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  • goleafs8418 November 2003
    That's how I describe "Newhart" in one word. I've always enjoyed Bob Newhart's dry humor and wit.

    I liked almost all of the characters on the show. The only one I wished stayed for the entire run was Kirk Devane (Steven Kampmann). He was hilarious the way he lies and the one episode that sticks out with me was when he produced and stared in his own commercial with Dick's wife Joanna for his diner. He does the commercial like the old Ronco ads from the 70s ("How much would you pay for this hamburger? Well don't answer yet...."). Then he says Joanna paid this outrageous price and the look on her face was priceless.

    The other episode that sticks out with me was when Dick goes to a Boston Celtics game and has courtside seats. He apparently gets kicked out of the seat I believe because it was someone else's seats and he had to stand outside in the aisle area. Then I believe it was Larry Bird goes hobbling out of the game to the Celtic's team clubhouse, which became the perfect set up for the parody of the "Mean" Joe Greene Coke commercial from 1980. That was a classic.

    The final episode was the best and ultimate way to end the show. One of the biggest "curve balls" was thrown. This was one ending you could never see coming.

    A bit of trivia: Larry and the 2 Darryls were originally planned by the writers to appear in about 2-4 episodes and were to be written off shortly thereafter. Since "Newhart" was taped in front of a studio audience, the audience would cheer, applaud and holler when the trio walked in the door, then the introduction would follow: "Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl". That would then follow with more cheers and applause or laughs. It was said, that the studio audience kept the trio from being written off the show.
  • Op_Prime9 January 2000
    Newhart was a classic, smart and hilarious show. Bob Newhart is hilarious here. The humor, which was in no way directed at sexual issues, was great and refreshing. The series' quality never declined in quality and was great throughout it's entire run. The final episode probably being the best of all.
  • As a Vermonter myself, I loved this series, but add to this the fact that the outdoor shots were filmed in Middlebury Vermont where I grew up and I love it even more. Middlebury is even now a town of only about 8,500 permanent residents, and we had our own TV show!

    The cast was one of the best. Everyone from Bob Newhart and Mary Frann to the supporting cast of Poston, Duffy, Kampmann and Scolari where not only hilarious, but portrayed perfectly some of the types of people you WILL find in Vermont.

    If you love good comedy, this is some of the best. Watch it and then plan a vacation in Middlebury. Who knows, you may not want to leave either.
  • Newhart was indeed a funny and brilliant show without being crude or vulgar. It was fun watching the late wonderful Mary Frann and the amazing genius of Bob Newhart as innkeepers in Vermont. Newhart had a wonderful supporting cast of interesting characters played by Tom Poston, Julia Duffy, and Peter Scolari, and more. It should have won Emmys rather than being nominated but it was a great cast and legacy to sitcom television. Too bad, they don't make them like they used to. Newhart is better known for his dry wit and humor. He is not a slapstick comedian at all. He knows how to tell a story and his facial expressions while similar always is worth watching. Mary Frann was a great actress who was taken from us too young. Julia Duffy and Peter Scolari were great together as a couple and their humor helped enhance this classic show. Tom Poston was always a joy to see and who could forget backwoods Larry and his brothers, Daryl and Darrell who never spoke.
  • Coxer9919 July 1999
    One of the most intelligent sitcoms of the 1980's. The brand of humor was and still is refreshing for the time and in many ways missed today.
  • I got to see this show in 1994 when Satellite TV arrived here in Pakistan and it was great. Simple clean humor and a cast that was all perfect I am surprised to learn that the show didn't get any awards just nominations ... it should have ... anyway a must see ...
  • Pierre_D14 January 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    I wish there were still shows this good and this funny on television, where actors draw humour from their surroundings instead of the standard sex/race/male-female/politics pap.

    Bob Newhart is the perfect straight man, he and his wife are regular folk surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters.

    From Michael Harris as the self-centered overvitamined TV Producer to Chester the Mayor and his small-minded ilk, no one escapes Newhart's calm and steady gaze, and exasperated replies.

    Of course, the finale for this show is legendary, from the waking up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette to the golf course brought forth by Japanese investors.

    I remember this show fondly, and wish there were more like it.

