Comedian Bob Hope has been honored with a $1 million grant to the Yale Repertory Theater and School of Drama aimed at keeping generations of students and their audiences laughing.

The All-American Collegiate Golf Foundation's donation will be used to establish a "Bob Hope Comedy Fund" and help cover comedy production costs, theater officials said Monday."The rare and precious art of comedy will continue to be taught and learned every year in a production uniting our best students, writers, directors and actors," said Lloyd Richards, artistic director of the theater and dean of the drama school.

The grant was a surprise to the 84-year-old Hope, a theater statement said.

Hope is an avid golfer. The All-American Collegiate Golf Foundation provides academic scholarships.