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I've always heard that "The Bob Newhart Show" was one of the funniest ever...

So I've been watching them on DVD. Some episodes are funny but I don't think it's as funny as I've always been told. And the studio audience always seems to laugh at the wrong times.

I think I prefer "Newhart."

But I do think Suzanne Pleshette was perfectly matched as his wife, moreso than Mary Frann.

by Anonymousreply 6712/14/2013

Newhart was great. I miss it on WGN.

by Anonymousreply 106/18/2013

It was very funny at the time, but doesn't hold up.

by Anonymousreply 206/18/2013

I think it holds up very well. It's a different type of humor than many people are used to these days.

Not every episode is worth writing him about but it succeeds more often than it fails. When I started watching it again it became my comfort show.

I am not a fan of the newer Bob Newhart show at all.

by Anonymousreply 306/18/2013

Loved both the 70s and 80s shows, but I am a child of the 60s and 70s. The humor is low key and not for all tastes. He is an American treasure.

by Anonymousreply 406/18/2013

I love 80's Newhart. Bob's comedic timing is perfect. And he still has it, as seen in "Horrible Bosses" and "The Big Bang Theory".

by Anonymousreply 506/18/2013

R5: I think we are the only ones posting about Bob on BBT (done in previous threads also) which was brilliant. As mentioned before, his reading of the word "No." couldn't have been more perfect.

by Anonymousreply 606/18/2013

Newhart's timing has been perfect in everything he ever did (see "In and Out", "Cold Turkey", even his throwaway role on "Desperate Housewives").

by Anonymousreply 706/18/2013

I love him just for being Mr. Bernard!

by Anonymousreply 806/18/2013

There's a Thanksgiving episode that's really funny (when Emily leaves to go to Seattle and leaves Bob to get drunk with everybody else) but then there's a Christmas episode ruined by an elderly woman in a hospital whom you think will keel over by the force of saying her lines.

"Newhart" was just so surreal at times, I loved that.

by Anonymousreply 906/18/2013

Does anyone remember "BOB" where he played a cartoon drawer who had a teenage daughter? It was shortlived, but actually quite funny.

by Anonymousreply 1006/18/2013

Loved them both but the Bob Newhart Show was far better then Newhart!

by Anonymousreply 1106/18/2013

Mary Frann had a perfectly understandable inferiority complex about Suzanne Pleshette and was reportedly furious at the ending of Newhart being just a dream of Bob's whose final scene was being in bed with Emily (Pleshette).. The fury ate away at her, gave her cancer and she died.

by Anonymousreply 1206/18/2013

[R-10] Are you sure you don't mean Ted Knight?? He was a cartoonist that had a hot daughter, lived in San Francisco and had the crazy gay young neighbor upstairs played by J.M. Bullock. It was a good show actually. The show was called "Too Close for Comfort"

by Anonymousreply 1306/18/2013


by Anonymousreply 1406/18/2013

I used to watch that show when I was a kid and it did seem funny at the time. But now I find it kind of boring.

Keep in mind, there were not 500 channels back then, prime-time was a slot for families so humor was a lot more restricted.

There were very few comedians making a living back then because it was not seen as a profession. Only Vegas would support that and most had to go dirty joke route.

by Anonymousreply 1506/18/2013

Didn't Mary Frann die of anorexia?

by Anonymousreply 1606/18/2013

Mary was a very charitable person who helped homeless women without any fanfare.

She also dated Arsenio Hall.

by Anonymousreply 1706/18/2013

anything Bob Newhart does on TV I will watch.nno one makes me happier while in front of the TV set than Bob

by Anonymousreply 1806/18/2013

Is it funnier when you play the "Hi, Bob" drinking game? I've never done that.

But I'd like to watch a few episodes again, for the '70s retro appeal.

by Anonymousreply 1906/18/2013

Mary Frann could actually be quite funny,. There's a very good episode of Newhart where George the handyman gets her to redecorate his cottage, and when he doesn;t like it after all the work she put into it she wordlessly trashes everything she's put up in silent rage. It's a nice bit of slapstick.

