My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Really well done, well written biography of Bob Hope. Zoglin's thesis that Hope invented modern stand up comedy and as the entertainer of the last century rings true. And while this isn't a hatchet job (Zoglin had the cooperation of Hope's daughter, which I imagine dulled the hatchet somewhat), Hope doesn't come out of this sitting pretty. A friend of mine who works in Hollywood once described a reletively famous actress he worked with on a daily basis: "she's a professional who hits her marks, knows all her lines, and is also one of the most despicable human being with whom I've ever worked." I think Bob Hope may fall into the category as well (and Bing Crosby too). He was not a pleasant person (are comedians ever pleasant people though? Isn't that darkness part of being a comedian?). The person I felt most sorry for - not perennially cuckolded Dolores Hope or Hope's beleaguered writers or his poor ignored children. It was Dorothy Lamour. Those two men totally fucked her over.
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