I can honestly say that a one-hour standup special might result in my shortest review ever, but if that’s how the chips fall this time, so be it. Bob Newhart is certainly not without his admirers, he’s been an established comedic force for decades. He didn’t get his big break until the ‘60s, and parlayed that success into television shows in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and aside from the occasional movie appearance, shows up from time to time with late night talk show hosts that run out of material.
…P>The type of humor Newhart employed in his early ‘60s comedy can easily be described as deadpan, as he dealt with several skits involving real-life situations, but handled them in a bit of a low key manor. The unfortunate thing about Newhart’s comedy is that it’s so deadpan it’s more than a little bit of an acquired taste. But for whatever reason, it comes off exceptionally well when playing off of a supporting cast. Even as a stand-up, Newhart didn’t have too many moments that I could really laugh at, unless and Don Rickles were battling wits.
Here in his Button-Down Concert, Newhart uses the King Kong bit, and the driving instructor bit (which does result in a funny line when Bob has to use a different stereotype initially, due to the crowd resistance, resulting in more laughter), but otherwise, the humor is left lost on me. Perhaps I’m more used to and familiar with the humor sensibilities of a Pryor or a Carlin, but Bob seems like a nice guy. He has to be, if he had a drinking game named after him. But I could certainly have enjoyed the PG-13 Bob more than what I saw here.
Dolby Stereo is about right for this performance. Besides, it’s not like it should be in surround or anything.
Full frame viewing for all to see and enjoy. Nothing good or bad here, it just…is.
Aside from a stills gallery and a brief look at Bob that isn’t worth writing about, there’s nothing to see here.
Those who like Bob will enjoy what appears to be his proverbial “greatest hits”, but if you like more of the comics of today, this one might turn you off. But it’s certainly a change of pace from what we’re usually seeing on Comedy Central or something.
Special Features List
- Still Gallery