Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Button Down Mind Strikes Back
Genres: Special Interest, Pop
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Interplanetary Funksmanship | Vanilla Suburbs, USA | 12/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are late 30-something/early 40s like I am, then your earliest memories of Bob Newhart are most likely of Newhart as nonplussed psychologist Bob Hartley in his early 1970s TV show with Suzanne Pleshette. To this day, nobody deadpans like Newhart, and every so often, Hollywood honors him by giving him the unflappable straight man role, most recently playing Will Ferrell's adoptive father in "Elf."
But, for those of my father's generation, they first heard Newhart's incredibly funny one-sided phone conversation routines in nightclubs in the late 1950s/early 60s.
Newhart was the biggest name in standup comedy during the first half of the '60s, a title he relinquished to the up-and-coming Bill Cosby in the latter part of the decade. Listen to this CD re-release of his excellent follow-up album from 1960, and you'll find out why.
His bits are so perfectly timed, that even when he's done a routine hundreds of times, it still sounds fresh. Newhart was a sort of forerunner to the comic strip Dilbert: Starting out as an accountant, you can hear in his pieces "Automation" and "Retirement Party" why he stopped being another C.C. Baxter and turned to comedy instead.
The best bit on this album, though, is "The Grace L. Ferguson Airline (And Storm Door Co.)." He brings the house down with this single line "and we climbed into her Volkswagen..."
"Ledge Psychology" is Bob's foray into black comedy, if you think about it. It's just that his somewhat naive demeanor allowed him to get away with making it sound merely eccentric.
Imagine Drew Carey (who modeled his persona after Newhart's early 1960s skinny tie, buttoned-down look) with Steven Wright's mind, and you'll get why Newhart was so big.
Also, here's a great comedy album you can let your kids listen to. Here's where the rubber meets the road: Everyone says that Lenny Bruce was the most revolutionary comic in the last 50 years. But, take away the four letter words, and is Bruce as funny?
Newhart never had to work blue because he's a natural funny man. Forty-five years after he first hit the scene, there's a good reason he's still in demand and this album's still in print."
Can't top a Bob Newhart recording
Clifford L Milligan | Rochester, NY | 08/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To claim that this is a disappointment compared with Bob's first album is doing this one a major disservice. It is very difficult to separate the first two of Bob's recordings. I find A Private in George Washington's Army, The Grace L Ferguson Airline (and Stormdoor) Company, and Bus Driver's School every bit as funny as the material on the first album. As you listen to this one, remember back to when you were in school hearing about the winter of 1776, the crossing of the Delaware and the picture of the men marching with the fife, drum and flag. Bob's rendition of those events will have you rethinking history.... Think of the Bus Driver's School as a complement of the the Driving Instructor and you will understand why bus drivers are the way they are..... Listen to both of Bob's first two recordings a couple of times and you won't be able to distinguish between them..."
One of the top 5 comedy albums ever!
Clifford L Milligan | 07/17/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My parents had this back in the days when they were made out of vinyl and they were 12" in diameter. To this day it is one of my favorite memories of comedy. I'm so glad it has been released on CD! Bob's "Bus Driver" monologue and the "Ledge Psychology" bit are my favorites from this album."