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Old 04-18-2018, 04:24 PM   #1
TMC
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Default 'The Bob Newhart Show,' 40 Years Later: An Oral History of TV's Game-Changing Comedy

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...story-1101677?

Quote:
Cast, creators and celebrity admirers including Judd Apatow, Rosie O'Donnell, Jimmy Fallon and Sarah Silverman reflect on the iconic show's origins, its impact on television and comedy, 40 years after its series finale.
As much as comedians today owe a debt of gratitude to Bob Newhart's button-downed mind and razor-sharp timing, so too must TV comedy shows pay homage to CBS' The Bob Newhart Show (1972-78) for reinventing the sitcom.

"I think we all were influenced by it," writer and comedian Judd Apatow says. "It was very different than what we had seen before it."

The Bob Newhart Show which earned two comedy series Emmy nominations during its run was based on the reactionary humor Newhart had perfected in nightclubs. In so doing, it created the blueprint for such comedies as Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Roseanne.

"The key to building a show around a stand-up is maintaining the integrity of the persona you create," Newhart tells The Hollywood Reporter. Longtime Newhart fan Conan O'Brien agrees. "Bob's not finding himself on TV. He knows exactly who he is."

The show, in which Newhart starred as Dr. Robert Hartley, a put-upon psychiatrist as he dealt with his wife, friends and colleagues/patients, also gave rise to finding humor in the subtleties of everyday life, a motif that comedians today and shows including Modern Family and The Office have used with great success. Series creators Dave Davis and Lorenzo Music never overplayed their hands with hijinks. They grounded themselves in reality. "Bob's an everyday guy dealing with the same obstacles we all face from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep," says comedian Steven Wright.

At its core, the show's just funny. "The secret is Bob. We'd never had a protagonist like him, someone who felt like an everyman," comedian-actor Bob Saget suggests. "He was sitcom's Henry Fonda."

Forty years after ending its successful six-season run on CBS, The Bob Newhart Show remains as entertaining today as it did then. To celebrate this month's 40th anniversary of the series finale, The Hollywood Reporter goes behind the scenes of this intelligent and sharp comedy, as told by the people who were there and the celebrities who were influenced by it.
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