Bob Newhart – Button-Down Concert (1995/2006)

by | Sep 27, 2006 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Bob Newhart – Button-Down Concert (1995/2006)

Studio: 20th Century Fox Video
Video: 4:3 full frame color
Audio: DD stereo, English
Subtitles: Captioned, English, Spanish
Extras: Featurette interview with Bob, Bob’s photo gallery
Length: 62 minutes
Rating: ****

Some performers maintain a long career and never change. Newhart is one of them and it’s a good thing.  He’s just as funny now as he was in his first unique 1960 comedy LP.  And he’s doing the same sketches – usually one side of a phone conversation, which becomes an interactive thing with his audiences because they are thinking of what the other person on the line must be saying during the pauses in Bob’s patter. And breaking up thinking it. His best sketches are in this show, and will be a revelation to vidiots who only know Newhart from his various TV sitcoms. His first job after the army was as an accountant for United States Gypsum, and much of his humor comes from the military or business world. Sensitive viewers will also appreciate that Newhart never even suggests any blue humor.

There is the frazzled driving instructor, the smart-ass bus driving instructor, the addled S.S. Codfish submarine commander, the security guard dealing with King Kong, the Grace L. Ferguson Airline and Storm Door Company, the PR handler for Abe Lincoln.  The latter sketch illustrates that the anachronism of a telephone in Lincoln’s day is just part of the humorous situation. The interview with Newhart – recently taped – is worth seeing for a number of interesting revelations.  In contrast with the concert performance taped in Pasadena a decade earlier, it demonstrates either the major difference a decade can make in a person’s appearance and/or the miracle of stage makeup.

 – John Sunier

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