Bob Newhart Gets His Due With First Emmy Win, Will Return To 'The Big Bang Theory'

This was moment Bob Newhart had given hope would come — landing an Emmy Award. After a record losing streak (Newhart had been nominated six times before), he even had his series The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart removed from contention for six years to avoid disappointment. “Well, this is from your peers,” the low-key but deeply moved Newhart said backstage at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards after winning an Emmy for his guest starring stint on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. “When they say you’re good, it means something special.” The comedy icon added that he was “totally unprepared” for the standing ovation he received from those inside the Nokia. “I had come to feel that the kind of stuff I do just doesn’t win awards. I just figured that every year, there were better people than me in the category.

Related: 2013 Creative Arts Emmys Analysis

Newhart said that he will be returning to Big Bang in the coming season, as the same character Professor Proton or a different character. “That’s really up to (executive producer) Chuck (Lorre), and the writing team,” he said. The role that finally earned Newhart an Emmy came after a long courtship by Lorre, a fan going back to the Bob Newhart Show. “He asked what it would take to get me to do one of his shows,” he recalls, “and I said it has to be (something shot) in front of a live audience.” Why? “Because that’s the only thing I’ve ever done,” he replied. “It started with Lucy And Desi, then All In The Family and Mary Tyler Moore. I don’t know how to do a show that’s not in front of a live audience. Chuck said, ‘How about Big Bang Theory?’ I said great, it’s the best-written show on television.” Newhart also told Lorre that he “didn’t want to make it one and out.” Lorre was agreeable to that, and they had a deal.

(With reporting by Ray Richmond)

  1. Congrats to Bob Newhart! In all honesty, this should have been but the newest of many Emmy awards with his name on it. Bob’s button down mind has entertained and inspired for decades. Salute, Mr. Newhart, and cheers.

  2. So happy for Bob, so long overdo and well deserved. Congrats to one of the funniest guys ever and many thanks for all the years of laughs.

  3. He was brilliant in that episode–well deserved win, and hopefully, they bring him back as a semi-regular: the show needs it.

  4. I love Big Bang Theory and I love Bob Newhart, I really do. But…

    Did it ever seem like he was playing anything other than Bob Newhart on that episode? Did it seem like he was playing a character, or just being himself? Incredibly funny guy, but I’m not sure that was an award-winning role.

    1. Every so often a legendary talent will hit the right buttons to garner what is essentially a heretofore unattained, yet well-deserved award for a “body of work.” Good for Bob’s half century of laughs.

    2. You could say the same thing about Groucho Marx or W.C. Fields or Laurel and Hardy, and they were all brilliant, just like Newhart.

  5. About damn time ever since he appeared in Hell is for Heroes to NCIS. This man has stood tall over all the other so called damn comedians and to get it for TBBT, a show I dislike for the laugh track, that is still the supreme insult. But congratulations Mr. Newhart a win is a win.

  6. I’ve been watching “Newhart” reruns lately and they are priceless. The characters are incredibly funny and Bob brings it all together with his unique slightly rumpled brilliance. One of the best TV has ever offered.

  7. They should have made his character a Bob Hartley kind of psychologist, who could get into it with Christine Baranski’s psychiatrist character in a later episode.

  8. The “NEWHART ENDING” (where Bob wakes up with Emily) is still one of the best and most clever/fun endings EVER! Congrats, Bob! Thank you for entertaining us all these years.

  9. I remember watching his telephone routines on the 1960 Bob Newhart variety show. That show was developed on the strength of his first comedy album: he recorded several hilarious albums of routines from his nightclub act.

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