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I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny [Kindle Edition]

Bob Newhart
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.96 (33%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

The first book ever from an icon of American comedy--a hilarious combination of stories from his career and observations about life

That stammer. Those basset-hound eyes. That bone-dry wit. There has never been another comedian like Bob Newhart. His comedy albums, movies, and two hit television series have made him a national treasure and placed him firmly in the pantheon of comedy legends. Who else has a drinking game named after him And now, at last, Newhart puts his brilliant and hysterical world view on paper.

Never a punch-line comic, always more of a storyteller, he tells anecdotes from throughout his life and career, including his beginnings as an accountant and the groundbreaking success of his comedy albums and The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, which gave him fifteen years on primetime television. And he also gives his wry, comedic twist to a multitude of topics, including golf, drinking, and family holidays.

Today, Newhart appears on Desperate Housewives, in hit movies such as Elf, and in theaters around the country. Reruns of his shows air constantly on Nick at Nite--have recently been released with great success for the first time ever on DVD. With this book, Bob Newhart gives his millions of fans a first ever opportunity to sample his unique brand of humor--including excerpts from some of his classic routines--on the printed page.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Beginning with his 1960 Grammy-winning album, The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart, the comedian's 46-year career has included nightclub standup, TV series (The Bob Newhart Show), animation voices (The Simpsons), feature films (Catch-22, Elf)—and now his first book. At age 77, Newhart is clearly in his anecdotage, with mirthful memories of his successes and failures. Treating the reader almost as a personal friend, Newhart covers everything in this guided tour through his button-down brain, from his 43-year marriage and fear of flying to fatherhood, Vegas, sitcoms, golf and assorted antics with celebrity pals. Aware that digression is the better part of valor, he interrupts the low-key autobiographical flow with amusing asides, and this rambling look at "the absurdist side of life" is just as effective in print as on TV, adding depth and dimension to the familiar image of Newhart as a frustrated, flawed everyman. In the tradition of Max Eastman's Enjoyment of Laughter (1936) and Steve Allen's The Funny Men (1956), he analyzes and compares comedy styles. The hilarity is heightened as he reveals how he created his best satirical sketches. Influenced by H. Allen Smith, Robert Benchley, James Thurber and Max Shulman, Newhart himself has now joined that lofty pantheon. (Sept. 19)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Bob Newhart is a great comedian and a great American." -- David Hyde Pierce

Product Details

  • File Size: 496 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (September 19, 2006)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000Q9IWSW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob Newhart - Comic Genius and All Around Great Guy September 30, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bob Newhart's book, I SHOULDN'T EVEN BE DOING THIS, is what one would expect from a man of his character: well-written, insightful, humorous, and kind to others. I feel very fortunate that he has been an acquaintance of mine for the past 13 years or so. I say "acquaintance" because we aren't close friends that remember each other at Christmas and on birthdays, but we do e-mail each other from time-to-time. Actually, now that I think about it, he has remembered to snail mail me when I've had an operation or two. However, I digress.

The book is well written, it is brief as compared to most tomes these days; however, it hits on the main points of his life. I have listened to the abridged audio version (I haven't found an unabridged version), and found it to be enjoyable; however, the book has so much more of his antedotes that I would recommend it first to a Newhart fan.

The beginning wasn't always easy and the book describes in detail his evolution from accountant to comedian, sharing comicial moments along the way, and his having the top two albums on the Billboard chart for one year. As Bob describes it, the following year he received a Grammy, a Peabody, and a pink slip (when his first TV show, a variety program, was cancelled). That setback did not deter him as it allowed him to place more emphasis on his stand-up comedy routines.

If you are younger than 45, you probably aren't familiar with his comedy routines, and his book will introduce you to several, notably "The USS Codfish," "Sir. Walter Raleigh," and his "Abe Lincoln PR" routines. If you are familiar with them, he gives you insight into their development. The routines are as fresh today as they were then.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This January 28, 2008
Format:Paperback
Being a long-time Bob Newhart fan I could hardly wait to buy this book. As would be expected, Bob tosses out his genteel type of humor in his telling. It's hard to put down.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars smart and funny, like the man himself September 23, 2006
Format:Hardcover
If you've ever seen Bob Newhart as a guest on a talk show, you know what a bright and thoughtful guy he is. Unlike many celebrities who go on The Tonight Show to talk about everyday things such as what it's like to be a new parent, their dogs, or how difficult it is to recover from an addiction to diet pills, Newhart realizes that what people want to hear is about all the famous people he's met and his huge fund of hilarious stories. He tells many of those stories here, but he barely mentions his dogs at all.

