One of the few constants of the Vietnam War—one eagerly anticipated by American troops, that is—was the annual Bob Hope Christmas Show. From 1964 to 1972, Hope included South Vietnam on his annual trips to visit troops during the holiday season, a tradition that started for him during World War II. “Back in 1941, at March Field, California…I still remember fondly that first soldier audience,” Hope once said. “I looked at them, they laughed at me, and it was love at first sight.”

While only a small fraction of the 2.5 million troops who served in Southeast Asia actually got to attend Hope’s performances, for those who did he managed to break the monotony, ease the loneliness and give the troops in combat zones across Vietnam a couple of hours of laughter—and a memory for a lifetime. Bob Hope’s classic opening monologues of rapid-fire jokes always took jabs at the GIs and the specifics of the local situation.

Under a hot sun or a driving rain, his young audiences laughed and cheered the legendary comedian and his cast of singers, dancers and the musicians of Les Brown and his Band of Renown. Hope’s shtick included a constant, sometimes bawdy banter with the other performers, taking plenty of shots at the absurdities of military life while conveying a real sense of how difficult it was for the troops to be away from home during the holidays.

Bob Hope - IMDb

The Bob Hope Show (TV Series 1952– ) - IMDb

Posted by 2018 article