Bob Hope giver sit sidste show i Vietnam

Bob Hope giver sit sidste show i Vietnam

Komikeren Bob Hope giver det, han siger, er hans sidste juleshow til U.S. Hope, var komiker og stjerne på scene, radio, tv og over 50 spillefilm.

Hope var en af ​​mange Hollywood -stjerner, der fulgte traditionen med at rejse til udlandet for at underholde amerikanske tropper, der var stationeret i udlandet. Showet i 1972 markerede Hopes niende julestreng i træk i Vietnam. Hope godkendte præsident Nixons bombardement af Nordvietnam for at tvinge det til at acceptere amerikanske fredsvilkår og modtog Sydvietnams højeste civile medalje for sin "antikommunistiske iver". Selvom nogle antikrigsdemonstranter kritiserede Hope for at støtte regeringens politik i Vietnam, sagde komikeren, at han mente, at det var hans ansvar at løfte humøret ved at underholde tropperne.

Også på denne dag: Præsident Nixon suspenderer Operation Linebacker II i 36 timer for at markere juleferien. Bombekampagnen mod Nordvietnam havde været i drift siden 18. december, hvor Nixon indledte kampagnen for at tvinge nordvietnameserne tilbage til fredsforhandlingerne i Paris. Den 28. december meddelte nordvietnameserne, at de ville vende tilbage til Paris, hvis Nixon stoppede bombningen. Bombekampagnen blev standset, og forhandlerne mødtes i løbet af den første uge af januar. De kom hurtigt til en løsning-Paris-fredsaftalerne blev underskrevet den 23. januar, og en våbenhvile trådte i kraft fem dage senere.


Bob Hope

Jeg tror, ​​at far ville elske at blive husket som en, der fik folk til at grine. Især som nogen, der omfavnede et land, der ikke var hans fødselsland, og som elskede det enormt og ville give tilbage til de mennesker, der var villige til at sætte deres liv på spil for deres land. – Linda Hope

Født i England, opvokset i Ohio, kom Bob Hope oprindeligt ind for at vise forretninger, der laver vaudevillian og komisk arbejde. Hans midtvestlige arbejdsetik pressede ham til stand-up komedie, Broadway, film og sang. Hopes unikke dansestil bragte glæde til millioner og evnen til at gøre det hele gjorde uden tvivl Bob Hope til en mand, der er værd at huske. Det, der dog adskilte ham og fastslog hans arv, var hans engagement i de militære mænd og kvinder, der tjente i udlandet. Hopes urokkelige støtte til tropperne gav ham det unikke privilegium at blive udnævnt til en "æresveteran" af sekretæren for veteransager.

Begyndelsen . . .

Da Hope hørte om bombningen af ​​Pearl Harbor, ville han lave et show for servicemedlemmer og give tilbage til de mænd og kvinder, der tjener i vores lands væbnede styrker. På den måde tog han en beslutning, der for altid ville ændre karriereforløbet. Hope tog sit show med på vejen og sendte fra militærbaser rundt om i landet. Hans engagement i krigsindsatsen fortsatte, da han sluttede sig til Hollywood Victory Caravan og hjalp med at rejse penge til Army and Navy Relief Funds. I 1941, da Armed Forces Radio startede sin egen programmering, underskrev Hope. I 1942, mens han besøgte servicemedlemmer i Alaska, sagde han til journalister: ”Ja, Hollywood vil ikke se så meget af håb herfra og frem. Jeg har andre planer. ”

Hopes ture fra 1941 til 1991 tog ham med på 57 ture med USO, mens han underholdt tropperne i enhver større militær konflikt, herunder 2. verdenskrig, Koreakrigen, Vietnamkrigen og Operation Desert Storm (Persisk Golfkrig). Et servicemedlem huskede, “Håb var sjovt og behandlede horder af soldater til brøl af latter. Han var venlig - [han] spiste med tjenestemænd, drak med dem, læste deres hunger, lyttede til deres sange. Derfor drenge, som Hope kunne underholde i en time, forventede hans ankomst i uger. Og da han kom, følte anonyme fyre, der ikke havde anden anerkendelse, personligt husket. ”

Hans styrke var i hans relatability til at finde humoren i de mørkeste dage, og klarheden i hans medfølelse med tropper, der tjener i udlandet. Disse styrker ville bedst tjene ham under Vietnamkrigen, da vores land var usikker på, hvor man skulle stille ind, hvad man skulle stille ind og nogle dage, hvor man overhovedet skulle finde et grin.

Allerede i 1962 bad Hope om at turnere i Vietnam og fik grønt lys af præsident Johnson efter Tonkin-bugten i 1964. Hope og hans besætning tog til Vietnam i midten af ​​december, forblev for at underholde tropperne gennem julen og derefter tog hjem igen. Hans monologer var fyldt med vittigheder om, at de forveksledes med en soldat, "Sikke en velkomst, jeg fik i lufthavnen ... De troede, jeg var en afløser." Og refererede ofte til fjenden: "Og i øvrigt, hvis der er nogen Viet Cong i publikum, skal du huske, at jeg allerede har fået mine skud." Disse linjer fik jubel fra drengene herunder og stod over for disse meget virkelige konsekvenser.

Optagelser af Hopes forestillinger under hele hans turné blev produceret til tv -tilbud, der blev sendt senere tilbage i USA. Da Hope fortalte vittigheder på scenen, panorerede kameraer til unge mænd i uniform, nogle sårede og alle grinede, og nød et lettere øjeblik med venner, før de vendte tilbage til virkeligheden i Vietnam. En heldig mor kan se et billede af hendes søn, et endnu heldigere servicemedlem kan blive kaldt på scenen for muligheden for at præsentere Bob Hope eller blive læst en hilsen hjemmefra. Det år sluttede julespecialen i Vietnam, som alle fremtidige tilbud ville gøre med mængden, der blødt sang "Stille nat". En dyster afslutning på en aften fyldt med glædeligt grin.

Da han sendte specialet hjemme i USA, vedhæftede Hope sin hyldest og tak til drengene i udlandet. Disse stykker ville fortsætte og tilbyde indsigt i ikke bare Hopes følelser for tropperne, men også hans følelser om Amerikas engagement i krigen. Hans retorik i 1964 mindede om mange derhjemme, der troede, at krigen ville ende med en hurtig sejr, “de (amerikanske servicemedlemmer) er ikke ved at give op –, fordi de ved, hvis de gik ud af denne bambushindring Selvfølgelig ville det være som at sige til kommunerne: 'Kom og få det'. “

Hope tog tilbage til Vietnam, og med stigende troppeniveauer fortsatte han med at se stigninger i fremmødet på sine shows. Han brugte dette som materiel spøg, ”Sidste år var I alle rådgivere. Nu hvor du ser, hvor det har fået os, holder du måske din fælde lukket. ” Han fortsatte også vittigheder om militære rationer. ”Pentagon gik virkelig alt ud på denne flyvning. De viste endda en film. Det var meget spændende - 300 måder at tilberede 'C' rationer på "og hans egen mangel på service," jeg kan se, hvor de gjorde op med min gamle verdenskrigsklassifikation – 4z ... Det er 'samvittighedsfuld kujon.' I tilfælde af en invasion bliver jeg bag linjerne og hober Jackie Gleason rundt om Bing Crosby. ” Hope begyndte at antyde en voksende utilfredshed i USA, der spøgte: ”Vi har haft alle slags demonstrationer tilbage i staterne ... Kom ud af Vietnam, kom ikke ud af Vietnam, hvorfor går du ikke tilbage til hvor du kom fra og "jeg kom fra Vietnam."

I An Khe trak Bob specialisten Brian H. O'Connell på scenen, ”Her er et billede af tvillinger. Hans tvillinger, som han aldrig har set. Lige her. Og jeg vil bare have, at du kigger på disse små børn. Det er første gang, han nogensinde har set dem. Dem - ”men Hope kunne ikke afslutte sin monolog, da råb og jubel fra publikum overdøvede ham. Under hele showet var der øjeblikke som disse, hvor hans kærlighed til servicemedlemmerne var tydelig. Kontinuerligt tilbød han dem et blik på det liv, der ventede på dem hjemme og mindede dem om, hvad de kæmpede for.

Da specialet blev sendt hjem, og vittighederne var blevet fortalt, og Silent Night var blevet sunget, tilbød Hope sin hyldest: ”Vores kæmpende mænd har tillid til deres lederes beslutninger. Det er svært for dem at høre rumlen om fred over skud, men når fred kommer, vil de tage godt imod det. ” Afvisende fra vittigheder tilbød Hope en mild påmindelse om, at disse "drenge" leverede tillid fra deres "ledere", men at de også havde brug for den amerikanske offentlighed til at stå sammen med dem.

I 1966 trængte mændene på hustage, klatrede til toppen af ​​lysstænger og skimmede under scenen – alt for at få et blik af Bob Hope. Hans tilbud i Vietnam skulle bringe humor og glæde i udlandet. Han ringede til mænd på scenen og lavede ofte en joke om deres hjemstater, sportshold eller læste noter hjemmefra, der endte med et kys fra en rejsende pige eller endda fra Hope selv. Endnu et af hans yndlingsemner for latterliggørelse og#8212 rangerende officerer.

“Denne base er fyldt med messing. Du kan ikke gå fem fod uden at hilse. De har flere fyre på hospitalet med tennisalbue, end de har med granatsplinter. ”

Hope vidste, at vittigheder om de ansvarlige mænd altid ville bringe store grin og tilbyde servicemedlemmer i lavere rang chancen for at komme i kontakt med hinanden. Da Hope tog til flere stop i Vietnam end nogensinde før, tøvede han aldrig med at tale om protesterne og frustrationerne over det, der spillede hjemme. "Landet står bag dig, 50 procent," sagde han ved Cu Chi. Efterfulgt af, ”Faktisk var forsvarsafdelingen meget sportslig. I år gav de mig mit valg af enten kampzone ... Vietnam eller Berkeley. ”

Ser man på hans kommentar og de mange protester, der dannes rundt om i landet dengang, var Hopes frustration over den manglende støtte ikke usædvanlig, men snarere på niveau med så mange andre. Hopes hyldest i 1966 kom med et refleksionsbudskab til det amerikanske folk, "Ingen ville have denne krig, men den er her, og vi kan ikke ønske den væk. Der er ingen let løsning ... drengene, der kæmper i Vietnam, ønsker lige så meget fred som os, og de kæmper for at få det. ” Gennem disse ord kan vi høre anbringendet til det amerikanske folk om vigtigheden af ​​at adskille krigen og krigeren. Bob Hope indså, at den voksende utilfredshed derhjemme var ved at blive mudret og vende sig til en voksende utilfredshed for dem, der kæmpede krigen, og for ham var det aldrig en mulighed. Hopes engagement i dem, der tjente, var absolut.

Kredit: AP/Shutterstock
Bob Hope og Raquel Welch deler scenen, da de underholder tropperne i Vietnam i 1967.

I 1967, hvor antallet af tropper steg, sagde Hope: "Se på disse katte ... de ligger med deres kroppe under scenen og ansigterne stirrer op på mig." Kameraet panorerede til servicemedlemmerne med hovedet stikkende ud og derefter tusinderne i mængden, tydeligt at Hopes popularitet nogensinde var stigende i Vietnam. Vittigheder om servicegrene – “Og vi har 101. Airborne her i dag. Det eneste outfit i Vietnam, der rejser forbi Yo Yo. ” På individuelle job: "Du kan altid fortælle helikopterpiloter ... Det er dem, der stadig laver Watusi en halv time efter, at de er landet."- genererer så grin, at Hope ofte måtte vente i flere sekunder, før han kunne kom videre. Det var Hopes kendskab til krigssituationen og hans evne til at betragte det som en outsider, der gav ham muligheden for at komme i kontakt med servicemedlemmer.

Håbet fortsatte med humor om krigens farezoner, “Og fyre elsker det her, fordi Da Nang har en så vidunderlig beliggenhed. Det er så praktisk til centrum af Hanoi. ” Og det område, som han optrådte til under henvisning til Thailand, “dette land er aldrig blevet erobret. Og ikke underligt ... Ingen kan komme igennem den trafik. ” I regional humor som denne grinede servicemedlemmer, men klappede og jublede også, som om der endelig var nogen, der talte om de lokale virkeligheder, som kun de kan forstå. Det var sjovt for os derhjemme, men for dem var det også katarsis muligheden for at grine af en til tider uudholdelig situation, som man bare skulle overleve. Håb gjorde denne situation relaterbar og derfor tålelig.

Året bragte også diskussioner om protester herhjemme, "Mænd, jeg bringer jer gode nyheder fra frihedens land ... .Det er der stadig ... Du skal muligvis krydse en stakgrænse for at se det, men det er der." Det er her, Hope først nævnte, at servicemedlemmer kan stå over for udfordringer med civile, når de vender hjem og måske forudse nogle af de problemer, de ville komme til at stå tilbage i USA. Bob sluttede specialet fra 1967 med et besøg på et hospital, ”Det store samtaleemne er, hvor mange dage du har tilbage? De fleste af disse børn har det tatoveret på deres øjenkugler. ” Og ”på trods af de millioner af ord, der er talt og skrevet, ved vi, at der ikke er nogen lette svar på denne konflikt. Men der må være et svar ... Vi håber og beder om, at den fred, som vi alle længes efter inden længe, ​​bliver en realitet. ”

I 1968 gennemlevede amerikanerne en af ​​de mest omtumlede perioder i amerikansk historie. Da spændingerne opdagedes derhjemme, bragte Hope det frem i sine oversøiske shows, ”jeg vil gerne tilbringe jul i staterne, men jeg kan ikke tåle volden” og ”sidste år brændte de deres kort ... i år & #8211 det er skolerne. ” Tilbyder humoristiske råd til servicemedlemmer Hope udtalte: "Så når du mønstrer ud, skal du beholde dit gevær ... Hvis du går i skole under GI -regningen, skal du muligvis genfinde det først." Hope jokede også med afslutningen på Johnsons præsidentperiode, "Og selvfølgelig ønsker jeg LBJ alt held og lykke i verden, han har haft det hårdt, ved du. Faktisk gik han forleden over til Lincoln Memorial, og han kiggede op på Abe og sagde, 'du havde en krig ... du havde et borgerrettighedsproblem ... hvad kan jeg gøre?' Og der var en pause og til sidst en stemme sagde: 'Gå ikke i teatret.' ”Hope's shows var mere farvet med virkeligheden hjemmefra end nogensinde, og det gav servicemedlemmer en mulighed for at se den støtte, som USO og Hope fortsatte med at tilbyde.

I slutningen af ​​1968's særlige Hope udtalte: ”Diskussioner om vores kropsholdning i Vietnam bliver ved og ved. Rettighederne og fejlene ved det diskuteres og vil fortsat blive diskuteret i årevis. Men en ting kan ikke diskuteres ... og det er det bidrag, vores mænd har ydet i Vietnam. Deres mod, deres venlighed, deres menneskelighed og deres offer kan aldrig fortrydes. Det er nu en del af historien. ” Det er her, Hope arbejdede på at gribe fra begge sider af gangen, "uanset om du støtter konflikten eller ej, de unge mænd, vi har fremsat for at kæmpe i den, bør modtage vores engagerede støtte." Han sluttede med “Men her var vi igen, og et eller andet sted undervejs ramte erkendelsen af ​​mig, at vi var fanget i en slags kviksand ... at der ikke var en ende i sikte, og at vi betalte for høj en pris i vores største naturlige ressource ... vores ungdom. ” Gang på gang så vi Hopes evne til at adskille krigen og krigeren og hans urokkelige engagement og støtte til de mennesker på jorden, der kæmper kampene. Hope anerkendte det "kviksand", som vores land var ved at blive fanget i, men han nægtede at blive suget ind og valgte hellere at juble for de tjenestemænd og -kvinder, han altid havde støttet.

Hope begav sig ud i 1969, enogtyve år efter sin første USO-rejse til Tyskland med 80 andre kunstnere og ni lande at spille for. Inden de gik, spillede Hope og hans gruppe en generalprøve i Det Hvide Hus og spøgte: ”Jeg har aldrig lavet et komplet show i Det Hvide Hus, selvom jeg ikke klager. Det tog nogle handlinger tolv år at nå det ”, hvilket beviser, at ikke engang øverstkommanderende, Richard Nixon, var i sikkerhed for sine modhager.

Hans emner på baser omfattede det nye udkast til lotteri, som først for nylig var trådt i kraft. »Og til information om jer, der er til rotation - de havde lige et nyt udkast til lotteri, og hvis du skynder dig hjem, kan du vinde det! Jeg ved, at I alle er begejstrede for det nye lotterilot. Den store spænding for dig er at indse, at du er sidste års vinder! ” Håbet gik også efter det problematiske spørgsmål om et diskuteret neutralt Laos, hvor Ho Chi Minh -stien løb ind i, og som blev brugt af fjendtlige soldater til at transportere forsyninger. I Nakhon Phanom udtalte Hope: »I øjeblikket er vi kun omkring 6 km fra Mekong -floden og kun ni miles fra neutrale Laos. Ja Hr. Ja Hr. Og hvis du lytter nøje, kan du høre de neutrale tropper, der bærer den neutrale ammunition ned ad den neutrale Ho Chi Minh -sti. ” I disse vittigheder fik de kyniske følelser, som nogle tjenestemedlemmer måtte have haft, stemme og latter for at hjælpe med at arbejde gennem et gråt område.

