The Bob Newhart Show


Which was better: The Bob Newhart Show or Newhart? Both were excellent comedies, with essentially the same laid-back, stammering protagonist. (So similar that it seemed only natural that Bob should end the second show waking up in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette, his wife from the first.) It’s basically like asking: which was better: the ’70s or the ’80s? Well, I’ll say it—the ’70s. Or rather, that decade’s introspective, self-help-focused ethos, and his ’70s sitcom’s psychiatrist’s office setting, were a slightly better match with Newhart‘s sophisticated, droll, talky comedy of neurosis. So I award the nod to Hartley, his talking cures that never quite cured anyone and his windy Windy City patients. (Sorry, Larry, Darryl and Darryl.)

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