by Joseph Henry Steele
April 1940

A black and white of Bob Hope—a comedian on whom Fate cast a benign eye when a hunch played him false

HIS favorite Scotch joke is the one about, the Scotchman who sat up all night and watched his wife’s vanishing cream.

He considers the most foolish act of his life the time he rejected his first radio offer because “radio would never amount to anything.” He recalls, wistfully, that he lost five years before he began to get his share of the ether bonanza.

He loves smorgasbord.

He is almost punctual.

He is very abashed when confessing that his baptismal name is Leslie Townes Hope.

He never wears a hat and hat manufacturers are forever beseeching the studio to make him wear one.

He has a casual, yet lusty attitude towards life, taking it in full stride.

He thinks Parisians are the happiest people he has ever known. He likes caviar, gum-soled shoes, canaries and garlic seasoning.

He sees an average of two pictures a month and doesn’t care much for smoked salmon.

He was born in London.

He, in self-defense, adopted the cognomen, Bob.

His nose and chin are profiled like ski-slides| and because of that he was the most surprised man in the world when he clicked in the movies. He is five feet, eleven and three-quarter inches tall.

He is married and has a four-year-old daughter adopted from The Cradle.

He has a strong aversion for hillbilly and Hawaiian music.

He is fond of a six by eight-and-half foot bed which he brought from New York and in which he does all his reading. He brushes his hair fifty times a day and massages his scalp. He endorses physical examinations before marriage.

His chief hobby is collecting bad notices, framing them, and displaying them in his bar.

He is an incurable sentimentalist. His favorite comic strip is the Bungle Family and he unconsciously observes all the usual theatrical superstitions.

He is a sucker for lending his services for any kind of a benefit, but he resents being invited to social functions merely to provide entertainment. He likes quoting the late Will Rogers, who, following a dinner at which he was embarrassingly made to amuse them, sent his hostess a $2500 bill for professional services.

He had a generous collection of police badges which were recently stolen and
which he is now replenishing. His English father was a stone contractor, and he boasts a library of twenty thousand Scotch jokes.

He hates cats.

He’d rather travel by boat although he suffers a little from seasickness, and he dislikes women who dance with their eyes closed because “they might be thinking of someone else.”

He plays an excellent game of golf with a handicap of six. He has never traveled on a freighter and thinks mother-in-law jokes are passe.

IF Bob Hope had the rest of his life to spend on a desert island and could
have only three people with him, he would choose his wife and daughter and a good comedy writer.

He rates as the shortest joke he knows: Mary Rose sat on a tack— Mary rose. (“…if you can call it a joke.”)

He never carries a watch.

He drinks a quart of milk a day.

He cannot eat radishes, artichokes, cucumbers, and doesn’t like being called Bubbles by Bing Crosby whom he calls Chub.

He has never carried a penknife, does not believe in matrimonial vacations, and would give a great deal to be able to play the piano. He wears his wife’s baby ring on the little finger of his left hand.

His mother was Welsh, a concertsinger, and Bob was brought to the United States at the age of four.

He likes Marimba orchestras and has never read “The Grapes of Wrath” or “Gone With the Wind.”

He is not easily depressed, dislikes eating duck or goose, and thinks the American people are becoming more humor-conscious,” there are no more sticks.”

He and his wife plan to adopt a baby boy about one-and-a-half-years old.

He built himself a beautiful English farmhouse that is more a mansion than farmhouse. The greatest disappointment of his life is that his father and mother did not live to enjoy the comforts he could give them today.

He is quick to admit a mistake.

He has no talent for cooking.

He thinks few women look well in slacks.

He likes ice water and has never displayed any aptitude for painting, sculpture or carving. He cherishes his mother’s sewing machine which she inherited from her mother.

His hair and eyes are brown, and he believes that, although unnecessary, war
is a symptom of growth in the life of mankind. He is specially fond of vactioning in Glen Eagles, Scotland.

He studied dancing while still in high school.

His insurance against the future are investments in government bonds and I annuities. He speaks no other lagguages, and is constantly going at a terrific pace due to his two jobs—radio and pictures.

His best golf is in the short irons and putting.

