Ruth Leon recommends…James Cagney and Bob HopeRuth Leon recommends
James Cagney and Bob Hope
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An American friend reminded me of this priceless clip of two of the 20th century’s iconic entertainers, doing what they do, (or did, because both are dead now), almost better than anyone else. This clip comes from a Friar’s Club dinner and serves to remind us of the level of artistry and precision that was necessary for these two great artists to look as though they are making it up as they go along.
Think of the years of training and rehearsal, of repetition and sheer grinding hard work, to be able to toss this off so casually. At the time of this recording Hope was 53 and Cagney was 56. Pretty remarkable.
They are reprising a scene in the 1955 movie The Seven Little Foys. In the movie, Vaudevillian Eddie Foy puts all his children into his act to take them on the road when his wife dies. Bob Hope played Eddie Foy and James Cagney played George M. Cohan.