- NAME: Bob Newhart
- OCCUPATION: Television Actor, Comedian
- BIRTH DATE: September 05, 1929 (Age: 84)
- Did You Know?: Bob Newhart got discovered as an accountant at age 30 after he recorded funny phone calls in the office with his co-worker.
- EDUCATION: Loyola University of Chicago, St. Ignatius College Prep
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Oak Park, Illinois
- Full Name: George Robert Newhart
- AKA: Bob Newhart
- ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo
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Born on September 5, 1929, in Illinois, Bob Newhart was an accountant at the age of 30, who created monologues as a diversion from his everyday life. He became famous with his best-selling recording of his first nightclub engagement, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, which was released in 1960. A dry-toned satirist, Newhart starred in the television sitcoms The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart and Bob.
"You shouldn't get too close to the truth, because then maybe you stop being funny."
"There's gratification in making somebody laugh. It's a wonderful sound. I find myself, to this day, doing it, wanting to make people laugh."
"One of the first things you ever learn as a stand-up is don't show fear."
"Sometimes you forget you're famous. You wonder, 'Why is that person staring at me?'"
Television actor and comedian Bob Newhart was born George Robert Newhart on September 5, 1929, in Oak Park, Illinois. One of four children, Newhart was born to George David Newhart and Julia Pauline Burns. Newhart picked up the name Bob while in high school. The commonly used phrase "Let George do it," prompted Newhart to change his name. Eventually he thought, "Maybe I'll go by Bob," thus the nickname was born.
After high school, Newhart attended the Loyola University of Chicago and graduated with an undergraduate degree in business management in 1952. Shortly after, he was drafted to the military. Newhart served in the Army from 1952-54, fighting in the Korean War. Upon his return, Newhart worked as an accountant and advertising copy editor in Chicago while also occasionally performing at a local theatrical stock company and writing comedy sketches for the radio.
While working at the ad agency, Newhart and co-worker Ed Gallagher would make extended, random phone calls to one another throughout the workday. They eventually decided to record the phone calls and use them as audition tapes for comedy work. Gallagher began concentrating more on his job at the agency, while Newhart continued doing the phone calls on his own, a bit that would eventually become a staple of his stand-up bit. In 1959, a disc jockey in Chicago heard his material and introduced Newhart to the head of talent at Warner Brothers Records, who signed the 30-year-old accountant to a contract based off of his recordings.
The year after he was signed by Warner Bros., Newhart released his first album, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart. Although the album was a collection of Newhart's first performances ever as a stand-up comedian, the untested venture into comedy proved to be the risk. Audiences appreciated Newhart's unique form of storytelling, which merged the comedian's sense of sensibility with absurd situations.
A huge success, Button-Down was the first comedy album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard chart, even beating out Elvis Presley's 1960 album The Sound of Music. Aside from the positive reaction that the got in terms of sales, critics also highly praised the album. For the album, Newhart received a Grammy Award for Album of the Year and another for Best New Artist. With such a popular debut album under his belt, Newhart released another comedy album the same year, entitled The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back! For his sophomore album, he received another Grammy, this time for Best Comedy Performance - Spoken Word.
In the 1960s, Newhart began to branch out further than just being a strong voice in comedy; with several television performances he became a prominent face in comedy too.
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