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  • I spent WAY too many hours glued to the TV as a youngster during the 1970s. Many of the shows I thought were absolutely perfect in 1972 or 1975, I have trouble sitting through for 10 minutes today. Some, however, have stood the test of time.

    I would have to say that The Bob Newhart Show, more than any other show, has grown in my estimation as I have matured. I enjoyed it as a kid, but love it all the much more now.

    Mr. Newhart, simply put, was and is a comedic genius. One blank look from him can surpass a 15-minute monologue by many comedians, for laugh production. In the right setting, with the right handling, Bob Newhart was one of the funniest ever. Fortunately for us, that perfect setting came together in the 1972-78 Bob Newhart Show. This show had impeccable writing by Charlotte Brown, Dick Clair and others, great directing by Peter Baldwin and many others, as well as wonderful acting.

    One might have doubted that the struggles of a psychologist and his patients would make good fodder for comedy. Wrong! Who can forget the obnoxious Elliot Carlton (Jack Riley), the sharp knitting needles of Mrs. Bakerman (Florida Friebus, a.k.a., Dobie Gillis' mom), and wimpy Mr. Peterson (John Fielding, also in `12 Angry Men')? Who can forget the elevator and its frequent involvement in scenes, or Bernie Tupperman (Larry Gelman), the pudgy urinologist, or the periodic visits from `The Peeper' (Tom Poston)? And these, of course, were NOT part of the main supporting cast.

    Suzanne Pleshette was perfect as Bob's lovely and usually supportive wife, Emily. Marcia Wallace became a household name as Carol, the perky secretary. Peter Borenz and Bill Daily, meanwhile, were absolutely delightful as Bob's two best friends, dentist Jerry Robinson and navigator Howard Borden. Daily, who was also great in `I Dream of Jeannie,' provided one of the most hilarious characters in sit-com history, as the clueless neighbor, Howard.

    The cast of The Bob Newhart Show was so good and so deep that I have to make one confession. While I love Bob Newhart himself, I believe my favorite episode was one in which he had only a cameo appearance, phoning home from a convention somewhere. Carol, Jerry and Howard became convinced that an old flame visiting Emily while Bob was gone, spelled trouble. They spied on the two in a restaurant and the scene was possibly the most hilarious in the show's run, as Jerry wore a ridiculous fake glasses/nose combo and Howard could never seem to recognize him.

    The Bob Newhart Show was a high-water mark for intelligent, sophisticated humor - although occasional forays into slapstick gave it an even more satisfying balance. Overall, I would call it one of the top three or four comedies ever made.
  • A masterpiece of understated adult humor, epitomized by its low-key star, Bob Newhart, who could get big laughs reading from the phone book with his trademark stammers and pauses.

    Supporting cast was remarkable, each playing to his or her strengths, gliding smoothly along the tracks laid down by the expert writing staff. Standouts? Everybody was a standout. Peter Bonerz as Jerry, the libidinous orphaned dentist. Bill Daily as the addled Howard Borden, airline navigator, bumbling divorced dad, and meal moocher. Marcia Wallace as Carol, confident, razor-tongued receptionist extraordinaire. Jack Riley as Mr. Carlin, the funniest self-centered jerk of the modern sitcom era. And Suzanne Pleshette as Emily, Bob's gorgeous, sensible wife.

    The trick to the show's humor was that it seemed to rise naturally from these characters who, though colorful, also resembled real people. Nobody had to push too hard for a laugh.

