Tuesday, June 21, 2011
THANKS FOR THE EARLIEST MEMORY OF BOB HOPE ON TV - HOPE'S DEBUT SPECIAL - NBC-TV - CIRCA APRIL 9, 1950
On Easter Sunday, April 9th , 1950, early television viewers received a holiday basket of video cheer from the nascent NBC television network, when it brought Bob Hope from silver screen to small screen in his TV debut, THE STAR SPANGLED REVUE.Airing LIVE along the Eastern Seaboard from 5:30PM to 7:00pm, the show reportedly reached almost 50 percent of the available television audience.
A resounding success, Hope's maiden,NBC effort was produced by the video visionary behind Sid Caesar's YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, the venerable Max Leibman. Guest stars included respected comedienne ,Beatrice Lillie and movie, matinee-idol, Douglas Fairbanks Junior. The smart and sardonic scribe,Larry Gelbart, was among Hope's cadre of comedy writers.
The Frigidaire appliances division of General Motors sponsored the vibrant offering.
Hope was among the last of the great radio and film comedians, like Jack Benny and Red Skelton, to make the transition to television.Legend says he thought it was too hard to do a weekly television offering, while maintaining his top-rated radio show and starring in films.It is said that when NBC asked what it would take to move him into TV , he and agent Jimmy Saphier asked for $50,000. In 1950, that was an exorbitant fee, but it didn't give NBC pause. They wrote the check.
Here, posted below from THEFILMARCHIVE You Tube site,is a complete recording of Bob Hope , starring in THE STAR SPANGLED REVUE. Enjoy!!!!