But she never had the kind of chemistry with Bob newhart that Suzanne Pleshette did. That was something unlike any other sitcom married couple I've ever seen--even better than Dick van Dyke's and Mary Tyler Moore's chemistry or Bill Cosby's and Phylicia rashad. You got the sense that Bob and Emily Hartley just adored each other but they also exasperated one another. And no one could play straight woman to Bob Newhart the way Pleshette did. Since his humor is so dry already he needed someone even drier to be a straight woman.

As for the Bob Newhart Show--it was rarely an uproarious kind of show (although the classic Thanksgiving episode where everyone except Emily gets drunk is an exception: "Moo goo gai pan!"), but was famous instead for being extremely witty and warm and wry. It had great character interplay, and watching Bob Newhart be discountenanced by his crazy patients or his neighbor Howard was always terrific--and watching him having to explain himself to his wife in bed was also very funny.

The ending of Newhart where it's all a dream would have pissed me off too had I been mary Frann, but it is probably the funniest ending for a TV series ever, and the last great joke of it was all about (and a great tribute to) Frann's Joanna: "Emily, you've really got to start wearing more sweaters."

by Anonymousreply 2006/18/2013

The 70s show was pro-gay, just because that was the trend at the time, started by Norman Lear sitcoms which were very popular at the time. In the later seasons, one of Bob's regular patients was a gay man, played by Howard Hesseman later of WKRP.

The 80s show had some weird episode where Bob and his wife somehow encounter a gay couple, and act like it's the most shocking they they'd ever heard of. I was really offended by that, after his show had be gay-friendly in the 70s, and the 80s show treated gays like freaks from another planet. Anyone else remember that one gay themed episode and how disappointingly phobic Bob acted?

by Anonymousreply 2106/18/2013

Newhart is one of the few actors to play a leading role on two very successful series (Bea Arthur and Larry Hagman also come to mind). Having said that, I love "Newhart" to death but the humor on "The Bob Newhart Show" eludes me. I actually find it the antithesis of funny, and the supporting characters dreadful. Yes, I get the idea that the humor is supposed to come from the fact that he's this low-key normal guy surrounded by these crazies (his psych group and neighbors/co-workers), but I don't find it funny. Just not my type of humor. I'm probably in the minority, but that scenario served him better on "Newhart," because the supporting actors were so much better.

by Anonymousreply 2206/18/2013

R22 Bitch.

by Anonymousreply 2306/18/2013

The Bob Newhart Show was one of the best of its time, and it holds up very well. I loved the episode where Bob finds out that Emily has a higher IQ than his.

by Anonymousreply 2406/18/2013

R24, that's actually my favorite.

by Anonymousreply 2506/18/2013

Mary Frann died from a heart condition, not cancer. I remember reading at the time that she was hurt by the show's finale, not angry.

by Anonymousreply 2606/18/2013

I think R12 got the "wives" confused.

by Anonymousreply 2706/18/2013

Heart failure at 55? Sad.

by Anonymousreply 2806/18/2013

Frann became more and more beautiful as the series progressed.

by Anonymousreply 2906/18/2013

What made "The Bob Newhart Show" bearable was Newhart and Pleshette, and the chemistry they had. But, yes, the show aimed at farce with the crazies -patients and neighbors and staff - and the grounding of sense that the couple showed left the rest of the cast looking like unpleasant creeps or pathetic, unfunny losers. Bad mix. It was a very mixed experience for me - I cringed a lot.

"Newhart" succeeded as a show better because Mary Frann had a lighter touch and was a more shallow performer. Newhart really was the only sane one around, and the nuts were diverse enough (with Poston's savvy, Duffy's pinchedness, Scolari's yuppifying, and the others) adding to a more successfully farcical show. It seemed like an Americanized, toned-down version of "Fawlty Towers" with a sane Cleese. Not that I liked it - it seemed stupid and too broad - but at least it wasn't creepy.

But it never was a waste of time to watch Newhart in action. His timing, willingness to show negative personality traits (like Benny), understanding and sanity all help to make him a genius of comedy. As you know.

