I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny

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Overview

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, ...

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I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
As an accountant, Bob Newhart was a great comedian. How, after all, could anyone whose motto was "That's close enough" expect to flourish among bean counters? On the other hand, his success as a professional comic also seemed to defy logic. Television executives could not comprehend how a slow-talking deadpan comedian with a slight stammer could enthrall audience with imaginary phone conversations. Against every expectation, though, Newhart became an authentic media icon and even a cult figure. This hilarious autobiography confirms Newhart's playful assertion that laughter is a tranquilizer without side effects.
JOnathan Yardley
[Newhart] was about a decade older than we were, but we considered him both our contemporary and our spokesman. He, meantime, smoothly moved into a long, successful and highly visible career: "I recorded several comedy albums. . . . I starred in several television series, all of which have my name in the title. . . . I acted in several movies that didn't have my name in the title. . . . All the while, I've been married to the same woman for forty-three years, had four children, played countless rounds of golf, and met some interesting people." Into the bargain, he gives every evidence of being a nice guy. He's certainly written a very nice, and richly amusing, book.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Newhart's deadpan delivery, slight stammer and expert comedic pauses make this audiobook memoir an indispensable purchase for fans. Newhart's persona was always the everyman ("Men usually think I was in the army with them. And the women think I was their first husband and usually say, `Hey, stupid, I haven't had a check...' and then catch themselves."). He modestly explains his comedy origins, which led to a recording career (his first two comedy albums won him three 1960 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year). Nightclub appearances segued to movies (he hilariously explains how he tried to get fired from Hell Is for Heroes) and TV sitcom success (The Bob Newhart Show from 1972-1978 and Newhart from 1982-1990). Newhart peppers his breezy memoir with a sampling of some of his classic comedy routines (including "The Driving Instructor," "Grace L. Ferguson Airline and Storm Door Co." and "King Kong and the Night Watchman"), and his timing remains impeccable. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover (Reviews, July 10). (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Now in his mid-70s, comedian Newhart riffs lightly on his life and career, publishing along the way portions of his most popular routines. His book is a memoir only in the most superficial sense. There are no revelations, dark or otherwise, only an amusing and repetitive PowerPoint presentation by a writer determined to keep himself concealed. Oddly, Newhart's observations about the art of comedy often veer close to banality-e.g., "Comedy can help us make it past something very painful like death." He opens with some comments on comedy and comedians, then segues into chapters about his youth in Chicago. His father drank a lot; we don't learn much about Mom. Newhart attended Catholic schools, got a bachelor's degree in management and left Loyola's law school sans degree. He was drafted, spent two years as an army clerk, then worked as an accountant. On the side, he wrote comedy routines, selling a few to radio stations. He lived at home until he was 29. His first comedy album (The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart) skyrocketed, as did the follow-up. The ensuing years were filled with stand-up dates in Vegas, TV shows, movies and lunches with glitterati. A treacly sequence about meeting his wife and some Erma Bombeckian pages about a disastrous family trip in a Winnebago are among the weaker sections. More interesting behind-the-scenes segments discuss his TV shows and films, especially Hell Is for Heroes and Catch-22. Playing one scene in the latter with a wicked hangover, Newhart was taken aback when director Mike Nichols declared that was exactly the quality he was looking for in the character. It's one of the book's many drinking stories; the author writes with less good cheer aboutsmoking, which nearly killed him. His best friend is Don Rickles; he met Stan Laurel; he wishes he'd met W.C. Fields. He still loves doing stand-up. More of a routine than a memoir, but full of the wry, understated self-deprecation that Newhart has perfected.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594132193
  • Publisher: Large Print Distribution
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 293
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Newhart is one of America's best-loved comedians. His career highlights include The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, and ten major films, including Catch-22, Legally Blonde and Elf. He guest hosted The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 87 times and has more recently, earned the most recent of several Emmy nominations for a guest-starring role on ER. He has also earned a Peabody award and a Mark Twain award for Comedy. He has been married to Virginia Quinn since 1963; they have four children and several grandchildren.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    A good introduction to a comedy master