    Bob Newhart, my favorite comedian.
  • When I think of this show, I often compare it to Green Acres. The two shows were very similar in the fact that it featured someone who wanted to leave the city to move to the country. In this case it was author Dick Loudon filling in for attorney Oliver Wendell Douglas. Also, Dick was surrounded by a strange assortment of people just like Oliver was. The main difference, however, was the fact that Joanna Loudon wasn't the somewhat dim bulb that Lisa Douglas was. Thankfully, Fred Silverman had long since left C.B.S. or else this show might not have seen the light of day.
  • Caught between the caustic humor of "Titus" and the bitter grumblings of "Becker," I wondered where TV comedy had gone. A chance scan of TNN's weekday programming brought forth a ray of light: Two episodes of "Newhart" from Monday through Friday! (Once again, that immortal greeting: "Hi, my name's Larry, and this is my brother Darryl, and my other brother Darryl.") The understated charm of Dick Loudon, as "Brains" of the Vermont former Youth Gang, the "Hooligals" getting ready to "West Side Story" with their rivals, the "Puffians. The "Gooney Walk" of George Utley, Joanna riding herd on Stephanie as both head into the kitchen to clean a mess of Perch. The "Little Stephanie" Super Material Girl nightmare of Michael Harris (and the Soup Kitchen non-materialist doppelganger.) I won't miss Summer reruns at all!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Final episodes often gets lots of hype and rarely live up to it. The finale of MASH was awesome, but the finale for Seinfeld, for example, was a big disappointment. The same problem exists for sitcom's past their prime that have lost characters along the way. The finale is usually not memorable and very anti-climactic (i.e., Happy Days ran for a dozen years, and was number one for several of those years, but does anyone remember the finale?). Then, luckily, there's the finale of Newhart, to which all other sitcom finale's should be measured! The final scene revealing the entire series to be a dream of Bob Hartley's is brilliant. A great series during it's entire run, it ended on such a memorable, wonderful final scene. As for dramas, I would put the series finale of St. Elsewhere up there with the best, but that's for another posting...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I just came across the last episode of "Newhart" that I recorded. I watched the whole show and laughed just as if I was watching it for the first time. The last scene that had Dick Loudon waking up in Bob Hartley's bed next to Emily was sheer genius. This was truly a great show and should have been Bob Newhart's crescendo instead of his next two projects, "Bob" and "George & Leo". A true fan knows when they have witnessed a masterpiece and they also know that that greatness will probably not be witnessed again (i.e. "Seinfeld" was perfection, the other individual shows, which names escape me, with Jason Alexander, Julia Duffy and Michael Richards were dreadful and were thankfully cancelled).
  • jc-osms20 December 2014
    I never saw the previous also MTM-produced, apparently very successful "The Bob Newhart Show" which I don't think ever played in the UK, but remember this particular series very well indeed.

    I liked it very much then and still do today, now I've got the chance to re-watch them again. Of course rather like the flagship "Mary Tyler-Moore Show", it's built around a known star, the rather hangdog comedian Bob Newhart, who with his improbably young and pretty wife leaves the rat race behind to set up home in a run-down Vermont guest-house.

    Being very much set-bound, it relies on the familiarity and like-ability of its quirky cast and the gentle humour in the writing. Of course almost every bit of dialogue is set up for Newhart to deadpan the punch-line but on the parameters there are some engagingly odd-ball supporting characters like the dimwitted repairman George, the ditzy chambermaid Lesley and especially the 80's answer to the Crazy Gang crossed with the Marx Brothers, the hilarious "Anything for a buck" brothers Larry, Daryl and Daryl. Less appealing however is their irritating, fabricating, restaurant-owning neighbour Kirk.

    With a luxuriant, scene-setting theme by the celebrated Henry Mancini, the humour here is hardly revolutionary or cutting-edge, but for warm, cosy, feel-good comedy, this is a very enjoyable and comfortable place to check into.
  • After the success of his other sitcom from the 1970's, the character of Robert Hartley changed from the streets of Chicago to the scenary setting of rural Vermont. It also changed his title from a psychologist in a high rise building in Chicago to his status as the owner of a innkeeper as well as a novelist.

    It also gave him a new leading lady as well, leaving his other TV wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) on the cutting room floor. "Newhart" did just that too. Newhart played Dick Loudon, a well known novelist with his wife Joanna (Mary Frann) who owned an inn in the majestic grounds of Vermont. It had that brilliant brand of humor that kept the show going, along with some of the characters that made it happen. The show itself was in the top ten ratings during the eight years it ran on CBS, making Bob Newhart one of the funniest comedians of the 1980's.
  • Bob Newhart, although most of the time played dead pan was surely the person the show couldn't function without. But of course I'm a little biased as he's my favorite stand-up, the greatest ever. I never saw the show when it was current but am catching it onreruns and of course the humor's still funny even in 2017! Stephanie is so out of this world cute, and it was pretty hard to believe she wasalready in her 30s when she started on the show. Absolutely hilariously funny show!
  • This is one of the all time greatest comedy series on U.S. television. I would put it right up there against the world's greatest comedy series (Fawlty Towers, Arrested Development, Monty Python, Kids in the Hall, Community) in terms of laughs per minute ratio.

