When Bob Newhart read the premise for the proposed series, he insisted on two changes. First, he insisted that his character be changed from a psychiatrist to a psychologist so he wouldn't make fun of the seriously mentally ill, and he insisted that his character have no children as to avoid the standard scenario of a goofy father.
Even though Bob Newhart didn't want there to be children turning his show into a family sitcom, Emily Hartley did announce that she was pregnant during a show that turned out to be one of Bob's nightmares.
The characters Bob Hartley and Carol Kester-Bondurant appeared outside The Bob Newhart Show (1972) in the 1994 episode of Murphy Brown (1988) when Carol became Murphy's 66th secretary. Unlike all of Murphy's other secretaries, Carol (Marcia Wallace) is a great secretary. Unfortunately (for Murphy), Bob Newhart (as Bob Hartley) shows up at the end of the show to convinces her to come back to work for him.
When the scripts were first written for the show, writers would write the line "Bob reacts" just like they would for other comic actors. After a while, the writers stopped doing that because Bob basically had the same reaction to every bit. There was no need to write it.
Over the course of the series, the phrase, "Hi, Bob" was said 256 times. Howard Borden (Bill Daily) said it a total of 118 times. Dr. Jerry Robinson (Peter Bonerz) logged 43. Carol Kester (Marcia Wallace): 36 times and Emily Hartley (Suzanne Pleshette): 17 times. Minor characters or guest stars said it 43 times, and Bob Hartley (Bob Newhart) even said it once himself.
A popular drinking game was invented by college students during the run of the show. Whenever someone on the show says, "Bob," each player had to take a drink. If someone said "Hi, Bob," you had to guzzle your drink.
Over the course of several shows ,Bob's office number keeps changing. In some shows it's 715 and others it's 751. In a season 2 show ,the door reads 715 outside the office. Later ,when he and a patient leave ,it's back to 751 again.
The exterior office building shots, where Bob's office was supposed to be located, were of the Uptown Federal Savings Building at 430 North Michigan Avenue near the Wrigley Building. The Uptown Federal Savings sign on the building can clearly be seen in many of the shots.
The zip code of Robert Hartley's apartment building address in Chicago, IL was 60611. The actual building used for exterior shots of Bob's apartment is on North Sheridan Road, and bears zip code 60660. It abuts Lake Michigan on the East. Ironically, the office building used does, in reality, bear zip code 60611.
The show's original opening sequence shows Bob Hartley leaving his office in downtown Chicago for his commute home. However, Hartley's commute as shown in the series is unnecessarily long--he leaves his office building on Michigan Avenue, then walks across multiple downtown bridges (in opposite directions) before taking the Ravenswood "L" heading to Evanston. Finally, Hartley gets off the "L" at a stop 55 blocks--several miles--past the location of his condo in Edgewater. Newhart himself, a Chicago native, joked "Now, would you want a therapist who missed his stop every day?"