonna do on Tuesday night now that Buffy is over?

Well, Kelsey Grammer has been on TV for over a solid decade now, has a nationwide hit show, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

To be sure, even Kelsey has his limits. Frasier will bow after the upcoming season and he's said that his intent is to lay low for a while and spend some quiet time with his family.
posted by Dreama at 4:38 PM on May 29, 2003


Thanks choose your deity here, or not, that Dreama is in this loose knit community.
posted by Danf at 7:13 PM on May 29, 2003


I found one question in this post to be quite interesting - the whole debate about 50's icons and will any of our artists ever become that big. I don't think they will - not because our artists are less talented but because the world is a lot noisier now. No one's going to get as big as Elvis or Marilyn because there's just too much competition.

Spotlights have been replaced by strobe lights. Enduring fame became fifteen minutes, and then fifteen seconds. We're more into niche artists now - people want specific art that suits their specific tastes. You can see this happening in various media - general magazines have been replaced by magazines about cigars and needlepoint. The big television networks are being undercut by specialty channels and the self-directed Internet. There aren't these society-wide crazes anymore - and the acts that do make it big are usually ones that appeal to teenagers or children because they haven't developed strongly individual tastes yet, and just want to read Harry Potter and listen to Britney like all their friends.

So, we should cherish icons like Bob Hope, not only because he's had an amazing career and has forgotten more than most of us will ever know, but because he's one of the last of his kind - an enduring icon recognizable to everyone.
posted by orange swan at 7:22 PM on May 29, 2003


MrBaliHai,
First of all, Wolfdaddy posted the thread and it's Witty that is so angry (and, I believe, Wolfdaddy isn't as he joked about it in another thread today.) Second, I would say to myself "Hmmm, that person doesn't care about I care about. Oh well. Their loss" and I'd move on. Come on, it's not like I'm insulting someone's mother or close relative! Mr Hope is just a celebrity, for crying out loud. Some people like him, others don't. It's not a personal insult like saying "you're a frigging idiot for liking Bob Hope," it's simply me stating I don't care about him. That's all. Jeesh, I never figured an off the cuff answer would generate so much anger.

Fine, I love Bob Hope. He's the best darn entertainer in the world. He's the bomb and I've seen every one of his movies and when he dies, I will fly to wherever the memorial service is just to say my personal goodbyes.
posted by aacheson at 8:14 PM on May 29, 2003


Geez aacheson... I think secretly DO love Bob Hope or something. This thread has you mesmorized. And yea, I'm "so angry". Don't flatter yourself.

The point is, you KNEW that this thread was intended to be a kind gesture to a dying man of great fame and importance to a lot of people... and because you CAN, you stepped in and farted on the thread. How cute.

So far you've posted 6 times in a thread you couldn't care two shits about. What's the REAL truth babe?

Ask a Korean War vet what he thinks of Bob Hope.
posted by Witty at 9:20 PM on May 29, 2003


I guess we really will argue about anything.
posted by timeistight at 9:40 PM on May 29, 2003


My claim is that he is really only 25, was never famous, and is only named Bob Hope because that's what the federal reserves wants you to think. And I don't even give a shit about that.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:04 PM on May 29, 2003


Good musings, orange swan. I don't know if any modern celeb would ever be as lionized as Hope or his contemporaries, but I'm eagerly anticipating Meryl Streep's assumption of Grand Dame status, at the least.

Oh, and for some heartfelt birthday greets from vets from several different conflicts, check out bobhope.com's message board.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:26 PM on May 29, 2003


I found one question in this post to be quite interesting

[drops to knees, gestures toward sky]

THANK YE LORD
posted by scarabic at 11:02 PM on May 29, 2003


There was an interesting piece on the BBC news about how Bob Hope has generously funded a theatre near where he was born in Eltham, London. They've now renamed themselves The Bob Hope Theatre. I never realised he was British (ducks).
posted by jamespake at 2:56 AM on May 30, 2003


Witty, I am commenting on this thread repeatedly because I am so flummoxed by the anger my comment caused. I think it's kinda bizarre.

Also, I didn't think of this post as a "kind gesture to a dying man" in fact, I thought it was kind of tounge-in-cheek because a link in the FPP pointed to a website that makes a game of figuring out who the next people are to die...and Bob Hope is #1 on the list. Which kind of gives an irreverant feel to the FPP. Thus, my initial irreverant post.

Finally, you can demand all you like that you're not "angry," but if saying things like "One thing I don't give two shits about is your opinion aacheson. Your comment is just plain rude and unnecessary" and "Good... then just go away" and "and because you CAN, you stepped in and farted on the thread. How cute" means you're not angry, then I guess I'm mistaken, BABE.

It's time for all of us to move on. Sorry to all that my off the cuff comment apparently derailed this thread. It was purely by accident.
posted by aacheson at 8:38 AM on May 30, 2003


Erm, aacheson, not to rub salt in or anything, but ... well, check the links "in the FPP" again.

Then go talk to Prince Valium. :-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:51 AM on May 30, 2003


You're right. My fault.
It's that darn Prince Valium that made me do it!! ;)
posted by aacheson at 10:07 AM on May 30, 2003


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