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January 13th, 2009
My Comedian Hero
Dick Cavett

Dick Cavett: He had such a great time being Bob Hope.  And when I would get him on a show of mine– I’d see him and come on with me and– of course with Johnny and Jack and everybody.  And– he always– swapped gags.  He had– got a bunch of gags– ready and he came on and ready to do.  And about current stuff. And I thought– as many people have wondered– was there anyone underneath the Hope façade– the great comic picture that he was covered with.  And– was there anything under the covers?  So I would– intentionally not steer him into something I’d knew he’d do a joke on. Sometimes it was fun, too.  As in, “Were you really a bad boxer back then?  And you knew you were gonna get– I was on the canvas so much they called me Rembrandt.  And I was the only fighter carried into the ring.”  He– he would come right up with them like– a machine or like a computer.  But– so I would ask him to talk about himself.  And I got one show– it’s also on the DVD.  It’s the one where I got so conversational with him without his doing gags, that at one point he stated some fact about himself.  Oh, he talked to him when he was a kid– but he got a scar– the scar– “Little scar you can see– ’cause I got that from protecting my dog. And it was some– guys were throwing rocks at my dog and I went up– ”  And he didn’t have a punch line for it.  But he was charming as hell just talking.  At one point he said something– he said, “Hey, would you rather have a gag on that one?” And I said, “No.  That’s just fine.  That’s fine.”  Amazing man.

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