    The always hilarious Bob Newhart plays the owner of an inn in Vermont (along with his lovely wife) and he is the straight man in this, always trying to keep up with the craziness around him and making hilarious, straight-faced comments about it. His bumbling, stumbling delivery is so funny and only Bob Newhart could pull this character off believably.

    The cast around them includes a rich girl who doesn't really want to be their maid, her uptight, materialistic beau, their hilarious handyman George, and of course their insane backwoods neighbours "Larry, Darryl and Darryl".

    I would love to get this on DVD!
  • Who doesn't love Bob Newheart? I've been a religious follower of all of his television series since I was a young man. Bob is one of those people who's always welcome in our living rooms. I've never thought of him as an actor and that's simply because an actor would never have the skill to appear as natural as he does. Whenever I've watched any of the series he's starred in, I feel like I'm in the room listening to a conversation that's meant only for me and the other actors in the scene. He's so ordinary and likable that he's welcomed without hesitation into the fabric of the typical American family. Isn't it wonderful that this seemingly ordinary man has been able to entertain us for so many years without ever resorting to stories involving violence, murder, foul language and corruption. He's always provided us with entertainment that we can invite our parents or children, or even the parish priest, to watch. He's getting a little long in the tooth now, but I still chuckle whenever I see him on his occasional visits to one of the late night T.V. shows. He's a true entertainer and we're not likely see the likes of him again. He's one of those rare entertainers who has had only one wife, one family, and one philosophy of what represents quality entertainment. God Bless him.
  • Bob Newhart is probably one of the funniest comics in American history. He brought clean and wholesome entertainment to American television before the days of cable access. This show, his second TV series, is very enjoyable to watch and the characters are funny to the bone.

    There are several episodes that make me laugh by just thinking about them. Examples being "The Great White Buck", "Pick on Dick", or the episode where Dick stays on the air to do a TV marathon in which Stephanie has to sing "Old Man River" to get him off the set. Not to count any of the Larry , Darrell, and Darrell or "Sweater Girl" episodes.

    I can't wait for this classic sitcom to come to DVD. Newhart is a classic ! Bob Newhart is a great American !
  • I thought this was one of the funnier shows of the 80's.Larry,Daryl,& Daryl were very funny.You never knew what scheme they were going to come up with next.But I would never want to eat in their resteraunt-it,along with their cooking wardrobes looked too unsanitary.Did they have health code inspections in that little Vermont town?

    I always thought Julia Duffy was one of the most beautiful & sexiest women ever.
  • NovDov1828 June 2001
    This is a show better than any show ever made in the history of man kind. Not only is Bob Newhart extremely attractive in this show, but he is funny and the show is clean. The whole show doesn't revolve around sex and drugs. It's a clean funny and enjoyable show. There is no show as great. Thank you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a bold statement. Without "Newhart," "Seinfeld" doesn't happen. Now, I'm not saying the shows were identical by any means, but they share a lot more than you would think at first glance.

    Certainly "Seinfeld" had the urban setting of New York City, but if you can imagine it happening at a Vermont Bed & Breakfast, with a slightly older fellow in the title role, you can see how the parallels do exist: A world-weary, humorous guy at the center of a bunch of wacky characters that entangle themselves in his life. Which show am I talking about? Exactly.

    Now, "Newhart" had a lot more going for it than "Seinfeld" did when they started. Audiences knew Bob from his Grammy winning comedy album, guest appearances on every variety show of the day and his two sitcoms: the first being a standard gentle comedy from the early sixties and the more famous and beloved one from the 1970s filled with winking innuendo, and was pretty racy by television standards, even though Dr. Robert Hartley and his beautiful wife Emily were married. It seemed like a look into a "real" relationship, with the ups the downs and the charm, and it was genuinely laughable and lovable.

    "Newhart" was different, and it was supposed to be. Even so, many unfairly compared the actresses who played Mr. Newhart's wives on these two programs: Mary Frann's Joanna to Suzanne Pleshette's Emily, throughout the run. Really, the characters were never meant to be compared in that way. It was a different era, for television, for the nation, and even for the star. On "Newhart," Joanna's role was as a pillar of strength for Innkeeper Dick to hang onto when everything was going crazy, while Emily and Dr. Bob took turns skewering each other and their friends and situations with devilish 70s glee.

