Bob Newhart

Oak Park native Bob Newhart lit up the internet this week with his hilarious Emmy appearance on Sunday. Presenting the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, actor Ben Stiller tells the audience, “You can’t look at the history of television without chronicling the brilliant comedians who have defined the medium — people like George Burns.” 

Stiller walked past a wax figure of the late American comedian, who died in 1996 at the age of 100. He then walked toward a wax figure of the “inimitable Lucille Ball, whose hijinks with Ricky as she constantly tried to get into showbiz made her the biggest star on TV,” before going to Newhart who stood still, wax figure-like, but who is very much alive and well, having just turned 90. 

“What would Bob think today if he could see how the rules have changed?” Stiller asked as the crowd laughed at the irony. Newhart, milking his characteristic deadpan humor, looked toward the giggling audience, mock-bewildered. 

“Ben, Ben, Ben,” Newhart said to Stiller, who acted startled. “I’m still alive. … You put me with George and Lucy in this weird wax museum of comedians.” 

“No, no, no, no, it’s more like legends of comedy,” Stiller said. “Alive, dead, all different types of legends.” 

“This legend is going to kick you’re a—,” Newhart said. “That way you’ll know I’m alive.”

“I thought you didn’t curse,” Stiller said. 

“You thought I was dead,” Newhart shot back. 

Bob Newhart is very much alive … and funny. 

Michael Romain 

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