—Typical, But Fun, Bogart Guest Star—
Honorary Radio Bogie Fix:
Hope spends the first ten minutes pushing Pepsodent and horsing around with his usual cronies before introducing Bogart for some goofy tough-guy jokes and a skit. What’s fun to note is that the house band must have been worth the price of admission alone as I could have listened to them for another half an hour.
What I Thought
The comedy is pretty standard fare for Hope. Some jokes are clever – (On going to the beach) “A lot of people change their bathing suits in their cars, which I think is disgusting. Especially when it’s so much easier to do it on the bus.”
Some jokes went so far over my head that I had to use Google to know what he was talking about – (On a wedding he attended) “What a wedding. The bride was carrying four roses . . . rather well.” (Four Roses is a brand of bourbon.)
And then there’s your standard rhyming pun stuff that Hope loved to do as in this ad for Pepsodent – “Even if you don’t get flowers from your feller, if you use Pepsodent, you’ll get white lilies under your smeller.”
The good news is that Bogart gets two segments in the show. The first is just standing around with Hope playing up his tough guy persona (his handkerchief is so tough it goes off like a gun when it comes out of his pocket) and giving one of Hope’s sidekicks romantic advice. (Bogart ends up kissing his gal with PLENTY of radio sound effect smooches.)
The best segment comes last though, as we’re treated to a very Prairie Home Companion-ish skit with Hope and Bogart trying to escape from jail.
The Bogart Factor
Bogart knew exactly what the audience wanted from a personal appearance and he delivers here. He plays up his tough guy persona with just a touch of tongue in cheek self-deprecation. (Being in so many violent movies means he has to sleep with the lights on at night!) And he gets to shine with his gangster accent as he plays a fellow con with Hope trying to escape from jail.
As usual, Hope takes a few too many of the jokes from his guest, but both guys come off well and it’s worth a listen for anyone who likes Bogart’s radio appearances.
The Rest of the Cast
Hope’s joined by some of his regular troublemakers – Bill Goodwin (some great live flubs by Hope here), Professor Jerry Colona, and Skinny Ennis who manages to steal the show multiple times.
Worth a listen if you can find it to download on an Old Time Radio Podcast, but nothing new if you never catch it.