June 10, 2011

"And here’s the scintillating Bob Hope, whose theme song is 'Thanks for the Communist.'"

Leonard B. Stern, the creator of Mad Libs always remembered that one, from back in the 1950s.
Mad Libs was conceived in 1953, when Mr. Stern was writing a script for “The Honeymooners.” As he recounted in interviews afterward, he was casting about for a particular word. His friend Roger Price, a humor writer, happened by.

“I need an adjective,” Mr. Stern said.

Mr. Price obligingly supplied two: “clumsy” and “naked.”

Mr. Stern laughed out loud. The word was intended to describe the nose of Ralph Kramden’s boss.
Leonard Stern, dead at 88.


edutcher said...

Ernie Bilko and Ralph Kramden were two of the great postwar characters of American pop culture. Both served as the inspiration for a great many sitcoms to follow.

Sounds like he had a good - and funny - life.

Triangle Man said...

MadLibs, funny and educational.

EDH said...

I was given one of those Mad Libs books when I was a kid about ten.

As time went on, my older sister and older female cousin who had come to live with us had me fill it with increasingly obscene references when I followed them around asking them to fill in the blanks.

Then my mother found it. She thought I was a ten year-old sex fiend, and I swear she has not looked at me the same ever since.

Thanks, Mr. Stern!

gerry said...

Ah, Bob Hope! I loved it when he commented upon a visit to the USSR, "In the hotel room you know the TV is watching YOU!"

MadisonMan said...

I feel ___(adjective)___ that Mr. Stern ___(adverb)___ __(verb)___.

Titus said...

Bob Hope and his wife had an open relationship.

He lived in one place and she in the other.

Disgusting family values if you ask me.

ricpic said...

I thought family values were for breeders, Titus.

rhhardin said...

I've seen his commentaries as part of the Get Smart series DVD set; he and the other creators didn't quite get right why the series worked.

Namely that 99 always showed Max she was satisfied with him whether he screwed up or not; and Max was always up to attempting whatever was asked of him.

So all the men in the country were in love with 99 at the time, thinking she was hot.

But 99 wasn't hot. Her trying-to-be-hot vamp commercials, pre-Smart, for whatever it was were ridiculous.

Her reaction of Max was hot. Where can you find a wife like that, was America's men's reaction.

rhhardin said...

Roger Price invented Droodles ("Ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch").

He also originated "You can't fool all the people all the time, but if you can do it just once, it lasts for four years."

Chip S. said...

Where can you find a wife like that, was America's men's reaction.

Absolutely. And the answer since the 1930s has been Myrna Loy's Nora Charles.

Sam Hall said...

Bob Hope had the best movie line ever