Today on the tray: Angel food cake and Bob Hope

October 10 is National Angel Food Cake Day.

“Angel food cake, also called silver cake or cornstarch cake, is a relative of the sponge cake. It’s thought that the light and airy cake was invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch because they were the first to mass produce bakeware, including the specialized pan used to make angel food cake,” says CNN Eatocracy.

Bob Hope cake adSo what has angel food cake got to do with Bob Hope? Well, in 1955 he endorsed Swans Down Angel Food Cake Mix. Check out the commercial below.

“Here’s Bob Hope himself to tell you about Swans Down Angel Food,” says the voiceover. But then, disappointingly, all they show is an illustration. Where’s Bob?

“Yes, Bob is waiting in your grocery store,” the voiceover teases. “So be sure to look for him and his special Swans Down display.” Oh, it’s a fake-out — they mean a Bob Hope made of cardboard. I should have known Bob wouldn’t come to the crappy Safeway where I shop. Especially not now that he’s dead.

Swans Down Angel Food Cake Mix commercial with Bob Hope, sort of (1955)

Hope was well known for his USO performances for U.S. military personnel. “Wherever Bob Hope went, from the deserts of North Africa to Alaska to the jungles of Southeast Asia, he represented home. And, for an hour or so, troops were home with an old friend and comrade,” says the USO website. I wonder if he made angel food cake for the troops.

Since we didn’t get to see the real Bob Hope in the commercial, here he is on I Love Lucy performing with Ricky and Lucy. Yeah, Lucy managed to get into the act despite Ricky’s objections — who’d a thunk it? The best part starts at the 3:00 mark, when they sing a special version of “Thanks for the Memories,” Hope’s signature song.

Bob Hope performs with Lucy and Ricky, I Love Lucy, “Lucy Meets Bob Hope” (October 1, 1956)

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