Hopes hyldest i 1969 sagde: "Mange mennesker spørger mig, om jeg har bemærket nogen ændring i vores situation i år i forhold til, hvad det var sidste år. Én ting ændrer sig aldrig ... vores kæmpemænds utrolige gode ånd. Det eneste, der kvalificerer sig som business as usual, er den uhelbredelige humanitarisme i vores gennemsnitlige G.I. Antallet af dem, der bruger deres fritid, energi og penge til at hjælpe vietnamesiske familier og pleje forældreløse børn, ville overraske dig. Eller måske ville det ikke - jeg tror, ​​du ved, hvilken slags fyre dine brødre og børnene ved siden af ​​er. ” Det er her, Hope opfordrede det amerikanske folk til at huske de godhjertede børn, de sendte til udlandet. Han var ikke 'hawking' krigen, men bad amerikanere snarere om at tænke på servicemedlemmer som de godhjertede mennesker, de sendte til Vietnam.

Han fortsatte: ”Disse børn er bekymrede for moralen derhjemme. Hvis du undrer dig over, hvem der har ansvaret for krigsfrontens moral, er du det. Og hvad disse fyre læser i aviserne og hører på tv, der fortæller dem, at du er bag dem, er som en stor hjertetransplantation fra dig til dem. ” ”Det er mænd, der lægger deres liv på spil hver dag. Og til gengæld beder de om en ting ... tid til at gøre et job. For at vi skal være tålmodige og tro på dem, så de kan bringe os en ærefuld fred. ” Hope sluttede 1969 med en opgave for amerikanerne, "tro på dem." Linjen, som dengang virkede så lille, ville vise skillet for så mange servicemedlemmer, der vendte hjem til fjendtlige situationer.

1970, 1971 og 1972

USO -turnéen i 1970 startede med en generalprøve på West Point, og Hope erklærede: "Nej, jeg har ikke set så meget gråt, siden jeg svimmelede ved brevbærers stævne." I Da Nang udtalte Hope: ”Dette er vores syvende rejse hertil. Er det ikke fantastisk det træk, jeg har med forsvarsministeriet. Nej, dette er den eneste base i Vietnam med hurtig transit. Der er en raket, der går ethvert sted, du vil ... og et par steder, du ikke gør. ” I Long Binh antydede Hope, at tropper skulle trække sig tilbage: ”Dette er den største militære installation i Vietnam med femogtyve tusinde mand. Og med alle troppens tilbagetrækninger er jeg overrasket over at se nogen her. Det var rart af jer at blive ved bare for mig. ” Den vittighed, "det var rart af jer, at blive ved bare for mig" dukkede op, indtil Bob Hopes ture til Vietnam sluttede i 1972. Erkendelsen af, at servicemedlemmer skulle hjem var en glad anerkendelse for ham, og en han brugte i sit show igen og igen.

Hope holdt ikke ud med sit typiske materiale og holdt politisk i 1971 med: ”I er heldige. Du ved, at du kommer hjem. Men hvilket håb er der for vores mænd ved fredsforhandlingerne i Paris? ” og i 1972 "Det lykkedes ikke kun at nå til enighed i Paris ... men nu kæmper de om hotelregningen." Stadig var der vittigheder om rangering af betjente, "Der er så meget stor messing her, GI'erne sover ved opmærksomhed." Og hans klassiske brug af mig selv som en punch line, “Her skal jeg dele julen med dig. Og jeg vedder på, at nogle af jer var bange for, at I ikke ville have en kalkun, hva ’?” Klassikerne indbragte stadig grin, selv fra et visnet publikum.

I 1970 udtalte Hope: ”Alle er enige om, at denne mest upopulære krig har varet for længe. Men nu kan vi for første gang se lyset for enden af ​​tunnelen. De kommer hjem, selvom de aldrig er hurtige nok, når en du holder af er involveret. ” I 1972, “Men denne gang i Vietnam stødte vi på en situation, der normalt ville tage hjertet ud af enhver kunstner, men som for os var grund til at glæde os. Jeg mener - klynger af tomme pladser under vores shows på Da Nang og Camp Eagle ... fordi hvert tomt sæde betød en fyr, der var vendt hjem, en GI, der var gået tilbage til "verden". Hope bad ikke længere det amerikanske folk om at støtte den oversøiske aktion, men snarere at byde velkommen og ære de drenge, der kom hjem. Hans engagement i dem var tydeligt i hans sidste afsendelse i 1972, hvor han sagde: "Vi glemmer dem aldrig ..." flodrotterne "i Dong Tam," støvet "i Cu Chi, de" friske greens "og 'sandys' ved Nakaon Phanom, gryntene ved Pleiku, marinesoldaterne ved Da Nang og Chu Lai og alle jagerpiloterne på transportørerne på yankee-stationen i Sydkinesiske Hav: Og for bare et par overskrifter siden B-52 besætningsmedlemmer der trodsede flakfyldte himmelstrøg over Nordvietnam, de mødte alle udfordringen med fantastisk mod og godt humør. ” Hope nævnte specifikke besætninger og lod drengene, der så hjemme, vide, at deres liv på disse små, ofte ukendte steder var kendt for ham på grund af deres tapperhed og deres service. Tvinger det amerikanske folk til at reflektere over servicegrene, der kæmper i Vietnam, som mere end bare en monolitisk oplevelse. Kælenavne og steder mindede os om den enorme krig, vi involverede os selv, og de risici, vi sendte vores sønner ud i for at bekæmpe den.

På et tidspunkt, hvor så mange amerikanere var splittede over Vietnamkrigen, var de ikke splittede over Hope. I 1970 trak Hope 46,6 procent af de amerikanske hjem til sin januar -special, den største tv -special, der nogensinde blev sendt. Mens amerikanerne så servicemedlemmer kæmpe om aftennyhederne hver nat, tilbød Bob Hope et andet perspektiv. Han bragte sønner, brødre og ægtemænd hjem til deres stuer. Han viste os vores mænd i udlandet smilende og grinende, som om det måske var i orden i det øjeblik. At gå tilbage og se klippene, hans oprigtighed og omsorg for servicemedlemmer var håndgribelig, og når han ramte slaglinjen, var svaret altid et oprør af latter og bifald. Hans hyldest var reflekterende og tog sig tid til at ære og takke de unge mennesker, han lige havde optrådt for, men viste også holdningen til vores nations holdning til Vietnam og hvordan det udviklede sig. Hans begyndelse hylder med en overbevisning om, at dette ville være en hurtig og retfærdig krig, er, hvad så mange amerikanere også troede. Og da frø af utilfredshed langsomt blev syet, ændres hyldesterne langsomt til anbringender, byttehandel og til sidst empati for frustrationerne ved at se så mange unge mænd glide gennem det "kviksand". Hope vaklede imidlertid aldrig over sit engagement i tropperne. Han stoppede aldrig med at optræde, dukke op på hospitaler og bringe budskaber om kærlighed og støtte. Hans sidste USO -turné var i 1991, men måske en mere passende hukommelse var hans Kennedy Center -hæder i 1985. Håbet blev takket af berømte komikere, præsident Ronald Regan og mange andre, men kun en gruppe bragte ham til tårer og#8211 veteraner. Anden Verdenskrig, Korea og Vietnam, så mange stod op for at minde Hope om den glæde, han bragte ind i deres liv, og følelserne rullede ned ad kinderne. Bob Hopes sidste julespecial sluttede med en passende hyldest til Kennedy Center -øjeblikket, hvor han sagte sagde: "Tak for julen, jeg aldrig glemmer. Godnat." Håb var at ære og takke servicemedlemmer, men det samme kunne bestemt have været sagt til ham.


Fantastiske fotos viser Bob Hope Show fra Long Binh, Vietnam 1. juledag, 1970

Bob Hope var en britiskfødt amerikansk komiker, vaudevillian, skuespiller, sanger, danser, atlet og en virkelig alsidig kunstner. Med en karriere på næsten 80 år optrådte Hope i over 70 film og shorts, herunder en række “Road ”-film med Bing Crosby og Dorothy Lamour i hovedrollen. Ud over at være vært for Academy Awards fjorten gange (mere end nogen anden vært), optrådte han i mange sceneproduktioner og tv -roller og var forfatter til fjorten bøger. Sangen “Thanks for the Memory ” betragtes bredt som Hope ’s signaturmelodi.

Fejret for sin lange karriere med at udføre United Service Organisations (USO) shows for at underholde aktivt amerikansk militært personel - han foretog 57 ture for USO mellem 1941 og 1991 - Hope blev erklæret som æresveteran fra USAs væbnede styrker i 1997 ved loven af den amerikanske kongres.

