I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
The Bob Newhart Show
Season Two: 1973-74
THE SECOND SEASON
Year-End Rating: 22.3 (12th place)
The peculiar logic of the Newhart universe continues to evolve
as the offbeat individuals in Bob's therapy group emerge as a steady
source of story ideas in the second year. Tom Patchett and Jay Tarses
contribute the bulk of the season's scripts, along with Jerry Mayer
and Charlotte Brown, among others.
Producer Martin Cohan is a key architect of this emerging universe,
along with writers Patchett and Tarses, who serve as the season's story
consultants. Peter Baldwin directs more than a third of the year's episodes,
along with Jay Sandrich, George Tyne, Alan Rafkin, Jerry London, Peter
Bonerz, and Don Bustany.
Bob reluctantly accepts an invitation to hold a group session on live
The group insists that Bob schedule the TV appearance, and he bows
to their will--only to find himself betrayed on live television when
they freeze up, leaving him fifty-six minutes to fill with stories of
his Air Force days, his stint as a soprano in the boys' choir, and those
wonderful summers on his Uncle Ned's farm. It was a stock MTM situation--Mary
Richards often found herself in similar straits--but no performer ever
communicated the divine comedy of devastating anxiety quite so well
as Bob Newhart.
Bob gets an unexpected taste of Jerry's swinging lifestyle when the
bachelor fixes him up with a local girl during an ill-fated trip to
Emily begins to wonder if they'll ever take a vacation when Bob calls
off their trip to Mexico because of sudden back pain.
Emily is especially anxious to get away from it all, convinced that
a few romantic nights south of the border will increase their odds of
finally conceiving a baby. Her maternal yearnings surfaced in two or
three of the earliest shows, but Newhart maintained that adding a child
to the cast would dilute the show's adult appeal, and Emily's urgent
longing was reduced to no more than a poignant subtext in later seasons.
Bob feels responsible when the minister he's been treating decides
to leave the church.
Despite Bob's strenuous objections, the doctors on his floor insist
on hiring Emily as receptionist while Carol's on vacation.
Bob is caught in the middle of an unpleasant rivalry between his best
friends when Emily's newly divorced girlfriend dates Howard and Jerry
at the same time.
Carol thinks she's found happiness at last--with a doctor who's thirty
years her senior.
Bob's receptionist is embarrassed to admit that she plans to have
a butterfly tattoo removed from a place where no gentleman would see
it anyway. But by a telepathy unique to the characters on The Bob
Newhart Show, both Howard and Jerry know about the tattoo without
having to be told. How they came by such intimate knowledge is a provocative
question that's never explained--and perhaps it's better that way.
Bob suffers from wounded pride when he discovers that Emily's IQ is
a full twenty points higher than his.
Writers Patchett and Tarses, who began their careers as stand-up comics,
make cameo appearances as a waiter and one of the guests at the cocktail
party for geniuses.
Bob's therapy group stages a rebellion to protest a five-dollar rate
Bob and Emily consult a marriage counselor to help them through a lull
in their married life.
Bob resolves to lose eight pounds by his forty-first birthday, but
he quickly finds the regimen of dieting almost unbearable.
Howard goes on a bender when he discovers that his ex-wife is engaged
to be remarried--to a pilot.
The episode contains one of the series's most memorable throwaway
gags, involving Jerry and a Great Dane. The high-strung dentist hears
an imposing black man bark out the command to "Sit, Whitey!," which
Jerry does--before he realizes that the order was intended for the man's
perversely named dog.
Emily is delighted when her parents pay a visit, but Bob is discouraged
when he discovers that there's no way to compete with his charismatic
Bob arranges for Carol to date Mr. Carlin--and they hit it off so well
that Elliot immediately begins making wedding plans.
A power failure traps Bob in his office on Christmas Eve.
Jerry's brother arrives with a surefire plan for starting his own dental
practice--he'll steal his patients from his older brother.
41 The Modernization of Emily First Aired:
January 12, 1974
Emily is on a youth kick, convinced that she can stave off the advancing
years by donning an embarrassing new wardrobe of T-shirts and tight
In a moment that's painfully funny, Emily opens a present bought for
her at the House of Tacky--only to discover that Carol's idea of a gag
gift is a tasteless spangled T-shirt, the same one that Emily's got
on! Her insecurity and dread of encroaching middle age reveal a chink
in Emily's usually well-adjusted outlook, but the bittersweet humor
of Charlotte Brown's sympathetic script refuses to betray the character's
basic integrity. In the end, Emily forsakes the tacky fringes and denim
as she finally accepts the wisdom that comes along with the wrinkles.
Howard joins Bob's out-of-work workshop after he loses his job at the
Under writers Patchett and Tarses, the series found some of its biggest
laughs in the perversely comic outlook of the downtrodden and maladjusted
members of Bob's group. In 1983, the same writers would carry their
formula to sidesplitting extremes when they created Buffalo Bill
, which revolved around one of the most maladjusted protagonists in
sitcom history: Buffalo Bill, a petty, egocentric, thoroughly reprehensible,
and irresistibly hilarious talk-show host. Come to think of it, he might
have fit into one of Bob's groups very nicely.
Howard Hesseman debuts as the out-of-work television writer, Mr. Plager.
Bob wonders whether he should accept an expensive gift from his newest
patient, a recently paroled ex-con who served time for armed robbery.
When supporting player Bonerz wasn't on camera, he was behind the
scenes, observing the directors. "It sure beats waiting around drinking
coffee," he once quipped. The producers finally sanctioned the actor's
ambitions to step behind the camera with this episode. Bonerz adapted
to his new role magnificently--he would eventually direct more Bob
Newhart shows than any other director.
Bob isn't sure he's cut out for the world of high finance after his
new business manager puts him on a restricted budget of $50 a week.
It's love at first sight when Howard meets Bob's sister, Ellen, despite
one slight complication--she's already engaged to another man.
When Emily tries to coax the pair together, Bob observes--with deadpan
accuracy--that her matchmaking has "sunk to a new low." But Howard's
childlike determination wins out, and the befuddled bachelor experiences
his finest triumph when the blushing bride interrupts his ironing with
the news that she's called off her wedding.
Carol's work suffers when she loses her head over her latest beau--a
kook who recites half-baked epiphanies over lunch.
Jerry surprises Bob with the startling confession that he's hopelessly
in love with Emily.
Emily defies her school board by refusing to let an undeserving student
skip a grade.