Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy appeared on the special to pay tribute to Hope. Piggy in particular expressed her romantic affections for "Roberto/Bobby," confessing that she and Hope share "that special relationship that happens only once between a man and a pig." Piggy plans to sing "Secret Love" as her tribute, but since Bob Hope is in the balcony, and she must look into someone's eyes, she coerces Kermit into serving as a proxy Bob. Typically, the rendition ends in chaos and a karate chop for Kermit.
Other guests included Pearl Bailey, Lucille Ball, George Burns, Charo, Donny and Marie Osmond, K.C. & the Sunshine Band, Fred MacMurray, Tony Orlando, George C. Scott, Elizabeth Taylor and Danny Thomas.
Hope celebrated his 80th birthday with another special, also called Happy Birthday, Bob!, on May 23, 1983. Kermit the Frog made an appearance to sing a duet of a reworked version of 'Just the Way You Are' with Sheena Easton.