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Something Like This... The Bob Newhart Anthology
List Price: $19.98

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Product Description

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Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 03/20/2001

Part of what Bob Newhart mastered, earlier on stand-up albums like The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart and The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back! and later on his long-running TV series The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, was capturing a brand of Everyman neuroses and heightening it, bringing mundane, common scenarios into the realm of the absurd--and the absurdly funny. Newhart also perfected playing a character involved in a conversation with the other party in absentia, as in one of his most famous routines, "King Kong," in which he plays the part of an Empire State Building security guard who calls his boss the night King Kong makes his famous ascent. ("Yes, sir, I looked in the handbook index under 'unauthorized personnel' and 'people without passes' and 'apes,' and 'ape's toes,' but it's not in there....") Something Like This... is a generous sampling of Newhart's best stand-up bits, and while some of his topics--airplanes, hating to fly--have now been so overdone as to be comic faux pas, rather than making his material seem dated they often serve to demonstrate just how rare a talent he is simply because the routines still elicit involuntary snorts of laughter some 30 years later. --Mark Hunstman

Customer Reviews:

  • The Bob Newhart Anthology by Bob Newhart CD
    The laugh track is distractingly and annoying loud (shrill) and Newhart's humorous monologue is far softer than the laugh track. Would not recommend this to anyone. ...more info
  • Don't listen to this while driving
    I've had this double disc set on my iPod for five days now, and I've found myself just listening to it over and over again. I'd heard much of this material before, but had forgotten just how funny it really was. It is sad that our culture has devolved to the point where most Americans would not find Bob Newhart's routines funny. To truly appreciate his humor from the '60's requires a good education, intelligence, and a disdain for the present state of "comedy" (i.e. comedy channel vulgarity, def comedy jam ignorance, etc...).

    I question some of the material included on the disc, especially disc 2, which has less of the abstract "man on the phone" type comedy. I would have included routines such as "an infinite number of monkeys" and "automation and a private in Washington's army" instead of real world routines like "siamese cat" and "buying a house". Newhart's material really hits the mark when it is utterly abstract and ridiculous.

    Classic "don't-miss" routines included here are:
    1. Abe Lincoln versus Madison Avenue - "Abe, do the speech the way Charlie wrote it, would you?"...classic.
    2. The Cruise of the U.S.S. Codfish - "Looking back on the mutiny"
    3. Retirement Party - "Of course, Mrs. Wilson is down in Mexico with her hundred thou...and i'm still up here..with this crummy watch"
    4. Introducing Tobacco to Civilization - "Don't tell me Walt, don't tell me..." "You see Walt, we've been a little worried about you lately..."
    5. Defusing a bomb - "I'm gonna give it to you straight, Willard, you've got yourself a live one there..."
    6. King Kong - "Well, sir, when people come to work in the morning, they're gonna see the ape in the street, notice the broken windows, and I think they're gonna put two and two together..."

    I've never laughed so hard in my life. Buy this. It's worth every penny....more info

  • Pure Genius
    To give you a bit of perspective on my review of this CD, I'm twenty-seven years old at the time of this writing - meaning that I wasn't even alive when Bob Newhart recorded these bits. I was never old enough to appreciate the TV series 'Newhart', either, mainly because at the age I'd have been I'd have found it incessantly boring. But fortunately, time has helped shape my tastes in entertainment, and from the moment I heard 'The Driving Instructor' on 'The Dr. Demento Show' (which I miss to this day since our local affiliate pulled it), I was hooked.

    Having been granted the opportunity now to enjoy even this smattering of Newhart's stand-up work, I can safely say that it's money well spent. From the first track - "You typed it...uh, Abe, how many times do we have to tell you? On the backs of envelopes!" - Newhart can get anyone still capable of conscious thought to snicker without the need for a Parental Advisory label on the case. Each track is a brilliant snowball of a gem that just keeps building toward a gleefully unrepentant punchline, as in the bit about how police handle jumpers.

    Furthermore, in the area of satirizing even the most utterly inane of human proceedings, Bob Newhart is still one of the greats. 'The Driving Instructor', 'The Retirement Party' and 'The Kiddie Show' take the most sublime elements of Americana and give them a much-needed shot of strychnine laced with sugar-coated cyncism. The beauty of Newhart's comic mannerisms, in my view, is his ability to be totally acerbic and make it seem like it's a purely natural extension of his own sense of curiosity. He's never snide or aloof in his barbs; he's almost like the thinking man's dad.

