Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Newhart Remembers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Comedian Bob Newhart documented his career in a lecture punctuated by video clips at the Memorial Auditorium Wednesday night.

The lecture was the fourth of seven in the inaugural season of the Sacramento Speaker Series which hosts speakers “that represent a wide variety of subjects ranging from world affairs, politics, business & economics to the arts, entertainment and the environment,” according to the series’ web site.

Newhart chronicled his career starting with his departure from accounting to try his hand at stand-up comedy.

“I figured I’d give it a year, and if it didn’t work out I could say that I gave it my best try,” Newhart said. “A year turned in to two, then three, then four.”

He received his first big break when a friend in his native Chicago who was a local DJ persuaded Newhart to send a tape to some Warner Brother’s producers he knew.

Newhart entertained the series subscribers with anecdotes and memories combined with clips from his television appearances including his two hit TV series and one of his many appearances on the "Ed Sullivan Show."

Following the lecture was a question and answer period featuring the audience’s written questions for Newhart as presented by KFBK radio afternoon news anchor Kitty O’Neil.

“Comics say funny things, comedians say things that are funny,” Newhart said when asked about the difference.

When asked whom he thought was the most influential comedian of our time, Newhart responded without hesitation: Richard Pryor.

“If you can get past the language to the substance,” Newhart said, “he was a comedic genius.”

Although Newhart has no intention of retiring, he did say that another TV series would not be part of his future. “I had my time,” he said.

The Sacramento Speaker Series continues on March 15 with Jean-Michel Cousteau followed by Leslie Stahl, co-editor of the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes on April 12.

Subscriptions for the remainder of the lectures are available on the Sacramento Speaker Series web site,


Ellen said...

I saw an interview with Bob Newhart not too long ago.... just can't remember if it was on the "Actors Studio" or not. He was far more talented and brilliant than his shows let on.

I'm only too glad that we still get to see him here and there in TV cameos, and thoroughly enjoyed his screen role in "Elf".

Michael K. Althouse said...

ellen~ It may have been PBS. He was honored as one of the "American Masters" and had a special dedicated to him. I think I have it TiVoed.

He talked a little about "Elf" too. It is obvious he was proud of his work.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Like Ellen, I saw a similar interview. I have always loved Bob Newhart. He is a comic genius.

X said...

Bob Newhart is funny, although I'm more a fan of out-there comedy than bumbling comedy. That series sounds great...I would want to see LS from 60 minutes, mostly because we used to watch her a lot in journalism school in "what not to do" classes, lol. Many of my teachers did not enjoy her.

Bar L. said...

What an interesting lecture series! I want to hear it all!

I've always liked Bob. Remember the final scene of the Bob Newhart Show? That was a classic moment bfore it's time.

Your blog is do diverse, you never know what will be here on any given day, I love that!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I love Newhart...A brilliant man who always seemed to understand that his shows were about the ensemble cast and his characters interaction with them....Brilliant!...That is a great gift to bring to your audience....

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