Tags: bob newhart | johnny carson

Bob Newhart Reveals the Johnny Carson Nobody Knew

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Johnny Carson (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 03 October 2019 12:43 PM

For 30 years Americans tuned in religiously to watch Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show." There was always an element of surprise to the show and while the show featured many stars as guest one in particular stood out: Bob Newhart made 87 appearances, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"The Tonight Show" ran from 1962 to 1992 and during that time Newhart forged a friendship with Carson. Elements of this were obvious on TV but the real chemistry was offscreen, as Newhart explained in an interview with People, in which he discussed the Carson nobody knew.

It makes sense that two comedians would bond over comedy, but they took things to a different level with a series of escalating pranks. One particular incident that stands out to Newhart was when his friend, who died in 2005 at 79, was hosting a "boring" author.

"The show was an hour and a half, I think. [Carson’s sidekick] Ed [McMahon]’s sitting here, and there’s a clock right there. So he’s got this author and the author really is boring us. I look at Johnny’s face and he’s just like, 'How soon can I get out of this?'"

Newhart saw it as the perfect opportunity to prank his friend.

"So, every time he’d look away, I told Ed, 'Move the minute hand back,'" he continued. "And he’d move it back five minutes."

There were other comic moments shared off camera between the two friends, who happened to be neighbors at the time. Newhart recalled how one night of drinks culminated with Carson buying and delivering a bed to his neighbor.

It all began at a Malibu bar, where the two would often meet after the show. That particular night the two took the party over to Newhart's house.

"So one time, [my wife] Ginnie, she signaled me and she said, 'Jon, you have to excuse me. I have to get up and take the kids to school in the morning,'" Newhart explained. "Johnny said, 'Oh, yeah.' The next day, a knock at the door. He had gone to an army surplus store and bought a cot and delivered it to our house so she didn’t have to go all the way upstairs, and she could sleep [right there] … I mean, he went out of his way."

The two may have shared some raucous moments but Newhart's act is famously wholesome. He and his wife are devout Catholics who have been married for over 50 years and it was comedian Buddy Hackett who set them up.

"He said to me, 'Bobby, you're Catholic right? I got a girl for you. I'll fix you up on a blind date and you'll get married and have kids and name one of them Buddy,'" Newhart said, per The Hollywood Reporter. The burning question is, did he follow through with that wish?

"We did, we named one of the girls [Buddy]," Newhart said half-jokingly.

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For 30 years Americans tuned in religiously to watch Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show." There was always an element of surprise to the show and while the show featured many stars as guest one in particular stood out: Bob Newhart made 87 appearances . . .
bob newhart, johnny carson
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2019-43-03
Thursday, 03 October 2019 12:43 PM
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