Bob Hope roasts C.B DeMille in 1953


While performing research in the DeMille archive at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, I came across this transcript of gags that Bob Hope zinged at Cecil B. DeMille.

The occasion was the “Great American” dinner. The date, November 30, 1953.

  • Cecil’s been in this business a long time I don’t know exactly when he started but in those days if your radio needed fixing, you called Marconi.
  • DeMille has seen all the great advances in movies … talking pictures … Technicolor … 3-D … Marilyn Monroe.
  • DeMille’s pictures have brought something new to theaters … they’re called customers.
  • DeMille’s a very unusual man in this business. He’s a sort of combination of Louis Mayer … Picasso … and Fort Knox.
  • Cecil B. DeMille is Mr. Hollywood … even Hedda and Louella agree on that.
  • And his picture know-how is amazing. He picked the perfect time to go into pictures … before taxes.
  • When he takes a picture the assistant director on the set yells, “Quiet! First take … second scene … third psalm.”
  • I understand his next Bible picture is going to be in color …. well, not exactly in color, they’re shooting the whole thing through a stained glass window.
  • But C.B. has brought some amazing changes. Now the Bible comes in three editions: Old Testament, New Testament, and final shooting script.
  • His pictures have spoiled all the kids. Now they won’t go to Sunday School unless they put in a popcorn machine.
  • But C.B’s pictures and mine have a lot in common. His pictures lift an audience spiritually. Mine not only lift an audience, they move it right out into the street.

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