    Almost three decades later I still haven't seen another TV comedy series that possessed this one's unique tone of humor, an almost indescribable mix of the usual satire and sarcasm and poking fun at our modern life and lifestyles, balanced perfectly against warm-hearted affirmation of the bonds of friendship and affection that make life bearable. And funny.
  • This was part of the great CBS Saturday night line-up which included "Mary Tyler Moore", "All in the Family". Bob Newhart's deadpan reactions to all the craziness that was going on around him was what helped to make this show special. Its surprising how it never received an Emmy, or for that matter a nomination. Maybe it was because it was part of such a legendary prime time line-up that it got lost in the shuffle. Also, maybe it was due to the fact that it had such a strong ensemble that no one particular member of the cast stood out. Besides Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Peter Bonnerz, Marcia Wallace and Bill Daily all made this show what it was, but the funniest character on the show had to be Elliot Carlin. He definitely was one of the most acerbic characters ever created for television. This still is one of the classic situation comedies of its era and it was very much more of an intellectual show.
  • For the six years that "The Bob Newhart Show" originally ran on CBS-TV from September of 1972 to April of 1978,the series never received the attention and acclaim it so clearly deserved(not one Emmy nomination from either Bob Newhart or the rest of the cast which includes Suzanne Pleshette, Marcia Wallace,Peter Bonerz,Bill Daily,and to even mention the recognition from some of the great writing and direction that this show truly deserved)after an astounding 142 episodes. After the sixth and final season,Bob Newhart decided to call it quits.

    He told TV Guide that the show was "still doing well enough.But I got very disturbed about the trends in TV....the kiddie audience seemed to be taking over the tube....I felt my type of low-key comedy-aimed an intelligent adults-was finished. So I just told MTM and CBS I wasn't coming back for the seventh season. We were not canceled. I left on my own."

    However,the show wasn't canceled by the network. Amazingly,the series was still in the top ten of the Nielsen ratings and was in the top five spot along with some tough competition of its day including some of the greatest shows of the decade(and this was toward the end of the 1970's) were still going strong including "M*A*S*H","One Day At A Time","Alice", "All In The Family","The Jeffersons","Three's Company","Happy Days",and not to mention "The Carol Burnett Show" which was also still in the top ten as well during its final season. When "The Bob Newhart Show" stopped production in April of 1978,the series and its wonderful cast of characters did not disappear from television. Instead they've taken on a second life,replete with character development and some very funny classic moments. In case some may not remember this series,about the misadventures of a Chicago psychiarist(Dr. Robert Hartley,played by Bob Newhart) who lives in a upscale Lakeshore apartment complex with his lovely wife Emily(played by Suzanne Pleshette)and their next door neighbor Howard Borden(played by Bill Daily)and a host of misunderstood characters that Bob deals with within the office complex where he works and at home. The laughs may have been okay in parts,but still it is a television classic.

    ABOUT THE CAST:LIFE AFTER THE BOB NEWHART SHOW In the fall of 1982,Bob Newhart's second-longest running sitcom called "Newhart" was also a top ten hit with CBS-TV for the eight seasons that it was on the air(1982-1990).The new sitcom was set at the Stratford Inn in rural Vermont. He played innkeeper Dick Louden,who was also a how-to author and a talk show host where he kept humble residence with his beloved wife Joanna(played by Mary Frann),his handyman George Utley(Tom Poston)and a host of misunderstood characters and some of them were stranger than life. Who remembers the three woodsman,Larry,Darryl and Darryl? The series final episode in May of 1990 is vintage classic TV where most of the original cast of "The Bob Newhart Show" from the 1970's reappears in segments which included his other TV wife(Suzanne Pleshette). However,Bob Newhart made one more successful series as well which included the short-lived series intitled "Bob",which was also on CBS-TV(1993-1994)and it starred Betty White and Tom Poston. As for the the others including Marcia Wallace,Bill Daily,Peter Bonerz,and Suzanne Pleshette? They're still around especially with Peter Bonerz and Suzanne Pleshette who are now working behind the camera and are producing and directing several feature films made for television and also in theatrical films as well. Marcia Wallace made several appearances in TV shows including "Taxi","Murphy Brown","Will and Grace",and others. while fellow BNS actor Bill Daily is doing the club circuit these days and is frequently on the talk show range with Jay Leno,Conan O'Brien and David Letterman and is set to star in the theatrical version of the 1960's Barbara Eden TV classic "I Dream Of Jeannie".
  • bwaynef15 September 2005
    Not cutting edge like "All in the Family," and lacking the social relevance of Mary Tyler Moore's single woman who was gonna make it after all in a man's world, "The Bob Newhart Show," which shared the CBS Saturday night lineup with those shows in the 70s, nonetheless had the strongest legs. While Archie Bunker fumbled once daughter Gloria and "Meathead" moved out, leaving him without a regular nemesis, "The Bob Newhart Show" delivered first rate comedy as dependably in its last season as it did in its first.

