The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ON TV
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TRANSCRIPTS
Return to Transcripts main page

LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Don Rickles

Aired July 28, 2003 - 19:53   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Finally tonight, the life of Bob Hope, one of the kings of American comedy for more than half a century.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): He was born in Britain, Leslie Townes. Bob Hope was an all-American creation. Vaudeville is where he started, but it was radio that made him a star.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB HOPE: If this audience sees steak, they'll come up after it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I don't know. They've seen ham all evening, and you're still here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: He was funny, but never mean. He could make a joke, and at the same time make a friend. In an industry where careers are measured in minutes, Bob Hope's lasted 75 years. His 60-year contract with NBC is a Guinness record.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "ROAD TO MOROCCO")

BING CROSBY: There we go again, Junior.

HOPE AND CROSBY (singing): We're off on the road to Morocco.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: There were those movies, of course, more than 50 feature films.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOPE: Now, Senator McCarthy, he didn't see much of the game. He spent seven innings chasing the vendor who was yelling, Here you are, get your red hots here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: When television was a live medium, Hope was its master. Quick on his feet, one-liners filled his head.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOPE: I told him he couldn't play Crosby. How can a hot dog pinch-hit for a salami?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: He was a hit in Hollywood, of course.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's hear it for him, Bob Hope!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: But a sensation in Saigon and Seoul, Berlin and Beirut.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOPE: I saw some people in Beirut calmly eating lunch at an outdoor cafe. Thirty seconds earlier, it had been an indoor cafe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: From World War II through the first Gulf War, Bob Hope could always be counted on. He performed for some 10 million service men and women at 700 bases and hospitals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOPE: They fired at us from the end of the runway. And the MPs flushed out three Cong and two critics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: If his jokes were occasionally corny, that didn't matter too much. Hope brought something more important than humor. He brought home. Thanks to him, countless GIs knew they had not been forgotten, even in the toughest of times.

It is said Bob Hope died surrounded by family, his devoted Dolores, wife of 69 years. Not much more you can ask for, really. No matter how you measure a life, Bob Hope had quite a ride.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, we wanted to spend a few minutes with someone who knew Hope, worked with him. Entertainer Don Rickles joins us now by phone from Los Angeles.

Don, thanks for being with us.

I understand you and Bob Hope spent some time together in London. Any memories of the trip?

DON RICKLES, COMEDIAN: Oh, yes. We went over there on a golf tournament with a whole cavalcade of people. And Newhart and Telly Savalas and quite a few other people. And everybody was there at the Grosvenor House. It was one of those royal command performances for Princess Margaret.

And Bob Hope introduced me. And while he was introducing (UNINTELLIGIBLE), he kept apologizing, he kept saying, You're going to love this guy, you really are, I want to tell you, you're going to love him. He's going to make fun of you, but it is only a joke, you're going to love him.

I said, I said, My God, I can't go up there, he's got me -- they're going to be scared to death. So I walked out on the stage, and I did my thing and made fun of the queen and king in good fun, you know, and Princess Margaret and so forth and so on.

And after the show, I went back to my table. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and a man came over in white gloves and said, Sir, ma'am would like to see you, meaning Princess Margaret. And I turned to Newhart, who was sitting next to me, and I said, You better get to the airport, get the bags ready and everything else.

And turns around and he said, would like to see you. I said, OK. And Bob Hope was sitting on the other side of me. And Bob Hope said, I'll go Gogh with him. He said, No, sir, she only wants to see Mr. Rickles. That was the first time in my life I saw Hope do a double take, you know, like, What?

COOPER: That's great. Now, I mean, we all know he was a very avid golfer. Did you ever golf with him? I mean, was he competitive?

RICKLES: Well, yes, I was a lousy golfer. Thank you for being an avid golfer, but I'm still a lousy golfer. And again, in England, on the golf tour, we got up on the tee. And I was scared to death, you know, with all those people watching. And at any tournament you get pretty scared.

And I got up and hit the ball. If you know anything about golf, Anderson, I hit the ball, a pop-up straight up in the air. And I ran back, and I turned my golf hat around, and I said, I'm under it, I'm under it. And I caught the ball. And Hope turned around and said, Don't kid around.

COOPER: Was he a perfectionist? I mean, was -- what was he like to...

RICKLES: Absolutely. All the shows I did with Bob, he was an outstanding perfectionist, I mean, to the point of -- and I do, because I always did this as a joke with him, because you'd say, Good evening, Bob, and he'd say, Is that the way you're going to do it? And he -- but he always sat in the office with Yin (ph) and went over all the stuff. And he wanted to make sure that everything ran...

COOPER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) love that.

RICKLES: ... great. But he was the first one to make you look good.

COOPER: Yes, well, that's -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

RICKLES: Always made you look good.

COOPER: Don, I appreciate you giving us a call and talking briefly as all it was. It was short, but it was sweet. Don Rickles, thanks very much.

RICKLES: Thank you.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




CNN US
On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.