    When "Newhart" began, it was shot on videotape and had more of a "soap opera lighting" look to it. The visuals are odd in relation to the rest of the series. Also, the characters that first season were more pedestrian and the alternating heartwarming/difficult story lines flip-flopped between borderline 1950s trite or 1980s mean! But when they switched to film and they added the talented Peter Scolari and Julia Duffy, things took off! Some of the wittiest dialogue and funniest moments in a sitcom of... just about any era. Brilliant writing, and well played performances, even with the stock characters Larry, Darryl and Darryl.

    Let's get to the famed final episode, which is arguably the greatest "last episode" of any television show ever created. But the question is, why is it so great? You need to know a couple of facts.

    There were two other programs of the era that utilized a similar plot twist device around the time of "Newhart's" end: NBC's medical drama, "St. Elsewhere" (from the same production company as "Newhart" - MTM) and CBS's own nighttime soap, "Dallas," which had an important storyline involving Patrick Duffy's character, Bobby Ewing.

    Without going into specific detail about any of what these other show's plots were about (in case you haven't seen those programs), I can say that if the "St. Elsewhere" and "Dallas" plot points were not played out the way they had, "Newhart's" ending, though still funny, wouldn't have had the incredible explosive impact it had. It was a joke with an exponential punch line: you're not just laughing about the concept, you are laughing about the context of the concept in history. In other words, you were laughing not only at the moment within the show, but it was a big fat joke on all of television, itself!

    Really, this was one brilliant, brilliant last laugh. It is so breathtakingly unexpected, yet perfectly fitted, it's almost impossible to think that it wasn't somehow planned from the first episode! That only makes it that much funnier!

    Perhaps best of all, they did it before anyone conceived the notion of a program sentimentally "paying tribute to itself," or having "celebrity commentary," and they managed to stick to their thirty minute format, not "expanding" the program to milk it.

    Genius.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Arguably one of the best comedies ever on TV (arguable because some critics only like comedies that address issues, as if they weren't addressed enough in serious shows--even 1960s westerns addressed modern issues in parable form; but for those who think the first job of comedies should be to create laughs, "Newhart" ranks in the top few).

    By the 1980s I had seen lots of television, and I was sick of it. When I learned to drive in the late seventies, I was no longer house- and TV-bound. I tuned into "Newhart" in the fifth season to watch a guest appearance by one of my then-heroes, Edwin Newman, and I found a very funny show and--which was unusual for an 80s comedy--NO KIDS! By its fifth season "Newhart" was funny and surreal. But when I started watching reruns syndicated by a local station, I found a different story early on.

    The first season was awful. "Newhart" would never have survived in today's climate. Even so, it had a share of laughs, in a "typical sitcom" way, and delightful one-shot (Stephanie) or two-shot (Larry & Darryls) appearances by characters who would resonate through the series.

    Television veteran Bob Newhart plays Dick Loudon, how-to book writer, New Yorker transplanted to small-town Vermont (they didn't have the guts to go as far into "flyover country" neverland as "Green Acres"). they had to keep it within NY distance (i.e., close to sanity . . . no doubt the creators and the TV executives had never been to a small town unless they took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, as at first the show is about intelligent and cultivated New Yorkers stranded in a nowhere land of less-educated people who need to be brought up a peg. This would change, as the town showed its own logic is as valid, perhaps more valid, than the--television executives'--logic of New York or Newport).

    The Loudons take over an inn with a small staff. A handyman (perennial second banana Tom Poston, in a role he played in one note for eight years, and always delightfully); and a maid, Leslie, a rich girl trying to learn how poor people lived. Unfortunately, Leslie was perfect, and perfection is not funny. Nor was Dick's neighbor, the owner of the Minuteman Cafe, Kirk, who like Leslie disappeared without being mentioned again.

    In the second season perfect Leslie was replaced by her cousin Stephanie, who THOUGHT she was perfect, and what a difference it made. Stephanie was spoiled, self-absorbed, shallow, and invariably funny. Perhaps its because lovely Julia Duffy who took the role was ten years older than the character, and had learned her craft kicking around in soaps and lesser shows for a decade before landing this part. Duffy always played Stephanie to perfection. And her reason for being there made more sense. In her first season shot, Stephanie was forced into a marriage by her rich parents. In the second season she divorced her husband (after a weekend of marriage) and was cut off from her fortune. The Loudon's inn was the only place she thought she could get a job, and it was a place where she easily shirked work.