    'Something Like This' is a must for any Newhart afficionado or just anyone who appreciates getting a good laugh out of someone who can do it and make it seem totally effortless. Just like we wish WE could....more info

  • Funny, classic memories.
    I purchased this product for my brother's birthday. We all enjoyed hearing Bob again and the now classic stories he told in his own special way.Good, clean fun!...more info
  • Still Works
    This is the first classic comedy I've listened to in several years, so a few things struck me immediately. First, some of the conventions of stand-up have changed. In the earlier days of stand-up, the comedy was based on sketch material (almost everything here is a monologue) and the characters were as funny as the lines they were given to say. Second, the audience members withheld their applause until the end of the sketch and then applauded every bit. The third thing I noticed was that this comedy still works.

    It comes as a bit of a surprise to me that satire and dark humor were not invented by Saturday Night Live. Though his first album (Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart) came out in 1960, Newhart's material and delivery are still every bit as contemporary today as they were then. Ledge Psychology, for example, is a sketch about a cop casually trying to talk a jumper down...and failing.

    It helps that Newhart's material is based on historical events and industry, neither of which has changed very dramatically in the last 40 years. Budget airlines still scare the heck out of us; there's still a high turnover in driving instructors; and the more imaginitive bits (like "King Kong") still play because the reference material is still in our culture.

    Newhart is the perfect understated stand-up comedian and this album really demonstrates what Ray Romano and Steven Wright owe to the older guys. I laughed. A lot....more info

  • Among the best of absurd humor
    Newhart is among the best, if not the best, at presenting the most absurd situations in the most down-to-earth ways: non-chalant musings of a very quirky mind. If there were nothing else but the "Introduction of Tobacco to Civilization" on this album it would be worth it. That selection made me laugh until tears were flowing down my face and I was gasping for air. While the rest of the nearly two dozen cuts are not quite that funny, there are wonderful moments as Newhart takes the mundane and makes it bizarre or the bizarre and makes it mundane, both with clever wit. The reactions of the live audiences only heighten the anticipation of the next joke and reveal Newhart's brilliant writing and timing. These are routines we should still listen to and pass on to younger folk. They are timeless. Bravo, Bob!...more info
  • Great CD....crappy amazon
    Amazon didn't bother to let me know that the item didn't deliver until I made a inquiry.

    What a coincidence they "just" realized the item was returned....yeah it was returned 3 weeks earlier.

    Normally I like Amazon, but they dropped the ball on this one...more info
  • Mildly amusing, a little slow.
    I have always loved Bob Newhart on TV, so I thought I would love this album, but I have to admit I got a little bored with it. His setup of an absurd hypothetical situation and lead in of "I think it would go a little something like this..." gets old after a while, and his material is a little dated late 1950s. If you want some really good clean funny timeless standup comedy audio recordings, go with Bill Cosby, especially "Fat Albert", "Bill Cosby...Himself", and "Those of you with or without Children, You'll Understand."...more info
  • Simply the best!
    Simply put, the funniest comedic album out there! Mr. Newhart is the undisputed king of smart humor! A must have for every collection. 10 stars out of 5!...more info
  • Great material without the vulgarity
    Dear Amazon, I never thought it would happen to me, but I actually enjoyed this album...

    Newhart is not the kind of guy that strikes you as being extremely funny, but darned if he aint! I am a huge Monty Python fan, so I never thought I would like Newhart's comedy. But Newhart, like Python, comments on the rediculousness of the world around him in an intelligent and well thought out way. There is intellectual energy behind his humor.

    This makes his humor clean and classic, funny even after repeated listening. It is not zany and madcap, but it is still funny enough to make you almost wreck the car while driving down the interstate. I heartily reccomend it!

    And if a State Farm agent calls you, then I lost control of the car trying to avoid a collision with a deer, got it??...more info

  • Very funny, but a little dated
    These pieces date back to the early 60's. Prop airliners were still common and women's lib really hadn't started yet. The jokes reflect a simpler, easier time. I really liked the "defusing a bomb" and driving instructor routines. It's sad that this funny for its own sake humor has been replaced by how-many-four-letter-words-can-you-fit-in-a-joke humor....more info
  • Exactly as I hoped
    As a kid (in the 70s) my father played his Bob Newhart record every once in a while. He only had one, but I loved the way he laughed at it, and I laughed too. I was old enough to understand some of the humour in routines like the driving instructor, and the telephone conversation with Sir Walter Raleigh.

    When I was wondering what to buy Dad for Christmas this time around I thought of that record, and looked up 'Bob Newhart' on Amazon. I quickly found this double CD compilation, recognised many of the tracks, and bought pretty much within the blink of an eye. Dad and I listened to it in the car driving to the cricket (you know, the game Americans would play if they weren't brainwashed by baseball). He and I laughed enough to make city traffic very trivial. The old favourites still get us in exactly the way they did years ago; the tracks we hadn't heard before get us with the same style of humour.

    If you've ever heard a Bob Newhart routine and enjoyed it this compilation will deliver plenty of the same, with many little twists and quirks along the way. If you've never heard a Bob Newhart routine but would like a taste, this is a great introduction and summary....more info