Monday, March 27, 2006

Larry C.'s Hollywood Tales (Yet Again)

On Hope and Crosby: Writing for Bing on his radio show all those years, sometimes I did more than just write. Bing went on Bob Hope's program a lot and Bob went on Bing's. They went back and forth all the time... One week Bob was on Bing's show, and we were doing a remote broadcast out at March Air base in Riverside. Big crowd of military guys. Bob and Bing were up on stage in front of the radio microphone, reading the script we had written. Now Bob's a good ad libber, but people forget that Bing was really quick on his feet. And that particular day, when Bob threw out a zinger, Crosby would come back and top him. Now Bob isn't real happy he's getting topped. And finally it gets to the point where Bob has had enough of Bing's witty comebacks, so he says "Lemme see that script," and grabs all the pages out of Bing's hands. "Where does it say that? Where? Where is it?" The soldiers and airmen are eating it up. Howling. And Bob snorts, "That's not written here anywhere. You don't need this!" And he flings all the pages out into the audience. The other writer and I scramble down into the crowd. We're down on our hands and knees, scooping up pages between the chairs, wondering how we're going to repair the damage. But Bing keeps right on, keeping up with Bob, never missing a beat. And he didn't have a script.


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