The Bob Newhart Show (1972–1978)
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Bob and Emily and Howard and Carol and Jerry 

Emily takes Howard to the dentist in the same building where Bob works. Howard has a high from sodium pentothal, meets Carol, and is utterly charming. Carol asks Emily to set them up on a ... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Baldwin

Writers:

David Davis (created by), Lorenzo Music (created by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Bob Newhart ... Dr. Robert 'Bob' Hartley
Suzanne Pleshette ... Emily Hartley
Peter Bonerz ... Dr. Jerry Robinson
Bill Daily ... Howard Borden
Marcia Wallace ... Carol Kester
Marilyn Child Marilyn Child ... Mrs. Walker
Pat Morita ... The Bartender
Shizuko Hoshi Shizuko Hoshi ... The Waitress
James Hong ... The Man
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Storyline

Emily takes Howard to the dentist in the same building where Bob works. Howard has a high from sodium pentothal, meets Carol, and is utterly charming. Carol asks Emily to set them up on a date. The foursome go out; Howard is back to normal. Written by Bernie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1972 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MTM Enterprises See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Four episodes earlier ('Don't Go To Bed, Mad'), the Hartleys had an unresolved argument about whether Bob will be allowed to watch Monday Night Football. Apparently the argument was resolved in Bob's favor, because in this episode, he complains about missing Monday Night Football. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Robert 'Bob' Hartley: [Bob and Emily are in a Chinese restaurant - Carol's there, on a first date with Howard - having only first spoken with him after he left the dentist's office, and - eloquently - speaking with her - due to the after-effects of the gas. Now, she's meeting the 'real' Howard. They're all standing at the bar, waiting for their table] Why don't you order a drink?
Howard Borden: Yeah, oh, they make a drink here - it's so special. I mean, it's just terrific. It's, uh, it's uh... I just can't think of the name of it.
The Bartender: [...]
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Connections

References The High and the Mighty (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

What Could Go Wrong?
4 March 2019 | by JasonDanielBakerSee all my reviews

Bob Hartley (Bob Newhart) and his wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) have been happily married for three years (REALLY not very long...Especially for 1972) after a blind date that went better than they usually go.

In the spirit of that, Emily thinks it might be a good idea to set up their wacky neighbour Howard (Bill Daily - a criminally underappreciated comedian who used to write for Steve Allen) with Bob's flighty secretary Carol Kester (Marcia Wallace).

Bob doesn't think it is a good idea. He explains why. What he doesn't have to explain is what we have already seen from Carol and Howard. She is constantly horny and his job as navigator for an airline flight crew means he is out of town every week. The audience can see where that might go even if the characters on the show haven't evaluated the equation. Then Jerry (ONE of her bosses...Sort of) factors in. He picks up on Carol all the time (Almost like he is following some kind of rule). His attentions will almost certainly factor in because Carol kinda likes him too.

But it is too late. Emily has already talked Howard up to Carol. Emily has dropped Howard off at her husband's office building where Howard gets a tooth yanked (Though strangely NOT by Bob's dentist friend Jerry who has an office on the very same floor). After his procedure (and a generous shot of laughing gas) Howard is found hanging out by Carol's desk. In an artificially relaxed state he comes off as calm, witty and strangely spiritual. Carol likes him.

The double date Carol and Howard have with the Hartleys is planned on the fly and goes off poorly. Off drugs, Howard is Howard. A nice, harmless man he is nevertheless like a ten year old in bad need of Ritalin and shows every sign of a social anxiety disorder. Carol, fickle in the extreme, is considerably less impressed. Howard's continued awkward attempts at romance with Carol collide with Jerry's awkward attempts at romance with Carol.

They had done some solid work by this point in the series. But they crafted a classic in this entry. They did that with a teleplay that additionally served to elevate the importance and resonance of supporting characters adding depth to the stories they would be able to develop later. I'm convinced this episode influenced the Chinese restaurant episode on Seinfeld due to the bit with the maitre d (James Hong, who also appeared in this episode).

Evidently one of the rules of the show was that if Bob could explain it in a funnier way than it would be to stage it then they'd let him explain it. His audience, going all the way back to his albums love it when Bob has to explain something that is awkward to explain. So it was with Howard's date with Carol.

Finally Marcia Wallace's Carol Kester character began to develop beyond being Wallace doing Carol Burnett if Carol was playing Mrs.Wiggins and Mrs. Wiggins was doing an impression of Lily Tomlin's Ernestine character. Whilst appearing derivative it made for a very funny combination. So the show continued to go with that. They also picked up on the fact that Carol the receptionist wasn't seen to do very much at the office and seemed like a redundancy in past episodes.

Here we see her collating. In episodes before it Carol was seen stamping letters and attending to a datebook. Difficult things for an actor to do and time a portrayal with. Marcia Wallace did more and more things like that as she went which served quite well to sell the eccentric characterization and the setting. For some of us that counts for a lot. One imagines long rehearsal and endless takes to get it right.

The character continued to make a cascade of emotional transactions at the office. Workers are not supposed to do that. But they are human beings and spend half their waking hours during a work week AT the office or whatever kind of workplace it is. They don't stop being human beings from 9am to noon, then become human for lunch hour, then stop being human again from 1pm until 5pm.

Carol is the extreme. If she was not, she might have gone unnoticed on a sitcom. What she gave Bob Newhart was the constant flexibility to pivot comically to a bit with him being the boss trying to be polite when an employee is flaking on him. It offers several variations on "You're HERE...THANKS! Since you're around could ya maybe do some of the things we pay you for?".

Note:

Emily is terrified to fly. It is part of the series bible that she has a fear of air travel. In Howard, we also see a commercial plane navigator who has a notoriously poor sense of direction and consistently appears poised to have a panic attack. Because of that, I always wondered if the show was sponsored by a company that sold travel insurance.


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