"He's entertained six Presidents, he performed for twelve." - Gov. Ronald Reagan
For major Hollywood stars and entertainers, the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast brought out the big guns to honor their Man of the Hour, and there was no bigger power lineup than the one for Bob Hope. On the dais for Hope's tribute were such heavy hitters as Jimmy Stewart, Milton Berle, Jack Benny, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Phyllis Diller and Don Rickles. Making appearances remotely were John Wayne from the set of "Rooster Cogburn", and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Also on hand were astronaut Neal Armstrong and five star General Omar Bradley, truly a unique guest paying tribute to Hope's long history of entertaining American troops far and wide throughout the world. For once, impressionist Rich Little was at a disadvantage, as all of his most famous imitations were there in person. I recall watching a number of these Celebrity Roasts back in the day, and usually caught all the major ones like this, and it surprised me after all these years that I remember Governor Ronald Reagan's line in my summary above. As far back as 1974, folks like Hope and Rickles were ribbing him about his political aspirations and alluded to his designs on becoming President. So watching these shows today is quite a trip down memory lane bringing back fond remembrances of a time gone by when these big name stars would get together and have some fun while giving their audience a good time as well. Hard to believe this one took place almost forty years ago.
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