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Bob Newhart - Button Down Concert

27 customer reviews

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Bob Newhart - Button Down Concert + Something Like This... The Bob Newhart Anthology + Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The New York Times calls him "the Dean of Deadpan." The Los Angeles Times calls him "a genius." You'll just call him hilarious when you catch your breath...Bob Newhart's return to the stand-up stage is a deliriously funny ride!

Newhart, whose unprecedented three successful TV series and guest roles in Elf, "E.R." and "Desperate Housewives" have endeared him to millions, delivers a winning performance in a rare televised special that recalls his days as a comedy-circuit cut-up. Tackling everything from crazy bus drivers and mad inventors to cheap airlines and King Kong, the Golden Globe-winning* Newhart takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinarily funny. It's no wonder he's "still a very hot ticket" (Parade)!

Amazon.com

For those who only remember Bob Newhart from his classic TV sitcom of the '70s, The Button-Down Concert may come as a pleasant revelation. Older fans will of course recall that Newhart's stellar career began in stand-up comedy, and by the time his phenomenally popular LP The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart was released in 1960, the comedian called "The Dean of Deadpan" in The New York Times was playing to standing-room-only crowds at Vegas casinos and nightclubs across the country, offering a clean alternative to the "sick" humor of Lenny Bruce. Recorded in 1995 and originally broadcast on Showtime as Bob Newhart: Off the Record, this revival concert of Newhart's classic '60s routines is equal parts nostalgia trip and welcomed opportunity to appreciate the enduring quality of Newhart's most beloved "Button-Down" routines. Essentially a greatest-hits performance, the hour-long concert (from the historic Raymond Theater in Pasadena, California) runs the gamut from "Unemployment Office" and "The School for Rude Bus Drivers" to "Sir Walter Raleigh Explains Tobacco" and "The Tipsy Accountant's Retirement Party." In nearly every routine, Newhart masters his trademark style, delivering each sketch as a one-sided telephone call (as in "King Kong and the New Security Guard" and the classic "Abe Lincoln's P.R. Man") or as an officious drone or beleaguered everyman addressing a captive audience (as in "The Airplane Captain Speaks to his Passengers"), and in each case, Newhart's inimitable line deliveries and befuddled stutter render each line hilarious, even when the humor shows signs of its Rat Pack-era vintage. It's obvious that Newhart relished this opportunity to perform these time-honored sketches to a new and (mostly) younger audience, and his performance goes off without a hitch. In the "Buttoned Down" bonus featurette, Newhart places his early career in context, and describes how he learned to hone each routine to each individual audience, and for anyone interested in building a definitive collection of stand-up classics, this DVD is nothing less than essential. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Newhart
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G6BLDI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,205 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2006
This is a great time for Bob Newhart fans. His TV series has been appearing regular on DVD and now we get this outstanding comedy special. All too quietly Bob Newhart became one of the funniest comedians to transition from stand up to TV and film. Newhart first became a fixture in the public mind with his TV appearances and record albums. This special named after his first record "The Button Down Mind" (which became a startling #1 hit on the record charts) captures Newhart in perfect form revisiting the past in a live venue, touching on previous performances by echoing those routines and moving forward to the 1995 (when this show was recorded) in a funny concert recorded at the Raymond Theater in Pasadena, California for Showtime.

In many respects this is almost like a concert by a band that's been around for a long time--Newhart uses some of his old routines which still sound surprisingly fresh over 40 years later--and integrates them seamlessly into his more contemporary take on the fragile and often funny human existence. Bob's an affable but often perplexed every man and as such his routines such as his hilarious routine about The Driving Instructor bounce around with the comic energy of the absurd that's right around the corner (or in this case the driveway) from all of us. Newhart takes this to even more absurd (and oddly enough contemporary again because of Peter Jackson's film "King Kong") situations when the night watchman for the Empire State Building calls his boss to figure out how to get Kong off the building without breaking any windows. I had heard many of these routines over the years courtesy of my parents (along with unusual items such as Olivier's "Hamlet" played on their treasured 78 long players at parties...yes "Hamlet" played at parties.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Michael Burton on September 24, 2006
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When a comedian can make audiences laugh at comedy routines he first recorded more than thirty years earlier -- when he can make a TV viewer (me) laugh out loud more than ten years after THAT -- boy, that comedian's really got something.

Some of the material was so familiar from Newhart's early '60s records that at one point in this performance he says, "I know some of you know these routines by heart, but it throws me off to watch your lips move along with mine as I'm doing them."

These are the routines on the DVD -- some titles from the DVD, some from the albums:

Bob at the Unemployment Office

Bus Drivers School

King Kong and the New Security Guard

Driving Instructor

Grace L. Ferguson Airline and Storm Door Co.

Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue

Cruise of the U.S.S. Codfish

The One-Eyed Bullfighter

Nobody Will Ever Play Baseball

The Nude Police Line-Up

Edison's Real Invention

Introducing Tobacco to Civilization

Retirement Party
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Torbay on November 10, 2006
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First of all, let me say that it's great to have Newhart's old standup routines memorialized for the ages on this video. All the old chestnuts are here: the Driving Instructor, Abe Lincoln, Tobacco and others. The downside is that Newhart doesn't do a particularly good job of delivering the material. It seems as if his timing is off and often some important and funny lines are omitted. Having said that, if this is all we can get to watch, it's still worth watching. But if you want Newhart at his best, get the original audio performances, available on CD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sylvia c on June 16, 2007
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I had some of this material on an old LP (which died) and I despaired of ever hearing it again. Bob Newhart conducts a hilarious imaginary telephone conversation with Sir Walter Raleigh, and as the security guard on duty at the Empire State Building the night King Kong climbs it. His driving instructor skit is side-splitting, and so is the retirement party episode -- the rest of it is all mind-boggling Newhart lunacy. Watching him perform it all on DVD was an added bonus. Excellent value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jack Hawkins on December 12, 2007
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I have LP's, CD's and Cassette tapes of every known Bob Newhart Stand Up (OK, Sit Down) routine. Collected them for years. Even sent a complete set to an Arab Sheik in Qatar. And just found out this DVD is available. If you like the original, before TV series, Newhart and you cannot catch one of his increasingly rare live shows, get this DVD. Classic Newhart, refined by age and experience. Buy a spare for a gift. Well worth the price!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kortick VINE VOICE on October 27, 2011
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Bob Newhart is truly amazing. His comedy is never vulgar or rude, or insulting to others. In his stand up, his albums and his TV shows he always portrays the absurd things we live with every day and stop noticing.
This is a DVD that mixes many classic routines from his comedy albums with some new insights and opinions on things in that classic Newhart deadpan delivery. Only could Bob Newhart have a maintence man working at the Empire State Bldg calmly calling his supervisor to get instructions of what to do in the event of a giant ape clutching a woman climbing up the side of the building (King Kong).
That is the genius of Newhart, and this DVD captures it for everyone to enjoy, from fans who have heard these routines before and for those who never have. Bob Newhart in my opinion never fails in his attempts to entertain.
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