American Masters: This is Bob Hope...

American Masters: This is Bob Hope...

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 9:00pm

Pictured: Bob Hope with Muppets Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy for the "Bob Hope All-Star Christmas Comedy Special" in December 1977.

Credit: Courtesy of Bob Hope Legacy, LLC

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. 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. American Masters: This is Bob Hope... airs Friday, December 29, 2017 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.