Antique Auto Advertising: Bob Hope Stands Up For Plymouth

We have applications like Skype and streaming video at our fingertips but it wasn’t always so easy to communicate with a large number of people over a broad geographic region. That explains how excited Plymouth was to use, for the first time in 1958, a closed circuit television show to conduct their annual sales meeting for Plymouth dealers. As a matter of fact, the two hour long broadcast was the first time Plymouth had geared such a presentation specifically to the dealers’ sales staffs. Nobody likes to sit through two hours of speeches, so to liven things up, the broadcast also included Lawrence Welk and his orchestra (Plymouth sponsored Welk’s weekly tv show) and comedian Bob Hope. Hope did about 10 minutes of standup, joking about his current unemployment (he was between tv shows in 1958), Plymouth being the third car company he represented, and some stock car salesman jokes. Since the show was a closed circuit broadcast, not available to the general public, Hope was a bit more risque than the way he worked on network television. People often used Bob Hope as an example of a comic that didn’t “work blue” so it’s fun to see him let down his comedic hair a bit.

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