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I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  2,348 Ratings  ·  334 Reviews
The first book ever from an icon of American comedy--a hilarious combination of stories from his career and observations about life

That stammer. Those basset-hound eyes. That bone-dry wit. There has never been another comedian like Bob Newhart. His comedy albums, movies, and two hit television series have made him a national treasure and placed him firmly in the pantheon o
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ebook, 256 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Hyperion (first published 2006)
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Jason Koivu
Bob Newhart's trademark dry humor and hesitant mannerisms are all over this book and I'M LOVING IT!

The comedian-turned-actor has been a favorite of mine ever since I was a kid. Granted, his older fans will give me a Newhart-esque curmudgeonly stare with a telling clearing of the throat when I say it was the 80s show, not the 70s one that got me hooked. Egads, I can't even imagine what fans of his earlier comedy albums must think of me!

I gave I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This! only 3 stars because i
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Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 25, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I am a long time fan of Bob Newhart. The man's "style" of comedy has always "cracked me up". I don't know when I first heard him, it had to be in the 1950s on TV... But I simply can't recall.

In this short (audio) memorie he goes over the background of his comedy. I mean let's face it. Who would have thought that a guy talking into an imaginary (or sometimes prop) telephone could be that funny. He's played everything from a submarine captain to Abraham Lincoln's publicist.

And you not only get th
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Peter
Aug 04, 2009 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor!
Shelves: humor, autobiography
Bob Newhart is a very funny guy. And he's written a very funny book.

I picked this up under odd circumstances; in the used book store next to the Boothbay Public Library. The funny thing was that I found it only seconds after finding a copy of Dr Katz's Me at a Glance. What's the connection? I used to watch Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and The Bob Newhart Show (the one where Bob plays a psychologist) with a friend back in the 1990s. We loved those shows!

It's a nice, light read; Bob recounts s
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Daniél Minton
Feb 28, 2013 Daniél Minton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed from the first page of this book when Bob talks about alternative titles. He says, "I was told by my editor that titles sell books, so the first titles I proposed was A Slimmer You in Three Weeks. That would have been an instant best seller because diet books sell like crazy."

This was a quick, pleasant read about Bob, his career, his jokes, and a little about his life. He includes the text of many of his full routines. I was familiar with a bunch of them, and very much enjoyed reading
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Tess Mertens-Johnson
Thank you Bob Newhart.
I listened to your book on CD, and the dead pan delivery of the jokes had me laughing as I drove to work in -24 degree weather in MN. At t time where the weather was dangerous and people in general were down, you gave me a lift on the way to work.
Thank you Bob Newhart.
I shared you jokes with others and made them laugh at a time when times were financially tight and stress was at a personal high.
Thank you Bob Newhart.
When I came back from my desk after having a meeting about
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Joe
Aug 01, 2015 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
Bob Newhart is the best! If you don't listen to this as an audiobook you're doing yourself a great disservice because so much of his humor is in his delivery. He even goes over this in the book. It's a stammer not a stutter and it's real, not an affectation.

This book is part memoir, part greatest hits. Newhart tells stories of his personal and professional life all the while interspersing some of his more famous bits (i.e. King Kong/Night Watchman and Submarine Commander to name a few).

