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BOB NEWHART

The Best of Bob Newhart
Rating: 8
Squirm factor: 2
   Damn, is this guy funny. It's not stand-up comedy, although it was recorded on stage. Instead, it's one-man sketch comedy, which means you do have to put up with some rather lame set-ups, but the meat of the material is incredible.
   His approach is to always present one side of the conversation, leaving the listener to imagine the rest. It's the pauses that kill, and the way he says, "uh-huh."
   I especially appreciate the way he assumes the intelligence of his audience, as he skewers all the myths that used to be taught as American history (Abner Doubleday invented baseball, Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope) by looking at them with a modern eye.
   You'll pee your pants when he does the "Driving Instructor" skit. ("Now that was partly my fault. You were in the right lane and you were signalling a right turn, so I just assumed you were going to make a right turn.") My wife will disagree, but I think Newhart is even better than Bill Cosby.

READER COMMENTS

  • From Jessica (aka Mrs. Steve and Abe): Better than Bill Cosby?? I think not. Have you ever heard "Driving in California"??? Talk about peeing your pants!
  • STEVE AND ABE RESPOND: Abe says, "Bwuh." Steve says: "I can't argue about comedy when my pants are all wet like this."

  • From Anand Hingorani: I remember Bob's comedy skit where he is Sir Walter Raleigh and is talking to Queen Elizabeth I describing people smoking tobacco. Are his comedy tapes available on cassettes?

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