Card catalogue of jokes for the late Bob Hope sold at auction

An auction last week of items from the estate of Bob Hope included the sale of thousands of jokes typed up on index cards for the legendary comedian.

Many of the auction items dated from Hope’s USO tours. There also were lots of military pins, hats and collectibles given to him over the decades, as well as invites and letters from various presidents.

And then there’s the above lot, which sold at auction for $6,400.

A 1930s to 1950s-era collection of thousands of index cards, all with typed jokes on them that Bob Hope used for decades on stage and in radio, television, and film. Contained in three biggish boxes, the jokes were written by Hope’s longtime gag man Al Schwartz, brother of famed television producer Sherwood Schwartz. Most of the cards are filed by topic, such as Clothes, Dance, Detective, Doctor, Earthquake, Easter, Exercise, Opera, Relatives, School, Stingy, Teeth, Traffic, Travel, Vacation, and Vaudeville, among countless others. Though now dated, many of these one-liners as well as more elaborate set-ups still pack a punch, but they are more important as a historical trove that reminds us what we thought was funny some 80 years ago in a seemingly more gentle time.

Each Card, 3 by 5 inches; Containers, 11 by 17 by 6 inches and smaller

PROVENANCE Consigned directly by the daughter of Al Schwartz

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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