Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This, by Bob Newhart

I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny, by Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart is a very funny man. I loved “The Bob Newhart Show,” was one of the seemingly few that liked “Bob,” and believe that the last episode of “Newhart” ended with the greatest single shot ever televised. For Father’s Day a while back I was given Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart on CD and it quickly became one of my favorites. My wife and I got to see him perform live at the Paramount Theater a few years ago as well. When I found out that Newhart had written a memoir I had to pick it up—and wasn’t disappointed.

The title is from a joke about a guy who is having a torrid affair with his boss’s wife. They are making wild, passionate love and she moans, “Kiss me! Kiss me!” He looks at her very seriously and says, “I shouldn’t even be doing this!” The book is positively filled with gags like this and I laughed out loud more than once while reading. Between jokes Newhart manages to tell the story of his career: accountant to stand-up comedian to television star. He originally had a partner, but the fellow accepted an advertising job in another city and so Newhart just did his part of the act—and the rest is history. This isn’t a McCullough-style in-depth biography that details every step of his life and every conversation Newhart ever had, but it is a casual telling of the highlights of Bob’s life and a damn funny book to boot.

First Sentence:
Most comedians are committable.

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