A well-known comedian in the 1960s, Bob Newhart took his low-key brand of laughs and created a sitcom for the 1970s: The Bob Newhart Show.
Newhart played psychologist Dr. Bob Hartley, with his wife Emily played by Suzanne Pleshette and his best buddy Howard played by Bill Daily. Marcia Wallace played Carol, a smartass receptionist.
Despite stiff competition from other networks sitcoms, including MASH, Maude and Sanford and Son, fans of the comedian loved his 30 minute show. Each episode opened with a monologue by Newhart, speaking on the phone to a patient.
There were several recurring patient characters that became favourites including Elliot Carlin, a seemingly normal person who created problems, Mrs Lillian Bakerman who avoided talking about anything concrete but knitted constantly or Michelle Nardo who would do all the talking during the session.
Debuting in September 1972 for CBS Television, the straight man efforts of Bob Newhart as he dealt with his family, friends, colleagues and patients were popular with viewers. The show was steady in the top 20 for several seasons, thanks to being in the time slot after The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
The show received several Emmy nominations but never won. But for fans of comedian Bob Newhart, this weekly show was a treat in his unique comedic style.