Bob Newhart Quotes

Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.

(Referring to his 1961 variety show): It won an Emmy, a Peabody Award and a pink slip from NBC. All in the same year.

All I can say about life is, Oh God, enjoy it!

(When asked to star in "The Bob Newhart Show" (1972)): My manager, I was surprised was one of the founders of MTM Enterprises, by Mary Tyler Moore and Grant Tinker, and Mary's show was such a big hit. He came to me and said, 'Would you like to do a sitcom?' I was traveling on the road a lot, so, the sitcom I could stay home, and said, yeah!

I am also huddling with creative advisers and studying the possibility of calling it The.

The fact they're not there anymore is not a reflection on the actors. It's just that viewers didn't like it. You went, 'What the hell was that?'

(In 1989): My theory is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I tried to capitalized on the values that made the show work. I have to be nice to my guests at the hotel, as I had to do with my patients, even when they're bugging me. And the home-life part seemed to work. I don't want ever to ride the show into the ground. It has been good to me.

(In 1988): I check to see what jokes we left out and what works and what doesn't.

(on his popularity while playing the fifty-something Dick Loudin on Newhart): Our series was the perfect example of how much fun episodic television can be. We've had a wonderful cast, great writers and the spirit of family which made coming to work a pleasure.

(When he came this close to quitting "Newhart" (1982), after 4 seasons): I thought I was finished. Even dramatic shows were exemplified by kid stuff like 'Wonder Woman'. I thought to myself that with this kind of junk aimed at the 12-year-old audience, how could there be a place for me?

(In 1986): Look at what we have now. We've got Bill Cosby and 'Moonlighting,' and who knows, maybe 'Newhart' helped start it all.

(In 1983): Am I say? Yeah, I guess you could say that. I see myself in my son, Timmy, who is 15. Rob, my older boy, is 19, and he is normal, outgoing teenager. But Timmy is quiet, the way I was growing up. I sued to be able to amuse myself. I'd sit alone and think of things that would make me laugh.

(As to why "The Bob Newhart Show" (1972) got canceled): Because Bob Newhart didn't want to do it anymore. I said so the previous year, but nobody believed me. I'd had it. I felt burned out. It was more mental than anything. I kept saying, 'Didn't we do the same show in the second season?'

(Of all the ingredients of "Newhart" (1982)): It started coming together last year when I was performing at an old, refurbished vaudeville theater in Seattle and staying at a small hotel of the same era nearby. I'd sit in the lobby for several days watching people walk in and out; salesmen, newlyweds, Shriners, etc., plus the people who lived and worked there permanently fascinated me. When I got back to L.A., I discussed it with my manager, Artie Price - who also heads MTM - and he put me in touch with Barry Kemp, who had done great writing on 'Taxi'. He came back a few weeks later and asked what I thought of setting the show at a historic inn in Vermont, then put it down on paper. The words jumped off the page and I couldn't wait to shoot it.

(on turning 60 in 1989): I don't worry about it. I still feel 30, except when I try to run. But it goes by so damn fast. We lost a very dear friend recently. And all I can say about life is, 'Oh, God, enjoy it.'

(on playing another character that was not Dr. Bob Hartley): I think you're lucky when you realize what you are. Spencer Tracy always played Spencer Tracy. I'm not putting myself into that category, but, to the same extent, the part of me that was Bob Hartley is in my new character, Dick Loudin. If you make fine bone china and you're recognized as the best in the world, you don't suddenly announce you're going to make automobiles. We see it so much in this business. We're so self-destructive. If you really do something well, you should stick to it.

(In 1982): But I wanted to do something different. Sometimes you have to get away from something to appreciate it. It's like getting out of the Army. It's all laughs now but when I was in the Army, I was never so glad to get away from something. They had the wrong serial number on my discharge papers. I was afraid to tell them, afraid they'd hold me up.

(In 1980): You must realize that I'm supposed to run a marathon in this picture. That's more than 26 miles.

(When asked about the death of his former co-star and best friend, Suzanne Pleshette, in 2008): Her laugh. Her laugh. We just left, we just had a great time. We all loved each other and respected each other and we got paid for it.

(In 1975): I remember once when I emceed 'The Tonight Show' in New York, I arrived with my manager's son. After a while, they asked, 'When are the rest of your people coming?' I had to say, 'This is it.'

(In 1974): There are a lot of questions I keep asking myself about why I do comedy. I guess I laugh to keep from crying. And I guess if you ever get me crying, I might not stop. This is the way I look at tragedy or else I'll cry.

(on his popularity while playing the forty-something Dr. Robert Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show): I really don't know what makes a comedian. I think it's a family background and environment. Yet if you put the same ingredients in another person, he may never utter a funny line.

You may not think I'm a sex symbol, but I became a father at the age of 48. Now young people think of me as a mini-folk hero because it's difficult for them to believe a man of my age is sexually active.

(on the cancellation of "Newhart" (1982)): I don't have a show anymore. I don't have a check coming in every week. This is important to me, I got to score a million tonight or it could all be over.

(on the cancellation of "The Bob Newhart Show" (1972)): I could see what was coming in situation comedy and I didn't want to be a part of it. If we'd gone another year, they'd have had a guy and two girls living in the apartment above us, a Martian living on the same floor next door to three girl detectives. The floor below us would have been occupied by a fraternity and a sorority.

It worked for Jack Benny. He certainly had the secret for career longevity: surround yourself with funny people. I guess I'll just never learn to live like a star. Jack Lord was born that way; I just can't get the hang of it.

(In 1979): Television series are like the stock market. There's room for bears and bulls but no room for pigs. If we'd tried to milk another year out of the series, we'd have wound up with a pig.

(Referring to his 1961 variety show): It won an Emmy, a Peabody Award and a pink slip from NBC. All in the same year.

(In 1973): I've been told to speed up my delivery when I perform. But if I lose the stammer, I'm just another slightly amusing accountant.

(In 1976): As far as gambling, just ask any of the dealers in the Las Vegas casinos and they'll tell you that woman can't play blackjack. They can't add up the cards fast enough.

(In 1972): The reason I'm a psychologist is based in part on my telephone routines. Much of my humor comes out of reaction to what other people are saying. A psychologist is a man who listens, who is sympathetic.

(Who made his reputation and fortune as a monologist): I like the humor to come out of character. When you're going for a joke, you're stuck out there if it doesn't work. There's nowhere to go. You've done the drum role and the cymbal clash and you're out on the end of the plank.

Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.

(on quitting "The Bob Newhart Show" (1972) at the end of the fifth season, before CBS wouldn't allow him to do that): This is no ploy, no device for negotiation. I am absolutely sincere about leaving the series at the end of production this year and CBS has been notified.

Women are more emotional. They do get flustered. Which is not to say that men are better than they. It's simply the way it is.






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