Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart
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The format of this album is simple: Bob on stage in front of an audience, generally enacting one side of a conversation. His ideas are what is termed "high-concept," which means they can be summarized in one sentence, or in his case, in a few words. Case in point, track one, "Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue." Now from the beginning you know exactly what this is about, and just in case Bob introduces each skit with an explanation.
It's low-key (hence "button-down") and it's clean, so the whole family can listen (although as you can tell from the track listing, a basic knowledge of history is helpful). Only the Krushchev skit may be entirely unfamiliar to modern listeners.
Button-Down Mind holds up to repeated listenings, but at just over 30 minutes, this price may be too much to spend. Something Like This...The Bob Newhart Anthology is a much better deal, as it contains a lot more material and is not much more expensive.
I must say that, after listening to the album half a dozen times, "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" is a comedic smash. For someone who grew up listening to Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart's hilarious "one-sided conversational" style of comedy is a scream. While an understanding of history is necessary in order to soak up every ounce of this album, even one who is not familiar with, say the Kruschev landing, will enjoy Newhart's style and absolutely perfect sense of timing.
This album has truly sparked my interest in his work and I hope to soon be adding more Bob Newhart albums to join my already growing collection of Bill Cosby.
The album's only drawback is that parts of it are quite dated. The Krushchev bit will baffle anyone under age fifty and the Driving Instructor routine is quite sexist. Nevertheless, this recording is a great relic for fans of Bob Newhart.
The funniest bit is the opening routine of "Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue" ("Hi, Abe, sweetheart, how are you kid?") when the president's press agent tries to keep Honest Abe on script for his appearance at Gettysburg. But "Driving Instructor" also qualifies as top-flight classic Newhart. The only complaint would be that some of these routines, especially "Merchandising the Wright Brothers" and "Nobody Would Ever Play Baseball" could be longer; Newhart is only beginning to milk those ideas for everything they are worth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Here's where Bob started it all! A must for any Newhart fan. Made this comedy his signature style and became what you saw in his television shows bearing his name.Published 20 days ago by Dennis M. Davis
The comedy itself is good and is classic early Bob Newhart. The problem is that there's so little on the CD that it's not worth the price. Just a few, brief comedy phone calls.Published 8 months ago by Skydiver
"You know there was this....." nobody gets more humor out of a telephone call than Bob Newhart.Published 9 months ago by J. Pepoon