Bob Newhart

Actor / Comedian


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Bob Newhart discusses his upbringing and early roots in comedy. He talks of his early job as an accountant and the boredom that accompanied the position, from which sprung his idea of ad-libbed phone call comedy and his first comedy album. He describes the bits and how his album led to his first television show, the variety program, The Bob Newhart Show. He shares the details of his first sitcom, also titled The Bob Newhart Show, which then led to roles in several movies. Part one concludes with a detailed discussion of his second successful series, Newhart, and part two of the interview continues with his next two sitcoms Bob and George & Leo. He talks about various cast members of his series, his Las Vegas performances, a pilot that he thought about doing in 2001, and his friends and family. Dan Pasternack conducted the interview in two sessions in Westwood, CA on May 29, 2001 and in Bel Air, CA on June 15, 2001.

"I worked as an accountant for two-and-a-half years, then worked as a copywriter. People had always been saying, 'gee, you're funny. You think funny.' So I just decided I was gonna give it a try and see what happened."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Bob Newhart on his first comedy album, "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart"
Bob Newhart on the creation of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on "Larry, Darryl, and Darryl" from Newhart
Bob Newhart on the surprise ending of the Newhart series finale and the "red herring" ending that was written to elude the press
Bob Newhart on meeting Jack Benny and Benny's favorite Newhart routine
Bob Newhart on his proudest achievement (being inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame)
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on his comedic influences
On his early comedy and early memories of television; on his time in the service
On developing his early routines, particularly the phone call bits; on his big break at the local Chicago Emmy Awards and recording his first comedy album

Chapter 2

On his early comedy routines, the success of his first album, and first television appearances; on his national big break at the 1960 Emmy Awards
On his second comedy album and Grammy wins
On starring in his short-lived variety series The Bob Newhart Show (1961-2); on appearing on The Entertainers

Chapter 3

On appearing on The Entertainers (cont.)
On the genesis, casting and production of The Bob Newhart Show; on the catchphrase/drinking game "Hi, Bob!"   
On the writers and directors on The Bob Newhart Show

Chapter 4

On specific episodes of The Bob Newhart Show;  on why the series ended; on appearing in the film "First Family" 
On the genesis and cast of Newhart

Chapter 5

On "Larry, Darryl, and Darryl" from Newhart; on the pilot episode and memorable storylines and episodes; on the writers and directors of Newhart
On memorable guest stars on Newhart; on his professional and personal relationship with Johnny Carson
On the series finale of Newhart; on returning to stand-up comedy

Chapter 6

On life after Newhart; on the creation and cast of his short-lived series Bob
On Les Moonves convincing him to return to television again with George & Leo; on the premise and cast of the show; on his chemistry with Judd Hirsch and memorable episodes of the program
On the end of the series George & Leo; on appearing in another pilot for NBC; on playing himself, or what people interpret as himself

Chapter 7

On his current projects (2001) and doing stand-up comedy; on meeting Jack Benny and Benny's favorite Bob Newhart routine
On his proudest achievement (being inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame)
On how television has changed over the years; on the ongoing success of The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart; on advice to aspiring performers
On his film work in "Catch-22", "Cold Turkey", and "In & Out"

Chapter 8

On his role in the film "In & Out" contd.; on how he'd like to be remembered
B-roll photos from his career: on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, and more
Shows

Bob

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Bob Newhart on the creation and cast of his short-lived series Bob
Bob Newhart on changes made to try to improve the ratings of Bob; on the show's end

Bob Newhart Show, The (1961-62)

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Bob Newhart on his short-lived variety show The Bob Newhart Show

Bob Newhart Show, The (1972-78)

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Bob Newhart on the creation and casting of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on taping the pilot of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the relationships between the central characters on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the cast of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the writers and directors on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the pilot and first episode of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the catchphrase "Hi, Bob!" from The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on similarities and differences between his TV wives on The Bob Newhart Show and on Newhart
Bob Newhart on specific episodes of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the final episode of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the writers wanting to make his wife on The Bob Newhart Show pregnant, and disagreeing with the story
Bob Newhart on the ongoing success of The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart
Bob Newhart on a photo of him with the cast of The Bob Newhart Show

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Bob Newhart on first appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show
Bob Newhart on a photo of him on The Ed Sullivan Show

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Bob Newhart on his short-lived variety program, The Bob Newhart Show, winning an Emmy
Bob Newhart on his national big break at the 1960 Emmy Awards

Entertainers, The

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Bob Newhart on appearing on The Entertainers
Bob Newhart on appearing on The Entertainers (cont.)

