Last night, after seven nominations and over 50 years in the industry, comedy legend Bob Newhart finally won his first Emmy Award. My original plan here was to rant and stomp my feet about (a) how sad it is that someone of his stature had to wait so long to win, and (b) how even when he did win it was in the less-publicized Creative Arts Emmys that are held a week before the main event, and for a guest role on a middle-of-the-road sitcom like Big Bang Theory. But then I read Newhart’s comments after the ceremony.
In his acceptance speech, the 84-year-old actor thanked his wife of 50 years, his four children, and The Big Bang Theory cast, “who really threw themselves on the sword for me.”
How did he manage to leave the Emmy Awards without a statuette for so many years? Newhart humbly told press backstage, “The best answer to that really is whenever I was nominated, there were better people in the category than me. That’s the truth. The best person wins. That’s the way it is.” [EW]
Good Lord, what a class act. Unless he meant “The best person wins. That’s the way it is” as a shot at fellow nominees Louis C.K. and Justin Timberlake, in which case, GOOD. You hang around the industry for 50 years before finally getting honored by your peers, you’ve earned the right to toss out a zinger or two. There’s well below a zero percent chance that that’s what he’s doing here, but even if it was, I’d have his back. Me and you against the world, Bob.
Anyway, if you’ve never heard Newhart’s stand-up (or even if you have), please find a few of his classic bits below.