    Newhart was a more mature Seinfeld in that most of the madness was provided by the supporting cast, and a terrific one it was too: Suzanne Pleshette, sassy and sexy as Bob's earthy wife, Emily; Peter Bonerz as the dentist and sarcastic ladies man, Jerry Robinson; and Bill Daley as perpetually befuddled pilot Howard Borden. Then there was Marcia Wallace as snippy receptionist Carole, the wonderful John Fiedler as mousy Mr. Peterson, and Jack Riley as the truly deranged Mr. Carlin. All had their moments of brilliance, but it was Newhart, with his low-key genius, who held the show together and made it work. A comedy classic.
  • I loved this show as a kid (I was 10 in 1975)... it was a show that actually made sense to me (yeah, yeah, I watched all the other 70's shows too...). It was adult without being sexy (I hated that in TV shows... nothing's grosser than Marion & Howard getting "frisky")-- the characters were wry, the situations were plausibly ridiculous (?!?!?), and the writing was intelligent. I knew, even then, that there was a difference between intelligent humor and (gawd help us) pratfall humor (think: Jack Ritter), and what I preferred. I also dug that I "got" it, and that Bob was a nebbishy kind of guy, who stumbled along through life, really making it on his wits (certainly wasn't his good looks). Gave a geeky girl a certain hope for her future.
  • wolf00812 February 2002
    Bob Newhart and MTM put together a winning formula when they debuted the Bob Newhart Show in the Fall of 72. This was Deadpan comedy on the part of Newhart at it's best. Psychologist, Dr. Bob Hartley, deals with the day to day problems of his zany and quite real patient's. Jack Riley's, Elliot Carlin being one of the most notable of the group, with his bizarre problems and abrasive attitude towards other group members, especially the wishy-washy Mr. Peterson.

    Bob's life outside his group was a bit less zany but just as interesting and funny. His relationship between his wife Emily, played by the sultry Susan Pleshette, was a very real relationship. Newhart and Pleshette complimented each other quite well.

    I think everyone loved his wise cracking secretary, Carol, and the bumbling antics of his neighbor, Howard Borden.
  • One of those rare shows where everything came together--cast, characters, writers, stories.

    Bill Daily kept me in stitches. One episode he bought a stand-up bass--the Hartleys were going nuts from his practicing, which consisted entirely of Howard strumming the same string over and over. Best line: Bob: I feel like I'm living inside a heart. Best joke of all--Howard was a navigator. Thank heavens he wasn't a pilot.

    Or the night when Jerry and Bob and Howard drove to a cheap motel in Illinois to watch a Bears game that was blacked out in Chicago. Probably the best drunk scenes ever.

    And the bedroom dialogues with Emily and Bob. Particularly the night Bob was eating cereal, and Emily noticed that he chewed each mouthful exactly 47 times. (I forget the exact number.) What an actress--she made you believe that Bob was a hunk. As I recall, when the show began, Suzanne Pleshette was known mainly for cheapo movies of the week and insipid Disney comedies. Hats off to the genius who thought of casting her.

    Gotta love it.
  • Ekittyguru21 August 2004
    The Bob Newhart Show has been my favorite comedy ever since it first aired in the 1970's. I have probably seen every episode at least 3 times and this show never fails to make me laugh. More than that, it is comfort television at its best! I always feel better after watching "Bob". When I was in high school I suffered from generalized anxiety disorder and the only time I was able to stop worrying was each weeknight at 9:00PM during reruns of "The Bob Newhart Show". This show so throughly brought me into the wacky world of Bob and Emily Hartley that for those 30 minutes I was able to forget my worries. Even now, I still find "The Bob Newhart Show" to be an excellent cure for the blues or a bad day. I'm still waiting for this best of comedies to be brought out on DVD season by season!!
  • Two years after launching the groundbreaking Mary Tyler Moore Show, MTM Productions debuts The Bob Newhart Show. It becomes part of CBS' hit Saturday night lineup, thanks to Newhart's trademark double take, stammer and blank stare persona that was also part of a number of successful comedy records.

