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)