The book focuses on the interesting people he's met in show business, and includes stories about Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, George C. Scott, Steve McQueen man, and a host of others. He writes extensively about his early years struggling in Chicago and what he learned from comics like Jack Benny about the use of silence in comedy. I was very interested to read that he sees his comedy as subversive. Unlike more outrageous comedians like Lenny Bruce who presented himself as an outsider looking in to batter down society's ills, Newhart looks and acts just like the rest of us, except he's a lot funnier, and when he pokes fun, it's more effective because he's doing it from the inside. Also, Bob Newhart never became addicted to heroin. Newhart's quietly skewed view of life is what makes him a timeless comedian.

While he presents many of his classic monologues verbatim in the book, it might be worthwhile to also purchase his "Something Like This" CD, because much of the humor is in the delivery. I laughed out loud several times while reading this. For the record, I thought the funniest story in the book involved comedian Dick Martin. (See p. 82)

In the 1960's Frank Sinatra used to say that he wished someone would learn to sing as he did so that he could retire; the same holds true for Bob Newhart, one of the great comedians who also seems like a really nice guy.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Biography mixed with bits...good! May 25, 2008
Format:Paperback
While I don't read show biz biographies--heaven knows theres too many of them and those subjects are already over-idolized--I saw this one. Newhart has always been my favorite "clean" comic. That doesn't mean I don't like, say, Lenny Bruce. But, say, Eddie Murphy and George Carlin overdo the "let's be audacious" thing. Newhart doesn't need to do that.

What's more, I've always wanted to learn a little about what makes a comedian's mind tick. (Though Newhart explains in one chapter that if he sees another book on the science of comedy, he's going to "throw up.")

Actually, Newhart is quite eloquent. His vocabulary impressed me. There is, of course, name dropping, but it doesn't come across that way. He has a chapter, for example, on golf, those with whom he'd golf and witty anecdotes about other golfers, like Dean Martin--and an interesting story about Clark Gabel and Robert Wagner.

Interspersed with the biography are many of his bits. But he adds to them. Like I've always liked his "airline and stormdoor company" bit. He adds a little about the real flight, on a C47 with seats bolted down--when the aircraft did cargo flights the seats were taken out.

He does talk about both of his television shows. While I'm not a TV watcher and don't think I ever saw either of them all the way through, he even explains a little about how each show came about--and how his wife offered the plot of the finale of all of them.

Oh, and the one I "read" was an abridged, CD version. I couldn't imagine reading this, but Newhart read it with his usual, stammering version, part of his bit. (Indeed, he distinguishes at the beginning of the book between stammering, which he does, and stuttering.

Overall, it's a lot of fun.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A great chronological walk through his life.
Published 4 hours ago by R. Preston Price
5.0 out of 5 stars I like Bob Newhart
I like Bob Newhart... I mean, seriously, who doesn't?

He seems like the nicest of guys, and it doesn't change in this book. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Ronald R. Allen Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted History, Worth the Read
I love Bob Newhart and found his book to be as charming and understated as he is. He is a true comic genius with the longevity to prove it. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Lisa Finefrock
5.0 out of 5 stars I still love Bob!
I can "listen " to Bob all day long. His stories are engaging; he is kind to others reputations. I enjoy his "voice" and miss seeing him on my tv. Read more
Published 23 days ago by P. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
It was like sitting in a room and talking to him. I would recommend this book to everyone. Great Read
Published 1 month ago by tutubne
5.0 out of 5 stars Newhart review of his book "I shouldn't even be doing this!"
There isn't anything I don't like about Bob Newhart. His low key approach to humor is as good as it gets.
Published 1 month ago by johnd38
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny!
I could just hear Bob Newhart saying these things! Typical Bob! I remember these stages of his career and it was interesting to hear him tell it.
Published 1 month ago by barbf620
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed
I am sorry to have to give this book only two stars. I consider myself a Bob Newhart fan. I loved his television shows, I enjoy his dry humor, and he normally makes me laugh. Read more
Published 1 month ago by former car guy
5.0 out of 5 stars true comic icon
He writes as he delivers on stage. If you're looking for drama and action skip it. If you want a taste of hollywood and vegas as they were and insights into other comedic legends... Read more
Published 2 months ago by paul semo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Bob Newhart is a classic comic and to read about his journey to become the great entertainer he is today, was enjoyable. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mary Goodwin
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