Bob Newhart has had a celebrated career in comedy, from the success of shows like “The Bob Newhart Show” to his induction into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Famous for his one-man telephone conversations, Newhart appeals to all generations.
Newhart started out as the copywriter for an advertising agency, also working as an accountant on the side. He used to keep himself entertained at work by joking around with a friend—they would make long phone calls to each other and recorded these antics as audition tapes. Although his friend eventually stopped, Newhart continued the prank phone calls by himself. This was the birth of his trademark one-man phone act.
In 1959, a Chicago deejay introduced him to the head of talent at Warner Bros. Records, and he was signed onto their label immediately. His first album, “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” became the first comedy album to go to the top of the charts. It won the “Album of the Year” Award at the 1961 Grammys, and Newhart was named “Artist of the Year.” He released seven more albums, each of them selling into the millions.
His first show was a variety show on CBS, which earned him a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination in its first season. In 1972, CBS aired the premier of Newhart’s first sitcom series, “The Bob Newhart Show,” co-starring Suzanne Pleshette. The show continued successfully for six years, featuring a large, talented cast of comics and actors.
During the success of “The Bob Newhart Show,” Newhart starred in Hollywood hits such as Hell is for Heroes, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Catch 22, Little Miss Marker, Hot Millions, Cold Turkey, Thursday’s Game, and First Family opposite big Hollywood names.
After the end of “The Bob Newhart Show,” Newhart toured around the country for four years, performing live stand-up comedy onstage. In 1982, Newhart returned to CBS with “Newhart,” which was immensely successful for eight seasons. Newhart decided to cut the series short, opting to end the series during the peak of its success. Since then, he has been in a number of movies, such as “Elf” (2003) and hit TV-series, such as “ER” and “Desperate Housewives.”
Newhart’s other achievements include his selection as Grand Marshall of the 102 Tournament of Roses Parade. “The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart” was added to the Library of Congress’ 2006 National Recording Registry, and Bob Newhart was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 2009.
Newhart lives with his wife and four children in California. He continues to put on shows throughout the country and still occasionally stars in Hollywood movies.
An Evening with Bob Newhart: After a successful career of making generations of people laugh, Newhart lets the audience into the comic mind of one of the funniest men in American television history. From his prank calls in an ad agency’s office to his roles opposite some of Hollywood’s biggest names, he regales memories of his past with a characteristic charm and wit. As he recounts his successes and failures, he reminds audiences why America loves to laugh with him.