Hope As In Bob

hope-9781439140277_lg I’ve just finished a new biography by Richard Zoglin called HOPE. It’s an, I-can’t-put-down read, and I don’t think you have to be of a certain age to enjoy it.

It doesn’t bog you down with too much childhood, something one can usually do without since it slows a reader down. You do like his mother, Avis, and all his brothers, but Zoglin is anxious to get to the good stuff, as you are.

How ambitious Hope was from his vaudeville days, segueing into radio and films, to television, World War II and Vietnam entertaining the troops.

He had no fear determined to bring his mirth to soldiers in hellish places. Of course, there’s his ego who loves the applause from a crowd so vast along with praise from everyone from Eisenhower to average Americans sending letters inviting him to dinner…in case you pass this way Bob because you made my youngest son laugh.

My favorite example of his popularity came from one of Frank Sinatra Junior’s kidnappers who said and I’ll paraphrase, they were going to kidnap Bob Hope’s son but felt he was too fine an American.

When you trump Old Blue Eyes, that’s saying something.

That’s the Hope we know…but apparently there was another side.

He was cheap with his writers treating them with disdain. In the 30s and 40s they were  considered the bottom of the creative food chain, something inconceivable today.

He was also the JFK of comedians in the philandering department. Like Kennedy, members of his close coterie would procure for him, bringing around girls three, four at a time for him to choose, like chocolates in a heart-shaped box.

Dolores, his wife of 69 years same as Jackie, would turn the other way. She was also a practicing Catholic attending mass daily, like Rose Kennedy, to deflect and digest her husband’s bad boy behavior.

She also pretty much raised their four adopted kids single-handedly since Bob was rarely home, but she hardly complained keeping the nest nice and warm for when he did show up.

The woman should be canonized.

I’ve often asked myself, how would I deal with a roving husband…probably like Lorena Bobbit though I can’t stand the sight of blood. I know I couldn’t ignore a man cheating on me. It was one of the reasons I left the Flying Dutchman who was stepping out with a bubbly, blonde employee of his named Mary.

But what I also know…women, when we love we love big…and in hindsight, my heart wasn’t as invested as I had thought. You know who matters when you put down the weapons and Valium long enough to see clearly if love really ran that deep.

His pockets ran deeper, I’m not as embarrassed as I should be, to admit.

But back to Bob…

The writing is great…fast, like downhill skiing.

You’ll be surprised at how Bing Crosby comes across as well as a host of others, but I don’t want to ruin it for you.

And he did live to be 100, so who knows, maybe all that fucking around makes you live longer.

Whatever the truth is…

HOPE, by, Richard Zoglin is a great book.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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14 Responses to Hope As In Bob

  1. Elle Knowles says:

    Oh my! I never knew. I seem to close my eyes when it comes to my favorite stars I think. I’ve alway held him high on my list! Kinda like this Cosby drama going around right now. Leave the man alone – he’s old! Haha. I may read this though because Bob Hope is one of my favorites. Thanks for the review! 😊


    • It’s a great book that’s probably on Kindle. It reads fast and you’ll love all of it even if he comes off as flawed. I mean who isn’t? In his case, it was rather over-the-top, but men in his position often feel the rules don’t apply to them. He was one of those fellows in my estimation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elle Knowles says:

        You ever notice how most rules don’t apply to men? Everything should have a label –
        ‘Exception- Men are Exempt”


      • The truth always comes out, even if it’s 30 years later. Look at JFK. We knew none of that. The book is great but if you’re going to get upset at his many foibles, maybe you shouldn’t read it. There is a lot of good to him though. He’s amazing oversees when he’s with the troops. You’ll forgive him then.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up watching everything Bob Hope because my parents were fans. I especially enjoyed those hokey movies. I did not know that he was a big cheat, which I’ll need to process.


    • I’m sorry…don’t tell your mother..why taint his image, although the tales read like Casanova’s day planner. I remember the Lucy episode he did…one of my favorites. They did a bunch of movies together…didn’t know that.


  3. Sometimes I think there is a direct connection between success and overlooking the rules. Maybe it’s all that testosterone. I hope he did some things right. Still having trouble processing Cosby. Not the women part so much as the dope them up first part. A man so successful doesn’t have to do that to get women. This is a good review. I am going to pass it onto my sister-in-law Betty who I know will eat it up!


    • The Cosby scandal might even get uglier. Many of these women were afraid he’d ruin them…but now that there are so many feel safe to come out. Like those kids with their football coach. It’s a terrible weight to carry around. I’m happy for them

      I still like Bob…as far as I read, he didn’t drug anybody. Women couldn’t wait to spend a night with him.

      Yes, Betty would love it. I read it in 2 days.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s funny, after I read this I went to Youtube to watch some of his standup for the troops. He was quite the guy. Sounds like a good book; I’ll keep an eye out for it.


    • It’s big but I know you have a Kindle. Yes, he was quite the guy and loved entertaining in general, but especially the troops. They say he was the one who invented stand-up since he was the first to do monologues. Interesting when you think about it.


      • That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought about the history of standup. I’ll have to go watch one of his monologues now.


      • He did the first…standing there machine-gunning line after line. It never occurred to me before I read this book he was the innovator. Reading is so glorious David…like I have to tell you, the consummate schoolteacher 🙂


  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, my family grew up watching the Bob Hope specials. Old Ski Nose. I still enjoy an occasional viewing of the road trip movies. A few months ago I was watching Road to Bali when my youngest daughter walked into the house. She thought Dorothy Lamour was a guy in drag!


    • Poor Dorothy…she wasn’t always such a happy camper with Bob and Bing. I still think he was pretty funny despite his antics. Great read. A friend of mine just bought it on tape. Bet that’s fun 🙂


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