The Road to Morocco

One of the best lines about the man Bing Crosby called an "underhanded sicklesnoot" has been attributed to Tony Orlando: "If you could take all the laughs Bob Hope has gotten over the years and place them end-to-end, they would stretch all the way to the universe and fill up the black hole in space." Bing and Bob's 1942 Morocco is a black hole of logic filled up with yuks, improv-improved insults, reefer references, breezy contempt for Muslims and co-star Dorothy Lamour, and enough gay subtext to send your eyebrows as sky-high as Bob's ("Why would a guy buy a guy?"). Bing and Bob's reaction to an inadvertent kiss recalls Candy and Martin's Dance of Manliness in Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. It's not just a gagfest: Without Hope's physical gifts, a line like "I never thought I'd wind up in a camel snood" would never kill. He won a Chaplin-impression contest at age 10, and Bob's craven scamp ages better than the Little Tramp. (NR) Grand Illusion. Fri. Aug. 15-Thurs. Aug. 21. TIM APPELO

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