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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.


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Some highlights of his career include:

Film

Television

  • The Bob Newhart Show (1961–62): a variety show that aired on NBC from October 1961 to June 1962 for one season
  • The Entertainers (1964–65): another variety show, which he co-hosted for one season with Carol Burnett and French-Italian singer Caterina Valente
  • The Bob Newhart Show (1972–78): as psychologist Bob Hartley
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  • Newhart (1982–90): as innkeeper, author, and TV host Dick Loudon
  • Bob (1992–93): as comic book (and greeting card) artist Bob McKay
  • Murphy Brown (1994): as Bob Hartley
  • George & Leo (1997–98): 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 (2013–18): 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 (2014–18): 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
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