"The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart is a classic for a reason--it's still funny. But timelessness is a hallmark of Newhart's brand of comedy, however. Otherwise, people would not still have been watching his hit sitcoms The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart all these years. The format of this album is simple: Bob on stage in front of an audience, generally enacting one side of a conversation. His ideas are what is termed "high-concept," which means they can be summarized in one sentence, or in his case, in a few words. Case in point, track one, "Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue." Now from the beginning you know exactly what this is about, and just in case Bob introduces each skit with an explanation. It's low-key (hence "button-down") and it's clean, so the whole family can listen (although as you can tell from the track listing, a basic knowledge of history is helpful). Only the Krushchev skit may be entirely unfamiliar to modern listeners. Button-Down Mind holds up to repeated listenings, but at just over 30 minutes, this price may be too much to spend. Something Like This...The Bob Newhart Anthology is a much better deal, as it contains a lot more material and is not much more expensive."
A Pleasant Surprise for a Younger Generation
Daniel R. Sanderman | Portland, OR United States | 02/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike many who have commented on this CD, I am not familiar with the Bob Newhart show simply because I am only twenty one years old. When I received this album, I was skeptical at first. The title sounded dry and the picture of Bob Newhart on the cover led me to believe that I was in for some of the most conservative comedy I'd ever listened to.
I must say that, after listening to the album half a dozen times, "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" is a comedic smash. For someone who grew up listening to Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart's hilarious "one-sided conversational" style of comedy is a scream. While an understanding of history is necessary in order to soak up every ounce of this album, even one who is not familiar with, say the Kruschev landing, will enjoy Newhart's style and absolutely perfect sense of timing.
This album has truly sparked my interest in his work and I hope to soon be adding more Bob Newhart albums to join my already growing collection of Bill Cosby."
Standup from Another Era
Brian D. Rubendall | Oakton, VA | 10/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded more than forty years ago, "The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart," will not be a big surprise to anyone who anly knows Newhart as a television actor. Newhart's standup routines had the same kind of dry wit that he would later use to perfection as a comedic actor. The six lengthy stories included on this album all have the same basic structure. One character is speaking while others are engaging in unheard conversation or just listening. The high point comes with "Nobody Will Ever Play Baseball," in which a befuddled Abner Doubleday tries to sell the unknown game to a modern toy company executive. The brilliance of the piece is that we only hear the toy executive's end of the telephone conversation. "Abe Lincoln Vs. Madison Avenue" and "Merchandizing and the Wright Brothers" both have a similar themes.The album's only drawback is that parts of it are quite dated. The Krushchev bit will baffle anyone under age fifty and the Driving Instructor routine is quite sexist. Nevertheless, this recording is a great relic for fans of Bob Newhart."
The best non-musical album ever made!
29-year old wallflower | West Lafayette, IN | 01/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm always accustomed to hearing some sort of music on a compact disc, so a recording of a comedy routine didn't win me over at first. But after hearing the first BUTTON DOWN MIND album, I've changed my tune (no pun intended). A great deal of today's comics rely on physical or slapstick humor to be funny. But comedy also requires expert timing and a considerable amount of intellect. Bob Newhart has both of these in abundance. It's no surprise this album was a smash when it was released, because even if most of the routines are considerably dated, they're still guaranteed to produce belly laughs in these more explicit and permissable times."
Sailour@Prodigy.Net | Baytown, Texas | 02/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If Bob were a drink, he'd be the perfect martini; so dry it's dying of thirst. Bob takes for a look at the otherside of ourselves, never loud, never crass. Bob shows us the back of the funhouse mirror, and even 3 decades later (like the previous respondent, I inherited an original LP from my parents) it all makes sense. particularly the historical (I'm resisting the obvious pun there) Abe Lincoln and Walter Raleigh skits. Please buy this disc, or all of them if you can afford it. You'll really be giving yourself a treat. (and your kids and heirloom!)"