“Aug 24 – Saw Bob Hope show, Frances Langford, Jerry Colonna, Patty Thomas were with him. Jane enjoyed it. Snapped some pictures.”
Alright there is quite a bit to talk about in this entry, so it’s going to be longer than usual, most of it pertaining to the four people he mentioned in the first sentence. So if you are not interested in who those people were I would stop reading now.
The first few words of this entry are “Saw Bob Hope show” now after reading this I guessed that Bob Hope was a fairly popular person, maybe a comedian of some sort, at least important enough for Mike to mention him. I have heard the name before but know nothing about the guy. So after researching I found out who Bob Hope is.
He was born on May 29th, 1903 in London England and died on July 27th, 2003 in Los Angeles California. So he lived to be one hundred years old, which by itself is pretty impressive. He was a comedian, vaudevillian (basically a theater performance of random acts), actor, singer, dancer, athlete and author. He was a lot of stuff and was extremely famous throughout the mid 1900’s. His career peaked during the 40’s and 50’s as he was in several big movies at the time and hosted a lot of television specials and shows on NBC. He went on to host the Academy Awards nineteen times, write fourteen books, along with multiple other songs, televisions shows, movies and stage performances. He was also heavily into golf and boxing. So while all that might be interesting, you might be wondering how this has anything to do with World War II?
Throughout the span of World War II he hosted radio shows for American troops to listen to, usually about random stuff along with comedy, to try and take the troop’s minds off of their harsh reality. He also traveled around the Pacific during World War II and performed live shows to troops. He continued performing to troops all the way up until 1991, totaling him at fifty – seven tours. In 1997 he was declared an honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces by Congress. Below is what he looked like.
Anyways those tours I mentioned, where he would travel around the Pacific Islands during World War II, that was how Mike saw him. He happened to come to the base Mike was at and performed for him and the other troops. I’d imagine all the troops were pretty excited, as he was pretty famous at the time and it took their mind off everything else going on.
Alright so now moving onto the other people he mentioned “Frances Langford, Jerry Colonna, Patty Thomas” that were also with Bob Hope. I am not going to go as in depth on these people like I did for Bob Hope, because this is long enough already.
Frances Langford was also an entertainer, actress and mainly a singer, accompanied Bob Hope during a lot of his tours to help him perform for the troops. She mainly did the singing part. She was mainly famous for her songs that went on the radio. Below is what she looked like in the 1940’s.
Frances Langford in 1946, promoting her new radio show
Jerry Colonna was also a musician, actor, comedian, singer / songwriter, actor and entertainer who frequently accompanied Bob Hope on his tours. He was know as a trombonist and Bob Hope’s sidekick in his shows. Below is what he looked like in the 1950’s.
Jerry Colonna in 1951, on his television show
Patty Thomas was an actress and entertainer who sometimes accompanied Bob Hope and was mainly know for her dancing during the performances. Below is a picture of her in the 1940’s.
Patty Thomas dancing during one of Bob Hope’s shows in WWII
Now to the last part, where he said “Jane enjoyed it. Snapped some pictures.”. I am not too sure if that word is actually “Jane”, that is what it looks like to me though. I am not sure if that was a friend of his, if that actually is what the word is. I apologize if I am wrong and that I can not provide more information to you, if someone can please feel free to comment it below and I will update this accordingly. He also wrote that he “Snapped some pictures.” This is very interesting, as I just made the announcement of how I will be posting all of his photos on this website, hopefully that one will be in it. Overall this entry was very interesting to me, as I learned a lot about some famous people of the time and the role entertainers had during World War II.
Thank you so much to anyone who has actually read this far, below will be links to where I found these pictures and all this information.
Information on Bob Hope
Younger Bob Hope
Older Bob Hope
Information and picture of Frances Langford
Information and picture of Jerry Colonna
Information and picture of Patty Thomas
Video of Bob Hope and Frances Langford singing for troops in WWII
Video of Patty Thomas dancing for troops in WWII
Video of Bob Hope and Jerry Colonna entertaining troops in WWII