Rhino Comedy Hour: Bob Newhart Never Gets Old
When one examines the various sitcoms that have appeared on the TV landscape over the history of the medium, there’s no shortage of stars who found their first taste of fame as stand-up comedians, but there’s really only one who’s managed to take a stammer and turn it into a career that’s been going strong for 54 years now.
If you lived through the ‘60s, then your first awareness of Bob Newhart almost certainly came via his comedy albums, but if you came up during the ‘70s or any decade thereafter, then you may only know him from his sitcoms. Be it The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Bob, or even the oft-forgotten George & Leo, Newhart spent the better part of a 25-year period as a constant figure on prime-time television, and although he’s not had his own series since George & Leo wrapped in 1998, he’s never really been away, having turned up on ER, Desperate Housewives, NCIS, TNT’s The Librarian movies, and – lest we forget – won the first Emmy of his career for one of his three appearances on The Big Bang Theory. But while TV has kept Newhart in the public eye, there are far too many folks who are kinda sorta aware that he’s a stand-up comedian without ever having actually heard him do stand-up.
To help remedy that situation, we’ve put together an hour’s worth of Newhart best material from his stand-up heyday. Not that he hasn’t continued to prove himself a master in the field – he may be 85, but in a recent appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, he mentioned that he still does about 20 stand-up dates a year – but he simply hasn’t recorded a great deal of new material since then. It doesn’t really matter, though: once you’ve committed bits like “Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue,” “Driving Instructor,” and “The Grace L. Ferguson Airline (and Storm Door Company)” to vinyl, you can coast on those for the rest of your life…and we’re hoping Newhart continues to keep stammering his way those classics for many years to come.