Bob Hope: American Masters

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During his eight-decade career, Bob Hope (1903-2003) was the only performer to achieve top-rated success in every form of mass entertainment: vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio, television, popular song and personal appearances, including his annual USO Christmas military tours and hosting the Academy Awards more times than anyone else.

Air dates:

Friday, December 29, 9pm on PBS North
Tuesday, January 2, 7am, 1pm, 5pm on PBS Explore

A comedy innovator, Hope invented the topical monologue that later became a late-night TV staple and comedy tropes like talking while backing up. He refined a spontaneous, conversational, improvisational style of comedy as a vaudeville master of ceremonies that created a blueprint for acerbic standup comics. Explore the entertainer's life with unprecedented access to his personal archives including writings voiced by Billy Crystal, clips from his body of work, and interviews with Woody Allen, Margaret Cho, Conan O'Brien, Tom Selleck and Brooke Shields.