Det Guinness rekordbog kaldte ham den mest ærede entertainer nogensinde. Og i løbet af hans fjernsynsfødselsdag i 1993, da han fyldte 90 år, hilste general Colin Powell Hope “ for hans utrættelige USO -gruppering ”, som blev efterfulgt af hyldest på scenen fra alle grenene af de væbnede styrker. General William Westmoreland fortalte om sin loyalitet over for GI gennem de grusomme Vietnam -år. Og bandleder Les Brown, der var med ham under mange af hans ture, nævnte, at hans band havde set mere af Hope ’s [butt] i de sidste fyrre år end nogen af ​​Hope ’s nærmeste familie. ”

I løbet af Vietnamkrigsårene gav han en række tv-tilbud med høj rating og fornemmede, at medierne havde givet ham en bred tilslutning til at fortsætte sine GI-barmhjertighedsmissioner. Kort efter sit juleshow i Saigon i 1967 fik han at vide, at Vietcong havde planlagt et terrorangreb på hans hotel mod ham og hele hans gruppe, og savnede ham med ti minutter. Han blev senere “mystificeret, ” skriver Faith, “and … mere og mere intolerant over for lommer med uenighed. Forbrændinger af udkastskort på universitetscampusser gjorde ham vrede af dem roder faktisk til dit nederlag? ” I foråret 1973 begyndte Hope at skrive sin femte bog, Det sidste juleshow, som var dedikeret til mænd og kvinder i de væbnede styrker og til dem, der også tjente ved at bekymre sig og vente. ” Han underskrev sine royalties til USO.

Bob stiller ved siden af ​​Lola Lola Falana pressemødet efter juledagsshowet i Long Binh. Fotos © mikerophoto

Bob, Gloria Loring, Jennifer Hosten fra Grenada (Miss World, 1970) og andre viser deres POW -armbånd frem på pressemødet efter Bob Hope Show på juledag i Long Binh, RVN. Fotos © mikerophoto

GI'er byder velkommen til rollelisten i Bob Hope Show fra Long Binh 1. juledag 1970. Fotos © mikerophoto

Gloria Loring leder rollelisten og publikum i ‘Silent Night ’ Fotos © mikerophoto

Jennifer Holsten, Miss World, 1970, Les Brown og sangerinden Gloria Loring. Fotos © mikerophoto

Lola Falana indtager scenen i Long Binh. Fotos © mikerophoto

Lola Falana, Gloria Loring, Hope, Bobbie Martin og Jennifer Holsten, Miss World, 1970, står i centrum. Fotos © mikerophoto

Langt Binh -publikum på juledagens Bob Hope Show. Fotos © mikerophoto

Golddiggers danser med Bob. Fotos © mikerophoto

Golddiggers synger en melodi. Gruppen af ​​sangere dansere stammer fra Dean Martin Variety Show og turnerede med Dean i Vegas og andre steder. Fotos © mikerophoto

Goldiggers fra Dean Martin Show indtager scenen i Long Binh bag Bob Hope. Fotos © mikerophoto


Fra arkiverne: Bob Hope underholder tropperne

Over en 50-årig periode underholdt Bob Hope amerikanske tropper i udlandet. Mange af hans USO -ture fandt sted i løbet af julen. Los Angeles Times fotografer dækkede ofte hans afgange og ankomster.

I billedet ovenfor var Hope i gang med sin 13. årlige to ugers juletur i amerikanske militærbaser.

I 2003 rapporterede Times personaleforfatter Al Martinez i Bob Hopes nekrolog:

. Hans ansigt var kendt for millioner af amerikanere, der spænder over tre generationer, måske især dem, der tjente i militæret under Anden Verdenskrig og Korea- og Vietnamkrigen.

Komikeren begyndte at underholde tjenestemænd og kvinder på amerikanske baser i 1941 - startende ved Californiens March Field nær Riverside - og i 1948 begyndte de årlige juleshows på amerikanske baser i udlandet.

Hope var aldrig medlem af militæret. Men den 29. oktober 1997, da han var 94, blev han den første amerikaner udpeget af kongressen som en "æresveteran fra USA's væbnede styrker". .…

Hans shows for tropperne - med et følge af andre tegneserier, sangere, dansere og smukke piger - varede i et halvt århundrede, ofte ikke langt fra kampene, og fik Hope ros for hans patriotiske indsats og kritik for hans høgiske holdning under Vietnamkrigen .

Han sagde engang - enten overdriver for effekt eller for niveauet - at han havde tilbagelagt næsten 10 millioner kilometer for at underholde amerikansk servicepersonale rundt om i verden. Han afsluttede sine regelmæssige juleshows i 1972 under de vanskelige dage i Vietnamkrigen.

Pausen varede i 11 år. I 1983, 80 år gammel, kom Hope endnu en gang på vejen, denne gang til Libanon, hvor en fredsbevarende styrke af amerikanske marinesoldater og skibe fra den 6. flåde havde samlet sig for at forsøge at dæmme op for det interne blodsudgydelse i Beirut.

Komikeren underholdt først ombord på flådeskibene ud for kysten og gik derefter til alles overraskelse i land for at give marinerne sit særlige mærke med humor. Han kom snavs ud 30 minutter før den forbindelse, hvorpå han optrådte, blev beskudt.

"Hvis dette er fred," sagde Hope til de jublende tropper, "er du ikke glad for, at du ikke er i en krig? Jeg fik besked på ikke at blive broderet med fjenden, og det vil jeg ikke. Så snart jeg finder ud af hvem det er."

I 1990 var det oktogentiske håb i Mellemøsten, der heppede tropper i Operation Desert Shield og derefter Operation Desert Storm, de første USA-ledede kampagner mod Saddam Hussein. .

Dette fotogalleri indeholder et par Associated Press -fotos af Bob Hope -forestillinger i udlandet.


Komiker Bob Hope 's stigning og fald 38:41

Til hans første bog, Komedie på kanten, om standup -komedie i 1970’erne interviewede Richard Zoglin komikere som Steve Martin og Jerry Seinfeld om, hvem der påvirkede deres karriere. Han siger, at han var overrasket over, at ingen af ​​dem nævnte Bob Hope.

"Det var meget mærkeligt," fortæller Zoglin Frisk lufter Terry Gross. "Det fik mig til at indse, hvor fra radaren han var."

Komikerne nævnte i stedet mennesker som Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx og Jack Benny. Zoglin siger, at han troede, at det var "uretfærdigt", og at Hope ikke fik den kredit, han fortjente.

"Jeg spekulerede altid på, hvem der startede standup -komedie," siger Zoglin. "Og jeg tror virkelig, du skal sige, at det var Bob Hope."

Håber er Zoglins nye biografi om komikeren. Heri forklarer Zoglin, hvordan Hope kom i radioen i 1938 og byggede sine shows ud af vittigheder.

"Han fortalte sine forfattere at læse aviserne - kom med linjer om, hvad der sker i verden eller hvad der sker i Bob Hopes liv - hans golfspil eller hans venskab med [Bing] Crosby eller noget," siger Zoglin. "This whole idea of having standup comedy week after week that actually drew on the outside world was, believe it or not, something new. That, of course, is what every standup comedian does today, pretty much."

When Hope died in 2003, two months after he turned 100 years old, his "reputation was already fading, tarnished or being actively disparaged," Zoglin writes. "He had, unfortunately, stuck around too long." Hope was considered sexist and homophobic.

But if you examine the entirety of Hope's career, Zoglin argues, and view his achievements from a distance, it's clear that Hope was the most popular entertainer of the 20th century, having achieved success in every major genre of entertainment.

Interviewhøjdepunkter

On how Bob Hope was the first comedian to acknowledge he had writers

He talked about his writers. He used them, of course when the jokes didn't go over, he would use . what they call in comedy "savers" — he would make a crack about the writers. I think it was part of his technique of enlisting the audience on his side.

Richard Zoglin's first book, Comedy at the Edge: How Stand Up in the 1970s Changed America, led to his curiosity about Bob Hope. (Howard Schatz/Courtesy of Simon & Schuster)

He was very upfront in acknowledging that he was an entertainer doing jokes, and that part of the fun of it was getting inside him, his anxiety of performing well. And when he didn't perform well, he would talk about the writers. And the audience laughed even harder at those jokes. So the comedy sort of worked at two levels: Here was a guy telling jokes, and here was a guy making a joke out of himself telling jokes, trying to tell jokes, trying to entertain an audience. I think that was something pretty new in comedy, too.

On Hope teaming up with Bing Crosby

Bob worked with Bing for the first time in 1932 at the Capitol Theater in New York. Bing was already a big recording star and Bob was asked to emcee a show that Bing was going to do at the Capitol Theater. They actually, to entertain themselves, they just decided to do some bits together onstage, just some funny, silly little bits together. And they worked so well together — they really loved working together. They then didn't see each other for five years because Bing went back to Hollywood where he was making movies and Bob stayed on Broadway for another five years.