    The graphic novelist Seth once described in one of his novels that a certain fictional comic book could be considered '...a perfect Saturday afternoon read.' Well, this is just the appropriate way to describe Bob Newhart's memoir-cum-comedy skit here. I grew up absolutely loving 'The Bob Newhart Show' (I had a major crush on Suzanne Pleshette as Emily!) and I just got so many laughs out of Jerry, Howard, Mr. Carlin, Mr. Peterson, etc. -- there was no way I was going to be disappointed in this book. I knew a lot of Bob's comedy skits, but I never realized either how successful his recording career was or the facets of his private life that had such influence on his comedy. Yes, it makes perfect sense that he started out in law school and was also an accountant! I was a little surprised at how much Bob glossed over 'Newhart,' but then he more than made up for it with his anecdotes about his movies and his friendship with both Don Rickles and John (not Johnny!) Carson. Well, while my favorite stammerer easily could've made one or two better editorial choices in his debut book, Bob Newhart overall hits a home run with this work, and I for one am happy to note that law and accounting's loss was the world's gain. Thanks, Bob!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2006

    Great read

    Great mix of autobiography, anecdotes, and classic Newhart sketches. A lot of interesting revelations about his comedy, his television shows and his relationships with family and celebrities. I'd love to hear more about his friendships with Johnny Carson and Don Rickles. You even learn who came up with the ingenius idea for the final episode of Newhart. Hopefully we'll see another book or two from Mr. Newhart in the future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2007

    A reviewer

    I didn't find this book funny or even interesting. I was expecting something different, I guess. I never finished reading it because it was boring.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2007

    Disappointed

    Not very funny or entertaining. I didn't even want to finish reading it. Sorry, but it just wasn't very good.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    No!!!!!!!!!

    Hell no

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Looks Great!

    I dont know who he is or anythig abiut him, but tjisvbook is AWESOME!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Love Newhart's dry humor. Was great to listen to while working,

    Love Newhart's dry humor. Was great to listen to while working, not distracting enough could not work but just enough that every once in a while would stop and laugh out loud (dogs thought I was crazy).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2013

    I love BOB NEWHART! This book made me laugh out loud and great s

    I love BOB NEWHART! This book made me laugh out loud and great stories that bring you back to when he was just starting out in the business. I wasn;t alive then but I could live through the book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 25, 2013

    When you need a lift, read this book.

    I began reading this on my recent flight but had to stop. I was laughing out loud and annoying my seatmates. I've always loved this man's sense of humor but now love his writing style - you feel as if he's standing in front of you saying the words.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 20, 2013

    I like Bob Newhart, but...

    His stories and bits come off much better in video, because without his classic timing and delivery, they just don't read that well.

    I found myself reading them once, then trying to read them as Bob would say them, not always easy because he has that rare talent.

    His classic telephone stuff is awesome, but again, without the pauses and a bit of stammering, they don't really come off well in print. It's worth reading, but not the laugh-out-loud comedy of Bob in film or television.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 11, 2013

    If you like Newhart, you will love this book.

    The book is a written version of Newhart's comedy routines, letting you in on his interpretation of everyday life.

    The book has no wasted words. It's like have Newhart in person reading you a bedtime story.

    Worth buying, and keeping.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Enjoyed with a laugh

    Was great reading about one of my favorite comedians. There were great stories that made me laugh and I loved getting the behind the sceens to comedy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Enjoyable

    Quick read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2012

    Pretty boring autobiography. It's an ok read, but not great.

    Pretty boring autobiography.
    It's an ok read, but not great. I thought it would be more humorous. Some nice insights into Bob's life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Insightful and funny look at the man you thought you knew.

    Whether you want to be an entertainer, think you are funny, or just want a comfortable glimpse at the man behind the stammer, this book gives you a "behind the microphone" look at what makes Bob Newhart one of America's best-loved comedians.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    Amber

    There

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    Sam

    Nvm...ill leave u alone. Goodbye

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews

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