Subtle

From Bob Hope’s autobiography Have Tux, Will Tavel, ©1954:

I’d discovered that I was a success if could lead with a joke the audience didn’t grab right away– a good, solid, big joke with a certain amount of subtlety to it, one that would challenge the audience and let them know right away that they had a fight on their hands.

That’s an odd statement.

“Subtlety” has never been a quality I associated with Bob Hope, and I don’t think I’ve ever bought a ticket hoping to have “a fight on my hands.”

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