He did a special in the '70s on the women's movement and it was so silly, so backward. . It was just awful. He was clueless at that time. That was why that generation of comedians turned off to him.

Richard Zoglin

When Bob went out to Hollywood in 1937, he got friendly again with Crosby on the Paramount lot and they became good friends. They entertained together at [the] Del Mar racetrack, where Bing was a part owner and Paramount executives saw their act onstage together and said, "Hey, these guys might work together in a movie."

So they geared up a movie that ended up being called Road to Singapore. This came out in early 1940 and it was just terrific. It was the highest-grossing film for 1940 in a year with a lot of big Hollywood films, and the audience responded instantly to the chemistry of the two of them on-screen together. They were relaxed, informal — they seemed to be friends authentically, not just movie characters. The movie was so much fun that it launched a series.

On Crosby and Hope's real-life relationship

They were friends and they loved working together, but they were not close friends. They were very different personality types. . Bob was someone who loved being famous and loved being out there as a star and he loved talking to fans and he was basically a happy guy. Bing was much more ambivalent about his stardom, I think. He was more reclusive. He didn't like the Hollywood scene he moved up to Northern California halfway through his career. He didn't like showing up at things. There was a famous Friars Club Roast for Bob Hope in the late '40s and every major comedy star — from Milton Berle, George Jessel, etc. — were there. . And [Bing] didn't show up. I think that bothered Bob a little bit.

At the end of his life, Bob confessed to a colleague, he said, "You know, in all the time I knew Bing and his . two wives, they never once invited me and Dolores to dinner." I think there was a slight bit of resentment there. I think also Bob envied Bing in the early years, particularly. Bing was more successful and Bing was a smart businessman. Bob learned a lot from him. I think that there was a little bit of a rivalry.

On Hope performing for the troops

Even before World War II broke out, Bob was entertaining troops domestically. . One day somebody suggested that he go down to March Field [now March Air Reserve Base] and entertain the troops there who were bored. We were not in the war yet, and Bob went there and got an amazing reaction. They just loved him. He could really connect with the troops.

And when the war started, Hollywood banded together and everybody felt they had to cooperate in the war effort. Some stars, as we know, enlisted and the ones who didn't enlist volunteered to entertain at bases around the country. Finally, when the war started to turn in the Allies' favor in 1943, the USO was able to start sending entertainment troops overseas.

Bob was doing his radio show. He wasn't one of the very first, but in the summer of 1943, he made his first trip over to Europe, Britain and the European theater in North Africa. And that trip was so amazing and he took risks. . There were still bombing raids going on. They survived bombing raids and the reaction of the troops — I mean, imagine you're a solider fighting for democracy overseas at a time when the country felt its existence threatened, and to see a big Hollywood star show up days after you've been in battle. That was an amazingly powerful experience for the men.

On how Hope alienated younger audiences

Bob Hope was the establishment. Bob Hope was friends with Nixon. Bob Hope was speaking in favor of the [Vietnam] War. Bob Hope was expressing that kind of backward, suburban, WASP view of minorities, homosexuals, the women's movement. Even his comments on the women's movement were very condescending. He did a special in the '70s on the women's movement and it was so silly, so backward. And [in his act] the woman who had some big political office was dusting the chairs in between her meetings. It was just awful. He got mail . from feminists.

He was clueless at that time. That was why that generation of comedians turned off to him. . It's hard to be [a] comedian and be part of the establishment because comedians, their job is to satirize and to poke fun at the powerful people. And this is something that Bob was — one of the powerful people. So just as a comedian, he became less and less relevant.


Find out what's happening in Lake Elsinore-Wildomar with free, real-time updates from Patch.

The USO, a private nonprofit organization that supports the troops, is celebrating the 80-year anniversary with a May 5 drive-thru meal distribution "to strengthen service members and their families by providing them with a delicious Cinco de Mayo lunch," event organizers said.

The meal distribution takes place at the March Field post office from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Military assigned personnel including Reservists, Guardsmen and active duty from all branches are invited to join. A valid military ID is required.


How Marvel Comics in the 1980s Refought the Vietnam War

Marvel Comics introduced the highly regarded comic The ’Nam, focusing on actions at the squad and platoon level in Vietnam during the main combat years, 1966-73.

Courtesy of the Jason Winn and Guy Aceto collections / HistoryNet photo illustration

Popular culture interest in the Vietnam War reached a peak in the 1980s, which saw a string of war movies like “Platoon,” “Full Metal Jacket,” “Hamburger Hill,” “Off Limits” and others along with TV series such as “Tour of Duty” and “China Beach.” Some shows, such as “Magnum P.I.” and “The A-Team,” although not set during the war, featured Vietnam veterans as protagonists. Comic books were no exception to the trend. Marvel Comics introduced the highly regarded The ’Nam mid-decade as well as Semper Fi, which featured several Vietnam War stories. Other comics of the era included In-Country NAM og Vietnam Journal.

In 1982, Larry Hama, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, volunteered to write stories for Marvel’s comic book G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Hama’s task was to create background for all characters in that comic, and he made several heroes Vietnam vets. One of the most popular characters, Snake Eyes, had gone on long-range reconnaissance patrols in Vietnam and some of the stories go back to his time there.

A few years later, Hama collaborated with writer Doug Murray, a wounded noncommissioned officer who served two tours, to create a Vietnam war story, “Fifth to the First” for the October 1985 issue of Marvel’s Savage Tales. The story was well-liked, and Hama suggested Murray submit a proposal to Marvel for a war comic set in Vietnam. To Murray’s amazement, Marvel accepted. Murray, editor Hama and Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter developed Marvel’s The ’Nam in 1986 as a highly realistic war comic written from the perspective of the average infantry “grunt.” DetNam’s creators didn’t want a comic built around superheroes or indestructible Rambo-type characters.


Don Lomax, a Vietnam veteran, became the The ’Nam’s writer in 1992 and based stories on his own experiences. / Courtesy of Don Lomax

The ’Nam team decided to focus the stories on actions at the squad and platoon level during the main combat years, 1966-73, and present them in chronological order for a planned 96 issues, with each issue corresponding to one month in Vietnam. Characters would return to the States when their one-year tour was complete, and new ones would be rotated in to take their place. Murray wanted to attract and educate younger readers about the war, so he got the industry’s self-imposed Comics Code seal of approval, which gave distributors the go-ahead to send the books to mainstream sellers and let advertisers know they could run ads aimed at minors. But it also meant no sex, drugs and profanity.

In the December 1986 premiere issue of The ’Nam, readers met Pfc. Ed Marks, a clean-cut young man with a fear of heights who boards a plane in January 1966 at McChord Air Force Base in Washington, bound for South Vietnam. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23rd Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry “Tropic Lightning” Division.

On his first day in-country, Marks goes to Cu Chi base camp, the division’s home, about 25 miles northwest of Saigon, where he meets a corrupt first sergeant expecting a bribe. Marks introduces himself to the men of his squad, who in turn, introduce him to the “you can tell its Mattel” rifle, a common reference to the M16 because it was lightweight and made of plastic components, like toy guns. Marks had trained on the older wood-stocked M14.

The ’Nam was noted for its realistic portrayal of war and addressing controversial topics, such as media coverage, war protests and racial tensions. / Courtesy of the Jason Winn collection

The next day Marks and his squad embark on a search and destroy mission that includes a firefight in a village. Back at Cu Chi that evening, the 4th Battalion men are watching Major Dundee on an outdoor screen when Viet Cong rockets slam into the base. Marks jumps to his feet, but no one else moves. His comrades assure him that the enemy won’t rocket their part of the base because the VC want to watch the movie too.

During his tour, Marks survives a terrorist attack at a Saigon hotel and combat actions in the bush. He accompanies a “tunnel rat,” a soldier who went down into tunnels hunting for Viet Cong hidden there. On one patrol, Marks and his squad are doused with the poisonous herbicide Agent Orange, used to clear vegetation that could provide cover or food for the enemy.

Disgusted by what he considers the U.S. media’s biased portrayal of the Vietnam War, Marks decides to study journalism and become a war correspondent. In issue No. 70, spring 1972 in the chronology, Marks returns to Vietnam as a journalist and his editor sends him to a firebase to cover the story of a Special Forces A-Team.

The ’Nam dealt with many topics and issues including fragging (killing officers with grenades that explode into fragments), prisoners of war, river patrol boats, downed pilots and rescue missions, war protesters and racial tensions, including fistfights caused by misunderstandings.

