Containing Multitudes Since 2004
Bob Hope, the best, the funniest, how do you explain talent like that.
Oh those are fighting words to a Jack Benny fan like me.
Hope was funnier in films, but Benny ruled on radio...and the two of them were murder when they got together (I have a couple of TV episodes). Hope would go off script and Benny could barely keep it together.
Harold Lloyd is as funny if not more so than either. A true master of physical comedy. (No disrespect intended to either of Hope or Benny, who are both geniuses in their own right).
Bob Hope's expression got me, it was wary, suspicious, dreading everything. And his delivery was faultless, the one-liners to reporters were funny as anything in his movies. You could rely on it.
Oh yes, Lloyd was miles above for sure. The Kid Brother is as beautiful a comedy as you could hope for.
Well fair enough, I've seen none of Lloyd's films, and silent comedy is okay (maybe), but I'm biased to words; the wisecrack way of things.
Lloyd did do a talkie or two. A few years ago I read a review of a Hope biography and about how his radio show was such a fantastic hit. They did not tape the shows for rebroadcast on the West coast, instead they would perform them again. Hope would therefore have two sets of jokes to perform because fans would call their friends and relatives in the other time zones and spill the beans.
Harold Lloyd always described himself as an actor who did comedy rather than a comedian who acted. That's a huge difference. Neither Hope nor Benny would describe themselves that way - they were comedians. For myself, my preference for Benny has a great deal to do with his nearly flawless timing. Hope fired off jokes like a machine gun. Benny knew when to pause to milk a laugh. Is it any wonder that Carson modeled his timing on Benny's?You may be right about Benny's movies though. I think that Benny was trying to be an actor and inhabiting a role. In all but a few films (Seven Little Foys; Beau James) Hope was essentially playing himself or at least the character that he'd created to be his own.
Machine gun Bob, how accurate, it's what I was trying to say. That was his style, and he's appeal for me: spontaneity, or so it seemed. You've made some good points brent, lots to think about, well done.
I enjoy Benny's movies, to be sure, and To Have and Have Not is about as good as a sound comedy can get, but it seems to be the exception rather than the rule, based on the Benny films I've seen. Then again, The Horn Blows at Midnight isn't quite the turkey he always made it out to be.
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