He has an average of 130 jokes in his radio show.

He is addicted to nail-biting.

He enjoys attending symphonic concerts and opera. He dislikes writing
letters and likes his steaks medium rare.

His first job, after finishing high school, was as a clerk for a motor company. He once took up amateur boxing but quickly gave it up after he was knocked out.

He has never memorized a poem.

He enjoys listening to old records of Bert Williams and new records of Bing
Crosby. He once went without food for three days while trying to break in a single act.

He likes driving at sixty-five miles an hour.

He plays a very stale saxophone.

HE goes through a curious routine when retiring at night: He takes everything off except his shoes and socks, he then dons his pajamas, and finally takes off his shoes and socks.

He would like to raise chickens and breed dogs. He is averse to the rugged individuality philosophy and believes that a government has a definite responsibility in its indigents.

He would rather watch W. C. Fields on the screen and Frank Fay on the stage than any other comedians. He flunked in history.

He likes reading detective stories and the digest magazines.

He often wishes that using a toothpick after a meal was not bad manners.

He dislikes beer, popcorn and carhoppers who tell sad tales before making a touch. His decisions are impulsive, he gets few traffic tickets and loves strolling on Fifth Avenue or Bond Street.

He does not regret having never gone to college.

He believes definitely that there are such things as new jokes which have no root in oft-told tales. He thinks modern slang and new situations create new jokes, and cites as an example the one about King George donning a diving suit to review his fleet.

He always reads the sport page while sitting in a barber chair.

His home musical instruments include a piano, ukelele, harmonica, Jew’s harp and a sweet potato.

His chief form of exercise and irresistible passion is golf. He can spot a phony mile away on foggy day.

He enjoys friends dropping in unannounced. He has a suspicion that he is bad luck to any wedding at which he is best man, so many have gone awry.

His favorite amusement at Coney Island is the cyclone roller coaster.

His wife discourages his wearing bow ties.

He likes pickled herring, tweeds, blue bathing trunks, and Mark Twain.

He doesn’t like the juices of grapefruit, tomato or sauerkraut, and he always remembers where he puts things. He likes boy sopranos, and he makes it a point never to miss the radio programs of Information Please” and Bing Crosby. He seldom attends an art exhibit

He signs his name in blue ink and plays an exceptional game of threecushion billiards.

He weighs 170 pounds and never smokes before dinner. He smokes a lot, however, if he takes a couple of drinks. He sticks to cigarettes. (“The press notices have to be awful good for cigars.”)

He hates green in men’s clothes.

He catches cold in his eyes often, due to the strain of his work. He never misses a boxing match. He is inclined to suspect most people’s motives.

His first professional appearance was with another youth in a dancing act He rides hunches, his lucky number is seven, and he is forever helping downand-out vaudevillions of his early days.

He was best man at the wedding of Jackie Coogan and Betty Grable.

HE has just started a collection of off-stage comedy pictures of celebrities, the nucleas being Dorothy Lamour, Jack Benny, Charles Butterworth, and Bing Crosby.

His favorite wine is red-sparkling Italian, and there is nothing else he would rather have been than a comedian.

He has never operated a night club.

He rarely loses his temper.

He needs eight hours sleep but gets only six.

He has a great Dane and two Scotties, and as a schoolboy ran the hundredyard dash in ten seconds three.

He has two rehearsals for his radio show, the second being on Sunday night with audience: This rehearsal is recorded and played back, thus giving Bob Hope the final test of his laughs.; He is so dependent on audience-reaction that only recently he sold N.B.C. officials the idea that his program would go better if he worked in a full-sized theater than in one of the broadcasting studios.

He is only fair at tennis, badminton, bowling.

He is lucky in gambling, prefers blues and greys in his suits, and never uses
a cigarette holder.

His favorite cocktail is the Daiquiri.

He belongs only to golf and theatrical clubs.

He chews a lot of gum, and doesn’t believe in any kind of fortune telling. He believes that technical and scientific advancements have actually lessened the pain and heartache of humanity.

He is not affected by high altitudes, prefers suburban life, and was convinced, after seeing a test nine years ago that his profile would keep him out of pictures.