I have many favourite American comedians. Bob Newhart is among them. Known for his deadpan, slightly stammering delivery, Bob came to prominence with his 1960 album of comedic monologues entitled THE BUTTON-DOWN WORLD OF BOB NEWHART, which went to No.1 on the Billboard pop album chart. It still remains the 20th best-selling comedy album of all time. He won two Grammy Awards and another one for the follow-up album THE BUTTON-DOWN MIND STRIKES BACK! While primarily known as a TV star and stand-up comic, Bob has appeared in notable films such as Mike Nichols war satire CATCH 22 and ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER.
In 1996 TV Guide published the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time, listing Bob at 17th. His self-titled TV hit THE BOB NEWHART SHOW ran from 1972-1978, playing dry Chicago psychologist Dr. Robert Hartley, followed by his role as Dick Loudon, a Vermont innkeeper and talk-show host in NEWHART during the 1980s. Surprisingly it wasn’t until 2013 that Bob won his first Primetime Emmy Award as Professor Proton in six guest appearances in THE BIG BANG THEORY.
One of Bob’s signature routines was his improvisational, one-sided telephone conversations, which appeared in the opening shot of the original TV series and in almost every episode. I incorporated this in my sketch, which I sent to Bob, who is now 90, which he kindly signed and returned it to me.