9 thoughts on “Bob Newhart on Abraham Lincoln and Election PR at Gettysburg

  1. Michael Confoy November 5, 2012 / 8:32 am

    Is that your record and turntable Dr. Simpson?

  2. SF Walker November 5, 2012 / 8:57 am

    “No, no, no, Abe—you were a railsplitter, THEN an attorney!” I love that line.

    This sketch was on Newhart’s first album, which came out in 1960. I’ve always loved his one-sided telephone conversations; it’s absolutely brilliant–his style of comedy was geared toward an intelligent audience.

    If you guys liked this one, all of Newhart’s other sketches are just as good! He did about 5 or 6 of these albums in the early to mid-’60s, and they’re available on CD now–so you don’t have to worry if you threw out your turntable long ago…

    Thanks so much for putting this one up, Dr. Simpson!

    • John Foskett November 6, 2012 / 7:51 am

      Agree. This guy was a brilliant comedian and the telephone monologues were him at his unique best. He and Carlin may have been the best at reducing “important” things to “regular”. The common thing was something you note – the audience had to have some brains.

      • SF Walker November 6, 2012 / 3:47 pm

        Yes–George Carlin was another one of the heavy hitters in comedy, too. I was lucky enough see one of his live shows years ago, here in Charleston. In addition to reducing the important to the regular, he and Newhart both excelled in displaying normal behavior in a ridiculous situation–now that’s comedy at its best!

        If Lincoln were alive today, I can easily see him dealing with a press agent just like the guy in the sketch.

  3. rdb9507 November 5, 2012 / 9:17 am

    My Favorite Bob Newhart Routine!

  4. MikeRogers November 5, 2012 / 1:52 pm

    Agree with SF Walker. Other Newhart classics: Bus Driver School, USS Codfish, and the Grace L Ferguson Airline and Storm Door Company

    • SF Walker November 6, 2012 / 3:33 pm

      Yep–all three of those are great! I’ve always liked The Driving Instructor, Defusing A Bomb, and the Sir Walter Raleigh one, too…

  5. Michael Bartley November 6, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    Thanks Professor for posting this classic Newhart. “Friends Romans and countrymen I got something I want to tell ya” cracks me up every time I think of it. I was lucky to see him a few years ago here in the Fort and besides the tears of laughter I could not help but think of my parents and the years we watched his two brilliant sitcoms. My mom and dad were funny and, like Newhart, their humor reflected a goodness and decency that is often lacking today. So, a tear or two were for my mom and dad. Thanks again, Brooks for the posting, and the laughter and the memories.

    • SF Walker November 6, 2012 / 3:39 pm

      You got to see Bob in person? I’m envious! Couldn’t agree more with what you said about this style of humor. His two TV shows were terrific–the last episode of his second sitcom was a masterpiece; when Bob gets stunned by a golf ball and ends up back in his old bed with Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) from the first show–and realizes that the whole thing was a dream!

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