    Newhart carries the show well but it's the core cast that also makes the show a hit. Suzanne Pleshette as Bob's wife Emily, Peter Bonerz as Jerry, Marcia Wallace as Carol, the receptionist and Bill Daily as divorced neighbor Howard. The ensemble remained together for the entire run. Nobody was spun off and there were no contract disputes and it led to one of the most stable sitcom casts of all-time.

    Also in the mix was Bob's therapy group, including Jack Riley as neurotic Elliot Carlin, Florida Friebus as Mrs. Bakerman, John Fiedler as Mr. Peterson and Renee Lippin as Michelle Nardo.

    I also remember several episodes with Tom Poston as Cliff (The Peeper) Murdock. He also brought hilarity to the show.

    One thing I remember about The Bob Newhart Show that Bob and Emily were the first DINK (Double Income, No Kids)sitcom couple. Emily was not a housewife,she was a grade school teacher (and later vice principal).

    Even though the show ran for six seasons before Newhart decided to go back to stand up comedy, it's still one of the best 70s sitcoms. It's well-written and well performed and it also gave Bonerz an opportunity to direct, which he still does today. If you have not seen this show, as Newhart's pet phrase from his records "Same to you fella!" Tune into an episode on ME-TV and see why Newhart is a 70s sitcom classic.
  • "The Bob Newhart Show" is possibly the most brilliant of the "adult sitcoms" of the early 1970's. Along with "The Odd Couple" and "Mary Tyler Moore", this show exhibits a subtle, mature humor that has all but disappeared from television today. Great actors make this show with a simple "situation" -- adults working, talking, eating, and going to bed -- hilarious and reflective. Bob Newhart's unique comedic style finds a perfect outlet in "The Bob Newhart Show." For the uninitiated, it might be compared to "Seinfeld" in that it is a "show about nothing" that derives humor from the interactions between people and not "jokes."
  • Bob Newhart is ans was one of the all time highlights to ever be on TV. This show is classic TV. His straight faced humor had a funny innocence about him and was always classy ans he has a great wit and every day life. I can still see him taking the roof down with his timing and answer's. He also always had great co-stars in Suzanne,Marcia and Bill and the funny guy who was his most recent patient and later did adds for a non butter product. I look forward to receiving the new DVD set in the mail. I hope they decide to also put into DVD his 1980s show which was my favorite comedy of its day too. The one in the Vermont Inn with Larry ,Larry and Darryl and of course the beautiful late Ms.Fran who played his wife. Also Peter Scolari and Miss Duffy were excellent along with Miguel Herrea as Stepahine's Father.

    God Bless Bob Newhart, I can remember coming in from playing Basketball to watch him on Saturday Nights. His pal the airplane pilot was always funny too. I still love the piano of the Theme Song. Great times in my life.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Life will never be as good again as it was in the middle 70's watching television on Saturday night. On CBS, Saturday night, 1973-1974 season you could plop down on the sofa and enjoy, in order, All In The Family, M*A*S*H, Bob Newhart Show, Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Carol Burnett. My favorite of the 5 had to be The Bob Newhart Show. Dry, sophisticated humor, with every part perfectly casted. Even the supporting cast was perfect. If you were alive in 1973 you know what I mean. If you did not live through this period, I feel sorry for you.
  • The Bob Newhart Show is my favourite show on television, I find it incredibly relaxing and the jokes funny. I find it is a great way to relieve the stress that is experienced every day. If you enjoy comedies, you will love the Bob Newhart Show!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bob Newhart is a clinical psychologist living with his wife, teacher Susanne Pleshette, in a Chicago high rise apartment. His neighbor is airline navigator Bill Daily. Newhart commutes daily to his office where he is on friendly terms with the dentist who has an office on the same floor, Peter Bonerz, with whom he shares a secretary, the toothy but amiable Marcia Wallace. Newhart treats various clients, none of whom are suffering very much. The most cynical and sometimes obnoxious is Jack Reilly.

    This template allows for various forms of comedic exchanges between multiple characters and the opportunities are seized aptly.

