We still thank Bob Hope for the memories . . . his films, radio shows, films and guest spots on countless smalls-screen shows, series and specials. Hoping for more? Time Life is about to release “Bob Hope: Entertaining the Troops,” a must-own DVD that’s crammed with a trio of TV Christmas specials, including two of the most-watched shows in TV history. Hope and the holidays go hand-in-hand; traveling with special guests, he visited U.S. troops in dozens of locations around the world, performing on battleships and battlefields . . . sometimes even accompanied by the sound of fighter jets overhead. His missions were often dangerous, his schedule brutal, yet for thousands of servicemen and women far from home there was no one like Hope for the holidays.
On May 10, Time Life, creator and direct marketer of unique music and home entertainment products, delivers “Bob Hope: Entertaining the Troops”. It’s a true treasure trove: A rare, never-before-released 1951 special from the Korean War Era , along with shows from 1970 and 1971–two of the most-watched shows in TV history. Featuring Hope’s hilarious monologues and oodles of guest stars, these shows prove that laughter is truly the best medicine, regardless of the time zone or terrain. With this DVD release, Hope’s fans will enjoy more than two and a half hours of Hope’s house calls across three special troop shows:
“Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the World with the USO” (original air date: January 15, 1970)
Hope and company embark on another Christmas tour to entertain the troops, starting with a send-off from the White House. The 16-day tour then continues through Germany, Italy, Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Guam and on-board the USS Ranger and the USS Sanctuary. Highlights include Neil Armstrong, recently back from his historic moon walk, answering questions from the service members; and Connie Stevens singing “Wedding Bell Blues” to four service members named Bill.
“Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the Globe with the USO” (original air date: January 14, 1971)
Hope visits U.S. military bases to entertain the troops and bring them Christmas cheer, starting with rehearsals at West Point and with stops in England, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Alaska and to the USS John F. Kennedy in the Mediterranean and the USS Sanctuary in the South China Sea. Highlights include Hope and Lola Falana doing song and dance’ Hope trading zingers with Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Bench’ plus a routine with Ursula Andress, Gloria Loring and Miss World Jennifer Hosten.
“Chesterfield Sound Off Time” (original air date December 23, 1951)
This rare, never-before-released special was filmed during the Korean War aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Boxer. Highlights include Hope and Connie Moore crooning “I Wanna Go Home (With You)”; the Nicholas Brothers performing their acrobatic style of tap dancing; and Hope, in an extended comedy sketch, taking command of the ship and sailing it on a secret mission.