George Robert "Bob" Newhart (born September 5, 1929) 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 (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.
- Newhart (1982-90): as innkeeper, author, and TV host Dick Loudon.
- Bob (1992-93): as comic book (and greeting card) artist Bob McKay.
- 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.
- The Big Bang Theory (2013- ): 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".
- It Will Never Catch On: A feature of his one-sided 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.
- 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.
- 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.