As longtime readers of this blog may remember, I'm a fan of Bob Newhart. I have not only enjoyed his classic TV shows (THE BOB NEWHART SHOW and NEWHART), I also admire his dedication to his family and decades-long marriage. It was thus a real treat to recently receive a review copy of Bob's brand-new autobiography, I SHOULDN'T EVEN BE DOING THIS!
Bob starts off on a fun note: "I realize that most people skip the introduction and the acknowledgments. If you are one of these people, then you're not even reading this..." And we're off and running with typical Newhart humor.
The book is a collection of loosely arranged anecdotes on topics such as growing up in Chicago, life as a comedian, "the science of comedy," and of course, his TV shows. As one reads you can "hear" Bob's voice telling each story, which almost makes it like spending a couple hours with Bob giving a personal one-man show. Bob likens his style of comedy as being "the man who is convinced that he is the last sane man on earth." I love that.
Not surprisingly, given my love for Disneyland, one of my favorite anecdotes concerns a trick Bob played on his wife during a visit to that park. :)
The memoir also has its serious undertones, such as his distant relationship with his father, but they are treated matter-of-factly and then he moves on.
My only criticism of this book is that I wanted more -- some photographs would have been very welcome, as well as an index for easily looking up his stories about various actors and TV shows.
I believe any fan of Mr. Newhart would be quite happy to find this book under their Christmas tree a few weeks hence.
P.S. I wonder how long we'll have to wait for NEWHART to make it to DVD?!