    The central figure is Newhart himself and he's a caution. He's always low-keyed in his responses, almost a straight man, sometimes in the grip of some loony phone conversation, his reactions usually minimal and restricted to blinks or moues.

    The series is a constant treat if what you're looking for is understated, genteel humor. (Its opposite may be "Married With Children.") Newhart's character is conventional in the extreme, a font of humor. He wears those 1970s loud, polyester suits and wide ties as if born in them. His apartment is disgustingly bourgeois -- lots of dark wood paneling, frilly lampshades and table cloths, a wide sliding-glass window overlooking beautiful downtown Chicago. There's no point, and no room, in giving examples of the jokes but, well, hell, I'll briefly describe one. Newhart visits the office of a minister where, unknown to Newhart, a worker upstairs has just installed an air-conditioning vent. Newhart is uncomfortable in the presence of the reverend and keeps slipping in remarks about having to answer to a higher authority and so forth. As Newhart is leaving, the worker's voice issues from the air conditioner near the ceiling, shouting, "Dan, I'm coming DOWN now!" Newhart blinks and exits rapidly.

    Now, this doesn't sound funny, I admit, but that's part of my point. The humor lies in the way the situation is played. And the set-up is such that the slight variations in normal exchanges stand out vividly. It's rather like the contemporaneous "Mary Tyler Moore Show," which shared the same production company and sometimes writers and directors.

    You wouldn't want to live the ritualized existence of Newhart, his family, his friends, and his patients. "Hi, Bob," is a greeting so often repeated that a generation ago it was a drinking game among college students. They watched the show and every time a character said "Hi, Bob," the next kid in line would have to chug-a-lug his beer. I certainly wouldn't want to live in Newhart's Land of Cockaigne either. It's all so demoniacally clean. There's no filth, not anywhere.

    But it must be said, it's funny as hell, in the best sitcom tradition.
  • drystyx12 February 2013
    Bob Newhart was one of the few stand up comics whose method has rarely been imitated.

    He began his career by being more of an actor, in essence, as part of a conversation, but the conversation would always take place on a telephone.

    The brilliance here is that his "straight man" could respond so matter-of-factly, and without outrage to the unheard voice on the other end of the phone, and the comedy was in realizing what the other person was saying.

    Most of his comedy on his famous "Button Down" album involved phone calls, such a with Abe Lincoln and Abner Doubleday.

    Here, he played off real people most of the time, but kept his usual straight routine. This meant that when he finally went home to his beautiful straight woman wife, the comedy would be from his explanations of his day, and from the intrusion of the lovable neighbor played by Bill Daily, who played the charismatic friend of astronaut Tony Nelson on another show.

    The comedy would flow very evenly, and then erupt with some hilarity usually based on something that happened earlier.

    His group therapy provided some great laughter, and foretold the success of later TV comedy "Dear John". In one show, his band of patients who met in group therapy found themselves characters in a play, written by a fellow member. At first, they hated the play, then after a production, they loved it.