George & Leo

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Bob Newhart on his fourth television series, George & Leo, with Judd Hirsch; on the chemistry of the cast never quite working
Bob Newhart on Les Moonves convincing him to return to television with George & Leo
Bob Newhart on a memorable, guest-star-laden episode of George & Leo with stars from The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, and Taxi
Bob Newhart on the end of the series George & Leo

Murphy Brown

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Bob Newhart on he and Marcia Wallace from The Bob Newhart Show appearing on Murphy Brown

Newhart

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Bob Newhart on the creation of Newhart
Bob Newhart on the central characters and memorable storylines on Newhart
Bob Newhart on similarities and differences between his TV wives on The Bob Newhart Show and on Newhart
Bob Newhart on the cast of Newhart
Bob Newhart on the surprise ending of the Newhart series finale and the "red herring" ending that was written to elude the press
Bob Newhart on the pilot episode of Newhart
Bob Newhart on "Larry, Darryl, and Darryl" from Newhart
Bob Newhart on memorable storylines and episodes of Newhart
Bob Newhart on the writers and directors of Newhart
Bob Newhart on memorable guest stars on Newhart
Bob Newhart on how the last scene of the Newhart finale became one of TV's most memorable moments
Bob Newhart on the ongoing success of The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart
Bob Newhart on a photo of him with the cast of Newhart

Newhart: "The Last Newhart"

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Bob Newhart on the surprise ending of the Newhart series finale and the "red herring" ending that was written to elude the press
Bob Newhart on how the last scene of the Newhart finale became one of TV's most memorable moments

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

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Bob Newhart on a photo of him with the hosts of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Bob Newhart on guest-hosting The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Topics

Advice

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Bob Newhart on advice to aspiring performers

Characters & Catchphrases

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Bob Newhart on the catchphrase "Hi, Bob!" from The Bob Newhart Show

Emmy Awards

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Bob Newhart on his big break at the local Chicago Emmy Awards and recording his first comedy album

Fame and Celebrity

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Bob Newhart on how fame has affected his career

First Big Break

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Bob Newhart on his big break at the local Chicago Emmy Awards and recording his first comedy album
Bob Newhart on his national big break at the 1960 Emmy Awards

Historic Events and Social Change

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Bob Newhart on his time in the service during The Korean War

Korean War

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Bob Newhart on his time in the service during The Korean War

Memorable Moments on Television

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Bob Newhart on the surprise ending of the Newhart series finale and the "red herring" ending that was written to elude the press

Pivotal Career Moments

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Bob Newhart on his big break at the local Chicago Emmy Awards and recording his first comedy album
Bob Newhart on his national big break at the 1960 Emmy Awards

Pop Culture

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Bob Newhart on the catchphrase "Hi, Bob!" from The Bob Newhart Show

Television Industry

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Bob Newhart on how television has changed over the years
Bob Newhart on advice to aspiring performers
Bob Newhart on how fame has affected his career

War

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Bob Newhart on his time in the service during The Korean War

We Cried

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Bob Newhart on the surprise ending of the Newhart series finale and the "red herring" ending that was written to elude the press
Professions

Comedian

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Bob Newhart on his comedic style and how it has and hasn't work on TV over the years
Bob Newhart on performing and writing comedy routines
Bob Newhart on advice to aspiring performers

Performers

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Bob Newhart on his comedic style and how it has and hasn't work on TV over the years
Bob Newhart on performing and writing comedy routines
Bob Newhart on advice to aspiring performers
Genres

Comedy Series

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Bob Newhart on the genesis, casting and production of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on specific episodes of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the genesis and cast of Newhart
Bob Newhart on the cast, memorable storylines and episodes, and the crew of Newhart
Bob Newhart on his fourth television series, George & Leo, with Judd Hirsch
Bob Newhart on the creation and cast of his short-lived series Bob

Late Night

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Bob Newhart on guest-hosting The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Bob Newhart on his short-lived variety show The Bob Newhart Show
People

Jason Alexander

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Bob Newhart on memorable guest stars on Newhart - Jason Alexander

