George Robert "Bob" Newhart (born September 5, 1929 in Oak Park, Illinois) is an American comedic actor, best known for his deadpan delivery and Only Sane Man persona.
A native of Chicago who started out as an accountant and advertising copywrighter before switching to show business, Newhart has had a long and distinguished career in comedy, beginning as a stand-up comic and recording several albums before he broke into acting.
Some highlights of his career include:
- Hell Is for Heroes (1962): as PFC James Driscoll
- On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970): as Dr. Mason Hume
- Catch-22 (1970): as Major Major Major
- Cold Turkey (1971): as Merwin Wren
- The Rescuers (1977): as the voice of Bernard, a role he would reprise for The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
- In & Out (1997): as Principal Tom Halliwell
- Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003): as Sid Post
- Elf (2003): as Papa Elf
- The Librarian series (2004-08): as Judson
- Horrible Bosses (2011): as Lou Sherman
- The Bob Newhart Show (196162): a variety show that aired on NBC from October 1961 to June 1962 for one season
- The Entertainers (196465): another variety show, which he co-hosted for one season with Carol Burnett and French-Italian singer Caterina Valente
- The Bob Newhart Show (197278): as psychologist Bob Hartley
- Newhart (198290): as innkeeper, author, and TV host Dick Loudon
- Bob (199293): as comic book (and greeting card) artist Bob McKay
- Murphy Brown (1994): as Bob Hartley
- George & Leo (199798): as bookstore owner George Stoody
- ER (2003): as sight-impaired architect Ben Hollander
- Desperate Housewives (2005): as Morty Flickman, Sophie's fourth husband and Susan's stepfather
- NCIS (2011): as Doctor Walter Magnus, Ducky's predecessor now dealing with Alzheimer's disease
- The Big Bang Theory (201318): as children's science show host Professor Proton, a recurring guest role which introduced a new generation to his brand of dry comedy and earned him his first Emmy Award
- The Librarians (201418): as Judson (recurring)
Tropes associated with Bob Newhart:
- As Himself: On The Simpsons, in the episode "Bart the Fink".
- The Comically Serious: He often takes on this persona.
- The Danza: In The Bob Newhart Show and Bob.
- His given first name is George, so his role on George & Leo counts as well.
- Deadpan Snarker: In every role.
- The Eponymous Show: Three of his sitcoms were titled after all or part of his name. He also had a short-lived Variety Show in the early '60s called The Bob Newhart Show.
- It Will Never Catch On: A feature of his one-sided "historical" phone conversation routines. Whatever he's being pitched sounds so ridiculous by phone that he laughs the other person off the line. Examples include baseball and tobacco.
- Only Sane Man: He's often surrounded by wackier performers. His trademark on The Bob Newhart Show was to have him stand there with a blank stare at whatever hijinks his colleagues, patients, or neighbors were enacting.
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: His characters often speak with stilted pauses throughout their dialogue, emphasizing just how awkward they feel among the more inane characters.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Newhart attended law school but withdrew when he was asked to behave unethically during a law internship.
- Trope Namer: Newhart Phonecall