I'm embar
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Lynda Wylde
I love Bob Newhart. I love his voice and his face and his sense of humor; I just want to hug him. I was pleased to find that Newhart narrates the audiobook version of this book, which I listened to during my commute. In a very conversational style, Bob tells of growing up in Chicago, becoming an accountant and then a comedian. His stories are littered with bits of his stand-up routine that I had never heard before; Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue, the driving instructor, and King Kong had me laug ...more
David
Nov 15, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Breezy, anecdote-driven memoir by a very funny (IMO) guy. Some parts dragged (e.g., the chapter on how much he loves to play golf, some of the many instances in which he and his wife went out to dinner with Don Rickles and his wife.......), but for the most part it's readable and amusing. I remember his hit TV shows well and fondly, and I knew he'd been a successful touring standup comedian forever, but until reading this track I'd lost track of how huge comedy albums used to be. Fun quiz you ca ...more
William B.
May 23, 2013 William B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a nice book. Not really an insightful book about Bob Newhart and what he thinks deeply about life, more of a comedy. I liked the book. I wanted to love it because I like Bob Newhart, but it missed something. He didn't reflect much on his childhood, but did go into detail about how he got into comedy. He focuses especially on his friendship with Don Rickles. He puts many of his comedy bits from the 'Button Down Mind' album, but when you read them in print, it misses something. Made me wa ...more
Laura
Jan 01, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Light and fun autobiography of one of my favorite comedians. Newhart comes off as honest and likable--a refreshing reminder that comedians don't have to be super nasty to be excellent at their art. Starts a little slow. Not sure why he even included an introduction. From the intro, on, it's a quick, pleasant read.
KrisTina
Nov 30, 2013 KrisTina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this driving to and back from St. George. Hilarious I've always been a fan of Bob Newhart - I find his dry humor pretty entertaining - this book, read by him, was a little slow in places and I would have preferred if he would have just played some of the Johnny Carson interviews that he read the back and forth of - but still - a great read/listen.
Mark Buehl
I actually listened to this book on CD read by Bob Newhart. That was a real treat. It is funny and insightful. You learn a lot about his early years. A good read, but a better listen.
Rebekkila
The first book ever from an icon of American comedy -- a hilarious combination of stories from his career and observations about lifeThat stammer. Those basset-hound eyes. That bone-dry wit. There has never been another comedian like Bob Newhart. His comedy albums, movies, and two hit television series have made him a national treasure and placed him firmly in the pantheon of comedy legends. Who else has a drinking game named after him? And now, at last, Newhart puts his brilliant and hysterical ...more
Doug Warren
Jun 27, 2014 Doug Warren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first read and reviewed this book, I was only 22, so my first knowledge of Bob Newhart came from Nick-at-Nite when I was a kid, but even then I fell in love with his work (although come to think of it, I doubt I got many of the jokes). That is why when I bought this book the first time I saw it on the shelf.

As I first started reading it, the book would talk about different routines Newhart had done at the beginning of his career, and I immediately felt left out, because a lot of this stuf
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Liz
Jan 11, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been thinking that Bob Newhart is to me, what Bob Hope was to my parents – an older, well-established comedian. Something of an icon, a little bit of a cliché; once upon a time though, he was a young comic pioneering a new type of comedy. This is his memoir.

I didn’t realize how much Bob Newhart had done for the world of entertainment. He was supposed to be an accountant & even went to college for it, but that didn’t work out. However, he did enjoy telling funny stories. Somehow, he mana
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Scott
I've always been a fan of Bob Newhart, ever since getting hooked on The Bob Newhart Show back in the 1970s, and subsequently tracking down his Grammy-winning Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart comedy album(s). So...when this autobiography/memoir appeared back in 2006, I couldn't pass it up. Bob's book is a very entertaining read, filled with lots of recollections of high points in his comedy career, but after finishing it my first feeling is that the book didn't really add up to much. It's very lig ...more
Jackson
Jan 03, 2014 Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bob Newhart was perhaps one of the most recognizable comics of the 20th Century. Notice the "was". It's not an understatement to say that the man is past his prime, but, as this book proves, he sure is still funny as hell!

Being a big fan of Newhart and his work, I was anxious to get my hands on a copy of this novel. The book itself recounts all of Bob's life beginning in windswept Chicago and ending in sunny Los Angeles. Bob's modesty definitely leaks through the pages and it becomes obvious ver
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Gayle
Jan 26, 2009 Gayle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bob Newhart has been a fixture in comedy for lo these many years. From his best-selling comedy albums in the sixties, to his two long-running sit-coms, to his current penchant for character roles in comedy movies, he has been ever-present on the Hollywood scene as the wry long-suffering accountant (or dentist or innkeeper).

In I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This! (which is a punchline for a joke), Bob talks about his early years, how he gave up accounting for comedy, his marriage, and his career--all
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Erik
Oct 14, 2008 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, humor, arc
Dan Rowan and Dick Martin were famous for how they handled unruly audiences. These two comedians were basically one brain because each always knew what the other was doing.
Once they were playing a hotel in Kansas City and virtually everyone in the crowd was drunk and yelling over the jokes, so Dan said, “We are now going to take you to the site of the 1954 Olympics. I’ll be talking to the world’s fastest man, and he will describe to me what thoughts are going through his mind.”
Dan and Dick got d
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Rena Sherwood
This was a pleasant surprise, mainly because I am not a big Bob Newhart fan. I'm not even a medium Bob Newhart fan. I got this book out of the library for my mother and was curious enough to read it for my own pleasure. And this is a pleasurable book to read for those of us who grew up during the 1970s and 1980s. You do have to be familiar with Bob Newhart's TV and stand-up work in order to get all of the in-jokes.

