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Time for a Laugh: Bob Hope’s Best Jokes

Here’s why he remains the original king of comedy

spinner image THE EMMY AWARDS, (aka THE 39th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS), Bob Hope, who was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame, (aired September 20, 1987), 1949-
Photo: CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

Laughter is perhaps the only universal language — we all laugh in the same language, right? At a time when the pandemic and political division have created something of a national saddening, we could all use a good laugh or two. So, we’re on a mission to find the funniest joke ever and we’re starting with the King of Comedy himself, Mr. Bob Hope. Known for his quick wit and one-liners, Hope poked fun in a gentle and nonthreatening way at just about anyone and anything — from politicians and his famous ski-slope nose to celebrities and, course, his golf game. He’s said to have told over a million jokes in 60 years and the world has laughed at them all.

Here are our picks for Hope’s five funniest jokes ever. See if you agree. And which one is your favorite? Can you pick just one? Let us know in the comments below.

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“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you prove you don’t need it.”

Sometimes the best jokes are simply stating the obvious.

“I still chase women, but only downhill.”

At the age of 70, Hope mocked his own womanizing ways and declining physical health.

“My mother thought the doctor had left the stork and taken the baby.”

He often poked fun at his famous profile, dominated by his ski-jump nose.

“Welcome to the Academy Awards. Or as it’s known at my house, Passover.”

Hope delivered big belly laughs with a little self-deprecating humor. Hope hosted or cohosted the Academy Awards for 19 years, but never won an Oscar himself.

“Unpack.”

Hope, a friend to every president from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton, sent this succinct telegram, his shortest joke, to Truman on the morning after his upset victory in the 1948 presidential election. 

What's your favorite memory of Bob Hope? Let us know in the comments below.

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