BOB HOPE'S BICENTENNIAL STAR-SPANGLED SPECTACULAR (TV)

Summary

This televised comedy/variety special features Bob Hope and many of his talented friends celebrating America's bicentennial. Hope's opening monologue includes jokes about the Fourth of July and the American Revolution, the upcoming Summer Olympics in Montreal, the antics of President Ford and Presidential hopefuls Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, and the various other goings-on in Washington D.C. Hope then welcomes Sammy Davis Jr. as his evening news co-anchor, and they report the news from July 4, 1776, discussing the signing of the Declaration of Independence and mentioning important figures like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, with Davis also joking about his Native American girlfriend. Captain & Tennille, Jimmie Walker and Donny and Marie Osmond all then appear as British soldiers trying to recruit the colonists back to their side, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin trade banter as they comment on Revere's famous ride. Hope and Davis discuss Catherine the Great's divorce, and then cut to a press conference with the disgruntled King George (played by Hope). Benjamin Franklin's assistant, portrayed by Don Knotts, expresses his worries about their dangerous experiments with electricity, and Angie Dickinson stops by to share some gossip from the colonies, including news of Yankee Doodle's scandalous arrest.

Hope then introduces Captain & Tennille again, and after chatting with Hope about the Captain's not-so-chatty nature, they perform "Shop Around." Hope introduces Debbie Reynolds and joins her for a parody sketch entitled "Mary Hartford, Mary Hartford" about a bored Connecticut housewife and her displeasure with her husband Tom. After serving him an extremely frozen dinner, Mary complains about their boring honeymoon and her sister's far more interesting life, and her kid sister "Overbite" stops by and offers Tom some tips on romance. Mary then reveals that she is pregnant, but Tom is forced to quickly hide when British soldiers arrive at the house, and Mary is happy to distract them. Hope then chats with Donny and Marie, who discuss their experiences with fame and family before singing "I'm a Little Bit Country, I'm A Little Bit Rock and Roll." Next, Ed McMahon introduces "Bobby Hope," host of "The Tonight Show" on July 4, 1876, and Hope performs his opening monologue, banters with Doc Severinsen and discusses the newly-invented telephone, the women's suffrage movement, the adventures of Jesse James and his crew, and the rise in popularity of baseball. Steve Allen then stops by, trying to promote some "real estate" out in the undiscovered west of the United States. Ron Howard promotes a compilation album of the century's best tunes entitled "A Hundred Years of Revolting Music." Phyllis Diller offers a "mail-a-bride" service, with special discounts on the "antiques," and Davis performs "Yankee Doodle Dandy," complete with tap dance.

Reynolds takes the stage again in an "Alice Blue Gown" and sings "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" and "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)", and all of Hope's guests join him for an original "Thanks to the Country for the Memories" song, in which they mention all of their favorite American people, creations and ideas from the past two hundred years. Hope then discusses his love of the country and its "uncommon common people," paying tribute to memorable figures including Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Neil Armstrong, Jonas Salk, Irving Berlin, James Cagney, and others, including the prisoners of war who made it home safely from Vietnam. He closes the evening by noting the importance of continuing to work on the country's problems together, and then bids the audience good night. Includes commercials.

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: July 4, 1976 Sunday 8:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:00:00
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:07250
  • GENRE: Comedy/Variety
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Comedy/Variety
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV, 1976
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Texaco automobile services

CREDITS

    • Bob Hope … Executive Producer
    • Paul W. Keyes … Producer, Writer
    • Jerry Madden … Associate Producer
    • Dick McDonough … Director
    • Charles Lee … Writer
    • Gig Henry … Writer
    • Jeffrey Barron … Writer
    • Terry Hart … Writer
    • Bob Keane … Writer
    • Paul Pumpian … Writer
    • Harvey Weitzman … Writer
    • Sammy Cahn … Lyrics
    • Bob Hope … Host, Performer
    • Sammy Davis Jr. … Guest, Performer
    • Daryl Dragon (see also: Captain & Tennille) … Guest, Performer
    • Toni Tennille (see also: Captain & Tennille) … Guest, Performer
    • Jimmie Walker … Guest, Performer
    • Marie Osmond … Guest, Performer
    • Donny Osmond … Guest, Performer
    • Dan Rowan … Guest, Performer
    • Dick Martin … Guest, Performer
    • Don Knotts … Guest, Performer
    • Angie Dickinson … Guest, Performer
    • Debbie Reynolds … Guest, Performer
    • Ed McMahon … Guest, Performer
    • Doc Severinsen … Guest, Performer
    • Steve Allen … Guest, Performer
    • Ron Howard … Guest, Performer
    • Phyllis Diller … Guest, Performer
    • Hank Aaron
    • Neil Armstrong
    • Irving Berlin
    • James Cagney
    • Jimmy Carter
    • Thomas Edison
    • Gerald Ford
    • Benjamin Franklin
    • King George III
    • Thomas Jefferson
    • Ronald Reagan
    • Paul Revere
    • George "Babe" Ruth
    • Jonas Salk
    • George Washington
    • Orville Wright
    • Wilbur Wright