Happy Birthday Bob Newhart: Celebrating the TV Icon’s 92nd with His Most Legendary Creations

by Anna Dunn
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Bob Newhart arrives at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Bob Newhart is 92 today, and with all of his legendary creations, there’s plenty to celebrate. The actor and comedian is known for his deadpan style and stammer. He first took an interest in comedy to alleviate the boredom that came with his office job.

Newhart’s first big break came in the form of a recording contract with Warner Brothers. The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, which came out in 1960, was recorded during some of the first nightclub performances Newhart gave. The album became an absolute sensation, becoming the first-ever comedy recording to hit # 1 on the Billboard Chart.

The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, also earned Newhart a Grammy award for album of the year as well as a Grammy award for best new artist.

Following The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, he released two other albums. The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back! also earned Newhart a grammy.

Bob Newhart Earned A TV Show by 1961

In 1961, Bob Newhart used his newfound popularity to start up a TV show, aptly named The Bob Newhart Show. It earned both Emmy and Peabody awards, but only lasted for a single season. This is when he started touring as well as making frequent television appearances.

Then, he created a show of his own, a sitcom also titled The Bob Newhart Show. He starred in the show, playing a psychologist. Like much of his comedic work, Newhart starred as a “normal” guy thrust into bizarre and hilarious situations. The show received both commercial success and critical acclaim and earned him three Emmy nominations.

From 1982 through 1990, he starred in and produced the sitcom called Newhart. It followed a very similar formula to The Bob Newhart Show, making the comedian play an ordinary innkeeper surrounded by eccentric townspeople.

Newhart also appeared in multiple films including Hot Millions, Catch-22, In & Out, and Elf. His work as an actor has left a major impression just as his comedy has.

In 1993, Newhart was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. He did have a few other sitcoms as well, but they didn’t make quite the impression that The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart left behind.

His career continued on through the 21st century. In 2006, he published a memoir titled I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This! In 2013, he guest-starred on The Big Bang Theory. He finally received that well-deserved Emmy for his performance on the show. He also went on to appear five more times on the hit show up through 2018. He’s since gone on to guest star on Young Sheldon.

Since the 1960s, Bob Newhart has provided side-splitting laughter to millions. His careful work of deconstructing absurdity has made him a relatable and easy to enjoy icon in comedy.