Monday, September 16, 2013

TV Legend Bob Newhart Wins an Emmy!

He has a Peabody, a Golden Globe, a Grammy, a Critics Choice Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And he's been nominated for an Emmy Award seven times. He's had four TV shows with his name in the title -- 1961's "The Bob Newhart Show," a variety hour and the one that won the Peabody and the Golden Globe; the MTM sitcom broadcast from 1972 to 1978 also called "The Bob Newhart Show," where he played a Chicago psychologist named Bob Hartley who had goofy patients and a lovely wife played by Suzanne Pleshette; "Newhart," another half-hour comedy, where he played a guy named Dick Loudon, who ran an inn in Vermont, from 1982 to 1990; and plain old "Bob," a show about a cartoonist that lasted one season and change in 1992 and 1993. Newhart famously joked that after those four, the only thing left to call a show of his was "The."

Three times, Bob Newhart was nominated by Emmy voters for his leading role on "Newhart," and then for a guest appearance on "ER" and as a supporting actor in the miniseries "The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice." Way back in 1962, he was nominated for writing that original "Bob Newhart Show." But he came away empty every time.

Now, at the age of 84, Bob Newhart has finally won his Emmy. This time it was for a guest appearance on "The Big Bang Theory," where he played Professor Proton, the host of a children's science show many years ago. After finding out that Professor Proton, their childhood hero, is available for personal appearances, "Big Bang" characters Sheldon and Leonard hire him just to hang out with them. Newhart's Emmy was handed out at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy ceremony last night, which honors guest actors along with variety specials and interactive programs, animation and reality shows, documentaries and informational programs, voiceovers, art direction, costuming, casting, makeup, editing and cinematography.

The other guest actors honored were Carrie Preston ("The Good Wife") and Dan Bucatinsky ("Scandal") in the drama categories, and Melissa Leo ("Louie") as the other comedy winner.

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn were named Outstanding Host(s) for "Project Runway," while "Undercover Boss" got the award for Outstanding Reality Show, "South Park" won for the fourth time as Outstanding Animated Program, and HBO's Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra" racked up eight wins, taking home trophies for art direction, casting, costumes, hairstyles, makeup (prosthetic and otherwise), editing and sound.

You can check out all the winners (and pictures and news and interviews and other fun stuff) at the Emmy site here. And tune in on Sunday, September 22 to see the rest of the Primetime categories awarded. Neil Patrick Harris will be your host once again.


  1. So happy about this! I go a long way back with Mr. N: my father (a director of commercials in Chicago) knew a few show-biz types, one of whom was a friend and occasional co-writer for Newhart in his pre-fame local stand-up days. So one evening this guy was a dinner guest, and he performed parts of the routines for us -- I remember "The Driving Instructor" for sure. I just about fell over, laughing, and then when I heard the real thing it was even funnier. I was so happy to see his rise to fame. (Silly question: Are we not counting his sitcom called "Bob" in the grand succession?)

    Thanks to Julie (she pretty much ordered me to track down Dan Bucatinsky's appearances, and I'm so grateful), I've seen the other three "guest" winners too. All highly deserving. Although between Carrie Preston and Melissa Leo, which one is comedic and which one dramatic is actually the opposite of the respective categories, I'd say! (I'm not saying the categories are wrong, at all: but Preston's character is a riot, and Leo's appearance on Louie was pretty darn scary at times, as demanded by the script). 4 terrific choices. Dare we hope that this means that this year's acting Emmys will actually be freshly thought out, and not just a copy of previous years?

  2. I'm afraid I somehow missed "Bob," but I will remedy that. I remember discussing how he'd done his whole name and just his last name, so all he was left with was the first name, which means I did know about "Bob"!

  3. Okay, "Bob" is back in the game. He also had a show I somehow didn't know about called "George and Leo," and given that his real first name is George (according to IMDB, anyway) I guess that counts, too, among the eponymous shows list.

    You are very lucky you got to hear his jokes then! Inside knowledge! And a sneak peek like that... Wow. That's not something that happens every day.

    I've always thought that Bob Newhart seems like the kind of regular guy you really could pal around with and he'd be exactly the same as he appeared on TV. His co-stars usually say that kind of thing, and that he's just a great human being. Go Bob! I read that he got a standing O for this award and got a little teary. Again, go Bob!

    I didn't say anything about his movies, but he certainly was wonderful in ELF and CATCH-22. He just doesn't make enough movies is all!

    Oh, and I am shocked he was never nominated for an Emmy for the MTM "Bob Newhart Show." That was such a special show. So perfect in its own way. And its perfection starts and ends with him. So, sure, nominate the show and nominate Suzanne Pleshette and ignore Bob! Ugh.

    I also could find no mention on the internet of "Really, Emily? Really?" as a catchphrase, so I must've made it up or screwed it up.

  4. I remember he said that after "Bob," his next show would have to be titled "The"!

    In fact, as you say, it was "George and Leo," costarring with Judd Hirsch. I never watched it -- it was on opposite something else I watched (probably Buffy). Except for one well-publicized episode that had cameos from scads of costars from their collective previous series. That one I did see:
    TAXI: Jeff Conaway, Marilu Henner,
    DEAR JOHN: Billie Bird, Jane Carr, Harry Groener
    BOB NEWHART SHOW: Peter Bonerz, Oliver Clark, Bill Daily, Marcia Wallace, John Fiedler, Jack Riley,
    NEWHART: Julia Duffy, Tom Poston, Peter Scolari, Todd Susman, Tony Papenfuss, William Sanderson, John Voldstad

    I'm astonished that nobody seems to have put that on YouTube.

    As for his movies, I remember COLD TURKEY (about people giving up smoking), and HOT MILLIONS, a British confection in which he played support to Peter Ustinov and Maggie Smith.

    I must confess to having no memory of that catchphrase, but that doesn't mean it wasn't. Wasn't the drinking game related to people saying "Hi, Bob!"?