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The Woody Allen/Bob Hope connection revisited

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 1, 2014



In an easygoing* interview by Roger Friedman for the New York Observer, Woody Allen talks about parenthood, his cinematographers and other topics; notes his disconnection from a lot of current pop culture -- and once again touches on his love for Cleveland's own Bob Hope: .

“I just finished reading this wonderful biography of Bob Hope, by Richard Zoglin. For me it’s a feast. Full of funny lines, quotes you can hear Hope saying them. I would love to make a Bob Hope movie, even an homage to Hope called Hope Springs Eternal, but I fear no one would see it. I’m always defending him to people.”

Of course, Allen's admiration for Hope is long-standing; "I think that I do Bob Hope all the time. I'm just nowheres near as good," Allen once said . "t's shameless how I can steal, you know, from him. I don't mean steal the content of jokes. But I do him. I lean on him. Why people don't see it is that I'm not as good, is that he's the genuine article. He's Bob Hope."

And that admiration inspired the great "SCTV" sketch posted above: "Play It Again, Bob," with Rick Moranis as Allen and Dave Thomas as Hope. But it is curious that Allen -- who, it is clear elsewhere in the interview, makes movies with limited concerns about their commerciality -- would worry about people not seeing his homage to Hope. I'd be there on a moment's notice. It would be especially intrgiuing if Allen, now 78, chose to look at the late-in-life Hope, who was in his nineties before he finally stopped performing. (He died in 2003, a few months past his 100th birthday.)


*Friedman is way too dismissive of the personal debates about Allen.

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