Although the main characters in the featured squad are fictional, they see real historical figures and events. Bob Hope and his ubiquitous golf club visit Cu Chi with a USO tour group on Christmas Day 1968. Ann-Margaret joins him on stage just as she did in real life. Actress Chris Noel, who risked her life visiting landing zones in forward areas, made the cover of issue No. 23.

Issue No. 24 deals with communist attacks throughout South Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive. The cover shows photojournalist Eddie Adams snapping one of the most famous photographs of the war: Maj. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a communist prisoner. The fictional men of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, are ordered to Saigon where they help defend the U.S. Embassy compound. Afterward, they participate in the fighting at a Saigon radio station and later witness Adams taking his Pulitzer Prize-winning photo. Squad leader “Ice” gives his cynical response to the photo: “Front page of every newspaper in the States!”

The cover of Issue No. 24 depicts Eddie Adams snapping one of the most famous photographs of the Vietnam War: Maj. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a communist prisoner. / Guy Aceto collection

Continuing the story of the Tet Offensive, the next issue sees two fictional heroes visiting Marine friends at Khe Sanh in northern South Vietnam when the base comes under heavy attack. The two fictional characters assist the Marines as they retake Hue in one of the largest battles of the war. House-to-house fighting eventually puts the Marines in control of southern Hue and they discover a mass grave of civilians murdered by the communists.

Issue No. 29, which covers a busy June 1968, is chock-full of real people and events. It opens with the Paris peace talks while ensuing panels depict the heated exchange between diplomats Xuan Thuy of North Vietnam and Averell Harriman of the United States. At the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Sirhan Sirhan fatally wounds presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy. On another page, Gen. Creighton Abrams replaces Gen. William Westmoreland as head of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, in charge of all U.S. combat forces in South Vietnam. In a Boston courtroom, Dr. Benjamin Spock is found guilty of encouraging men to violate draft laws.

In another issue, as Marks watches TV in the battalion’s club facility, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite is reporting on the war. Marks observes that Cronkite exaggerates communist successes at Da Nang: “You’d think the whole corps was wiped out.”

The issue covering October 1968 pictures President Lyndon B. Johnson announcing a halt to all B-52 bombing strikes against North Vietnam. The 75th issue looks at the My Lai Massacre in a four-story, 48 page-special edition highlighting the March 16, 1968, atrocity involving 2nd Lt. William Calley and elements of two rifle companies who killed Vietnamese civilians.

Readers were unhappy when the storyline veered too far from the fictional heroes and were incensed when The ’Nam ventured into the greater Marvel universe in issue No. 41. Captain America, Ironman and Thor appear on the cover—but to be fair, the superheroes exist only in the imaginations of the grunts reading about them. Ice and Martini, another recurring character, daydream about what would happen if the superheroes were in Nam taking on the “commie dupes.” In their dream world, the superheroes snatch Ho Chi Minh, fly him to Paris and force him to sign the peace treaty.


Vansant grounded his illustrations in extensive research, setting his work apart from lack of realism in older comics. / Jason Winn collection

The ’Nam, noted for its historical accuracy and good writing, also enjoys a well-deserved reputation for highly detailed artwork. Several artists worked on various phases of a single issue. The penciler drew each panel. The inker went over the drawing with ink and maybe added more highlighting. A colorist then applied the colors. Finally, the letterist inserted the dialogue, thought balloons and sound effects.

Artist Michael Golden penciled 12 of the first 13 issues. Although the characters appeared slightly cartoonish at first, Golden set the standard for realistic detailing of military uniforms and equipment. Other artists worked on The ’Nam over the years, but Wayne Vansant, who served in the Navy during the war, penciled the lion’s share of the comic, drawing for 58 issues. Uninterested in superheroes, Vansant built his career on military history subjects including the Battle of Gettysburg and the Red Army in World War II.

Vansant grounded his illustrations in extensive research, setting his work apart from the lack of realism he saw in older comics. For example, a World War II Sherman tank that appeared in Marvel’s Combat Kelley og Deadly Dozen might resemble a Sherman, but aspects of it are completely wrong. DC Comics’ Our Army at War, later titled Sgt. Rock, fared better with Shermans, but the detailing isn’t on par with the tanks in The ’Nam.

Many of the comic’s illustrations have details the casual reader might miss, but veterans appreciated. When the series begins, the men in the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, wear the bright red “electric strawberry” patch of the 25th Infantry Division. As the war progresses, the bright colors of their shoulder patches and rank insignia are replaced with muted colors. Vansant drew the famous UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter so finely that in many panels we can see the pedals and pilots’ feet through the plexiglass nose.

In another example, a soldier mails a rifle piece-by-piece to his wife in the States. She is seen holding up a metal part, which people familiar with the weapon would instantly recognize as the bolt assembly. One character, Spc. Daniels, the squad’s radio man, carries a realistically sketched PRC-25 backpack radio, with dials, knobs, switch and retaining straps visible. In some panels the cloth bag that holds the handset and spare antennas is visible.

Civilian products are also realistically portrayed. Ice carries a perfectly rendered pack of Marlboro cigarettes under his helmet camouflage band.

Vansant liked to model characters’ faces from real people. “I’ve killed off my brother-in-law lots of times,” he jovially claimed in Marvel Age, an in-house publication where contributors discussed their projects.

The ’Nam was much more than a kids’ comic book with interesting stories. Most issues included a letters to the editor section, “Incoming,” a place where veterans and civilians still hurting from the war could write about friends and family they had lost or how the war had affected them personally. The comic also mentioned veterans organizations and their reunions.


Vietnam Journal, written and drawn by Lomax, was also intended as a realistic representation of the Vietnam War. / Courtesy Don Lomax

Readers were not shy about pointing out mistakes, which Murray quickly corrected. But some comments put him in a fighting mood. One reader compared American GIs in Vietnam to Nazi death camp guards at Auschwitz and concluded that Vietnam vets didn’t deserve a “ticker tape parade.” In an angry response, Murray said there was no excuse for the way returning vets were treated and considered the comparison of American servicemen to death camp guards as beneath contempt.

Issues usually included “’Nam Notes,” a glossary of GI lingo and Vietnamese phrases, such as “Sky Pilot” (military chaplain), “Charlie” (Viet Cong, the enemy), “White Mice” (South Vietnamese military police), “Didi Mow” (get out quick) and “Titi” (a little bit). Murray listed the number of officers, enlisted men and weapons in a typical rifle company. He also provided the organizational structure from squad to brigade level.

In 1987, Marvel named a new top editor for The ’Nam. Tom De Falco took over as editor-in-chief in issue No. 10 (September 1987). The following year Don Daley became the new series editor, beginning with No. 21 (August 1988). The new editors wanted to make changes such as dropping the chronological order, branching out beyond the single squad and inserting Marvel’s popular Punisher character, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Marines. Those changes did not take place right away, but eventually caused Murray to leave. His last issue was No. 51 (December 1992).

Several writers subsequently joined the team including Roger Salick, who wrote a two-part Punisher tale giving the backstory of Frank Castle, aka the Punisher. Of all the Marvel characters, the Punisher seemed a logical choice for The ’Nam. The prolific Chuck Dixon came onboard for 18 issues and penned a three-part Punisher story in addition to a well-received five-part saga about the war’s mental toll on a Marine named Joe Hallen. Dixon’s writing typically carried a darker tone than Murray’s did, and he often focused on snipers and special operators. Most of his stories involved Marines.

The series finished with Vietnam veteran Don Lomax as the writer for 18 issues. Lomax had written and penciled another comic about the war, Vietnam Journal, published by Apple Comics. Impressed with Lomax’s work, Marvel editor Daley approached him in 1992 to write for The ’Nam.

Lomax, a draftee, served with the 98th Light Equipment Maintenance Company as a wheel and track vehicle mechanic from fall 1966 to fall 1967. He went to mechanic school at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and finished second in his class.

“I graduated not knowing a spark plug from a CD850 tank transmission, but it didn’t matter,” Lomax said in an interview for this article. “I ended up in a chemical platoon among others servicing flamethrowers and patching fuel bladders in addition to convoying supplies up the An Khe Pass to Pleiku for the 1st Air Cav,” in an area of South Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

He also repaired typewriters, drove trucks, burned human waste and butted heads with his lieutenant. Lomax was a specialist 4 “with an attitude,” he said. “Being a draftee, my lieutenant didn’t expect me to toe the Army line. He often would threaten to bust my ass, and I would rip off my Spc. 4 patches and hand them to him. He would just shake his head and walk away. By the time I left Vietnam I didn’t have a patch or rank insignia on a single uniform.”

A fan of war comics, Lomax hoped to write one with more realism than those he read in his youth. “Being a truck driver, delivering supplies to a few sticky places I got the opportunity to listen to a lot of stories,” he said. Some of those stories came from men in special operations units “who told about the more freaky individuals they had run into out in the bush. These all became fodder for my Vietnam Journal and later The ’Nam for Marvel.”

