At the time Jimmy Stewart on the Air was published, this show was not available and we had little information about it in the book. Since then, a copy of the script has been found and we can add much information about the show.
The Bob Hope Show was well established and very popular with listeners, so it didn’t require much publicity. Most newspapers simply listed it, but a few, like the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI, did mention a little bit about what was to happen on that night’s program.
Here’s an intererrsting article from Jimmy’s hometown newspaper, the Indiana Gazette, from the day of the broadcast.
According to the title page of the script for this program, it was the 22nd show of the 1950-51 radio season and had been recorded February 19th for broadcast on the 27th.
Some of the show’s credits were not listed on this page, including Hy Averback, who was the show’s announcer, Les Brown and His Band of Renown, who supplied the music, and Jane Morgan, who played Aunt Martha in several of the show’s segments.
On the show, Hope was presenting the tenth annual “Look Achievement Awards” as announced in the issue of Look magazine which went on sale the day of the broadcast. Hope, along with Bette Davis, was featured on the cover of the issue:
In his opening monologue, Hope joked about each of his guests. Here’s what he had to say about Jimmy:
The first several awards went to people who were not appearing on the program. These included Robert Surtees (“Best Cinematography” for King Solomon’s Mines), Marlon Brando (“Outstanding Debut in a Picture” for The Men) and Judy Holiday (“Best Comedy Performance” for Born Yesterday).
The next award was for the “Producer of the Year” and it went to Stanley Kramer who accepted the award and spoke with Hope. Then Walt Disney joked with Bob Hope as he received the “Distinguished Achievement” award.
For the first time, Look honored a theater owner. For his 51 years of outstanding community service, Phil Chakeres of Springfield, Ohio, received the award. He made a short acceptance speech via tape. Because he was a local man, The Circleville Herald, Circleville, Ohio, ran a short article about him in their paper the day of the broadcast.
The next winner was Jimmy Stewart. Here are the script pages showing the exchange between Stewart, Hope and Aunt Martha.
Stewart also had his own feature in the March issue of Look magazine:
After a commercial, Bob named the “Best Supporting Actress and Actor” awards. These went to Josephine Hull for Harvey and Arthur Kennedy for The Glass Menagerie. Neither was present on the show.
Next Hope presented two “Achievement Awards” – one for writing and one for directing – to Joseph Mankiewicz. Both awards were for the film All About Eve. After a short talk with Mankiewicz, Hope presents the “Best Actress” award to Bette Davis, the star of All About Eve, and she joins their conversation.
The next award of the evening is the “All Achievement” award which goes to Darryl F. Zanuck. Zanuck wasn’t present, but a short acceptance speech was played.
Finally, Gloria Swanson is awarded a special “Achievement Award” for “the most sensational comeback in motion picture history.” Miss Swanson is not present, so instead, Bob and Hy Averback present their version of the film, Sunset Boulevard.
If you’d like to read the entire script, you’ll find it, as part of the University of California’s Truth Tobacco Industry Documents section, here:
We have recently located a film showing Hope presenting Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Bette Davis with their rewards. Jimmy Stewart is also briefly seen. As the film ends, we see Stewart again about to be presented his award from Hope. You can watch it here:
Update: February 27, 2018
Here are several new listings for this show. All are from the day of the broadcast. Only one actually mentions Stewart.
Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, MI
Tucson Daily Citizen, Tucson, AZ
The Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH