Out of the blue the other day the gods of YouTube started featuring one of Bob Newhart’s old routines. And of course when you click on one they then bestow a myriad of clips that are “recommended just for you!” In some cases it bugs my butt for given my mood late the Newhart recommendations were more than welcome.
Newhart is one of the great comedians of the late 20th century (I say is because he is still performing at the age of 91) starting as a stand-up comedian then went on to become a well-regarded character actor with two extremely successful sit-coms to his credit. I loved him both a stand-up and in his TV persona.
His comedy was always low-keyed, intelligent, and based on everyday foibles and follies. He never used swear words and there was always an air of affection in his revelations.
Here’s one of his classic routines:
Amongst his “shtick” was the one side of a telephone call – but you could almost hear the person on the other end.
He appeared 24 times on the old Dean Martin show, 8 times on Ed Sullivan, and hosted a number of shows including Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, Hollywood Palace as well as appearances on dramatic and comedy series.
Newhart was nominated nine times for an Emmy, only winning once in 2013; and in 1961 when he won the Peabody Award the citation said:
“a person whose gentle satire and wry and irreverent wit waft a breath of fresh and bracing air through the stale and stuffy electronic corridors. A merry marauder, who looks less like St. George than a choirboy, Newhart has wounded, if not slain, many of the dragons that stalk our society. In a troubled and apprehensive world, Newhart has proved once again that laughter is the best medicine.”
Just read that last sentence of the citation and you can understand why I greet the “recommendations” with a sense of joy!
The word for January 11th is:
Myriad /ˈmirēəd/: [1. noun 2. adjective]
1.1 A countless or extremely great number.
1.2 A unit of ten thousand (chiefly in classical history)
2. Countless or extremely great in number.
Mid 16th century (in myriad (sense 2 of the noun)): via late Latin from Greek murias, muriad-, from murioi ‘10,000’.
Thanks Mr Newhart – you’ve given me a myriad of laughs.