BOB NEWHART–(What’s fair, Mr. Doubleday?)

Every day after school in 6th grade I came home and hit the record shelf for the comedy album du jour. Thus far we’ve dipped into two of my favorites, Allan Sherman and the ‘2000 Year Old Man’. But it was Bob Newhart’s ‘Button Down Mind’ and ‘Button Down Mind Strikes Back’ albums that I felt the deepest connection with and played the most often. (In fact I’m surprised to find, when listening to the routines now, that I remember many of them word for word). I’m not sure why Newhart spoke to me–perhaps it was because I was already interested in filmmaking and the routines, being largely situational, thus could be imagined as little scenes? Maybe. Or maybe it was Newhart’s gentle dry wit and un-comedian-ish delivery and demeanor that seemed a refreshing twist from the more in-your-face style of most of the others. In any event for those of you who’ve never heard Newhart’s stand up here’s ‘Nobody will ever play baseball’, a seasonally apropos meditation on the seemingly improvised rules of this strange game. And I imagine some of you will remember it line for line as I did when replaying it for the first time in years early this morning.

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