Lomax brought back Marks, in issue No. 70 (July 1992), as a war correspondent with a journalism degree from Columbia University. Lomax also included “Stateside” shorts to tell the stories of several popular characters. Although the strict chronological scheme had been dropped, several flashbacks expanded on the 1968 Tet Offensive and the Battle of Hue.

Issue No. 76 features a touching story called “The Paymaster.” A lieutenant risks his life to deliver the payroll to troops at the front. The officer is totally dedicated to his mission, and the forward troops regard him as one of their own: a combat vet. When his chopper lurches unexpectedly, the lieutenant loses the payroll money, which he is responsible for. His new friends sign papers stating that they got paid, even though they hadn’t.

Lomax based that story on a friend. “It was a dangerous job, choppering in to make sure the troops got paid,” Lomax said. “He won a Bronze Star for valor. He took his job seriously, though at many of the forward support bases there was no place to spend it anyway.”

The ’Nam never made it to the proposed No. 96. Marvel executives axed the project in 1993, one year early, making No. 84 (September 1993) the final issue. Sales were down, and management wanted to focus on superhero comics.

The final story is told from the communist perspective. A 5-year-old girl sends a letter to her father, a North Vietnamese soldier who has gone south to fight the Americans. Through a series of strange events the letter changes hands many times and ends up with Marks, who is holding it in the last page of the last issue. The letter contains only a stick figure drawing of the girl’s family members beside their house and water buffalo.

When the series ended, Lomax was a freelance writer not under contract to Marvel. “One day Tim Tuohy [one of The ’Nam editors at the time] called and said No. 84 would be the last,” Lomax remembered. “Sayonara old stick. That was pretty much it for me at Marvel.”

One of the best war comics ever made did not have global conflicts like World War I or World War II as its canvas. It focused on ordinary soldiers in the ’Nam—and it was to a large extent created by Vietnam veterans themselves. V

Born and raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and surrounded by Civil War battlefields, Rob Hodges Jr. developed a passion for military history. He also writes literary fiction, science fiction and poetry. His books can be found on Amazon.

This article appeared in the June 2021 issue of Vietnam magasin. For more stories from Vietnam magazine, subscribe here and visit us on Facebook:


Bob Hope gives his last show in Vietnam - HISTORY


The Golddiggers reminisce about traveling with Bob Hope to Vietnam and around the world between 1968-70.

"We were absolutely thrilled to be invited to be part of the most prestigious of all USO Tours. The Bob Hope Christmas Show! Understandably, some of our families were rather worried about us girls heading into war zones and as we were soon to find out, with good reason. Little did we know at the time, what life altering experiences awaited us."

Rosie Gitlin recalls, "Bob was amazing to work with, so kind and gracious. He practically adopted us, taking us everywhere with him. Whenever he received an invitation, we accompanied him. I remember when he was invited to dine with President Richard Nixon. Off we traipsed with him to the White House, where we performed for the leadership of our country, including a young senator, George Bush! Imagine our group of naive girls, from all parts of the USA and Canada, being treated like royalty as we dined at the White House. We had to pinch ourselves to be sure it was real! Bob opened so many doors for us and we were always treated First Class, whether visiting the King and Queen of Thailand in their palace or lunching with General Abrams in Saigon."

"We fondly remember his gift of laughter, how he was able to do four to five shows a day under terrible conditions, in the midst of a war in the jungles of Vietnam, yet always appeared refreshed. Dressed in the attire of the camp we were visiting and with his ever-ready golf club in hand, Bob gave his all for our servicemen and women away from home at Christmas. Susie Ewing recalls a specific incident in Cu Chi. "When we arrived at the base, which was knee deep in mud and rain, we heard what sounded like thunder. I was quickly told it wasn’t thunder, but gunfire, and we were to head for the nearest bunker immediately! I was standing next to Bob and heard him reply, ‘Don’t bother me with bombs right now I’m busy working on my cue cards!’ That was Bob for you."

Speaking of cue cards, we traveled with tons of them. Our cue card guy was a critical part of the success of our shows, recalls Sheila Allan. She goes on to tell a funny story about being in Italy and Bob wanting to make sure we saw as many of the sights as possible as this was our first trip to Europe and beyond. He hired a bus to take us to points of interest, in particular the Vatican. "We arrived at the Vatican in our travel wardrobe which consisted of a mini length black jumper and a jacket. Of course, the guards wouldn’t let us in, dressed like that. Being the resourceful girls that we were, we turned our jumpers around, pulled them down to an appropriate length, put our jackets on over our tops and sailed past the guards!"

We flew around the world in military aircraft, cargo planes with no windows. Jackie Chidsey recalls, "When we boarded the plane we were surprised to see the inside decorated for Xmas, tree and all, which really kept us in the Christmas spirit! I’ll never forget the moment when we were about to board a helicopter to take us from Lai Khe to Utapao and I noticed a lot of bullet holes on the Huey. My escort commented that the life expectancy of a helicopter pilot in Vietnam was only 27 days, after which I immediately asked him how many days had our pilot been flying!"

Nancy Sinclair recalls, "We were right in the midst of the war and it was not glamorous. It was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. Knowing our military guys and gals had their lives on the line, we knew how much seeing our show meant to them, so following Bob’s lead, we kept an upbeat attitude. We represented home. We visited the hospitals, too, and Bob always went into the burn wards where the soldiers suffered the most, but that’s where he drew the line. He wouldn’t let us go, trying to protect us from the horror of the casualties."

For Suzy Cadham, our Canadian Golddigger, the most poignant memory was on Freedom Hill in Da Nang . "We were all on stage closing the show and as far as I could see there were Marines, 20,000 of them, hanging from trees, poles, anything to catch a glimpse of the girls from back home. We looked out on the first rows in front of us, where the patients always sat, with their makeshift IV’s, gurneys, bandages and casts the wounded, for a precious brief time, laughing and having a good time. As always, Bob closed the show with everyone singing ‘Silent Night’. That day it was raining and we had slickers on over our costumes. Singing that Christmas carol under those conditions, far from home, well, believe me, everyone was crying, not just on stage. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house."

Even after all these years, The Golddiggers will tell you that this was the most difficult, but also the most rewarding, experience of their lives. Little did they know back then, how it would impact them forever. Today, when they run into servicemen and women who shared this time with them in Vietnam, it still brings back strong emotions.

Undeniably, it was our dear Bob Hope who made it all possible. Of his great service, he said simply, "We went because there were kids there who needed a show, and television made it possible for us to show the faces of thousands of kids in combat areas to their families back home." The Golddiggers are proud to have been a part of that history. "Thanks for the Memories!"

THE GOLDDIGGERS is a federally registered trademark and the exclusive property of
The Original Golddiggers LLC, a Nevada Limited Liability Company.


Legendary Comedian Bob Hope Dies at 100

Legendary comedian and showman Bob Hope (search), who traveled the globe performing for millions of American troops stationed overseas through four wars, has died. He was 100.

His longtime publicist said Hope died Sunday night of pneumonia, while surrounded by his family at home in Toluca Lake, Calif.

He is survived by his wife, Delores Reade Hope, his four children, Linda, Anthony, Honora and William Kelly Francis, and four grandchildren.

Hope's daughter Linda said his death was peaceful and serene, with family members, a priest and the doctors and nurses who had tended to him over the years around him.

"Dad had an amazing send-off," she said at a press conference Monday. "All of the family was together with him and he died peacefully last night around 9:30." She said the "good vibes that he put out during his lifetime came back to take him up."

She said she would remember her dad most for being "full of fun" and that "laughter and joy brought him the most joy."

A memorial service is planned for Hope August 27th, she said.

President Bush joined the nation in mourning the death of the comedian. "Today the nation lost a great citizen . Bob Hope made us laugh and he lifted our spirits," Bush said Monday as he boarded Air Force One en route to Pittsburgh.

"Bob Hope served our nation when he went to battlefields to entertain thousands of troops from different generations," the president said. "We extend our prayers to his family. God bless his soul."

Former first lady Nancy Regan said in a statement that “Bob Hope was one of our dearest friends for over sixty years — losing him is like losing a member of the family.

"Ronnie always said that Bob was one of our finest ambassadors for America and for freedom, spending his lifetime entertaining servicemen and women away from home and overseas, especially in time of conflict. He showed people around the world that American spirit and enthusiasm are unstoppable."

Senator Joe Lieberman also expressed his appreciation for Hope's humor. "I can't think of another person who brought more laughter into the lives of men and women, particularly service men and women," he said Monday. "I have the greatest memories. I want to join a united nation in expressing our gratitude."

Phyllis Diller told Fox News that her fondest memory of Hope was when she accompanied him to Vietnam to entertain the troops. She said they performed at a natural ampithetre where 20,000 GIs sat on the soil to watch. "He would look at them with such affection," Diller said of Hope. "I knew he generally cared about them and it touched my heart."