The end of "Newhart" did hurt Frann, who was more fragile than she appeared. It was like her performance and character were discounted. But the brilliant, absurd and yet meaningful twist showed a quality neither show really evidenced much, and managed to lift them both a little by it. Unprecedented for a scene of a minute's or two's duration.

by Anonymousreply 3006/18/2013

Mary Frann was an anti-Semite!

by Anonymousreply 3106/18/2013

[quote]Newhart is one of the few actors to play a leading role on two very successful series (Bea Arthur and Larry Hagman also come to mind).

Forgotten but not gone?.

by Anonymousreply 3206/18/2013

[quote]Newhart is one of the few actors to play a leading role on two very successful series (Bea Arthur and Larry Hagman also come to mind).

Andy Griffith

Raymond Burr

Dick Van Dyke

Patricia Heaton

Ed O'Neill

by Anonymousreply 3306/18/2013

I think I laughed harder at Newhart because it was a bit more surreal and manic in a way. It was a bit like Green Acres, also great, with the one sane person surrounded by lunatics but the lunatics prevailed.

by Anonymousreply 3406/18/2013

Carol O'Conner

Ed Asner

Ted Knight

Bill Shatner

Martin Landau

Burt Conrad(with 3, count 'em!)

Martin Milner

by Anonymousreply 3506/18/2013

Who the hell is Burt Conrad?

Also, Asner and Knight were never the leads on MTM.

by Anonymousreply 3606/18/2013

June Lockhart also was a three timer.

by Anonymousreply 3706/18/2013

It's Bob Conrad. Hawaiian Eye, Wild, Wild, West, Baa Baa Black Sheep.

by Anonymousreply 3806/18/2013

Newhart took a few years to really click. The first season is not horrible, but it was much better when they added Duffy and Peter S. It really did have a little bit of the surreal vibe that Green Acres had.

by Anonymousreply 3906/18/2013

I think Courtney Thorne-Smith trumps them all.

Melrose Place Ally Mcbeal According to Jim Two and a Half Men

Whoever her agent is, he's the best in the biz.

by Anonymousreply 4006/18/2013

R40 - Courtney's good, but I'm better.

I was on Dynasty and TJ Hooker at the same time. Then I took Melrose from a struggling drama and made it into a successful show. Plus Spin City.

by Anonymousreply 4106/18/2013

As if.

by Anonymousreply 4206/18/2013

[quote] Asner and Knight were never the leads on MTM

Sure they were. Unless you only want to credit MTM herself.

by Anonymousreply 4306/18/2013

R39, I agree. I thought the first season was just ok, that guy Kirk just didn't do anything for the show. After one or two lies, it wasn't so funny.

by Anonymousreply 4406/18/2013

Stephanie was one of the all time great TV characters (like Lilith, & Diane). I loved Larry, Darryl, & Darryl too -- talk about surreal.

by Anonymousreply 4506/18/2013

R43 What category were they in for the Emmy Awards? Nice try.

by Anonymousreply 4606/18/2013

My mother hated Bob Newhart and loved Liberace, but it doesn't matter because she was rich and left me a fortune.

by Anonymousreply 4706/18/2013

Hello. This is my brother, Darryl. And this is my other brother, Darryl.

by Anonymousreply 4806/18/2013

I never found Newhart funny but he seemed like a nice enough guy. The show was wildly popular and I don't know why either.

by Anonymousreply 4906/18/2013

Ellen is the female Newhart according to Carson.

by Anonymousreply 5006/18/2013

Is it known what Newhart & Ellen think of each other? I kind of agree with Carson -- I wonder if they admire each other's work.

I've loved Newhart since I was a kid & he was the Empire State Bldg's new night watchman on his first night at work, making a phone report to his boss about King Kong. I like Ellen a lot too, but has she ever done anything equal to that?

by Anonymousreply 5106/18/2013

I think he can be very funny, but comedy is pretty subjective, different tastes for different people. He is pretty dry, and that is not for everyone.