Jack Benny

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Bob Newhart on his comedic influences
Bob Newhart on meeting Jack Benny and Benny's favorite Newhart routine
Bob Newhart on a photo of him with Jack Benny

Peter Bonerz

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Bob Newhart on casting Peter Bonerz on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on Peter Bonerz's character "Dr. Jerry Robinson" on The Bob Newhart Show

George Burns

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Bob Newhart on a photo of him with George Burns

James Burrows

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Bob Newhart on James Burrows liking the script for George & Leo

Johnny Carson

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Bob Newhart on memorable guest stars on Newhart - Johnny Carson
Bob Newhart on his personal and professional relationship with Johnny Carson
Bob Newhart on a photo of him meeting Johnny Carson

Bill Daily

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Bob Newhart on casting Bill Daily on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on the relationship between "Bob Hartley" and "Howard Borden" on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on memorable guest stars on Newhart - Bill Daily

Julia Duffy

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Bob Newhart on Julia Duffy as "Stephanie Vanderkellen" on Newhart
Bob Newhart on a memorable moment from Newhart

Jose Ferrer

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Bob Newhart on memorable guest stars on Newhart - Jose Ferrer

Bob Finkel

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Bob Newhart on his national big break at the 1960 Emmy Awards

Mary Frann

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Bob Newhart on the expectations placed upon Mary Frann as his wife in Newhart
Bob Newhart on working with Mary Frann on Newhart

Buddy Hackett

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Bob Newhart on a photo of comedians at Buddy Hackett's house

Buck Henry

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Bob Newhart on appearing in the Buck Henry movie "First Family"

Howard Hesseman

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Bob Newhart on Howard Hesseman's appearances on The Bob Newhart Show

Judd Hirsch

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Bob Newhart on his fourth television series, George & Leo, with Judd Hirsch; on his chemistry with Judd Hirsch

Barry Kemp

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Bob Newhart on coming up with the premise for Newhart

Nikita Khrushchev

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Bob Newhart on a comedy routine about Nikita Khruschev

Lisa Kudrow

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Bob Newhart on working with Lisa Kudrow on his short-lived series Bob

Norman Lear

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Bob Newhart on appearing in the Norman Lear film "Cold Turkey"

Penny Marshall

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Bob Newhart on Penny Marshall's appearance on The Bob Newhart Show

Dick Martin

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Bob Newhart on Dick Martin directing many episodes of The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on a photo of him with the hosts of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

Dean Martin

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Bob Newhart on a photo of him with Dean Martin; on his appearance on The Dean Martin Show

Leslie Moonves

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Bob Newhart on Les Moonves convincing him to return to television with George & Leo

Lorenzo Music

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Bob Newhart on the creation and casting of The Bob Newhart Show

Mike Nichols

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Bob Newhart on appearing in the Mike Nichols film "Catch-22"

Frank Oz

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Bob Newhart on director Frank Oz asking him to appear in the film "In & Out"

Tony Papenfuss

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Bob Newhart on "Larry, Darryl, and Darryl" from Newhart

Suzanne Pleshette

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Bob Newhart on the relationship between "Bob Hartley" and "Emily Hartley" on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on casting Suzanne Pleshette as his wife on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on considering re-vamping The Bob Newhart Show for a second run

Tom Poston

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Bob Newhart on Tom Poston's appearances on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on Tom Poston as "George Utley" on Newhart

Richard Pryor

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Bob Newhart on a photo of him with Richard Pryor and his friendship with the comedian

Don Rickles

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Bob Newhart on memorable guest stars on Newhart - Don Rickles

William Sanderson

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Bob Newhart on "Larry, Darryl, and Darryl" from Newhart

Peter Scolari

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Bob Newhart on Peter Scolari as "Michael Harris" on Newhart

Ed Sullivan

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Bob Newhart on first appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show

Grant Tinker

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Bob Newhart on the creation of The Bob Newhart Show

John Voldstad

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Bob Newhart on "Larry, Darryl, and Darryl" from Newhart

Marcia Wallace

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Bob Newhart on casting Marcia Wallace on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on Marcia Wallace as "Carol Kester" on The Bob Newhart Show
Bob Newhart on he and Marcia Wallace from The Bob Newhart Show appearing on Murphy Brown

Betty White

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Bob Newhart on changes made to try to improve the ratings of Bob - bringing on Betty White

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