Before a crowd of Bob Hope fans, Johnny Grant unveiled signs Thursday designating Tinseltown’s famous intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street as Bob Hope Square.
Some who came to watch the event on Hope’s 100th birthday had tuned into his radio programs as kids; other had seen him perform live; and others had been introduced to his one-liners by parents.
Despite their age differences, they huddled, snapped pictures and shared favorite Hope jokes.
“He’s just hilarious. He doesn’t even have to say anything. His facial expressions when a situation comes up -- you can just tell what he’s feeling,” said Andrea Rozier, 21, who grew up watching Hope’s movies. “To me, that’s acting.”
Before four World War II-era planes thundered over the intersection, Grant told the crowd: “Today, we link two of Hollywood’s most famous icons -- the intersection of Hollywood and Vine with the ambassador of good will to the world, Bob Hope, a great citizen, humanitarian, entertainer and patriot.
“In the future when you pass this intersection, why not recall your favorite Bob Hope joke or story,” he said. “Take a moment to laugh.”
People did just that.
“He’s got all those one-liners,” said Kevin Harvey, 45, a plumber and actor from Tujunga who quickly told his favorite: Hope, speaking to WWII troops, pulled up a young female entertainer and said, “I want you guys to see what you’re fighting for.”
A U.S. Marine band performed before and after the event, sponsored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Mickey Rooney also appeared and wished Hope well.
“Happy birthday, Bob,” he said. “Keep going. We love you.”