Bob Newhart Provides Classic Entertainment
Classic in the old car context. Cars start out new, then they become old and tired, then they become classic.
I won two tickets from Rezoom.com to the Minnie Pearl Comedy Tribute to benefit the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation.
Newhart rose to stardom in 1960 with the release of “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” which earned Billboard’s album chart number one spot and won the Grammy Award for Best Album. Having appeared in over 14 feature films and two critically acclaimed shows, “The Bob Newhart Show” (1972–1978) and “Newhart” (1982–1990), Newhart has been heralded as an “American Master” by the PBS documentary series of the same name. Newhart released his first book in 2006, “I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This,” which quickly became a New York Times bestseller.
It was perfect that Rezoom.com was a presenting sponsor. This definitely was a boomer (and older) crowd. If you weren’t a boomer, you probably didn’t get half the references made by Newhart. But that didn’t mean his delivery and punchlines weren’t right on the money.
He had the crowd from the moment he stepped on stage. He got a long, loving standing ovation. We recognized his long contribution for his appearances with Carson, Dean Martin, Ed Sullivan, and others. His two TV series provided some very memorable TV comedy casts.
I didn’t laugh as hard as most of the audience because his jokes are classics. You know the punchline early on, but his delivery still generated a chuckle. Most of my laugh out loud moments came as in injected more topical humor into an old joke, or was delivered as an aside.
But imagine starting a career in 1960, and in 2007 still be able to say almost exactly the same thing and being loved for it. (His did his bit as a driving instructor.)
But also imagine references to Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour, and the Dean Martin Show, and the Johnny Carson Show.
I wanted him to update his act, because even the opening Minnie Pearl imitator did a little rap. But then I thought, why bother? It wouldn’t make his act better. He would be another old-timer trying to appear cool, and the jokes wouldn’t be any funnier.
The closing part of his performance was his well used Newhart Family History integrated with two or three clips of his TV shows. The crowd loved every minute of it.
When he showed the perfect end to a long run of Newhart, it brought down the house. Including me.
If your a boomer and get a chance to see Newhart in concert, go.