Previous to his television career, Bob Hope was already an extremely successful radio, movie and vaudeville star and as a result was regularly courted by the television networks. In 1949, NBC‘s Vice President, John Royal, sent the following amusingly complimentary letter to Hope with a view to luring the performer to the network. There was a slightly muted response to this letter from Hope, however just a year later he would front NBC’s ‘The Star-Spangled Revue’ and commence a legendary television career.
This is an unofficial report from 105th and Euclid.
I have been in this television racket for a long time, and have been amused by the hurrying and scurrying of late regarding a lot of rough, slapstick comedy, and I want to take a little bet – in fact, a goddam big bet – that the first time Hope gets into television, he will do to this industry what Jolson did to talking pictures. He will make it. This isn’t an invitation, and I have no skulduddery up the sleeve in making this comment, but that’s may bet, and when it happens, I want to have a lot of saliva ready and go around a spit in the faces of those who think they are experts in this business.
This is only one man’s opinion, so tear it up and put it in the basket, but on that opening night – whenever it comes – I will be standing around with a broad grin, whether it’s in California, New York or Poughkeepsie.
John F Royal
Mr Bob Hope
10346 Moor Park