Jewish World Review May 23, 2003 / 21 Iyar, 5763

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

Thanks for the memory, Bob Hope | I never met Bob Hope but I feel I have. As a kid, I used to sit in front of the television with my sister and watch his movies. We loved his expressions when he'd look into the camera, his double takes were great and his breezy way with a gag line always got me. Watching a Bob Hope picture on a rainy day and eating tuna sandwiches that mom made for us was about as good as it got back then. You know, it still sounds pretty good to me right now. "MOM! I'm hungry!"

We always loved it when Bob Hope went into a song, too. Songs and dancing were just as important as the gags in a Hope picture. A lot of people forget just how good a dancer Bob Hope was in those days. And he was no slouch with a song, either. He really held his own alongside the great Bing Crosby and other singers of the day. Bob Hope introduced quite a number of hit songs in his pictures, like 'Two Sleepy People," from "Thanks For The Memory" and "Silver Bells" from "The Lemon Drop Kid," (one of my favorite Hope pictures and a wonderful Christmas movie).

There was something about Bob Hope that went beyond just being funny in those pictures from the forties and fifties. Oh sure, he was funny, but he also had a comfortable feeling about him. He wasn't dangerously insane like Danny Kaye or Jerry Lewis. And there was an intelligent cleverness in his character, even when he was his at his wackiest. And my wife tells me he had a sexiness, too. I'll take her word for it.

So, for all those great rainy days that I spent watching Bob Hope pictures with my sister on the couch, eating a tuna sandwich, and laughing out loud, I will be forever thankful to Bob Hope. Thanks for the memory.

Thanks for the memory,
of Road to Singapore
with Crosby and Lamour.
The plot was nothing new
but there were songs and gags galore.
How perfect it was.

Thanks for the memory,
of Road to Zanzibar,
you traveled long and far.
You never won an Oscar
but you always were a star.
You gave us so much.

Your pictures were always quite funny,
they'd turn a rainy day sunny,
Paramount made plenty of money,
and so did Hope
'cause he's no dope.

And thanks for the memory ...
of Bali and Hong Kong,
Lamour in a sarong.
You'd outwit every villain
with a soft shoe and a song.
How harmless it was.

Thanks for the memory...
of all your other flicks
one-nighters in the sticks
benefits for charity
gag sketches just for kicks.
We loved it so much.

And thanks for the songs you sang
and vaudeville and Broadway
radio and, say..
don't forget the TV shows
and the golf along the way
How varied you were.

"Two Sleepy People" was a big hit
and "Buttons and Bows" was a big hit
and "Silver Bells" was a big hit
They just couldn't go wrong
when Hope sold a song

Thanks for the memory
of Christmas shows for years
filled with laughter and with tears
as you kept the soldiers laughing
they would soon forget their cares.
They thanked you so much.

You had us all in the aisles,
while you raked up thousands of miles,
bringing the troops precious smiles
You did a heck of a job,
may G-d bless you Bob.

So thanks for the memory
of everything you are
America's greatest star
you did your country proud
in all your travels near and far.
you brought us much more than laughter
just being who you are...
and we all thank you so much.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby