On this day in 2003, Bob Hope turned 100 years old. Dubbed “Mr. Entertainment” and the “King of Comedy,” Hope died less than two months after his 100th birthday celebration. Here are 6 things you probably didn't know about Bob Hope…
He Spent 48 Christmases Overseas Bob Hope knew what it meant to be away from home during the holidays. From World War II to Desert Shield, the legendary star spent 48 Christmases overseas performing with the USO overseas entertaining the troops. Although Hope’s WWII performances won him the adoration of many service members, it wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century, when he began regularly hosting his infamous “Bob Hope Christmas Show,” that the iconic entertainer cemented his legendary status among the military and civilian communities alike.
You Can Thank Bob Hope For The Brady Bunch
It's possible that some of the most famous sitcoms may never have come to fruition if it wasn't for Bob Hope. Sherwood Schwartz was in school studying for a biology degree but needed a job, so he wrote jokes for Bob Hope, who had a radio program. Hope liked Schwartz’s jokes so much he hired him as a member of his writing staff. That opportunity gave Schwartz the foot in the door he needed to get into the biz. Not long after, he would go on to create Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch. Schwartz described his rise in Hollywood as an accident his whole life.
He Was A Harlem Globetrotter. Hope was named an honorary Globetrotter in 1977, receiving jersey number 1. He accepted the honor in typical Hope style by joking, "To be perfectly frank, I deserve to be a Globetrotter ...The Trotters are famed for making baskets. I’ve been making baskets myself lately, and if the psychiatrists let me out for an hour, I’ll be there for your presentation.” A handful of other prominent figures have joined Hope to become honorary Globetrotters over the years, including Nelson Mandela, Henry Kissinger, and Pope Francis.
Without Bob Hope, There Would Be No Tony Bennett Before his singing career took off, Anthony Dominick Benedetto was performing under the stage name of Joe Bari. In 1949, Benedetto found himself singing at the New York's Village Inn, and that's where he was discovered by Bob Hope. After listening to him sing, Hope offered Benedetto a spot in his show at the famed Paramount Theatre. When Hope asked what his real name was, the young singer responded – Anthony Dominick Benedetto. Bob Hope told him that the name was "too long for the marquee. We’ll call you Tony Bennett."
Tiger Woods Played Golf With Hope at Age Two In 1978, Earl Woods brought his 2-year-old son, Tiger, to “The Mike Douglas Show” to compete in a putting contest as Bob Hope and actor Jimmy Stewart looked on. The little boy missed the first put and made the audience laugh when he moved the ball to within several inches of the hole for his second try. At 21, when he was the hottest golf player in the country, Hope called to ask if he would play at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic but was turned down because of a scheduling conflict.