    This was a very funny show, and very timeless.
  • I enjoyed this one a tad bit more than "Newhart". I think it was a bit funnier and never got as strange as did "Newhart" near the end of its also very successful run. I am kind of stunned to see that it was the longer running series of the two. They both have something in common and that is Bob playing a straight man to a bunch of strange situations. His reactions are always priceless whether he is in a session because he is a psychiatrist, or he is picking up the phone and doing one of his saying things that make you really wonder what is going on, on the other end of the phone. The characters that Bob has surrounding him are great too as they are made up of his wife Emily, his next door neighbor, his secretary and his dentist friend at work. Not to mention the strange assortment of patients that frequent his office such as the always fun Mr. Carlin. Just an all around funny show that works on so many levels, a lot of real winners among the shows as well. Like the time Bob and Emily are arguing about his wanting to watch Monday Night Football or his ordering Chinese for Thanksgiving day dinner. The show is full of laughs and is my favorite of Bob Newhart's shows.
  • Okay, the Bob Newhart Show wasn't for everybody. I never got a chance to watch it on television. Now on DVD, I am discovering it for the first time. The writing is smart and the acting is smarter than ever with Bob Newhart in the title role as a Chicago psychologist, Susan Pleshette as his wife and third grade school teacher. They are great couple on screen. Surprisingly, they don't have children in the show which is a big plus because the show works better without them. Marcia Wallace is wonderful as his secretary. The show is smart, funny, savvy, relevant, and most of all timeless. It's a classic sitcom that might be overlooked because it's not dirty or stupid like most sitcoms are today. The Bob Newhart Show and others of that era are classic and timeless and relevant to today's life. Too bad, shows like that aren't being developed for television today. It's our loss, isn't it?
  • bonjane-295641 October 2018
    I am hard of hearing & need closed captions to know what is being said but they are so messed up that I can't figure out what is being said. This is one of my favorite shows but can't watch it unless you fix the closed captions.
  • Dr. Bob Hartley (Bob Newhart) is one of the nicest psychiatrists you will ever meet. His most classic patient Mr. Carlin (Jack Riley) had some of the most amazing problems that make for great laughter. Bob Newharts type of comedy is the subtle slow developing type of wit which grows on you no matter who you are if you give it time.

    This series took pains to develop characters. By the time the series was over, not only was everyone aware of the talent of Jack Riley, but Peter Bonerz, & Marcia Wallace had also become known to fans. Bill Daley here just kept expanding on his role as an odd airline pilot which was a little different than being an astronaut of I Dream of Jeannie, but here Daley is more subdued & fits in nicely.

    Susanne Pleshett is Emily, a wife who fits in well too. The amazing thing about Newhart is how he makes anyone who works with him better, & it shows throughout the series. He draws people out throughout this series. It is currently running on the American Network.
  • I LOVED this sitcom. Bob Newhart the perfect straight-man for Bill Daily, Marcia Wallace, and the rest. With the always fantastic Suzanne Pleshette, his strange friends, and those oh-so-odd patients (of which Mr. Carlin had to be the best), this one qualifies as a classic 70's sitcom!
  • dbrockskk114 August 2019
    A great show one of the best ever but I cant figure out why Emily wears her hair like a nine year old boy. It's as short or shorter than Howard's. Maybe its something in SPs contract? It's awful!
  • I was a total addict of the 1970's "Bob Newhart Show". I used to watch it every night at 10pm on my local channel. I was still in high school and loved the show even though it was the 1990's and the show was drowned in 1970's atmosphere. I love the dimwitted Howard played by Bill Dailey. My fondest memory of the show was an episode where Bob was at the office and was getting ready to leave on an elevator. The door opens and unbeknownst to Bob, the elevator car isn't there. He almost falls and dies but clings to something and screams "Jerry, Carol!" The doors close and Jerry and Carol don't even realize what's going on. They keep their backs turned. CLASSIC EPISODE!!!
  • Newhart does it again in a sparkling show that suffers from dated material and format but remains very watchable. Bob Newhart emerged from one of the Golden Ages of American Comedy that also brought us Shelly Bermann, Lenny Bruce and Don Rickles among many others. Long before he hit it big in TV, his LPs (remember them?) were hot sellers. The only thing drier than Newhart on disc was a martini and the only thing funnier was probably the LPs from Mike Nicols and Elaine May. Newhart is still funny (watch him deadpan his way through Elf with Will Farrel) but his earlier TV shows really sparkled. This second one, starring the radiant Suzanne Pleshette, doesn't match up to his first but it did give us 'Daryl, Daryl and my other brother Daryl' and some fantastic ensemble work. Bob lives!
  • There is only one reason to watch this mindless piece of drivel, and that is the wonderful Suzanne Pleshette. This is one underrated babe,a fabulous looking actor who showed off her comedic skills much earlier in the James Garner western spoof "Support you local gunfighter". Bob was an average stand up comedian,who just has no personality as a sitcom star,it amazes me he made a few series. As much as I liked Bill Daily in "Jeannie" his overacting in this becomes tiresome very quickly.Apparently Dean Martin was of the opinion that Newhart was one of the funniest comedians in town .I don't see it, but, Suzanne, you are the one!
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