    A growing presence in season two was Michael Harris (Peter Scolari) a small-station television producer who was shallow and self-centered and perfect match for Stephanie, giving her another reason for her to hang around Vermont. Scolari is hilarious and winning despite his faults, though he can be a trifle grating on repeated viewings.

    This is not the case with Larry and the brothers Darryl, whose increasingly bizarre behavior (even their wildest stories are usually backed up by fact) is odd even by the standards of small-town Vermont. Larry and the Darryls raise "Newhart" to rarefied levels of surreal comedy. And while in "Green Acres" you knew what Messers Haney, Kimball or Ziffel were going to do, you never knew how. You can never predict what Larry and the Darryls will do. They are simply wonderful.

    By the third season, all the wheels were in place: Dick and Joanna (who was not as funny as she might have been--check out the "stunt casting" of a Gabor in "Green Acres" who became a positive boon for that show when her Hungarian weirdness actually suited Hooterville). Michael and Stephanie. Larry and the Darrys. George. And Jim and Chester, the show's Tweedledum and Tweedledumber, one of whom became mayor and the other being inveterately--and often insidiously--cheerful. Other glorious characters came and went over the course of the series, as people do in dreams, but this was the core.

    By the fourth season, the show became increasingly surreal, always a big aid to a comedy that means to be funny. "Newhart" occasionally borrowed elements from "Green Acres" plots; and Alvy Moore, Mr. Kimble from "GA", made a brief appearance in one seventh season show. But "Newhart" was its own bird, and from the fourth season on, it flew.

    It was sad when they decided to let "Newhart" go (they say it was because they wanted to go out on top, but the ratings actually slid dramatically). However, the last show became one of the classic moments in television history, raising "Newhart" from a great comedy to a TV landmark.

    If you like your comedy wacky, with colorful characters, with its own logic (a la "Green Acres"), "Newhart" is worth watching.

    Oh--some people complain that as the series progresses the inn has fewer, if any, guests. But it is a bed-and-breakfast, a place travelers stop at briefly before moving on. I've been stranded at B-and-Bs for more than one day and I can promise you that from breakfast until evening, when people begin checking in again, you might never see a soul. So that part, at least, is realistic. And that's all the realism it requires.
  • This is one of the best and funniest sitcoms of all time. It is a shame that it is not on in reruns all the time now and most younger people I talk to have never heard of it. A fantastic cast and writing and Bob Newhart has never been funnier than as the one sane person (well along with his wife) in this small town full on nut jobs. Definitely see this if you get a chance, I recently rewatched this show and it holds up today (For the most part).
  • One of three television sitcoms starring Bob Newhart, "Newhart" is an ensemble comedy that features a strange set of supporting characters arrayed around Bob's droll, laconic character, Dick Loudon. Bob is always the observer, commenting on the strange reality of his world.

    Dick and his wife run a Vermont inn. Frequent visitors are Tom Poston, who plays a similarly droll handyman; brothers Larry, Darryl and Darryl, who appear to be halfwits, but offer surprisingly erudite comments; and lovebirds Peter Scolari and Julia Duffy--privileged preppies with expensive tastes and elevated senses of self-worth who live off the largesse of her wealthy parents.

    The writing is suited to Bob's style. And the show's lyrical theme, by Henry Mancini, fits perfectly.
  • "Newhart" was a wonderful TV series and I was a regular viewer when it first aired. It's also shown every night locally here and I still try to see it when I can...even if it does air at 1am!

    For those unfamiliar to the show I have some important advice. First, the character Kirk was a regular during the first 44 episodes and he was simply terrible. I don't blame the actor...he was just doing his job. But the writing was terrible. Kirk was 100% disagreeable and that's a serious problem--as you have no idea why his neighbors have anything to do with him. He's one-dimensional and god-awful. Also, the final season was very, very spotty--with many episodes which demonstrated that the show had seen better days along with a few which were classics (such as the finale). So do NOT judge the show by the early and late episodes. Those in between are brilliant and fun.
  • pritch-315 February 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    I love this show and the cast of zany characters, with one exception! In this situation comedy, there was nothing funny about the character Kirk Devane! In real life, someone that obnoxious would most likely get beat up on a daily basis! His character was eventually replaced by that of Michael Harris, who also served as an antagonist to Dick Loudon, but did so with humor.
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