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The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart ()

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Though not the first standup comedian to release a live recording, Bob Newhart was probably the first to really capture the public's attention, thanks to this debut. Of the six pieces included on this album, five of them are set up as part of a conversation (usually by phone), something that became Newhart's trademark. The material here would have been novel in any age, and very little of it has dated substantially ("The Kruschev Landing Rehearsal" being the main exception, though it would still be funny even if you had no clue what the sketch was referring to). Though "Abe Lincoln Vs. Madison Avenue" and "Merchandising the Wright Brothers" are both top-shelf Newhart bits, "Driving Instructor" rises to the top of the heap. ~ Sean Carruthers, Rovi Hide synopsis

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