I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny
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The first book ever from an icon of American comedy--a hilarious combination of stories from his career and observations about life
That stammer. Those basset-hound eyes. That bone-dry wit. There has never been another comedian like Bob Newhart. His comedy albums, movies, and two hit television series have made him a national treasure and placed him firmly in the pantheon of comedy legends. Who else has a drinking game named after him And now, at last, Newhart puts his brilliant and hysterical world view on paper.
Never a punch-line comic, always more of a storyteller, he tells anecdotes from throughout his life and career, including his beginnings as an accountant and the groundbreaking success of his comedy albums and The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, which gave him fifteen years on primetime television. And he also gives his wry, comedic twist to a multitude of topics, including golf, drinking, and family holidays.
Today, Newhart appears on Desperate Housewives, in hit movies such as Elf, and in theaters around the country. Reruns of his shows air constantly on Nick at Nite--have recently been released with great success for the first time ever on DVD. With this book, Bob Newhart gives his millions of fans a first ever opportunity to sample his unique brand of humor--including excerpts from some of his classic routines--on the printed page.
expensive, but when you see the cars strewn all over the yard like that, it makes quite an impression and you very seldom will switch them onto that track again. We find it’s the best method.” Ed: “That certainly is interesting.” Bob: (Aside to Ed’s crew) “Uh, I thought I told you guys you’re gonna have to keep your wires and cords off the tracks. We’ve got trains coming through here daily—” Ed: “Well, speaking of trains, sir, I’m sorry to interrupt, but down here on the main track it looks to
insatiable need for driving instructors. This led me to imagine what an average day was like for driving instructors. Then I exaggerated it a little bit and what I arrived at was: a group of men who go to work every day and never know for sure if they’ll return home that night because they face death in a hundred different ways. I sat down and wrote a routine, despite the fact that I had no place to sell it or perform it. I now give you “The Driving Instructor” in its entirety for what I think
don’t go through an Actors Studio process of finding a character. In the Actors Studio, they teach what’s known as method acting. They instruct you to build a history of your character going back to its childhood. Someone took his rubber ducky away from him in the bathtub when he was five, therefore he’s homicidal. Or if you are going to play a garbage collector, you volunteer to ride around with your local waste management crew. If a script is given to me that is humorous, I find where the joke
change in comedy. The traditional stand-up comics like Henny Youngman and Milton Berle were doing mother-in-law jokes and one-liners about their wives being bad cooks. They were standard in-and-out jokes. It was “Take my wife, please.” I was part of that change that shook up the dull Eisenhower years, along with Shelley Berman, Mike and Elaine, Jonathan Winters, and, of course, Lenny Bruce. I say of course, because Lenny was the only one of us who went to jail for his art. Generally speaking,
pins. I remember him loudly telling me about his barber-school final exam, in which he had to lather a balloon with shaving cream and shave the balloon without popping it. I never found out if he passed. Pin spotting paid ten cents per round, earning me about six dollars for the night. After work, I would stick around and bowl a few games. The problem with this was that the alley charged one dollar a game and had no employee discount, so I ended up bowling away half my nightly wages. I was a