Politics and comedy have been intertwined forever, and now it’s being celebrated on a national scale. The Library of Congress in Washington DC just opened a new exhibition celebrating the comedy of Bob Hope, and political satire in general. And one of today’s best known satirists, Stephen Colbert, is part of it.
The Hope for America: Performers, Politics & Pop Culture exhibit includes an introductory video hosted by Colbert, who explores why Hope was a favorite of 11 presidents along with film clips and photograph’s from his life. The video also features performances by those influenced by the late comedian, including Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Al Franken, Groucho Marx and Richard Pryor.
The exhibit will also feature Hope’s 85,000 page joke archive – digitized – j available for public viewing for the first time. Of course it includes shots at a long array of politicians he encountered throughout his 100 years.
“This new exhibition differs significantly from the previous one, that celebrated vaudeville, because it explores the time-honored tradition of American comedians commenting on the political scene in satires that have entertained and rattled the political establishment,” said William Jacobs, chief of the Library’s Interpretive Programs Office.