Bob Newhart is one of the most popular comedians in American history. His comedy album from the 60s: "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" is one of the top selling comedy albums of all time.
The following Bob Newhart story is taken from my first book "The Radio Producer's Handbook," which, by the way is still available at amazon.com. It comes from Chapter 3 "Crafting a Great Interview", page 34, in the section about phone interviews...
Recording phone interviews in studios that aren’t normally used for recording interviews can present all sorts of logistical problems. Normally, you have to kick a production person out of his studio to do this, and he has everything set precisely the way he wants it. A few years ago, Rick was attempting to tape a phone interview between John Landecker & Bob Newhart.
The production director had no idea how to set up his control board to record a phone call. The first two times Newhart got on the line, the production director accidentally hung up on him. By the time the studio was properly set up, Newhart had been waiting on the line for twenty minutes. Luckily, he had a great sense of humor about it. He thought that they were trying to do a phone bit like the ones that made him famous.
When we finally got him on the air, he and John had a great conversation. They talked about his breakthrough album that John memorized when he was a kid, and Bob's two most successful television series.
We also played John's all-time favorite Bob Newhart bit: This one about Abraham Lincoln.
And, of course, the clip of one of the most memorable moments in television history.