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20 July 2005 (USA)  »

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Bob Newhart: Unbuttoned is a nearly fine tribute to him
1 January 2008 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

This 90-minute episode of "American Masters" takes this former Chicago accountant from his early days on radio with a partner to doing stand-up to his first successful album to his one-season variety show to a similar one a year later to his first successful sitcom then to his next one and then to movies and TV guest spots and then full circle back to stand up. You also get interviews with the various people that he encountered on those shows as well as his wife, Ginny. Because only short segments of his stand-up routines are shown, you don't get the full impact of them. Several clips from "The Bob Newhart Show" are better showcased especially one where a drunk Bob Hartley tries to order Moo Goo Gai Pan with his male friends trying to also get the orders right while sloshed. Some good clips from "Newhart" also get showcased right especially the last scene that reveals the old bedroom from "TBNS" and the dream that Dr. Hartley tells his wife, Emily, about. Since it's now months after his death, I'm especially wistful watching Tom Poston talk about old friend Bob here. The tributes are probably a little too long, still this was a nearly excellent documentary about the life and work of Bob Newhart.


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