About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 19, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Bob Hope's Christmas in Hawaii (1989)


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #19 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

This week I'm moving on to share Hawaiian yuletide programs. Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1989 TV variety special Bob Hope's Christmas Show from Waikoloa, Hawaii. Bob Hope’s guest stars are Barbara Eden, The Judds, the Associated Press’ All America Football Team, and Rose Queen Yasmine Delawari. The show is shot at the Hyatt Regency in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Comedian Bob Hope opens his variety show, like he does every year, on stage with a comedy monologue. Here, he does it on a stage outdoors at the Hyatt Regency in front of a live audience. Next, Naomi and Wynonna Judd perform as The Judds singing “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.” Actor Barbara Eden joins Hope on stage to exchange punchlines. The show continues with a second monologue by Bob in front of a live audience. This is followed by Hope introducing the latest Associated Press’ All America Football Team. Hope and Eden stroll through the palm trees and tiki torches to sing “Silver Bells.” This is followed by a comedy sketch “Steel Petunias” a parody of the movie “Steel Magnolias.” The sketch features Naomi Judd as Sally Field’s character M’Lynn, Wynonna Judd as Julia Roberts’ character Shelby, Barbara Eden as Shirley MacLaine’s character Ouiser, and Bob Hope in drag playing Dolly Parton’s role Truvy. Next, Hope introduces the beauty pageant winner 1990 Rose Queen Yasmine Delawari and they volley jokes back and forth. The Judds harmonize on “Winter Wonderland” standing above a waterfall feature. Once again, Hope re-airs the clip of himself with John Wayne, first recorded on Hope’s Christmas special in 1976 in which they sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”



Bob Hope is well known for his two types of Christmas variety specials. First are his Christmas USO tours escorting dancers, singers, and comedians around the world to various American military bases to entertain the soldiers. Second are Hope's network studio Christmas variety specials. This 1989 one is later in Hope's career. It combines the outdoor location stage productions of the USO tours with the production values of the more controlled studio specials.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical, Christmas in Hawaii program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.


Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com





  1. As a non-American, I could never understand why those dreadfully long football introductions were in there. As a kid, they seemed to go on forever!

    1. It appears to be an honor to introduce the Look Magazine's annual selections for All-American team. These introductions often coincided with Christmas specials (but not always) and Bob Hope did it for years. Before him, Perry Como did it on his Christmas specials--the encyclopedia is filled with them!! As someone who doesn't even follow football, these outstanding college players are sometimes early appearances by significant celebrities--I've recognized Dick Butkus, Ed Marinaro, and others who ended up elsewhere in Christmas programming too.

  2. i have said this before, but i really miss these variety shows that i grew up with, especially during the holiday season. they were such fun! Cannot wait for the new book to come out.

    1. These variety specials are fun. I can't wait for the new book to come out too--I've worked extra hard to expand and improve the variety specials listings! Thanks for your comment.