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Bob Hope: My Life in Jokes    by Bob Hope & Linda Hope order for
Bob Hope
by Bob Hope
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Bob Hope will be 100 years old on May 29, 2003. It is fitting that this biographical account should be published this year. This amusing little volume is arranged by decades, each punctuated by some of Hope's engaging quips.

The comedian's career began some 80 years ago. My Life in Jokes is a series of vignettes that illustrate what was happening in history as well as in his own life. It helps to have some familiarity with events of the time period to really appreciate the jokes, for example, his digs at McCarthyism. Since I am old enough to have seen Hope on television, what I read is filtered by my memory of his presentation, which I suspect also helps in appreciating his humour.

Bob Hope's humour is self-deprecating and never cruel. Nor is it sleazy or crude (some present-day comics should take note). His interest in current events makes for an intriguing background to his amusing observations. At the time that I was laughing at his wry quips about the U.S.S.R., it never occurred to me that he had actively sought the opportunity to make a potentially risky visit.

Similarly, Hope made light of the difficulties and dangers he and his troupe faced during their numerous tours to entertain U.S. service men and women abroad. My Life in Jokes gives an entertaining glimpse into a remarkable man's remarkable life. How satisfying, too, that Bob Hope is receiving recognition for his achievements before his death!

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