Newhart goes beyond simple autobiography and recopying some of his stand-up bits
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Peter Wright
May 27, 2015 Peter Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The memoir is an all-to-brief look at Newhart's life and career. There are some great laugh-out-loud moments, especially when he does actual bits within the book - King Kong, The Driving Instructor, Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue and very abridged versions of Grace L. Ferguson Airline and Storm Door Company and Introducing Tobacco.

As with all the memoirs I've been experiencing of late, I did this one as an audio book and I think it made for a much more pleasant experience. You simply can't beat
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Robert
Feb 10, 2010 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a fan of Newhart, you'll probably learn some new things about his career and where his comedy comes from - few folks probably realize that while he still lived with his parents he had the #1 and #2 albums on the Billboard charts. But he's not a great writer, and at times his point of view seems behind the times and not as profound as he imagines. I grew up listening to his albums and watching his t.v. shows, so I'm happy to understand him a little better. At least he didn't hire a ghos ...more
Colleen
Nov 14, 2014 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mem-bio-auto
How Nostalgic... I loved watching Bob Newhart as a kid and really enjoyed his references to Newhart, with Darrel and his brothers, as well as his more recent movie Elf, which is a big hit with my kids. This book was a great overview of his life with stories from childhood, his military days, relationships with friends and his family and how he got to where he is now. And sprinkled throughout are his bits,The Driving Instructor and The USS Codfish to name a couple, and I caught myself laughing ou ...more
Lisa Finefrock
Jul 10, 2014 Lisa Finefrock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Bob Newhart and found his book to be as charming and understated as he is. He is a true comic genius with the longevity to prove it.

If anyone expected this to be a nitty gritty Hollywood tell-all than you don't know Bob Newhart at all. However, it was a great trip through the history of television and an amazing career.

You'll be surprised how this one-time accountant became a comic legend. It's a light read that's well worth the time.
Kitty
Aug 17, 2016 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing I love about reading memoirs of famous people, is that I hear the author's voice in my head as I read. So with this book, it was as if Bob Newhart was telling me his life story, and weaving in some of his funniest stand-up routines. Bob Newhart is funny, and this book was funny. The only thing that would have made it better --if the narration in my head had Bob's comic timing.
James
Aug 20, 2012 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining book from one of America's funniest men. This was when comedy was actually funny -- not lewd, not angry. Great read for a long plane ride.
Gerald Curtis
Jul 01, 2011 Gerald Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, narrated by Bob Newhart himself. It was fun to enjoy his humor again, and fun to learn how he became the person we all enjoyed loving.
Mark Mallett
Feb 08, 2013 Mark Mallett rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir, nook, humor
Very enjoyable short read, organized as a bunch of chapters on different subjects but all focusing on Newhart's recollections on his life in comedy.
Judy
Nov 24, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've loved Bob Newhart for years so this book was a no-brainer--and I wasn't disappointed.
Wayland Smith
Dec 19, 2016 Wayland Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016challenge
I admit I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Newhart's tv shows, but I've always loved his stand up. "The Driving Instructor" is one of my favorite bits, and I don't know how many times I've listened to it. It's brilliant. When I saw he had an autobiography out, I figured I'd give it a whirl, and I'm very glad I did.

He covers his career in various segments, his life growing up in Chicago and afterwards, and has some of his routines included. There are tales of a beginning comic, a rising star, meeting the
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George Robert "Bob" Newhart is an American stand-up comedian and actor.
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“Here are some of the towns I played last year: Carmel, Indiana; Hutchinson, Kansas; and Huntsville, Alabama. I even played Peoria. So why not limit my dates to easy-to-reach cities like Toronto, Chicago, and Reno? Easier still, why not just retire?” 1 likes
“I’ve found that there’s no real comfort in success. There’s never time to slow down, sit back, and relax. But there did come a moment later in my career when I knew that I had truly made it as a comedian. After I presented Richard Pryor with the lifetime achievement award at the American Comedy Awards, we were backstage posing for pictures. He looked up at me and said, “I stole your album.” For a split second, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The great Richard Pryor stealing my material? I was honored and stunned at the same time. “In Peoria, I went into the record store and I put it under my jacket and I walked out,” he continued. “Richard, I get a quarter royalty on every album.” With that, Richard Pryor pulled out a quarter and handed it to me. To have your album stolen by Richard Pryor is quite an achievement.” 1 likes
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