Regarding Lou and Ted being leads or supporting. I think Lou was basically the male lead and was the second most prominent character after Mary (esp. after Rhoda left). Ted, I would consider supporting. He could be very funny, but when he was used too much could be more annoying than funny.

by Anonymousreply 5206/18/2013

One of my favorite Newhart sketches ever:

by Anonymousreply 5306/19/2013

[quote]Stephanie was one of the all time great TV characters

I was so glad when I found this episode on youtube!

by Anonymousreply 5406/19/2013

It's weird, I never really liked "The Bob Newhart Show" but I do find something about it comforting. Maybe just memories of a simpler time. I like Bob Newhart and Suzanne Pleshette but the rest of the supporting cast was annoying, especially Bob's "wacky" patients. Are there any "classic" episodes of this show? I don't think I could recall a plot from any show in the entire series run.

"Newhart" was funny for awhile but fell into a repetitive rut pretty quickly. All the characters were pretty one-note. Larry, Darryl & Darryl were like a popular SNL sketch - funny the first time or two, painful and sad after that. If not for the series finale I doubt it would be remembered at all.

by Anonymousreply 5506/19/2013

R54, "Seein' Double" was such a riot. Even the shiow bumopers had Stephanie (in character) saying, ""Seein' Double" will be right back!" Then she giggled.

by Anonymousreply 5606/19/2013

I remember my fascination at the Newhart's Chicago apartment.

I couldn't find a link to a good interior shot, but I remember thinking that, to my little kid eyes, the sunken living room and open floor plan as being the height of sophistication and elegance.

I'm sure that, by now, it either looks terribly dated or retro chic.

by Anonymousreply 5706/19/2013

Stop It!

by Anonymousreply 5806/19/2013

R52, I agree that Lou was more like a male lead on MTM. In fact, I've read that the writers toyed with putting Mary and Lou together in the the show's final episode. Ed Asner thought that was the way the show should have ended, but the writers and producers backed off in the end fearing the audience really viewed Lou as a father figure, not a romantic interest for Mary. But if you watch the last few episodes leading up to the series finale, you can see the subtle way they were actually leading toward that ending.

As for The Bob Newhart Show, I agree with the posters who say it was good for the time. But I've watched it several times in the last year and although it has its moments, I don't think it held up as well as some other shows.

Newhart still holds up fairly well once you get past that first season. I grew up in Vermont and we used to laugh at some of the inaccuracies. However, they were minor and didn't detract from the show.

by Anonymousreply 5906/19/2013

Marcia Wallace's hair that first season is hideous. It's like her bouffant wilted and she didn't bother doing anything to it. The perm helped.

by Anonymousreply 6006/19/2013

I even liked his post-Newhart short-lived sitcom with Judd Hirsch and Jason Bateman, "George and Leo." It was well-written and funny, but was never really given a chance.

by Anonymousreply 6106/19/2013

its always Moishe!!!

by Anonymousreply 6206/19/2013

Suzanne was a little plump the first season.

by Anonymousreply 6306/20/2013

He's a treasure. Both shows are so comforting.

by Anonymousreply 6406/20/2013

My boyfriend gave me the first 4 seasons on DVD for my birthday. I've in the third season at the moment and I have such mixed feelings. Some episodes had no laughs at all. Bob's character is not at all interesting. Emily is very different in the first season - not the no nonsense, no BS woman I remembered. She even asks Bobs permission to do stuff? Really? Marcia Wallace is just a riot. Effortlessly funny. Bobs sister was completely unnecessary and make that Howard even more annoying. Why are there so many story lines where Emily is jealous of Bob? Patients falling for Bob, ex girlfriends coming after Bob. Did they think we're blind? And yes I agree with poster above Pleshette's weight fluctuates from season to season but she also gets hotter with age. Smokin in season 3 compared to season 1.

This show must have ridden on the coattails of the Saturday night line up it was in. I can't imagine anyone would have gone out of their way to catch it otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 6512/13/2013

Pleshette was pregnant when the series began but had a miscarriage, I believe. That could be why she looks a little heavier in the first season.

by Anonymousreply 6612/13/2013

Oh that explains things R66

by Anonymousreply 6712/14/2013
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