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Bob Hope by Marisol Escobar is not an unfair representation of Bob Hope’s nose, and as a self deprecating comedian, he was the first to joke about it.

Hope once commented that after his birth, “[his] mother thought the doctor had left the stork and taken the baby.” Good one, Bob. Hope was born in 1903 in Eltham, England as Leslie Townes Hope. He was one of six boys in his family and his father was a drunk . When Leslie was three the family picked up and moved to Cleveland, Ohio. The transition to American life was hard and the kids were mean. They inverted his name and called him “Hopelessly,” and when he decided to go by “Les” instead they just called him “Hopeless.” Kids suck, so Hope learned how to box and shut them right up. He also changed his name to Bob, which helped. By his adolescence, Hope was already a ham. He loved to sing and dance and tell jokes. Soon he became part of a vaudeville act, and when that became not a thing anymore, he seamlessly transitioned into Broadway. He was a star among stars, essentially for being himself. Melville Shavelson, one of his many writers, once told The New Yorker, ‘We took his own characteristics and exaggerated them. The woman chaser. The coward. The cheap guy. We just put them in. He thought he was playing a character. He was playing, really, the real Bob Hope.’”

Hope was also the host or co-host for the Academy Awards 19 times, despite the fact that he himself had never won one. His joke about desperately wanting an Oscar of his own became the longest-running gag in Academy Awards history. His most famous opening line was, "Welcome to the Academy Awards. Or as it’s known at my house, Passover.” Even by the end of his career, the only awards he had won at the Oscars were either honorary or the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his annual “spearhead[ing] [of] a drive to present shows to American men and women in the armed forces.” This was not ideal for Hope, but at the end of the day he didn’t do it for the recognition. He did it for the audience, especially audiences made up of people fighting for ‘Murica. (“In 1966, he estimated that he had traveled more than two million miles and entertained more than 11 million servicemen in the succeeding years.”) And who needs an Academy Award when you have a (highly unflattering) wooden portrait by Marisol Escobar? Huh?

Sources

Sources

  1. Canby, Vincent. "Bob Hope, Comedic Master And Entertainer Of Troops, Dies At 100." Nytimes.com. N.p., 2003. Web. 18 July 2018.
  2. Grimes, William. "Marisol, An Artist Known For Blithely Shattering Boundaries, Dies At 85." Nytimes.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 18 July 2018.
  3. Maslin, Janet. "The Follies, The Oscars, The Troops." Nytimes.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 18 July 2018.
  4. Zoglin, Richard. "Bob Hope’S 10 Best Jokes." Vulture.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 18 July 2018.