"I loved him madly, and he's at peace now," Diller said.

Comedian Pat Cooper spoke of his admiration for Hope to Fox News: "His talent had talent."

"When Bob Hope walked into a room, there was magic about this man," said Cooper. "He served more time in the service than serviceman. Christmas, Easter time, holidays. That's when he was in the trenches."

Actor and comedian Dick Van Dyke compared Hope with writer Mark Twain, saying they both had a sense of humor that was "uniquely American."

Hope's 85-year-old nephew Milton says he hopes his uncle is remembered not just for the jokes but also for donating money and time to charities. "All I can say is he sure made a lot of people happy," he said.

Known for his mastery of the one-liner, Hope was a true king of all media who during a career spanning eight decades rose to the top of vaudeville, stage, radio, movies and television.

Best recognized as the star of his own perennial television specials, which ran for decades and earned strong ratings even in his last broadcast in 1996, Hope had largely stayed out of public view in recent years, spending most of his time at his sprawling home in Toluca Lake, Calif.

Born Leslie Townes Hope on May 29, 1903, in Eltham, England, Hope was the fifth of seven sons of William Henry Hope, a stonemason, and Avis Townes Hope, a former Welsh concert singer. When he was four, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.

Hope began his historic show business career at the age of 10, when he won a Charlie Chaplin (search) imitation contest. His first stage performance soon followed in a Fatty Arbuckle (search) revue in Cleveland. Arbuckle, then a popular comedian, helped Hope and his partner George Byrne get booked in an act called "Hurly's Jolly Follies."

Hope was soon dancing in The Sidewalks of New York and debuted on Broadway in 1932 in Ballyhoo, which followed with a string of hits over the next four years, including his first substantial role in the musical Roberta. It was at that time he met a singer named Dolores Reade, who would soon become his wife.

But Hope didn't become a bona fide star until he appeared in his first of more than 50 movies, Big Broadcast of 1938, in which he sang the signature tune that would become his theme song, "Thanks for the Memory."

The film, starring W.C. Fields, depicts a race between two ocean liners. Hope plays a master of ceremonies for shipboard entertainment. As a plot twist, all three of his fictional ex-wives happen to be on board for the Atlantic crossing.

Famed columnist Damon Runyon cited Hope's duet with Shirley Ross as a highlight of the film, writing, "What a delivery, what a song, what an audience reception!"

The song was an instant hit and won composer Ralph Rainger and lyricist Leo Robin the Academy Award for best song.

In 1940, Hope made The Road to Singapore, the first of seven "Road" flicks with Bing Crosby, in which he created what has been called "a comic persona of transparent bravado, glib repartee and ingratiating mediocrity."

In a string of Paramount pictures — Caught in the Draft (1941), Let's Face It (1943), The Paleface (1948), Fancy Pants (1950) og My Favorite Spy (1951) — he tended to play would-be ladies' men who almost never got the girl.

Hope simultaneously honed his wit on radio. After guesting on Rudy Vallee's Thursday night radio program in 1937, Hope got his own NBC radio show the next year, going on to perform on 1,145 radio programs in 18 years. By 1944 his show was the top-rated program on American radio, competing with the likes of Jack Benny, Fred Allen and Edgar Bergen.

In 1950 he debuted on NBC television, but declined to do a weekly show. Instead, he opted for monthly and semi-monthly specials and a legendary franchise was born. The Bob Hope Special aired more than 300 times and remained a ratings hit through the '90s.

The specials featured musical skits by a bevy of celebrities as well as appearances by athletes, cheerleaders and other bombshells — always following an opening monologue of Hope's quips on the news of the day.

Hope is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the entertainer with the "longest-running contract with a single network." The book also calls him "the world's most decorated and honored man in entertainment."

Hope hewed to the mild side of comedy. "I think a long time before using a joke that's on the borderline of hurting someone," he said in 1975.

But despite his expertise with a joke, Hope's compassionate, humanitarian nature was revealed in his tireless, life-long dedication to entertaining America's servicemen and women. During World War II and the Korean War, Hope became a staple of USO shows, boosting the morale of more than 10 million troops.

"How do you do, fellows? This is Bob — this is Bob 'Command Performance' Hope telling each Nazi that's in Russia today that crime here doesn't pay," Hope joked during World War II.

Between 1948 and 1972 he shepherded 22 star-studded Christmas tours everywhere, from Korea, Vietnam and the Pacific to Greenland, Newfoundland and Alaska. Newsweek described him as "USO's perennial Santa Claus." The shows were filmed beginning in 1954.

Hope was given distinguished service awards from every branch of the armed forces. He also hosted the Academy Awards a record 15 times, beginning in 1960.

In his spare time, Hope was an avid golfer. In his prime, he averaged 15 to 20 celebrity golf benefits a year.

Hope had even died previously, at least virtually. In 1998, he witnessed his own alleged passing when a pre-written Associated Press obituary was released and members of Congress began paying tribute to him on live television. Other media organizations picked up the story before news of the comedian's survival — he was eating breakfast at the time — was revealed.

"When you live to 95, I guess these things can happen," said daughter Linda at the time, noting that the mix-up had occurred before.

In May 2000, Hope attended the opening of the permanent Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment in the Library of Congress, funded with a $3.5 million donation from the Hope family for the upkeep of the items and mementos — including 88,000 pages of jokes given to the library by Hope as well as letters, photos, videos and other mementos.

"His career pretty much parallels the history of American entertainment. He excelled in all the mediums," said Library of Congress spokesman Craig D'Ooge. The gallery is "both a history of Bob Hope and a history of American entertainment."


Bob Hope’s letters to American troops during WWII chronicled in book: It 'affected his entire life’

USAA hosts virtual poppy wall for Memorial Day

U.S. Army veteran and USAA VP of Brand Management Eric Engquist on the poppy wall going virtual for the second year in a row

When Bob Hope passed away in 2003 at age 100, he had conquered vaudeville, Broadway, radio, Hollywood, and even television during its infancy – but his greatest achievement wasn’t fame.

The star dedicated much of his nearly 80-year career to entertaining the troops, both at home and abroad, USO.org reported. Whether it was performing on the front lines, befriending injured soldiers or personally writing heartfelt letters home – he was committed to using his talents to give thanks for their sacrifice.

Earlier this year, Martha Bolton, a family friend who once wrote jokes for Hope, as well as his daughter Linda Hope, teamed up to write "Dear Bob: Bob Hope’s Wartime Correspondence with the G.I.s of World War II," which chronicles personal letters, postcards, packages and more sent back and forth among the comic and the troops.

"I found it very moving to re-read these letters again," Linda told Fox News. "… I was reminded of the scope of dad's involvement with the men and women he entertained, here at home and abroad. It reinforced the reality of how those relationships really affected his entire life."

Fox News spoke to Bolton about bringing the book to life and Hope’s great love for our servicemen and women.

The book 'Dear Bob: Bob Hope's Wartime Correspondence with the G.I.s of World War II' was released earlier this year.

Fox News: Hvad inspirerede dig til at skrive "Dear Bob" nu?

Martha Bolton: Vi begyndte faktisk at arbejde på det, da Bob var i live. Jeg var stødt på de breve, han modtog fra G.I.s gennem årene, og jeg var bare så overvældet af dens historiske betydning. Jeg troede, at de også kiggede ind i hans hjerte. Og der var så meget der. Der var sjove bogstaver, men også bevægelige bogstaver. Det strakte sig over hele den menneskelige oplevelse. Og det viste virkelig Bobs forhold til G.I.’erne.

Jeg huskede, at jeg talte med Bob og spurgte, om han nogensinde overvejede at sammensætte disse breve til en bog, fordi de var så utrolige. Han var enig. Men han sagde også, at de lå ham så tæt på hjertet, at han ikke vidste, om han kunne komme igennem dem igen. Så han foreslog, at Linda og jeg arbejder på det. Og det gjorde vi.

Og det var ganske et projekt. På højden af ​​Anden Verdenskrig modtog Bob 38.000 fanbreve om ugen. Så der var et bjerg af materiale. Og han opbevarede dem alle i disse bankkasser ... Og desværre døde Bob. Men vi opgav aldrig tanken om at arbejde med dette manuskript. Vi vidste en dag, at vi ville afslutte det ... Så vi hældte os ind i dette projekt og processen med at vælge, hvilke bogstaver der skulle medtages i bogen. Men jeg er meget tilfreds med resultaterne. Jeg tror, ​​især lige nu, at vi alle leder efter håb. Og disse breve giver den samme følelse, som Bob gav hele sit liv. At vi kommer igennem alt sammen.


Se videoen: USO Christmas Show-Cu Chi, Vietnam 1966